All That I have Commanded You 3
September 5, 2015, 11:12 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

Lost and Found

In the gospel of Luke the 15th Chapter we read stories about Lost and Found and how there is a rejoicing over that which was lost and is now found.

The first three verses in this chapter of Luke’s gospel we are told that Tax Collectors and the sinners drew close to Jesus so as to hear him speak. The religious leaders, Pharisees and Saducees were very displeased by Jesus allowing these people to come near to hear: Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus tells them some stories to make things clear to those who did not understand the truth of God’s word.
Luk 15:4-6 NKJV “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

It makes good sense if you are a shepherd and one of the sheep gets lost, you would go and find that sheep to bring it back to the fold. The next story also makes sense, since even today silver is a commodity which is worth holding onto.
Luk 15:8-9 NKJV “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? (9) And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’

I hear all kinds of advertisements for people to run out and buy silver right now, it will gain in value soon.

This next story is one of my favorite stories because it reminds me of myself in many ways. Perhaps you can see yourself in this story which we know as the story of the Prodigal Son.

Luk 15:11-24 NKJV Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. (12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. (13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (17) “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

After each of these parables Jesus adds the fact of a celebration that what was lost is now found, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” So the religious leaders hear this lesson but, like the older son in the parable of the son who returns to the home of his father, they too cannot bring themselves to realize that they are in the presence of God, and need to repent of their own sin and join in the celebration.

Here is the rest of the story of the prodigal returns: Luk 15:25-32 NKJV “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ (28) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. (29) So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. (30) But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ (31) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. (32) It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” I always wonder, how did the older brother know about the harlots? Christians seem to know about these things too, yet like the older son, seem to forget that all sins are able to be forgiven by the Lord God.

As Christians, we believe that God created all that is, including man. The story is that man and woman were placed in the garden of Eden to care for it and to live in it and enjoy the fruits and vegetables that the garden produced as they cared for it. There was only one thing that they were not allowed to eat, that was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they did eat of that fruit, they disobeyed God, in other words they sinned. Up until that time they were perfect creatures, once they sinned God could no longer allow them to stay in the garden for their sin would pollute the garden, just as sin has polluted our world. I hear so many people talking about the greatest problem in our world being global climate change, and that it is caused by man. This is not the greatest threat to our existence, the greatest threat is sin, immorality and its attendant ills. That is the greatest threat, because it means we are living in opposition to God.

Since we were made in God’s image, God has been calling us to return to Him, that we might be cleansed of our sin and become again part of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that has been and will be forever. It was torn by Adam and Eve and Jesus was the only one who could return it to reality. He came to find and return to the fold, all the lost sheep who are living in sin.
One other truth, we see a lot of people who push one or another sin as being what is wrong with the world. The truth is, all that we do that is against the word of God, is sin. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Note please that he does not say, this or that sin but rather sin by itself. That means that anything that is against the word of God, from coveting (wanting what is your neighbors), we call it keeping up with the Jones’, to worshiping idols such as money, fame, people, (you shall have no other gods before me). That is why there are 10 Commandments, actually Jesus added one more, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

These three parables or stories above talk about bringing back those who are lost in sin, and that when one is returned to his or her status as a child of God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. A soul has been saved from eternity in the fire of hell. Note that it is not that anyone is forced to come to saving knowledge, but that a person voluntarily comes to that place where they realize that Jesus Christ is really God and they need that saving grace that only He can supply.

So, know that theft of a paper clip from your place of employment, causes the same punishment as adultery or murder. The choice is always yours, the prodigal son did not have to return, he could have learned and grown into a better worker getting better pay and taking care of his physical needs, but he still would have been divorced from his father. We too can pursue the things of this world, but we are still divorced from our Father in heaven and the riches that can be ours when we are part of the family of God once again.

How about you? Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, or are you still convinced that you are able to take care of yourself and will have everything you want in this life. Satan will be more than willing to let you believe that this is all there is and when it is over there is nothing else, but what if that is the lie, and an eternity awaits all of us. We can spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven, or in the outer darkness, the fire of hell divorced from God. Are you willing to take that chance?

Comments Off on All That I have Commanded You 3

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: