Treasures in the Lost and Found

Lost and FoundHave you ever lost something you really liked and couldn’t replace? Yes, there are some things that are annoying to lose, like cell phones or a favorite shirt. But there are some things we don’t want to live without. For me, it was an irreplaceable vintage pair of sunglasses. I wore them everywhere! So when my chic eyewear became missing-in-action, I immediately began the hunt. I searched every nook in my car and purse and closet–and then searched them again. I called my friend whose house I had been at the previous night to enlist help. I called the restaurant where we ate dinner and talked to the manager. And when my favorite glasses still didn’t turn up, I drove forty minutes to the other side of town. After digging through a big box of spectacles and other forgotten treasures in the restaurant’s lost and found, I conceded mine were gone forever. It was a sad day.

In the same way our favorite things are too precious to easily let go, you and I are precious to God. We are His favorites. And He doesn’t want us to be lost any longer.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables about precious things that go missing. Each story is a depiction of what happens when we, as God’s beloved children, are lost. The first story is about a shepherd with one sheep gone (Luke 15:3-7). Knowing the wandering sheep is in danger, the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep who are safe in the flock and goes out searching for the missing one. When he finds the little lost lamb, he joyfully puts her on his shoulders and carries her home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together to celebrate with him. Any of us who have wandered from God are that little lost lamb. God wants us to hear His call and come to Him so He can put us on His shoulders. He will carry us home and take care of us as He rejoices with the angels in heaven.

The second story in Luke 15 (verses 8-10) is about a woman who has ten silver coins worth a great deal of money. She loses one of the coins and hunts high and low for it–which sounds a bit like my sunglasses search. The difference is that she finds her lost treasure (worth significantly more than my glasses I might add), and she calls friends and neighbors to celebrate. Likewise, we are God’s treasure. If we’re lost, He will not stop pursuing us until we turn back to Him, and the angels will rejoice.

The last story Jesus tells in Luke 15 (verses 11-31) is about the prodigal son: A boy who decides he wants to go his own way in life. This guy leaves his father behind in pursuit of the “good life” and ends up squandering his entire inheritance on partying. The “good life” quickly becomes abysmal life. Whatever the worst job is you can imagine is what this guy is now doing day in and day out. He swallows his pride and decides to head back home and ask forgiveness. But His father has been watching for him. Even though the son is far from home, his father runs out to him, kisses him over and over again, puts a royal robe around him and adorns him with the family ring. Then the father brings his restored son back to the homestead and throws a feast in his honor.

I don’t know about you, but this story sounds familiar. I’m one of God’s prodigal daughters.

Here’s truth: God doesn’t care about where we’ve been. He doesn’t care about what we’ve done. What God wants is for us to turn around and start heading toward Him. He will run out to meet us. He will wash away all the dirt and grime of our past and restore us as His beloved children. And He will throw one amazing party in heaven in our honor!

Lost people matter to God. You and I matter to God. We can’t even begin to imagine how deeply God loves His lost children, but we do know this: We are the treasures of God’s lost and found.

If you are lost today, come home. Lay down fear, pride, or whatever keeps you from opening up to God. Turn to Him, run into His arms as He meets you on the road, and ask Him to bring you home. I’m ready to celebrate with you, God and the angels!

To wrap up my eyewear story, a week later I was about to run and I noticed there was something in my second pair of running shoes. My favorite sunglasses were found! I then remembered that my friend and I had talked about going for a run before dinner but decided not to. For some odd reason I had put my sunglasses in my shoes for safe keeping instead of my purse before leaving for the restaurant. They were back and a happy dance broke out! It’s party time when the lost are found!

“‘We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, and now he is found.’ So the party began.’” Luke 15:23-24 (NLT)

“The angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 (GNT)

Let’s talk: Do you believe you are precious to God? Why or why not?

May I pray? Father God, thank You for loving us so deeply. Thank You for never resting until we’re found. Thank You for running to greet us when we turn back toward You. Some of us aren’t really sure what or where home is anymore. Meet us where we are and carry us. Wash us of the dirt, shame, fears, guilt and regrets of the past and present, and put Your royal robe around us. May we rejoice as Your beloved daughters, knowing we’ll be with You one day in heaven. May we celebrate with our sisters today! Amen.

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Who is Jesus?

Around the world, people today are laying down their lives to talk about Jesus. Who is He?

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Love Notes from God

Until recently, I never realized how many love notes God sends us every day. He speaks. We have to be ready to look and listen.

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Wallenda’s Praise & Prayer at 1500'

Nik Wallenda crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. No net, no harness. Wallenda’s peace and courage came from Jesus. Ours does too.

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Not Everything Happens for a Reason

“Everything happens for a reason” suggests there can be a good twist. Even terror, murder & abuse? No! Not everything is good or from God.

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When Plans and Dreams are Shattered

When our lives come to a screeching halt because of bad surprises, how can we hold onto faith? We can’t just pretend everything is fine.

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Want to be Happy? Practice “Happy”!

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So do this: Practice being happy this holiday season – and it will carry on to next year!

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Past Scars: Stepping Stones to Purpose

We can find purpose if we realize our past struggles allow us to help others who are struggling. No shame and no fear of our past in Christ!

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What Happens To Us When We Die?

Many of us aren’t sure what’s next when we die, so we don’t think about it. But in a crazy world like ours, people are starting to wonder.

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What Are You Doing With Your Dash?

When we die there will be 2 numbers: the date we were born & the date we died. Neither matters as much as the dash––our life––in between.

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Your Life Story in 6 Words

Ernest Hemingway’s shortest story- “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Wow! In 6 words can you spark hope? Yes! Tell us your 6 word story!

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Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul

Sweet friendship refreshes our soul, like beautiful aromas that engage our emotions and warm our heart with good memories.

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No matter where we’ve been, no matter where we are, we all can experience the joy and richness of new life! I’m living proof.

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Eye of the Storm

Eye of the storm: Place of peace where truth & courage meet. No matter what storm we’re in, we can survive & be stronger on the other side.

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Church: Hospital or Country Club?

A healthy church community is for people like you and me – who want to turn from the brokenness of our past as we walk forward to new life.

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Mud Puddles of Life

Where are you stuck? Fear? Isolation? Shame? Depression? Worry? Mud puddles of life bring hopelessness. But one new step leads to new life!

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This Changes Everything!

We’re stuck. In past hurts, loneliness, dead relationships, debt, no hope… But don’t despair, there’s something that changes everything!

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Who is God?

We have our own thoughts about God. But it’s hard to think about having a daily relationship with the Almighty God. He wants that to change.

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Feeling Fruity: It's a Good Thing!

Everyone’s life produces something. How do we get out of the weeds and live a joyful life even in the midst of trials? We grow good fruit.

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Take Your Stand

No one wants to be attacked, but we are. Self-worth cracks. Shame and regret haunt us. But God gives us armor and weapons to take our stand!

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Breaking Free and Staying Free

We’re stuck in circumstances or bound by guilt, regrets and wounds of the past. We don’t believe we can break free. But we can! Here’s how.

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What Will God Really Do For You?

Does God care? If the creator of the universe is busy with wars, famine, asteroids, floods and tragedies, how can He have time for us?

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Celebrating Small Victories

When was the last time you celebrated a victory? Sometimes we don’t feel like we have much to celebrate. But that can change!

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When the Road Gets Tough

Keep moving forward! We can’t let fear, doubt, or any other feelings hold us in bondage. We are survivors, given strength to overcome.

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3 Remedies for Spiritual Dehydration

Ever feel wilted, like you’re thirsting for more in life? We get weary and need renewal. But we can’t quench our soul-deep thirsts by ourselves.

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God Loves You Because…

The first step to believing God loves you is to understand why He loves you. That’s where transformed lives begin.

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3 Steps Toward Good Life

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Encouragement For The New Year

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Just Stop!

How can we be jolly in the midst of a swirl of to do’s, sadness for those missing from our Christmas, and doubts about the coming year?

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A Time to Mourn

Some of the darkest hours on this earth are the ones when Heaven is rejoicing, because our loved ones are now in Paradise.

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What is Saving Faith?

We want to believe there’s a purpose in life and we hope there’s a heaven. But we’re skeptical about religion. How can we know what’s true?

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Friends Who Break Wind

We will all face obstacles we can’t overcome alone. So let’s run the race of life together and strengthen each other.

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Are You The One?

Many of us go through life feeling alone and empty because we never found that elusive “one”. God also is in search of the “one”. But God’s “one” is different.

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The Lies of Childhood

The lies of childhood become the mountains and wounds of adulthood. Many of us still believe them. They prevent us from moving forward, but we can move them.

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