Discover His heart: He searches for His lost ones, rejoicing when they are found.
I lost my purse years ago. Well, actually it was stolen out of my car and was lost to me. It wasn’t a Gucci or Coach nor did it hold anything of significant monetary value, but it was my purse, and all women know what that means – pictures, wallet, credit cards, driver’s license, makeup and a special little Swiss Army knife that I would miss. The police came and helped us search the blocks around my car in the hope that the thief grabbed the $6.00 inside and dropped the rest, but we found nothing. I missed my purse.
Through a series of unbelievable events throughout the night, everything was returned to me except for $6.00 and the little knife. Well, I told everyone about this amazing story, and they rejoiced with me – the lost had been found! A few months later I received a package in the mail, and when I opened it, I was shocked. Inside was a brand new Swiss Army knife like the one I had lost, no return address, no one to thank. Crazy, but true. Once again I told my story to everyone who would listen, and we rejoiced. A long story, but I trust the joy shines through.
Luke 15 is about lost things and the celebrations that occurred when they were found. Lost sheep, lost coin and lost son all recovered with great celebration and joy. We understand these parables because of the joy we have when something we’ve lost is found. All of them speak to the heart of our Father who searches for us and watches for our return back to Him when we are lost. The joy of reunion overshadows any sorrow or blame over the separation – that’s just the way He is. When the prodigal son returned home, the father was, “Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him…‘We must celebrate with a feast!…He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (20,23-24)
Luke 16 is about another kind of loss – loss of employment, something many can identify with today. The employee had been wasteful managing his employer’s money, and now he had to give an account of it and leave. Through some shrewd bargaining, the employee secured favor for his future with those he had been in business with around town by reducing the amount owed and then he settled up with his former employer.
Whether or not he was cheating his employer in this process or losing his own commission, we are uncertain, but the employer responded favorably, “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd…Here is the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.”(8-9)
Of course, Jesus was not encouraging us to be dishonest, but rather encouraged us to take a lesson from this employee’s eventual wise bargaining, not his integrity. With all the money, gifts and talents the Lord has given us to manage here on earth, we would be wise to share them abundantly to bless others, make friends and lead them to the Lord. Eternal investments.
We will be entrusted with greater responsibility (10) and with the true riches of heaven (11) when we prove ourselves faithful with what God has given us to manage, whether it is money, time or talent. He is the best employer I could ever hope to have – I want to do my best on the job!
Moving Forward: I pray I will spend all that this day has provided with wisdom, making eternal investments that “moths and rust cannot destroy.” (Matthew 6:20)
Tomorrow @ Philippians 3-4