The Search-and-Save Mission

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:10

Advent WEb

The word advent means “coming.”  In this season of the year, we focus on the meaning of the coming of the Son of God into the world.  And the spirit of our celebration should be the spirit in which He came.  And the spirit of that coming is summed up in Luke 19:10:  “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The coming of Jesus was a search-and-save mission.

So Advent is a season for thinking about the mission of God to seek and save lost people from the wrath to come.  God raised him from the dead, “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thes. 1:10).  It’s a season for cherishing and worshiping this characteristic of God — that He is a searching and saving God, that He is a God on a mission, that He is not aloof or passive or indecisive.  He is never in the maintenance mode, coasting or drifting.  He is sending, pursuing, searching, saving.  That’s the meaning of Advent.

The book of Acts is a celebration of this advent heart of God’s — on the move to seek and to save the lost.  It’s a narration of Jesus’s ongoing advent into more and more peoples of the world.  Acts is the story of how the early church understood the words, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21).  It’s the story of how the vertical advent of God in the mission of Jesus bends out and becomes the horizontal advent of Jesus in the mission of the church.  In us.

Jesus came into the world at the first Advent, and every Advent since is a reminder of His continual advent into more and more lives.  And that advent is, in fact, our advent — our coming, our moving into the lives of those around us and into the peoples of the world.

— from John Piper’s The Dawning of Indestructible Joy

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