Summary: The point of the two parables about lost things – implies that we can get lost, separated from God. The reaction of the owner (God) is a grief-stricken search.

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Joy In The Presence / Luke 15: 1 - 10

Intro: Men and women react differently when they are lost. A man will drive and drive without stopping to ask directions. But, his wife will stop at the first gas station or even stop people along the way if she isn’t absolutely sure. Here we have two parables – lost sheep (man – verse 3) & lost coin. (woman – Verse 8a)

I. We have all experienced loss. – “Where did I put that?” – “Where is that child?” Here we have a living thing and an inanimate object.

A. sheep – lost itself – wondered off. – measure of a shepherd’s wealth – walk away from God a little at a time – give up devotions, the prayer, they grace at meals, etc.

B. Coin – lost through the neglect of another. – 10 coins on silver chain as headdress of married woman – people who move and never look for another church.

II. The point is that both are lost – implying separation from God. The reaction of the owner (God) is a grief-stricken search.

A. Verse 4 – “go after” – “seek” – God seeks out the sinner (sinner is anyone who is separated from God in any way.) We must go out into the wild world to seek those who are lost to God. – invite people into a saving relationship with Jesus.

B. Verse 8b – light lamp, sweep, search. – God looks inside for those who already belong to God. Bring those who are precious to God back to a right relationship with God. - evangelize those who have strayed – do whatever it takes – light the lamp of knowledge of God, sweep away the dirt of one’s life.

III. Both stories have a happy ending. – Verses 5, 6 & 9

A. Would not have been a happy ending if the effort to “search” had not been expended. Greatest joy comes when we receive that for which we worked the hardest.

B. Joy in the Presence – not just happiness here – but in Heaven as well. Verse 7 & 10

Conclu: When my son, Rick was about 4 years old he wandered off in a store and got lost or separated from me. My first reaction was panic, which then turned to anger at him and myself. Then I was full of frustration because I couldn’t find him. Did I just say, “Oh well, he’ll turn up!” – NO! – Neither should we have this same attitude toward those lost to God. When I finally found Rick, I was so happy and soon forgot my panic, anger and frustration in my joy over a recovered child!

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