I remember Dylan's birthday at the pools and all the kids all took off... One kid - he was out of control. It was one of the worst 3 hours of my life.
I imagined telling the parents that we started out with 7 kids and made it back with 6...85% is not bad. That would be unacceptable to any parent. How much more to Our Father, that we would accept the someone was lost and not coming back?!
Thankfully we came back with everyone.
This is our God. The same God that came after you. He wants it to matter to us - how many are lost and how many get rescued.
Ezekiel 34: 16 NIV I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak
I will search for the lost
This subject is without a doubt a calling on our church. It's also for every Christian. The heart of God is to seek out his lost children. We are here today because he just couldn't leave it alone! He couldn't switch off and give up, he wanted you back so much.
How awesome is that!! Don't miss it!
Do you know it? Have you felt the love of the Father like that?
It's intense, it's Powerful! It's a revelation of his love! It still touches me as one of my most vivid memories - God turning up in my life. He loved us so much - he asked his son to come and find us. I still don't comprehend it all 30 years later.
Luke 19:10 For the son of man came to seek and save the lost
Don't be like the prodigal son who never really knew his Father love until he came back. You can be in the house and not really know him. That's why people run away.
and bring back the strays
There are many more prodigals who need to come back home and experience the love of the Father. They need to be found! In 2017 let's encourage each other to take it further! When you think about, We came here to reach out to the lost. We came here with purpose. We didn't come here to start a club - to play religious games - to have a casual little Church...We came to reach the lost and make disciples!
He has asked us to carry his passion for the lost sons and daughters because that was us once. Never become like the older brother, in the family but not sharing the Father's vision, holding his lost brother in contempt. Some Christians have no interest in the lost. They have forgotten who they were. Christians are lost people who have been found by Christ
Romans 3: 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Strays are those who were on track but they drifted, they were with the shepherd but they took their eyes of him and ended up on another path. If you have strayed - it's time to come home.
God wants you back. If you are lost, let God find you today.
I will bind up the injured
We are in the search and rescue business. We are God's Search and rescue team. Some people just need to be found and others need a rescue! They have been injured, We have to help! The church is here to help! We all need help sometimes - haven’t we all needed help in our lives?
Let's return the favour!
How awesome were those people who helped us... Let's be those people for others. A busy life will make you forget how much help you have received. God asks, will you help?
God didn't stop when it got hard. Jesus didn't when it got inconvenient… He just asks us to help and pay the price of helping. We are God's helpers. We are his search and rescue team. Some people get knocked around in life. People can carry around these wounds their whole life. Some Christians have never quite got over things that have happened to them years ago! They end up living below their full potential, afraid to really step out - because of their wounds.
God is our healer. Let God bind you up. God can set you free. Don't live injured for another moment, receive freedom.
Psalm 147: 3 He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds
and strengthen the weak
That's why we have so many leaders. Leaders help strengthen people and strengthen the weak! We have weak moments and we need strong Christians around us. This is the power of community.
Joel 3: 10 Let the weak say I am strong
When we have God in our lives and strong brothers and sisters around us we can overcome any situation. Church is a place of transformation: People come in lost, weak, broken down and God transforms them.
Let us all be part of searching, rescuing, binding up and strengthening lives.
Helping God's transforming power to touch many lives!
Here's how we can all help
Find you place on the Search & Rescue team
1. Search for the lost - People with a gifts evangelism, preaching, leadership, Prophetic, word of knowledge, giving, Administration, people who care about people
2. Bring back the strays - Pastors, shepherds, connectors, connect leaders, friends, family members
3. Bind up the injured - Helpers, gifts of mercy, healing, miracles, discernment, encouragers, people in the medical profession
4. Strengthen the weak - Leaders, teachers, trainers, Apostles, Faith