Summary: The difference between getting lost and staying lost.
Luke 15: 1 - 10
Intro: Raise your hand if you will admit that you have been lost while driving your car. My observation is that men and women react differently to being lost: Man – drives and drives w/o stopping to ask directions. Woman – stops at the first gas station or even stop people along the way. --- Actually, the best place to ask for directions is a pizza place that delivers.
I We have all been lost at one time or another. Luke gives us three examples of being lost: 1) lost sheep, 2) lost coin and 3) lost son (prodigal son).
A VS. 4 – 5 Sheep – wondered off – lost itself – little by little, step by step.
B Have you ever lost a child in a store or mall? They were there one moment and the next they were gone. Wondered off.
C This is how some people get lost from God. God hasn’t lost them; they lost themselves. It is the little things that can move us further and further from God and one day we awaken and we are FAR AWAY from God.
II VS. 8 Coin – lost through neglect or carelessness.
A At the time of Jesus married women often wore a headdresss of 10 silver coins on a silver chain. Perhaps one of the coins fell off and she did not discover it was missing.
B Have you ever taken off a precious piece of jewelry, put it down somewhere and then can’t remember where you put it?
C Some people get separated from God when they move to a new community or leave their regular church. The first Sunday you miss you tell yourself, “It’s OK; I’ll go next week.” One week turns into 2 and then a month. Suddenly you find yourself lost and too embarrassed to return
III These two stories have one thing in common: both involve a diligent search by the owner.
A VS. 4 “he leaves the 99 and goes after the lost sheep” / VS. 8 “lights a lamp, sweeps the house and searches carefully.”
B Did you not do the same when a child wondered off or you misplaced something valuable?
C The owner in both parables represents God. Jesus uses these two parables to explain to the Pharisees and teachers of the law why he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (VS. 2)
Concl: Both parables have a happy ending: “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Rejoice with me, I have found my lost coin.”
The example Jesus gives in these two parables reveals to us that nothing lost can be found without the effort of a “diligent search.” That, my friends, is our responsibility: To search for the lost, doing whatever it takes to bring to God those who are lost.