What do you think about most? The majority of us have one or two things we most think about. Once you get to know someone you can often tell what it is for them. Usually it is different things at different times of people’s lives. It might be the acquisition of a material possession, or the achievement of a goal, or the hopes of finding true love.
When I was an 11-year old boy it was fish tanks. You read me correct, fish tanks. I had a hobby, fish collection. I started out with a ten-gallon aquarium in my room with a few guppies. But soon I got so obsessed I mowed some lawns, earned some money, and bought another ten-gallon tank and loaded it with fish. My parents bought me a fish encyclopedia. I knew so much about fish. When I was at school my mind would drift to my fish. When I mowed lawns for money I would dream of all the new fish I’d buy. Soon I bought a 29 gallon tank and collected big fish.
A few years later it was bikes. I started cycling and I had a dream of owning a Schwinn Super Le Tour 12-speed. It was expensive. I had to mow a lot of lawns to come up with the money. I thought about it constantly. My mind would continually obsess about earning enough cash to acquire my dream. Eventually I bought the bike.
In college it was a beautiful girl, Stefanie. I met her at our University Christian Ministry and couldn’t get her off my mind. I thought about her when I was in class, thought about her at lunch, thought about her morning, noon, and night. I asked her out. We hit it off. We saw a future in each other. I thought about her when I was with her and even more when we were apart. I even taped a picture of her on my bedside wall in the dorm, so my last thought would be of her as I drifted to sleep. She was the driving obsession of my mind. And I made her my wife.
Let me ask you an important question. What is the constant driving obsession in the mind of God? What is it that God thinks about above all other things? What is the obsession of the Divine? The answer is found in the mission of Christ. Jesus said,…
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Through Christ, God is pursuing a humanity that is lost from the hand of God due to sin so that He might rescue us from separation and death redeeming us back to Himself. God is in hot pursuit of us. He is the Hound of Heaven seeking to retrieve us from our lost condition and bring us home to him.
Jesus came for you, to save you from your sin, and to bring you home to a relationship with God the Father. He considers you of inexpressible value, worthy of an all out pursuit. In the Bible, Jesus speaks of this divine passion for your soul through a parable about a Shepherd and his sheep.
In his story the Shepherd represents the Lord and the sheep represents you and me. He said, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4) Of course he does. It is in the Shepherd’s nature to value each in his flock. Even if only one is lost, he goes after it, pursues it until he finds the lamb. I can imagine that shepherd constantly counting his sheep, making sure none are lost, all are with him.
Years ago I was a Youth Minister in a church. As a part of the job I was responsible for planning trips and outings. Sometimes I would take them on retreats or to camp. Other times we would do things for pure fun, like going to a theme park. Always I would find myself counting them. If I had brought 23 kids, everywhere we would go I was continually counting. One-two-five-ten-19-22, “where is Ben, has anyone seen Ben.” My obsession was to keep tabs on those kids. If I brought 23 kids to the event, I was going to bring 23 kids back. Any other scenario was unacceptable. There were a few times when I lost a kid. I would not stop searching until I found that child.
That is the way Jesus is with us. He comes for us, to bring us spiritually home to God. Rejoicing always follows when he brings us home. Jesus said, “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:5-6)
Christ tells us that all of heaven rejoices in the same way when our Shepherd God redeems us back to the flock of his family. He says, there is “rejoicing in heaven” (Luke 15:7) over a sinner who repents and is brought home to the grace of God. Nothing brings joy to the heart of God more than when you are redeemed to the relationship with him you were always meant to have.
Question: How does the knowledge that God, in Christ, came for you change how you view your life in the day to day? You can leave a comment by clicking here.