April 12 - Lost and Found
It is quite common to have a “Lost and Found” Department in department stores and shopping malls. People can report lost items that belong to them or report found items that belong to others. There must be some joy involved when someone has found his lost item. If that item is valuable to him, like a wedding ring or a smart phone, the joy is even greater. In Luke 15, the three parables have a lot in common: the lost has been found and therefore the owners are in a joyful and celebrative mood. There are similarities and differences, however, among the parables.
The values of the lost items are quite different. The lost coin is probably the least valuable, followed by the lost sheep. The most valuable lost item is the lost son whose value surpasses the coin and the sheep. Human value is far above animal or inanimate objects. The proportion is also noticeable: one of two compared to one of ten or one of a hundred. The high value of humankind is the reason why Jesus came to seek the lost and bring them back to the fold. No matter what the value of the lost items, joy is there when the items were retrieved. The owners of the lost coin and lost sheep call the neighbors to celebrate with him, but the father of the prodigal son not only gives the sonship to the prodigal but he also throws a party to celebrate his return.
God’s heart for the individual is shown clearly in the parables. He desires all to be saved and would not want one to perish. One is an important number to the Lord and the salvation of the one has initiated the salvation process of the Son coming to earth looking for the one lost sheep. It involves the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, directing the lost to be found. The Father is also involved as He waits for the returning of the prodigal son back to His family. The whole triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is totally engaged in this plan for the ages. The greatest thing on earth that calls for the celebration in heaven (God with the angels) and on earth (the neighbors and relatives) is a sinner coming back to God.
There are many occasions that call for a joyful response, but the greatest joy is for one sinner to go back to God’s bosom and into His embrace. The value of a single human soul is so weighty in God’s economy that He had to send His Son and then the Holy Spirit into the world. Today, when you realize the heart of God for the lost, you will want to experience such joy by bringing the lost to God and made them a found person. When conversions in the church is scarce and few in between, a church has lost her mandate in the world. When a Christian stops to reproduce, the Kingdom of God will be shrinking instead of expanding. Are you a part of this grand plan for the human race? Are you seeing the value of the individual? Are you bringing in the lost for God? Ask the Holy Spirit to lay some individual or individuals on your heart now.
Ps 52:1-9 Josh 5:1-7:15 Luke 15:1-32 Prov 13:1