Today we’re starting a new series called, “LOST and Found.” And my message title today is “Finding Through Losing.” You know there have been times when I have felt lost as I’ve had to lead this ministry. I didn’t know what to do next, I didn’t know where to go. And we would pray and we’d say, Lord, what do we do? I feel lost. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do.
There have been times when I wondered if the ministry had been lost. I wondered will we be able to keep the doors open? Will we be able to continue to air the Hour of Power to the millions of people around the world as we face our vendor debt, as we face our different challenges.
There have been times when I have lost treasured relationships. No matter what I have done to try to restore them, I have lost things that are near and dear to me and I have faced loss but yet I haven’t faced the same amount of loss and pain that some of you have had to face.
I hear from many of you and your pain, your loss is deep and it is real and you write to me and you say Sheila I don’t know what to do now. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know how to get out of the mess that I am in. Where is God? I have lost what I love the most. That deep, deep pain and you heard and you saw Debbie and Scott talk about how deep the pain was when they lost their son Shaun who appeared he was an answer to prayer, their little miracle only to lose him after a mere three days.
Well it was in the midst of that pain, it was in the midst of that loss that Scott wrote this song, “Trust in God.” They lost, but in their losing, listen to what they found.
You know losing can lead to finding because when you have lost everything you can find out that God is everything you need. God is everything. You don’t need to have anything but God.
You know today we’re speaking on and we’re focusing on the first verse of Psalm 23, “The Lord, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” What a promise, what a confidence that no matter what we face, no matter what we have lost, the Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need. That word Lord is Yahweh in the bible. That means God, that means deity, that means the creator of the heavens and the earth, the Lord God Yahweh is my shepherd. The Lord God Yahweh. In fact, here’s what God said in Ezekiel, I myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, says the Lord. I Myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord. I will seek the lost, I will bring back the strayed, I will bind up the injured, I will strengthen the weak, declares the Lord. God doesn’t delegate this to somebody else. He Himself is the good shepherd. The Lord God Yahweh is, not was, not will be, is today, tomorrow, the next day, will forever, day after day after day is the Lord. God Yahweh is the shepherd. The Lord God Yahweh is my shepherd, personal. Mine. My very own shepherd, your very own shepherd.
Think of it. You have a shepherd who knows the way when you’re lost. When you look around and you say I don’t know where to go from here, I don’t know what to do. I’m in this big mess. You can stop, you can look, you can pray and you can say shepherd God show me the way and He will; He is there to help you. You can trust in God the shepherd for everything, absolutely everything. As a shepherd, He searches and He searches and He finds, he doesn’t just search, He finds the lost. Little sheep who go astray, the shepherd goes after them. He searches high and low for them and it doesn’t matter if the sheep has gone and gotten lost because he’s been rebellious and said I’m not going to follow the shepherd anymore, I’m going to do my own thing. God still searches for that sheep. You are not too lost, you’re not too far away. You haven’t done anything too wrong but that the shepherd wants to find you. He goes and goes and goes and looks and looks and looks. He will not give up looking for you. He will not give up calling you. He will not give up pulling you, wooing Him back to Himself.
In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd had a hundred sheep, ninety-nine of them were right where they needed to be, but one got lost and Jesus left the ninety-nine to go find the one. He seeks, He searches and He finds every sheep of His because He loves you that much. Nobody is too far away from Jesus, too far away from God that He will not reach out and will not look for you and will not find you.
Once He finds you, you belong to Him. He owns you, says the scriptures. Psalm 103 says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who has made us and we are His. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” What a promise, what a blessed reassurance. God owns us and boy He bought us with a very steep price.
You see when the children of Israel were in Egypt and Moses went there and he said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and God had to give one plague, another plague, another plague, another plague, another plague, ten in all and Pharaoh still refused to let his people go. It wasn’t until the very last plague the angel of death that God sent to soften Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh would let his people go. It was then and what God did was He said through Moses, He said to His people, now I want you to be rescued. I want you to be saved. You belong to Me. And so do this. Go and find a lamb, find a sheep and take that sheep, a perfect lamb, a perfect sheep and paint the blood of that sheep over the door post of your home. And God said when the angel of death flies through the land, when he sees that blood on the door post, the angel of death will pass over those houses and those homes and lives will be spared. They will have life, they will be rescued from the jaws of death and so some of the people did it. Not all, but some of them did it. They obeyed and they did, the angel of death passed over their homes and as a result, Passover is celebrated today by many of us.
To understand, Jesus celebrated it, Jesus celebrated Passover just before He was arrested. Jesus celebrated Passover because Jesus was going to go to the cross as a sacrificial lamb so that never again would we have to paint the blood of a lamb above our doorpost. Jesus became that lamb. It became His blood that was painted over the door post of our hearts. All of those who choose to have Him there and as a result of Him dying on the cross, the angel of death, people, passes over you. The angel of death passes over me because the shepherd became the lamb. The shepherd lay down His life for you and me.
Jesus is the lamb, Jesus is the good shepherd and it says in Revelation, the lamb will be their shepherd and He will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe every tear from your eyes. The shepherd became a lamb.
The Lord God Yahweh is my shepherd. What more could I want? Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for coming and being the lamb. Thank You for giving Your life so that the angel of death passes over us. Thank You, oh Lord, that You are the shepherd that stands between us and the jaws of death, the jaws of persecution. May we have life, the promise of life eternal. What more Lord, could we want? We have you in our life as our best friend and our shepherd and our guide and our protector. What more could we want? You Lord God, Yahweh are my shepherd. I have everything I need. Thank You Lord, from the bottom of my heart, amen.