Who’s Your One- Part 1
Series: Who’s Your One?
Title: Reaching Your One
Scripture: Luke 15:1-10
Objective Statement: We may never reach our "one" if we do not imitate Christ's heart for lost people displayed in three stages of evangelism.
- The Burden
- The Searching
- The Celebration
- Have you ever heard a story that is too funny or unusual to be true? This may be one of them.
- I heard the story of a preacher that went with one of his deacons to the home of a recent visitor of his church. The lady he was visiting was elderly and kind of eclectic. She invited them in and they sat in the living room conversing and getting to know one another. The preacher noticed a bowl of almonds sitting on the coffee table and began to take a handful and start eating them. He thought they were really good and continued to snack on them through the conversation. He realized all at once that not only had he neglected to wait to be offered the almonds, but he had eaten all but the last two. “Oh ma’am”, said the preacher, “I am so sorry about eating all your almonds. They were just so delicious.” The lady replied, “That’s ok. I don’t really like almonds, so I just suck the chocolate off of them and put them back in the bowl.”
- People are weird.
- We are very diverse.
- Have you noticed that we are not all the same?
- Some of you like to go fishing. You go out to the water and participate in an activity in which it is best not to talk. I do not have any desire to do that.
- Some of you collect things that I didn’t know people collected.
- One of my favorite things to do is throw things away.
- But the truth is that some of the things I enjoy, you probably have no interest in.
- We are all different, and I sure am glad we are at some level.
- Every one of us may have something in our lives that some may think as weird.
- Today’s message is one that I hope will be more inspirational than informational.
- We’ve been in a series on the book of Hebrews, and I’m continuing to study that on a daily basis as we prepare to continue through that book. We just completed sermon 16 of what I think will be 48, and I’m pretty excited about all that we are learning about Jesus in that book.
- Jesus really is greater than anything and everything.
- And it is my sincere heart’s desire that we be a church full of people who are striving to be like Jesus.
- And if we are going to be a people who are striving to be like Jesus, we have to affirm something about Jesus.
- Jesus loves people.
- What people? Yes!
- It is clear from the evidence we have in the Gospels that Jesus prioritized His relationship with His Father. His desire was to glorify God.
- In His desire to glorify God, He fully embraced His mission as sent to seek and to save that which was lost.
- We see moment after moment where Jesus did exactly that.
- He loved corporately, and He loved individually.
- Jesus sees Jerusalem and grieves for her.
- Jesus loved rich people.
- Jesus loved poor people.
- Jesus loved people on the left and the right.
- Jesus loved men and women.
- Jesus loved children.
- And one of the things you’ll see in Jesus’ ministry is that Jesus often went after one person.
- Think of the moments that Jesus ministered to just one person.
- The Woman at the Well- an outcast because of her sinful lifestyle, and to the jews because of her racial and theological heritage.
- The man with leprosy that he healed by touching.
- The naked, demon possessed man in Gaderra.
- Repeatedly we see Jesus going after individuals for the purpose of healing physically and ultimately repentance and faith in Him.
- …to the point that He made some people, especially the religious people uncomfortable.
- This is what we find going on in today’s text in Luke 15.
- We are told that Jesus is eating with publicans and sinners.
- Read the beginning of this text with me in Luke 15:1
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
- This is an interesting scenario.
- You have three sets of characters.
- First you have “publicans and sinners”.
- Publicans were tax collectors. These were typically Jews who had betrayed their brethren by overtaxing for Rome and living off of what they were essentially stealing.
- “Sinners” is a term here for people who were not religiously or spiritually up to snuff. They were not right with God, and in the highly religious culture of Jesus day were rejected by most of the important religious people.
- Which is the second group we see here. The Pharisees and scribes were religious leaders who had dedicated their lives to studying and writing the law. They lived out the law, even to a level beyond what the law required, in order to be seen as incredibly pious.
- The third person we see in this text is Jesus. He is being accused of “receiving” and “eating with” publicans and sinners.
- This is something we see Jesus doing a lot.
- He is eating in the homes of people at times who were religious and part of the in group.We also see him doing the same thing with people who are not part of the in group. To eat in someone’s home at this time was a big deal.
- And so we see Jesus being confronted with receiving and eating with people who were not the “right people”.
- Jesus’ answer to these religious leaders, the “in” crowd- The people who everyone thought was right with God- was to give them a series of now very well-known parables. They are three parables that give us an insight into the heart of God and the heart of Jesus Christ.
- And today we are going to see that Jesus loves people.
- If we are going to be like Jesus, we must recognize that His mission is our mission- that is to reach people, one at a time, as people who have been sent.
We may never reach our "one" if we do not imitate Christ's heart for lost people displayed in three stages of evangelism.
Stage #1- The Burden Stage. (15:1-4, 8)
- Now we know that Jesus is talking about lost people because of this accusation that He has been leveled with so clearly. “He eats with publicans and sinners”.
- This came from the religious crowd. These are the “church people”. They know when to stand up and sit down. They know the verses. They can tell you every side of the theological issues of the day. They are seen as people who are very correct in there theology and pious in their practice.
- And yet they do not have Jesus’ heart for people.
- How do I know? Well look at Jesus’ audience for the parable…
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
- Who is the “them”? It’s the Pharisees and scribes.
- And the scenario that he brings up is the idea of things that are lost.
- There is a lost sheep…
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,
- There is a lost coin…
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece,
- Later on, there is a lost son that is referred to later in this text.
- He frames a question for them…. “What man of you having 100…?”, “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver…”
- Jesus is using the picture of losing something.
- In this idea there is the concept of stewardship. He has a responsibility as the shepherd to the sheep.
- The woman has a possession of the silver coin.
- And in both scenarios when something was lost.
- Just a few points about that stewardship:
- How did the shepherd and the woman know that they had something lost? They counted it.
- They could identify what was lost. They felt a responsibility.
- When they had stewardship, they had to prioritize that which was lost.
- Every sheep matters to the shepherd, and every coin matters to the woman.
- Can I tell you that every person matters to God?
- Remember the scenario he was answering- Publicans and sinners.
- Jesus was saying, I have a burden for every person regardless of their status.
- This is how the church ought to be.
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
- As a church, we ought to be welcoming to whoever God brings us.
- We must recognize the stewardship that we have of everyone that walks into the door.
- As individuals of the assembly, we must recognize the stewardship we have with people who are around us that are lost.
- And remember the name of this stage. This is the burden stage.
- Who do you have a burden for?
- Who do you recognize in your life that is lost?
- Everyone is going to spend eternity somewhere.
- Thus the name of this message:
- Who’s your one?
- Who are you burdened for in this season?
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Stage #2- The Searching Stage. (15:4,8)
- Have you ever lost something? I hate losing things.
- Have you ever lost someone?
- Illustration: We were at a theme park one time and within a moment or two we lost Audrey in the crowd. It was the longest 30 seconds of my life. She had gone into an empty trash can cabinet when we were not looking and happened to be in a crowded part of the theme park. Talk about a burden. When I realized she was lost we searched like crazy until she giggled when we opened the little cabinet she had crawled into.
- Roger Epps told me the story about when his kids got lost at Cedar Point at breakfast a few months ago. It was so good I wrote it down.
- I understand that the story went that there child got lost in the crowd, and an employee of the theme park took them to where they take the lost kids. He said, “At Cedar Point, our employees are trained to look for kids who are lost.” Roger told me they found their child exactly like the employee said.
- What an incredible statement. Their people are trained to look for kids who are lost.
- What a great description of this second stage.
- Once you realize your stewardship and have a burden, then you have to look for lost people.
- In both parts of our parable the shepherd and the woman both go to searching.
- Notice the Shephard in verse 4:
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
- Notice the Woman in verse 8:
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
- Vernon McGee makes this point about the woman and her coin.
“The coin was probably part of the row of coins which formed a headpiece, signifying her married state. To lose a part of it was like losing a stone out of one's wedding ring.”
- What are we talking about?
- When the Shepherd identified his one- the lost sheep…
- When the woman identified her one- the lost coin…
- They got a burden…
- They went to searching…
- What is Jesus’ point?
- Hey Jesus! You’re eating with publicans and sinners.
- They’re lost. They matter to God!
- Everyone matters to God.
- How do we “search after the lost?”
- Pay attention to our current relationships. (You have a stewardship.)
- Pay attention to people. (You have an opportunity.)
- Pay attention to what you value. ( People are more important than things.)
- Pay attention to your conversations. (Conversations are better than presentations.)
- Invest in people.
- Invite people to the next right thing.
- Speak up and speak out!
Stage #3- The Celebration Stage. (15:5-7, 9)
- Do you know what happens when you search?
- Searching leads to finding.
- Finding leads to celebrating.
- Look at verse 5-6…
- Two words- found, rejoice
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
- Same thing in verse 9-10 with the woman..
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoicewith me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
- And here is the point Jesus is trying to make- repeated twice in verse 7 and verse 10.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
- Do you know what the problem with those religious leaders was?
- They had a whole lot of knowledge about the Word of God, without having the heart of the God of the Word.
- God loves people.
- The point of this parable is not that God doesn’t love the religious. In fact, part of the emphasis of the next parable in the set of three parables that Jesus teaches is that you can be lost and never leave home.
- The person that receives redemption is the one who acknowledges their own sinfulness.
- If we are going to have the heart of God we have to get a burden for the one. We have to identify who that one is. Once we recognize that stewardship, then we go on a search. We invest in that relationship. We invite to the next right thing. When we seek, we will tend to find.
- And when someone accepts Christ as Savior, and goes from death to life, we better rejoice!!!!
- It’s time to celebrate!
- I make no apologies about wanting our church to grow by means of personal evangelism.
- The point of our discipleship process and outreach efforts is to reach lost people. At cedar point their employees are trained to look for lost kids. At Trinity Baptist Church our members are trained to look for lost people. It starts with a burden. It leads to searching.
- We have an incredible opportunity this Easter. We’re going to have two identical services. We are trying to make space and opportunity for new people to come.
- People need Christ.
- Who is your one? How is your burden?
- Are you lost today?