Page 318 was a Sunday, so I was able to sleep in for a little bit before getting up and heading to the church building for Sunday School and worship. Our Sunday School class is beginning a study in the book of Philippians so this morning we began in Acts chapter 16 to get some of the background on the church at Philippi. Sometimes when we read and study God’s Word we forget to pay attention to what happened before the events we read about that may have been influential in the current story. But not doing that shouldn’t be that surprising given how infrequently we pay attention to our own history and the events that have been influential in our current story. Sometime overnight the total view count on my blog surpassed the twenty-six thousand mark. While I know blogs that have that kind of numbers every month, for me to reach that as a cumulative total since beginning the blog is quite astounding. Reaching that point in my current story did not happen overnight and would not have happened without a lot of encouragement and work in the years past. These views represent people from 127 countries that God has given me opportunity to share with — many whom I would likely not have the opportunity to share with if I had not started a blog nearly 10 years ago. At that point, the extent of my writing had primarily been church newsletter articles but I was encouraged to find ways to share those writings with more people than would ever pick up a local church newsletter. And so the blog, “Tom’s Treasure”, began with an occasional devotional article and the publishing of my past newsletter article writings.
In the morning worship gathering, the sermon focused on the story of the lost coin as told by Jesus. In the story Jesus never tells how the coin became lost, only that the owner valued it enough to not only miss it but to take the steps necessary to reclaim it. In this morning’s sermon, David shared three things that were done after the coin became lost that we also ought to be doing when it comes to people who are lost — regardless of how they became lost. First, a lamp was lit. Light dispels darkness and God has said that not only is Jesus the light of the world, but His children are to let our lights shine in such a way that people will glorify our Father in heaven. When we search for the lost, we do so with the light of God’s Word to guide us. Secondly, the house was swept. As we search for the lost, it is important we begin by cleaning our house of any dirt that would keep us from seeing people as God sees them. Regardless of what has caused a person to become lost, they were created by God in His image and it is His desire that they would be reclaimed by the blood of His Son, Jesus. Thirdly, the search continued until it reached a successful conclusion. There was no giving up. No matter how long it took, no matter how much effort was required, there was not an option of quitting. In our search for the lost, we must realize that it may become difficult and it may take longer than we expected but there can be no option of not caring if the lost are found. The story ends with a great celebration as the persistence paid off and the lost was returned to the place where it belonged. When our search for the lost results in them being found, God Himself rejoices with us in knowing that another person of great value has been restored in relationship with God where they belong.
With the news reporting that the moon would be closer to the earth than it has been for a long time, we headed down to the farm late in the afternoon to take some sunset and moonrise photos. Today’s photos was taken across the farm pond as the moon made its way over the woods. The still water reflected everything from the light of the moon to the silhouettes of the trees. It was a beautiful sight to behold and reminded me of just how much difference a little light can make.
I pray that you and I would seek to understand how God has used our past circumstances to bring us to where we are and how He wants to use our present circumstances to take us to where He wants us to be. I pray that we would reflect the heart of Jesus as we seek the lost and lead them to a restored relationship with God. I pray that we would be the light of the world that Jesus has declared us to be.