God's Heart for the Lost

May 17, 2020

David Sorn

Dive deeper into how our Father in Heaven really feels about lost people!

God's Heart for the Lost

May 17, 2020

David Sorn

Dive deeper into how our Father in Heaven really feels about lost people!



Hey, before we get into our passage for today, I wanted to personally talk to you about what we’ve got going on this summer.

As many of you know, our House Groups have just ended, but in a few weeks we will be starting up classes in our very popular Renovation U…as we have over 100 adults taking classes every summer!

If you’re new to Renovation Church, Renovation U is where we offer 8-9 week free classes on the Bible and Theology (that’s the study of God) to help you grow in your faith & knowledge of the Bible

Classes will start the week of June 7th!

Normally we offer those classes in the basement of our office/Ministry Center, but this year, due to COVID-19, we will be offering them on ZOOM.

Our plan is to start them on ZOOM, and if things change, and it’s safe to move them to our ministry center mid-summer, we will do that.

Let me tell you a bit about each of our classes

(Put up Renovation U slide with classes until it says to take it down)

First Steps is where you can start diving into what the Bible has to say on core beliefs of Christianity

This is great for those of you who are exploring Christianity, new to your faith, or just never studied your faith.

Mining God’s Word teaches you how to study and interpret the Bible.

Theology 101: You get to study subjects like the Trinity, creation, and a ton about Jesus

Theology 201 will teach you about the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, what the Bible says about men & women in leadership, end times…

And then this year we are offering Old Testament Survey 2

Where you learn about the middle third of the Old Testament from 1 Kings to Ecclesiastes

(take down Renovation U slide)

You’ll get a few more details in announcements today…but I want to encourage you to sign-up for a class

You can sign up through our app

Or you can learn more about the classes, their day & time, on our website (RenovationChurch.org) where you can also sign up

I wanted to spend a minute or so talking about this…because we want you to LOVE the Word of God.

And this is such a great way for you to fan the flame again.

Many of us are feeling disconnected or discouraged by everything that’s happening, and so I want you to stay connected to God and others this summer.

We need to be in God’s Word now…more than ever.

So please, sign-up for a class, and keep growing in your faith this summer!


A few months ago, my kids asked if we could get the Pixar movie UP from the library.

I said, no, I’m positive we own it, because I showed it in a message at church years ago.

We searched the whole house…and…couldn’t find it.

And then, just this past week…I was looking for a book, and there tucked behind a bunch of books…was the movie!

And we celebrated…by watching it…

Because when you lose something, and find it, you always have to celebrate. ☺

That’s what we’re going to see in our passage in the Book of Luke in the Bible today.

We are now in Luke chapter 15, one of the most famous chapters of Luke.

We’re at the part of Luke where the theme of our series starts to really come forth: Lost & Found.

So, as we open up the passage, take a second, and find a Bible…pause this if you need to…as I want you to be able to follow along with God’s Word.

(Luke 15:1-10) – NIV

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.

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins 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.”

So we’re told that all of the sinners and people who’ve been messing up their lives…are gathering around Jesus to hear him.

And the religious folks, those who think they’re better than everyone else…can’t stand this.

So Jesus tells these “uptight religious people” a few parables to help teach them the heart of God.

And in the 2 parables we looked at today, I want you to notice 3 things about God’s Heart

Here’s the first one:

3 Learnings about God’s Heart:

1. People are valuable to God

The shepherd in this story represents God.

God is often described as a shepherd in the Old testament

Jesus, in John 10, even calls Himself the Good Shepherd

And this shepherd in the first parable has 100 hundred sheep.

And one of them is lost.

And yet, rather surprisingly, the shepherd doesn’t make a utilitarian statement

He doesn’t say, “Well, if I leave the 99 to find the one, I’m putting the 99 at risk, so I’ll just have to count the lost sheep as an acceptable loss.”

No, he feels that the 99 are safe enough in that moment, and he shows us the immense value he places on each individual sheep and goes after the lost one.

If that feels kind of odd to you, or even like the wrong decision for a shepherd to make, I assure you that’s because you are NOT underestimating the value the shepherd is putting on each of his sheep.

Think of it this way:

If you had 4 kids, and one of them got lost…

Would you ever say, “It’s fine, I still have 3 more.”

No! Of course not!

That’s what Jesus wants you to see in this parable.

It’s not a parable about how many you have left, but a parable about the value of what was lost.

And people, all people, are of immense value to God!

We see this in the story of the lost coin as well.

Which, at first, doesn’t make sense to us.

And that’s because we read our own culture into the story.

Which, if you sign up for Mining God’s Word this summer, we’ll teach about how to avoid doing that when you read Scripture! ☺

We read this parable and say, “Big deal. The woman lost a nickel…why is she tearing apart her whole house?! Just forget about it.”

But if you look at the note in your Bible, the small letter by where it says, “ten silver coins,” you’ll see the note says that in the Greek, it actually says, “Ten drachmas,” each worth about a day’s wages.

So, let’s modernize this parable

A day’s wages in Minnesota, for the average person, is about $100 a day.

So this woman has just lost a one hundred dollar bill.

But also realize, she only had 10 of them.

That was her entire savings…about $1,000.

There are no banks.

She just had $1,000…10 100 dollar bills saved up.

And she just lost one of them.

And now you can start to feel the weight of the story better.

You can see the VALUE God wants you to see.


Okay, there’s more God wants us to see here about His heart.

3 Learnings about God’s Heart:

1. People are valuable to God

2. God is relentlessly pursuing the lost

Look at the end of verse 4.

We’re told that the shepherd will go after the lost sheep…and then what does it say???


Until He finds it!

Love it.

That is God’s heart.

It’s our sin that separates us from God…and makes us lost.

But it’s God’s grace that brings us back to Him.

When you repent (as Jesus says), and you say you’re sorry, and you turn your life over to Him…believing that Jesus died on the cross for you and is your savior…

You will be found…and will have new life.

But you also have to want to be rescued when the Savior finds you.

He’ll never force you.

And too many sheep say, “Nah, I’d rather keep going out here on my own”

You can see God’s relentless pursuit in the parable of the lost coin as well:

This woman is not going to give up until she finds her lost coin.

And it’s not going to be easy to find a coin in her house.

Again, she doesn’t live in a 2-story with a walkout here

She would have had a small house…with a dirt floor.

Her house would have been made of thick walls.

No glass windows.

Just little slits in the walls to let in some fresh air

I’ve been in houses just like this in the developing world, and they are incredibly dark on the inside….even in the middle of the day

And so the chances of finding a coin in a dirt floor, in the dark, are not high.

But this woman is going to keep looking until she finds it.

And she is going to (don’t miss this)…she’s going to WORK hard to find it

She’s going to light a lamp…to improve her visibility

She’s going to methodically sweep the house

She’s going to keep searching UNTIL SHE FINDS IT

And God, in the same way is going to keep pursuing the lost.

I pray that you understand this about God!

Have you seen the movie Finding Nemo?

If you haven’t or don’t remember it well: Nemo is a clownfish who gets lost, and his father sets out to find him.

Eventually Nemo is captured and put in a fish tank of a dentist’s office

And while Nemo is feeling lost and alone in that tank, he begins to think that his father has forgotten about him and that he’ll never see him again.

But one day, a Pelican named Nigel lands in the window of the Dentist office and begins to tell Nemo an amazing story…he says:

"Nemo! Your father's been fighting the entire ocean looking for you!"

"My father?" Nemo asks.

"Oh, yeah! He's been battling sharks and jellyfish," Nigel recounts.

"It's my dad! He took on a shark!" proudly exclaims Nemo.

Nigel says, "I heard he took on three."

Nemo is dumbfounded. He repeats, "Three?"

Nigel explains, "You see, kid. After you were taken, your dad started swimming like a maniac. He took on three sharks. He battled an entire jellyfish forest. Now he's riding a bunch of sea turtles on the east Australian current, and the word is…he's headed this way right now to Sydney."

"What a great daddy!" Nemo says.

There’s a reason some movies resonate so deeply with us.

The father heart of God is imbedded in there.

God is relentlessly chasing after His kids…


There’s one more key thing we need to see about God’s heart from these 2 parables:

3 Learnings about God’s Heart:

1. People are valuable to God

2. God is relentlessly pursuing the lost

3. THIS is what God celebrates!

Look at verse 10 again:

(Luke 15:10) – NIV

10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Let me ask you a question: How often in the Bible do you see God celebrating with the angels?

Not often.

And so if you want to know what God celebrates as a win…as important…it’s this.

It’s us fulfilling the great commission and helping lost people find forgiveness in Jesus.

We don’t see God throwing a party because you got a good education…or a great job…

…or because you’re doing a fantastic job on becoming “the best you!”

But we exhaust most of our efforts in life on these types of things.

Our whole lives seem to be centered around questions like:

How do I become more successful?

How do I get happier?

But we need to learn from what God chooses to celebrate.

He celebrates the lost being found!

And if that’s true, that ought to be the main pursuit of our lives.

Giving glory to God by helping lost people be found by Him

And yet, so often we barely even think about that…let alone do anything with it.

I remember reading a story once about a young man who was interviewing to work at a fancy concert hall as an usher…his job would be to help people find their seat and their way around.

The manager of the concert hall asked him, “What would you do if a fire were to break out?”

And the young man answered, “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d get out okay.”

And unfortunately, that’s how we often think of our Christian life.

What would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow and everyone was immediately assigned to heaven or hell?

“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d be okay. I’m saved.”

But see my Christian friend, you’re an usher. It isn’t enough to run from the flames yourself!

You are responsible for helping others find their way out!

And we need to take on our Father’s Heart from points #1 and #2

We need to start to VALUE people like He values people.

There are people all around you that are lost.

If we understand how valuable they are, surely we’ll do something about the fire that’s coming for them.

Value them…they are so precious to God.

God loves them so much.

He came and gave His life for them on the cross.

Let them know that!

And if we value them, we will relentlessly pursue them…like our Father in Heaven does.

We’ll leave the 99…

We’ll sacrifice our own endeavors, our own checklists, our own schedules, our own conveniences, and we’ll go searching.

We’ll turn on the light…shining God’s goodness to them.

We’ll sweep the floor…sweep our own lives of sin and luke-warmness

And we’ll keep searching…we’ll keep praying…until they come to Christ or until we breathe our last.

THAT…is our mission.

Because THAT…is God’s mission…and that’s God’s heart.

I pray that you see that…deeply in your heart this week.

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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