Our Importance To God
Our Importance To God
Luke 15:1-7 – “Now the tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them. So He told them this parable: What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing. And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost. Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.”
Everyone likes to feel important and wanted. So, how important are we to God? Let us notice how important this one sheep was.
The shepherd of the flock considered losing this one sheep a loss. We must understand losing things of no value is not considered a loss and has little effect on us. Oftentimes, a penny in a parking lot is ignored. However, if we were to lose valuable items such as our health, a love one, and/or our employment, then this would greatly affect us. The shepherd was concerned over the loss of his sheep. He did not stop until he had found the lost sheep
In this parable Jesus told, the shepherd came to a point in his journey he was able to rejoice. Why did the shepherd rejoice? There are three reasons why the shepherd rejoiced.
- Something important had been recovered for he found his lost sheep.
- His labor was not in vain, for his efforts had been rewarded in the finding of his lost sheep.
- He had fulfilled his responsibility, for he was the keeper of the sheep and it was his charge to protect and not lose any of his flock.
How do we apply this parable to our lives as 21st century Christians? This parable answers the question, “How important are we to God?” Individuals have always mattered to God. Oftentimes, Jesus dealt with one person in the crowd. In Luke 19:1-5, Jesus only dealt with Zacchaeus. In Mark 10:46-20, Jesus only dealt with Blind Bartimaeus. In Matthew 9:20-22, Jesus only dealt with the woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years. Special efforts were even made to reach one person with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God caused Peter to make an effort to convert Cornelius in Acts 10. God caused Christ to make an effort to convert Paul in Acts 9. God caused Philip to make an effort to convert the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. This is all because these individuals were important to God.
How do we know whether or not God cares about us? We know God cares about us by what He did for us. Listen to your Bible! In John 3:16, the Bible reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” We know God cares about us by what He has promised us. In John 6:37, the Bible reads, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
If we are still in doubt as to whether or not we are important to God, then how should we respond to such concern? We should respond to such a concern by inviting Christ into our lives, then we will know how important we are to Him. Listen to your Bible! In Revelation 3:20, the Bible reads, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” We should respond to such a concern by loving Christ, then we will know how important we are to Him. In 1 John 4:19, the Bible reads, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Finally, we should respond to such a concern by giving God a chance, then we will know how important we are to Him. In Psalm 34:8, the Bible reads, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
We are very important to God, God has made this clear. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Do we value ourselves enough to accept the care and nurture of our Lord?”