Jump Start # 3016
Luke 15:5 “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
Luke 15 presents to us a series of lost things. A lost sheep. A lost coin. A lost son. Each is followed by greater value and intensity. And, in all three parables, the lost was found. The wandering sheep was found. The coin on the floor was found. The lost boy came home. The powerful lesson of second chance, grace and God’s amazing love. That which was lost is found, echoes throughout this amazing chapter. And, in all three parables, God is the active force. He is the shepherd that went looking for the lost sheep. He was the woman who swept the house looking for the misplaced coin. And, He is the prodigal’s dad, who comes running to embrace his son who had been lost.
Great stories. Powerful lessons. But a fair question to ask is, “What is God doing today to help bring the lost back?” Just how is God searching today? Here are a few ways:
First, God exposes us to His word. Even for those who have put their Bibles in a box, up on a shelf and they haven’t opened it in years, there are gentle reminders all about us. You see passages posted on Facebook. You find greeting cards with verses written on them. There are expressions that people use that come straight from the Bible. In art, in literature, even in the movies, the Bible makes a presence. Gentle reminders.
Second, God puts people in our lives to help us. There is that grandma who is always asking if you went to church on Sunday. There is that friend that tells you not to say those certain words. There is that co-worker who you see reading his Bible at lunch. There is that neighbor, kind, generous, helping that always comes into your life. Godly people who serve. Godly people who will pray for you and with you. Godly people who are decent, joyful, blessed and a constant reminder of what you should be. There is that neighbor who every Sunday is pulling out of his driveway, heading to church. Consistent. Steady. Certain. There is that person that is hopeful, when everyone else is gloom and doom. There is that person that remains calm, when everyone else is shouting. There is that one person that seems so sure. Coincidence or has the Lord made your life to intersect with these people as His means of finding you and bringing you home.
Third, God continues to bless you. Even though you may not have thought about Him, He’s thinking about you. Rain and sun and health and open doors are things the Lord does for you all the time. The very fact that you have today, is a blessing from God. He is not trying to buy your affection. He is not trying to entice you with goodies. He loves you. And, this is the way that love is demonstrated. Where is God? He’s all around you doing things for you.
Fourth, God has put examples before you to imitate. There is that older couple who have been married forever. It’s more than just a long time, they like being together and the like each other. What an example for you. There is that young family with a zillion kids. Yet, those kids are respectful, kind and helpful. Even at a little age, they know about the Lord. That’s impressive. There is that co-worker, who goes out of her way to do what is right. Honest to the core and hard working, what an example for everyone else. All around you are reminders of what you ought to be.
Finally, God has allowed to be shaken with trials. Those were scary moments in your life. Trips to the hospital. Loss of jobs. Car accidents. Staying up all night with sick kids. There’s been bumps along the way in your journey. God has allowed them. Those bumps should have drawn you closer to Him. Those trials and troubles should have taken you to His word. God was watching. God was hoping. God was looking for you to turn and come home to Him.
Why isn’t God out looking to bring you home? He is. All around He is busy putting things in your life to open your eyes and your heart to Him. He wants you to be alive in Him. He wants you to be saved. Some fight this. Some ignore this. Some deny this. But a few will recognize this and see God’s love and God’s patience with them.
Peter tells us that the Lord is not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. Even now, God is doing things to help some come home. The Lord always leaves the porch light on.
Maybe you can share this with someone…maybe this very message is what someone needs to know.