Intro: In this chapter, there are three examples of something that went missing.
We have the sheep, the silver and the son.
- One was lost and knew it but didn’t know how to get back.
- One was lost and didn’t know it and didn’t care.
- One was lost, he knew it and knew how to get back.
- The sheep was one of a hundred.
- The silver was one of ten.
- The son was one of two.
- One was missing from the flock.
- One was missing from the finances.
- One was missing from the family.
One thing that I have noticed that many people have in common is Something’s Missing.
They may or may not know exactly what it is, but they are experiencing a void in their life somewhere.
Let’s see what we can learn from what we should do when Something’s Missing.
I. The Value
- The shepherd lost a sheep – 15:4
- The woman lost a piece of silver – 15:8
- The father lost a son – 15:24
Each one of them was confronted with one simple fact – something was missing
- How did the man that had 100 sheep know that one was missing?
- How did the woman that had 10 pieces of silver know that one was missing?
Apparently, THEY DID AN INVENTORY!
In other words – THEY DIDN’T TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT THEY HAD IT ALL TOGETHER!
How many Christians are missing something, but because they do not take regular inventory, they don’t know it??
Not only did they know something was missing, but they valued what was missing.
II. The Vigilance
One thing that each of these stories have in common – there was an heightened sense of vigilance.
The man that lost his sheep went looking for it.
- 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
The woman that lost her silver went looking for it
- Verse 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
The father that lost his son was looking for him.
- Verse 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
The point is – the value of what had gone missing motivated them to stop what they were doing and GO LOOKING!
They had to care enough to go find what was missing.
One of the biggest mysteries to me is how an individual can realize something is missing, and do nothing!
- How can a Christian realize something is missing in their relationship with God, and do nothing?
- How can a husband and/or wife realize something is missing in their marriage, and do nothing?
- How can a parent realize something is wrong with their child and do nothing?
- How can a church worker realize something is missing in their area of ministry, and do nothing?
- How can a soulwinner realize they have lost their burden for souls, and do nothing?
- How can a Christian be made aware of needs of others and the church, and do nothing?
It is a natural response – it should be a natural response – when something is missing, you look for it!
When something that you value is lost, you don’t rest until it’s restored.
When something that you hold dear or someone you hold dear is not right, you fix it!
NOTICE: In each situation, the one that LOST something was the one that LOOKED for it!
They didn’t recruit all their neighbors to look for it while they did what they wanted to do.
In fact – they didn’t call their friends and neighbors UNTIL they had found it!
We live in a day and age where people want everybody else to fix what’s wrong; to find what’s missing.
- The process is personal
- The process is painful
- The process can be prolonged
- The man that lost the sheep went and looked for it – UNTIL HE FOUND IT.
- The woman that lost the silver didn’t stop UNTIL SHE FOUND IT.
- The father didn’t stop looking for his son UNTIL HE FOUND HIM.
- It might take some time.
- It might take some effort.
- It might inconvenience you.
BUT – when you value something, and it goes missing, you go look for it.
As a man once said – “When your horse runs away, you go after it. It’s just that simple.”
III. The Victory
The moral of these three stories are simply that of restoration.
Finding what was missing, and bringing it back and putting it there it belongs.
They could have lived without what was missing, but they didn’t want to!!!
They chose to make the effort, find what was missing, restore it, and that was something worth celebrating!!
In each story, they had a time of great rejoicing because that which was lost had been found! vs. 6, 9, 22-24
Conclusion: What is missing in your life? What is missing in your marriage? What is missing in your home? What is missing in your ministry? What is missing in your relationship with God.
Question: Will you go find it and restore it??