Message Follow Up - Week 6, 2021
Over all the calls to genuine faith and a life given over to Christ in every way that we’ve considered in our time in Luke it can be easy to lose sight of the truth of the heart of God towards us. And in this text, we get a glimpse of his heart… and by getting a glimpse of his heart we will be warmed and strengthened and filled with peace; that amid our hearty and sacrificial obedience we will find ourselves resting and rejoicing with God in the outworking of his mercy in our lives and the lives of all those who come to trust Him.
The Sermon Text
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”” (Luke 15:1–10 ESV)
The Main Point of the Sermon
The saving resolve of Jesus erupts with rejoicing over the outworking of his mercy.
The Welcoming Heart of Christ
- Are you familiar with this Jesus? Gentle, kind, gracious, forgiving, merciful, loving? Or have we lost sight of him amid all of life and the commandments in His word? Is he just a key cog in your religious machinery? Perhaps a way to discern this is to consider if you “draw near to hear him” or not. Here’s a promise for you. James states… “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8a ESV) If your experience of Jesus is one that feels distant, there is but one thing for you to do…draw near to God. Hear from him. Know him. Familiarize yourself with Him as revealed in this book. Understand his heart for you – especially amid the significant difficulties and seeming silence at times
- Is this the Christ who you speak of? Does your life reflect, in some increasing manner, this Christ?
- Am I, in my relationship with God as a disciple of Christ, salty in that the way I live and the way I speak serves to create a kind of spiritual thirst in those around me?
- In order for salt to make any difference it has to come in contact with whatever it’s supposed to affect. In other words, there is a call for us to be in proximity to people who need to hear of the good news of this Jesus we’ve been speaking of. How are you in proximity to those people? How can you get in more purposeful relational proximity to them?
- Who are the outcasts in our lives? Are we impartial in the way that Jesus was? Or do we only welcome those who are like us? Those who sound like us, look like us, think like us.
The Purposeful Pursuit of Christ
- As those who have been saved by grace, you might find that you have lost the thrill of this grace and lost the thrill of this partnership with God. Perhaps we have become less aware of the certainty that there are those in this world, perhaps even in our spheres, whom Jesus intends to save. Is this true of you?
- Perhaps you begin to doubt that God is really doing anything around us or in this world so we just clam up, or shut ourselves in and stay to ourselves. But rather than doubting the power of the gospel and the purposeful pursuit of God to seek and save the lost, pray that we would feel the purposeful, missional heartbeat of Jesus beating in our own chests and may we engage those in our spheres of influence with very real, interpersonal interest and care and look for opportunities to introduce them to Jesus.
The Ecstatic Response of Christ
Do you realize that God rejoices over you? He rejoices in his work in your life that continue to this day and will continue until that day when you see him?
Do you feel the smile and rejoicing of God in saving you and calling you to be His own? Do you feel the joy of knowing that you were pursued and found and saved by God – totally on account of God’s initiative and love?
The Bible does present a way of life; it tells men the way in which they ought to live, but always when it does so it grounds that way of life in truth. (J. Gresham Machen)
When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths [of the doctrine of election] in my own soul—when they were as John Bunyan said, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.
One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that he was the Author of my faith, and so the doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.” — Charles Spurgeon
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Read the Following Scriptures
(while you listen if you utilize Dwell)
Day 1 - Ephesians 1-2, Psalm 23
Day 2 - Ephesians 3-4, Psalm 103
Day 3 - Philippians 1-2, Psalm 121
Day 4 - Colossians 1-2, Psalm 145
Day 5 - 2 Thessalonians 1-3, Isaiah 55:1-10
Day 6 - 1 Peter 1-2, Psalm 116