Recovering Lost Things | Bayless Conley

Recovering Lost Things | Bayless Conley

There are many questions you are faced with
every day. We are all searching for answers that will
make a real difference in our lives. It’s hard to imagine that these answers
might be right in front of us. Get ready to discover answers in the Bible
with Bayless Conley. And now here’s Bayless. I want to talk to you about pursuing and recovering
things that have been lost or things that the enemy has stolen. And we’re going to look at it from First
Samuel, chapter 30. Turn there with me, if you would. There is a fascinating story here about David. And it’s early in his life before he was
recognized as the king of Israel when he was still on the run from Saul. And as we look at it, we’ll find some vital
principles that will aid us in the recovery of lost and stolen things. And I’m going to begin in verse 1. I’m going to read all the way through verse
19. And this story has so many amazing facets
to it. I want you to pay close attention. Now it happened, when David and his men came
to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked
Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those
who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away
and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and
there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had
been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him
lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess,
and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the
people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for
his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD
his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s
son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall
I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall
surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” So David went, he and the six hundred men
who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. But David pursued, he and four hundred men;
for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook
Besor. Then they found an Egyptian in the field,
and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water. And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs
and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back
to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights. Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong,
and where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man from Egypt,
servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. We made an invasion of the southern area of
the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb;
and we burned Ziklag with fire.” And David said to him, “Can you take me down
to this troop?” So he said, “Swear to me by God that you will
neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to
this troop.” And when he had brought him down, there they
were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the
great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land
of Judah. Then David attacked them from twilight until
the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred
young men who rode on camels and fled. So David recovered all that the Amalekites
had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either
small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David
recovered all. David pursued, and he recovered all. Our God is a God of recovery. He recovers lost souls; He recovers lost relationships;
He recovers lost hopes; He recovers lost property, lost health; and perhaps you, as you sit here
or listen to me today, you have experienced a loss in your life. Something that you value has been stolen by
the enemy from you. Well, I just want to share with you a number
of very simple thoughts from this story that can aid you in your pursuit of recovery. In fact, I’m just going to share six thoughts
in all, so you will know when we are nearing the end of the sermon. Thought number one, take time to weep. Feeling sorrow or anguish and expressing it
is not wrong. It is normal, especially if you’ve experienced
a sudden personal loss. David’s family had suddenly gone into captivity. Maybe you have children that are in spiritual
captivity today away from God, in the enemy’s camp, if you would… backslidden. Or perhaps you’ve experienced the recent
loss of a position that you held or some possession that is of value to you. Now unfortunately, it has been the experience
of some people suffering such a loss, rather than to be comforted, end up being chastised
by their brothers and sisters in the Lord. They hear things like, “Where’s your faith? What do you think, God died or something? You think God fell off the throne?” And, you know, that really doesn’t help
because it almost denies the fact that we’re emotional beings and that loss affects us
on an emotional level. There’s really no getting around it. Even you take someone that’s lost a loved
one due to death… maybe a child, a spouse, a relative, a friend… and, you know, some
people almost make them feel guilty for grieving. Friend, grieving is normal. And yes, those that die in the Lord, they
gain. The Apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ;
to die is gain.” When he was facing Roman execution, he said,
“You know, I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” So those that know the Lord that pass from
this life, they gain. It’s far better for them. However, there is still an acute loss on this
side. There is still the sting of sensing their
absence here. And, yes, you know, it’s not the same as
the grief that the world has because they will not be reunited with their loved ones
in the world to come. But, friend, we will. But there is still such a thing as Godly sorrow. And it is right to shed tears, it is right
to weep, and some people just… you need to weep. Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to weep.” And there are some of you here, you owe God
some tears. You’ve held some things in, and it’s not
been positive for you. So take time to weep. Secondly, don’t blame others. While David and everyone else are grieving
the loss of their families, all of his men come and they lay the blame at David’s feet
and they talk of stoning him. Maybe they were saying, “Hey, we shouldn’t
have been raiding the Amalekites! Why did you lead us to do that? If we hadn’t been raiding them, this wouldn’t
have happened to us because they’re the ones that came through.” Or, “David, why did you leave our town unguarded?” Or maybe, “Why did you have us out on the
field so long? We should have been back before now. It’s your fault, and we are going to stone
you.” Friend, don’t be in that group that always
has to blame someone else. It won’t make you feel any better, and it
certainly won’t make them feel better. And it just adds to the tension. And, you know, blame-shifting is one of the
first corrupt fruits of sin. When Adam and Eve sinned in the gardens, what
is the first thing that happened? God came and said, “Adam, did you eat that
fruit I told you not to?” “Well, the woman that You gave me, she gave
me the fruit and I ate.” In other words, “It’s not my fault. It’s her fault! And it’s Your fault for giving her to me.” Adam said, “Eve?” She said, “The serpent… the serpent deceived
me, and I ate.” It’s always somebody else’s fault. You know, David could have very easily blamed
God. It was because of the call of God on his life. It was because he was serving God that he
was a fugitive. It was because he had honored God and spared
the life of Saul that he was in the mess that he was in. David could have shaken a fist at God and
said, “Why? You know I’m trying to serve You. I’m not perfect, but I’m doing the best
I can. And You let all this happen? Serving You is worthless!” But David didn’t do that at all. It wasn’t in his vocabulary at all. You know, I was talking to a guy in church
one day. And he was going through a really rough patch. His wife and his daughter were both in a hospital
fighting for their lives. He would go from one room, his wife was hanging
by a thread; go to another room, his daughter. And he told me, he said, “Pastor, one of
the doctors that had worked on both my wife and my daughter came up to me, and he noticed
the Bible tucked under my arm, and he said to me, ‘That’s not working very well for
you right now, is it?’ as he pointed to the Bible.” The guy could have screamed and blamed God
and said, “God, why?” But instead he recognized that God was not
the source of his problem. My friend, we are living in a fallen world
that does not operate according to God’s original creation plan. Sin has messed things up. The devil has messed things up. People’s selfish choices throughout history
into the very present have messed things up. And God has sent a solution. He sent a rescuer, His Son. And it begins in the hearts of those that
receive Him. The goodness of God and the rightness of God
begins to work its way out. But, frankly, it’s not happening yet on
a global scale. One day God is going to make a new heavens
and a new earth and everything is going to be plumb right once again. In the meantime, Jesus drew a clear delineation
between the source of good and the source of evil, and we need to keep it in mind. In John 10:10 He said, “The thief only comes
to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that you might have life and that
you might have it more abundantly.” If it steals, kills, and destroys don’t
blame God for it. If it brings abundant life, give Him the credit. It brings me to the third thought. Strengthen yourself. David was distressed, his men are grieved,
they are talking about stoning him, and David strengthened himself in the Lord. You will find that you cannot blame the Lord
and strengthen yourself in the Lord at the same time. It’s all right to weep. Take time to weep. But when you’re done weeping, strengthen
yourself. Do what you need to do to strengthen yourself. Maybe you find great strength through worship. Well then, worship God. Spend time in His Word, if that’s what you
need to do. Rehearse and remind yourself about God’s
interventions in your life in the past, which I personally believe that’s what David was
doing. It was a habit of life that he had. I think he was reminding himself of God’s
promises to bring him to the throne and reminding himself about how God had intervened and rescued
him in the past. In fact, David had a specific habit that we
would do well to acquire. Whenever he was in the middle of a rough patch,
David would start talking to his own soul. You know, I have an acquaintance. He was very, very busy in a rather large ministry. And this took place years ago. He had been in for a doctor’s appointment,
and they had discovered a large spot on one of his lungs. And they had done some testing and found out
that it was cancerous. You know what he did? And I’ve always admired him for this. He cancelled every engagement he had, took
everything off the slate, and locked himself in a room at his house… didn’t even communicate
with his family. And he was in the room… might have been
three days. I know it was at least two days. He took a jug of water in there and his Bible,
and all he did for those days was read the verses on healing and worship God. He’d worship God, read the verses, think
about them, read them out loud and worship God for a while, lay down and sleep for a
little while, get up and he’d read those verses again. He did that for several days until a note
of victory came into his spirit. Then he emerged from that room, told his wife,
says, “Call the doctor. Let’s go back and make another appointment.” He did. They did a second set of x-rays, a whole battery
of tests, and the spot on his lung had completely disappeared. Do whatever you need to do to strengthen yourself
in the Lord. And we come to the fourth thought, and it’s
seek direction. David inquired of the Lord. He said, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” The first question had to do with direction;
the second one had to do with timing. “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? Because if I can’t overtake them, if they
get back to their fortified city, maybe the pursuit needs to wait and we need to employ
a different strategy.” When seeking God for direction, many times
the timing is almost as important, if not as important, as the direction. We need to ask God not just what, but when
and how. You know, my dad has had the habit as long
as I can remember. He doesn’t plant things at the house if
he can’t eat them. You can eat everything at his house. You walk through the backyard, you walk in
the sides of the house, everything that grows has fruit on it. And he has the most amazing persimmon tree
I’ve ever seen! Has these enormous persimmons on it, and it
gets so laden with fruit every year all of the branches have to be propped up or they
will break under the weight of the fruit. And they’re delicious unless you try and
eat a persimmon before it’s ripe. Anybody in here ever try and eat a green persimmon? All right. Yeah. Can I get a witness? They are so astringent that it turns your
mouth to sandpaper, and you think, “How can something that is so delectable and so
delicious be so horrid if it’s just eaten early?” And, you know, there are some things in our
life… they may even be within the realm of God’s will… if we partake of them early,
they’ll be bitter and disappointing. Many years ago I was with some friends. This was before I even knew Janet. And they’ve left for the day. I was in their backyard praying. And I’d pray for an hour, maybe an hour
and 15 minutes, been praying in the Spirit, walking back and forth, and then just getting
quiet and listening. And towards the end of that prayer time the
Holy Spirit spoke to me, and He said, “I have called you to be a pastor.” Now that was news to me. That had never entered my mind, not once before
that. Now I knew I was called into ministry. I knew I would be involved in gospel ministry;
from the time I was saved I had an inward knowing. I just didn’t know exactly what it would
be. And, frankly, I had never been in a healthy
church before, and I had never seen a pastor that I would want to be like. But I had seen several traveling teachers
and traveling evangelists that inspired me greatly. So I just figured that’s what I’d do. I’d be a traveling teacher; I’d be a traveling
evangelist. And so becoming a pastor, that was news to
me. And thank God I was wise enough to not run
out right away and start a church! In fact, it wasn’t until four years later
that we started Cottonwood. You know, if I had run out and started a church
as soon as I knew I was called to be a pastor, it would have been bad. I would have skinned all the sheep alive and
nailed their hides to the back of the wall. Call it young man’s disease, if you want,
but to my shame back in that day I had an answer for everything and I had an answer
for everyone. I mean, I knew it all. And my basic attitude was, “Quit whining
and start doing the Word.” Now I still believe God’s Word is the answer
for all of our ills and all of our difficulties. However, I have grown a little bit in the
arenas of patience and compassion. And you may not know it, but you should be
very, very glad that I have. Now if I would have engaged at the wrong time,
it would have been a disaster. Moses… Acts, chapter 7, you can read it… it came
into his heart to visit his brother and the children of Israel. Moses knew he was a deliverer; he knew he
was going to be a judge. He had the “what” right, but he had the
timing wrong, and it was a disaster. He killed an Egyptian, tried to bury him in
the sand, and he ended up being an outcast having to run away out into the wilderness. He had the timing wrong. He hadn’t waited on God for timing. And so inquire of God and expect God to answer,
but be sensitive when it comes to timing. Then we come to the fifth thought. It’s continue to serve others. Even in your weakness, God may use you to
serve and to fight for others. Now think about this: David is just as tired
as they were. His loss was just as great as their loss. His grief was just as great as theirs. And actually his problems are bigger than
theirs are. David has not only lost his wives, they are
now talking of stoning him. So in addition to dealing with his own weariness
and his own grief of heart, he’s got to lead this bunch of men that moments before
were filled with murder and mutiny. I’m going to make a statement you need to
remember: Even when you are at the point of personal weariness and perplexity, God will
use you to help others. And I know some of you here today, that’s
you. You’ve got your game face on, maybe the
people around you don’t know, but your world is coming apart at the seams. And I’m telling you: God will use you to
help someone else even when you are at the absolute lowest just to show you that it’s
Him doing the work and not you. Those in leadership roles, listen carefully:
Don’t expect most people to think about your needs if you’re in leadership. Most people will only think about their own
needs. You can’t get mad at them for not considering
that you might be weary and fatigued yourself or that you might be going through things
yourself. David didn’t become resentful toward them. He was willing to go the extra mile in order
to help them. You know, it was years ago some idiot set
up my schedule so that I was in Australia and in Europe within the same week. Yeah. I’ve got no one else to blame. So I’ve got some pretty arduous ministry. I’m preaching a lot there. I fly back, get off a plane just in time to
preach the weekend here at Cottonwood, and I think then we were doing seven services
on the weekend instead of the five we do now. And then on Monday morning I got on a plane
and flew to Europe. And I had meetings in several different countries
and a different city every night. I think there was seven different meetings
I had. Lots of train rides and plane rides, and I… I was jacked up, you know, from crossing so
many time zones back and forth. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And it was like the second to the last meeting
in Europe I said to myself when I was in the pulpit, “Bayless, do not close your eyes.” I knew if I closed my eyes I would fall asleep. And so this building, we’ve got a lot of
churches are participating, we’ve got a central venue that we’ve hired out, and
the place is packed, and I feel like a zombie. And I honestly didn’t want to be there. I’m thinking, “I wish these people would
go away. I just want to go back to my bed and go to
sleep.” I was so tired! I literally felt bankrupt of having anything
good to give. And I muddled my way through a message, gave
a bleary-eyed invitation, and suddenly 84 people jumped up and streamed to the front
to give their hearts to Christ. And I’m thinking, “What is going on?” And the pastors all told me, “This is the
biggest response to an invitation any of us have ever seen in any of our churches before.” And it’s like God was whispering to me,
“Bayless, I’m the one that’s doing this. Not you.” It’s a good thing to remember. Listen to these words from the Apostle Paul,
Second Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then
I am strong.” Going through trials right now? Maybe with your health, your finances, at
work, some other arena, you can still be used by God to meet the needs of others, to strengthen
others, and to encourage others. And it’s an important lesson to learn that
God needs to be the wind in your sails. He doesn’t just work when you’re feeling
tip-top, friend. God is God regardless of what is going on
in our lives. All right, the final thought, thought number
six: Be open for help to come from unexpected sources. God will not fit neatly into whatever box
you have designed for Him. God uses sinners and saints. Here in this story, I think it’s in verse
11, they find the Egyptian in the field. He had been part of the raiding party that
had taken their families and burned the city down, and he ended up becoming the key that
brought them victory. Very, very unexpected. And here is just a thought. You know, some of David’s men, I’m sure,
would have liked to have killed that Egyptian. They would have thought, “Hey, God’s judging
him for having taken part in that raid. God has brought him into our hands. Let’s kill him.” But David showed him kindness. Romans 12 says, “If your enemy is hungry,
feed him; if he’s thirsty, give him a drink.” Some of the greatest antagonists to the gospel
have been won by love and by kindness. In fact, just a little word of advice: Unless
you are forced to compromise your convictions or principles, you shouldn’t burn down any
bridges that exist between you and people. You need to keep those bridges intact unless,
of course, it somehow would cause you to compromise your convictions. You shouldn’t do that. But, otherwise, you don’t want to burn down
bridges between anyone. You never know who God is going to use or
when He might use them. And if you’ve burned down the bridge, they
won’t be able to cross it, nor will you. Keep the bridges intact, friend. Well friend, I hope you got something out
of today’s broadcast. And I just want to encourage you, dare to
trust God. He does answer prayer. He does look upon the hearts of men and women. He does know who you are. You’re not a faceless person in the crowd
to Him. Call out on Him today and you will find that
He is very near and very interested in the circumstances of your life. God bless you. We’ll see you next time. “Lost and found is now open.” “Have you ever lost something of value in
your life? Maybe a relationship, maybe a physical item
maybe an impetus or a momentum that you had? You know: lost things can be recovered and
we´re gonna find out how.” Lost things can be recovered because God is
a God of recovery! In his heartfelt message, “Recovering Lost
Things,” Bayless Conley reveals a God who recovers lost relationships, lost hopes, lost
possessions, lost health, a lost sense of purpose, innocence, direction, or ability…
and the list goes on. Regardless of what you‘ve lost, remember:
We serve a God of recovery. Find hope and restoration in Him today! Just use the information on the screen now
to request your CD or DVD copy of “Recovering Lost Things.”

4 Replies to “Recovering Lost Things | Bayless Conley”

  1. I've got a mouth muffler that I lost and I lost it at school in English, religious studies , or French class. But I'm seriously freaking out 😱! im scared that some one might of took it or it's not in the lost property box 😭😭😫😫😖😩😤🙁😑😩

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