In the game of T-ball, a baseball is placed on a rubber tee about waist-high to the 5- and 6-year-old batters. Players swing until they hit the ball and then run. Randy Kilgore tells this story: On my first night as a coach, the very first batter hit the ball far into the outfield. Suddenly every player from every position ran to get the ball. No one was where they were supposed to be – they all left their positions to run toward the ball. When it was caught they stood together cheering with unrestrained exuberance!
This same kind of response is reflected in the parable of the lost sheep found in Luke 15:3-7…
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!"
We REACH unrestrained exuberance when one who has wandered away from the fold of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is rescued - returned - restored. They may have strayed away as a child never knowing the provision of God’s plan. Perhaps they chose some wrong turns in life which separated them from the safety of God’s people. Whatever the case, they became lost and needed to be found.
Just as the shepherd went after the lost sheep, God calls us to go after those who have lost their way and become entangled in the world’s snares. Reaching those who are hopelessly lost with the open arms of Christ and lovingly bringing them back is cause for JOY - unrestrained exuberance - a fly ball caught - for the Kingdom of God!
PRAYER: Let me be your hands and feet, LORD, rescuing those who are separated from You. And as all of heaven rejoices over one lost soul, I too will cheer them on with unrestrained exuberance.
EXPERIENCE JOY…REACH THE LOST!
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