By Will Graham
I recently wrote about the free gift of salvation that God has given us. The gift of everlasting life is free to us, but cost Jesus everything. He paid the bill through His sacrificial death and resurrection.
But while the gift of salvation is free, this does not mean that there is no cost to being a follower of Christ. So many want to live the Christian life without any sacrificing or any giving, but there’s more to it than that. For instance, in saying ‘Yes’ to Christ, we’re saying ‘No’ to much of what the world around us has to offer.
Another “cost” that Christians should – must – pay is associated with reaching the lost; those who haven’t yet recognized their need for a Savior and are still living life on their own terms. If you look at Luke 15:8-10 you’ll see what I mean:
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
“Doesn’t she light a lamp?” First, it will cost you resources to look for the lost. The text tells us that the woman lit a lamp in order to look for the lost coin. You may not think that’s a big deal, but you need to remember that there were no light switches to turn on, or flashlights to brighten the dark. Many homes also did not have any windows to allow natural light to enter. So, the lady chose to use a very precious and expensive asset by lighting the oil. She spent her resources to look for the lost coin.
“Doesn’t she sweep the house?” Not only does it cost you resources but it also cost you time to look for the lost. We read in verse 8 that the woman “sweep[s] the house” in her search. Whether the English word “sweep” here literally means cleaning, or if it means searching inch-by-inch, both reflect a significant labor-intensive investment of time as she seeks the prized coin. She did it without hesitation because of the value of that which was lost.
“Doesn’t she search carefully?” Finally, looking for the lost will cost patience and thoroughness. The woman “searched carefully until she found it.” This lady looked, searched, cleaned, and looked again. She did this over and over until she found the coin. There was an emotional investment as she did not give up after one failed try, but continued because it was precious to her.
Yes, there is a price to be paid for reaching the lost. The question remains: are they worth it? Do me a favor – stop for a moment and think about those around you who have not made a decision for Christ. Think about your mom or dad, your brother or sister, your neighbor, your co-worker. Tell me – are they worth it?
Of course they are! In fact, our text above tells us that the souls of those around us are so important that “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Every soul is precious and needs to hear the message of hope in Jesus Christ. He paid the ultimate price for you. Ask Him to help you as you extend yourself to reach others.
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