Not Lost, But Missed

Hello! I pray everyone is having a restful summer! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Emma Judkins. I am a senior at Oral Roberts University studying ministry and leadership. This summer, I will be one of the Young Adult Ministry interns. I cannot wait to see what the Lord does this summer!
The Lord has placed the word “lost” on my heart in the latter half of the spring semester. Of course, when I started thinking of what the word means, one of my classes started to discuss this word and its connotations or meanings. Lost has a negative feel to the word; when someone loses something, it is gone and out of sight. Lost things have a place, but they are absent from that place. As we discussed and pondered the meaning, our professor said something that stuck with me. “Rather than viewing people as just lost, view them as the people that God misses the most.” This statement cut deep because it is easy to take the meaning and not have any emotion tied to it, when we view lost things and people as being missed, it drastically changes how we feel.
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells the prodigal son's story. In short, one of two sons asked for his share of the property that would be his once his father passed. Afterward, he left and took that money and his share, wasting it recklessly. Eventually, after he spent all of the money, he found himself eating and living among pigs, realizing that he would be better off as a servant in his father’s house rather than where he was. He returned to his father’s house expecting to be condemned and disowned, BUT his father saw him coming home and felt compassion towards him. He missed his son. Yes, he was lost, but he missed his son so much that he celebrated his return instead of reacting as expected.
Just like the father in the parable reacted is how our Father in Heaven reacts. He misses those not with him and longs to be in a relationship with them. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.” Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. It can be easy to be complacent in our faith and keep it to ourselves, but so many people do not know that they have a Father who misses and loves them. Our job is to share this good news with the world! This could look like sharing with your local barista that God loves them or going to lunch with someone you know does not have a personal relationship with Christ to be an example of Christ’s love.
Even better, we do not have to do it alone because he is “with us to the end of the age.” So, if you feel unqualified or scared to share, know that you’re not alone in those feelings, and Jesus is with you amid those feelings of uncertainty. Just as I feel the Lord tugging at my heart with this simple truth, I pray that you feel the Lord tugging at your heart to share with others that God misses them and desires to be in an intimate relationship with them.
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