Friday, May 30, 2008

Lost Coins

“’Or suppose a woman has ten coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” In the same way, I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”’
                                                        - Luke 15: 8-10

Jesus was communicating the value that He places on sinners who repent. Here, he likens that value to that of a silver coin or drachma, which was equivalent to a full days wage. And he goes into the effort that He puts into finding them and bringing them back to Him. The woman called out to her neighbors when she found it and asked them to rejoice with her. This gathering could have easily cost more than the coin itself. And so from the world’s eye view this parable doesn’t make sense. But when applied in the spiritual sense and when set against the backdrop of a relationship with Jesus it makes perfect sense. The value that Jesus places on the lost and gaining that relationship back is more than anything else.

Jesus then gives us insight into the mindset of the angels in heaven as he says, “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

David had this same joyful experience when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to Israel. He could do nothing but dance for the Lord out of pure joy because The Ark had been restored.

I often have to check my heart as I go along in ministry. I start doing ministry and lose sight of the things that God truly values. Whenever I have been used by God towards or witnessed a salvation I have never brought people together to rejoice with us. When I have baptized someone, the gravity of that decision to be obedient to God sometimes does not hit me. And so I don’t rejoice.

A good friend of mine read his devotions aloud the other day and he said something that I have heard many times before. He spoke about success and what true success is. And even though I knew all of these things in my head I often base my success on other peoples’ views. When we do an awesome event, and lots of kids come and are stoked, and our team is rocking then somehow I feel good and joyful. And while all of these are definitely good things that we should rejoice, I need to get back to heart. Get back to why we do all of these things.

I need to find ways to get myself out of the funk of ministry work and tasks. And I believe that starts with what I value.

How much do I value salvations?
How much do I value those “I finally get it” moments?
To what ultimate end are all my efforts and energy going to?

Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for the times when I don’t place true value on the things that you value. For give me for sometimes just paying lip service to those victories but not truly rejoicing in my heart. Help me to have your heart for the lost. Help me to see people as you see them. I love you Lord.

-In Jesus name Amen.