This sermon came to me in my sleep. I had misplaced my writtened sermon and was scrambling to find it. However, it was now time to preach it before the congregation, which had grown larger than usual.
What was I to do? The Lord told me to stand and just tell on myself, which I ended up doing. I woke halfway through the sermon. I wanted to finish the sermon because I thought the sermon was important. As I attempted to do so I realized that it was not the same. The Spirit was not following through me as before. I knew that I personally needed the sermon, so I went back to sleep and God mercifully completed the sermon for me. Here It is:
Sermon: Lost and Found
I misplaced my sermon. I was looking for it frantically. God told me to go out and tell you who I am. I am a sinner standing before you. I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is hard for me to admit to others, though I know it is true. I am a perfectionist. I do not like to admit that I am wrong, but I am wrong so often!
The Apostle Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament. I have something in common with the Apostle Paul. No, I am not the great missionary and theologian. I am a sinner. Paul was a sinner too. He even persecuted the Christian Church. But he thought he was right. Those who did not see things his way were wrong.
God is speaking to some of us today. Is he speaking to you? You may be an elder of the church. You may be a Sunday School teacher. You may be a lay reader. You may be a prayer warrior.
Paul was at the top of his religion. He was a Pharisee’s Pharisee. He was the top student of the top Rabbi. He rose above his contemporaries. He was the most zealous one of his faith and tradition.
Paul was a sinner. He was lost and he did not yet know it. He was educated. He was circumcised. He knew the scriptures frontwards and backwards. He was a sinner.
I have been baptized more than once. No, I am not recommending it. I have graduated from Seminary and I am ordained. I have passed postgraduate courses. I am also a sinner, big time.
At times I just feel lost. Paul was lost. He was on the road to Damascus to track down Christians. You may remember, God struck him down. Jesus spoke to him and asked him: “Why are you persecuting me?”
Have you ever felt downcast? Dejected? Dirty? I can’t say how you might feel. Only you know that I can only tell you that I have felt all three, sometimes all at the same time. You could probably relate to me in some ways, though probably not exactly. Or maybe you have it together. Paul thought he had it together and he was persecuting the Church.
At times I am just at loose ends. If I had to choose one word I would just say “lost.” I am lost. That is when the Spirit of God drags me into the Lost and Found. We put things into the Lost and Found when we find something and are not sure who the owner is.
God’s Lost and Found is different. The Gospel of Jesus Chris tells us to know to whom we belong. We may be lost but we are also found. We are Found by God. Paul was found by God. Jesus said: “I came to seek and to save those who are lost.”
Are you in God’s Lost and Found with me today? Do we want to be found by him? Then Hallelujah, we have been found by God. He has found us to be sinners, but he will not leave us there. He has begun a good work in us and he will bring it to completion. We will just need to hold on tight to him.
We are, by faith, the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come. Paul said: “Forgetting what lies behind, we press on to what lies ahead – to the mark of the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Thanks be to God! Amen!