A Homecoming Celebration
September 8, 2019
Intro: For the next several weeks I want us to think about coming home to the Lord and a church family. I also want to make a case as for why it is so important to be a part of a church family.
Next week we will see how important faithful friends are to our lives. The following week I will help us to think about how hard it is to return home and how we can develop a welcome home attitude.
But for today let’s look at Luke 15:8-10.
8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
This parable could easily be told today using remote controls.
Like this suppose one of you has 10 remotes and loses the one for the TV. Will that person not get a flashlight so they can see. Then they will begin to systematically take the cushions off of each chair and couch in the living room. They will lift every piece of furniture and look under it. Stick their hand down inside each reclining chair or love seat. They will check to see if the dog took it. They will check the bathroom to make sure they didn’t take it with them on their last visit. And will even check the refrigerator because there was a stick of butter where the remote usually sits.
What joy will be in the family when they find the right remote, as dad and mom have enlisted every other family member to join in the search. They will either go ahead and clean the living room since they now can do a deep clean or sit down to popcorn and soda as they celebrate the continuation of movie night.
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Parables were very common life stories that can make an eternal truth about the Kingdom of God.
This is a pretty straight forward story. One that most of us can imagine happening in our life. The fact is that this has happened to most of us, except for the party after finding what we were missing.
You may not have learned anything from your lost remote but let’s let the Holy Spirit teach us many things from this story about having a Homecoming Celebration.
God Diligently Seeks To Bring Us Home
God has always gone after the one that is lost and yet to come to new life. This has been God’s pattern front the beginning. God is not willing that any would perish but that everyone would come to repentance. How often did He go after the people of Israel? I don’t know how we can miss God’s seeking love. Or how we can miss how serious God is about sin and rebellion against Him. Today I hope you can see what joy is in Heaven when God sees us come home.
*God wants Everyone to Come Home
*Each person is valuable no matter how small. This woman lost a coin or a drachma. It was not worth much. Just a few cents. The best we can tell, it is was worth about a day’s wage for a laborer. It was enough of for her to go after full blast. While we may not be worth much to God, but He makes us valuable. Enough so, that God went to great effort to find us and restore us unto Himself.
That coin could have had more value to this woman than just money. William Barclay suggest that the coin is a part of a neckless that was also part of her married life. This particular coin was 1/10 of a set of coins that composed her wedding neckless. She may have saved these coins for years, until she had enough to complete her neckless. It was kind of like a wedding ring. So very valuable to her. This is a reason to celebrate. There was a great loss and a great recovery.
*God desires that each person come to a salvation relationship through Jesus. We know that God has been waiting for people to come to Him for salvation. He is not willing that any should perish but through Jesus, recieve eternal life.
How many people had God put into your life before you surrendered to Jesus as Lord of your life? They may have been parents, Sunday School teachers, pastors, or friends who helped you come to Jesus. You probably have a big list.
At the beginning chapter 15, Luke says that tax collectors and sinners came to hear Jesus speak. There was another group present also. They were there pick apart what Jesus would say. That group was composed of Pharisees and the scribes.
Jesus tells parables for both groups. We still have some Pharisees in the church today. The Pharisees didn’t like that Jesus was changing the normal way to worship. It didn’t matter that people were meeting with Jesus. It didn’t matter that they were hearing how much God loved them and wanted to give them eternal life. They wanted people to come to God the way they had always done it. The truth was they were not worshipping God and they were not trusting God and they were no longer in tune with what God was doing.
Both the Pharisees and the common people needed to know that God was for them. God wanted both groups to understand God’s desire for people. He also wanted them to know the joy of God over people who repent and return to Him. He wanted them to know that repentance was more important than attitudes of righteous indignation.
What they said and what people say today is a little different but criticism still damages the church and their spiritual growth. I want each of us to so love Jesus and the lost that we will go out of our way to point people to and invite them to new life in Jesus. Here is why change in the way a church does things need not cause fear in the hearts of people who have been believers for a while. Peter says in II Peter 3:3-4 that when we come to Christ, God has giving us everything we need to have a victorious Christian life.
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
God has made available to us everything we need for spiritual growth. We need to take advantage of His gifts. We need to be as diligent about our spiritual growth as sharing Jesus with others. These words should comfort us, knowing that God is going to take any rough edges off of new believers, like He did with us. Too often people think by giving attention to the pre-saved and new Christians we are taking away from their experience with God. We all worship God just a little differently but in Christ we find unity and praise is a universal language to God.
If we are seeking to be more like Jesus we will be overjoyed when those without Christ come to Him. God gives everyone who comes to Christ this promise and help. Rejoice in it.
Come Home God Has A Light On For You
Mom always left a light on for us her teenage children and really anyone who was not home when she went to bed. When we go home we turned the light out. It let us know that she expect us. It also let her know we were home. The truth was that she was awake until we got home.
*Light is necessary in a dark place. Jesus has always been the light of the world. God was revealed to Abraham. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. It fact God made Himself known to many before Jesus came. But when Jesus came to earth, John said, “In Jesus was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. This light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.
The woman needed light if she was going to find her lost coin. She used the light to see. Light helped her see where she had looked before. It helped her see small objects on the floor. It help her to see something shinny on the floor.
Without the light she may have given up the effort. Without the light she would not have seen that the coin was right under her feet. This is why Jesus came to earth. He wanted us to be found. When He finds us He wants us to make sure that others see Him and will be found by Him. It is true that in the process of finding us and restoring us God will cleanse of from all sin.
If finding sinners and seeing them repent is so important to God then we need to be about our Father’s business. Luke 15 tells 3 great parables or stories about God’s welcome home to those who don’t know Him. If that is so important to Him it has to be that important to us. Let others see Jesus in you. Invite someone to church. Next week is a good day to do this. In reality every week is a good week. One way to present Jesus to others is in our prayer life.
*Our prayer life must include a prayer for the lost. It must include a prayer for us to share Christ. It means that we need to have a passion for the lost. Speak to others about God’s searching love. Speak about how joyous God, those in heaven and you will be when they find God.
Here are some true words from Jason Gray in his song, “Every Act of Love”
“God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you.”
Let God use you to fill His Kingdom with people who God is looking for. When we do we keep the celebration going in Heaven and we create a celebration within this body of belivers.
Come Join the Never Ending Homecoming Celebration
God rejoices when He finds us. At the end of the woman throws a party so here friends can help her celebrate. It says that God throws a party and celebrates when a sinner repents. That means confessing sin and returning to God. There is a parable before and after this one, all of them talk about a celebration or party when one who has been lost has been found or a sinner repents.
There is great Joy in Heaven every time a sinner comes home. It is as if God’s main purpose is to see people saved to eternal life. It is? Yes, God wants us to act justly, to love mercy, for it will improve the lives of others. But without salvation their lives will only be better for a short while but with Jesus their lives will be different for all eternity.
We have had some new people start to worship with us in the past few weeks. That has encouraged us as the body of Christ. But there will be even more joy when those who don’t know Christ receive Him. We love long time believers to become a part of this body but it is even more exciting for us to celebrate a new birth in Christ.
What does Jesus mean to your life? Simply tell someone. People what a changed life and they look for it in so many places that can fulfill their desire. Jesus can and He is looking for them. Be the door that people walk through to find Jesus waiting for them.
Challenge: Jesus is the way to come home. That is why He died for. He is waiting for that day when we are at home in heaven with Him.
Call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
Speak your commitment to the Lord now. The altar is open. If you desire to become a part of this family come on down and let us all celebrate. If you have committed your life to Christ today or this week, come on down and let the church celebrate with you.