Summary: This sermon is a sermon dealing with our responsibility to reach others for Christ. Everyone belongs to God.
Because We Love And We Care: Who Is Going To Go Looking?
Suppose for a moment that you were at a bus stop, and a friend came by and gave you a small bag and said, "I no longer need this, it’s yours." You take the bag and get on the bus. When you get off at your next stop, as the bus pulls away you, realize that you left the small bag on the bus. You wave at the bus, but its too late.
You go on about your business the rest of the day, barely thinking off what was in that bag. A couple of years later, you run into your friend. Your friend asks you, "so what did you do with the diamond ring I gave you." You say, "you’re kidding. What diamond ring are you talking about." The ring that was in the bag, I gave you 2 years ago was a $10,000 ring. What did you do with it?
All of sudden you realize that you have lost something very valuable, and there is virtually no way to recover the item now. If you had of known then, what you know now, you would have done a much more intensive search. Instead of waving at the bus, you would have ran after the bus. If you didn’t catch it, you’d try to flag down a ride to catch up with the bus.
You’d be calling RTA to see if they could get in contact with the driver enroute to see if he could go and check for the bag. You might have even offered a reward to anyone finding the bag and turning it in. But no, when you had the opportunity to recover it, you let it slide because you did not know the value of what had been lost.
If something is lost who will go looking for it. If I said, "I lost a quarter in the grass out on the lawn today", I guarantee you that one or two little kids will be out there trying to find that quarter." If I said, "I lost a rolled up hundred dollar bill out in the grass and whoever finds it can have it, many of you would not be here for the end of this sermon, because you will feel a leading of the Spirit to go and find that bill." The value we place on the thing which was lost, will determine who is willing to go looking for it.
In our Old Testament reading, there was a profound truth stated that we often so miss about God. It says the earth is the Lord’s, and everything it it, the world and all who live in it. This verse says that God has a claim on everybody’s life, because they belong to Him.
It does not matter how old we are, smart we are, color we are, bad we are, tough we are, cool we are, sick we are, messed up we are or anything else. We are property belonging to God. Every cow, cat cheetah chipmunk and all other animals belong to God. Every piece of gold, silver, diamond, and any other kind of wealth belongs to God. Everybody that you see belongs to God. This means that God will ultimately do what He wants to do with His property.
But of all the things God owns in the earth, only one category of items is described by God as being lost. That category is people. In our New Testament reading, Jesus was criticized for eating and hanging out with some pretty low-down people. People that would rip you off and laugh in your face. People that wouldn’t darken the doors of a church with their shadow. People who did not know God and had little intention of wanting to know him. They were people who believed they were having a good time with life. By their standards and by some of ours, they were having a good time. There was plenty of money and plenty of partying going on in their circle. They had the cigars, the foul language, and the wild lifestyle.
But Jesus went over to this group. He told his critics three stories. One about a shepherd who lost one of a 100 sheep. One about a woman who lost one of ten coins. One about a father who lost one of two sons. The shepherd didn’t say, "what’s the big deal. 99 out of a 100 is a pretty good average to me. No the shepherd left the 99 and diligently searched for the one.
The lady who lost the coin, didn’t say, "My bag, but hey I can make it by on the other nine." No she tore the house up cleaning in every nook and cranny until she found it. In the story of the son who asked for his inheritance so he could go do his own thing, the father didn’t say, "That boy always was making stupid decisions. I’ll just put all my effort in my other son." No that Father looked for his son, until the day the son made it back home.