In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14
Reasons Why Biblical Knowledge is Essential…
- The bible is essential for spiritual growth.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
- The bible is essential for spiritual maturity.
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14
- The bible is essential for spiritual effectiveness.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. James 1: 22-25 (The Message)
What we learn about the lost…
Reason #1: The lost wander away
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Luke 15:4 (NLT)
Reason #2: The lost are neglectful/careless
Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Luke 15:8 (NLT)
Reason #3: The lost are willful
“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12 (NLT)
What we learn about God…
- God is concerned for the lost.
- God is seeking the lost.
- God rejoices when the lost are found.
What we learn about ourselves…
We are active participants in God’s mission
“What a huge harvest!” [Jesus] said to his disciples, “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:37-38 (The Message)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Three types of people God uses most often…
- God loves to use the insecure.
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10
- God loves to use the unlikely.
Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)
- God loves to use failures.
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. Luke 22:60-62
You will have to step out to find out what God wants to do.
Why do we need to catch the vision?
Because we are to fulfill Christ’s mission.
- We are to explain God to others
- We are to bring God’s Kingdom to others
- We are to make disciples
- We are to surrender our lives
How did Jesus fulfill his mission?
- He taught _crowds_
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable… Luke 8:4
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd… Acts 2:14
- He equipped _a small group__
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
- He sent _them out_
And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:2
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. Acts 2:43
We all struggle to believe but that struggle can produce something wonderful in each of us.
Here’s what we learn about Jesus at this meal…
Fact #1: Jesus believes that no one is insignificant
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Luke 19:5-7
Fact #2: Jesus always had time to talk
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. Luke 19:1
Fact #3: For Jesus mission is the priority.
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10
Here’s what Jesus wants us to learn from this meal…
- We are to see everyone as important to God
- We should take the time to listen to others
- We must be concerned with our God given mission