Finding Nemo

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…

 

 

  1. God is concerned for the lost.

 

 

  1. God is seeking the lost.

 

 

  1. God rejoices when the lost are found.

 

 

What we learn about ourselves…

 

 

We are active participants in God’s mission

Send Me

Three Responses to God’s Call…

 

Response # 1:  “Here I am. I’m not going!”

 

The word of the Lord came to Jonah: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord.  Jonah 1:1-3

 

Response #2: “Here I am. Send someone else!

 

[God said] So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 3:10; 4:13

 

Response #3: “Here I am. Send me!”

 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

 

What do you need to fully surrender to God?

 

You need a genuine experience with the presence of God.

 

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Isaiah 6:1

 

You need is a genuine awareness of your sinfulness.

 

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)

 

You need a genuine understanding of God’s Grace.

 

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7

Become an Awesome Encourager

Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize. – Elizabeth Harrison

 

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. -Maya Angelou

 

If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others. – Haim Ginott

 

If you want to be a great encourager, you have to answer these questions…

 

Is encouragement regularly part of my conversations and actions?

 

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

 

Is there someone I know who needs encouragement?

 

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 (NIV)

 

Am I prepared to unleash the power of encouragement?

 

Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (The Message)

 

 

CHALLENGE:

 

Encourage one another daily. Hebrews 3:13

RSVP

Most of us have been involved in enough weddings to know that invitations go out and then an RSVP is sent back. Well in this case, all the RSVP’s have come back – the seating arrangement has been planned – but no one is turning up. How would you feel if that was your wedding?

 

So here are the three excuses that we need to be aware of in our own life…

 

Excuse #1: POSSESSIONS

 

“But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’” Luke 14:18

 

Excuse #2: WORK

 

“Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’” Luke 14:19

 

Excuse #3: FAMILY

 

“Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’” Luke 14:20

 

God’s Answer to the Excuses…

 

The offer of GRACE to others

 

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” Luke 14:21-24 (NLT)