What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14 NASB)
Apparently there have been a great amount of things lost in the backseat of London cabs. There have been found in the back of London cabs 62,000 cell phones, a goldfish in a water-filled bag, $2900.00 in cash, a suitcase full of diamonds and one little girl. Those were some of the things left behind in just the first six months of this year. Surprisingly only half of the phones were claimed (We can only hope the little girl was promptly claimed!). The owners of those phones were hoping that their operating service would replace the lost phones with a newer and better one. Many companies do exactly that to avoid losing their customers to rival services who often give away the latest phones when customers switch to their service.
The example of our Lord is that He is continually seeking the lost. The Holy Spirit is wooing and working in the lives of the lost and we who are Christians have been commanded to go and to seek the lost. It is not the Father’s will that any of the lost should perish. But sadly there are many of those who are lost that do not want to be found. But even sadder are the lost that are like the unclaimed cell phones. There are countless millions of lost people who would gladly be found if only someone would come and share the gospel with them.
Would your Lord have you to leave the ninety and nine to seek that one who is lost but willing to be found? They are all around us waiting. The Holy Spirit has quietly worked in their hearts as people have prayed for their souls. All that remains is for someone to go and tell them the Good News. Will you respond as Isaiah saying “Here am I! Send me (Isaiah 6:8).”
Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Used with Permission. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.