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Vital signs- Friday, September 2nd, 2023

We often think some people are too far from God. 

In I Can Only Imagine, Bart Millard left home thinking he would never see his father again. He thought Arthur was hopeless, lost, and unable to change. 

When Bart Millard finally returned home years later, he couldn’t believe Arthur’s transformation was legitimate. And he struggled to forgive the man who had caused him so much pain. But through their time together—over breakfast, working on their old truck, and listening to music—they began to build a new relationship. It turned out that Arthur was not beyond God’s saving power, and even Bart would discover a powerful picture of the Lord’s relentless pursuit of us. 

Let's consider another story of hope that Jesus told (Luke 15:1-7; Matthew 18:12-14).

A good shepherd counts the sheep in his flock and notices one of the lambs is missing. Ninety-nine are there, but the shepherd is concerned for the one.

So he leaves the ninety-nine on the hills and goes searching for that lost one. When he finds it, he rejoices and throws an extravagant party with his friends. 

What’s the message of this parable? Jesus concludes: “In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). And at the recovery of a single lost child, all of heaven rejoices (Luke 15:7)! 

In other words, no one is too far from God. No one can run so far, rebel so greatly, or resist so strongly that God cannot save them. If the Lord has his eyes set on his child, he will not sleep until his missing child is home, safe, and sound. 

The reality of God’s saving power also means that none of our friends or family members are too far from God either. We shouldn’t ever give up on someone simply because they seem distant from or rebellious toward God. He works miracles, and we can persist in loving others in the same way that God does. 

As Jesus himself said, “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Ours is not a God who is quick to anger or slow to forgive. We don’t have to run from him, we don’t have to hide our sin, and we don’t have to fear his judgment. For all who believe in Christ: We are his children, and he will stop at nothing to see us restored to him.  

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you ❤️👊

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