What came to mind as you read that title about lost and found? Was it about people? Lost people who are in need of search and rescue? People who are lost and in need of being found? Lost people who are in need of getting saved?
Or was it about stuff? Perhaps it’s about items that have gone missing, those elusive possessions you wish you could find? Perhaps you’ve experienced that frustrating moment when you’ve lost something and now find yourself yearning for one of those handy tile trackers to locate them. Or do you have a technological solution, like a device that allows you to simply say, ‘Find me…’? In this search for lost items, is it really about finding them, or is it more about saving them for future use?
Or what about you? Are you the one who feels lost and is currently searching for your way? Do you ever find yourself navigating life like you’re trapped in a maze, unable to find an exit? Perhaps you’ve strayed from your intended path and now you’re feeling disoriented and increasingly frustrated. If you do eventually find your way, how will you react? Will you experience a sense of being saved, as if someone has come to your rescue, or will it feel more like someone has simply found you?
Lost and Found is different from Hide and Seek
In my perspective, the distinction lies in the contrast between hiding and being lost. When you are hiding, it’s a situation where someone will naturally try to find you, and ultimately, you will be discovered either because you grow bored or they locate you. On the other hand, if you are genuinely lost, you tend to be loud, possibly even screaming, in the hope that someone will hear you and find you, leading to your ultimate salvation.
Imagine the stress and the wear it puts on you to be lost and not get found. What if you just needed to call out to God?
Does the response change based on the who or the what is lost?
What if we consider the stories from the Bible about Lost and Found:
Consider the parable of the lost and found sheep:
‘So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! ‘Luke 15:3-7 – Parable of the Lost Sheep
Consider the parable of the lost and found Coin
‘ “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” ‘Luke 15:8-10 – Parable of the Lost Coin
Consider the parable of the lost and found Son
‘To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. ‘Luke 15:11-24 – Parable of the Lost Son
When you are faced with a lost and found situation, how do you respond?
Therefore, let’s be the dads who are not only interested in having our lives saved but also those we love! Moreover, let’s be the dads who are focusing our attention on eternal life for we know that our time here on earth is limited. Finally, let’s be the dads who point our wives, kids, and world towards Jesus because we know that living for Jesus or giving up our lives for Jesus in this lifetime will provide us with eternal life with God, forgiven of our sins for the rest of eternity! Let’s allow God, His Word, and His Spirit to be our compass through life!
How can we apply today’s verse of the day towards the topic of lost and found when it comes to our calling to be the dads? What can we take from it to help us be the dads who meet the needs of our wives and kids for the glory of God? Where can we turn to find or get found so that we can be saved?
Applications of Mark 8:35 towards being the dads our wives and kids need so that nobody is lost but rather saved through Jesus:
- Selflessness: As a father, you are called to lose your own desires, comfort, and self-interest for the sake of your family. Put their needs and well-being before your own.
- Sacrifice: Emulate the sacrificial love of Jesus by being willing to make sacrifices for your wife and children. This can include sacrificing time, resources, and personal ambitions.
- Prioritize Your Faith: “For me and for the gospel” suggests that your faith and relationship with God should be central in your life. Model a strong and authentic faith for your family.
- Lead by Example: Lead your family in a way that reflects the teachings of Jesus. Live a life that your children can look up to and learn from.
- Servant Leadership: Follow the example of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve. Serve your family with humility and love.
- Communication: Communicate openly and honestly with your spouse and children. Be a listening and understanding father who helps your family navigate life’s challenges.
- Forgiveness: Just as Jesus forgives, practice forgiveness in your family. Teach your children the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.
- Encourage Faith: Help your family grow in their faith and understanding of God. This can involve family prayers, Bible study, and attending church together.
- Teach Love and Compassion: Show your children the love of Christ by being a compassionate and caring father. Encourage them to show love and kindness to others as well.
- Create a Stable Environment: Provide a stable and loving home environment where your family feels safe, nurtured, and supported. Be a source of strength for your spouse and children.
Lost and Saved as we are the dads:
To be “saved” as a father, turn to God through prayer, reading the Bible, seeking guidance and support from a church community, and by continually striving to align your life with the teachings of Jesus. Remember that being a father is a journey, and by applying the principles of Mark 8:35, you can help ensure that nobody in your family is lost but rather saved through the love and grace of Jesus.