Central Christian Church Message Podcast

Reaching the Lost | Where The Wild Things Are | Pastor Cal Jernigan

March 14, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
Reaching the Lost | Where The Wild Things Are | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
Reaching the Lost | Where The Wild Things Are | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Mar 14, 2021
Central Christian Church of Arizona

God values his children beyond anything else in creation. In fact, God wants us intensely and loves us deeply. God always searches for those who have wandered away. He wants everyone to know His love. Join us this weekend as Pastor Cal talks about how we are all W.I.L.D. (Wanted Intensely and Loved Deeply).

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Show Notes Transcript

God values his children beyond anything else in creation. In fact, God wants us intensely and loves us deeply. God always searches for those who have wandered away. He wants everyone to know His love. Join us this weekend as Pastor Cal talks about how we are all W.I.L.D. (Wanted Intensely and Loved Deeply).

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Welcome everybody. Love that song. Love that bumper. Hey, we are so glad that you're here and that you're just a part of our community wherever you are, whether you're on any of our campuses or you're in a home, in a car, on a computer at work, wherever you're watching this. So glad to have you along with us.

[00:00:17] And it's kind of hard to believe, but this is the weekend that we, I would say celebrate. That's not the right word that we mark the anniversary of one year ago we entered into this COVID pandemic reality. And I remember this weekend a year ago when we, we were trying to decide what to do and how to navigate our way through the early waters of that.

[00:00:41] And we thought it'd be really, really wise if we shut the church down for three weeks and had no clue as you well know that that was going to be shut down for about five and a half months. And then we reopened it in August and we've been going on our campuses and began growing. People are coming back and it's just an exciting time, but I want to tell you something that our board made a decision about, and I'm excited about this.

[00:01:08] We have done everything we can do to take as conservative of a posture on this whole deal as we could take. And that is that we've just asked that on all of our in gathering person, in-person gatherings that we wear masks and that's been good and there's been no pushback, but I want to say something the board said, you know what, it's time for us let's get going.

[00:01:29] And so that they made a decision that we're going to just release this to the to you to make a decision it's to your discretion now. Whether you want to wear a mask or you don't want to wear a mask, you're adults, you're capable of making a great decision. So we're just going to put that in your court to do that.

[00:01:45] But I want to say this to you before we just go past this. I want to say thank you for the incredible spirit that you have you have carried yourself through this. And again, I don't know, who's listening to me right now, as I say this, but there's just been an a tremendous, spirit of cooperation in our church.

[00:02:06] And I just think you should be commended for that. So thanks for that. Now, if you're at home and you're like going, I don't know when I'm coming back. I want to encourage you come back. I mean, it's like, it's a great time to come back. It's really easy to fall out of the habit of going to church and when and I'll talk more about this this week and next week, but when, you know, we have this experience we've had, it's just really easy to just kind of get out of rhythm.

[00:02:35] I church, I'm calling you to get back in rhythm. And if you're able, if you're not able, you stay home, we have a fantastic online experience, but if you are able, then I do want to encourage you to come back and be a part of what's going on because it's, there's nothing quite like being together with other believers.

[00:02:52] So encourage you to be a part of that. I discovered a new sound in my life and I I don't have my cell phone here, which is a goof on my part, but I I've got, an Apple iPhone and I've got an Apple watch. And I discovered that we have an iPhone and an Apple watch that there's this really cool thing that happens.

[00:03:17] And I was going to do this, but I left my iPhone backstage. So what happens is, is that if you got this, you understand that whenever you can't find your iPhone your watch will locate your phone for you by you hit this button and it beeps. And that beeping sound is a brand new sound to me. I have never had the privilege of locating a phone with a watch with a beep. And I've grown dependent on it.

[00:03:43] So whenever I can't locate my phone, man, it's just hit the watch, hit the beep. And there you go. I got to thinking about this though. Wouldn't it be cool. If you could put a, put a, a button on your, on your watch that whenever you lost, you know, whatever. And I don't know what it is that you would say you're typically looking for as you're getting ready to go, you know, it could be any number of things.

[00:04:05] It could be your, your, your keys would probably be the biggest one, I suppose. Your, your, your glasses. Your wallet, you know, anything like that whenever you, you can't locate. So wouldn't it be cool if you could just hit the app and hit a beep and all of a sudden it would like if you lost your wedding ring, you could just beep and it would, you'd find it.

[00:04:24] Or if you had like some kind of built-in speaker to contact. So if you drop the contact and you're not looking for a contact and all of a sudden you go, I can't find it would just beep and that'd be, that'd be really, really awesome. But of course that doesn't quite work that way, but it would be awesome if it did.

[00:04:40] And that's the point I want to make now. I I've lost lots of things in, in my days, you know, trying to relocate them and I'm sure you have as well, but I want to say this, there's a one kind of getting lost that's not like any other kind of getting lost and that's when you get lost. And when I say you get lost, I mean, it's like you experienced that. Now,

[00:05:02] let me just tell you story. This is a true story. And you might remember this. It's a tragic story. But it had to, it goes all the way back to 1989. There there's a particular flight, a very big airlines Flight 254. And that's down in Brazil. And it was leaving a little community called Maraba and it was headed over to another little community that was actually up on the coast called Baleem And the pilot of that, of that plane, got the bearing of the bearing was 020.

[00:05:38] 0270. Except what he did is he put into the systems of the airplane, not 0270, but 270. And didn't realize what he had done. He took off thought he was headed for the 48 minute flight from one city to the other cities, small cities, but he thought that's what was going on. Would be a Northeast flight, but he actually went due West.

[00:06:02] He thought he was headed towards the coast. Up North, he is actually headed straight into the the Amazon rainforest. He had no idea. Went straight West cause he got it wrong. He raised the plane up to 29,000 feet and was just waiting to see, the, the city of Baleem And anyway, this guy's captains is his name was Garcez, he knew, he sensed something was wrong.

[00:06:29] He knew something wasn't right, and as he's trying to process it, he's trying to figure it out. But he did something crazy. He immediately, he turned the airplane 180 degrees. So again, he was going straight West and he was lost. And so he turned the plane 180 degrees around. Which is kind of bizarre because he's just going to go back.

[00:06:52] He can't, he's not going to find what he's looking for, but that's what made sense to him. Passengers on the airplane got very concerned and he actually lied to them. He said to the passengers that the the, the city of Baleem was experiencing a power outage and that he had to circle around until they got the clearance to go in.

[00:07:13] And that's what he said. So instead of figuring out where he was, he, he actually, radioed to Baleem and said, Hey, we'll be there in about five minutes. This is all recorded. We'll be there in five minutes. And then he told the flight attendant serve another round of drinks, which again, though, they're going like what?

[00:07:32] This makes zero sense. At 7:39 PM, when the flight was 68 minutes overdue the co-pilot figured out what he had done. And he said, you put the wrong numbers in and the pilot wanted nothing to do with admitting that he made an error. And so there was a little bit of a thing there. So about an hour later.

[00:07:58] Okay. Now out of fuel, the pilot Garcez says, made a remarkable crash landing in, through the rainforest and it was in total darkness. And he ended up 700 miles away from his intended destination and all six of the crews survived, but 13 out of the 48 passengers perished on that flight and both the captain and the first officer had their licenses taken away.

[00:08:25] They've never flown again. Why why am I telling you that story? Because I want to talk about the sensation of being lost and I don't know, in your life when not something was lost, but someone was lost, meaning you were lost. Then I could imagine that most of us, when we were growing up, have some memory.

[00:08:43] I know I have a very vivid memory of a being lost. I don't, I don't know exactly how this came about. I so clearly remember that I was at a strip mall. I don't know who took me there. I don't know who left me. I don't know. I don't have any memory of that. But there was in the strip mall, there was a slot car, kind of a, it was a venue.

[00:09:05] It was a store that had a track. In fact, I've got a picture of this. I want you to see this picture. If you see this, you know, this is what I'm talking about. I stumbled across this. I discovered this thing and I was mesmerized by it. And again, if you don't know what slot car racing looks like, there's the slots.

[00:09:22] And then these cars go in there. And then they, they go go and these cars and I was mesmerized. I was so mesmerized by this. It was so fascinating to me. And here's what I need you to understand for whatever happened. All sense of time disappeared. I don't have any idea how long I was there, but I was smitten by this.

[00:09:41] At some point I realized I needed to leave and I began to look around and whoever I was looking for, which I don't clearly remember, but whatever I was trying to, whoever was trying to locate, what's not there. And then I had that feeling, that feeling, you know, that feeling, you felt that feeling that just overwhelmed, that feeling of panic, that feeling of fear, that feeling of being absolutely overwhelmed.

[00:10:03] And I did whatever everybody else at that age, I started to cry. And I just stood there and cried, cause I was so scared. And what I'm about to tell you ought to send shivers down your spine. I grew up in a different day. Some guy came up to me and he said, what's wrong? And I, I, you know, blah, blah, blah. You know, I'm lost.

[00:10:21] And I don't know where I am and, but believe this or not, this guy helped me find my way home. Which is a miracle in of itself. Okay. And but I'll never forget the panic. I'll never forget the tension of that moment. Now. I want to say this. It we all know that. Now there there's a book. And in fact, it's, it's it's by Rebecca Solnit. And it's called a field guide to getting lost.

[00:10:48] And in that book, she talks about search and rescue teams and kind of the, the processes and the stories of how they have to rescue people and just kind of how that all works. But I, I thought there was something interesting in this because their goal is to find somebody who's lost out there.

[00:11:06] They're out there somewhere. And in, in this, they made a distinction between the difference between kids and adults. And I just find this fascinating. So kids, they said when they're lost, they said there's a couple of things. Number one, they're quick to admit that to themselves that they're lost.

[00:11:24] Does it. You don't have to do a whole lot of process when you're a kid. You figured it out really quick, I have no idea where I am and I, you know, I have a sense of doom and danger, you know, I'm very aware. The second thing that kids tend to do is they tend to stay put. That they tend to crawl up under a tree, very close to where they were last seen they have an intuition to do that.

[00:11:45] And often when they're found, they're found just not far from where they wondered off. I mean, of course these are generalizations that I'm talking about about. But the thing that I found fascinating is they tend to trust that somebody is looking for them and they're looking for them now. That they're like somebody is going to figure this out really, really quick and rescue is on the way now.

[00:12:06] It doesn't mean they're not afraid. It doesn't mean they don't have all kinds of panic inside. But adults. This is what's fun. Adults are slow to admit they have a problem. No kidding. They don't want to admit their lost. And so they go through quite a process of denial until finally that panic does begin to sit in. And they don't crawl up under a tree and wait adults tend to wander.

[00:12:29] So they know that if it's an adult, that person could be found miles, because adults don't want to admit their lost. They want to solve the problem. So just leave me alone. I'll figure this thing out. And I think it's somehow, it's a cousin of the idea that, you know men, particularly don't ever want to ask directions now there's nobody out there to ask directions, but I think it's the same kind of issue going on inside us.

[00:12:51] But anyway, but adults don't tend to think somebody is going to look quickly. It's as if we have more about like, it's gonna be a long time until somebody figures out and then they're going to come. And so, I'm not sure that anything's coming right around the corner. Now again, you have to be going, why are we talking about all of this?

[00:13:10] So here's what I want you to understand in Isaiah 53:6, we read these words. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way. Now let me, let me explain. What's God's saying here is that we have all gotten lost. We've all just gone out there and just lost our way. That's what he's saying.

[00:13:29] How long you'll spend out there depends on kind of how you process what's actually happening. It's going to be a personal question that we're going to ponder. Like how long does it take for me to figure out what's actually going on here. Now we're going to talk about something that Jesus said about this, but to get ready for that, take your Bible and open your Bible to Luke chapter 15.

[00:13:55] Okay. And Luke is the third biography of Jesus. That's located in the new Testament. So it's at the beginning of the new Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and then chapter 15. And as, uh, each and every time we do this we were beginning something today, a new series that we're into, and it's it's just something I'm excited about we're we're calling this series, where the wild things are, where the wild things are.

[00:14:24] And as you probably know where the wild things are, is a very popular book. And a children's book and it's kind of an enterprise now, a franchise kind of a thing, but by Maurice Sendak and the storyline of the book, it's about a boy who goes on an imaginary journey and meets imaginary. Let's just call them friends.

[00:14:46] Okay. So he encounters these creatures, if you would along the way. And. Our series is not about the book. Our series is about a journey and an adventure that I believe God wants each of us to have. And this is a little boy did. We're getting kind of wild things along the way, so you can get ready for that.

[00:15:07] Uh, but the, the wild things we're going to encounter are going to be a bit surprising cause wild things that's actually going to be us. They are us. We become the wild things out there. So you could say wild things are us wild things are us. And. I'll explain this in a little bit more detail in just a minute now.

[00:15:26] I'm not sure what comes to your mind when you hear the word Wilder in the context, the word wild. Isn't usually associated with people walking really closely with God. We could make maybe that assumption. So we could rightly assume it's going to be about those times in our lives when. We're not so close to God when we're kind of all right, and we're just kind of out there.

[00:15:48] But the word wild is, you know, wildlife and wild living and wild times and all of that, there's just something untamed about all of that, but it's usually done away from God. And in our thinking. All right. So just make that thing now. I would say that most of us don't have a hard time imagining what it means to have gone missing on God.

[00:16:06] Now you might, but most of us, I don't think do the question is not, did we go missing on God? Did we like get out there where like, you know, we got really far away. We did the question is how long ago, how long were we out there? You know, what was involved, how intensely all of those  things we could, you know, debate about like how long, but what we can debate is.

[00:16:28] All of us have distanced ourselves from God at sometime in our life. And scripture is very clear on that. All of us have sinned and fallen away. You know, I've fallen from the glory of God. We've all done that. And so it's just a, it's a it's a matter of remembering, like, do you have vivid memories of being that far away from God?

[00:16:46] I know. I certainly do. I've shared this before, but I have a very vivid memory. When I was a high school student. I was a junior in high school. I was just being introduced to God. All these concepts are coming to my mind. And I know now what was happening is the spirit of God was moving and softening my heart.

[00:17:03] I was a carry out at a Fry's food store in Scottsdale and I, I was into stuff I shouldn't have been into. And I felt the spirit of God, the hand and the touch of God on my life. And I was feeling convicted about stuff I was doing, and I didn't want to be convicted. I wanted to do this stuff. I wanted, I wanted to live the wild life I was living, but the spirit of God was trying to kind of bring me and woo me to God as it were.

[00:17:24] And I remember. I remember the internal conflict. I remember this Fry's parking lot, carrying some lady's groceries out to her car, putting it in her trunk, closing the trunk. And she, and I just shouted out to God. And if you'll forgive me, I very clearly remember what I said. And I'm going to say this.

[00:17:42] really not good, but I remember telling God to go to hell, just get out of my life and go to hell. Not proud of that. But that's. My wild, you know, kind of response to a God. That's trying to bring me home. And I don't know if you have any memories like that, where you want to push God so far out, but I do.

[00:18:04] How does God respond to somebody who says that sort of stuff? We all have kind of a sense of man God's really ticked off. You know, when God gets a hold of me, I'm in some serious trouble. It kind of that wait till your father gets home kind of fear that like the days of counting... the day of reckoning is coming, we have this, the sense of doom that's over us, because we're going to get kind of beat up for what we've done.

[00:18:29] We hope we're wrong. We fear we're, we're not going to get hurt by God. You know? It is interesting though, if you read your Bible now if you, if you read your Bible, don't just, don't rely on what you think. The Bible says, if actually opened your Bible and you read it. It can be a bit surprising. So let me just do something here.

[00:18:49] So let's go to Luke 15, which is the chapter I'd referenced her. Let's go to Luke 15. And let me just show you something that I just find this fascinating. Okay. So in Luke 15, the very first verse, just go right there. You just have to go through the whole thing. You just have to go 15. One says this now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.

[00:19:12] You don't want to go too fast over that line because that line is pregnant with meaning, okay. Do what the tax collectors and the sinners. Now you got to understand something about the tax collectors in the centers. Those were the bad guys. Okay. Those were the evil people. Those were the, well, I think you could say it this way.

[00:19:29] He's talking about the scum of society and the low life, the scum of society and the low lives were there with Jesus. If that doesn't work, you could say not the losers and the outcasts. That's who the tax collectors and the sinners were the losers and the outcasts, or you could say the corrupt and the immoral, or you could say the unloved and the unlovely.

[00:19:57] But what Luke is telling you is this group of people that most people would say are, are those undesirables are now what was it that they were doing? Go go back and look. The tax collectors and the sinners were what it says. They were gathering around to hear Jesus, wait, wait, what? Gathering around to hear Jesus aren't they supposed to be repulsed by Jesus don't they know that all Jesus wants to do is condemn them and send them to hell aren't they aware that Jesus is just a judge and he can't wait to punish us.

[00:20:38] What? So these people, these not pleasant, people are like wanting to be by Jesus, gathered around to hear him. What is it that he's? I mean, what's he saying to them? It was so worth hearing. Well, let's go a little further go to the next verse. This is shocking. So fascinating, Luke 15 two says, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, this man welcomes sinners and eats with them.

[00:21:04] Wait, wait, what. The screwed up ones were extremely interested in what Jesus had to say. And the super Holy ones were not the immoral ones were silence in silent in Jesus' presence, but the super spiritual, the super Holy ones were, were muttering. And that's, I love that word, muttering, muttering. You know, you do that when you say it I'm muttering, you can't say muttering without muttering.

[00:21:34] It's Remind you of that, that is called an onomonopia. it's when, the way you say the word, actually you're doing the thing. So like Meow and oink, those are muttering is you, you gotta mutter to mutter to say the words you got to do it. And, and so they were muttering. What are they muttering about?

[00:21:58] Well, look, it just says that they were muttering about the fact this man welcomes sinners and eats with them. That they were pretty ticked off about that. Well, that's weird. He's not condemning the low lights. He's welcoming them, embracing them, loving on them. What's happening here. This is what the Bible says Jesus did with these outcasts.

[00:22:16] What is the image in your mind that you most often think of God? What's he like? God, the one who draws near to mess up people. Or is God the one in your mind that distance himself distances himself from messed up people A W Tozer famously said this, what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. What's your image of God. Well, so what were, what was Jesus saying that these people were so fascinated.

[00:22:51] They were so quiet. They weren't muttering they were so tuned-in and then what was it that he was saying that the Holy people were so put out with, because he was telling them this. What you have is you have three parables in Luke 15, and my guess is you're familiar with them. I'm not going to spend much time.

[00:23:07] I don't need to, but I just want to make sure that we work our way through this. So I'll read them and we'll just go quickly. Okay. The third one. So what I want to just draw our attention to a little bit more detail, but let's just, let's start with Luke 15 verses three through seven. Let me read this.

[00:23:19] All right. Then Jesus told them this parable. Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. And then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, rejoice with me for, I have found my lost sheep.

[00:23:37] I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven, over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent. That's what they were muttering about. And that's what they were so intrigued by. Depends kind of who you are as you hear what Jesus says. So, so did you see what, so when.

[00:23:58] That which was missing, was located. There was rejoicing, not retaliation. That's what Jesus is saying. And you, and you can see the, the, the would go, Oh, Ooh, rejoicing. And they'll just go and wait, wait. Not, no. It's retaliation. No is rejoicing. So then Jesus tells a second one. This is Luke 15, eight to 10, well suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one.

[00:24:26] Doesn't she light a lamp or sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it. And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says rejoice with me for, I have found my lost coin in the same way, I'll tell you there's more rejoicing or there's rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

[00:24:44] So wait, wait, wait. Here's your charm bracelet that has 10 coins, 10 charms, 10 picture, maybe a headband, you know, however you would picture. One of them goes missing and there's rejoicing when it's found. So wait, when that, which was missing was located, there was rejoicing, not reviling. Yeah, Jesus said, and one crowd went, Ooh, and the other crowd went wait

[00:25:11] what, and then the crux of the story is where we'll spend the last few moments. We have Luke 15, 11 on down. There, there's a story of a, of a son. As soon as I say this, you're probably thinking, yeah. If I say the word prodigal that immediately, you kind of know the context, this is one of the most famous parables Jesus ever spoke.

[00:25:34] And let me show you what happened here and I'll break this down a little bit. So we're going to be in Luke 15 and this first section, I want to show you. It's just 11 to 16. It says Jesus continued that there was a man who had two sons. Okay. So there were a hundred sheep, 99 were safe ones lost. There were 10 coins.

[00:25:52] So 99, 10 one's missing a man had two sons and one's going to go missing the younger one, said to his father, father, give me my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got all together, got together, all that he had, he set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

[00:26:16] Living Wild! All right now, hang on. You see, he's got to understand he's got everything. He needs, everything he needs. Is there. He had the money, the opportunity of youth. He had family, he had servants. He had everything, but it wasn't enough to fulfill him. He was searching for something. He, what was he seeking something in the wild, in that category I will out in the wild is what I, I'm going to go find that you went down to verses 14 through 16.

[00:26:44] It says after he'd spent everything, there was a severe famine in the whole country and he began to be in need. So he, he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

[00:27:02] I want to draw your attention back to the beginning of that in verse 14, because it all starts with the word after. Whenever you have an after, you have to have a before see, before everything was working, it was working great. It was awesome until it wasn't working. So there's no problem until there's a problem.

[00:27:20] And when there's a problem, there's a problem before was fine. But before always leads to an after and after you start to realize that he had no idea what he was getting himself into with the, before that he was living. He what he had hoped for contrasted to what he actually experienced. I'm reminded of, I have no idea.

[00:27:41] Who's originally said this. I don't know who to credit it to, but there's a saying, it goes like this and will take you farther than you intended to go keep you longer than you intended to sTay and cost you more than you intended to pay. That's what sin does. It's just deceives you, but whenever you're in your before, and you're shifting into the after there's this moment where you have a realization, I think I'm lost.

[00:28:04] I don't know what's happening. Something's just not working here. It dawns on you. It's broken. I think for this picture, you got to understand this is a Jewish boy. Who's grown, man. You can assume he's a grown man. And he's feeding pigs. If you read it carefully, the pigs are getting fed, but he's not. The food for the pigs is so attractive to him. He's longing to eat what the pigs are eating.

[00:28:31] He he's lower than a hawk's belly, as they say is as bad as it can be. And he's processing his life. Wow. If you pick up the next section verses 17 to 20, and again, I'm going through this quickly. The father didn't have to give him the inheritance, but he wanted it. He didn't want to wait until the father died.

[00:28:54] He said, Hey, I'm cashing out. I'm I want all you have. And so he gives it to him and it just gets all wasted. Verse 17 says when he came to his senses, He said, how many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, father I've sinned against heaven.

[00:29:16] And against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and he went to his father. Can I point out something that says there, when he came to his census, you see that line. When he came to his senses what does it take in our lives to come to our senses?

[00:29:35] What has to happen in your life for you to realize that where you thought you were going to be and where you thought it was going to take you and where you thought you were going to live and be blissful that you realized this was a bunch of muck and mire I'm stuck in, you know, coming to your senses requires humility and admission of, you know, like I gotta admit this and facing others at some point giving up.

[00:30:00] Now, let me just say this though. Getting lost is easy. Admitting your lost. Well, that's hard coming to your senses when you are lost. That's hard. He starts to think in a contrast in his mind, the life he's living versus the life he lived the before and the after, and starts to imagine his future and realizes that, Hey, what was going on at home?

[00:30:21] Wasn't so bad. So he wants to go back. He wants to go back home. I wish I could just go home. The story concludes. Actually it doesn't conclude this section. I'm going to pick this up next week. I just wanna show you one more section. The verses 15 Luke 15 verses 20 to 24. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with anger toward him.

[00:30:47] Oh, wait. No. That's I know with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your, see, this was the plan. This was the speech. This was the thing that was supposed to open the door for him.

[00:31:04] His dad's supposed to say, okay, because you're such a obvious, honest mess. He's like going, I don't have time for any of that. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son, such a grand speech. Father said to his servants quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Put put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet and bring the fatted calf and kill it.

[00:31:25] Let's have a feast and celebrate for the son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found, so they began to celebrate. Wow. So, so what now? So, wait, so when that, which was missing was located, there was rejoicing, not retribution? Okay, wait, Jesus, what are you saying to these people?

[00:31:52] He's saying something so profound that the Holy righteous people are muttering. When they hear what he says, let me put it to you this way. What kind of God rejoices instead of retaliates rejoices, instead of revivals rejoices, instead of serving up retribution. Oh, I'll tell you what kind of God, the kind of God.

[00:32:16] That wants to introduce himself to us, the kind of God of the new Testament. What does, what does it mean to be wild? When we talk about where the wild things are. I'm not talking about people. Jesus, doesn't love, I'm talking about people. Well, maybe I've already figured this out. People who are wanted intensely and loved deeply.

[00:32:38] It's hard for us to get our brain around this. This is what he wanted to explain to the tax collectors. You are wanted intensely, Hey sinners you're loved deeply religious people. Muttered. If there was a big idea to this message, I would say, it's this, we've all gone missing on God. When we're missing.

[00:33:02] We're missed, missed people matter. There's nothing quite like losing a child. Oh, it's one thing, you know, to lose an animal. We've all probably experienced that it's one thing to lose something tangible. Some of you have literally gone through the pain of losing a child. I, I haven't, I can't say I can imagine it would be the most horrific pain I could think anyone could experience.

[00:33:28] It shouldn't be that way. It seems so wrong. You, your kids should bury you and I get all that, but there's also a very severe pain you feel when your child goes missing. That I did it. I do have memories of that. I have a memory of one point. We couldn't look at our daughter and I remember Amy. And with the one point we couldn't, the thing with Jeremy is very vivid in my mind.

[00:33:51] Well, let's just real quickly. Let me tell you what happened. We were at Padalamo Lake, had a little aluminium boat and had it on a trailer and, and we had fished and it was time to go and it was getting late and, and the wind was blowing and it was crazy. And. This aluminum boat was blowing all over. And, and so I went and got the truck and Jeremy's kind of holding the boat and he was maybe 10 or less.

[00:34:13] I don't remember exactly, but I remember back in the trailer, and I couldn't get the boat on the trailer. And I was trying to say to Jeremy, please push, push the back of the boat try to push. And he's in the water and he's pushing, he's pushing with all of his might until he wasn't there anymore. And when I say wasn't there anymore.

[00:34:28] I remember seeing his hands on the gun. Well, as he was working his way back, pushing, pushing, pushing, and all of a sudden his hands are disappeared. And then I looked around and realized the boat started going this way. Cause he disappeared. I don't know where he was. I don't know if he was under the boat under the trail.

[00:34:43] I don't know where he went, but I couldn't find him. And I just remember how time froze and then I. I like very quickly got back to where he was supposed to be. And I couldn't find him and I'm reaching under the water. I'm doing everything I can do to locate him. Eventually I find him and he had fallen kind of into a drop-off and I reached down and I grab him, I pull him up and he comes up gasping for air.

[00:35:10] And I just remember we walked to the tongue, the back of the truck, the tongue of the trailer. And we sat down and I just held him. And I just, I just remember saying, man, I thought I lost you. And then I remember saying, Hey, there's like, no need to let mom know about this. Right. I remember that moment. This is a story of how valuable a child is to God.

[00:35:38] This is what you need to learn. Jesus' mission was so crystal clear for the Son of Man has come to save that, which was lost. Those who had gone missing. We could call this. The parable of the waiting father it's called the parable of the prodigal son, but we could call it the parable of the waiting father.

[00:35:58] Why? Because there's something different about losing an animal, losing an intent, a tangible object. There's something about God giving us the will to choose whether we're going to be, be found or be missing. And God respects our wishes. If you don't want a relationship with God, he'll, he'll wait until you do.

[00:36:24] Then I'm going to close this part of the message where the wild things are. And if a phone you locate a phone by putting a ping, what has God got to do? What noise does God need to make for you to hear what he's trying to say to you? It's probably not your voice that you need to listen to. That's going to rescue you.

[00:36:47] But it's your father's voice. Who's going, where are you? And I want you to understand where the wild things are. This is where the heart of the father is. So we'll pick this up next week and we'll get to part two, but let's pray. So God, thank you for the fact that you are a God who cares about the one when there's 99, that are perfectly fine.

[00:37:12] That when nine are absolutely secure, when one's missing, you go. Searching for it. When you have two sons and one of them wanders away, you, you literally wait on the, looking on the horizon. Can't imagine, wonder is going to happen that day. When that one comes home. God, the truth is we're all wild in our own way.

[00:37:40] Wanted intensely, loved, deeply. God, I pray for every person who's hearing my voice right now, help them to find their way home. Let them hear the ping. That is your voice. And I pray for this in Jesus name. Amen.