Just recently I watched the movie, “The Wedding” with Halle Berry. There was a scene when she went to the beach for a swim. She took off her engagement ring and put it in her blouse. When she went back, she couldn’t find it. Frantic, she felt around in the sand and when her fingers closed over, her face filled with joy and relief. The ring was precious to her.
In this parable a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. She could have easily have been happy that she still had nine coins but that one coin meant a lot to her. She went to great lengths to find it. She lit a lamp, swept the house and searched diligently for it. She searched and searched until she found it. When she found it, she was so happy that she had to tell her friends about it. She wanted them to share in her joy. She had lost and then found she valued.
It is the same with God. He doesn’t stop caring for the person who is lost. It is His will that that the lost person repents and returns to Him. When this happens, He rejoices. He welcomes the person joyfully and celebrates. It should be the same for us. We should be celebrating, not complaining when the lost is found and returns to the church. We were once lost too and God sent someone to find us, a friend perhaps as in my case, or a loved one or neighbor or co-worker and there was celebration in heaven that day when we were found. We are of great value to God. We are precious in His sight. Like the woman with the coin, He will not give up on us. He is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Do you know someone who has stopped attending church? Have you reached out to that person? Ask God to help you to demonstrate love, acceptance and genuine concern for this former church member. Remember this person is valued by God.