Have you ever lost something valuable and looked very hard to find it? I’m sure we all have lost or misplaced something. Maybe it was our car keys or a vital paper we needed for work or school. Or perhaps it was something more valuable, like your wallet or purse or a piece of jewelry.
Before we come to Jesus, we are all lost! We can’t be any more lost than to be dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible says that we were without God and hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, what did they lose and, therefore, humankind? God had blessed them (Genesis 1:26-28), and their disobedience brought a curse upon the devil, humanity, and the earth (Genesis 3:14-19). We lost our relationship with God and His glory, bringing death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). We also lost our dominion over the earth by giving allegiance to Satan (Psalm 8:1-9; Luke 4:5-8). Jesus came to restore what was lost (Luke 19:10; Matthew 28:18; Galatians 3:13-14; Ephesians 2:4-13; Colossians 1:13-14, 19-20; Psalm 103:4-5; Isaiah 61:1-4, 7).
The enemy of God and our souls, Satan, is the god of this world, and he blinds the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Unbelievers are not just lost, but helpless prey for the enemy unless God intervenes. It is God that takes the initiative in seeking the lost because of His love and compassion (John 3:16; Romans 1:20; 5:8; Ephesians 1:4-5). No one seeks after God, and all have sinned (Romans 3:10-11, 23). None are good or righteous (Mark 10:18; Isaiah 64:6).
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells three parables about something that is lost. Each thing that was lost had personal value, not just monetary value. In the first parable of the lost sheep, it is the shepherd who leaves the flock and goes out looking for the one lost sheep and does not stop until he finds it. Then he carries it home and gathers his friends together to rejoice with him. Jesus declares that heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
The shepherd spared no expense or effort. Jesus, the Son of God, our Shepherd, gave His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; John 10:11-16). The parable tells of a loving shepherd who did not beat or drive the sheep back to the fold but picked him up and carried him home lovingly on his shoulders. God is longsuffering and is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 (NKJV)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32 (NKJV)
Likewise, in the second parable, Jesus describes a woman who had lost one of her silver coins and didn’t stop looking until she finds it. She sweeps the house and lights a lamp and searches for it until she finds it. Then she calls her friends and neighbors together to rejoice with her for what was lost has been found. Jesus says again, and there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. God shines the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ into our lives so that we can see the truth.
In the third parable, Jesus tells the story of the lost or prodigal son who asked his father for his inheritance and then went out and spent it all on riotous and ungodly living. The father had divided his estate among both sons, but the older son stayed at home. When the younger son had come to the end of himself and his finances and realized his destitute situation, he went home to his father. He didn’t feel he was worthy of being called a son and instead planned on living as a servant.
The father was looking and waiting for the son to come home and ran to meet him when he saw him. He didn’t wait for him to reach home. He put a robe on him, a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet, indicating and restoring him to sonship. The older brother was angry and jealous because his father gave the younger brother a party, and he felt he deserved it because he had never disobeyed his father. The father said to the older brother that he was his son, and everything he had was his, but he didn’t realize that. The father said it is right that we make merry and be glad for your brother was dead and is alive again and was lost and is found.
The older brother’s reaction reveals God’s grace in this matter. We don’t come to God through our works, self-effort, self-righteousness, or pride. Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in these parables, who thought they were OK in God’s eyes because they kept the law. Jesus was saying that He rejoices when a sinner recognizes He needs to come to God by grace through faith, believing in Him not according to anything we have done (Luke 18:9-14). We need to acknowledge that we are spiritually destitute and need a Savior!
For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8 – 9 (NKJV)
The lost are called sinners, and those who come to Christ receiving Him as Savior are called saints (1 Corinthians 1:2). Jesus said that no man could come to Him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44, 65). It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that brings us to Jesus! He convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16: 8-11). He draws us through hearing the Gospel message (Acts 2:37, 41). Every time we see God’s goodness or hear about Jesus, He is calling us to come to Him and receive all that He is and has provided for us, i.e., forgiveness, righteousness, hope, healing, deliverance, prosperity, provision, protection, truth, life, etc.
God initiates the process, provides the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, and gives us the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 12:3). Then we need to respond to God’s grace and make a choice to receive His offer of salvation through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and shed His blood to redeem us.
For He says: “In an acceptable time, I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV)
Don’t ignore the prompting and nudges of the Holy Spirit as He draws you to Jesus. Maybe you are tired of your life and seeking after other things that have not fulfilled you or met your need. You can see that you’re not living an abundant life like Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). Perhaps you are sick or broke, or feel hopeless, discouraged, or depressed with the way your life is turning out. Jesus has made way for you through His death on the cross and His resurrection to give you forgiveness, His righteousness, peace, and to reconcile you with the Father.
You can come to Jesus and repent, which means to change your mind by turning from following your way and turning to God. Ask Him to forgive you and ask Jesus to come in and be the Lord and Savior of your life (1 John 1:9). No matter what you have done, it is not outside the grace of God. His grace is the unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor and blessing of God and the enablement to carry it out. Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20). Don’t wait. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul (Matthew 16:26)? Power, prestige, and wealth is nothing if you lose your soul and spend eternity in hell without God (Luke 12:16-21).
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
Jesus has paid the price for you (Romans 5:8). Come now and receive all that He has for you (John 3:16, 36; 10:10). You don’t have to keep running away from Him or your past. He has come to give you a new life filled with a good future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17). He is calling you forth from your grave clothes of death. He is calling your name to give you life! Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).
Jesus will meet you wherever you are and will be all that you need. He declares I Am!
“I Am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 (NKJV); “I am the Good Shepherd.” John 10:11; (Psalm 23:1-3) (NKJV). He will lead, guide, and comfort us.
“I Am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:8 (NKJV). He has everything in-between as well. He’s got it covered!
“I Am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25 (NKJV). For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV). He is our life.
“I Am the light of the world.” John 8:12 (NKJV). He will guide us and show us what to do.
Jesus revealed the character and nature of the Father, so the names of God are also His names, i.e., Jehovah Jireh (Provider), Jehovah, Rapha (Healer), etc.
Don’t miss this opportunity for the greatest and best decision of your life! If you would like to experience the love of God and to have peace with Him through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can pray this suggested prayer out loud right now. You can also pray in your own words. Remember, it is not words or prayer alone that will save you. Prayer is a way to reach out to the Lord and must be done in faith (completely trusting in Him alone to save you). He even gives us His faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 12:3; Hebrews 12:2). Christ will save you when you ask Him, believing that He will. Faith is not a feeling but merely believing God by taking Him at His Word, which allows you to receive His gift of Salvation.
Your Word says that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I ask You to forgive me for my sins. I repent and turn from them and turn to You. I am calling on You and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for me. I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and Your healing power in my life. I now belong to You. Help me to live for You and obey You all the days of my life.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you just received Jesus as your Savior, then I welcome you into the Family of God! For more about how to grow in Christ see: https://alexiscarucci.com/welcome-to-gods-family/
Perhaps you are already a believer but have lost your way and chosen to go your way instead of God’s way. Even if you have turned away from God, He is knocking at the door of your heart and asking for you to let Him come in (Revelation 3:20). You can repent and ask for God’s forgiveness and surrender your life back to Jesus to make Him Lord of your life. Your life will never be the same. You will have available to you all the promises and blessings of God in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20).
Jesus is the answer for the world today. God’s Word has the solutions we need. Because we are children of God, we can go to Him through His Word and in prayer and find out how to live the victorious and abundant life that He has given to us!
We are citizens of His kingdom. We must live in response to what the Father is doing, not the plans and agenda of the enemy. Jesus modeled for us a life of living in response to the Father (John 5:19; 12:49). We can either reflect the nature of the world or the nature of the One who holds the world in His hands!
Next week we will see how repentance can heal our land and usher in revival, a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and harvest of souls!