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to seek and to save the lost

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today."  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold."  And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."  (Luke 19:5-10 ESV)

"Open to him are a thousand ways to bring you and me to the very place and point where he desires to meet us. How many of us would have been saved, if the Lord had waited till we sought him out? Thanks be to God, he is a Savior who seeks the lost, who with eyes supernaturally farsighted discerns us a long way off, and draws our interest to himself by the sweet constraint of his grace, till we are face to face with him and our soul is saved. As once, in the incarnation, he came down from heaven to seek mankind, so he still comes down silently from heaven in the case of each sinner, and pursues his search for that individual soul, following it through all the mazes of its waywardness and the devious paths of its folly, sometimes unto the very brink of destruction, till at last his grace overtakes it and says, 'I must lodge at thy house.'"

(Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory)


Painting above is "Christ Calling Zacchaeus", c. 1575 by Jacopo Palma, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 


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When he saw the crowds he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Matthew 9:36-38 NIV

All of us from time to time feel harassed and helpless. When we help others who feel the same way, we help ourselves and we serve the Lord. Helping others can, at times, save the lost.

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