This photo was taken by my church friend, Benjima, at our last beach baptism party!
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 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.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
We've finally reached my favorite part about teaching 6th grade social studies, when we read in our history books about the rise of Christianity. I try my best to be objective, I really do, and our textbooks aren't Christian or anything...but the awesome thing is, no matter what you think about church or Christians even, you have got to admit that the God of the Bible is compelling.
We just learned about the life of Jesus, and so the students are learning different parables He taught. As I explained the one mentioned above, I was just moved by the heart of our God. What kind of God is this, who aches and longs to rescue every single soul...that no matter what else is going on, He is consumed by the hunt for his lost sheep?
It's made me think of all the breakthrough I'm seeing in my friendships and at my church...Why does this surprise me? Is this not the heart of God? That we ache and hunger to see the lost saved? That we are found on our knees, praying and fasting for our friends who don't know Jesus? That the Church -- His Body -- is obsessed with sharing God's love, with seeing more and more people saved and baptized? And if that is the heart of our God, then, of course God will bless this. Of course God will answer our prayers. Of course God will use us to reveal Himself.
It must be what He was talking about when He said, "Ask anything in my name, and I will do it." When we join God in His heart and purposes, nothing can stop us.