Lost and Found

images-2Out of our foolishness, we wander away.  Because of carelessness, we become misplaced.  Out of our disobedience, betrayal, and selfishness, we live our own life according to our own self-gratification only to find we are dead in our ways.

But God…

Because of His love for us, finds us in our loneliness.  Because of His desire for us, He searches for us that we would be found safe.  Because of His joy in us as His sons and daughters, He longingly waits for us to return home.

The three parables that Jesus tells in Luke 15 (lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son) provide us an intimate look in to the nature of who we are, and the unquestionable passion Jesus has for us.  They are telling tales of just how much we need to return to our first love (1 John 4:19).  There is a reason we must return.  Revelation 2:4 tells us, “…you have abandoned the love you had at first.”  All too often, we lose sight of our Shepherd.  We’re out of touch with His voice.  We allow ourselves to be enticed by the things of this world (1 John 2:16).

Read the story of the Prodigal Son

It was at his lowest point that the prodigal son “came to his senses”.  He realized that he had taken advantage of his father, and knew that he was better off living in his father’s house, than on his own.

“Everything the younger son had hoped to find in the far country, he discovered back home: clothes, jewelry, friends, joyful celebration, love, and assurance for the future. What made the difference? Instead of saying, ‘Father, give me!’ he said, ‘Father, make me!’ He was willing to be a servant!” ~ Warren Wiersbe

At the end of this story, we see something extraordinary.  We’re told that the Father saw him from a far.  What does this mean?  He was anticipating his son’s return home.  He was waiting for him, looking for him, longing for him to return home.  Yet what he does next is even more note-worthy.  The dad runs to his son.  It was the son who showed disrespect.  His own son thought him better off dead.  His son squandered the inheritance that his father gave him.  So what do we see?  Forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love in one emphatic action.  With joy inexpressible, his daddy declares, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

“The prodigal was lost; Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’ The prodigal was ignorant; Jesus said, ‘I am the truth.’ The prodigal was dead; Jesus said, ‘I am the life’ (John 14:6).” ~ Warren Wiersbe

There is something extremely important we need to take away from this parable.  This has absolutely nothing to do with merits.  There was nothing the son had to do to regain his father’s love.  There was nothing the son had to do to work his way back in to his father’s family.  Not one thing.  This is a parable of the son being showered in the immediacy of grace.  If there is anything that the son deserved, it was poverty, to live in exile, and ultimately death.  However, the love of the father was so intense, it overshadowed anything the son did or could have done, and he was immediately welcomed back home.

Please read very carefully:

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

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:1-5)

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-38)

Now please listen carefully:

There is nothing that you’ve done that God can not forgive.  There is nothing that has been done to you that God can not restore.  No matter our foolishness, circumstances, or willingness for the desires of the world.  No matter if we are dead, lost, or even a part of the family of God with the wrong motive.  No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, nothing can separate you from the love of God!  Nothing!

It’s time for you to come home.  Your Heavenly Father is longing for you to return.  He desires you.  He is waiting and longing to hold you, hug you, kiss you, and envelope you in the riches of His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love.  You are of so much more value than what the world is telling you.  Your Daddy loves you, cares for you, and simply wants you home.  Will you return to your first love?

If you are reading this and want to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, will you contact me?  I would love to talk with you, pray with you, and share more about how Jesus can change your life.  Don’t let another day go by.  The time is now.

God bless you!

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