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God's Joy, My Joy

Reflect

What specific mindset or attitude that you grew up with hasn't changed until now? How does this attitude affect how you behave and relate with yourself and with others?

Read and Discuss

Scripture

Luke 15:1-32


Background

Back in Jesus’ day, there were very devoted and religious people who sought to live for and serve God. However, they did not have an intimate relationship with God because they did not really understand and pursue what was truly close to God’s heart. These religious leaders were always looking to find fault in Jesus, and so when Jesus sat down and ate with tax collectors, who were in Jesus’ time despised by society and perceived as sinners, these religious leaders took this against Him.


Jesus responded to them by giving three parables intended to teach that the heart of God is towards those who need and seek Him, which as followers of Jesus we are also expected to cultivate.


Discussion Questions

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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? 

Reflect

In Walk: God dearly cares for lost people and therefore takes initiative to seek and find them. God values each person equally, and so He does even the inconvenient to search and redeem them. God accepts each person compassionately and graciously welcomes and restores anyone who returns to Him. The beauty of the Christian life is that our God is gracious and loving towards people. Think of and pray about ways in which you can help someone who may be drifting from God’s ways.


In Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for valuing people greatly that You have made us in Your image, and desire that those of us who are lost be found and be kept in good company. Thank You for accepting me regardless of who I am. You have displayed Your great love when Jesus Christ came to die for my sins. I was once lost, but You sought and found me. I praise Your Name, Father. Help me to cultivate Your heart, so that I can celebrate Your joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.