Icebreaker: What is your favorite part of this fall weather?
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to illuminate Jesus in our hearts and minds as a shepherd who is seeking out his lost sheep. It is for revealing the heart of reconciliation that Jesus carries so that we may carry it as well.
Main Scripture: “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” Ezekiel 34:11-12 NLT
Discussion: So many people have ostracized themselves from the house of God. They have let their own words or the words of others label them as people who aren’t good enough for Jesus. Somewhere along the road of life they were given the idea that they had to be perfect to come to church. As we learned this week, these ideas are far from the character of God. Jesus has a heart to reconcile everyone to Himself. He is a shepherd who tends to his flock. A good shepherd is not a judgmental, a good shepherd is a seeking shepherd. Before the world told us that we weren’t good enough, God formed us in His own image. Before the trials and disappointments of life had their way with our hearts and minds, God said that His plans for us were for good and not for evil. Like a parent watching over their children, God is always seeking us out to lead us into our best life. He believed so much in the plan that was predestined for you and me that He died publicly to help us fulfill it. After today, let us help our brothers and sisters that are lost to know the Jesus who is seeking them out and calls them found.
Q1: Can you remember how you felt about God or church before you were saved?
Q2: How were you changed when you understood that God loved you and was pursuing you? Or, are you still in a place where you do not understand that yet?
Three things The Shepherd is seeking
1. The Lost Sheep
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” Luke 15:4 NLT
Q3: Is a lost sheep someone who is unsaved or is it a believer who is backsliding? Is it both? Discuss your perspective.
Q4: What are some ways Jesus can reach a lost sheep?
2. The Lost Coin
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:8-10 NLT
Q5: How can we “light a lamp” for the lost?
3. The Lost Son
“So, he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.’” Luke 15:20-22 NLT
Q6: The scripture says while the son was still “a long way off,” his father was still able to see him coming. How do we maintain a vision of hope for those who are still “a long way off”?
Q7: Pastor Javon said, “Religion punishes what was lost, relationship celebrates what was found.” This is such a powerful statement! What does it speak to you and how can you apply it to your own life?
Declaration: Jesus I believe that you are seeking shepherd. You are seeking your lost sheep. You weep for your lost children. Your heart breaks for your people. Jesus, give me your heart and your spirit. Help me to be a seeker of the lost. I will lead them to you. I will love them. I will not judge them. I will see them with the eyes of love and not religion. Jesus, if I am religious in my ways, set me free and remove the veil. I want to seek like you seek, and love like you love. Thank you, Jesus! I will love like you, serve like you, and seek your people like you.
Application: God is always seeking out his lost children. This week make a list of those in your life who are lost and need an encounter with Him. Commit to praying for them every day!