“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”

Luke 15:4

In Luke chapter 15 we find 3 parables told back to back to back about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son that teach us a valuable lesson about the heart of God and our worth to Him. I don’t know if you are like me but there have been times in life where I have both questioned and doubted my worth to God. I can understand why He loves you but I have often struggled with what could He possibly see in me. God is so good that when I find myself doubting myself and God,  He ever so gently nudges me to bring me to a story in the Bible where He can speak to my heart and help me to refocus my mind on Him and on things that are pure, true and lovely.

There is an overriding message when you read the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin and the lost son all together. You discover this amazing truth that the value of the thing lost did not diminish even though it was lost. Thats important to know about God and our worth to Him even though at times in life we do get lost, we wonder or walk away from God and find ourselves separated from Him. If you know anything about sheep you know they aren’t the sharpest pencil in the drawer so to speak and to think God says we are “all like sheep that have gone astray.” Even though like sheep we at times do wonder off from God in search of greener pastures our worth to Him remains the same. You matter to God so much He is willing to leave the ninety nine to go in search of the one that is missing. God never says, “oh well, I still have 99 sheep I’m ok without the one.” No, it’s just the opposite. That lost sheep means so much to the Good Shepherd He leaves the ninety nine and goes and finds the missing one. Your worth never changes, you matter to God!

Consider the lost coin in Luke 15:8, “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it?” It’s just an inanimate object and yet she turns the house upside down in search of this lost coin. That lost coin matters to her, it has value and worth. The Bible makes clear, “for wherever your treasure is your heart be also” and likewise, “we are attracted to that which we love” and we gladly pursue that which we are attracted. It’s no wonder then, “for God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have ever lasting life.” God loves you, and because He loves you He is attracted to you and because He is attracted to you He pursues you even to the ends of the earth, which brings us to the story of the “Lost Son”.

The story of the “Prodigal Son” is really a story about the heart of the Father of the prodigal son. When you read the story as God intended you understand we are all prodigals in Gods eye. We all have gone astray and even though we can say like the prodigal son, “I have sinned against both heaven and you” what you can’t miss is the heart of the Father towards the lost son. When the prodigal son basically said to his dad, “I wish you were dead, give me my inheritance” as much as that broke the Fathers heart He gave the son what he wanted. The Father didn’t say, “oh well at least I still have one son left to love”. No, the heart of this Father was overflowing with love. Every day while the son was gone the Father prayed and would look out across the horizon with the hope that His baby boy would return home. The lost son mattered to his father and the father’s love for his wayward son did not diminish at all, some believe it actually grew. When the Father saw the son coming home it says the Father ran to his son and embraced him and kissed his neck as he wept tears of joy that his son was home. The son had tremendous worth, he mattered to his Father, and so do you!

The point is this today. You might be away from God due to sin and stupidity and you are thinking God has given up on you? Or maybe you are just feeling like you don’t matter to God because of past mistakes. You feel worthless. Regardless of how you feel it’s important to know the truth. And the truth is God loves you and His love for you is never based on your performance. God’s love for you is based on His. God loves you because thats His nature, His character. God is love and the story of the lost sheep and the lost coin and the lost son are there to remind us God’s love for us doesn’t change when we are lost, not a penny. But oh how wonderful it feels when we are found! If you feel lost and far from home today simply cry out to Jesus who Himself said, “I came to seek and to save that which is lost.” He will find you!

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

Jeremiah 31:3


Michael Osthimer




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