Sermon: It's All About You, Jesus
Recently I attended a Christian concert and I realized, as I looked at all the people and the church, that we sometimes need to come right back to basics because we can so easily lose the plot! We can get so wrapped up in the "do"s and "donï¿½t"s and the jargon of theology, yet we miss the simple principles of the teachings of Jesus.
Thatï¿½s why I enjoy going to some youth meetings because they remind us that we can so easily forget the basics and we go right past what God is doing!
We must first remember, that this is about:
1. Godï¿½s Story
From the account of creation in Genesis right through to the Cross, to the resurrection, to the ascension, and then to Christ's Return and eternity, itï¿½s all about God, not me.
* Godï¿½s Vision: all starts with a vision given by God: are you walking with us in that vision? Because it is vision that builds churches - not people's vision, but Godï¿½s given vision.
* It is the vision that enables us to build the reign of God on this earth, if we are focused on God and not ourselves and our problems.
* Whenever God is showing me something new, itï¿½s as if God gives me a picture. Then I begin to see the vision - that is, how things will look when that picture is finished.
Sometimes I think that the finished picture is so big, that God cannot give it to us in its entirety, because we could not take in the magnitude of it!
Secondly, we remember that we do it for:
2. Godï¿½s Glory
God's story is about God's glory!
Isaiah 48:11 reads, "for my own sake I do this. How can I myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another."
1 Cor 10:31 tells us that ï¿½whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.ï¿½
* Whatever I do I must do it for God, not myself. It is for Godï¿½s fame & Godï¿½s glory!
* It is such a privilege to be a part of what God is doing.
* So, whatever you do, do it with an attitude of gladness.
* Sometimes God may help us along when we need an attitude change, and give us an A.A.K (Attitude adjustment Klap, quoted from another source)
* If we do it for God's glory, we must be prepared for the persecution that will follow, particularly in these last days! The "birth pains" of our mission and ministry have started, be ready, and be equipped for what is to come.
Thirdly, we are reminded of God's purpose for God's story:
3. Godï¿½s Mercy & Love
1 Pet 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Parent of our Lord Jesus Christ! In Godï¿½s great mercy we have been given a new birth..."
* We bring good news!
ï¿½How beautiful are the feet of those that bring the good Newsï¿½
This is about preaching an all inclusive gospel to the world; a gospel that does not discriminate - a gospel of equality for all people.
This is the message that Jesus clearly preached. A message of mercy and love without prejudice and discrimination.
Christ's message must follow how we live our lives: our Core values talk about living out what we learn. Do we live our core values out so that the world may know?
Next, we see the result of God's story:
4. Godï¿½s Grace
* This is God's unmerited and undeserved favour)
Look at this Acronym of grace:
Rom.3:23 & 24 reads, ï¿½For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And we are justified freely by Godï¿½s grace.ï¿½
In the OT: God's grace was seen in God's redemptive act of the Exodus - deliverance from Egyptian slavery.
In the NT: God's act of grace is seen in the Cross.
God's Grace is always associated with mercy, offering us changed Lives, liberated hearts and being set free from the bondage of sin. We are new creations.
* Grace can only be enjoyed within covenant: God is the giver of our gift through the cross, and we can only receive it through repentance and faith.
* Inclusive Gospel: We preach and testify to an inclusive gospel, this includes gay & lesbian people too:
* We pray for a new building as this is part of our vision; but first God requires the stones to build it. The church starts with living stones. We have a responsibility to make disciples first.
Lastly, God's story involves our future:
5. Godï¿½s Promise
Our future is sealed!
1 Pet 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Parent of our Lord Jesus Christ! In Godï¿½s great mercy we have been given a new birth, into a living hope."
Peter speaks about the Holy Spirit, as the seal of our redemption.
Acts 2:39: "this promise is for you and your children... and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord our God will call.ï¿½
Heb 10:23 tells us that "God who has promised is faithful to complete it".
Gal 3:14 tells us that Jesus hung on the cross for you and me, in order that the promises made to Abraham might come true.
* Promise of eternal life with Christ
* No more pain and suffering
* Perfect in every way
To conclude, here is the order we must not forget. It is:
1. About Godï¿½s story,
2. For Godï¿½s Glory
3. For God's Purpose: Godï¿½s mercy & love
4. The Result is: Godï¿½s Grace
5. Our Future is sealed: with Godï¿½s promise
Rev. Deborah Bell
Deo Gloria Family Church Kzn