How One Woman's Loss Can Become Our Gain
What a terrible indictment it is for the Church when people inside and out remark how dead and lifeless she is! Where is her passion and fire? Where is her commitment? Where is her fearless conviction that distinguishes her as being zealous enough to unashamedly stand up for her Scriptural beliefs against all opposition? In comparison to the early Church of the Book of Acts, she has surely lost something. How can she ever regain that which is lost?
A certain, seemingly-insignificant woman in the Bible has the answer which can lead her into the Greatest Revival that she has ever experienced.
Luke 15:8 says - "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?"
Proverbs 12:27 adds - "...the substance of a diligent man is precious."
The Lord Jesus tells a story in our main text of a woman who lost one piece of silver. She could have had a complacent and nonchalant attitude and had reasoned within herself that her loss was no big deal since she still had nine other pieces. After all, what's one measly piece of silver?
But, as the text implies, this woman was a "diligent" woman, and as Proverbs 12:27 tells us - "...the substance of a diligent man(woman) is precious."
Each piece of silver was "precious" to her. Perhaps each represented a memorable experience or time invested in hard labor which she felt that she could not afford to let slip.
So, as the text implies, she took action - the kind of action as suggested in Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16 - "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." "...since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."
In other words, she became "violent," so to speak, and "pressed" to find that which was lost. No complacency, indifference, or laziness was involved! Just pure diligence coupled with a made-up mind!
Our main text (Luke 15:8) tells us that she did three things - she lit a candle, swept the house, and sought diligently for the lost item.
Let's take the time to see what each action has to say to us as the Present-Day Church.
1. She Lit A Candle
Luke 11:33-36 says - "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give them light."
When we got saved, our spirit which is "the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27) became illuminated or en-Light-ened (Hebrews 6:4). We, who were "sometimes darkness" (Ephesians 5:8), were turned from "darkness to Light" (Acts 26:18).
We now have the Light, "believe in the Light," and are the "children of Light" (John 12:36). In fact, 1 John 2:8 says - "the darkness is past." At least, it's supposed to be!
Yet, the Apostle Paul had to admonish the believers in Romans 13:12-14 to "cast off the works of darkness" because they were still involved in such sins as reveling and carousing in wild parties, drunkenness, fornication, adultery, as well as envy, jealousy, and quarreling. How could this be?
Romans 13:11 gives the answer - "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."
The Roman Christians failed to "know the time" - the perilous times - they were living in, and, as a result, they began to fall asleep spiritually. Complacency, indifference, lukewarmness, and slothfulness set in. The Light within them grew dim. Consequently, the Church became full of sin or the "works of darkness."
Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies tells us under the heading of "lamp" - "Lamps in the East, were kept burning all night, and are still reckoned one of the most refined comforts the Orientals can enjoy, and for which they could make any sacrifice. The origin may have been to preserve themselves from serpents and other noxious reptiles; hence the putting out of a light is a figure of great danger, as the light is the symbol of prosperity."
Also, under the heading of "candle," it says - "a lamp, candle, light, which was always kept burning in the apartment night and day, the putting out of which was therefore equivalent to desolation and destruction."
The lamps were to burn night and day to avoid serpents, noxious reptiles, and/or other dangers. However, if the Orientals fell asleep and failed to make the necessary sacrifices to keep the lamps burning, utter destruction soon resulted.
Today, many Christians are falling asleep or are asleep, allowing their lights to wax dim. As most probably the case with the Christians in Rome, many today are justifying themselves before men, but God knows their heart (Luke 16:15). Where they once had strong convictions concerning sin and compromise, they now accept anything in the name of "relating" to others in our times.
The Church at Rome lost something. And so has the Modern-Day Church!
Paul cried out to them - "Cast off the works of Darkness..." and his words still ring true to us today.
"Cast off the Works of Darkness." No longer call evil good and good evil. No longer put Light for Darkness and Darkness for Light. Realize that you have lost something, Church! As this woman did in our main text, take action - get "violent" against all Sin and Compromise in your lives.
But how do we "light a candle" spiritually?
One way is to simply go to the Bible.
Seek God in His Holy Word.
Get the Word back in your hearts.
Have a Bible Revival.
Gather the children and the grandchildren together and study the Holy Writ with the intent of following its godly principles.
The Scriptures tell us -
"Thy word is a lamp(candle) unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
"The entrance of Thy words giveth light..." (Psalm 119:130).
"For the commandment is a lamp(candle); and the law is light..." (Proverbs 6:23).
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; ...a light that shineth in a dark place..." (2 Peter 1:19).
In other words, keep the Light of God's Word constantly burning in your hearts and homes day and night in order to keep yourselves from spiritual serpents as well as dangers and desolations.
Another way we can "light a candle" is to keep a close check on the condition of our spiritual eyes - "The light of the body is the eye" (Matthew 6:22). We must conduct a continuous watch on our eyes to be sure that they are single and full of Light and not evil and full of darkness.
What is a "single eye" or an "evil eye" (Matthew 6:22-23)? How do we know which one we have?
Our research through many study books summarized them as being such -
A "single eye" is -
...free from any lusts;
...characteristic of a generous person;
...includes a singleness of person - one heart for one treasure - the kingdom of God;
...found among those who aim solely for God's glory in their yielded and surrendered lives.
On the other hand, an "evil eye" is -
...full of adultery and lusts;
...characteristic of an envious, covetous, stingy, and greedy person;
...includes a double treasure(the Kingdom of Self and the Kingdom of God) for a divided heart;
...found among those who seek for man's applause and approval, earthly good and worldly ambition, self-glory and self-gratification.
Coming back to the woman in our main text, we reiterate - She lost something "precious" - a piece of silver. She lit a candle.
It's time for us to seek God in His Word to the extent whereby our eyes become ablaze with the fires of God - coming from a pure and refined heart, solely inclined to Him and His Glory.
2. She Swept The House
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 says - "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
According to Clarke's Commentary, it was the custom of the Jews, prior to the Passover, to diligently search their homes for "old leaven," throw it out, and then sweep every part clean.
However, the Corinthian Church did not follow this meticulous procedure in the upkeep of their spiritual "house" - their temples, spirits, or hearts. They tried to "keep the Passover" - maintain their Christianity - with the "leaven" of wickedness.
The same holds true for the Church today. Many attempt to live out their Christianity, while practicing and toying with sin at the same time.
It cannot be! It's time like never before to "purge out...the old leaven." It's time for Preachers to get out their "Holy Ghost Brooms" and sweep clean their churches of any and all sin. It's time to Preach the Word - Holiness and Repentance from all sin!
It's time for Fathers, as the heads of their homes, to know the Word and to sweep clean their homes of any and all sin. And it's time for each believer to take the "broom" of the Word and to "violently" apply it to their lives, ridding them of anything contrary in nature.
3. She Sought Diligently For The Lost Item
Psalm 77:6 says - "...my spirit made diligent search."
This word "diligent" has a strong connotation. It means to do something vehemently, with forceful energy, wholly, to the exclusion of other things, speedily, and quickly.
In the New Testament, Peter gave a strong admonition to all Last-Day saints - "...be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot(leaven), and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14).
This Greek Word means to do something with haste and great exertion.
Once again, we have the concept of taking action - "violent" action. Even though we may have experienced some blessings(nine other pieces of silver) in our walk with the Lord, we must seek, and seek, and seek until we find that which was lost through sin, compromise, worldliness, lukewarmness, or sheer spiritual slothfulness.
Are you "diligent"? That'll be determined by your attitude toward your spiritual "substance" or inheritance.
Your "diligence" will be shown by your inability to cope with the way things are in the Church today. It will disturb you so much so that you will feel compelled to take action like this woman.
You will not just toss this message aside. You will get the Bible out and apply its truths to your life, watching at all times the condition of your "spiritual eyes." You will then sweep out any and all sin or compromise as the Holy Spirit directs. And you will do it with a holy fervency - there will be a fire aflame in your heart, motivating you to act forcibly and speedily. In other words, you won't cut sin any slack.
Where are the "diligent" ones whose "substance...is precious"? Are you one of them?
They will be the ones who will recover all from the enemy! They will be the ones - the only ones - who will experience Revival in these Last Days!
May God bless His Word.
© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved