by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

I Once Was Lost (2 of 3)
Series: Amazing Grace
Jeff Strite
John 16:7-11

OPEN: A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money. The old guy fingered his worsted wool vest and said,
"Well, son, it was 1932, the depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel. I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents.
The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5:00 PM for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I'd accumulated a fortune of $3.50.
Then my wife's father died and left us ten million dollars."

APPLY: There's a lot to be said for hard work and perseverance, but in this man's case his wealth had less to do with own character than with the generosity of his wife's father.

About 250 years ago, John Newton composed one of the most popular songs ever written. It's called Amazing Grace. Sing that first verse with me again:

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found, I was blind but now I see"

(repeat) "I once was lost… but now I'm found"
In that phrase, John Newton was referring to some Biblical stories Jesus told and he was using those stories to explain his own conversion experience.

In the book of Luke, chap15, Jesus told the stories of three people who'd lost something valuable
A shepherd lost one of sheep that had wandered away
A woman lost a coin from her dowry
And a man lost his son - the prodigal son…who gave up his home/family for bright lights and loose living.

Each story told of the anguish these people had experienced in having lost something of value AND each story ended with a peculiar phrase…
The shepherd says 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep' Lk 15:6
The woman says 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin' Lk 15:9
And the Father of ...

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