Vision 2020 Series Sermon #4

Vision 2020 Series Sermon 4
~ Sharing God’s Love ~
Tyson Graber, Herscher Christian Church
March 27, 2011
Colossians 1:28-29


Review

Week one = HCC will continue to be a church that Enjoys Life
ZOE = John 10:10

Week two = HCC will continue to be a church that Empowers People
Holy Spirit = 1 Peter 2:9

That will work in your everyday life.  Bring out the best in those you are close to.  Watch what happens.  Your kids will grow, you will likely advance and be blessed in whatever you do. 

Week three = HCC will continue to be a church that Encounters God
Removal of Sin = 2 Corinthians 3:12-17

Because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, every person has the ability to be free from sin and to have the presence of God living and working in them. 

There is nothing like being a person or a church where people know and say, God is in them and working in them.

The Bible says that the Disciples were unschooled and ordinary but everyone took note that they had been with Jesus. 

Let the world see us, let other churches be uncomfortable with how we do things, we need to not worry when the world says bad things about us at times.  We really shouldn’t care what the world says or others religious leaders might say, but let them say this... “they have been with Jesus;  God is working in them;  That must be a God thing;  Jesus has been there.” 

This is what we need to be known for ..., being a people and a church that is with, and is lead by the presence of the Lord.

Has the presence of Jesus changed your life, because it will.

This week = HCC will continue to be a church that Exists to Share God’s Love with Others

Our mission has been for many years and will continue to be for years to come,g “Share God’s Love with all people Everywhere”

What does that mean?  Let me put it this way.  Our mission, as a church, is not for us, oh, that is the temptation, to make it about us.  But our mission and the Great Commission that Christ gave us says that our goal is to go into the world and reach the world with God’s good news of Jesus.

At first glance that sounds easy and great.  What a noble task to share God’s love and put others first.   That has been our mission for years, and right now as I am explaining it to you, most of you are on board, and that’s great ..., but its not that easy ...,  really. 

This mission, at the core, means our church is really not about us, if you are saved and if you are a member, its really not about you, But, that’s who we can make it about if we aren’t careful.

Don’t get me wrong, we will continue to forever be a church that encourages, supports, prays for and builds one another up,  but the mission of the church, given to us by Jesus, is to go and reach the world for Him.

When we start to be overly concerned with ourselves, we miss the mark.   When we get caught up with the idea that 'someone new is sitting in my chair', or that 'the parking lot is too full', or start wanting everyone to know our opinion that 'the new paint on the walls in this room is too different than before' or 'too much the same as the old paint' that’s when churches miss the point because church is not about us.

We have made this the point of focus in the past, but we must continue to be less about ourselves and more about God’s will all of the time...  But, its easy to get all caught up in what we would like.  We must continue in years to come to remind ourselves that this can never become a place or a thing that is about us.

Why?   Because that is not what we are to be about.  Turn with me to the Word of God. 

James 1:27

Its about others!  Real religion is about others and meeting their needs.

That applies to each of us.  It may mean that if there is something that you really don’t personally like that we do as a church ..., if it is done to reach others, you are going to need to work through it with us.

For example, if you want a parking place that is right next to the church building ..., if you want to come to church right before it starts and still have the ability to sit in any seat you want ...,  you may need to find a church that is not reaching out to the lost and to those with needs.   You might want to find a church that is not doing very much to reach anyone,  and they are out there

I am not saying that to be rude, I am just wanting to be serious about the matter.  If we become so concerned about what is best for us, and not about others, especially those who don’t know Jesus ..., another church may suit your wants and needs better than HCC. 

I don’t enjoy this conversation right now but it matters because the mission of this church at the core is not to meet all of my wants or your wants but it is to meet the will of God.

So, do you want to come to Herscher or not?

Tell me what is going win, what are we going to call trump in our lives, our wants .., or God’s will?

God’s will is to change lives, and for that matter, to change the world through the church.  Do you believe that? 

We can’t wait for government, big business, or the economy to make the difference. I believe God has called the local church to make a difference in the world through the message of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

How?  At least, in these 3 Ways

1.  We have been blessed to be a blessing.

Genesis 12:2
‘I will bless you and you will be a blessing.’

You might be thinking, “But, Tyson, I am not blessed!”    If you live in America, if you know Jesus, and have been saved through Him, you have been blessed and you have been called to be a blessing.

God has not blessed you so that you can us relax and take it easy.  God has blessed you to be a blessing!  How are you doing with that?

2.  When we bless others, God takes care of our needs.

This is a principle we have lived by at HCC, time and time again, and God has never let us down. 

Over the years, the leadership of this church has been through some difficult times, especially financially, to the point that we have had to make some difficult decisions about what to fund and what not to fund.  But one thing we have always agreed on is this:   we are committed to being a church that will bless others as much as we can to show God’s love and we will trust God to take care of our needs.  And in those moments where we have chosen to give to others to the point it really hurt, to the point that without the next week’s offering I may or may not have my next pay check.  God has always more than met our needs!

And even more recently during this economic down turn there have been times when we have not really had the money to meet a need, but as we chose to bless others God turned around and blessed us.

Jesus actually promises a blessing for those who sacrifice for the will of God.

Jesus said this in Luke 18:27-30 (RICH YOUNG RULER)  This may seem impossible to you but it not with God.  God honors those who invest in His Kingdom.

Luke 6:38

Let us not hold back from giving to meet the needs of others. 

3.  The more we’re blessed by God the more He expects us to bless others.

We are called to be wise with all that we have been given to share His love with the Lord.  We have been given a lot and a lot is expected of you and us.  How we Worship , students we send to Bible University, Missions money for our local and foreign missions ..., God expects us to do it well.

Luke 12:48

Here is the struggle.  At times, in the next 9 days,  9 weeks, 9 months and 9 years ..., or until Christ returns, we are going to be tempted to do what we want and what we need, instead of doing what He wants and others need.

Today, I hope you hear  that this is not about you, but it is because by the way God has blessed you we can be a blessing to the world.

“How?  How do I know what to do to bless the world?”

Jesus has laid it out in His final words in that Great Commission when He left the earth.  He was not unclear.

For those of us who are the church, once we have been saved by Jesus our purpose is very clear. 

The apostle Paul shared the truth of the Great Commission this way in the book of Colossians.

Colossians 1:28-29

1.  Reach Them (proclaim Him)

Luke 14:23 ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’

We need to continue to be a church that strives to reach the lost.  We want to be a place and be a people that those of the world come to and are attracted to.  We need to look and act as much like Jesus as we can.  Too many churches have become a place where only ‘church people’ are willing to go.  Let us never only be a place that ‘church people’ or ‘religious people’ feel welcomed.

Easter at the School

I don’t know if you have noticed it but a number that I have been talking about more then ever before is not the offering number or the attendance number but it is the number of those who have been saved. 

Church is about much more than just church people feeling comfortable; it is about the church reaching the lost.  If that ever stops, things will need to change.

Remember, the Bible says, ‘Go out to the world and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’

Some have told me, “But, Tyson, this church is too big!”  YEP!!!  Yep, it is, if all it was about was our comfort.  For that matter, I have been parking across the street and walking further than I would like to walk in the snow for a few years now, because I know others need to park in the parking lot.  There are weeks where I could be busy every night talking to people wanting to know more about Jesus.   It has gotten busier meeting the needs of the church than some probably would have ever imagined here in little Herscher, but as long as there is a heaven and a hell ... it ain’t big enough. 

Do you hear what I am saying?

As long as ‘reaching people with God’s love’ means the difference between heaven and hell for them, its not big enough. 

We must reach others, and proclaim Jesus to them now, and until Christ returns.

2.  Warn them.  Paul said, ‘admonishing’

There must be a point, once we have led them to Jesus and they have received His love and His salvation, that we are called to warn them about their old unholy ways.  The Bible calls this ‘admonishing.’  It is the times in our lives when we invest in people, and we get to know people well enough that we can ‘call them out’ in love and lead them to change.

Romans 2:4 says, “Don’t you know God’s kindness leads toward repentance.”

We can’t just condemn, we must be committed to showing love and kindness to others with the hope that will change their lives.

For that matter, I believe each one ..., everyone of us needs to be held accountable, and at times warned about temptations and/or sin that is in our lives.  We have opportunities for getting to know each other to develop relationships so this is possible, that we may be comfortable enough to admonish or be admonished...  Participate in a Small group, Sunday school, Bible study, Christian mentor.  Twenty-five minutes once a week is not enough time to develop your knowledge of Christ, come and develop your relationships with others.

Find someone that is a brother and sister in Christ that will continue to call you out and warn you when you are wrong. Then remember, the best place for that is not in this big group, but in private.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Sparks may fly but it is needed for continued spiritual growth.

3.  Teach them!

Each one of us needs to be growing, developing, learning,  being exposed to the powerful truth of God’s word.

Find some way for you to be growing.  After Easter,  we will be launching some new Small Groups.   be praying that God would lead you to learn

Ephesians 4:11-13 (Fullness)

4.  Help others reach their full potential.

Ephesians 2:10   You were created to do ...  WORKS

Make a decision to today to help us sharing God’s love.  Make a decision to step out and

1.  REACH
2. TEACH
2. ADMONISH
4.  SO WE WILL BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST