Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An All Out Search Party!!!

Reflections: Today we see how big our God is. In the Psalm, it is reflected in His sovereignty over the earth and how He will avenge every foe of Israel. Though not always in their timing, the Israelites trust in the strong arm of the Lord to vindicate their cause. We also see the vision and scope of God, as He sees all that is done in public and in secret. God knows even the secret thoughts and attitudes of our hearts, the writer in Hebrews will say in the New Testament.

In Joshua, we see the largeness of the Promised Land, and how God’s biggest promises of the land they would inherit came true. The listing of all the inheritance of all the tribes (some more than others) shows how God was true to the promises He gave to Abraham in Genesis 15, where He told him He would bless him and make his name great, and how Israel would be a blessing to all nations.

Finally, in Luke, we how big God’s heart is for the lost. Both parables focus on the lost being found, and how it merits an “all-out search” for that which is lost. I know when I lose something of importance (like a cell phone or wallet) it merits an all out search. Whatever I am doing is dropped until I find that valuable commodity. Well if we are like that with material things we value, how much more important would it be for us to value what God values…people!

Would we drop all the important things in church to go after the one person who is lost? As our churches and our leaders reflect God’s heart that lost people matter to God, we will be stopped in our tracks and give an all-out search for the lost sheep that has left the fold.

Notice this could be a one-time believer who is now lost, or someone who was never found in the first place. I don’t think it matters, all people matter to God because He made them in His image, and He made them to be in relationship with Him. Who is God calling you to stop what you are doing to make an all our search for? Pray to God for a willing heart of the Good Shepherd, who goes after the lost sheep. Give thanks that Jesus found you when you were astray and gave everything for you including his life.

Psalm 94:1-11
1 The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.

Joshua 15:20-63
20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, according to its clans:21 The southernmost towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the boundary of Edom were:Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iyim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon —a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages. 33 In the western foothills: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Sokoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—fourteen towns and their villages. 37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Kabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah and Makkedah —sixteen towns and their villages. 42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Akzib and Mareshah —nine towns and their villages. 45 Ekron, with its surrounding settlements and villages; 46 west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod, together with their villages; 47 Ashdod, its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.

48 In the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Sokoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir ), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon and Giloh —eleven towns and their villages. 52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) and Zior—nine towns and their villages. 55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah and Timnah —ten towns and their villages. 58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth and Eltekon—six towns and their villages. 60 Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim ) and Rabbah —two towns and their villages.

61 In the wilderness: Beth Arabah, Middin, Sekakah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En Gedi —six towns and their villages. 63 Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites , who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.

Luke 15:1-10
The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

I am the Lord, who frustrates the omens of liars, and makes fools of diviners. Isaiah 44:25

Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge. 1 Timothy 6:20

Divine Guide, our world today is filled with constant communication, information, news and “knowledge.” Help us to listen for your quiet voice to guide us where you want us to go. Amen.

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