Ever lost something important? Remember how important it was and how hard you looked to find it? Remember the effort you were willing to put in to find it? Remember the depth you were willing to search in order to find it? Remember the excitement when you found it? Remember the relief when you found it? Imagine finding something that you lost that was worth so much more than that. Imaging being able to bring it back to where it belongs. Imagine if it was something life changing.
Today’s Word starts out speaking about the lost…
The Lost Sheep
1One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, 2the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, “This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!” 3So Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them—what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. 5When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders 6and carry it back home. Then you call your friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’ 7In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.
The Lost Coin
8“Or suppose a woman who has ten silver coins loses one of them—what does she do? She lights a lamp, sweeps her house, and looks carefully everywhere until she finds it. 9When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, and says to them, ‘I am so happy I found the coin I lost. Let us celebrate!’ 10In the same way, I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.”
–from Luke 15
Are you lost? Are you trying to figure out what life has to offer you? Are you trying to find yourself? Are you trying to fill that void? Are you really wanting to know what life is all about? Turn back to God! Turn to God! Ask Him and He will answer you. Seek Him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength and you will find Him! Knock and He will open it! Keep knocking and the right door will open! Trust in Him! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! Ask Him to fill that hole in your heart! Ask Him to move into your heart! Give Him all the pieces of your broken heart and He can restore and heal it.
Have you found someone who is lost and wonder what to do? Have you found someone who has gotten off track and isn’t sure where to go or what to do? Found someone who is seeking? Found someone who is asking? Found someone who is knocking? Do you know how to act?
Today’s reading continues with this wisdom…
Responsibilities toward Believers
1Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat the younger men as your brothers, 2the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, with all purity. 3Show respect for widows who really are all alone. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn first to carry out their religious duties toward their own family and in this way repay their parents and grandparents, because that is what pleases God. 5A widow who is all alone, with no one to take care of her, has placed her hope in God and continues to pray and ask him for his help night and day. 6But a widow who gives herself to pleasure has already died, even though she lives. 7Give them these instructions, so that no one will find fault with them. 8But if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever. 9Do not add any widow to the list of widows unless she is over sixty years of age. In addition, she must have been married only once 10and have a reputation for good deeds: a woman who brought up her children well, received strangers in her home, performed humble duties for other Christians, helped people in trouble, and devoted herself to doing good. 11But do not include younger widows in the list; because when their desires make them want to marry, they turn away from Christ, 12and so become guilty of breaking their earlier promise to him. 13They also learn to waste their time in going around from house to house; but even worse, they learn to be gossips and busybodies, talking of things they should not. 14So I would prefer that the younger widows get married, have children, and take care of their homes, so as to give our enemies no chance of speaking evil of us. 15For some widows have already turned away to follow Satan. 16But if any Christian woman has widows in her family, she must take care of them and not put the burden on the church, so that it may take care of the widows who are all alone. 17The elders who do good work as leaders should be considered worthy of receiving double pay, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh grain” and “Workers should be given their pay.” 19Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or more witnesses. 20Rebuke publicly all those who commit sins, so that the rest may be afraid. 21In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the holy angels I solemnly call upon you to obey these instructions without showing any prejudice or favor to anyone in anything you do. 22Be in no hurry to lay hands on people to dedicate them to the Lord’s service. Take no part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since you are sick so often. 24The sins of some people are plain to see, and their sins go ahead of them to judgment; but the sins of others are seen only later. 25In the same way good deeds are plainly seen, and even those that are not so plain cannot be hidden. –from Luke 5
We all have a purpose! We all have a responsibility! So let’s not give up on completing the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! So let’s stick close to God in order that we won’t go astray or get lost! Don’t let the devil tempt you into a life that will lead to death, but rather, keep hold of Jesus so that in the end you will find life!
Today’s Word continues with Wisdom into the Proverbs…
1My child, remember what I say and never forget what I tell you to do. 2Do what I say, and you will live. Be as careful to follow my teaching as you are to protect your eyes. 3Keep my teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart. 4Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend. 5They will keep you away from other men’s wives, from women with seductive words.
The Immoral Woman
6Once I was looking out the window of my house, 7and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular. 8He was walking along the street near the corner where a certain woman lived. He was passing near her house 9in the evening after it was dark. 10And then she met him; she was dressed like a prostitute and was making plans. 11She was a bold and shameless woman who always walked the streets 12or stood waiting at a corner, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the marketplace. 13She threw her arms around the young man, kissed him, looked him straight in the eye, and said, 14“I made my offerings today and have the meat from the sacrifices. 15So I came out looking for you. I wanted to find you, and here you are! 16I’ve covered my bed with sheets of colored linen from Egypt. 17I’ve perfumed it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come on! Let’s make love all night long. We’ll be happy in each other’s arms. 19My husband isn’t at home. He’s on a long trip. 20He took plenty of money with him and won’t be back for two weeks.” 21So she tempted him with her charms, and he gave in to her smooth talk. 22Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap 23where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net—he did not know that his life was in danger. 24Now then, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25Do not let such a woman win your heart; don’t go wandering after her. 26She has been the ruin of many men and caused the death of too many to count. 27If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a shortcut to death. –from Proverbs 7