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Summary: I DOUBT IF THERE IS AN EXPERIENCE THAT IS MORE SCARY THAN BEING LOST. THIS SERMON IS ABOUT THREE ACCOUNTS OF SOMETHING LOST AND THE JOY WHEN THEY ARE FOUND..

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LOST AND FOUND

I DOUBT IF THERE IS AN EXPERIENCE TO A CHILD THAT IS MORE SCARY THAN BEING LOST. IT CAN HAPPEN EASILY. WE GET SIDETRACKED OIN A STORE, THE CHILD GOES OUT FOR A SHORT WALK, AND THEY GET TURNED AROUND. IT HAPPENS TO ADULTS AS WELL. I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS AT MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE GOING TO GET A PAIR OF SNEAKERS FOR THE GYM. THE STORE WAS JUST DOWN THE STREET BUT WHAT AN UNEASY FEELING I HAD WHEN I GOT TURNED AROUND AND LOST MY BEARINGS. I FINALLY MANAGED TO GET BACK, BUT IT WAS SCARY AS WE WERE TOLD NOT TO BE ON THE STREET AFTER DARK IN THAT AREA AS ONE STUDENT HAD RECENTLY BEEN MURDERED.

JUST AS BEING LOST CAN BE FRIGHTENING, WHEN THE LOST IS FINALLY FOUND CAN BE EXHILERATING AND HAPPY. THIS IS WHAT WE SEE IN THE PARABLES THAT WE ARE STUDYING TODAY.

I THINK WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO THINK ON THE NEGATIVE THINGS OF LIFE:

A GLASS IS HALF-EMPTY INSTEAD OF HALF-FULL

WE STILL HAVE HALF-WAY TO GO, NOT WE’VE ALREADY COME HALF-WAY.

THE HALF-WAY POINT HAS BECOME A VERY NEGATIVE PLACE TO BE FOR MANY PEOPLE AND THESE PARABLES ARE NO EXCEPTION. LOOK AT WHAT THEY HAVE BECOME KNOWN AS:

1. THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP

2. THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

3. THE PARABLE OF THE (PRODICAL) OR LOST SON

IN THINKING LIKE THIS, WE ROB OURSELVES OF THE BLESSINGS THAT COEM DURING THE SEARCH, AND THE MORE IMPORTANT BLESSINGS WHEN THEY ARE FOUND.

THERE ARE BLESSINGS IN THE PROCESS, AND NOT JUST IN THE FINAL OUTCOME.

THE SHEPHERD:

INTERACTED WITH HIS SHEEP WHEN HE COUNTED THEM

INTERACTED WITH THE OTHER SHEPHERDS WHEN HE ASKED FOR THEIR HELP

HE LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE COUNTRY HE WAS IN DURING HIS SEARCH.

HE RECEIVED GREAT JOY WHEN HE FOUND THE LOST SHEEP.

HE CELEBRATED HIS POSITION AS A SHEPHERD WITH THE OTHERS.

THE WOMAN:

TOOK PRIDE IN HER CUSTOM AND HERITAGE

GAVE HER HOUSE A GOOD HOUSE-CLEANING

RECEIVED GREAT JOY IN FINDING THE COIN.

THE FATHER WHO LOST HIS SON:

HE HAD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS SON AT ONE TIME

HE EXPERIENCED THE GRIEF OF HIS SON’S DECISION. GRIEF IS PART OF THE COST OF LOVING SOMEONE.

HE HAD THE JOY OF PLANNING WHAT HE WOULD DO WHEN HIS SON RETURNED. HE NEVER GAVE UP HOPE.

HE HAD THE JOY OF SEEING HIS SON COME HOME.

HE HAD THE JOY OF HEARING HOW HIS SON HAD GROWN UP AND THE LESSONS HE HAD LEARNED.

HE HAD THE JOY OF THE CELEBRATION OF HIS SON’S HOMECOMING.

I WANT TO CHALLENGE YOU THIS MORNING TO THINK ON THESE PARABLES WITH A POSITIVE SLANT. DO NOT IGNORE THEIR LOSTNESS AND SIN FOR THAT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE LESSON, BUT LETS ALSO REMEMBER THE BLESSINGS FOUND IN THE PROCESS.

CONTEXT:

LET’S LOOK BRIEFLY AT THE CONTEXT OF THIS PASSAGE.

THERE ARE THREE PARABLES IN THE PASSAGE WE ARE LOOKING AT. JESUS TAUGHT IN PARABLES FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS:

1. HE WANTED TO REVEAL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD’S KINGDOM TO HIS DISCIPLES.

2. HE WANTED TO CONCEAL THESE MYSTERIES FORM SOME IN THE CROWD

3. HE WANTED TO TEACH HIS OPPONANTS.

THERE WERE INCREASING LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD COME TO HEAR JESUS TEACH. SOME OF WHAT HE HAD TO SAY WAS ONLY FOR THE EARS OF THE DISCIPLES AND THOSE WHO WANTED TO FOLLOW HIM. USING THE PARABLES WOULD ALLOW HIM TO CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO THEM AND NOT TO THOSE WHO WERE THERE JUST TO RAISE TROUBLE.


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