Lost and Found

Read: Luke 15

A recent news story from the state of Indiana tells the story of Martha Everett’s purse.  As workers were remodeling a classroom at Jeffersonville High School they found a hidden treasure behind some of the cabinets they were tearing out.  A purse was found that had a wallet, prom invitation, lipstick, photos and gum wrappers that had apparently been lost by Ms. Everett way back in 1954 when she was a student there.  After a search on social media, school officials were able to track down the 82 year old woman in Florida and return her long lost purse to her.

This story is a reminder of the three parables that Jesus tells in Luke 15.  The first one (v. 1-7) is about a lost sheep. Jesus says that if a shepherd has 100 sheep and loses one he would leave the 99 to go find that one lost sheep.  In the second parable (v. 8-10) he tells how a woman loses a valuable coin and goes to great lengths to search for it and find it. In the third parable (v. 11-31) he tells one of the best known stories in the Bible about the prodigal (long lost) son who is welcomed home by his father with open arms.  In verses 23-24 the father says, “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

These parables were told by Jesus because that is how God feels about you and me.  God will search and search for anyone who has lost their way or journeyed down a path that takes them away from Him and the grace and restoration that is found through His Son Jesus Christ.  When we come to him, no matter how far off we have wandered, Jesus welcomes us home with open arms. His forgiveness is greater than any sin or mistake we might have made. You see, God celebrates when the lost are found.

I’m sure Ms. Everett was surprised and thrilled to find her lost purse from 1954.  It’s hard for us to imagine how an unexpected discovery like that would feel. But the celebration in heaven when someone comes to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is also unlike anything we can imagine.  Luke 15:10 (CEV) says, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him.”

Make it Personal:  Perhaps that lost person that needs to be found is you?  Perhaps it is one of your family members? Perhaps it is a friend?  Please know that God will keep his door open for you and anticipate your return.  If you are praying for a family member or friend to be found I encourage you to keep praying.  Our Lord is searching for all of the lost to be found!

Have a blessed week everyone,Pastor Glen Rhodes