I am working on the this Sunday’s sermons as we look at Limitless Grace. Grace is one of those topics that brings chill bumps. Even as I begin this post and think about the chapter and stories I am about to share I get that feeling of excited joy that brings chill bumps or goose bumps whatever you want to call them.
Stop and read Luke 15:1-32. It won’t take you long, I’ll wait right here.
In this chapter we have a great theme:
Grace for the Lost
Like the lamb, we become lost when we are aimless. Sheep wander around looking for grass and do not always look where they are going. They can find themselves in dangerous situations when they wander away from the flock. That describes the preacher in Ecclesiastes. He went looking for fulfillment where ever he thought he could. That describes us: We look to education. We look to politicians / government. We look to pleasure. We look to drugs and alcohol. We look to the newest and latest fashion, technology. We let those things and others lead us away from God’s flock – we are lost.
Like the coin, we can be lost because we are misplaced (misled). Coins roll off tables or fall off chains. My grandmother would say when my grandfather was looking for a certain tool, “Well it didn’t grow legs and walk off.” That was her way of saying, he had laid the tool down or the pocket knife fell out of his pocket, what ever the case might be. A person is misplaced or misled by a society that leads away from God. They can be misled by those who claim to teach truth but spread misinformation.
Like the younger son, we can be lost because of our own selfish nature. We want what we want and we want it now! We ignore or do not care about truth, righteousness, the future, prudence, or others and pursue our own immediate desires or temporal desires. We may let consumerism consume us. We may let a passion for fame overtake us. We may let wealth, prestige, influence, power, recreation, retirement, or things like these become our life’s goal. We run from the Father and are lost.
Like the older brother, we can be lost in our own self-righteousness. He was lost while still at home. He was judgmental of his younger brother. He was loveless, graceless, and unconcerned at his brother’s absence. He was angry and jealous of the attention his father gave to the wayward son. So many times this describes Christians. We think we are more righteous than others. After all, I don’t ______________________ like others do. We are lost.
The lost need grace.
God as the Shepherd cares for all the sheep. He looks for the lost sheep. He rejoices at the lamb’s recovery and brings the lamb home. GRACE!
God, like the woman who lost the coin, considers us as valuable. He looks for the one that is lost. He rejoices at the recovery of the lost one. GRACE!
God is the Father of the prodigal. He allows for His children to choose. When they leave, He looks for them daily. When they return He runs to them and welcomes them home with tears of joy, a kiss, and a celebration that the dead are alive and the lost are found. GRACE!
As the Father of the older brother, God leaves the party to look for the missing son. He lovingly instructs him in what is right. GRACE!
I need God’s grace.
When I realize I am lost (Luke 15:17), I must resolve to repent (Luke 15:18-19). Beyond resolving to repent, I must take action and truly repent an attempt to right any wrongs I committed (Luke 15:21).
No one deserves forgiveness. Yet everyone needs forgiveness. God is gracious to forgive and rejoices at our return to Him.