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(Much of this lesson derives from a previous sermon on Luke 15:11-32).
Ever Lose Your Keys?
Ever lose something that you just couldn’t find? Ever lose your ID? Ever lose your wallet? Have you ever lost your keys?
And when we lose something, we often ask someone else if they’ve seen it.
“Hey, I lost my keys. Can you help me find them?”
And without fail, they’re going to give you the most basic advice of all-time: “Have you tried retracing your steps?”
And I’m like, “Hmm, ‘have I tried retracing my steps’? Nope, hadn’t thought of that. I’ve just been out here walking in zigzags….”
But when you find your keys, don’t you just feel a wave of relief and delight?
How much more do you think our Heavenly Father delights when one of His lost children is found?
Scripture says there is rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents (Lk 15:7, 10).
And I thank God for giving us the opportunity to return to Him in repentance. I thank God for His “Amazing Grace”. I once was lost, but now I’m found.
We are not worthy; but He thought we were worth saving. God’s grace is so amazing because, like the younger son, we don’t deserve it (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8-10).
We have all sinned and separate ourselves from God (Rom 3:23).
And we can’t earn our reconciliation back to God simply by following the rules — doing things we were already supposed to be doing!
We need grace – unmerited, undeserved favor.-
We need grace that says, no matter what you’ve done, no matter how far you’ve fallen, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, if you turn back to your Heavenly Father, He is not only waiting for you, He will run out to greet you, to throw His arms around you, and to kiss you tenderly as His child.
People might ask, “What is God (the Father in the parable) thinking?” This is in-credible! But we serve an incredible God – an Amazing, Gracious Father.
Repenting from our selfish, sinful ways and putting our wholehearted, active trust in Christ are the keys to eternal, abundant life.
My brothers and sisters, if you feel like you’ve lost your keys, and have been walking around in zigzags, please allow me to offer you the most basic advice of all-time:
Have you tried retracing your steps?
For our Amazing, Gracious Father rejoices when one of His children is lost and then found.
We leave our first love when we do our own-thing
Nowadays everybody wants to be their own-king
Broken relationships are things that we cry-for
We’ve broken God’s heart, yet He thinks we’re to die-for
“Amazing Grace”, I’ll get lost-in-the-sound
He’s prepared me a place ‘cause of that cross-in-the-ground
He’s the Gracious Father, the boss-with-the-crown
So don’t go no farther, if your lost-then-be-found
11 Then [Jesus] said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger [son] said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the estate that I have coming to me.”
So, the man divided his life’s assets between them. 13 Then, not many days afterwards, he gathered everything together and the younger son journeyed into a distant country. And there he squandered his estate by living recklessly.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in need. 15 So, he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he would long to be filled with the pods which the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any.
17 When he came to himself, he said, “How many of my father’s day laborers abound with food, and here I am losing my life due to hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your day laborers.’”
20 So, he got up and came to his father. But when he was still a far distance away, his father saw him and was deeply moved with compassion. [His father] ran and threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
22 But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out a robe – the best one – and put it on him, and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the calf – the fattened one. Slay it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 Because this son of mine was dead and came back to life, he was lost and has been found.”
And they began to celebrate.
25 Now his son – the eldest one – was in the field. And as he came and approached the house, he heard the sounds of musical instruments and dancing. 26 So, he summoned one of the servants and inquired as to what all that could be about. 27 And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and your father killed the calf – the fattened one – because he got him back safe and sound.”
28 But he became angry and did not want to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But [the older son] said to his father, “Look! I have been slaving so many years for you and never did I disobey one of your commands. Yet, never did you give me a young goat so that I could celebrate with me friends. 30 But when this son of yours – who devoured your life assets with prostitutes – came, for him you kill the fattened calf!”
31 And he said to him, “[My] child, you are always with me and everything of mine is yours. But it was necessary to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.” (Lk 15:11-32, AT)
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