For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. ~ Luke 19:10
READING: Luke 19:1-10
One way I’ve created widespread community awareness and interest in planting churches has been through community saturation – knocking on literally every single door in a community, regardless of whether the building is residential or commercial or industrial, regardless of whether the occupant is rich or poor, regardless of the perceived receptivity of the people behind that door.
As a result, I’ve experienced a lot of rejection, contact with unexpected people, and some “interesting” situations. At times I’ve found myself speaking God’s truth and grace to people typically shunned not only by Christians but also by unbelieving pillars of the community. In one city, we found ourselves actually leading Bible studies inside brothels.
Zacchaeus is an example of a fellow known by the community to be corrupt and avoided as a tax collector. Though it raised eyebrows, Jesus invited himself into Zacchaeus’ home and spent some real time sharing with him. Zacchaeus’ repentance led him to more than repay what he had plundered over the years.
My experience has shown me something of the heart of God who sees and loves the ones who have been rejected by society and the people who have failed most spectacularly. It is a privilege to be used of God to extend the love of Christ in a personal way by seeking those who are lost.
Father, I hate to admit it but I need to be reminded that Jesus came to save the lost. He came to heal the sick. Help me to love the people I want to draw back from, and to value the people I want to write off. Amen.
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