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Date published: 09/04/2010

Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (NIV)

Do we as Christians sometimes become more consumed with religion than with the souls of the lost?  In this passage religious people were challenging Jesus’ actions concerning interpretation of religious points instead of being drawn into the ministry of “changing the heart of a lost person.”  This particular verse takes your mission to a greater urgency by stating that salvation (repentance) of one person is of far greater importance than the attention paid to 99 people who know Christ.  Step back and evaluate your life in Christ.  Do you spend 99% more of your time sharing Christ, representing Him, positioning yourself to share Christ than spending time in Church, Bible study, Sunday School, conferences, and Christian fellowships?  This verse does not mandate that you equate your time this way, but it does call you to re-evaluate your priorities for Christ.  Jesus was very intentional in putting Himself into situations and environments that allowed Him to share the “good news.”  Paul was a great example of doing this.  Acts 18:2-4 says, “Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.”  Christians today would probably be categorized as more intentional in placing themselves into religious settings instead of environments that are rich in opportunities to model and share Christ. Where do you stand?  Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."  Prayerfully seek God in this area, and order your life so that the one lost person has greater priority than the ninety-nine that already know Christ.   
Ephesians 6:19-20 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  (NIV)

Luke 5:31-32 “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’"  (NIV)