First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week 2


The Message: Are People Lost or Missing?

  A few years ago I heard of a different way of referring to people who are without Christ. We have always said people are lost or they are a non-Christian or an unbeliever. But the expression I like is "missing." If you think about it, it will make sense. In Luke 15, we have the three parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.

 The focus of the parables is on how the shepherd, the woman, and the father yearn for the return of what they have lost. They were missing what was valuable to them. God considers every person valuable. Every person is so valuable that God allowed his son to go through torture and death on a cross for each of us. God exhibits concern for these who are "missing." He is missing those who have not yet been found by his love, grace, and salvation. The other side of that term points out that people who don't yet know God are missing out on life's wonderful blessing to be in a personal relationship to the creator. So when I refer to people who are missing I am referring to people who have not yet considered and accepted the Good New of Christ.

 I like that. Let's try it out. Whom do you know that is missing? Who is missing out on the glorious storehouse of God's love and grace? We probably all know people who are missing; even though the longer we are Christians usually there is fewer of the missing we are around. We still have contact with missing people; we just have to work a little harder to be aware of them. Think about your family, those with which you work or those you go to school with. Do you know which of your neighbors is missing? As you go about your normal daily routine do you see people who may be missing?

 God is concerned for his missing children. As a matter of fact God is much, much more concerned and burdened for those who are missing than we can be. But I believe he will help us to see those he loves in new light if we ask him.

 Scripture - Romans 6:23 - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

 Action - Would you be willing to try something? Would you pray that God open your eyes to begin to see missing people around you? If God cares for missing people, and he has given us the responsibility to build relationships with missing people, then he will help us to see those around us that need the love of God. WARNING: If you pray for this, you may begin to see people in new ways and you may even lose some sleep in the night. As you come in contact with strangers you may feel a sense of God's leadership. You may be developing a heart and love for missing people. You may begin to have a burden for missing people. Ah, but welcome to the full understanding of a loving, caring Christian. This is called seeing people with the eyes of God.

 Prayer - Lord, I really want to experience the full richness of your love, and I want to see people as you see them. Give me new eyes to see and a larger capacity to love.

Next Week - Hindrances to the Gospel - Part I