This message was preached by Augustine Kudalkar at Word of Grace Church on May 27th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
Jesus mostly spoke in parables and not everyone understood them. The disciples would often take Jesus aside and ask what it meant. Parables are stories that convey truth through analogy or contrast. It dealt with the attitude of the Pharisees- it dealt with the issues of the heart.
Q. Have you ever lost anything valuable in your life?
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
The Pharisees distanced themselves. They were Jews working for the Roman government. The sinners were gentiles, who were drunkards, adulterers, etc.
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.
The Shepherd faithfully went after the lost sheep. He could’ve assumed the worst and not bothered to go after the sheep. But he goes after the sheep and he rejoices over the sheep.
Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
God does the same with us.
Zephaniah 3:17-20 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. I will remove from you all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals, which is a burden and reproach for you. At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame. 20 At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.”
God rejoices over us.
Luke 15:8- 10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””
The woman lights a lamp and sweeps the house and she seeks diligently until she finds it. The opposite of being diligent is being lazy. The coin did not find her, she found the coin.
Isaiah 53:6 - “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
We were all lost at one stage. But someone sought us out and we were found. God is inviting us to this world wide mission which he talks about in Matthew 28: 18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Luke 19:10 –“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Jesus also modelled the mission for us. Zaccheus was eager to see Jesus and Jesus decided to have dinner with him and Zaccheus’ heart changed.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Anyone can reach out to the lost. The shepherd boy, the woman, the Father... Everyone sought out the thing they had lost and they found it. So today you could be working, a student, a man or a woman, you have an invitation to take on the ministry of reconciliation.Everyone is valuable and significant in the sight of God. He doesn’t have favouritism. Just as we have ministries of external affairs, corporate affairs, defense, etc. God has given us this ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
So we are the ambassadors of Christ.
1 Peter 2: 9-10 “9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Q. How we participate in this mission?
1. Pray for them
2. Eat with them and accept them
3. Share the gospel with them
When you seek out the lost, God makes our efforts fruitful by drawing them to Himself. So let’s go out and seek the lost and share the Good News of Salvation.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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