The Value of One
Panic set in as I realized my wedding ring was missing.
I had put it in my pocket earlier that day for safekeeping. That was a routine for me when I shampooed my hair, prepared messy foods, gardened, or otherwise did anything that might taint the look of my precious ring. It was a valued symbol of a covenant I had made many years earlier.
But later, when I put my hand in my pocket, and realized it was empty, I frantically retraced my steps, hoping to find my ring.
We looked in the bathroom, by the front door, on the porch, in the driveway, in every crevice of the car, and even up and down the aisles at the local grocery where I had shopped earlier that afternoon.
I searched and searched along with my family members and grocery store employees. We prayed and even called the police and posted a notice on a local lost-and-found page. But none of us could find this irreplaceable treasure.
Other times when I had misplaced an item, my searches were not as intense. In fact, a few of those times, I chose just to give up the search as I grew weary. Or I rationalized that I could just replace the lost item when I needed it again.
But the hunt for the ring was not one of those half-hearted searches. In fact, we looked diligently for a few days, with the subject of the lost ring often filling our conversations.
It was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.
So, when my husband finally found that ring, we were ecstatic! It was under our bed all along. Apparently, it had fallen from my pocket while dressing.
Yet our rejoicing upon finding this lost wedding ring pales in comparison to the rejoicing in Heaven over a lost soul who turns to God.
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, in Matthew 18:12-14 (NLT), we read:
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
This is the same God who is described in Psalm 50:10 as owning the cattle on a thousand hills.
A God with such provision is not poor. Some might even say he could afford to lose the occasional one that wanders. Yet He is the One who notices and searches for even the one who has gone astray.
The Bible does not describe that “one” except to say they went astray. We don’t have details of how they looked or how others accessed their value. We just know that the Good Shepherd noticed the one was gone and recognized the need to search for him and bring that one back into the fold.
God is this Good Shepherd who recognizes the value of each one of us. Each was bought with a price—His son’s blood. And He realizes that is irreplaceable. In fact, priceless!.
Genesis 50:19-20 19But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Once Joseph’s father had died, his brothers thought Joseph might now get even with them. They pretended that their father’s last words were, “Please forgive your brothers.” The Scripture today is Joseph’s response. Joseph knew that only God could judge and reward men for their actions. He left all judgment to God and assured his brothers that he would not take any action himself.
Then he went on to tell us a wonderful truth. God can take what man intends for evil and use it to save lives. The brothers had malice, envy and greed in their hearts, but God used the action they took to get Joseph into Egypt. He used a lustful wife to get him into prison. He used an ungrateful butler to tell Pharaoh about a man who could interpret dreams. God does not author the evil, or condone it, but He uses the consequences of the actions to serve His purposes. All things do work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).
In this story we see the omnipotence and sovereignty of God. He can use even the evil in the world to serve His purposes. What an amazing God! We do not need to fear that evil is out of control. God is on the throne of heaven. Though man sins against God and against us, our God can use it to bless our lives and the lives of others. Don’t be discouraged. Our God is over all and will use all things to bring glory to Himself. His glory fills the earth. Trust His all-powerful hand to bring about good in whatever situation you are facing.
Meditation: God is never caught off guard by the evil of man. He causes all things to glorify Him.
Streams in the Desert – January 27
- 202327 Jan
Stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
In taking Christ in any new relationship, we must first have sufficient intellectual light to satisfy our mind that we are entitled to stand in this relationship. The shadow of a question here will wreck our confidence. Then, having seen this, we must make the venture, the committal, the choice, and take the place just as definitely as the tree is planted in the soil, or the bride gives herself away at the marriage altar. It must be once for all, without reserve, without recall.
Then there is a season of establishing, settling and testing, during which we must “stay put” until the new relationship gets so fixed as to become a permanent habit. It is just the same as when the surgeon sets the broken arm. He puts it in splints to keep it from vibration. So God has His spiritual splints that He wants to put upon His children and keep them quiet and unmoved until they pass the first stage of faith. It is not always easy work for us, “but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered awhile, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
–A. B. Simpson
There is a natural law in sin and sickness; and if we just let ourselves go and sink into the trend of circumstances, we shall go down and sink under the power of the tempter. But there is another law of spiritual life and of physical life in Christ Jesus to which we can rise, and through which we can counterpoise and overcome the other law that bears us down.
But to do this requires real spiritual energy and fixed purpose and a settled posture and habit of faith. It is just the same as when we use the power in our factory. We must turn on the belt and keep it on. The power is there, but we must keep the connection; and while we do so, the higher power will work and all the machinery will be in operation.
There is a spiritual law of choosing, believing, abiding, and holding steady in our walk with God, which is essential to the working of the Holy Ghost either in our sanctification or healing.
–Days of Heaven upon Earth
Praise His Name
From; Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 113:1-9
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high . . . ?
When I pray with people, I often like to give them words of encouragement in the form of challenge. For example, I’ll invite them to begin each morning with praise as the first activity of the day. Like the psalmist, they can shout a hallelujah to recognize who God is.
This psalm was often sung just before people took up the first cup of wine at the Passover meal. They were remembering the goodness and faithfulness of God to the people of Israel.
Saying “Praise the Lord” (Hebrew: “Hallelujah”) is also the perfect way for us to start the day, remembering the goodness and faithfulness of God. It helps to set the tone for the day, and it puts our attitude in the right place. It also reminds us that God is bigger than our circumstances and that no one else is like the Lord our God.
We can also sing God’s praises before going to sleep at the end of the day. When we praise someone, it means we know something significant about that person and what they have done. The more we experience the fullness of God in our lives, the easier our praise of God will be.
As we practice, morning and evening, to praise God’s name, we are reminded that we have a heavenly Father and a friend who is always with us and provides everything we need.
Dear God, from the rising of the sun to its setting, may your name be praised. Help us to experience your love daily, and as we give you thanks, may we shout “Hallelujah!” Amen.