|Still Missing - #6981|
|A Word With You - Your Most Important Relationship|
Monday, October 14, 2013
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You know, I flew out of Newark Airport a lot. And I was usually in a hurry when I was there. And because I was in a hurry, I was focused on getting to my gate, and I wasn't real observant of the little changes at the airport. But one day I was flying down the concourse when a little poster grabbed my attention. It was a picture of a smiling, attractive teenage girl, and there were two words in bold, black letters that grabbed me - STILL MISSING. Now the smaller print revealed that she lived more than a thousand miles away, but someone who loves this girl has spread the word all over the place. Those two words on that poster went straight to my heart.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Still Missing."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 15 . There are posters in many places with a picture and name of some lost child. Somewhere that means that there's a parent desperately hoping that "Still Missing" will somehow come home. I want you to know God knows that feeling.
Here we go! Luke 15:3 , "Then Jesus told them this parable. Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me. I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent."
Boy, this is a good news story, because Jesus is saying here that the shepherd notices every missing sheep. And he not only hopes that the sheep will come home, he goes looking for him or her. Now, the Shepherd is really our Heavenly Father, and the sheep are His children. And some of them are gone.
Could it be that, in a sense, there's a poster in heaven with your name and your picture on it with those two words "Still Missing?" Today through this visit your Father is trying to bring you home. See, most of God's children who get away from Him didn't plan to.
The Bible says all of us have wandered away like sheep. You don't run away from Him usually; you wander away. Little steps at a time, and suddenly you realize you're away from the One that you used to be so close to. Or maybe you realize you've never really been close to Him.
Maybe others can't even tell. Maybe you haven't done anything terribly rebellious outwardly. In fact, you're doing the same things, going to the same meetings, saying the same religious words maybe. But in your heart, if not in your lifestyle, you know you're away. Maybe the question is, "How do I start home?" First of all, you tell Jesus, "I want to come home." See, He has to come after you. Lost sheep never find their way back to the shepherd. The shepherd comes looking for them. And tell Jesus you're sorry you got away. Retrace your steps back to the first detour. Where did you start to leave Him? Then go back and ask for His forgiveness beginning right there, that first step away from Him, and then each step after that.
And then think about the times you were closest to Jesus. What were you doing differently then? Would you do that again now? Start with just one day with Him. Pray your real heart to Him. Look for something in His Word that you can apply to today, and then stay in touch with Him all day long. And tell some other believers that you need their help and you need their prayer so you can come home. Don't let pride stop you. Don't let stubbornness stop you. Don't let fear of failure stop you. Don't let any person stop you. They don't love you as much as He does. They can't. He loves you unconditionally.
Maybe you've never begun a personal relationship with this Jesus. You've never allowed Him to bring you home on His shoulders and say, "Rejoice! I've found this lost sheep." If you're a lost sheep, you probably know you are. If you'd like to come home to the relationship you were made for, that Jesus died to give you, would you tell Him that today? Go to our website. Let me show you there how to be sure you belong to Him. That's ANewStory.com.
You come home to Jesus, there'll be a party in heaven in your honor. Till now it's been saying "Still Missing" over your picture. But today it could say, "Found." Or better yet, "Home."