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November 21, 2019 1:00 am
This is a message from leading the way with Dr. Michael. You sat we pray that it will encourage you in your walk of faith. If you would like to learn more about Dr. you Seth for leading the way, please visit LTW.or at the very core of every religion that is desire and longing to find their god or gods is to be the case of the poor.
About just about every religion there is this trying to please their God and God's they try to push you there God or God's because by definition, religion is the search for God is trying to reach for God.
Trying to find God trying to know that God and that is why Christianity is not a religion. Now if you agree with Ms. Eyman. It is not the religion. The Christian faith is not the religion because the Christian faith in the Christian faith alone is the only faith that says that the one true God, the creator and the sustainer of the world.
The all-powerful God Almighty God is the one who reaches down to humanity, not the other way around. Here is the one who pursues us here is the one who seeks after us. Only the Christian faith is the only faith that declares the bill only one and true God is not been lost, but people are the Christian faith is the only faith that declares that a person's effort no matter how good they may be, no matter how hard they my work to please God.
They cannot do it and they cannot find them that way because he finds us. The Christian faith is the only faith that declares that we can know God personally. None of the other religions declare that the Christian faith is the only faith that says that you can have an intimacy with her. The God the Christian faith is the only faith that says that you can talk to God as a friend talked to a friend and you know that he is more than happy to listen to you and converse with you. He is the one to invite you to come and know his heart and not his mind, and therefore Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with a person, God himself. So as I will, Michael. How do I get that. How do we confirm that how can I defend this well. Very simply, Jesus Christ, who is God of very God become man of very man who threw him the whole world was created when he walked the earth gave us three illustrations to make this point in the all in Luke chapter 15. All of these three illustrations are designed to show us what God is like all these three illustrations are designed to reveal to us the very heart of God. They are designed to uncover for us the very essence of God. They are designed to show us the very nature of God. They are designed to show us how the one and only true God wants to relate to us. They are designed to show us that God is the one who finds us is the one who seeks after us. We don't decide to seek after him in the first illustrations to do with the lost sheep, the second illustration is to do the lost coin valuable coin and in the third illustration is a true story of the Lord Jesus uses about the lost son with her most people call it lost some of the really lost two sons as we will see later on. So you might ask why did Jesus take time to give us these illustrations because during the time of Jesus. There were people like the people we have in our time. Like many of the people that you meet in your neighborhoods in your schools. The people that you meet in your workplace people that you meet in club certain people you meet everywhere. These are the folks who have their own preconceived idea of who God is what he wants. What is like how to please him how to get on the good side of him and so I wanted to turn with me if you haven't already two Luke chapter 15 I want you to notice how the first verse says that tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him and immediately verse two it says the Pharisees and the tax collectors murmured you know what memory is your murmur when somebody says something that you don't like now all husbands and wives know what that is. But I want to get that far to get back to my text, I've experienced that first hand been part of the mainline denominations of have denied all the truth of the gospel and the I would get up and make a statement like this, Jesus is the only way to heaven and these lustrous members of the Sanhedrin only into the Council. Rumbling all across the room. I don't know about this on or say that the Bible is God's self revelation. I don't know about the Lord your God is your opinion or not always are going to lead to the one true God alone.
It was a minute when really good that will how do I know you do during the murmur and at this moment you see the Pharisees show themselves and their own view of God as the sophisticated way they saw themselves in, and their understanding of God to be the intellectual way to be the intelligent way. Like all elitists and pseudo-intellectuals of our day there would just like them today for 2000 years, nothing changed. They saw the sinners and the tax collectors who acknowledge their sin, who acknowledge the need for repentance, who acknowledged the need for the forgiveness from the hand of the Lord as weak and helpless and not very bright. You get them in the schools today. Get them in the churches today. Many mainline churches. They see those who recognize that they need repentance. They look upon those who are glad to receive forgiveness from the hand of the Lord is ignorant and unsophisticated people you see in the media all the time. They view the idea that man is totally lost without God as nonthinking person they see the teaching that says that only the humble and those who are broken over their sin can find peace with God and can have intimacy with God. They look upon this as backward thinking. This is how many people in our culture today. Think and behave just like the Pharisees of old, these folks who murmur at Jesus's love for lost people.
There are like the folks of today who are more concerned with the rituals and traditions, political correctness, their own perceived idea of what the truth is scrimping today just like it was in the days of Jesus. And that's why in verse four.
Jesus turns to the Pharisees and the scribes and he says to them.
Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and lost one of them does he not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it now wanted to really listen good. Listen with your ears and listen with your heart.
Listen with your mind.
This is powerful stuff. Most of the slickers probably never seen a sheep the picture and so how would Jesus relate this to us a listen carefully. If Jesus was speaking to that, he would say this, who will view who have worked so hard in building your nest egg and then all of a sudden you saw that whole shooting match is about to go down the drain or down the tubes and you would not work hard and you would not work day and night, you would not burn the midnight candle until you put things together or who will view who sees your marriage is about to fall apart and your children are going to pay a heavy price who you want not do whatever it in order to put the letters together and save the marriage or who you who sees one of the children turning their back and all the teachings in the biblical truth that you have talked to him and you would see that happen, praising themselves not only in spiritual harm. But even in physical harm would not work hard would not do all the take in order to see that the child turned back to the Lord who viewed that the Pharisees of course did not like this one. They were miffed they saw themselves. You see as the elite, and these were the religious logs of the day and they did not like the fact that Jesus was liking them to the lowest of the low and lesser shepherds.
This is a lower socioeconomic level. It's the least of the least the least sophisticated the least educated the least of all objectively.
I remember when I was working on this parable or a story, a dear friend of mine told me he said them in one of those fashionable dinners and one of the fashionable hotels and the there was a big burly man was sitting next to a little Chinese fella and that guy was just patronizing his seatmate the whole night mean he was talking down to him is patronizing him and he looked at him and he says do you speak English.
Is this your first time in America and is trying to kind of imitate the accident. When the food was served. He said do you like your soupy and every time this kind of pretension is expressed Chinese friends of smiles and nods this word this mother not always happen throughout the dinner until the master settlers got up and he introduced the guest speaker for the he said our guest speaker is a brilliant man. He has degrees from Oxford and Harvard and MIT, and then he went on to talk about the accomplishment of the guest speaker and you imagine the shock on the face of our big burly friend that snobbish guy when he saw that the Chinese manner. Sitting next to him is the guest speaker and so he gets up and was brilliant sophisticated Oxford accent. He delivered the most brilliant speech on the geopolitical situation of the day and then when he finished his speech, he comes back to his seat. Amidst of thunderous applause and he sits there next to his friend the seatmate and then he pat him on the back and they said do you like at the my speech, he and his here Jesus who was God of very God is not intimidated by those religious pseudo-intellectual snobs. He was not intimidated by their false belief concepts. He was not intimidated by their stupendous ignorance. He was not intimidated by the deliberate misinterpretation of the Old Testament the word of God. He was not intimidated by the elitist attitude, and above all else, he was not intimidated about their ignorance of the year and what he represents and what he came to do that was far away from knowing him as the Messiah and the Savior of the world as he could come but something else you need to know the Pharisees who would've had 100 sheep of that day. If any of them owned hundred sheep, and many of them have very and lost one they would never in a million years would do the searching themselves no way they would never personally go after that she had hired hands to do all the dirty work for them. They had shepherds and under shepherds and they will go out and find the sheep.
In fact, the shepherds and younger shepherds will be penalized if they don't find the plus sheep that would pay it.
Other meager wages that they would send their workers out to look in to find that cheap old never get the job back. That's how they operated at the time and that is why those words of Jesus are very biting words they would never humbled themselves to do something so menial as to search for lost sheep and Jesus is saying to them, God is not like you is not like you. God is the one who does the searching, God is the one who sacrifices he sacrifices his comfort.
He sacrifices his reputation he sacrifices his ease. He sacrifices his time he sacrifices his convenience, he sacrifices his energy and he personally search for his sheep. What is Jesus doing. He was reminding them of their Bible that they claim to know he was reminding them that in Psalms 23. In Psalm 100. God is described as the good and great Shepherd. He was reminding them of the truth of Isaiah 40 verse 11 like a shepherd.
He tends his flock in his arm. He was reminding them of the truth of Isaiah 53 of six. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each one of us turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid the iniquity of us all on him. He was reminding them of the truth of Ezekiel 34 when God was incensed at the so-called shepherds of Israel who refused to feed the flock of God on the word of God, and took care of themselves or some of you might be asking well how come in Jesus. Illustrations of the shepherd would go after the wine and leave the 99 and wilderness. I will explain to you what he the double meaning of that 99 in a minute but generally speaking, if you understood the culture of the day. The head shepherd will go looking for the lost one. He has under shepherds who been taking care of the 99 surveys in the side but I wanted to think about this think with me going off to the lost sheep gives real security to the 99th how it causes them to think that my shepherd cares enough to go after the one that my shepherd, loves deeply enough to never forsake the one that my shepherd is vigilant enough to pursue the lost one that my shepherd is faithful enough to chase after the one sheet that my shepherd is committed enough to seek after the welfare of the one she all and finding that she is not the end of the road for the great Shepherd that was the beginning when he finds out lost sheep. He put that sheep on his shoulder. Basically, get two legs on the side. The two legs on the side and carried him with the strongest part of our bodies, according to scientists is the shoulder and he carries them when he found the lost sheep. He carries that she and he goes rejoicing and he carries him all the way home. Love half the way, not part of the way he carries the sheep all the way home he goes the whole journey home with the sheep on the shoulder.
He never abandons no forsake the found sheep until he takes them all a lie home.
Listen to me.
I was one of those people that when I became a believer in Jesus Christ. I used to think that God was lost when I found God. I used to think that I was the one who decided that is a good thing to follow Jesus, I thought that I was the one who should take all the credit for receiving Jesus into my life as my Savior and my Lord and I began to read the Scripture and I began to read those words and I begin to realize that it was God who pursued me it was God who had gone after me.
It was God who open my blinds spiritualized. It was God who quickened my beds.
It was God who went after me when I was running away as fast as I could think was God who was carrying me and is carrying me right now on his shoulders. It is God who carries me on his shoulders until he takes me all the way home to heaven. That's our God. Amen amen my whole life changed in our prayer will change your life to realize this.
A good Shepherd who perceives you is after you even when you try to run away.
He is the one who loves you enough to cause people to come your way until you come home. What does Jesus want us to know about this. He wants us to know that God never rests until he finds a lost sheep, just as God never rests until he finds a lost sheep and when he finds a lost sheep you put such sheep on his shoulder and takes him all the way home. You and I must never give up her loss. Sheep. We must never give up praying for lost sheep whether the plus sheep is in your home or in your neighborhood or in your workplace. Whatever might be never give up on the lost sheep because God doesn't Jesus search is an all absorbing search Jesus research is a personal search Jesus's searches and all pursuing search Jesus and search above all is an old sacrificing search. Look at verse five when he finds a lost sheep. He placed on his shoulder rejoicing. Not only that, he held a party. He held a party and invited the friends and neighbors and he said, rejoice with me, for I have found my Losey listen to me, his incarnation Jesus came after the lost sheep in his life, he sought after the lost sheep in his death, Jesus led the lost sheep on his shoulders and his resurrection, Jesus bore the lost sheep on his way and in his ascension. He brought his lost sheep all the way home, my beloved friends not only the Jesus finds you, only Jesus saves you and only Jesus redeems you and only Jesus delivers you for the rest of your earthly life he carries you on his shoulders.
Your burdens become his burden you are paying becomes his pain.
Your suffering becomes his suffering.
Your emotional and physical infirmities. I carried on his shoulders because you are carried on his shoulders.
All of your needs are carried on his shoulders because you are carried on his shoulders all your needs followed on this verse seven Jesus said, there is rejoicing in heaven when sinners repent. Don't miss Jesus sense of humor here really is and I guess you have to understand the subtlety of the somatic language to get that answer some of you already got it. What are the Pharisees were doing when they were accusing Jesus of welcoming repentant sinners right that's what that accusation was something of course they would never do that would never do that because there are soft righteousness looked down on anyone who saw themselves as sinners in need of repentance. They saw themselves without too many faults that might be wanted to but not too many falls, people like that. Okay I'm I'm good at some good things other than some good things in my life. I'm going to get some good things my way down the road they saw themselves as not really needing salvation because they keep all the ritualistic laws. In fact they were is a double meaning here. The 99 that enough the need of repentance and ask a question who is not in need of repentance. Jesus said, not in Oregon repentance. What is making fun of Jesus had since of humor. He was saying you think you don't need repentance, you don't think you need salvation you are in the fall and the people are visual.
The people of God in the Old Testament, but you don't realize that you're desperate for salvation because all of your profits from beginning to end, have declared that the Messiah will come and when I come I'm the only one who can give you salvation, but they missed it, they missed the whole thing is my prayer that nobody here would miss as a person here today is going through confusion in your life. Maybe a person here who thinks that they are working hard trying to find God. Beloved God is never lost.
God is the one is trying to find you. He's the one who chasing you. He's the one who's pursuing you, he's the one who was going after you is the one who searching for you, so stop running and invited him to come in and when you do you will have joy. Your family will have joy your Christian family will have joy. And Jesus said heaven will have joy father, it is impossible for us to comprehend the depths of your love.
It's so hard to even fathom that the God who said, let there be light and clicked his fingers and there was a universe is the God who counts every single here in our heads and that not one of them came out in the brush this morning without his permission. Father, we rejoice in the fact that one day in heaven we will begin to comprehend all this, but for now, we thank you that you have given us spiritualized to see what a caring, loving, passionate about us your father I pray that we would, in gratitude and in Thanksgiving for all of us on the altar for Jesus sake.