OUTCASTS

Sermon Series: OUTCASTS: THE FRIENDS OF JESUS
 
June 18, 2017 – Father’s Day
Sermon #1: God’s Love for the Outcasts.
 
Luke 19:10 (New Living Translation-NLT)
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
 
Our Scripture for today is found in
Luke 15:1-32
 
The Context:
All kinds of people always gathered around Jesus.
Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus always attracted the simple, the humble, the poor in spirit.  Jesus also attracted the cynics, the skeptics, the critics.
 
The Context:
Jesus always used any situation to teach all the people.
Luke 15:3 says: “Then Jesus told them this parable.”  Jesus shares 3 stories about “lost and found.” A lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.  Notice that the lost sheep was 1 of 100; the lost coin was 1 of 10; and the lost son was 1 of 2. Interesting how the value of the lost increases in each story!  Jesus is teaching us two things: One is that everyone has been lost at some point in our lives; but also that we have supreme value and deserve to be found. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us back with Him.
 
Our focus today is on this 3rd story: a father and two sons (Luke 15:11-32).
 
1. Deal with the losing.
All 3 stories have losses. We all have moments of loss, which causes sadness and disappointment. But we can’t stay there! We have to move on…we have to do something! We must seek to recover what is lost. The father in Jesus’ story was patient; no doubt he prayed and believed and waited. We too must keep the faith in the middle of loss. In the middle of loss, Proverbs 4:23-24 (NLV) says: 23 Keep your heart pure for out of it are the important things of life. 24 Put false speaking away from you. Put bad talk far from you.
So, keep your heart pure and your words clean. If God is in control, don’t you lose control!  Don’t miss this… The son who left also lost everything. He lost his family, his friends, his home, his security. Essentially, he lost his dignity, his future, his purpose.
Today, many sons and daughters are without their biological father. But they still have a Heavenly Father who loves them! They still have supreme value. God has great plans for their lives. Parents, don’t let your children become resentful and angry; help them “come to their senses” like the prodigal son did, and teach them how to forgive.
 
2.Celebrate the finding.
All 3 stories have celebrating and rejoicing. Notice verse 6: “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” And verse 9: “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” And also verse 32 “…we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  We too have successes, victories and recoveries. This should change us from pouting to praising! Small victories are victories nevertheless!  We should follow the instructions from Psalm 147:1 (ESV): 1 Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God;  for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.  There may be loss for a while, linked with sadness and crying. But our Redeemer lives! He knows how to restore all things. Psalm 30:5 (NIV) …weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
 
Conclusion: Build on your experiences—grow in the Truth.  In each of the 3 parables, Jesus refers to celebrations beyond this world.
In verse 7, He says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
In verse 10, He says, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” And in verse 31, Jesus refers to the father saying to the son who didn’t leave, “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
 
In closing, consider these 2 thoughts:
 
1. Outcasts are loved and actively pursued by God.
It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, or how far we’ve wandered; God is always actively pursuing us to bring us back to Himself.
Fathers, pursue you children. Learn to encourage them and lift them up. Always be forgiving and understanding. Freely share with them your possessions and also your heart.
 
2. How we treat the lost has eternal consequences.
Fathers, learn to forgive and understand. You are a powerful influence in your children’s lives.
Embrace your children even when they have hurt you.
Children, love your fathers even if they are not with you. Always love them and live lives that honor God and make your parents proud!
Let us always pray and hope that the lost may be found! May the outcast be reunited with their loved ones. Amen.
 
 
 
Sermon Series: OUTCASTS: THE FRIENDS OF JESUS
 
June 25, 2017
 
Sermon #2: “
The Outcast and God’s Unconditional Love
” by Pastor Saulino Diaz.
 
Luke 19:10 (New Living Translation-NLT)
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
 
Our Scripture for today is found in Luke 19:1-10. It’s the story of Zacchaeus.
 
Luke 19:1 – Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  Crossing paths with an outcast may not be in your daily schedule, but it is a divine appointment with God.
 
Luke 19:2 – A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
Who is a “tax collector” today? Corrupt government officials, abusive bosses, people who take advantage of you and your hard-earned money (cheaters), and those who only think of themselves (greedy, selfish). We tend to look down on these kinds of people. But really, they are sinners. And sinners need Jesus too!
 
Luke 19: 3 – He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.
Many people today want to see Jesus but something has been getting in the way. When people think of living right or at least, better than before, most come up “short!”
 
Luke 19:4 – So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
How do you react to rejection, during your difficult hours? Do you run away and hide? Or do you overcome the negative feelings and try to find a solution? Zacchaeus found a way!
 
Luke 19:5 – When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately.”
Jesus knows your name, and He wants to meet you. Jesus did not give up on Zacchaeus, and He won’t give up on you!
 
Luke 19:6 – So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
Sometimes we’ve been hurt for so long that we hold on to resent. We even blame God for our pain. But Zacchaeus shows us how to put aside our pain and bad memories, and welcome God into our lives.
 
Luke 19:7 – All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
People can be harsh and destructive, all in the name of God! Others don’t quickly accept the good changes in your life. But you must show them your change is real in Jesus Christ.
 
Luke 19:8 – But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”  Compare the rich young ruler. In Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31 and Luke 18:18–30, Jesus is confronted by a young man who is very wealthy. He wants to know from Jesus how to have eternal life. When Jesus says that he should give away his riches to the poor and follow Him, the man walks away sad and discouraged. But Zacchaeus responds differently. His encounter with Jesus changes his heart. Zacchaeus voluntarily gives away some of his wealth and is willing to repay anyone he cheated. We too must have a change of heart and life-style when we encounter Jesus. His life transforms our life.
 
Luke 19:9 – Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.”
Zacchaeus had every reason to not follow Jesus. But he experienced a change. And Jesus sees him in a new way. We too can have forgiveness and salvation, and be called a child of God.
 
Luke19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
How are we reaching the people that society has rejected? What are you doing to connect with the outcasts? Jesus is still seeking and He is still saving us from our sins.
 
Conclusion:
Will you follow Zacchaeus’ example and do everything you can to come close to Jesus? The greatest blessing of your life is waiting for you.
Say no the old way of living, and say yes to Jesus today. Jeremiah 30:17 (New International Version-NIV) says: “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord, “because you are called an outcast, Zion, for whom no one cares.”
If you feel like an outcast—like no one cares for you—God does! He loves you and wants to heal you, to restore your purpose and significance. Come humbly to God and let Him change your life.

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