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Summary: THE SET UP FOR UNDERSTANDING GOD’S HEART FOR THE LOST IS THE NATURE OF THE RESCUE.

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Lost Sheep and Coins

Luke 15

February 15th, 2009

INTRODUCTION

Last week news reports carried the story of 150 ice fishermen that were trapped on an ice floe when it broke away for the shoreline.

Members of the US Coast Guard walked across the frozen Lake Erie as they attempt to reach stranded fishermen. Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier said rescuers lowered baskets onto the ice from helicopters, and people were lifted to safety. Others boarded air boats that glided across the floe on Lake Erie, the southernmost of the Great Lakes in eastern North America. By late afternoon on Saturday 134 people had been plucked from the ice.

Public opinion on the story included some unique perspectives.

These guys were crazy

They deserved their fate.

They should have pay for their rescue.

They should be just left out there to teach them a lesson.

As I heard the stories, I didn’t relate to the fishermen or those who were condemning them. I was relating to the USCG men. In 1976 when I graduated High school I joined the USCG. Why? Because the idea of performing search and rescue operations seemed glamorous and exciting to me.

Look at this recruiting motto. USCG: More than 1,000,000 Lives saved since 1790.

The Search and Rescue Team mission motto: "This we do so others may live."

If you are in the USCG, you don’t care why a person is in trouble you are responding because of your commitment to the Rescue Mission. .

T.S. It’s interesting though, when we think of our mission, the Call, few of us think of it with the same type of excitement or commitment. In Luke 15, Jesus helps us understand the heart of God when it comes to the lost.

Turn with me once again to these Lost Parables.

Luke 15:3-10

The Lost Sheep

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 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.

The Lost Coin

8 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not 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."

P.S. THE SET UP FOR UNDERSTANDING GOD’S HEART FOR THE LOST IS THE NATURE OF THE RESCUE.

Recuing the Lost requires an Active Search

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home.

Reflected in priorities

4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

- The owner assumed responsibility for the lost -- He knew one was missing

- The owner assumed the hardship of the search -- He knew he should respond

Appl: In your mind who is se responsible to reach the lost.

The pastor?

The church?

The person next to you?

Yours? Jesus made this a personal responsibility.

Reflected in focus

go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Didn’t stay and call, he went and searched.

We’ve got a Sheltie named Rocky. When we put him out relieve himself we simply open the door and let him out. Later we open the door and call House Rocky house and assume he will come back. Most of the time he does. We have mistakenly believed that if we just open the doors of the church and call “Lost! Church!” and that will come wandering in. 90% of out reach efforts look like this.

We plan and event, send invitations, advertise, hang up a poster, and expect that they will come. Jesus tells the story of the owner leaving the 99 and going in search of 1.

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