Jesus is Concerned Over Every Lost Soul – Luke 15

Luke 15:1-32

[1] Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

[2] And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

[3] And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

[4] What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

[5] And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

[6] And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

[7] I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

[8] Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

[9] And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

[10] Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

[11] And he said, A certain man had two sons:

[12] And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

[13] And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

[14] And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

[15] And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

[16] And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

[17] And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

[18] I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

[19] And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

[20] And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

[21] And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

[22] But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

[23] And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

[24] For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

[25] Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

[26] And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

[27] And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

[28] And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

[29] And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

[30] But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

[31] And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

[32] It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

When I started studying this piece of scripture, I was immediately drawn into the whole chapter.

Although I would love to do an entire Bible study on Luke 15, I will contain myself! In today’s post I will be using just a few verses of the scripture, even though I have included Luke 15 in its entirety.

I encourage you to read all of Luke 15 and then meditate or study on it. There are so many precious nuggets just waiting to be found.

Luke tells us that although Jesus used parables many times to teach the disciples and/or the people, these particular parables were mostly for the benefit of the pharisees.

They had come against Jesus for “hanging out” with sinners and even eating with them. The pharisees believed the sinners needed to be shunned and the Pharisees never had anything to do with sinners, tax collectors and the like.

They had made accusations against Jesus and now Christ is going to retaliate by using 3 narratives to teach them. The first is the parable of the lost sheep. The second is the parable of the lost coin and the third is of the lost son. It’s not the stories themselves that my focus will be on, rather the message that appear in all three parables … the message of finding what was lost. Today I will focus mostly on verses 7, 10 and 32.

Luke 15:7 – The Lost Sheep

“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

Luke 15:10 – The Lost Coin

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Luke 15:32 – The Lost Son

“It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

All of these parables have one thing in common; something was lost and then found.

Jesus is accused of eating and being with sinners, so he attempts to teach the Pharisees with parables. Christ makes it clear that finding the ONE lost sheep was worth the shepherd leaving all ninety-nine to go and find that one that was lost. Then when the sheep is found, the shepherd calls out to his friends to rejoice with him (verse 6). Jesus ends this parable by showing that although there may be ninety-nine “just” people, it’s the lost ONE that is important.

Jesus continues with the parable of the lost coin. A lady has ten coins and loses one of them. The woman searches diligently for that ONE that is lost. When she finds it, she calls her friends to rejoice with her (verse 9). Jesus ends this parable by showing that although the woman still had nine coins, it was very important to find that one lost ONE.

Jesus continues with the parable of the prodigal son. The younger son wants to take his inheritance and leave; so his father gives him the money and the son goes on his way. After he loses everything, he humbly returns to his father’s house. verse 24 “And they began to be merry.” Jesus ended this story by saying the son was dead and is now alive, lost but now found.

In all of these parables, we see the same message; something has been lost and then is found. Jesus was telling the pharisees that to save sinners, they needed to be invested in them, not to shun or preach at them, but to befriend them.

Here’s what I found in studying…

The sheep represents the person who is falling away from faith. This tells us that God is concerned over EVERY lost soul.

The lost coin represents a believer, who has fallen away from the church. It’s the church’s duty to watch out for each other and to diligently search to save souls.

The last parable digs a little deeper. The elder brother represents the Jewish people who remained solid and hung onto God but became self-righteous, proud and eventually ended up far from God (like the Pharisees)

The next parable shows that the father of the two sons, loved both equally. In the same way, God loves the Jews and the Gentiles equally.

Once humbled, the father took his son back immediately, just as if nothing had ever happened. God will also take back his humbled “lost” children as if they never left.

Jesus was attempting to get the point across to the Pharisees and others that anyone who is lost or moved away from God is just as important as those who love and believe in God (after crucifixion, Jesus).

God doesn’t HAVE to take us back! Nor does he HAVE to find the lost, save people or forgive our sins. He does it because he WANTS to and because he LOVES us so much.

Unfortunately, most of the Pharisee’s didn’t listen or take advantage of changing their ways.

The job God has given believers today, is to find the lost (regardless of who they are or what they’ve done) and tell them about Jesus. That may even mean “hanging out”, or perhaps sharing a meal with the sinners.

We need to keep in mind that we are ALL sinners and not one person today or throughout all of history deserves to be saved by Jesus. However God loves ALL of us and does not want to see, even ONE person lost.

Father God

I ask you Lord, to place the lost along my path, those you know I can help. Guide me and give me the words that would touch their hearts and open their eyes to you.

Help me to realize that not every person I talk to wants to be rescued. Help me also to remember that “I” am not the one to save people, you do that. My job is to seek the lost and show/lead them the way to be found. Unfortunately, not all will accept that offer.

I will praise and glorify your name each and every day. I will continually be on the watch for the lost and tell them of the good news of Jesus Christ.

I will continue to pray for those who do not know you, praying they will see the light before it’s too late.

Thank you Father for loving each and every person in this world and that every one of them have exactly the same option of finding Christ and receiving salvation.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen

With God, There is No Need to Worry – 2 Corinthians 5

2 Corinthians 5: 13-15

[13] For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

[14] For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

[15] And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (KJV)

Regardless of the events happening around him, Paul always appeared to stay on an even keel. He knew the Corinthians were convinced that he was either not sober, crazy or perhaps putting on a show for them. Paul was not faking contentment.

“It is to God” – Paul is telling the people that it is only because of God’s strength in him, that he is able to stand strong through all types of situations.

Paul is explaining that Jesus died on the cross for ALL people of the world but that doesn’t mean all people are saved. Only those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will be saved. Unfortunately not all people will accept the gift of salvation that Jesus so willingly died for.

So, knowing that we are all sinners and need the blood of Jesus to cover us, then we must assume we are not our own but have been bought by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Once saved, we then belong to Jesus and not ourselves. It seems only right that we should give God the glory and honour and allow him to use us to help others.

Having the heart of God in us, we are to go out and tell others the good news of Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus not only to shed his blood to cover our sins but also to give us an example of how we are to live and serve, while on this earth.

Jesus has already completed the hardest part of our salvation. He paid dearly for all of our sins, on the cross. Without the death and resurrection of Christ, everyone would still be spiritually dead and have no chance living an eternity with God. However because of Jesus’ sacrifice, everyone has the chance of living for eternity with Christ.

If you wish to know more about salvation, I have written a post in the salvation tab.

Heavenly Father,

I have been through good and bad times and the one constant in all of them, has been you. There have been many times I have worried non-stop because of events happening that I had no control over, such as finances, jobs, relationships and the list goes on. It seemed like I was always worrying about something and that worry never helped.

Once I became a Christian, I thought my times of troubles would go away and I was surprised when they didn’t. I was under the wrong belief that you would watch over me and keep me out of trials and tribulations, but you didn’t.

However the more I studied about you God (Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit), the more I understood about your love. I realized that those hardships made me grow spiritually, helping me gain strength and taught me to have faith in you God.

Whatever comes along now, I can ride through without worry, just as Paul did. I still have pockets of fear, but I’ve learned to turn away from them. I am mostly at peace; not crazy, not drunk, not pretending, but resting contently because I have placed my faith and trust in you!

Help me to remember that (as a Christian) I must not live a life for myself. I was born spiritually dead and it is only because of Jesus, paying the price for my soul, that I am spiritually alive and will be spending eternity with you, God.

I pray Father that the spiritually dead (non-believers in Christ) will hear, see or experience something that will open their eyes and they will turn to you.

Jesus came to earth to save everyone, but he will not force his salvation on anyone. It’s a free gift for the taking!

In Jesus’ precious name I pray,

Amen

Search Me O God – Psalm 139: 23-24

Psalm 139: 23-24

David is talking to God. He realizes that within himself and possibly even hidden from himself, are sins. David must feel strongly that there is something within him that is not of God.

He is asking the Lord to look into his heart, to test him, to peer into David’s deepest thoughts and to examine him in whatever way God wants to.

David wants to make sure he is totally open to God and that there is nothing hidden that would stop David from an eternal life with the Father.

Heavenly Father

I know Lord, that sometimes I may do, say or think things that are not pleasing to you. Sometimes I wonder if they are my thoughts or if I have unknowingly listened to the enemy whispering in my ear. Regardless, there are times when I try to justify the action or thoughts, instead of coming to you in repentance.

Oh Father, I ask for forgiveness. As you did for David, please Lord, search me, inside and out and find anything that it not pleasing to you. Examine me and reveal all of my iniquities, especially the so-called “justified sins” so that I can confess them with my mouth.

I want a closer relationship with you and if I am carrying sin, it can’t happen. Help me Father to always be on the lookout for pitfalls and prepare me to jump over them. I know Lord there will be times when I will fall, so please help me be alert at all times. When I do sin, let me feel the conviction of it and confess immediately. Don’t let me bury any wickedness away.

I ask that you would search me, as you did for David. Find any and all wickedness that is within me.

(Pause and spend time with God)

I now confess, in the name of Jesus, the sins that I’ve buried or justified in some way …

I come before you Lord humbled and with thanks that you are a loving Father that will not hold these iniquities against me but will forgive me, in the name of Jesus. I now consciously accept your forgiveness with thanks.

Father please help me to stay strong in you from this day forward. Thank you that I am your child and that You will lead me in the way everlasting. I am looking forward to spending eternity with you in Heaven. I am so truly blessed.

Maranatha!

In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus, I pray.

Amen

Building Up a Spiritual Church -1 Peter 2: 4-5

1 Peter 2:

[4] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
[5] Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

God chose his own precious Son, Jesus (being the fullness of the Godhead) to come to earth as the ultimate living stone, but Jesus was rejected by men (Israel). However Jesus’ work did not stop on the cross. God sent Jesus to be a living corner stone for all who come to Him, through Christ (Christians).

Throughout time, many different types of churches and temples have been erected by man. First they lay good solid corner stones and then add suitable foundation stones and soon have a church. Once the building is ready, people come together to learn about God and to praise and worship Him.

Although we have these brick and mortar buildings called “churches”, the real Church is within the people, themselves.

Unlike church buildings that are made of dead parts (bricks, sand, etc.) spiritual churches have living parts like bodies, souls, prayers, praises, worship, love and the likes. Hence living stones, where our bodies are used as a temple for the Holy Spirit to live in.

Christians are living stones. As each of us join the family of Christ, we become another part of the spiritual house that God is building. As more and more Christians come along we place ourselves on the existing foundation.

Christians are a holy priesthood in themselves. There is no longer any reason for animal sacrifices or a middle man. Christians are now able to go before God, on their own, using the name of Jesus.

However it’s important to realize that as one brick cannot build a house, neither can one Christian build a spiritual house. To build the spiritual church that God is looking for, Christians must come together and build on each other.

Heavenly Father

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Without you and your love for us, we would still be taking sacrifices to an altar and asking for forgiveness for our sins through men. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I now have the ability to come before you, with my confession and with my prayers.

I am now considered a living stone, a Christ believing person. To build up and keep my Spiritual house in order I must continue to receive the Word in a manner of honesty, sincerity, devotion and joy while using a loving heart in a way that is pleasing to you Father.

Thank you that I have found a congregation of other Christians that I can talk to, worship and grow with and continue to build up your spiritual church, all for your glory.

In the name of Jesus, our corner stone, I pray.

Amen