All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. – Isaiah 53:6
4 If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.
6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
Ever since the receding waters of the flood, mariners have sailed the sea. Of course, navigating the oceans and seas was fraught with dangers: ferocious storms, shoals, reefs, fog, doldrums, lack of fresh water,
sea monsters [only kidding]. But the greatest danger that seafarers faced was getting lost. Enter the idea of latitudes and longitudes.
Visualize for a moment a line that passes between the South Pole and the North Pole. The equator is an imagined line perpendicular to that line. Latitudes are imagined horizontal lines spanning the earth between the poles parallel to the equator forming imaginary circles. Some of the latitudes are well known such as the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic Circle. By the year 1700, finding a latitude, a North-South location, at sea had become routine. This was not so for longitudes.
Longitudes are imagined vertical lines parallel to one another. They designate one’s East-West position and are analogous to latitudes that designate one’s North-South position. In the 1700s there was no way to determine one’s longitude. It was called “the longitude problem.” For centuries scientists tried to solve this problem but failed. Great minds from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton sought an astronomical answer from the heavens above to no avail.
John Harrison, a clockmaker and carpenter by trade, with the stroke of genius, conceived a mechanical solution, a clock that would keep precise time at sea. He invented and perfected the marine chronometer. It allowed sailors to calculate longitude while at sea. He revolutionized navigation and long-distance exploration. John Harrison stood alone and solved the greatest scientific problem of his time: being lost at sea. There was no longer any reason for sailors to be lost.
When sailors are lost, they know it, not so the rest of humankind. The Scriptures are quite clear. Every person is born lost, that is separated from the Father. The Father has assigned the quest of “becoming found” to each person before they die.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God
How does one cease to be lost and become “found?” People tried in vain to come up with a solution on their own. Over the millennia, people have conceived a multitude of possible ways. The religions of the world are full of them. But regrettably, none of these man-made solutions work.
The Father, from the heavens above, has a more excellent way.
REFLECT & PRAY
Mankind seeks answers, the Father seeks mankind.
Father thank You for conceiving a way for lost human sheep to become found. Thank You that when the Lord Jesus Christ spoke and I heard His voice. I came and He gave me eternal life.
The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world for the very purpose of rescuing lost humanity from their separation from the Father. “Jesus becomes the instrument through whom God works. Jesus’ mission is to initiate relationships with those who do not know God and call to them to come to know him” (Bock).
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
Being lost is simply defined as being separated from the Father. Although people do have eternity in their hearts and a resultant longing, pang of emptiness, and desire for more, they do not self-identify this as being “lost.” They may ask, “Is that all there is?” But they have no real answers. To find answers requires that you ask the right questions. They do not recognize their innate problem of sin.
31 Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do.
32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.
Sailors lost in the vast oceans and seas; know they are doomed. People who are lost in the sea of humanity, have little or no awareness of their condition.
Thus the Father takes the initiative. The Lord Jesus Christ was sent to provide salvation and eternal life.
John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
When His words are proclaimed and heard, for those who are His sheep, it awakens and clarifies their sense of need. They go from being in a lost slumber to lost awakeness. The numbness of stupefying slumber is removed. They become seekers. When His voice is heard, His sheep come to Him.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
The separation from the Father is breached.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,
29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
Each now has eternal life. Eternal life is the present possession of every child of the King. It lasts forever and it can never be taken away. We are safe and secure. There is no room for doom or gloom for any child of the King.
1 Peter 2:25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.