Summary: God is actively searching for lost people, and believers should as well.
Why God Searches for Us?
A. The game of Hide and Seek.
B. The example of deer hunting in the Low Country and how the dogs pursued the deer (also other sports where dog are used to run animals).
C. The diligent pursuit American and other countries made for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan because of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
D. Man walking along an isolated road and heard crying sound.
1. Looked underneath a bridge and saw a puppy in the mud.
2. Gash on the head and covered in mud.
3. Legs were swollen, had been bound with cords.
4. As he approached the dog began to snarl and growl.
5. Sat down and started talking to the dog.
6. Dog stopped growling and let him touch him.
7. Unwrapped the cords and carried him home, cared for its wounds and fed him.
8. Dog continued to snarl every time he approached.
9. Weeks went by and one day the dog wagged his tail instead of growling.
E. White Fang by Jack London.
1. He was misused and abused.
2. Used in fighting until a young man won his love.
F. Adam and Eve in the garden.
1. Sinned by doing what God told them not to and hid.
2. God said, “Where are you?”
3. Not a geographical question but a spiritual one.
G. Consider the following profound statements.
1. God loves me just as I am but he refuses to leave me where I am.
2. Nothing I do, whether good or bad, will make God love me more than he does right now.
3. I am a unique creation and God wants a relationship with me.
H. These two stories along with that of the prodigal son are very familiar.
1. Been called the gospel within the gospel.
2. Tells about the nature of God.
3. Some suggest the shepherd is Jesus, the woman is the Spirit and the Father is God.
4. No one can come to God unless he works in their life.
I. Before we judge Christians who spend time with lost folks, listen to what led to these stories.
1. “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came (tense speaks of continuous action) to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people-even eating with them!"
2. Lived immoral lives, dishonorable occupations, neglected the sacred religious traditions, no money entrusted to them, couldn’t give testimony, couldn’t be trusted with secrets, couldn’t be guardians of orphans, couldn’t be trusted with charitable funds, shouldn’t be a guest of such people.
3. Religious leaders were so concerned with trivia of law that they had no time for such people- couldn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah because he associated with such people.
4. Jesus jeopardized his reputation among the church community by whom he associated with, “A man is known by the company he keeps.”
5. Reggie McNeal, one-time director of the Leadership Development Department of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, said at the 2001 state Convention that we need to get out of the church and spend time with lost people.
HE SEARCHES BECAUSE SOMETHING IS LOST
A. Shepherd who had 100 sheep but lost one.
1. Familiar scenario.
2. Grazing land was often scarce and sheep grazed on narrow plateaus bordered by steep cliffs.
3. Shepherd had to keep track of the sheep.
4. If one was lost or killed by a wild animal, he had to bring back the hide.
5. Sheep can graze and just wander off.
6. Will lie down helplessly when it discovers it is lost.
B. Woman who lost a coin.
1. Had ten silver coins.
2. One represented a day’s wage for a common laborer.
3. Many lived on the edge of poverty, might not be able to feed her family.
4. Might have been part of a headdress that married women wore.
5. Not to be removed even during sleep.
C. The something that is lost is humanity.
1. Isaiah, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6)
2. Paul, “There is none righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10)
D. Every person is under the condemnation of sin.
1. Lost and without hope apart from God.
2. All of humanity was represented in Adam and when he sinned we inherited his sin nature.
3. All we have to do is observe to know this is true.
E. Repentance is our only hope.
1. Believe in what Christ has done on Calvary.
2. Confess and repent of our sins.
3. Christ is the Savior of those who do but the Judge of those who refuse.
F. The woman and shepherd represent the search of God because something is lost.