Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Lost – no longer possessed; wasted; unable to find one’s way

            My mother was working with a large piece of plexi-glass when it suddenly shattered into seemingly thousands of pieces.  Once she had gathered all the broken pieces, she put them in a bag and placed them in the trashcan.  Later that day, she realized the diamond was missing from her ring.  She looked for it everywhere she could think of and then remembered the glass in the trashcan.  It seemed to be a hopeless endeavor to find a diamond among so many pieces of glass, but she removed the bag, opened it up and began her search for the lost diamond.  She saw it almost immediately because the sparkle of the diamond stood out from the glass.  She was relieved and very happy when she found it.  The diamond was important, not only because of its monetary value, but because my Daddy had given it to her when they were engaged to be married.  It was worth the search to restore it to its proper place.
            We are like that diamond in the eyes of our Savior.  We are of great value to Him, and are worth the sacrifice He made to restore us.  We were all lost when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Their lives, and ours, changed drastically.
            Adam and Eve had a perfect life in the Garden of Eden.  No pain, sorrow, disease or any kind of evil was there. They also had access to God and freely enjoyed His presence.  But one day Satan began to speak to Eve through a serpent.  Eve was enamored at what she heard as the serpent began to question why God would tell them not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told Eve, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."  This put a question in Eve's mind.  Could they have more than they already possessed by eating that fruit?  Was God keeping something good from them?  The fruit didn't seem dangerous.  It was beautiful to look at, so she indulged. The truth was that God had forbidden them to eat the fruit of that tree because He knew what the knowledge of evil would do to us all, the heartache it would cause and the darkness it would bring to our spirits.  But Eve was deceived by Satan, so, she ate the fruit.  She gave some to Adam and he ate, too. 
            They had been created in the image of God, but when they chose to rebel against Him, the essence of God’s nature and His image in them immediately died.  Where their minds had been enlightened to spiritual things, there was only darkness.  Where they had walked in innocence, they felt the guilt of sin.  And for the very first time, they were afraid and hid themselves from God’s presence. 
            Even their bodies began the process of decline, bodies that were created to live forever. From that moment on, the children produced were born with that sin nature, capable of committing every heinous sin imaginable.  "This is the book of the generations of Adam.  In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."  (Genesis 5:1-3, emphasis mine)
            What a tragedy!  But God immediately came seeking them in the garden.  He could have easily cut them off from His presence forever.  Instead, He came and “called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”  God knew where they were and He knew what had happened, but He called them out of hiding.  He confronted them with their sin and dealt with it.  He explained to them the consequences that occurred because of their sin.  But He went beyond that.  He let them know all was not lost.  He covered them and spoke of redemption.
So, as a result of one man's sin, we were all sold into sin, and we lost the perfect world that we were created for.  That’s why every soul has a longing for something more, an emptiness that needs to be filled.  That’s also why nothing in this world can fill it.  We were created for more.  God knew that and already had a plan to buy us back.  The first mention is found in Genesis 3:15. In speaking to the serpent, God said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."  God came to us.  He came in the form of His Son Jesus Who allowed Himself to become a man so He could die in our place.  Jesus allowed Satan to bruise His heel.  But He defeated Satan when He was resurrected so we can be restored to the place of God’s original intent for us.  Jesus bruised Satan’s head.  He came to call us back to Him.  He came to restore what the enemy had destroyed in us.
Romans 5:19 tells us, “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”  That first man was Adam who brought sin and death into the world and caused us to bear a sin nature instead of the pure nature of God.  Jesus is the One that makes many righteous and reinstates our spiritual life and awareness.
Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)  His purpose was very clear.  He did not come to condemn us.  We were already under a death sentence with no way to overturn it.  Jesus came to liberate us from judgment and restore our former existence.  He came to restore us to right standing with God and give us eternal life.  John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
            In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables about searching for something that was lost.  A woman had ten pieces of silver and lost one.  She searched diligently until she found it.  A man had 100 sheep and lost one.  He left the 99 to go find and rescue the lost one.  A grieving father’s son chose to leave his home and live a life of sin, but he came home repentant and was greeted by a rejoicing father.  In each instance, there was a celebration when the lost was restored to its former place.  Jesus told all these parables to stress to us how God has reached out to bring us back home to the place we belong - in His presence.
            Also in Luke 15, Jesus said, “Likewise, I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  Repentance is our part.  It is the step we make toward God.  He meets us more than halfway.
            Jesus preached, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Amplified Bible)  Repentance is a complete turnaround.  It changes the whole life.  And Jesus said without that kind of repentance, we will not enter the kingdom of God.
            Remorse is not repentance.  Remorse is being sorry for sin, regretting what we have done, but it brings no change.  It will only increase the burden of guilt.  Neither is reformation repentance.  We cannot change ourselves no matter how badly we feel about our sin or how much we try to reform our actions.  Only true repentance brings us to rely on the mercy of God and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ for remission of sin. 
            2 Corinthians 7:10 puts it this way: “For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of  God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death.”
            Once we have repented before God, and believed on Jesus (surrendering our lives to Him), we become new creatures.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Everything about us changes, from the inside out.  When Adam and Eve sinned, light turned into darkness.  When we are re-born, darkness turns to light.  When we are saved, we know it, because there has been a dramatic change.
            Let’s go back and revisit what Jesus said in Luke 19:10.  “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  What was lost?  The nature and image of God within us.  We were lost because we were without God.  But Jesus came searching to bring us back into unbroken fellowship with God.  No fear, no guilt, no sin, no condemnation.  To be at one with God again.  To be reborn in His image.
            Romans 8:29 tells us that those who are born again will be conformed to the image of Jesus.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are changed into the Lord’s image “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  With the Spirit of God inside us, we can grow more and more into the image of Jesus Christ.  And His image will be increasingly evident in our outward behavior.  Colossians 3:10 says we “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”  We can be reborn in His image.
            Are you lost?  If you are, stop hiding from God.  The wisest and safest place to go when we sin is to Him.  He offers forgiveness and a new birth that transforms who we are.  No matter what course your life has taken, all is not lost.  You can start over as a new creation in Christ.

Instead of the image of Adam, we can bear the image of God.

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