Archive for the ‘lost’ Category

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. – Ezekiel 37:4

God can call us to prophesy, to speak, to call out, to tear down, or to simply say something.  He can even call us to call out to dry bones.

Yet, the Lord can also just pose a question like He did with Ezekiel in the previous verse.

Can these dry bones live?

If we believe, then our belief should be so solid that we answer God with assured confidence.  We can stand tall and speak boldly.  We should at least know that the Lord knows and let our confidence be in Him.

There are communities full of dry bones.  Classrooms are filled with dry bones.  Coffee houses are occupied by dry bones.  Prison cells hold dry bones captive.  Office cubicles host dry bones from nine to five.  Even church pews have dry bones dressed to impressed Sunday after Sunday.

We have to speak up and speak out.  We are called upon to speak so that those dry bones can have life.

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There are certain people who seem to be alive but they truly have a dark existence.  They breathe.  They speak and hear.  They have all od their senses.  Yet, they live in darkness.

The church calls them lost souls.  The Bible calls them children of darkness.  The Lord Himself considered them of this world.

So what do we do about people who live in darkness?

Let your light shine (Matthew 5:16).  Let it shine before men so that our good works can speak volumes to them and that they may come into the glorious light of our Lord and Savior. 

Share Christ by showing someone the love of Christ just as someone else most probably shared with you.

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GOD gives us assurance.

We are never lost. 

We can count on that.  It is in His Word.  He says it so that we will know He loves us.

His love alone is assurance enough for us to never be considered lost.

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So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
– Genesis 50:7-9 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Joseph went to bury his father Jacob in Canaan, but he did not go alone.  He did not only have his own household with him.  With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household, according to verse 7 and 8 in the English Standard Version.  He certainly was not alone in his grieving and mourning.  Multiple translations of the Bible call it: “a very great company” (ESV), “a very great gathering” (NKJV) and ” a very large company” (NIV). 
Distribution Of Land At Canaan Antique Print ReligionJoseph went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan as he had sworn to his father, but he was accompanied by a great number of people connected to his father and those connected directly and indirectly to him.  There were those who were connected to Jacob by blood and “household.” There were those who were connected to Joseph directly like his kinsmen, brothers and his own household most probably did not outnumber those who were connected to Joseph through Pharaoh.
On Death and Dying (Scribner Classics)Death at a FuneralThey went on their way to bury one of the patriarchs of Judaism.  They went to bury an old man who had lived to see his “dead” son alive again.  They went on their way to Canaan to fulfill the promise of a son to his dying father.  They went on the journey to the land of Canaan to help Joseph bury his father. 
Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (The Human Lifecycle: Cross-Cultural Readings)A Grief ObservedThe other brothers might have lived in Goshen and herded sheep, but Pharaoh’s people knew Joseph.  They may not have ever heard of Jacob or any of his sons, but they surely knew of Joseph.  Their paths may have never crossed any other Hebrew during those days, but they surely had some direct or indirect encounter on some level with Joseph.  The Egyptians went to Canaan with Joseph for the sake of Joseph, not Jacob or anyone else.

On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry

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good shepherd

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.- John 10:11 (NCV)

Lost people need help finding their way.  They end in the wrong places because they don’t know how to find their own way.  They need someone who can help them find their way step by step and day by day.

The Good Shepherd helps the lost find their way.  He comforts them like no one else can.  He lays down His life for the sheep within His flock.  The sheep recognize His voice.  The lost sheep are in dire need of the Good Shepherd.  He offers the sheep more than any other shepherd ever can.

Lost people need help finding their way through life.  Lost people need help finding their way in church and Christian social circles.  Lost people need help finding their way to Jesus.  Once they find Jesus, lost people will have the Good Shepherd present, protecting and providing for them all the way.

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me,15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I give my life for the sheep.16 I have other sheep that are not in this flock, and I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.– John 10:14-16 (NCV)


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18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (HCSB)

The Law of Moses calls for the best or the first to be sacrificed to God.  The covenant wasn’t asking for leftovers from those who identified themselves as the people of God.  No, the Law demanded that God receive the firstfruits.  Even in our redemption, He demonstrated that best was to be offered as a sacrifice, pure and undefiled.

Peter says that the Lamb of God was a “lamb without defect or blemish.” This sacrifice was perfect.  Peter also equated the blood to be “the precious blood of Christ.” He shares that the blood is the means for us being redeemed, reconciled unto the Father Himself by His own sacrifice of His Son.

I like the simple way Peter puts it here in 1 Peter, but the best description of the “perfect sacrifice” is between Isaiah 53 and Hebrews 10:1-18.  While Isaiah provides the prophecy that reveals the “man of sorrows” who suffered for the sinful and became sin for us, Hebrews chapter 10 gives us a clear picture of ritual sacrifice turned into redemption and reconciliation by the power of God.

But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
Isaiah 53:5 (HCSB)

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      “There’s no better book with which to defend the Bible than the Bible itself.

– D.L. Moody

Let the Bible be your guidebook when it comes to evangelism.  We don’t need gaudy gimmicks or slick slogans.  We need the Bible, the inerrant Word of God, as our guide.  We need to evangelize by the Book.

We spend too much time, money, energy, and other resources purchasing the latest evangelism programs that promise to swell our sanctuaries and fill the ranks of our flocks.  Programs should not serve as the core of our evangelism efforts.  Such programs serve a purpose, but they should never be our sole source for evangelizing the lost towards salvation. 

We are to evangelize according to the Bible, not according to the directions or instructions in the box.  We need to acquire biblical knowledge and apply biblical knowledge.  We need to get our people into the Word, so that they can get to taking the Word out into the world.

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Going Astray

All we like sheep have gone astray…Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)

It is true.  We have strayed.  We have wandered away from the Good Shepherd.  Our own thinking has led us to a desolate and forsaken place, leaving us helpless and in harm’s way.

The key question is not why.  We know how we can be as mere human beings.  We understand our own inklings and behavior can get us into trouble.  Yet, we must why we go astray.  Why do we leave the protection of God provided by the Him for His flock? We must ask why and not dwell on the answer but develop a reminder for ourselves of how badly we need a shepherd to help lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.

As the sheep of His pasture, we wander and whine.  We do so as individuals (Psalm 119:176).  We do so as a collective body as Isaiah said in Isaiah 53:6. Since we know this, let us stay under the care of the Good Shepherd.  Let us never leave His protective and provisional care.  We may wander, but we have a loving and kind Shepherd who will seek us and save us, welcoming us back into the fold and accepting us with great joy.

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In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
– Luke 15:7 (NLT)
In the Kingdom of God, the lost that our found have a great worth. Jesus tries to dispense the idea of the sinner’s unworthiness with the “lost” parables in Luke 15. Usually, when a person loses something of value, the person is willing to exhaust all resources and means to find that which was lost. Whether it is a lost sheep or coin, even a wayward son, what was lost is of value. It has worth.
The obnoxious and obstinate onlookers- the Pharisees and teachers of the law- saw no value in the people Jesus was keeping company with in Luke 15 (Lk. 15:2). In fact, they found it offensive that Jesus could claim to be holy while eating and having fellowship with the unclean. They saw the sinners and tax collectors as unclean and unworthy of fellowship with the holy and righteous people of God.
What Jesus shares is that such a pious and prideful worldview does not reflect God’s willingness to make the worthless worthy. He shared in another version that He was not called to save the righteous but sinners (Mk. 2:17). Isaiah painted an even clearer picture when he said: But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, ESV).
In the Kingdom, we have worth. We are valued by the King. As believers, let us make it known to all others that He is able to justify the unjust and clean up the unclean. He is able.

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