Daily Devotion - October 29, 2020 - Seeking and Saving the Lost

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – October 29, 2020
Reading:
Luke 19:1-10
Weekly Theme: God Can Change Lives
Today: Seeking and Saving the Lost

In 1994, I attended a week-long seminar entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People* which had a great impact on my life personally as well as professionally. In the second session we were guided through the process of writing a personal mission statement. The first step in this process was to identify up to seven different roles that we assume on a daily and weekly basis and then identify the people who are on the other side of these roles. For example, I am a wife; the person on the other side of that role is my husband. We were then asked to write down what we would like that person to say about us at our funeral should we die first. Once this process was completed for all seven roles, we would have a rough outline of our mission statement. This was an immensely powerful and telling exercise. Of course, one of those roles for me was being a Christian. What do I want Christ to say about me when I die? I want Christ to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” How do I get there? Jesus exemplifies how we do that in the story of Zacchaeus, terrible tax collector.

Jesus, with great enthusiasm (“right now”), first told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree and join him. Jesus invited Zacchaeus to be with him. He further told him that he was going to go to his house that day. Zacchaeus welcomed him gladly and his life was changed that day because Jesus sought him and invited him. Zacchaeus was so impacted by the actions of Jesus that he gave away half of what he owned and paid back four times the amount he owed to people he had cheated as a tax collector. Jesus was criticized by the people who witnessed the kindness he extended to Zacchaeus, “a sinner”. Jesus made it clear to those people his sole (and soul) purpose for coming down to earth, to seek and save the lost. He did not come to impress the crowds but to seek out people like Zacchaeus and save them from a life of sin.

I cannot recall exactly what I wrote down in my mission statement about my role as a Christian back in 1994. I am sure it was all about serving the Lord. What I do recall was that my role as Christian was 4th on my list and as I went back and read it later, it was very telling of where I was spiritually at that point in my life. Three of my earthly relationships as a wife, mom and daughter were first, and being a Christian was fourth. If I wrote that statement today, I would certainly like to think that today my role as a Christian would be number one on my list, with a purpose statement in that role would be similar to that of Jesus in today’s story about Zacchaeus: to go forth and seek out those who are lost; to invite them to come down and then be an agent of Christ in their life that they may come to know Christ, by God’s grace. What about you? If you wrote a personal mission statement as I described at the beginning, what roles would you identify and in what order? What would your mission be? Would it be to seek out and be an agent of Christ to save the lost? Think about it!

Dear God, we come before you with thanksgiving for the example you have given us in the life of Christ. Help us to be always aware of our role as a Christian and to seek out the lost and be your agent of change in their lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

* Based on the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

 
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