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Summary: Here’s a message about finding the Lost.

"Finding The Lost"

LUKE 15:8-10

[8] Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

[9] And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. [10] Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Let me tell you what happened to Ted Forbes back in 1984.

While walking down a street in Evansville...Ted found a wallet.

Being an honest Christian man he wanted to return it to its owner.

So he opened it to look for identification.

The wallet contained just three dollars.

No driver’s license...no Social Security card...no pictures.

Nothing to indicate who owned the billfold.

Looking through the wallet a little more...

Ted found and an old envelope.

It was wrinkled and looked as if it had been carried there for years.

The only part of the writing on the envelope that could be read

was the return address.

To find more information, Ted opened the envelope

and to his surprise ...the letter was dated June 6, 1924.

The letter had been written nearly 60 years before.

It was a "Dear John" letter.

It was written to a man named Michael

and it was from a woman named Hannah.

She explained that though she loved him

and she would always love him,

her parents had forbidden her to see him any more.

So...This is a story of lost things.

A lost wallet....a lost letter...and a lost love.

It is a story of sad separation and unfulfilled desire.

It reminds me of the sadness our heavenly Father feels

when someone is separated from His grace.

It reminds me that He loves those who are separated from Him

and He desparately wants to be reconciled with them.

Jesus told the parable of the lost coin

to illustrate God’s search for those who are lost from Him,

and who He loves so much.

Let’s examine the parable...and see what we can learn.

FIRST.....WE SEE A LOSS:

· The lost coin was very valuable.

· It was something missing,

something that needed to be found.

It represented a full day’s wage for that time.

The people were poor.

And finding the coin was very important.

· It was part of a head-dress made of 10 silver coins

· It was equivalent to our wedding ring.

· The lost coin represents all who are separated from God,

alienated in rebellion,

gone astray in sin.

· There are other stories in the Bible

of something valuable being lost:

· In Genesis 3:6-20

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

They were expelled from the Garden.

They lost Paradise!

HOW!

By rebelling and disobeying God’s Word.

· In Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus lost his integrity and reputation

HOW?

By being greedy and selfishness.

· In 1 Timothy 1:20

Hymaneus and Alexander lost their faith.

How?

They fell into moral sin.

They became blasphemers.

· In 2 Timothy 4:10

Demas lost his close relationship with Christ

How?

He chose to seek the things of this world.

He lost his desire to serve Jesus.

· We, too, may lose something priceless.

· What a tragic thing it is to lose our:

Integrity and credibility.

Innocence and purity.

Sense of right and wrong.

Direction and purpose.

Trust and confidence.

Joy and hope.

Love and compassion.

Our appreciation of the holy things of God.

Spiritual soundness and stability.

· Look around you and you will see.

· Our churches today are loaded with people

who have lost those wonderful things.

· Look around and you will see

hundred of people who are lost

and need to be found.

Jesus earnestly desires the salvation of those who are lost.

Ted Forbes wanted to locate the owner of the lost wallet.

He drove to the location listed on the return address.

He parked the car and walked up to the door.

A woman answered the door.

Ted asked the lady if she knew a Michael or a Hannah.

He was told that 30 years ago she had purchased the house

from a family whose daughter was named Hannah.

She said that Hannah had placed her mother

in a nursing home just a few blocks down the street.

Ted drove down to the nursing home.

He explained the story to the Nursing Supervisor.

She told Ted that the lady he was trying to find had died.

However, she gave him a telephone number

where he might locate Hannah.

Calling that number

he learned that Hannah was not living there anymore.

The person answering the phone

said Hannah was now in an apartment house for the elderly.

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