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Mountainview Family,   

You’ve heard me say many times that Luke is my favorite gospel. Take Luke chapter 15 for example. It contains three parables about “lost” things. What is a parable? It’s “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” Jesus’ ministry was filled with these easy-to-understand gems.   

The three parables in this chapter are about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. It’s interesting that Jesus, instead of telling just one parable about lost things, He told us three. It’s obvious that He really wanted us to understand God’s love for lost people. And in all three, a celebration happened when the lost something or someone was found.    

At Mountainview, we want to help people to…have a relationship with Jesus, to become like Jesus, and to do the things Jesus did. It makes sense that we should also pursue lost people and celebrate when they begin a relationship with Jesus.   

There is a very short book in the New Testament named Jude. It doesn’t need any chapter breaks, because there are only 25 verses. In verses 20 and 21, we can see how important it is for “found” people to build a strong, foundational, and well-grounded faith.   

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Jude 20-21 ESV  

A natural outcome of growing our faith through prayer and abiding in Jesus is that we will help lost people find Him. Verse 22 reminds us to deal carefully with people who don’t respond exactly the way we expect… We are to be gentle and avoid speaking evil of those who struggle with faith.   

And have mercy on those who doubt… Jude 22 ESV  

Then verse 23 “hits the high notes.” This verse has captivated my attention since the first time I read it.   

…save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear,  hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Jude 23 ESV  

This extreme, urgent, immediate language from Jude leaves little doubt that God wants us to help people who are lost. How do we do this? With mercy. Jude says show mercy with fear. Do we have a heart for lost people? Do we feel God’s passion for them? Do we have a sense of duty and urgency to bring them to know Jesus?   

Is there someone in your life who you know is far from God? What has your attitude been toward this person? Is it an attitude of mercy? Or is it an attitude of judgment? What have you done to try to “snatch them out of the fire”? Do you pray frequently for them?    

We have been asking God to answer some specific questions. As a church, we want to Seek His Kingdom first. Wherever you are right now, ask God to reveal how He is working in you and around you. Ask Him how you can join Him in this work. Make sure you leave some time for Him to answer.   

This Sunday we will begin a six-week series that will help us unmask monsters hiding in our closets. I am praying for God to use this series to break strongholds and give us new freedom. I believe God wants us to live free and full lives. We will expose the fears of rejection, worry, depression, past regrets and failures, unforgiveness, and death. These things cause us to keep hiding, but Jesus offers us hope. Jesus can heal and transform our fears into faith. 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Tom