Week 2: Insecurity

Jesus Gets Insecurity

Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

Luke 15:8-15 NLT

devotional 1

All of us have experienced the loss of something valuable at one point or another; it could be a beloved toy, an important school project, the keys to our car, or a cell phone. On a more significant scale, we might have lost a job that brought us joy, a house that felt like home, or a relationship that we deeply valued.

Whenever we lose something, it’s rendered incapable of serving its intended purpose. Keys that are misplaced cannot unlock doors. A job that is lost ceases to provide financial stability. For the woman who couldn’t find her coin, that coin was no longer of any monetary value to her. It became merely a chunk of metal, lost somewhere out of her reach.

Consider your daily earnings from your job, or a large sum of money you’ve received for a special occasion like a birthday or graduation. For the woman, the lost coin was of comparable value. Think about the potential uses for that sum of money. Would you be willing to let it go without making an effort to retrieve it?

In sharing this parable, it’s natural for us to empathize with the woman, yet Jesus introduces an unexpected twist. We are not represented by the woman; we are symbolized by the lost coin. Conversely, the woman symbolizes God, indicating that we are His treasured possession, the fruits of His labor, yet we are lost.

Feeling lost can evoke a sense of insecurity. A situation once filled with ease and freedom now becomes laden with anxiety and exhaustion. The clarity about our existence, direction, and means to proceed seems to vanish. Can you recall a precious item you lost and the sorrow that ensued? God experiences a similar sorrow for every lost soul.

Now, think back to the role that lost item played in your life, the happiness it brought you. This is akin to the joy God feels when individuals find their way back to Him.

A coin is designed with a specific use in mind: to be spent. However, when it is lost, it loses all utility, becoming a mere inactive object. While a stolen coin still retains some value for the thief, a lost coin serves no purpose.

Similarly, when we are lost, we stray from our divine purpose and can no longer fulfill what God intended for us. Yet, the uplifting news is that, like the woman in the story, God is tirelessly searching for us, willing to go to great lengths, even taking on human form, to bring us back and restore us.

In our moments of doubt and insecurity, Jesus became one of us, so we might emulate Him.

Jesus used the imagery of a coin bearing Caesar’s profile in another memorable narrative. When challengers sought to ensnare Him with a question about paying taxes to the oppressive Roman regime, He astutely responded by advising to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s” (Luke 20:25), highlighting a profound truth. Being created in God’s likeness, we mirror His image and essence, signifying that we are His and are created with a purpose in mind.

Bearing God’s image, like a divine coin, prompts us to ponder how God wishes to ‘spend’ us in fulfilling our purpose.

As we navigate our lives, seeking direction and purpose, we need only look to Jesus as our guide. According to the New Testament in Colossians, Jesus is described as “the image of the invisible God” (1:15), living His life in constant communion with God the Father, mirroring His actions (John 5:19). We are invited to live our lives in the same manner.

We are each granted one life. We have the choice to spend it evading God, questioning our purpose, or striving independently to find and fulfill our destiny. Alternatively, we can emerge from the shadows, following Jesus’ example.

Jesus offers us a vivid and flawless portrayal of God’s intention for our lives. Amid our insecurities, we can draw inspiration from Jesus’ life to discover our own purpose.

devotional 2

Reread this week’s passage, Luke 15:8-10.

Do you see yourself anywhere in this passage? Where?

Is there anything you need to repent of (change your ways on)?

devotional 3

Where, if anywhere, are you being told that you don’t matter?

Where do you see value in yourself that few others see?

 In the last 24 hours, where have you made a valuable contribution?

Spend some time in prayer along these lines.

devotional 4

Read Matthew 19:13-14. Who do you identify with in this brief story? Why?

Why do you think the disciples might not have wanted the children to come to Jesus?

What do you think Jesus “gets” that the disciples don’t?

Do you know anyone who might be feeling devalued? How can you show them that they matter?

devotional 5

Scripture says that you were made in God’s “image”. What do you think that might mean?

How does that make you feel?

In the next 24 hours, where can you make a valuable contribution?

Spend some time in prayer along these lines.

devotional 6

How busy or stretched do you feel right now?

Where can you remove something for the sake of simplicity and spiritual health for the duration of the HGU study?

Review and address your calendar, if needed. Bring any identified and needless complexity to God in prayer.