"As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples." Matthew 9:9-10 (NKJV)
Many years ago, one of my closest friends returned from a time in rehab and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me. I was intrigued by it and accepted his invitation to attend church. There I heard about the love and forgiveness of Jesus in a new way and felt His loving presence tugging on my heart.
When the preacher invited people who wanted to receive forgiveness of sins and a fresh start in Jesus, I went up with no hesitation. I was one of a couple of dozens who prayed a prayer to receive Jesus and the New Life He gives. Immediately following, I felt this amazing lightness, like a huge load lifted, and I knew I experienced forgiveness.
Only hours after being home, a thought crossed my mind - "I am going to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus when I die, I am saved, but my friends and family are not." It terrified me, and as soon as opportunities arose to share, I would share (very passionately and
somewhat aggressively) with my family and friends - and anyone who would listen - the forgiveness found in Jesus and the eternal life He purchased for each one of us.
Some responded and received this New Life in Christ, and some were turned off by my overly forward approach. My heart was right, but my method was wrong.
The lesson in all of this is "saved" people have a concern and heart for "lost" people. Before I KNEW Jesus, I had no concern for lost people whatsoever, but the day the Holy Spirit made me NEW, I was overwhelmed with a passion for joining Jesus in seeking and saving those who are lost.
In the scripture, we see Matthew fill his home with his unsaved friends so they could get an audience with Jesus. He was concerned about their "lostness," and wanted them to be "found."
What about you? Are you concerned for the lost around you? Was there ever a time in your life when your heart broke for the "lostness" of friends and family?
If you have no answer to the above questions, and I don't say this lightly, maybe you are lost, cut off from the Life of God. If this is true, there is a "found" (saved) person in your life who is concerned for you, praying for you, and pursuing you with the passion of Jesus. Stop running and let yourself be FOUND. Jesus loves you, died for you and wants you to come to Him in repentance and surrender. Receive His forgiveness and walk in Newness of Life today!