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THE VALUE OF JUST ONE
Intro: As I was washing clothes Friday, I noticed a few pennies lying in the
bottom of the washing machine. I thought, "I should reach in there and
get those pennies." Instead, I let them ride around in the washer one
more time. As I walk through the house, I usually see pennies lying here
and there about the place. Usually, I don't bother to pick them up. Most of
us are the same way! Why? We don't attach much value to just one penny.
We say, "It just isn't worth the effort!"
In truth, we are very wrong in our assessment. If we would take the time
to pick up each penny we found, in short order, we would have a dollar, then
two, then ten, etc. Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny
earned." He was absolutely right! When we reach down and save penny
from disuse, we have earned ourselves something that has the potential to
contribute something of value to our lives.
In this parable, Jesus tells the story of a woman who lost one coin.
Instead of shrugging her shoulders and walking away, she went about the
process of finding that coin and restoring it to its proper place. This parable,
as well as the parable of the Lost Sheep and the parable of the Prodigal
Son, was designed to teach us that God sees the value of just one!
I would like to take a few minutes this morning to look into this precious
parable. I want to see why this woman attached such value to just one coin
and why she went to such lengths to insure that it was restored to its proper
place. There are some reasons why all of this happened and they illustrate
for us The Value Of Just One.
I. THERE IS A PURPOSE ATTACHED TO THIS COIN
A. In that day, married women wore a headband that was made up of
coins strung together. These coins were typically given to the bride
by her father when she was married. This headband served several
functions in the life of the married woman of that time.
1. It declared her status as a married women. It told other men
that she was unavailable. It served the same purpose as our
2. Those coins also declared her independence. They were a
constant reminder to her husband that if he divorced her, she
was able to make a fresh start. She might be his wife, but she
could make it without him. This one coin was the equivalent of
1 days wages. Evidently, she and her husband were very poor,
because she only possessed 10 coins. Many wealthy women
wore headbands comprised of dozens of coins
3. It was used to identify sinful women. When a woman had
been guilty of unfaithfulness, a coin was sometimes removed
from her headband to tell everyone who saw her that she was an
4. In other words, these coins were there to bring glory to the bride!
As long as that coin was missing, her beauty was marred and
incomplete! With this in mind, it is easy to see why the loss of
one coin was enough to cause this woman to fly into action to
B. That coin was precious to this woman. That is why she gets so
worked up over it. However, it has absolutely not value at all while
it was lost! It was good for nothing! It could not adorn her head. It
could not grace her life. It could not be used to provide the
essentials of life. It was useless as long as it was lost. That is why
it was imperative that it be found! It was just one piece of silver, but
it was worth everything to this woman!
C. Of course, the object of this parable is to teach the value of one
sinner to the Lord. You see, like that lost silver, people were not
created to live lives of sin and disobedience to the Lord! God made
man for one purpose: for His Own glory, Isa. 43:7! When God made
man, He made him in His image, Gen. 1:26. He made man for
fellowship, so that He could walk with man in the cool of the Garden
of Eden, Gen. 3:8. When man sin, he became lost. His sin
separated him from the presence of God, Gen. 3:23; Isa. 59:2.
A life lived for the Lord is a beautiful and powerful thing, but a
lost life is of no value at all! But, when that life is found and restored
to its proper place by the power of God, that life can be all God
designed it to be in the first place!
D. For this woman, her life could not be complete until she had found
the coin that she had lost. It filled an important place in her life. God
is complete with or without you and me, but when we are saved by
His grace, filled with His Spirit and used for His glory, we serve the
function of adorning the Lord and of bringing glory to His Name!
II. THERE IS A PLAN ATTACHED TO THIS COIN
A. When this woman realizes that a coin has been lost, she springs into
action to see that it is restored. To her, it is a valuable thing! She
lights a light, begins to move things about and to sweep and search
the house until the coin is found. She had a will to find it, she worked to find and in the end, she won because she found it!
B. That coin was lost in the darkness (Houses in that day had no
windows), it was lost in the dirt (Houses in that day had dirt floors),
it was lost in disuse(A lost coin cannot be used), and it was lost in
the dwelling (It was lost in the house). What a picture that coin is
of men who do not know the Lord!
1. Lost men are in darkness - They may be brilliant intellectually
speaking, but spiritually, they are blind, 2 Cor. 4:4. They are all
lost in the black darkness of spiritual ignorance! They do not
know their condition and they do not know what they need, until
they are sought after by the Lord, Eph. 2:1; John 6:44.
2. Lost men are in the dirt - When a coin was stamped, it was
stamped with the image of the ruler. When a coin was lost in the
dirt, the image of the ruler on that coin would be hidden and
marred. So it is with lost men! They were made in the image of
God, but that image has been marred and they need to be
cleansed so that the image of the Lord might be restored. (Ill. If
you don't think men are dirty, just look at our world!) Man needs
someone to reach into the dirt of his life, lift him out and clean
him up! (Ill. Men tend toward dirt, just fail to bathe for several
days and see what I mean. That is also true spiritually! Men
tend toward dirt! They need the intervention of the Lord to
cleanse than and make them whole again.)
3. Lost men are in disuse - Just as a lost coin is unusable, so is a
lost life. It must be cleansed and restored before the Lord can
use it for His glory.
4. Lost men are everywhere, even in the dwelling - I have found
lost coins in the car, in the yard and one the street. I have also
found them in the house. The same is true with lost men, they
may be found everywhere, even in the house of the Lord!
C. When this coin goes missing, this woman sets about the business of
finding it. She makes up her mind to do whatever it takes to find her
lost coin. And, that's just what she does! She lights a light, moves
the furniture, sweeps the floor and looks everywhere for her lost
coin. And, she does not stop until she has found it!
In this, she is a picture of God! He has done everything that is
necessary for the salvation of lost people. He loves them, Rom.
5:8; Jer. 31:3; He provided a perfect salvation, Acts 16:31; He gave
His Son to pay the redemption price, 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5; John
3:16; He calls men to come to Him, Matt. 11:28; John 6:44; when
they come, He saves them completely and eternally, John 10:28.
He has a perfect plan to save lost people!
D. We may wonder why this woman went to all this trouble over one
coin. We spend more than a days wage on a room for vacation, or
we blow that much on junk from time to time. Her reason was that
this one coin was of immeasurable value to her. She was willing to
do anything to see it restored! To her, one coin had tremendous
When it comes to people, we live in a society that places little
value on the individual. Think of child abuse, or the fact that we are
reduced to mere numbers (Social Security Number; Inspector #12,
etc.). But, from God's perspective, every person has value! He
loves those who are lost and He labors to find them and save them!
Regardless of who you are, the Lord loves you and sees value in
your life. He will save you, cleanse you, change you and use you,
if you will come to Him by faith!
III. THERE IS PRAISE ATTACHED TO THIS COIN
A. When this woman found that coin, she called her friends and
neighbors together and said, "Let's have a party! I found the coin
that was lost!" And they began to rejoice! What a happy day it
was for this woman.
B. Verse 10 makes the transition to Heaven. We are told that there is
rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
repents. Heaven gets excited when a lost one is found! Why?
Something of value has been restored to its proper place. God is
glorified. A soul misses Hell. That which was unusable is available
for the Master's use. That which was dirty and made ugly by sin is
clean and beautiful by the grace of God! It is a glorious day when a
lost person is saved by the grace of the Lord God! Nothing honors
Him like a soul being saved!
Conc: If there is a final word it is this: God is interested in what others think
is worthless! He doesn't care what you may think about your own worth. He
does not care what others may think about your worth. He looks at you
through the eyes of His love and grace and sees you as being worthy of His
Son. If you are like that coin, lost in the darkness, the dirt and the disuse of
your sin, I invite you to come to the Lord this morning. You might even be
lost "in the dwelling" this morning; a church member but never saved. You
need to come to Jesus! He is still "seeking and saving that which is lost."
If there is a need, or if there is just praise in your heart this morning for the
day He lifted you out of the darkness, dirt and disuse of sin, this altar is
open! You see, to Him, there is value in just one!
1999, Higher Praise
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