Sunday, 29 August 2021
                     
Title: The God of lost and found
By Dorothy Teoh
 
Luke 15: 8-10                               
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(NIV)
 
 
Have you ever misplaced an important document or item? Remember your relief and joy when you found it?
 
Some years ago, when it was time to renew the work permit for the Indonesian helper who took care of my mother, I realised that I had misplaced her passport. It wasn’t lost, exactly. But I had kept it away so well without making a note of where it was that it might as well have been lost!
 
After a week of looking for it at home and at the office, I was ready to give up. But I decided to give it one last try. In my desperation, I told the Lord: “If it’s anywhere here, please lead me to look for it in the right place, because I have absolutely no idea where it is.”
 
A search of the two sets of drawers under my office desk yielded nothing. I even pushed the drawers out from under the desk, hoping the passport might have dropped beneath. All I found were some coins, a paper clip and a piece of paper.
 
I decided to look in the steel filing cabinet again. The previous two searches had been unsuccessful. Ignoring the second drawer which I had gone through with a fine-tooth comb, I opened the top drawer and removed all the files at the front, looking between and through them. Nothing.
 
With the files at the front removed, the pocket folders at the back spread forward. I looked in the first one and saw two envelopes. Picking up one, my heart skipped a beat when I saw written on the front my helper’s name and the word “passport”.
 
Imagine my relief and joy when I looked inside and saw the green-coloured passport! Holding the passport in my hand, I went down on my knees to give thanks and to praise God, over and over.
 
The lost coin in the parable that Jesus told was worth about a day’s wages. Beyond the monetary value, it would have held personal value as part of the woman’s bridal jewelry, the equivalent of a wedding ring in modern times, according to one source. No wonder she rejoiced.
 
Like her, I could not rejoice alone. God is so good and gracious, I told my sister. The matter had been weighing on me. Aside from the unsettling feeling of having misplaced something important, it was the thought of having to lodge a police report and the large sum I was told I would have to pay to replace it at the Indonesian embassy.
 
Later, at home, it occurred to me that God is the God of lost and found. “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” How true those words are. I was a sinner, but now I’m saved, because my God found me when I was lost in sin. I was blind then, but now I see ­– this was also true with regards to the passport. I had looked in that exact same spot twice before and must have seen the envelope but I was not prompted to pick it up and look inside.
  
I thought to myself, if I experienced so much joy in finding a lost passport, how much more joy I should feel if someone was lost and then found. May the Lord help us to value a life saved more than a document or item found, however important that may be.
  
Prayer
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you came to seek and save the lost. Thank you for saving us. Bring to mind our family members, relatives, friends and co-workers who are lost. Help us to be salt and light to them, to make use of every opportunity to share the good news, and to be faithful in praying for their salvation, even if progress seems slow. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日 2021 年 8 月 29 日
标题:失物招领的上帝
作者:赵秋霞
翻译:林良億

路加福音 15:8-10 “或是一个妇人有十块钱,若失落一块,岂不点上灯,打扫屋子,细细地找,直到找着吗? 找着了,就请朋友邻舍来,对他们说:‘我失落的那块钱已经找着了,你们和我一同欢喜吧!’  我告诉你们:一个罪人悔改,在神的使者面前也是这样为他欢喜。”

你是否曾错放重要的文件或物品?当你找到它时,还记得那如释重负的喜悦吗?

几年前,当我要为照顾我母亲的印尼佣人续签工作许可证时,我发现我错放了她的护照。确切地说,它并没有丢失。但我把它藏得如此之好,却没有记下它在哪里,简直就像是丢失了!

在家里和办公室找了一星期后,我准备放弃。但我决定再试一次。无奈之下,我对主说:“如果它在这里的任何地方,请带我去正确的地方寻找它,因为我完全不知道它在哪里。”

我翻遍办公桌的两层抽屉,结果还是一无所获。我甚至把抽屉从桌子下面推出来,希望是护照掉到下面。我只找到了一些硬币、一个回形针和一张纸。

我决定再看看钢制文件柜。之前查了两次都未成功。我打开了最上面的抽屉,取出了前面的所有文件,在它们之间和里面查看。什么都没有。

当我取了前排的文件,后面的口袋文件夹就移前来。我看了第一个文件夹,看到里头有两个信封。我拿起其中一个信封,而当我看到正面写着佣人的名字和“护照”两个字时,我心里一阵紧张。

当我看到里面的绿色护照时,想象一下我如释重负的心情!我手里拿着护照,跪下来,一直感谢赞美上帝。

耶稣在比喻中所讲的失落的钱,价值约一天的工资。除了货币价值外,这钱可能是新娘首饰的一部分,它具有个人价值,相当于现代的结婚戒指。难怪她很高兴。

和她一样,我想跟别人分享这个喜悦。我告诉我姐姐,上帝是如此美好和满有恩典。这件事一直困扰着我:除了把重要的东西放错地方的不安之外,我还想到必须向警方报案,而且我被告知,必须支付大笔费用才能在印尼大使馆更换它。

我突然想到上帝就如失物招领的上帝。”前我失丧,今被寻回,瞎眼今得看见。”这些话是多么真实啊。我曾经是个罪人,但现在我得救了,因为当我是瞎子在罪中迷失时,我的上帝找到了我。但现在我明白了——关于护照也是如此。我之前曾两次在完全相同的地方找寻文件,一定看到了信封,但却没有想要拿起它并查看里面。

我心想,如果我在找到丢失的护照时体验到如此多的快乐,那么如果被丢失的人后来被找着,我会感到无比的快乐。愿主帮助我们重视被拯救的生命,而不只是看重找到的文件或物品,无论它们多么重要。

祈祷;主耶稣,感谢你来寻找并拯救失丧的人。谢谢祢救了我们。想想我们迷失的家人、亲戚、朋友和同事。帮助我们成为他们的盐和光,利用每一个机会与他们分享好消息。即使进展缓慢,让我们能够忠心地为他们的得救祈祷。阿门。