16 Mar He Chose to Love the Lost (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 18, Mar 9th)
Read Luke 19:2-10
Thought for the Day: As believers, we are called to love the lost!
One of life’s greatest challenges is learning to love the so-called ‘unlovable’. Each of us encounter individuals whose actions or choices make it extremely challenging for others to develop deep and meaningful relationships with them. Still, we know we are called to show love and respect for all. So how do we do it? How do we love the ‘unlovable’? For starters, we need to learn from the example of Jesus. No one is truly unlovable. Some people are just lost.
In Luke’s Gospel, we meet Zacchaeus, a man who was incredibly lost. As a Jewish tax collector, Zacchaeus had made a career of greedily swindling his neighbors. But when Jesus came to town, Zacchaeus very quickly turned his life around. Unable to see through the crowd, he climbed a tree before being spotted by Jesus. Having come to seek and save the lost, Jesus quickly invited Himself to stay at Zaccheus’ house despite the grumbling and frustration of the crowd. Amazed at Jesus’ compassion, Zacchaeus repented of his greed and wickedness: “Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
When we see people as ‘unlovable’, we quickly become the problem. No one is unlovable. Instead, just as Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we are called to get to know all of our neighbors. Living in a time of incredible division, it is essential for Christians to follow Christ and seek to end division. One of the simplest ways we can do this is befriend those who really struggle. Jesus does not call us to condemn anyone; we are all called to love the lost!
Reflect & Pray – Who in my life am I called to reach out to today? Am I willing to stop seeing people as ‘unlovable’ and instead love the lost? God, I repent of my self-centeredness and limited perspective. Please allow me to love the lost!