I have a furry friend named Bob. This summer, Bob decided to join our family after being on the run for days. After trying desperately to find his home, we realized that he was probably here to stay.
Bob loves his new home. He’s taken to his new name, is well fed and pretty spoiled (although he does have to put up with the occasional kid hug, which is pretty torturous).
Although he loves his life, Bob is naturally a hunter. He is desperate to leave his safe home and many times succeeds – by digging a hole under the fence, maneuvering between fence posts, or waiting for just the right time to rush the door.
His nature leads him to danger, however. He has run across busy roads and has gone too far away from the house to remember how to return.
Each time we realize that he has run away, one of our family goes out to look for him. When we see him, we lovingly call him back. We call out promises to him. We even explain to him that he has a nice treat waiting for him back at home.
When we finally get to a place where we can get him, we always scoop Bob up and carry him home. Sometimes, he desperately wiggles out of our arms – he wants that squirrel or rabbit more than he wants safety. We hold on that much tighter as we carry him back home.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19 : 10
It may be a bit simplistic, but this is a (almost daily) reminder of what John Piper calls “The Search-and-Save Mission” of Jesus in the December 1 entry of “The Dawning of Indestructible Joy” (Read for free with us over Advent!).
I, like Bob, am in need of a Rescuer. I get ‘on the scent’, follow my instincts into sin. I don’t even see the danger around me – I just pursue my target. I may hear Him call. I may read His promises in His Word, yet I want to find my own satisfaction more than I want Him.
But He did not just stand at Heaven’s front door and call for me.
As Piper says, “…he is a searching and saving God, …he is a God on a mission, …he is not aloof or passive or indecisive.”
He came to Earth on a mission. He came to find and rescue the lost. He pursues.
Luke chapter 15 describes Jesus as a shepherd carrying a lost sheep on His shoulder. Isaiah 40:11 paints Him as a shepherd who holds the lost sheep close to His chest.
When Jesus rescues His sheep, He does not let them go. They are His forever.
This doesn’t mean we, as sheep, won’t wander again, but God will fulfill His promise to save His people. Goodness knows that although we are installing chicken wire around our fence, Bob’ll be creative and find another way out.
But just as we will run down the street yet again looking like crazy people chasing a dog, God will again go after His sheep.
See You In The Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."