God’s Passion - The Warrior's Journey®

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“I tell you … there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need no repent.” (Luke 15:7) 

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had nothing but contempt for “sinners.” Their scornful view and neglect of the “lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 10:6; 15:24) is depicted in the prophecy of Ezekiel 34:1-6. If they had paid heed to this prophecy, they would have understood God’s true passion – and their obligation.  God expected them, as His under-shepherds, to bring back the straying sheep rather than abandon them (Ezekiel 34:1-10). For their neglect God would punish them and would take upon Himself to seek out the lost, bring them back into the fold, and bind up their wounds (Ezekiel 34:11, 16). When He came, Jesus identified with this prophecy (e.g. John 10:1-29) and declared that He had come to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10).   

This is God’s passion – saving the lost. God gets no pleasure in judging the lost, but in saving them (Ezekiel 33:11). This is why James states that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). While God, as the Righteous Judge, must punish sin, He loves to show mercy. Showing mercy to sinners represents God’s true passion. The stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son all express this sentiment. 

Too many of God’s people believe that being “God’s Elect” amounts to belonging to an exclusive club in which membership is closely guarded. But the Scripture makes it clear that the purpose of the elect is to be God’s witness to the rest of sinful humanity. Let’s remember God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that through them (and their seed) all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14). Moses told Israel that, by their righteous adherence to God’s commands they would be a witness to the surrounding nations (Deuteronomy 4:6-8). While the Levitical priesthood would be the mediator between God and Israel, all of Israel would serve as mediator between God and the world (Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 49:6). 

But few in Israel ever shared God’s passion to reach the nations. Jonah the prophet was typical of Israel’s attitude toward outsiders. He couldn’t tolerate the idea that God had any interest in saving those outside the borders of Israel – especially among Israel’s enemies. Only by God’s stern discipline did the prophet finally obey and preach to the Assyrian city of Nineveh. What is puzzling is that Jonah experienced far greater success among the despised Assyrians than he ever had among his own people. Yet Jonah was angry at the outcome (Jonah 3:1-4:8).  He just couldn’t see “God’s side” of the equation – that God has a passion to save the lost (Jonah 4:9-11). 


  • Do you share God’s passion and vision for the lost? 
  • Are you a channel of God’s blessings or a sponge that only soaks them up? 
  • God’s elect has an obligation to be a witness and channel of blessing to the lost. 

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.