Friday, May 25 , 2018, 4:48 am | A Few Clouds 51º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: You Look Like You’re Lost

Occasionally people come into our office complex with a puzzled expression. The 80 or so offices are spread out and there are no real directions posted for first-time visitors. So, I occasionally find myself assisting people in finding their way through the maze.

But the other day, an attractive older lady was standing nearby as I was leaving the office and I politely commented, “You look like you’re lost.”

She quickly responded, “No, I’m not lost. I’d like to try to figure it out.”

Obviously, she did not want my help and I left her to her search. That got me thinking about what I consider as perhaps one of the most mysterious and perplexing aspects of life.

You see, many folks go through their whole life never knowing their Father in Heaven. They are lost in His eyes.

Jesus speaks to this condition in three parables that are worth discussion.

In Luke 15, Jesus scores a trifecta. Speaking to His disciples, some tax-gatherers and a number of Pharisees and scribes, He relates three parables dealing with the lost.

First, He conveys a story about a man who has lost one of his 100 sheep. The man leaves the 99 to search for the one that’s lost. And, he rejoices when he finds the one that had been missing.

Next, He tells about a woman who had 10 silver coins, but lost one and promptly started to search for the lost coin until she found it. She, too, rejoiced and told her friends what had transpired.

Then, we hear the story of the “Prodigal Son” and we’re amazed by the gladness with which the Father takes his son back after he’s squandered a third of His father’s wealth. According to Mosaic law as found in Genesis 21:18-21, a disobedient son should be stoned to death by the men of the city, but this Father showed compassion to his son.

As the younger son, he asked his father for his inheritance while his father was still alive. He abruptly left for the city with his wealth only to see it all disappear, and his city friends soon left as well.

After working for a pig farmer, he realized what he had given up and decided to return to his father’s house with remorse and ask to be hired by his father as a servant. To his amazement, his father came running to greet him and gave him his best robe and his signet ring and killed a fattened calf to celebrate his return.

So how does this all relate to us?

You see, our Father in Heaven knows we are born into sin and we are naturally disobedient and are drawn to the things of this world. We make no time nor show any concern for our Father in Heaven. Yet He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to the cross to die for the sin of the world.

In Romans 3:23, Paul reminds us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In Romans 6:23 we’re told, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul continues in Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

I know that seems too easy, but please remember what it cost Christ. He paid the price for our disobedience and we simply need to accept His work on the cross and follow Him this day forward.

Some of you need to admit that you are truly lost and ask God to accept you in your present condition. If you are sincere, He will gladly take you back with the unfathomable love of the Father. In fact, He awaits your eventual return from the ways of this world that lead to destruction.

Passages to Ponder

» Exodus 34:6

» Psalm 13:5

» Jeremiah 29:11-14

» John 3:16-19

» 1 John 4:7

» Jude 1:21

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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