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-Gods Concern for the "One"-
To help us realize that God loves us a great deal and wants us to return to his ways when we stray. He is concerned for the lost and the sinner and wants to forgive us and restore us.
Scripture Basis (and other matls)
Luke 15 and the Star Trek Movie "The Search for Spock"
Pre-arrange for one class member to be missing at the start of class. Discuss the absence of the person, make a big deal about it and send the class out to find him/her. When the person is brought back act as though they are very important - do this with sincerity!
View the last few minutes of the Star Trek movie - Search for Spock .. particularly the section where Kirk tells Spock that he was important enough to merit the costly attempt to save him.
Ask students to share (with some detail) about a time when they felt very special .. singled out and important... give each one who wants to share a chance.
Students Teach Students:
Open to Luke chapter 15 and break the class into 3 groups. Have the students read each of the 3 parables below in turn. Have them discuss the parable its meaning and give their parable a new name (some are suggested below) . After 7 minutes have all groups return and read each of the parables in succession having a group spokesman report out on the groups findings. After reading each one make the relative points.
Group 1: Read Luke 15: 1-7 ... the Parable of the Lost Sheep or "The one is in danger"
Key Message: It is important to find a sheep which is lost because the lost sheep is in danger ! We will face dangers when we go astray. Some are identified in the following scriptures.
John 5:8-14 ........ Danger of illness or injury from sin
James 5:19-20 .....Danger of death and injury from many sins
Heb 12:6 ............. Danger of Gods discipline
1 Cor 3:11-15 ......Danger of loss of reward
Col 3:5-6 .............Danger of Gods wrath / punishment
Heb 10:26-31 ...... Danger of Gods Wrath and even Hell
Group 2: Read Luke 15: 8-10 ... the Parable of the Lost Coin or "The one is valuable to God"
Key Message: People are of great value to God and God has put up with a lot of trouble from man though out history. Job realized this in Job 7:17 where he exclaimed -
"What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Job 7:17 (NIV)
Did you know that God knew you before you came to know about him .. even before you were born.( See Romans 8:29 )
Read Proverbs 8:23-31 .. here we find Christ rejoicing in creation and delighting in mankind. Can you imagine his grief when he found virtually all men practicing evil all of the time. (See Gen 6:5-6)
Rom 8:19-23 tells us that God and all creation is eager awaiting for mankind to return. To return to that special state ..one of adopted sons of God!
Group 3: Read Luke 15:11-32 ... the Parable of the Lost Son or "The one is not treated fairly - Thank God!) "
Key Message : In this parable we see the lost son squander his inheritance. When is welcomed home the other some is angry because the father seems to have done something "unfair". After all why should he get to have good things like the son who remained? Fairness (at least human fairness) would demand he live with his loss.
We have the notion that God should act fair to us just as the other son did .. But God doesnt play by mans rules and its a good thing for us he doesnt. If He did we would all deserve banishment to Hell and eternal punishment in return for our disobedience to God. But no .. instead God forgives and more than that even restores the sinner when one returns and repents.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
While studying the Great Flood a 4th grader once asked me why God made men that he knew would turn against him. Could He not have made only the men that would honor Him. ? It seems that those who turned and followed God back them (only Noah and his family) were worth all the trouble of those who didnt. And today despite the wickedness on the part of many, God continues to patiently wait so that even those who totally ignore Him will turn and repent (See 2 Peter 3:9)
End the lesson by asking if any of the students identify with the "lost son". Help them see that repentance means turning around and going the other way, away from sin. Help them see that God really loves them and want to forgive them. Ask them to consider "coming home". ..
(this is a good time for an invitation to pray kneeling in a circle or at a camp fire)