Summary: 2 of 3 messages on the mission, vision, and core values of Meridian Christian Church. This message explores the importance of seeking the lost.
Find the Way: Our Purpose
The Tourist Lost Next Door
A young Filipino, traveling in Chicago, registered at the Hotel Sherman. Taking a walk, he became lost. He was ignorant of the name, location, and appearance of the hotel, and so was unable to find it again. Consequently, he selected another room in the Hotel Astor. Unwilling to acknowledge to the authorities that he was lost, he tried for five days to find the place where he had deposited his baggage.
Unsuccessful, he finally appealed to the authorities. The police soon found his original registration place, and informed him that for five days he had been living next door to the place where he had left his baggage.
Today we are continuing our discussion on the core values and purpose of Meridian Christian Church. We use a phrase, and you have probably noticed it, that when you scrape off the paint, get past the brochures and stop the music – which is the very heartbeat of Meridian Christian Church. At the core of our being we are focused on one thing – Helping People Find The Way Home. This is not a slogan. This is not bumper sticker material. This is best way that I know to describe the focus of Meridian Christian Church.
Last week we spoke of the method – Helping People. Today we look at out purpose – We help people FIND THE WAY. Now this implies something very important. It is a critical part of our world view.
Finding the way implies something – that they are lost. But Lost People… often don’t know it or won’t admit it. Let me state is as simply and succinctly as possible: People without Jesus are lost. Our purpose is to help people find the way home by introducing them to the one who is the way home – and that is the only begotten, unique, monogenes, one of a kind, son of God.
This idea is the critical key to understanding the Christian World View. It colors everything we do. It defines us. This is our purpose. It is so important that Jesus was recorded by Luke 15 teaching about the importance of finding and rescuing lost people.
In fact Jesus taught the importance by telling three stories – parables – one right after the other. The first is about the one lost sheep.
Lost Sheep – Lost People are Important
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Throughout the Bible, God’s people are compared to sheep; and the comparison is a good one. Sheep are clean animals, unlike pigs and dogs (2 Peter 2:20–22). They are defenseless and need the care of the shepherd (Ps. 23). They are, to use Wesley’s phrase, “prone to wander,” and must often be searched for and brought back to the fold (Luke 15:3–7). Sheep are peaceful animals, useful to the shepherd. In these, and other ways, they picture those who have trusted Jesus Christ and are a part of God’s flock.
The moral of this story is very clear. We don’t have to get all complicated. It is really very simple. Each and every person in this world is important to God – even the one that is way lost and even if you are the only one that is lost.
You cannot get so far from God that he will not love you.
Lost people are important to God and must be important to us.
The second story is about a lost coin.
Lost Coin – Lost People are Valuable
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The ten silver coins are most likely the woman’s ketubah, or dowry—the only money she brings into the marriage that is technically hers even if the marriage is dissolved. That she has only ten coins (each coin was worth about one day’s wage - @ $5.85 for 8 hours work = $46.80) suggests that her father’s family is not well-to-do; she would presumably have married into a household equally poor. But look at it this way – if you lost fifty dollars would you search for it high and low until you found it!?!? I would!!!