Monday, July 28, 2008


This morning I will be speaking in the main session of our Fellowship of Grace Brethren Adult Conference in Tampa, Florida. The topic I was given by our moderator, Jim Brown (pastor of our Goshen Indiana Grace Brethren Church) is “I Care”! I will be speaking from the lost parables that Jesus told in Like 15:1-10.

Large crowds were following Jesus including sinners and tax collectors who were trying to get close to Him. Tax collectors worked for the Romans and had a reputation for extortion making them hated by Jews. They were forbidden to have social interaction with Jews and were viewed as lying swine and traitors. The religious leaders grumbled against Christ accusing Him of being wrong by associating with lost people (v2).

As a result of these accusations, Jesus tells the parable of the lost Sheep, the lost Shekel and the lost Son beginning with the story of the lost sheep (v4-6). He directs this story toward the men. Jesus speaks of the man who had 100 sheep and lost one of them. What does he do? He leaves the 99 and goes out to find the lost sheep in a rough land after dark when he is already hungry and tired. And when he finds it, he celebrates.

Then Jesus tells the story of the lost shekel (v8-9) which is directed towards the women. In this case the woman loses a drachma which was the equivalent of a full day’s wages and was used as a hair dressing like a wedding ring. What steps does the woman take to find the lost coin? First, she spares no expense by lighting a lamp. Second, she spares no effort by sweeping the house. Finally, she shows persistence as she searches carefully until she finds it. And she too celebrates when she finds the lost coin.

From these two stories, Jesus gives us 3 reasons why He cared about lost people. Reason #1 is that they are lost and very valuable to God! The lost sheep and lost coin were very valuable to their owners. In the same way sinners are lost and very valuable to God. The word “lost” is used 8 times in chapter 15. GB Caird once said, “To call a man lost is to pay him high compliment, for it means that he is very precious in the sight of God!”

Reason #2 is because God will go through infinite trouble to find lost people! Both the shepherd and the woman went to great trouble to find lost items. In the same, way, God is willing to go through infinite trouble to find lost people (Luke 19:10; Romans 5:8).

The final reason is because nothing brings greater celebration to heaven than a lost person being found! The shepherd and the woman both rejoiced and invited their friends to rejoice with them when they found the lost item. In the same way, there is rejoicing in heaven (v7) and in the presence of the angels (v10) when a lost person is found. Some experts tell us that 170,000 every day trust Christ to be their Savior in our world. Now if there is a celebration in heaven for each and every one of them than that tells me that heaven is one non-stop party. So here is my question, “Who cancelled the party in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches?"

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