Lost and Found

Posted on 04/07/2019 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

Public Prayer Requests:

***there are no public prayer requests this week***


Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.


by Benjamin R. Faust

Jesus, Messiah, - our Jehovah Jireh You are
Healer, Redeemer, - Word of God inspirer You are
Alpha, Omega, - You're the story writer You're
Beginning, the ending, - blazing Lord of Fire

Yeshua Hamashiach, the perfect promise keeper You are
Father, and Mother, to the orphan and the seeker
You're the Word of God come as a man
the solid rock on which I stand and
- You are the Everlasting God

Comforter to those who sorrow
Promiser of joy tomorrow
- Bringer of peace unshaken
- Keeper of the most forsaken

- You are the shining beacon
When the waves are dark and raging
Your Voice speaks in the storm
- Peace, be, still!

When all the world is sinking sand,
You are the solid rock on which I stand, You are
Hope for the hopeless, Help for the helpless, You are
Everlasting God

lyrics by Horatio Spafford
music by Philip Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

by Frances J. Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***

Father God, thank You for this time in Your presence. All I ask is that Your will be done in this place and that my words be pleasing to You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

You may be seated.

Today's fireside chat is called Lost And Found. I know it seems like a weird title, but stay with me and I will tell you why I picked it.

One of my favorite parables that Jesus told is the parable of The Lost Sheep. The sheep has gone missing and the Shepherd has gone in search of it. He left the 99 other sheep to go and find this one. And when He found it, He was not angry. He was thankful it was okay.

I want us to imagine for just a few moments. I want us to imagine that we are in a very, very dark place. So dark that we can't see anything in front of us. If we place our hand where we believe our eyes could see it, but can't. And in the dark place, we are alone.
The only thing we hear is the voices in our heads. They say things like "No one is ever going to find you," "No one cares if you live or die," "Just give up hope," "Come on. Curl up and die!" The voices say it over and over and over. Soon you start to believe it. You start to think there is no hope. No one is coming. They don't know where you are. The tears that you held back for so long come gushing out. You sob and sob and sob.

"Why would anyone want me? I'm a nobody. I'm not even attractive looking. I'm a no for nothing. I'm not worth breathing the air everyone else does. I should just die." You say those words out loud. You've started to believe them.

You try to cover yourself with your arms and huddle against the damp wall. You forget what hunger and thirst feel like. You've gone past those. When you lick your lips, they are chapped and bleeding. You whimper like a puppy whose lost and needs its owner.

How long have you been in this place? Hours? Days? Weeks? Years? Time goes by, but you don't know the length of it. There is no sunlight in this darkness.

Then, in the distance you see something. You blink your eyes. You squint. What is that? Whatever it is keeps coming and coming. It's a bobbing light of some kind. It gets brighter and brighter until you realize it's a lamp. It's one of those old lamps where a candle is placed inside and then lit. The figure holding it smiles at you.

"Who are you?" You ask.

"Who do think I am?"

"Don't you know it is rude to answer a question with a question?" Yes, you're being a sassy pants to whomever this figure is.

They laugh. "I like you."

"Who are you?" You ask again.

"I have been searching for you for awhile."

"Now, you don't answer the correct question!"

They laugh again. "Why don't we get you out of here first?"

You sigh and agree. Still not sure if you trust this figure whoever they are.

They lead you out of the darkness and slowly you venture into the light. When you turn to look at them, you gasp. Pointing at them and trying to speak, but the words do not come out.

"What is it?" They smile, knowingly. "Do you know who I am?"

You nod. "Y...you're the Shepherd!"

"And you, my little one, are my sheep. You were once lost but now are found. Come. Let's go home."

You take Shepherd's hand and you walk home together.

I hope you understood my version of the Lost Sheep parable. I wanted to do it in this way to help us to see it a little differently.

For me, I see myself as a sheep and sometimes I get lost on this journey. Sometimes when I'm lost I go in search of the Great Shepherd, and sometimes I wait for Him to find me. Either way, I am overjoyed when I find Him.

I am assuming that everyone who hears this has gone lost at some point and needed to be found. We need to remind ourselves that what the voices tell us is not always true. Sometimes the voices say good things and sometimes they say horrible things. We need to be aware of what we believe if it's true or not. Remember the voice of The Great Shepherd. His voice will always speak the Truth.

Like I said before, the Great Shepherd does not get angry at the sheep. He is glad that they are safe even if they are starving, thirsty, and cold. He sees His sheep as precious. He looks at us with love and care.

He knows sometimes what we do puts us on the wrong path, but He shepherds us back. He does not control us like a puppeteer but guides our way. This is how we know He is who He says He is. The Great Shepherd.

The altar call is as follows. You are welcome to come up front and pray. Thank God for His love and care. For His shepherding.

If anyone needs prayer or ministry, please message one of us on the ministry team or go to almcyberchurch.org and leave us a message in the pastors' offices. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
After this time of prayer and ministry, we will have fellowship in the room up the stairs to your left. All are welcome to attend.

You are all free to go when you need to do so.

May God bless you this week.
May you continue to be shepherded by The Great Shepherd.