God cares for his people dearly (v. 3-7). Sheep are not very smart creatures; they can put themselves in a lot of danger. What does a conscientious shepherd do when one of his sheep is lost? What happens when a shepherd returns to his home with his lost sheep (v. 6)? What does this parable tell you about the heart of God? Many of God’s children show care through various and tangible ways. But how do you show your care for the spiritually lost and seek opportunities to lead them to God?
God values each person equally (v. 8-10). What if you lost something of great value, like a silver coin? What would you do? What steps did the woman do to find her lost coin (v. 8)? What did she do after she found it? How many contrite sinners does it take to bring about rejoicing in heaven? What does that tell you about the heart of God? Share how you would feel if a person you don’t like would come to know the Lord.
God graciously accepts each person (v. 11-24). Discuss the important points in this parable. In what way have you been like the prodigal son in this story? What does the forgiving love of the father in this story signify? What does it reveal to you about the heart of God?
God desires that we share in His joy (v. 25-32). When the brother found out what the celebration was all about, he got upset and unhappy. Do you think his reaction was justifiable? Why or why not? Discuss why people harbor resentment when grace is shown to someone else? How can you show acceptance to someone who you think does not deserve it?