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Gathering the Lost

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Gathering the Lost

Text: Luke 15:1-7 (NIV)

1Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

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.

I.        Introduction: It’s not about you!

II.      Focus On the Groups: Notice The People in the Crowd

A.      New Comers: The Crowd of Sinners Gathering

B.      Old Complainers: The Crowd of Saints Grumbling

III.   Feel the Compassion: Hear the Parable of the Lost

A.      A Desperate Hunt

1.       Leaving Behind the Flock: A Large Assembly

2.       Looking Out for the Lost: A Lonely Straggler

B.      A Delightful Find

1.       Gathering the Lost: The Joy of Finding

2.       Gathering the Locals: The Joy of Sharing

IV.    Find the Joy: Join The Party in the Heavens

A.      A Celebration With Others: Joy With A United Focus

B.      A Celebration About Others: Joy With An Outward Focus

V.      Conclusion: Are we going to be a people who are self-absorbed and judgmental, grumbling about the sinners around us, or are we going to be compassionate people focused on the lost and finding joy in their recovery. Too often our attitude toward the lost is rehearsed in the child’s nursery rhyme, “leave them alone and they’ll come home dragging their tails behind them.

                                                                                                                       

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