This past Sunday, I began a series of messages on the parables of Jesus recorded in Luke 15. My pastoral concern is that our congregation would have the heart of God toward lost people. And lost people matter to God. So they should matter to us.
Here is the sermon skeleton from Sunday’s message.
Title: “The God of the Missing Sheep”
Text: Luke 15:1-7
Series: “Lost People Matter to God” (Luke 15)
Outline: Jesus teaches us that lost people matter to God by describing how a good shepherd responds to a missing sheep.
I. The Shepherd’s Purposeful Neglect (15:4)
A. The number of the sheep teaches us that God loves us personally and individually.
B. The nature of the sheep teaches us that God we cannot get back to God on our own.
II. The Shepherd’s Relentless Pursuit (15:4)
The fact that the shepherd searches for the missing sheep until he finds it teaches us that the Lord will not give up on you.
III. The Shepherd’s Joyful Discovery (15:5-7)
A. Consider what the shepherd does not do when he finds the missing sheep: he doesn’t get angry.
B. Consider what the shepherd does when he finds the missing sheep: he rejoices.
Conclusion: Your attitude toward lost people reveals what your true relationship with God is.
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…