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Our Relentless, Forgiving Lord

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INTRO - Something valuable/crucial lost, and then found (contact lens, wallet, wedding ring, etc.)
READ -
OPEN: Jesus responds to questions, challenges, accusations
Here, the issue is who He associates with, who He reaches out to
(Good study: see how Jesus responds…)
JESUS answers with 3 Parables
Forces the “elite” to relate to 3 types of people and scenarios they’d rather not
Shepherds - despised, disgusting, low-lifes
Woman - barely more than property (before Christianity)
Wayward son - tending pigs (unclean to Jews)
JESUS needs to address this issue, so He explains
Confirms characteristics of God, and His desired relationship with us

God Seeks the Lost

- ALL have gone astray
- Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost
Parallel to

Shepherd - leaves the 99, seeks the lost

Woman - spares no effort to find the coin

God cares for those who are His

The 99 - the danger in leaving them is not the point, God is not careless
but…His ways may seem foolish to man’s ways
The coin (a drachm), perhaps 1/10 of her worth, perhaps part of a dowry to be paid when married, often worn as jewelry
Danger in sharing or celebrating/publicizing her wealth? Again, not the point, not the concern of the parable

Rejoicing over a sinner repenting (coming to Him or back to Him)

- Good to see what God expects/likes
God is pleased when someone accepts Him, on His terms
Many today tell God what He should be like and what He should accept
Stories not about carelessness in the shepherd or the woman, but the sincerity of the search, the relentless pursuit, and the resulting celebration!

Of COURSE Jesus associated with sinners!

Who else is there?
So God seeks (?), and then commands repentance
- Repent! Believe!
Repentance is required for.....

God Forgives - fully forgives

The sheep & coin- God explains how important we are to Him
Luke 15:7 NASB95
“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
, - repentance, and no matter who, God desires ALL
Luke 15:10 NASB95
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Prodigal Son

(again, just a story to illustrate heavenly truth)
- decision is made to go back, REPENTS, changes direction
- true statement of repentance
(pre-decision, he’d already made the choice, and follows through)
(note, v. 20, the father runs to greet his son)

Father Forgives

Son - basically stated he wanted his father dead, by asking what he did
Son was dead, and is now alive!

Repentances pictured here

forgiven from penalty of sin - salvation
Daily cleansing () - living daily forgiven and “clean”

Forgiveness

Lost son - must accept it, and be forgiven. Next day? Life as it was?
People - saw how important his son was to the father, saw forgiveness in action
Brother - jealous, should be rejoicing
Instead, complains
quibbles about little stuff, aggravated

PUTTING THE TEXT TO WORK

Do we truly grasp God’s love for us?
if we did, it would change how we live, our priorities, how we think, what aggravates us
Do we as a church get more aggravated with “our own,” rather than the evil out there?
I guess we are like family that way...
How did you repent, when you accepted Christ? Willing to share a testimony?
THIS IS AN OCCASION FOR REJOICING
I’d love to put SECOND birthdays in the bulletin - REJOICE!
How do you explain the depth of God’s forgiveness?
Is there anyone here “unforgiveable?” NO
Must repent, must ask for forgiveness, and He gives it!

THEOLOGICAL POINT

God is omniscient - all-knowing
He knows me, and you
And He still says “come” - DO you grasp that?
He sought us, and still seeks more
Through His Word
Through His church
WE…ARE…FORGIVEN - We should live FORGIVEN!

SO - NOW WHAT?

Jesus, in the midst of opposition, was willing to die for that ONE who would repent
REJOICE!
Jesus came for that 1, for His disciples, the followers, the thousands saved on Pentecost, the millions and millions around the world
You are where God wants you, right now, today!
REVIVAL COMING, TO NOBLE (Yes, Noble)
Are you in? Anyone opposed? Tell people.
God is seeking those who will repent
God forgives all who ask
Even you (and me)
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