Summary: Because Christmas is the time of year when churches expect the most visitors, this message is designed to be a Christmas message and an evangelistic sermon.
Your Gift To Jesus
Part 1: Determining Your Worth
What is it worth? That's the question before every purchase, every investment, or every effort we make. For Black Friday, people will line up outside of a store for hours, or sometimes days, before the sale begins. Why? To get their money's worth! To some, it's alright to wait for five hours, deal with hordes of other people all rushing to get the registers to check out, stand in line for another hour before leaving the store, so that you can save $100 on a $500 television.
Do you love Jesus? Then give Him the gift He values most: you!
A man might wonder if he truly is a valuable gift to God. Let's see God's perspective on this.
So he told them this parable: (4) "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? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) 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.' (7) 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. (8) "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? (9) 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.' (10) Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Fact: God values the lost sheep
1. What it means to be lost.
In churches we tend to use "Christianese." That is to say: we like to use phrases that are found in Scripture. But what does it truly mean to be "lost?" Well, in the simple terms, you once belonged to God. He formed you in your mother's womb and gave you an invisible soul so that you could have a relationship with him. Then you sinned. And that sin keeps you from God because He is holy.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are no longer lost. God has found us, called us out to be His, and we accept that calling and receive His gift of salvation. We are lost no longer.
2. Why God calls us "sheep"
What's the difference between a goat and a sheep? Goats are browsers, foraging everywhere for food. Sheep, on the other hand, are grazers. They usually stay in one area, and seldom wander off for food. Scripture compares us to sheep because Christians have no need to look for fulfillment outside of God. Instead, God provides for us as long as we follow Him.
3. When sinners make God happy
Church joke: when does a sinner make God happy? When he stops living like a sinner. And that's cause for celebration. Just think about it: when do our children make us the happiest? When they mature. Whether its a good report card from school or a good attitude at home, our children inspire us to rejoice when they aren't acting like kids. By the way, a baby goat is a kid. Just saying.