Sunday Preview: The Saving God

When we of the parable of the sower from Matthew 13 it stands out with its focus on God, the divine Sower. This parable beautifully captures the essence of a God whose seeds of love and salvation reach every corner of existence, reflecting His boundless compassion, kindness, and love. The passage makes clear that God is not a distant observer. He actively works the field, aiming to nurture every seed irrespective of the condition of the soil it falls on. His intent? That the message of salvation reaches every ear, emphasizing that no one is too flawed or broken for His love.

This image of God's relentless pursuit of us is further magnified in John 3:16-17, where we're reminded of the extent of God’s love: He sent His only Son not to condemn, but to save. God, in His essence, is not a reluctant savior but a passionate pursuer of lost souls, finding unparalleled joy in their redemption.

Luke 15 captures this with precision. As Jesus faces criticism from the Pharisees for associating with sinners, He unveils three parables that paint a vivid image of God's relentless search for the lost. The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son each highlight a different facet of God's saving nature.

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep a shepherd, from among the humblest of society, loses one sheep out of a hundred, he leaves the ninety-nine and tirelessly searches for the lost one. Once found, he joyfully carries the sheep back home. This shepherd's dedication is seen in Jesus, our seeking Savior, who carries us through life's rough patches, always eager to bring us back into the fold.

However, what truly resonates is the climax of the story, where the shepherd's joy at finding the lost sheep is so immense that he invites everyone to partake in his happiness. This joy mirrors the heavenly celebration when one sinner repents. The heavens rejoice, and God's heart swells with happiness. Unlike the Pharisees, who viewed themselves as superior and the sinners as unworthy, Jesus emphasizes through this parable that every soul is invaluable to God.

To truly embrace the essence of Christianity is to acknowledge our vulnerabilities and imperfections, while also recognizing the boundless love and grace that God offers us. We are all like lost sheep at various times in our lives. Yet, with a seeking Shepherd like Jesus, we are never truly lost. The joy that our redemption brings to the heavens should inspire us to spread His love and message, reminding others that they too are cherished and sought after by God.

As we study together Sunday we will:
  • Seek to better understand the context of Luke 15.
  • Examine the Parable of the Lost Sheep
  • Make Applications for Today

As you prepare for worship be prepared to answer the following questions:
  1. How does the parable of the sower from Matthew 13 demonstrate God's unwavering dedication to reaching all souls, regardless of their circumstances?
  2. In what ways does John 3:16-17 emphasize the lengths God is willing to go to save rather than condemn?
  3. How do the three parables in Luke 15 collectively depict God's tireless pursuit of the lost and His joy in their return?
  4. Drawing from the Parable of the Lost Sheep, how can we relate the joy of the shepherd to the celestial celebration when a sinner repents?
  5. Considering Isaiah 53:4-5, how does Jesus' sacrifice illustrate the profound depths of His love and the essence of grace?

Those Serving

Kody Pritt
Eric Renegar
Drew Triplett
Justin Spargo
Gary Jackson
James Johnson
Jeff Livingston
Shane McLaughlin

Bob Hoopes
Luke 15.4-7

Matthew Allen
Tommy Ray
George Wacks
Diann Coffman / Pam Grushon
Rich Jacobs / Jeremy Price
Ben Baker

Matthew Allen

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