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October 15, 2020 8:00 am
Don't you just hate it when you lose something sock your keys, your wallet or something much worse friendship and marriage. A child as it turns out, God hates it when he loses things to so much so that he'll go to any lengths to find what's lost.
Stay tuned out for the Bible study hour is Dr. James Boyce looks at three parables about being lost and about being found, welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly. Jesus was one of those people who hung out with the wrong crowd. Wherever he went he attracted the riffraff Jews who collected Roman taxes from fellow Jews were excluded from the temple lawbreakers who refuse to follow religious and moral teachings, womanizers prostitutes, the dregs of Jewish society. One day Jesus was talking with such a group of lost souls in some of the Jewish leaders were looking on offended.
He welcomes those sinners, they moderate even eats with them and in reply, Jesus told them three parables in a row about lost things and lost people as sheep, a coin, a son. Let's listen now is Dr. Boyce talks about the value of those lost things and people. The passion of searching for them and the joy of finding them. We had a near tragedy at our house this Christmas Eve, my youngest daughter Jennifer had mislaid one of her presence and couldn't find it. She done such a good job of hiding it, that she had hidden that even from herself and we spent much of Christmas Eve trying to find where this was.
We looked under beds and under dressers left on the top floor. We looked in the living room. He looked everywhere and she was on the verge of tears is one of her favorite presents for somebody and everybody had to join in the Sgt. Eventually we found and there was tremendous rejoicing by Jennifer and even by myself because with my present our Lord told a number of stories like that in answer to a criticism that was being made about him in his day. He had conducted much of his ministry among the what were regarded as the outcast of society with tax collectors that people dislike then and still dislike and people call sinners, new international version puts it in quotes because it's not meant to imply that other people were not sinners as well, but it meant sinners of the basis sort the kind of people that weren't like the Pharisees. I didn't know the law.
They didn't go to the synagogue, they didn't observe the niceties of the pharisaic religions, so they were the down and outers spiritually. Just as the tax collectors with a down and outers morally and Jesus was associating with this kind of person, and they regarded it as beneath him. Certainly beneath them and they cast slot on his reputation by saying you can almost hear the scorn in their voice. This man eats with sinners. I met why can anybody pay any attention to him and it was in response to that kind of a criticism that our Lord told the three stories of a lost sheep a lost coin, and the lost son that we find in the 15th chapter of Luke and are perhaps among the best love stories of the entire word of God.
Now I just like to look at those one at a time. One thing that ties a stories together, as is perfectly obvious is the fact that something is lost and anything that is been lost is valuable in the first case the lost sheep and owner had 100 sheep.
One of them wandered away were told in Christ, telling of the parable that he was restless and concerned left the 99 where they were and went off to find the one that was lost, but he found it he came back he was rejoicing because all his friends together. He said, rejoice with me because I found the sheep was lost the second story there is pictured for us.
A woman who lost a coin. These coins's would be the coins were devouring that still throw in some areas of the world.
She had 10 of them, or them around her neck. They would be passed on to her daughter. They were important objects, and one of them was lost and were told that like the man who would lost the sheep and was very concerned for which she was very concerned with the calling so she searched the house a little lamp so she could see she swept the floor.
She looked under the beds of all the cracks she founded, and when she found it she called her friends together and said, rejoice with me. I found my lost coin, and then finally there is the story of the prodigal son.
Perhaps the best-known of all, which this young son of distinguished family, growing restless under the tutelage of his father decides it is going to go off on his own in the world and to that end, he demands the part of the inheritance that belongs to him.
Father reluctantly divides it often gives him his own takes it he goes off to a far country squanders it falls into abject poverty eventually doesn't even have enough to eat. She hires himself out of a citizen of the country raises pigs he tends the pigs finally in abject misery absolutely is the nadir of his experience, he comes to his senses. He recognizes that even the servants in his father's house have more to eat than he does, and are well cared for and so we determined to get up go back to his father which he does the father receives them.
Although the older brother as I animated earlier is not willing to do that in each case, you see, you have lost object. Jesus stressed this stress that this objects in its lost condition understand that even in its lost condition was valuable to the owner.
I suppose we could imagine a situation in which the owner would more or less write off his loss bears the owner of the sheep he might say, well, as I, my sheep tonight. It seems that one of them is gone. I suppose this foolish shape is wandered off sheep tend to do that you know and has gotten himself into trouble probably fallen over the cliff somewhere may even be dead but it's late.
After all, is only one sheep and I have 99 more is only 1% every businessman has to expect a certain amount of loss of his business. 1% isn't bad. I just write that off deducted from my income tax go to bed and will just do the best we can with the 99 sheep tomorrow or we can suppose a woman who had lost the one coin might have said to herself, something along these lines. Now I've lost one of my coins and it's true that that's 10% 1/10. After all, I still have the mind and it would be difficult to find the one I haven't really had great need for even one of them up to this point. I suppose I'll just let it lie where it is or I can suppose a father though it's much more difficult to imagine this because seriously we get into personal relationships, but we can suppose under some circumstances, a father who would say, well, that was a no good son all the way along and imagine acting that way and wanting to take the money and run off and I'm sure he squandered it by now at least I have one son left just forget about the one was gone and now concentrate on the one I have. Imagine that kind of a situation. Jesus tells the stories, it's quite the opposite indicates that the matter was lost, the sheep can't rest until he finds that the woman was lost coin can't rest until she finds it.
The father was lost, the stun son stands at the door on the road as it were, looking down in the direction his son is gone.
Waiting and expecting eagerly the day when that son will return and understand as a stories are told that this is the attitude of God, and particularly the attitude of Jesus Christ came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance, to seek and to save that which was lost. Say why is that why does God have this attitude toward the center of the reason is it even in our fallen state.
We bear something in the image of God and God loves us. As St. Augustine said the evil that we have made of ourselves, but for the good that he sees could yet be made in us, so we have this great picture of the loving God who values the object even in its lost state. God cares for you.
God values you even in your lost condition widths the case in large cities here in other areas of the world. People come drifting in the churches who have a terribly low opinion of themselves and from their perspective rightly saw. They have squandered the potential of their youth. They have turned their back on every good opportunity and they're now drifting along as the refuse the cast off some society.
They drift into churches because churches are the one place where there accepted they come in and people don't throw them out, so churches in large cities.
Many people like this. There may be that there are some here in the service that's the case, these stories about the lost sheep lost coin, and the lost son or for you there spoken to you by the Lord Jesus Christ and their God's own word to you by which God says you are valuable to God even in the low condition which you brought yourself would be a great lesson, perhaps the greatest lesson of your life if you could hear that environments and believe it is it comes to you from the mouth of Jesus Christ. Because God would start with that point begin to make him feel what he sees. You can be thought through your power which is actually your failure, but through his grace. Secondly, we have a picture of the seeking God we have the lost objects. Now we have the seeking God.
I think Isaiah in that great 53rd chapter of his prophecy captures this using the imagery of the lost sheep because you recall that in that chapter. Isaiah has that magnificent form of expression where he compares us to sheep and he says all we like sheep of gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way and that is true is the tragedy of the human race that we have turned everyone to his own way like foolish lost wandering, helpless sheep.
The very image that the Lord Jesus Christ uses but you know what Isaiah goes on to say in that chapter.
He talks about the deliverer who was to come, and he looks ahead prophetically to that coming, and he says what about that deliverer. He says he became like a sheep silence before her shares like a lamb client being led to the slaughter. We are like sheep's Isaiah says that aptly describes human nature and the human condition, but God Almighty in the person of his son became like a sheep in order that he might seek us out and die for our salvation. There you have our Lord teaching the same thing when he says God is like that Shepherd that goes after the laundering sheep. He is like the woman that goes after the lost coin.
He is like the father who yearns for the lost son. This is the God with whom we deal. This is a God gives us hope and when I say that God gives us hope I don't mean hope in the sense that you and I often use that word.
All I hope it comes strobe at the way the Bible uses the word when it speaks of our blessed hope, it means the certainty of things yet to come. This is our hope in that sense that God seeks the center seat was only a question of you seeking the center be seeking the center while hope is why God can bring the center back to himself. How could I possibly think that I cannot possibly think that you can.
God seeks God who seeks finds that's why when we preach this great news of salvation through Jesus Christ. We preach it, but with trembling voice with confidence because God works through the preaching of his word to bring men and women to Christ. Not only do we desire that we expected.
We look for it. We know that what God has promised to perform God himself is that his word does not return void that it accomplishes that which he has intended. It does that which he pleases God pleases finds airing sinners. The proclamation of the gospel. I would look to the value of the object in the nature of God as he seeks the center. I want you to think for a little bit now about the nature of the recovery of these objects the sheep the coin in the sun but Jesus taught us at the seeking of God in the repentance of the prodigal go together. You never have one without the other. The prodigal does not repent. Unless God seeks and when God seeks and finds prodigal pants.
You notice that in the story and the very nature of the case. When Jesus is giving an illustration of the lost sheep of the lost coin.
He can't talk about repentance he can illustrate that sheep don't repent either to coins but has repentance in mind.
Even they are because at the end of each story as he applies it. He says I tell you that in the same way. There's more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the 90 and nine righteous persons who do not need to repent and then in the very next story he does at the same way. In the same way I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angel of God over one sinner who repents.
So even in the first two stories always talking about the sinking God is not excluding repentance on the part of the sinner and furthermore when he gets to the first story where the same things are told from the perspective of the center when he goes through, as well as what goes through the mind of the father.
He gets to the end and explain what is happened in the conversion of the sun on the repentance of the son and he says look to what a way to compare this return of your brother why he says it is like the return of one from the dead, you know perfectly well that is only God who can produce a resurrection appointment to go together when God seeks a sinner repents and if you know whether God has sought you and found you is to be seen in the fact that you can well determine, as well as other people. Whether or not you have turned from sin and gone back to the father is. He's presented to you in the person of Jesus Christ, the son is an interesting development of this path back to the father. I suppose we had time we could talk about the path that led away. Here was the younger son insensitive to the father's benefits. Many people are insensitive to the benefits they receive from God even in the rebellious state here was assigned. It was determined to be independence independent of God is many people are today, but cannot be son who exerted himself in his independence and so lost, even what he had, as is true of many people today, and eventually ended up in one. And then in bondage because sin always leads to bondage. There's that path. But just as is that path away from God. So there is in this parable the pathway back to God is found in the thoughts that went through the prodigal's mind when he was in the far country, and came to his senses defined in verses 17 and following. When he came to his senses.
He said, and then a little further on.
I will go back to my father and say to them. Father, I have sin. That's the second staff and finally in verse 20. So we got up and went. I think you have three things there. First, you have is recognition of the facts as they are.
Secondly, you have his acknowledgment of his sin and confession of a convergent habit return to the father you have action following upon the awareness CIA. I think it rightly begins with the fact that he came to his senses that really means is, he began to see things not from the perspective of the world with its lives of the devil and his allies, but from the perspective of his father and his truth.
Wireless science and part of what it means to be converted in the repent of sin is to recognize that the world is lying when it tells you that you can manage all right without God. When you can do what you want, regardless of the commands of God that you can get by yourself that you can save yourself that you don't need Jesus Christ what the world is saying because the world wants you to go get swine repentance is recognizing that that's the world's why it is designed like all aspects of the world and its culture to keep you in bondage. The same thing from Satan. Satan said Adam and Eve in the garden, you shall not surely die. But God is said when you eat the fruit of the tree you will die. And even then, Adam chose to believe the devil rather than God. So they went off on that pathway that led them further and further away is brought sin and misery upon our race. I daresay there many people listening debate would not come to that first point who still believe the lies of the world you hear it's on the television you hear it on the radio you read it in the papers and shared on the streets, its basic philosophy of humanism that you're the measure of all things, and you don't need God. That's a great tragedy in the great tragedy that follows from it is of that course leads to bondage and it is sometimes unfortunately the case that people sink to the very lowest pit of bondage before they recognize that this great why is indeed a lie and come to their senses say I think I know what the prodigal dad if he lost his money and finally was hungry and hired himself out to a man who raised pigs. He was on his downhill path for a long time and he didn't stop until he reached the bottom. Imagine what he said. Along the way he said well it's true that I'm not doing quite as well this year as I was last year. But that's just the ups and downs of things make the stock market will go back up things will be better. He said, after all, things are a little tough now, but next year my ships going to come in. He said it's true I'm hungry, but I have my friends those people I was with when I had more affluence they're going to take care of me was until he reached the bottom that he was hungry and said I am starving to death. He was faced with that he gave to his senses and said this is all a lie. I've been on the false path. I got a stop, but I need to go back to my father you been telling yourself that you been saying, well, just a little tough now. Things are going to get better being lowered like a horse with blinders you refuse to look either to the right hand where God is calling or to the left where God is calling you press right on ahead say things will get better. Things get better they will not get better, God is seeking you. He may very well bring you to the pit in order that you might come to your senses.
Learn God is the God who can save people from the pit and it does so in Jesus Christ. I was second thing this prodigal did was confess his sin is sin. He said, look, here's what I do. I'm going to set out the back to my father now say to them. Father, I have sin against heaven and against you notice that he did not say I think I'll go back to my father and say father.
I certainly had a little fling. I sewed my wild oats.
I had my shortcomings. There are a few flaws in my character. There were some failures there and I acknowledge that he didn't say that at all he said.
Father, I have sinned, and furthermore he said not merely I've sinned against you, that was perfectly obvious, but I have sinned against heaven that is against God by saying that what he was really acknowledging is it sin was sin because it is God who determines what sin is because sin is anything that is contrary to his own righteous character in the prodigal. When he came to his senses in size need recognize sin for what it was. He said it is sin. There's no sense covering it up. What I'm like, it's what I've done and if I'm ever to get straightened out again. I simply have to acknowledge what it is. Go back to my father and asked forgiveness from him by others. Two steps have an acknowledgment of the facts. He came to his senses. You have a confession of sin is sin.
I've sinned against heaven and against you. What's the third thing he did. The third thing he did was get up and go back to his father. You see action following upon his awareness, let me say that that's involved in salvation.
You have to leave your said you have to go back to God. In this young man did you know he started out saying I'm in a go back to my father must have sinned against heaven and against you, and I'm no longer worthy to be called your son.
I want you just make me as one of your hired servants. Let me live work out in the bunkhouse I be content with that. Just let me come back when he came to his father.
He found much to his joy that the father never let him get the whole message out. He started in he memorized. I suppose every step of the way he done it over and over again. It is mine father, I've sinned against heaven and against you. We wanted to be able to get it right.
He didn't want to fight John in any way was going to be hard to say but he was determined to say at any size.
Father came running to him and he started in father for I have sinned against heaven and against you in 1/2. He's already to say I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. His father never gives him a chance he throws his arms around them, and now the father speaking and he says bring out the fatted calf until it we have to celebrate and bring robes and put the bottom in a ring because this my son was lost his father son was dead is alive again. You see, no matter how old, low you will follow.
No matter what you have done no matter how greatly you will sin when you come to God you will not find God say alright I'm glad you came back to live in the bunkhouse. If either that points to the fatherhood of God comes out its fullest measure in its greatest extent. This most magnificent wonder as he says bring out the best robe.
Indeed, the robe of the righteousness of Jesus Christ put it on them bring out the fatted calf, because we have to celebrate because this one who was spiritually dead is now spiritually alive is what it was lost his phone. All our father, we thank you that no one can slip so long as to be beyond your reach or run so far as to escape your mercy that you are the seeking God reaches out to embrace the center in Jesus Christ and we would ask that over there. Those listening who have been running from you. Those who have gone far and wide in the squandered that which you have given that in this moment you will use these words, the power of your spirit bring them to their senses enable them to confess their sin and to take that step back to you who are there heavenly father through Christ our Lord.
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