Lost Treasures of the Kingdom
Message Summary
This message takes a unique look at three parables Jesus told back to back to His followers. Each of these parables looks at the lost treasures of the Kingdom of God from a unique perspective. The first parable is the parable of the lost sheep, where a rancher had 100 sheep but lost one. The one was so important to him he left the 99 and went in search of the one and when he found it he caught it and took it back to the fold. The second parable is the parable of the lost coin. A lady had 10 coins, but lost one. She swept her whole house and lit a lamp so she could find the one. Why go to so much trouble when she had 9 other coins? The coin had great value to her! When she found it she picked it up and placed it back with her other coins. However, Jesus knew these two parables didn’t paint the full picture of the lost treasures of the Kingdom of God. Why? Because the animal and the coin had no choice in being returned to their owners. In the parable of the lost son, the son made a conscious decision to leave and he would need to make a conscious decision to return. It wasn’t that the Father wasn’t concerned. He was! He probably spent many sleepless nights in prayer for his lost son, and he obviously looked down the road daily to see if by chance his son might decide to come home. When the son decided to come home, the father saw him while he was still a long distance from the house so the father ran to him and rejoiced over his lost treasure that had come home. The Bible says we all like sheep have gone astray and yet God has made a way for us to return home. However, unlike an animal or a coin, we have to respond to the invitation from God to come home. If we do respond in repentance, and belief by calling on His name, we will find a warm welcome home!!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Have you ever lost something of value and spent considerable time or even resources to find it again? Tell us about it.

2. Jesus was considered an outlaw by the religious leaders of His day. Explain why this was the case by reading the following verses of Scripture which set the context of the telling of the three parables.
Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him.
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3. Not every lost person left the innocence of childhood and walked away from God in a spirit of hateful rebellion. Sometime we are like sheep and mindlessly wonder out into the world and find ourselves desperately lost. The beautiful thing is God is like a good shepherd and He seeks to find the lost sheep. However, as the parable of the lost son shows us, once God confronts us with our lostness, we have a choice to make. Describe what that choice is and what led you to make the choice you made.
Psa 86:5  You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psa 86:6  Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
Psa 86:7  In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
Psa 145:17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
Psa 145:18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psa 145:19  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

4. In the parable of the lost son, the father, the lost son, and the older brother each have lessons to teach us. What are some of those lessons? You might also want to discuss who the father symbolizes, who the lost son symbolizes and who the elder brother might symbolize. The parable follows...

Luke 15:11  Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
Luke 15:12  The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
Luke 15:13  "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
Luke 15:14  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
Luke 15:15  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
Luke 15:16  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
Luke 15:17  "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
Luke 15:18  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
Luke 15:19  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
Luke 15:20  So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Luke 15:21  "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
Luke 15:22  "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Luke 15:23  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
Luke 15:24  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:25  "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
Luke 15:26  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
Luke 15:27  'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
Luke 15:28  "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
Luke 15:29  But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
Luke 15:30  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
Luke 15:31  "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
Luke 15:32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"



Full Sermon Notes
Lost Treasures of The Kingdom

Lord Jesus, we know You love each and every one of us and have made a way for each and every one of us to know You and to have the promise of eternal life. All You ask is that we allow You to take up residence in our hearts. I pray that everyone here will pray the words of the song we just sang…"Savior Here's My Heart!"
I know there's no greater gift we could give to You and I know there's no greater joy in heaven than when a lost person offers their heart to You!
Father God, I know You seek for us as for hidden treasure and I pray we will come to understand just how much You were willing to give in exchange for our heart!
So as we study some of the parables Jesus taught as He roamed across the land of this old world, help us to realize He was seeking the lost treasures of the Kingdom. Let everyone here today see beyond the one who speaks, so they can see The One who seeks. The One who seeks a personal relationship with each of us on a daily basis!
In the great name of Jesus, I pray and I believe. Amen!

I want to begin today's message with a song written by Larry Norman, one of the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music who is now with Lord in Glory. The lyrics paint a picture of what people thought about Jesus back in the day, some misconceptions, some exactly true. Listen...

"Some say he was an outlaw that he roamed across the land
With a band of unschooled ruffians and few old fishermen
No one knew just where he came from or exactly what he'd done
But they said it must be something bad that kept him on the run

Some say he was a poet that he'd stand upon the hill
That his voice could calm an angry crowd and make the waves stand still
That he spoke in many parables that few could understand
But the people sat for hours just to listen to this man

Some say he was a sorcerer, a man of mystery
He could walk upon the water, he could make a blind man see
That he conjured wine at weddings and did tricks with fish and bread
That he talked of being born again and raised people from the dead

Some say a politician, who spoke of being free
He was followed by the masses on the shores of Galilee
He spoke out against corruption and he bowed to no decree
And they feared his strength and power so they nailed him to a tree

Some say he was the Son of God, a man above all men
That he came to be a servant and to set us free from sin
And that's who I believe he is 'cause that's what I believe
And I think we should be ready when it's time for us to leave
And I think we should get ready 'cause it's almost time for us to leave!" Lyrics by Larry Norman


Some say He was an outlaw, that He roamed across the land with a band of unschooled ruffians and few old fishermen. Why was He considered an outlaw?
The answer is in the first two verses of our text today…

Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him.
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus was considered an outlaw, because He refused to follow tradition for tradition's sake! Jesus was considered an outlaw, because He refused to support the broken religious establishment that had become more about power, possessions, pride, and piety, than a personal relationship with God! Jesus was considered an outlaw because He valued people more than He valued the letter of the law. In fact He was confronted with this one time and listen to how He handled it...

Luke 6:6  On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled.
7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.
8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.
11 But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Another time Jesus made this statement...

Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Why did Jesus roam across the land? He was searching for the lost treasures of The Kingdom, and the treasures He was seeking were not locked away in a vault in the temple. In fact Jesus goes on to tell them three parables to teach them what the real treasures of God's Kingdom are.

Lost Treasures of The Kingdom
"A Lost Sheep"

Luke 15:3 Then Jesus told them this parable:

4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

In God's Kingdom the lost treasures are the lost sheep. Even if it's just one lost sheep, God wants to find it! He'll leave the 99 to find the one.
Here's an amazing thing…How quickly the 99 forget they were also once lost sheep that Jesus saved! Listen...

Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

But here's a tragedy: Most churches have forgotten the one and spend most of their time and their resources on taking care of the 99. Now I'm not against ministering to our own, and I believe we should, but our focus as a church must never be inward, but always upward and outward. Upward by loving God with all our heart, mind soul and strength! Outward by loving our neighbor as ourself! Especially those who are lost! If we're going to call ourselves followers of Christ then we must follow His example.

I may sound like a broken record when I read this to you again, but that's ok...

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Some of you might wonder why God loves lost sheep so much. The lost treasures of the Kingdom belong to God! They are His sheep. But you might ask, if they are spiritually lost, how can they be considered sheep in the first place. Listen closely...

We are all God's children in creation. God created every human being who has ever lived. So they are His sheep in that regard. God's Word puts it this way...

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

So we are all children of God in creation, but not in recreation. What do I mean by recreation? We are not all God's children spiritually. We've been separated by our sin and our heart has become darkened. If we are not born again spiritually and receive and new heart, we remain in darkness, lost.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

You see, as an innocent child, before willful rebellion towards God takes place, that child belongs to God. But we must remember, God gives every human being a choice and when we reach the age of accountability, we must decide whether or not we will allow God to give us rebirth spiritually. If you've never allowed God to remake your spiritual heart, I can tell you Jesus is searching for you and calling your name. If you respond and allow Jesus to find you and enter your heart, your life will change here in this world and in eternity! I love the way Paul describes this in Ephesians 2:12-13...

12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Lost Treasures of The Kingdom
"A Lost Coin"

Luke 15:8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’
10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

What does the parable of the coin mean? The lost treasures of the Kingdom have value! The lady still had nine coins. She had only lost one, but the one had great value to her. The fact she had nine others didn't diminish the value of the one lost coin.

Do any of you ever misplace things? I'm worse than probably anybody in this room. It drives me crazy when I can't find something. Even if its not that valuable, it's the principle of the thing. I get bulldog determined to find whatever it is. But if its something of real value, it really gets to me. This past Tuesday, I was in my study. One of our secretaries contacted me about an appointment on Wednesday. I told her it would have to be worked around my visit to St. Tammany Jail north of Covington. Two weeks ago I had been asked by a family to visit their loved one there. They gave me the information after church a couple of Sundays ago and I remembered typing the info into my phone, or so I thought. I began to look for the info so I could have my secretary set up the visitation. It's a process. I looked on my notes section and it wasn't there. There was no note listed for that Sunday. I thought, maybe I put it in my calendar section, but the only thing there was a reminder to visit the jail on Wednesday. I searched for at least an hour. Then I thought, maybe I wrote it on a piece of paper. I looked in my home study. It was my study day. I drove to the church office and checked my desk. I was troubled because I didn't have contact information for the family who made the request. I felt as if I had lost a most valuable kingdom treasure. In fact I had. I checked my phone one more time before I went to bed. At 4:00 am I woke up thinking about it. I had an idea, maybe I had typed it as a contact and listed the location as St. Tammany Jail so if I forgot the name I could do a keyword search and find it. I searched contacts and it wasn't there. But then I thought, maybe when I pulled up my notes screen, I put it on an old note dated sometime in the past. I started looking through my old notes and behold, I found it! I rejoiced. I wanted so bad to wake my wife up and tell her the good news, but I resisted. Had a great visit with the individual Wednesday and told him what a treasure he is to God and how much God wants him to know His love and purpose for his life.

The reason Jesus roams across the land looking for lost souls is that a soul has such value to God it is considered a Kingdom Treasure! So much so, that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Repent means to turn away from sin and to turn to God! How valuable is your soul to God? So valuable that God chose to love you before you were even born. He predetermined to show you His love and He had a plan make it possible for you, one of His lost sheep, a lost coin of great value, to be found. Listen...

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

The lady in our parable lit a candle to shine a light into the darkness to find a lost coin. God sent His Son into the world to be a light to the world in order that the lost treasures of the Kingdom could be found! But here's where the lesson takes a different turn.
In the first parable, the lost sheep, the shepherd finds the sheep, picks it up and takes it back to the fold. In the second parable, the lost coin, the lady finds the coin and picks it up and puts it back with her other 9 coins. But the analogy of the first two parables of the lost treasures of the Kingdom, breaks down. The animal and the coin, have no choice in their redemption. But with people, God shines His light and knows where the lost ones are, but the people have to respond to the light and chose to be found.

Jesus makes this plain in the last parable on the lost treasures of the Kingdom.

Lost Treasures of The Kingdom
"A Lost Son"

Luke 15:11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.

12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

I think the older brother was a spokesman for the 99 and the Father had to remind him that he had great value, and was deeply loved by the Father, but the lost son had come back from the brink of eternal death and was alive again. Finding the lost son was an occasion for celebrating!

See the difference between this last parable and the first two. In this parable, the lost son, realizes he is lost. He remembers his fathers house. I believe The Holy Spirit of God was drawing him. God was shining His light into his darkness and he responded by turning his heart towards home. And when he turned away from his sin and towards home what did the Father do? He ran to greet him and embrace him. The father in this story represents God and the lost son represents you and me. When we turn from our sins and run towards God He runs to embrace us.

If you've ever wondered whether or not you are treasured by God, look no further than the Cross! If you've ever wondered if your sins had tarnished you so badly that you could never be considered a treasure to God, remember that Jesus' blood poured out on the Cross has the ability to cleanse. It has the ability to make dark stains whiter than snow! Today, as we have our time of invitation, you will have two opportunities. If you would like to pray with me or one of our staff, we'll be here for you. If you would like to participate in our remembrance of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, you can.

There are tables set up around the room. As the worship band begins to play, you can make your way to one of the tables. Spend a moment there, reflecting, remembering the cost, remembering the love poured out, remembering the forgiveness and mercy offered throughout the torn flesh and spilled blood of Christ.

Ask God to make your heart right and then take the bread and eat it to remember the broken Body. Then take the juice and drink it to remember the Blood shed for your sins. Remember to thank Jesus for seeing you as a kingdom treasure, and for giving His life to save yours. Jesus' flesh was torn and His blood was poured out so you and I could be adopted into the family. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for sins He never committed. Your sins and mine.
Let’s Pray!