What do you think when you see a group of teenagers all sitting at the same table, staring at their phones? Or when your nephew boldly posts something anti-Christian on social media, knowing that you are a devoted follower of Jesus Christ? Or when the neighbor girl next door wants to transition to being the neighbor boy next door? Or when you hear the statistics about how many college students pray or even believe in God at all?
Confusion? Frustration? Despair? Before you give in to those feelings, check out how Jesus feels: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” (Matthew 18:12). When the Good Shepherd loses just one sheep to its wandering ways, how does he feel? Concerned. Compassionate. Brokenhearted.
As America becomes an increasingly non/anti-Christian culture, we Christians must not forget Jesus’ words. Those who are far from God need our hearts to be broken, broken enough to leave our comfort zones, broken enough to love them by listening, and broken enough to look for ways to bring them back to the only Shepherd who can save them from danger.
So, when you see someone who is far from God, remind yourself, “That’s the one!” That’s the one whom Jesus talked about. That’s the one whom God still longs to bring home.