"What Makes God Rejoice?"- Matthew 18:10-14
“What Makes God Rejoice?”
Core Practice: Giving Away My Faith - I give away my faith to fulfill God's purposes.
Ephesians 6:19, 20 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, ..for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
"I give away my faith to fulfill God's purposes" means "I walk it" and "I talk it"–my faith that is. People who "walk it" but don't explain their way of life are seen as enigmas at best and fanatics at worst. People who "talk it" but don't live up to their words are seen as hypocrites. Neither is very flattering. I give away my faith to fulfill God's purposes means "I tell other people about Jesus" and "I live so that others might see Christ in me."
Scripture: Matthew 18:10-14 "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
The Message of this Passage: It is true. All our longing, restlessness and discontent is because of our search for the One who has found us. Our lostness is healed when we accept the fact that we can never wander from Him. He does know and care! At this very moment He is surrounding us with His love.
In this passage, there is a wondrous truth. And that truth is that God is kinder than man. God loves the folk who never stray away; but in His heart there is a joy of joys when one is found and comes home; and it would be a thousand times easier to come back to God than to come home to the criticism and judgement of men.
What does that mean for us today? It is possible to get lost in a church; to show up each week and still lose a vital relationship with God; to lose our first love; to become so involved in talking about God that we forget to talk with Him or listen to Him?
The parable of the lost sheep emphasized the individualized, caring love of God.
Answering Interpretive Questions: Read Matthew 18:10-14
What command is given in verse 10? Why?
Read Hebrews 1:14. How does that help you to understand the role of these angels in verse 10 of Matthew?
Read Luke’s account of the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15:1-7. Look closely at the words. How is the account in Matthew different?
In verse 11, what did Jesus mean by using the word, “lost”?
Read verses 12-14. What does this story demonstrate regarding the value Jesus places on individuals, especially children?
What does this story demonstrate regarding our care over those in the Christian community?
How about our care and love for sinners?
Read 1 Timothy 2:4. What is the heart of Jesus regarding every person?
ACTING on God’s Word
Read Psalm 23 and mark down every truth you learn about Jesus’ love and care for you as your Shepherd.