Ever been lost?
First time I remember feeling really lost was at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario. Attended by hundreds of thousands. Big. Sprawling. Noisey. Complex. Very possible place to get lost ... really lost.
And it was frightening to contemplate that it might be a long time before I was found.
Lostness was a huge matter to Jesus.
Luke 15:1ff - "Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (religious types) muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
The tax collectors and sinners, feeling their lostness inside, were coming to Jesus to see what He might say.
The religious types were so lost they didn't know it...and could only criticize those who came to Him for help.
So Jesus told a story about a man who had one hundred sheep but lost one. And he went looking for that one sheep, found it and brought it home....to the sounds or great rejoicing.
He identified His mission as just like that. Seeking for people who know they are lost...who yearn inside to be found by God Himself.
Jesus came to the planet on a mission to provide the way for people to be found by God - because without God, we are all lost...disjointed inside, far from the peace and "found-ness" God intended us to know.
Lost - when I was lost, it was all-consuming, face draining, fear producing, paralyzing.
And when I prayed to God, asked Him to forgive me of all my sin, and said that I wanted to live in a way that pleased Him for the rest of my life....my lostness was dealt with forever.
When I gave my life to Him, then, He not only placed a portion of His Spirit inside me, but gave me the assurance that one day I will join Him in the forever-found place....heaven.
So...we all start out lost.
We all need Jesus.
We all can be found.
We all can have hope beyond this life.
See you there?