Reaching the lost will cost you resources, time and patience. The parable of the lost coin provides some insights about whether it’s worth it.
God’s gift of salvation is free to us as we call upon his name and place our faith and hope in him.
And praise the Lord for that free gift! Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of our sin is death (eternal separation from God), and that is too much for us to bear.
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 sacrifice, 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 in a dark and dying world. If you look at Luke 15:8–10 you’ll see what I mean:
“Light a lamp.”
First, it can cost resources to look for the lost. The text tells us that the woman lit a lamp in order to find her lost coin. You may not think that’s a big deal, but the lady chose to use a very precious and expensive asset by lighting the oil. That’s how important the coin was to her.
“Sweep the house.”
Second, it can cost time to look for the lost. Whether the English word “sweep” here literally means cleaning, or if it means searching inch-by-inch, both reflect a laborious investment as she seeks the prized coin. She did it without hesitation because of the value of that which was lost.
Finally, looking for the lost will cost patience and thoroughness. The woman “searched carefully until she found it.” She illuminated the room, searched, cleaned and looked again. There was an emotional investment and she 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.
Now tell me—are they worth it? Of course they are!
In fact, our text tells us that the souls of those around us are so important that “there is joy 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.
Will Graham is the executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove and associate evangelist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This article originally appeared on BillyGraham.org.