It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is the final day of the final week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Go and Find the Missing
“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? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.“
Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)
How many groups of Christians do you, or have you had, fellowship with? Do those groups consist of the same people now as when you first met with them? Why? Who is missing? Why? Do you know people who have not just moved to a different fellowship of Christians, but have quit meeting with other Christians all-together? As you consider people who have been close Christian friends of yours in the past, who is missing? Will you serve them, and the body of Christ, by going and finding those who have wandered off?
It doesn’t take a very in-depth reading of the gospels to discover that Jesus has a heart of compassion for those who are missing. It doesn’t seem to matter if they wandered off, were stolen away, or simply got lost. Jesus taught that it is our responsibility to search for them, to watch for their return, and to be ready to welcome them with open arms. People end up missing for a lot of reasons and sometimes we fail to have as much concern about the missing as Jesus does.
As you pray, ask God to help you to see those who are missing. Pray that you would serve them by being involved in searching for them, watching for them, and welcoming them back.