top of page

God’s Heart for the Lost (Luke 15:1-10)

Luke 15:1–10 - 1 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” What does today’s passage say? In this passage, Jesus responds to Pharisees critical of Him eating with sinners, sharing two parables highlighting God's desire for the lost to be recovered (v. 1-2v). First, He tells of one lost sheep amongst a hundred. The shepherd leaves the rest to search diligently until finding the one lost sheep (vv. 3-7), illustrating Heavenly Father's earnest heart for any who stray. Second, Jesus shares of a woman who loses one valuable coin out of ten. She sweeps and searches her whole house until recovering it, rejoicing once found (vv. 8-10). This illustrates God's active pursuit of lost souls and the great rejoicing in heaven over one sinner's repentance in returning to the Shepherd, trusting Christ. How can I apply Luke 15:1-10 to my life? Jesus shares two brief parables highlighting God's profound love for lost souls - represented by a wandering sheep and a missing coin. Pharisees had just indicted Jesus for welcoming and eating with sinful outcasts of society. So, these word-pictures beautifully capture God's earnest longing for His lost children to come Home. Just as a shepherd drops everything to find one lost sheep or a woman frantically sweeps every nook and cranny until that missing coin is found, so our Heavenly Father actively pursues every precious human heart drifting aimlessly without an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus completely debunks the Pharisees' self-righteous indifference over the spiritual fate of worldly outcasts. Instead, He unveils the true heart of God that grieves deeply when anyone created in His image remains enslaved to empty deception apart from knowing the freedom, purpose, and direction only He can provide their lives. As Christ-followers, we must share God's heartache over lost souls trapped in darkness. We should long earnestly for each person to discover the restoration, meaning, and belonging that comes from following the Good Shepherd who calls them by name into His fold. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Pursue the Lost with Compassion (vv. 4-5): The shepherd's persistence in searching for the one lost sheep conveys God's tender compassion and care for everyone who wanders from Him. We too must reflect that heart by faithfully pursuing lost souls around us with grace and patience. Concern and compassion should compel us beyond judgmental criticism to gentle initiatives that help unbelievers find belonging, meaning, and purpose in relationship with the Good Shepherd. As followers of Christ, we must reflect His heart for the lost. Rather than criticizing unbelievers, we need compassion that compels action. Ask God to open your eyes to opportunities right around you to demonstrate care - whether initiating a conversation, helping meet a felt need, or simply listening. Avoid judging their beliefs or choices. Your gentle, humble outreach could help wandering souls find belonging, and purpose in relationship with the Good Shepherd. Pursue lost individuals persistently yet graciously, patiently helping guide them back into the fold. We must be willing to step out of our comfort zones to pursue relationships with those who don't yet know the Shepherd. Pray for open doors and divine appointments to demonstrate compassionate care, helping remove barriers that keep lost souls from encountering the grace of Jesus (Ezekiel 34:11, Matthew 9:36-38, Romans 12:14-16).

Food for thought: Is there a wandering unbeliever you might reach out to this week with care and concern rather than criticism? What can you do to build trust as an opportunity to share gospel truth?

  1. Celebrate the Salvation of Any Lost Person (vv. 6-7, 9-10): The enthusiastic celebration over recovering just one lost sheep or coin illustrates God's unfathomable joy when even one lost soul repents. Every person created in His image holds precious value. Despite the depth of any sinner's depravity, God passionately desires each heart to know Him intimately and receive eternal life through trusting Christ. As His followers, we must share that longing for no one to remain separated from relationship with Him. Ask God for joyful hearts eagerly longing for others' salvation. Avoid self-righteous indifference over those still entrapped in deception and sin. Since lost people cannot save themselves from evil's domination, we must help guide them back Home through compassionate truth-telling so more lost souls can know the Shepherd! Celebrate enthusiastically every life transformed by His marvelous grace! Let your heart swell with praise and thanksgiving to God whenever an unbeliever surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And allow that celebration to fuel your persistent prayers and compassionate efforts to keep reaching lost souls all around you (Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 9:37-38, 2 Peter 3:9).

Food for thought: Do you share God's passionate desire for every lost person to repent and be saved? How might celebrating others coming to faith increase your joyful readiness to keep reaching the lost?

  1. Persist Actively in Seeking the Lost (v. 8): Unlike passively waiting for lost coins to reappear, this woman turns her household upside-down through urgent, active pursuit until that final lost coin is recovered. We also must not tolerate complacency about the world's lostness. As shining lights in our communities, we need passionate refusal to sit idle while lost souls remain enslaved to darkness and deception all around us. Through Spirit-empowerment, let us actively build relationships, persistently plead for divine appointments, and consistently make gospel appointments by fearlessly initiating truth-full conversations. One day our courageous efforts by God's grace may uncover that single lost soul who discovers the Shepherd because we cared enough to persevere. We must not grow weary in well-doing, trusting God to open doors for gospel truth even in resistant hearts. Persist in acts of kindness and compassion that soften soil to receive the Seed. Water spiritual conversations with patience and grace, pleading for harvest (Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 5:14-16, Acts 1:8).

Food for thought: What specific actions might God want you pursuing more boldly so lost people in your life discover the Shepherd? How can you shine Christ's love daily to spiritually lost souls in your spheres of influence? Through the powerful imagery of seeking lost sheep and coins, Jesus unveils the Father's deep longing for restored relationship with every precious soul wandering aimlessly outside His tender care. No matter how far a sinner strays, God's loving pursuit remains relentless until He recovers each one who places faith in the Savior. As His redeemed children, we must join wholeheartedly in that mission - showing unbelievers the same grace and compassion that drew us back to the Shepherd. May these parables ignite us with fresh passion for pursuing the lost among our neighbors, colleagues, and communities. No matter how comfortable or complacent we feel, we must persist actively in seeking opportunities to reveal God's heart for bringing lost ones into the security of His eternal flock through trusting Jesus. Each soul is far too valuable for us to sit idle while so many stumble aimlessly without an intimate Shepherd to guide them. Let us follow our Lord's example by building authentic relationships and fearlessly shining gospel truth so more and more lost hearts find belonging, meaning and purpose in hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd call them by name. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would ignite me with Christlike compassion for lost souls and persistent zeal to actively pursue them, no matter how far they have wandered. Empower me by the Spirit to build caring relationships with unbelievers. Give me discernment to avoid self-righteous criticism. Grant wisdom to know when and how to gently guide conversations toward spiritual truth. Open doors for bold yet gracious gospel appointments where I can fearlessly shine the light of Christ in darkness. Produce harvest through my obedience. Increase my capacity to celebrate enthusiastically with You and the angels whenever another lost sheep enters Your eternal fold through repenting and trusting Jesus alone for salvation. Guard my heart against growing weary or complacent in the urgent call to keep reaching lost souls in my circles of influence. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 15:4 - “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Selfless Service (Philippians 2:19-30)

Philippians 2:19–30 - 19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who w


bottom of page