Summary: Part 2 of Series on Movie Blockbuster themes

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Show video clip of Finding Nemo.

Good morning and welcome to Bethany. Please sign your attendance pad—and please look at the opportunities to be in ministry—take and complete one of those forms if you have the talents that God can use in that ministry here at Bethany.If you are a guest—I want to give you a special welcome because you add so much to our service.Today I continue this series of messages on Summer Blockbusters. How many have seen the movie Finding Nemo?

I’m going to take a powerful lesson from that movie today. Just as Nemo was near to the heart of his father, I am going to use the movie theme to discuss what is near to the heart of God—that is people--all people. Just as Nemo’s father risked everything to find Nemo so our heavenly father risked it all to find you and me and all people. And you know what—God expects us to take the same risks to find lost fish. He expects of me as an individual Christian, he expects it of you and he expects it of Bethany church.Here’s how the story of Finding Nemo develops in the movie:Nemo’s father loved him very much. He watched over Nemo and protected him from every evil. Nemo and his dad were best friends. There are reasons why so many people enjoy the blockbuster hit Finding Nemo. It is a powerful story of the sacrificial love of a mother, and determination of a caring father. It is the story of being lost, and then found. It is a story that can help you understand God and his love for you.

But one day Nemo disobeyed his father and swam beyond the reef. He was suddenly scooped up by a diver and taken away on a boat. Nemo’s disobedience caused him to be separated from his father. Nemo was so sad because there was nothing he could do to get back to his father. Nemo ended up in fish tank in a dentist’s office overlooking the Sydney Harbor. His situation seemed hopeless.

The father loved little Nemo so much that it did not matter how big the ocean was, or how many fish there were. He was determined to save Nemo, and set out on an incredible adventure to seek and save little Nemo. His journey became the talk of all the fish and birds. The good news of this heroic father traveling the ocean in search of his son reached Nemo through a pelican named Nigel.

Nemo was so surprised and thrilled to learn of his father’s love and search for him. However, time was running out. The dentist’s destructive niece Darla was set to pick up Nemo as a pet. Darla was known for abusing her pet fish until they went belly up. With a strong desire to return to his father, and the encouragement from his new friends in the fish tank, he took an amazing step of faith. He jumped out of the fish tank, down a water drain that led to the ocean. The father’s love drew Nemo in the right direction.Dory was a fish who knew Nemo’s father, and led little Nemo to him. There was so much happiness when Nemo was at last saved and home with his loving father.

Jesus told a story that was just like the story of Nemo: Luke 15:4-7 (NLT)4"If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?

5And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. 6When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found.

7In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

The shepherd who risked not only his life—but the 99 sheep he left behind—their lives were at risk while the shepherd was out looking for the one lost sheep.The other fish in the movie –Finding Nemo—risked their lives to find that one little lost fish. They knew the heart of Nemo’s father. And they were really to risk everything for his heart.The question I ask you today is do you know the heart of your heavenly father? Are you willing to risk it all—your comfort, your standing in the eyes of fellow Christians and church members? To what extent do the risks you take reflect that you know the heart of the father?

I want you to hear another story from the life of Jesus:NIV Matthew 8:18-26When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

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