Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This week's sermon: Stepping Out in Faith--Following His Mission

Our God is a Missionary God.
When we think of "Missionaries," we think of people who go to other countries to share the Gospel message. But a Missionary is more than that. When we think about a person we would call a "visionary" we think of one who has a specific vision of the future, and takes steps to make that vision a reality. When we think of a person as a "missionary," we need to see them as one who has a specific mission, and takes steps to carry it out. God is a Missionary God. It is His Mission to bring people into right relationship with Himself. God is constantly reaching out to and seeking a relationship with mankind.

He was a Missionary God in the Old Testament.
Gen 3:8,15. Acts 17:27.

When God created the earth, and placed mankind in the Garden, He fellowshipped with man. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden so often, that when they had sinned they recognized that He was coming when they heard His footsteps. Even when God was pronouncing the curse, He gave a hint as to His plan for redeeming mankind and bringing them back into relationship with Himself. All through the Old Testament, God reaches down to man. He comes to Abram, Isaac, Moses, and the prophets. And in establishing the Tabernacle and Temple sacrificial system, He opened the door for mankind to seek Him.

He was a Missionary God in the New Testament.
Luke 19:10. Mark 2:17. John 8:1-11.

God reached out to mankind in an unprecedented way when He took on flesh and came to live on the earth. Throughout the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus we see God at work, reaching out to those who were far away and bringing them near. Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost; that He had come for the sick, not the healthy. When He was preaching and teaching and healing, Jesus accepted, forgave, and offered hope to those who were out of touch with God. At the end of His time on earth, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice in taking on the sin of the world and paying the penalty for all sin, for all time. He raised from the dead to conquer death and offer everyone who would believe the hope of eternal life.

He calls us to join Him in His Mission to reach the lost.
Matthew 28:18-20. Acts 1:8. 2Corinthians 5:18-20.

When He ascended, Jesus gave His followers the instruction to go and make disciples as they were going. He told them they were to be His witnesses starting where they lived and moving out to the world. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, that we are God's ambassadors calling people to reconciliation in their relationship with God. We have a mission, and God wants us to become Missionaries by taking steps to fulfill the Mission He has given us. The Mission to seek the lost, make disciples, and be a testifier to His Love, Grace, and Mercy in Christ Jesus.

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