God Pleasing Spirituality

SCRIPTURE

Luke 15

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
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.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 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.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins 15:8 Greek ten drachmas, each worth about a day’s wages and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

MAIN IDEA

God Pleasing Spirituality is available to everyone,
but it begins with repentance.

GOING DEEPER
Questions from this weeks message.

1.  What insight, principle or observation from this week’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye opening or troubling?  Please explain. 

2.  Have you ever lost something…and then a while later found it? Tell the story and describe how you felt when it was lost and when it was found.  

3. Is there a relationship that you found yourself in a position where you just could not please that person no matter how hard you tried? How did that leave you feeling? Have you ever felt like that toward God…that you just couldn’t be pleasing to him? Describe that and the reason why.

4. Read Luke 15:1-10. Who is the audience to these parables? Why might that be important? If these parables tell us something about God, what may they be saying (considering the audience Jesus is speaking to)? What are some similarities between these two parables?

5.  Read Luke 15:11-24. This son was lost because of his self-indulgent life. In what ways, if any, do you relate to this story? Why do you think we are tempted like the younger brother to look for happiness apart from the Father. 

6. The Father was completely disrespected (wanting the inheritance early was like wishing your dad was dead, wanting what he has more than him), which makes the Fathers response that much more unbelievable. What does this tell us about God, our Heavenly Father?

7. What are the three main similarities between the 3 stories Jesus tells and their meaning? (Lost and found, repentance, celebration) What does this tell us about our Heavenly Father and what the doorway to God Pleasing spirituality is?

8. How would you rate the posture of your heart as it relates to having a heart of repentance? What would it look like to grow in this area for you?

9. Do you actually believe that God could be pleased with you, that he would celebrate you? Read Zephaniah 3:17. God writes this about his nation that had been like the younger brother…what part of this passage sticks out to you and why?

10.  Pray for each other.