Several years ago while Catherine and I (Pastor Turner) were involved in planting a new church in Albany, NY, we were blessed to be given a gift to purchase a building for the new work. The check, surprisingly, didn’t come in a certified letter, or registered mail. Just a plain white envelope. I opened the envelope, and there was a cashier’s check for $150,000. It was incredible. At that point in my life, I didn’t even know they made checks big enough to put that many zeroes on it!
It was so exciting. Except for one thing. By the end of the day I had lost the check. Lost it! A cashier’s check (as good as money) for $150,000! You would not believe how hard I began to search! There wasn’t a drawer in my desk that I didn’t open multiple times. There wasn’t a paper on my desk I didn’t touch and move multiple times. I scoured my car. I retraced my steps. To me, something that approached infinite value was missing. Something valuable was lost. The pursuit was on.
As intensely as I pursued that check, let me be clear, it is nothing in comparison how passionately I would pursue a search if one of my children was missing. There is no mountain I wouldn’t climb, no river I would cross, no door I wouldn’t knock down, no wall I would go through. There is no cost I wouldn’t pay, no pain I wouldn’t endure, no loss I wouldn’t take, even if it meant my life in exchange for theirs! Nothing. Nothing. Nothing could stop me from pursuing the safe return of my child. Why? Because they are truly of infinite value to me. They matter to me. They mean the world to me.
The intensity of a search reveals the value of what is being sought after.
In Luke 15, Jesus shared three parables about something that was lost, the passionate pursuit for that which was lost, and the celebration that followed the successful pursuit. The three parables all reveal one big idea: God is a seeker of the lost, and His love for the lost is so great that He goes out of His way to pursue their rescue. And from this, there is one very practical application: God is calling us to passionately pursue people with the Good News of Jesus Christ so that the lost may be found.
And yes, if you are still wondering, after passionately pursuing the “lost check,” I eventually found that it had slipped between the seats of my car. And yes, there was definitely a celebration when that which was lost was found!