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Many years ago, when I was in grade school, I was a patrolman for the grade school in Toronto, Ohio. It was sponsored by AAA and we were given really nice badges. It was an honor to be a street crossing guard.

One summer, I visited my grandfather’s farm and was working in the hay when I lost my badge. We hunted for it for a good while before having to leave to go home, not able to find it.

Years later, while I was working to clean out the barn, I was shoveling and saw something shiny. I discovered it was the patrol badge that I had lost years earlier. I cleaned it up and kept it for a long time.

The point of this lesson is the value of one. In the New Testament, we see the value of one in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, in Luke 15. In each instance, there was something of value lost.

In the parable of the sheep, the shepherd left the 99 to find the one sheep that was lost, and when he found it, he laid it on his shoulders, rejoicing. How thankful he was for finding the one lost sheep.

In the parable of the lost coin, a woman had ten silver coins and lost one of them. She lit a lamp, swept the house and searched carefully until she found it. She was so happy she found the lost coin that she called her friends and neighbors together, telling them what had happened.

In the parable of the lost son, he had taken his inheritance, left home and wasted his inheritance in riotous, prodigal living. He eventually found himself in the hog pen, and came to himself and returned to his father. His father was so happy because the one that was lost was now found.

These parables show us the value of one item, or even one soul, that is lost. The individuals desired to find what was lost and rejoiced when they did. How gracious our God is that when we are lost, he provides a means of coming back to Him.

Have you ever lost anything of value and diligently hunted for it? Maybe you spent a lot of time and effort, only to come up empty-handed. We search for those things of value.

Our God has demonstrated that we are of value, even of more value than the sparrows. In Matthew 6:26, Our Lord stated, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” The answer should be obvious, we are.

Why not take time and consider your value before God, and obey His Word before it is eternally too late? You do this by believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24), repenting of your sins (Luke 13:3), confessing your faith in Christ as God’s Son (Matthew 10:32,33) and being baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).

If we are faithful all the days of our life, we will have an eternal home with God, the Father, His Son, and all the redeemed of all the ages. Don’t remain lost, but come into a saving relationship with our heavenly Father now.

Eddie Cooper is a retired minister from the Washington Street Church of Christ, in St. Albans.

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