Hebrews 12:2 (NRSV) Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Luke 15:7, 10 (NLT) “There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away…In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
Luke 15:1-3 (NLT) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! So Jesus told them this story:…
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NCV) God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume. Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost.
Matthew 22:35-40 (NLT) One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
John 17:4 (NLT) “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
Mark 3:1-6 (NLT) Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
What “next steps” did someone take for you?
Luke 15:4-6, 8-9, 11-24 (NLT) “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? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep!’
“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.’
…“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.” “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “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. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Where are you in “proximity to unbelievers?” Do you have many opportunities to live out and share your faith? Or are you surrounded mostly by other believers? What intentional steps can you take to become more connected with unbelievers? Where can you start? Grocery store, gym, kids’ school, hobby, etc.?
Do you know what it takes to be a good listener? Are you one? Discovering more about someone takes a lot of listening and willingness to go deeper with them. Start today! Ask more open-ended questions, rephrase or restate what you’ve heard, and ask follow up questions. You’ll find that the better listener you are, the more connected you’ll be!
In Mark 3:1-6, Jesus went somewhere, saw something, and took some action. What next steps can you take today? Pull out the Impact Card from your bulletin and fill in three names right now. Commit to praying for opportunities to speak about Christ or demonstrate Christ’s love in action with these people. Make contact with at least one of them this week.
How does it make you feel to know that all of heaven rejoiced the moment you made a decision for Christ? That the angels were joyful about you coming home? That joy is part of your story. You were the lost sheep/lost coin/lost son. Take some time with God today to tell him how grateful you are to be found and to ask him for opportunities to tell others!
Talk to your kids this week about what it means to be a good listener and how that helps friendships grow. Ask them how they feel when they are being listened to. Do they feel heard? Loved? Connected? Valued? Help your children understand what an honor it is to give the gift of listening to someone else. At the dinner table this week, take turns letting them share about their day. Reinforce good listening skills by encouraging them to be quiet when someone is talking, to ask thoughtful questions about what they shared, and to pay attention carefully. Kids learn more by what is “caught” than what is “taught.” Your example in this will make a difference!
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.
NorthPointe Community Church
Meets every Sunday
8:00am 9:30am 11:15am 5:30pm
Wednesdays at 6:30pm