For decades now, I have always had a pocket knife in the left-hand pocket of my trousers. In my work pants, I have a regular-sized pocket knife to work in the garden, or to do minor repairs in the house or in my little workshop. In my dress or casual pants, I have a very small knife, which has a blade, a nail file, and a very small pair of scissors. To be honest, I don't use them all that much, but I have them with me from force of habit.
Then one day, I lost my little knife. It wasn't in my pocket, and it wasn't on the dresser where I usually put it in the evening. I retraced my steps for the day. I had opened an envelope and a cardboard box in another room in the house. I looked everywhere, but it was nowhere to be found. It may seem silly — after all, it is only a little knife — but it really bothered me. It kept niggling on my mind, and all day, I kept looking in every place that I thought that it might be, but I could not find it. Then in the evening, I found it in my easy chair. It had slipped out of my pocket, and it was between the armrest and the seat. I was relieved.
Over the years, I have also noticed a number of people who have slipped out of the church for one reason or another. Even though they may have grown up in the church, gone to worship on a regular basis, and were involved in the activities of the church, they gradually concluded that it did not fulfill their needs. Some were not happy with things which were going on in the church, while others had been hurt by what someone had said to them or about them. Some felt that they were only going to church because they always had, from force of habit. One gentleman told me that he had heard those Bible stories so many times already that he did not need to hear them any more. Some have admitted that they had actually lost their faith, and they didn't miss the church at all. Others have found something else to do on a Sunday.
In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables about losing something. One of them was about a lost coin:
Luke 15:8-9 – Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!" (NKJV)
I was happy when I found my little knife, and so was my wife, for she knew that I would quit fretting. Jesus tells us that the woman called her friends and neighbours to be happy with her, but He goes on to tell us:
Luke 15:10 – Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (NKJV)
When we can be so happy about something earthly that is lost and found, let us pray earnestly that people who have lost their faith would find it again. There will indeed be joy in their family, the church, and certainly in heaven — Jesus said so.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray for all the people who have lost their faith, and for those who have wandered away from the church community. We ask that You would speak to their hearts and return them to faith. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "The Master Hath Come" (Lyrics)