I’ve observed it, as have you… Panic, action, frantic searches, search parties, blood hounds, the use of helicopters… if a child, a loved one hiking in the wilderness, or a challenged adult WANDERS AWAY! Every caring person is sought and mobilized who can be persuaded to help out and the search begins… Every possible location is searched, dangerous places are scoured, the name of the person who wandered away is called over and over again. And oh, the joy and relief, when the wanderer is found and is safe again!!!
All of that came to mind as I read the following word in James 5:19-20 this morning…
“If anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins!”
The family [the “Spiritual family] of the WANDERER is first… they mobilize and search – no effort is too great, nothing is more important! Others who care are mobilized and participate on search teams [from other bodies of believers] and they are so appreciated and valued! And Oh the joy when the lost is found and returns “home” [in this case, back to their Savior and Lord, and family of believers they are a part of]!
You know, there is a parable that gives us a glimpse of the “Father’s heart” on this issue!
“So Jesus told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.’” (Luke 15:3–7 ESV)
Hey, at some time or other we have all strayed… 1 Peter 2:25 speaks to this issue: “You were all straying like sheep, but now you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls!”
Listen, I want to be available and willing to search for the WANDERER! I want to take the risks and make the effort necessary find them and bring them back “home” to the Lord! What rejoicing in heaven – the redeemed of all ages there erupt in joyful praise! “DIVINE SEARCH AND RESCUE” – what a ministry!!!