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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lost and Found – Foolish or Wise?



My Son was dead but now he is alive.
 
As I prepared this lesson a portion of it was on my heart since Sunday, but for our Wednesday Prayer meeting, I decided to include the other two stories found in Luke chapter 15. 

Jesus was teaching and the publicans and sinners were ready to hear and believe but the religious leaders were complaining and finding fault with Jesus because of the type of people following him.  I asked the question, “Who were the sinners listening to Jesus?  Were they the “Red Necks” of today, or were they Gentiles also listening to Jesus?  Regardless of the crowd sinful or not, Jesus welcomed them because they needed a Savior.   

Luke 15: 1-3  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.  And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.   And he spoke this parable unto them, saying;
 
I found you - now you are safe - -
A man had 100 SHEEP and one WAS LOST.  Let us think about this and consider:  How did the one sheep get lost? 

1. Maybe he wandered off by himself looking for greener grass.
2. Was he rebellious and didn’t want to listen to authority?  (The shepherd’s voice)
2. Could he have fallen down and hurt him self and couldn’t get up without support?
3. Perhaps, he followed the wrong crowd that abandoned him leaving him lost. 

I hope you are paying attention, because I am preaching now. 

How did the shepherd feel when he realized the sheep was missing?  He was very upset.  He loved his sheep and every one was precious to him; so he gave the care of the 99 sheep to his friend, and went searching until he found his lost sheep and returned it to the safe fold. 
~ ~ ~


Rejoice with me - I have found my coin.
LOST Coin.  Woman with 10 silver coins discovers one is missing.
How did the poor woman loose such a valuable coin?  Was she careless? 
Perhaps - - she was not careful when she put her coins away.
It was important to her to find the silver coin, so she was diligent and searched until she found it. Then she rejoiced and told her friends the coin has been found.
~ ~ ~

A CERTAIN MAN had TWO SONS - - and the younger was rebellious and said, give me my inheritance now.  This was unusual, because the inheritance was not divided until the death of the father.  However the father heeded the boys pleading and gave him a large sum of money.  In a few days the boy gathered up his goods and left home traveling to a far off country.  It seemed he desired to get away from the restraints of the father’s home.  Notice that he went to a FAR country removing himself from the father’s presence. 

There he met up with others who influenced him to have a good time living it up with careless and riotous living and spending.  Soon all his money was gone and a famine was in the land.  Here he was broke and hungry.

Now let us think and consider:  How did he lose his money?  We could make a long list how his money went down the drain.  Here is the Short list:  Wine, Women and Song with games of chance.

Now he was broke and looking for work.  A kind farmer took pity on him giving him a job feeding the pigs. 

The body was so hungry even the pig food looked good to him.  He had hit bottom.

Jews were not to have anything to do with pigs, so this was as low as he could go.

Finally he came to his senses and made a decision.   He realized his father’s servants were better off than he was at this moment.  He would return home and beg his father to let him be a servant.  

All this time, his father was watching and waiting for his son to come home, and when he saw him a far off, he ran with outstretched arms to take him in to his bosom.  The father said, “Come let us have a feast and celebrate because my son was dead and now he is alive.”  He put a beautiful clean garment on the boy and a gold ring on his finger.  The boy was home and all was wonderful.

That is what Jesus does for us when we come to Him.  He puts His robe of His Righteousness on us and prepares a banquet for us.   

I was reminded of a time when our children were little, and our church would have a pot luck dinner.  Those with families were to bring a main dish, a salad and a desert.  The long table was spread with a boundless supply of delicious food.  My children came to me and asked;  “Mama, which is ours?”  I replied, the entire table is for you, to enjoy and take as much as you desire.”  That is the way with our Jesus.  We think we have arrived and know it all, but truth is there is always more.  There is More to receive from God, because the table is full and ready for us to partake. 

Now as we prepare to pray over out city, we will consider that in our city there are many who have once tasted the goodness of God but for various reasons they have ended up in desperate situations.

Understand that God in his mercy continues to search for those who are lost and desires that all would come to salvation.  The price has been paid for everyone to come to the banquet and receive all that God offers for them.
 

Consider all this and think about how happy the young son was to be home again.  Do you suppose after a few days that he would think to himself - - - “I wonder if I should leave all this and go back to the pig pen.”

      The answer should be clear - - Once you are “Home,” there is NO turning back.

 

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