November 28, 2021
You are part of the story of God. You are part of the greatest cause in all history: to see every man, woman and child redeemed by the grace of Jesus Christ and brought into an eternal relationship with the Creator of the Universe. You are not a spectator to the story of God. You are part of the story of God. For God’s story is still being written today. For when God called you to faith in Jesus Christ, the moment you put your trust in Him, that’s when God connected you to the greatest cause in history. For the moment you believed in Jesus, you weren’t just forgiven, you weren’t just adopted into God’s family, and you didn’t just secure a place in heaven with God for all eternity. No, the moment you trusted in Jesus, you were blessed by Jesus to become a blessing to the world. You were blessed by Jesus to belong to His family. You were blessed by Jesus to be changed by Jesus. And you were blessed by Jesus to know Jesus personally so you might make Him known through your love for one another. And this means that every single one of you who claim to know Jesus, has a part to play in the grand reconciliation scheme of God.
You see, that’s what this whole Rock Springs Reboot series has been all about. It’s been about seeing how you, together with all of God’s people are called to be a blessing in this world. So, I’ll say it again. You are part of the story of God. And that makes you, every one of you an integral part to what God is doing in the world today.
And so today, was we look back at what our Rock Springs Reboot series has been all about, we’re going to look at how God has fit us into His story to be a blessing to our world.
And the first truth we need to grasp about becoming the blessing He calls us to be is this: God choses ordinary people to bring His blessing to the world We learned that from the call of Abram. God started this whole people blessing business with the call of one ordinary man. His call is recorded for us in Genesis 12, where The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3
God started with Abram. God told Abram, if he was willing to leave his country, his people, and his family God would bless him and make him a blessing. So, Abram did just that. He left his country. He left His family. He left the comfort and security of the life he’d always known, to go somewhere he’d never been, and to become someone God could use to be a blessing. This was an extraordinary calling. But all it took for Abram to go, was to believe. To trust God would do as He said He would do. So Abram trusted God and went. Was Abram perfect? No way. He messed up on a number of occasions. Once, he took matters into his own hands and tried to bring about God’s promise of a son by taking another wife. But that failed miserably. Twice, he lied about his true wife’s identity to save his hide. But God never gave up on Him. God still chose to work through him. And eventually God birthed the nation of Israel through Abram and Sarah with the birth of Isaac his first-born son. That was Abram’s part in the story.
Then there was Joseph, Abrahams’ great grandson. The Bible tells us how God blessed the nations through Joseph: After he was sold into slavery, he ends up in Egypt, eventually lands in prison, but one day God lifts him up to be a blessing to Egypt, and then: to his own family, who come to live in Egypt where they begin to prosper and grow into a great nation. That was Joseph’s place in God’s story. His misfortune was used by God to place Joseph in a place where He would be a blessing to all Israel.
Then we come to Exodus and meet the first female heroes in the Bible: Shiphrah and Puah, who risk their lives to save Hebrew baby boys from certain death. So these ordinary midwives did their part in God’s story to be a blessing.
And throughout the Old Testament, God continued to use ordinary people to be a blessing: People like Rahab, the prostitute, who hid the Hebrew spies, and saved Israel.
People like David, the least likely son of Jesse, who was called by Samuel to lead God’s people. People like Esther, who risked her life to save Israel. Her great courage made her a blessing to God’s people. You starting to get the point? God uses unlikely men and women to be a blessing – sometimes through little acts of kindness and sometimes through courageous acts of faith. But in every instance, it is people, ordinary people through whom God accomplishes His mission in this world.
The point is this: You were saved by Jesus for something more in this world. When God called you to believe in Jesus, He called you to be part of His story! You are not some spectator in the cosmic battle for the kingdom.
You are now part of God’s story because God sees in you the potential to be a blessing. Why? Because God put that potential in you when you put your faith in Jesus. If you’ve received Jesus by faith, you now have the spiritual DNA of Jesus in you. You now have the power of the Holy Spirit to love others like Jesus has loved you. You now have the power of mercy to walk alongside others and carry their burdens. And you now have the power of grace to do simple acts of kindness that might change a life forever. Like the one act of kindness engraved on one of the six glass towers at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston. There written by Gerda Weissman Klein is the story of Ilse: “Ilse, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present to me that night on a leaf. Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you gave it to your friend?”
And I say, “Imagine a world where God uses ordinary people like you to be a blessing like that!” That’s how you fit into God’s story: God choses ordinary people to bring His blessing to our world. And He has chosen you to be part of His story.
But that’s just the first truth. Here’s the second: 2. Helping people trust and follow Jesus is our people blessing mission Now, many of you don’t realize how God has made it possible for you to help people trust and follow Jesus. So, next we are going to look at Jesus command to us to make disciples from Matthew 28. Let me read this for us once again: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Now in these verse Jesus lays out how we are to go about making disciples of Jesus. We are “go” make disciples of all people. This means doing this through the course of our everyday interactions and relationships. As we go through life we are sent to help people trust and follow Jesus… Then as we are going we are to “baptize” people into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is where we are commanded to help people come to trust in the name of Jesus. Then we are called to teach them everything Jesus has commanded. This is where we are commanded to help them follow Jesus. Now this all sounds simple enough. But for most of us we struggle to do this. We struggle to live on mission with Jesus to help others trust and follow Jesus.
Why? Because we fail to trust in what Jesus has given us to help us do this. So what has He given us? He gives you His authority to do this! Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” As a follower of Jesus Christ you have all Jesus’ authority and power at your disposal to help others trust and follow Jesus. Jesus is where your confidence is found. It’s not found in your ability to make friends easily. It’s not found in your ability to share the gospel. Nor is it found in any special gifting God may give you. No, your confidence to help others trust and follow Jesus, comes from Jesus. Jesus is the one who has all authority in heaven and earth, and now if Jesus lives in you by faith, He has given you His authority to help others trust and follow Him.
Have you ever thought much about Jesus’ authority over heaven and earth? We live in a day where people throw their power and authority around to get what they want. In fact, there are all kinds of power brokers in our world today. But there is only one person who has ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and earth, and His name is Jesus.
Jesus’ authority over heaven and earth means that Jesus is not just your personal Savior and Lord. He is much bigger than that. He is the Ultimate Authority and power broker in the entire universe! Right now,Jesus is Sovereign over every nation, every tribe, every tongue, and over every single person who draws breath. Jesus has authority over every world leader. He has authority over the White House. He has authority over this pandemic. He has authority over the media. He has authority over disease and demons. He has authority over sin and death. There is no one greater, no one higher, no one more powerful than Jesus! He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And that means when you trust in Him there is an authoritative power in your life that will help you make disciples of Jesus. And that power is Jesus! He gives you His authority to help people trust and follow Him.
But He also gives you His presence to do this! This is His promise to you: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus never meant for any of us to help others trust and follow Him on our own. That’s why He included this promise. HE will always be with us to help us help others trust in Him. He just needs us to TRUST that He will be RIGHT there with us to give us the words we need, the kindness we need, the patience we need, or the grace we need to help our friends or family come to faith in Jesus.
So then, if you’re a follower of Jesus, your place in the story is now about sharing your story. How Jesus saved you, how He’s restoring you or how He’s helping you. And now, all you have to do is TRUST that He’ll be there for you. Trust that He’ll give you the courage to speak, the words to say and the love to give. Trust that He’ll open the door. And when you start trusting that He’ll always be there for you, then helping others trust in Jesus will no longer be hard for you, but a blessing. So then, helping people trust and follow Jesus is our people blessing mission.
But first Jesus wants us to know the blessing of following Him That’s why Jesus says to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 Now if you were here a few weeks ago, I got the privilege of unpacking this passage for us. And it’s full of grace. Listen to all you get from Jesus when you follow Jesus:
First, you get Jesus. Jesus doesn’t invite you to a cause, to a religion or to a Church, He invites you to come be with Him. To be in a relationship with Him. Then when you come to Him, He promises to give you rest. So secondly, you get rest. When you come to Jesus, He removes the weight of your sin, the burden of your guilt and gives you a full pardon for your sin so you can enter His rest. No more striving to be good enough. No more weight of sin. No more fear of judgment. Instead, when you come to Jesus, He gives you rest. So You get rest from striving. You no longer have to try and measure up under a standard of law you can never meet. You are now free to be who God created you to be – to enjoy a relationship with the One who set you free. You get rest from searching. You no longer on the treadmill of searching for meaning in your life: running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, or from looking to the latest thing to find life, truth, happiness or peace. For when you come to Jesus, you find life, you find truth, you find contentment and you find peace. Jesus gives you rest. Not only that, but You get rest from insecurity. When you come to Jesus, you’re coming to the One who you can depend upon for all of life. He knows your need for love, for acceptance, for meaning and purpose. And He can meet every one of those needs. That’s why when you come to Jesus, He gives you rest.
The next thing you get from Jesus is this: You get His easy yoke. And the reason it’s an easy yoke is this: When you take the yoke of Jesus upon you, Jesus is under the yoke with you. Jesus gives you His yoke so you don’t have to go it alone. When you take His yoke upon you, you get to walk with Jesus, join Him in His work, rely on His strength, and receive His help. When you take His yoke, He gives you His grace to love difficult people. When you take His yoke, He gives you His power to endure temptation. When you take His yoke, He gives you His faith to keep you going. In other words, When you take His yoke upon you, He enables you to do what you could never do on your own. That’s grace.
But there’s one more thing you get from Jesus and that is this: You get His heart. For when you trust in Jesus, Jesus entrusts His heart to you. You will learn that he truly is gentle in heart. That he will never be harsh, reactionary, or exasperated with you. You will learn that He will never condemn you, but always understand you. You will also learn that He is lowly in heart. This means there is no one more approachable than Jesus. There are no hoops you must jump through to get to Jesus. You don’t have to clean yourself up to come to Jesus. You don’t have to unburden yourself to come to Jesus. Your very burden is that which qualifies you to come. That’s the goodness and grace wrapped up in the heart of Jesus. Jesus is gently and lowly in heart.
So then, when you know the blessing of following this Jesus, then you will want others to know the Jesus you know. That’s what you get from following Jesus: you get Jesus, you get His rest, you get His help and you get His heart. That’s quite a blessing.
Then there’s one more key that helps us become the blessing God calls us to be, and that is this: 4. Then as we love one another we will show the world the blessing found in following Jesus As Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 Jesus makes it quite clear what we are to do as His disciples. We are to love one another as Jesus has loved us. So how did Jesus love His disciples? He washed their feet. On that final night before Jesus was betrayed, falsely tried and crucified; when the disciples entered the upper room to share a Passover meal with Jesus; nobody was willing to humble themselves to wash away the filth of the day. That is, until Jesus knelt down & washed their filth away.
What Jesus did at that moment was really a parable of what he was about to do on the cross. He was going to love his disciples fully by washing away the filth of their sin with his blood. And although they didn’t recognize it at the time, this is how Jesus loved them and how he has loved us. He loved us regardless of the cost or consequences to himself. He loved us by suffering the worst so He could give us the best. He loved us by dying for us to bring us to God. And when we do that for one another. When we humble ourselves, give of ourselves, lay down our pride, our sense of “what’s in it for me;” when we love one another regardless of the cost or consequences to ourselves, then we will love as Jesus loved us, and everyone will know we belong to Jesus.
You see, that’s why we’re commanded to put our heads together and think of ways we can incite a riot of love with one another. That’s why God wants us to stimulate one another to do deeds of kindness and grace for one another. That’s why God wants us to learn how to stay the course together when life gets hard, and why we need to encourage one another with our words, our presence, our service and our faithfulness. And that’s why we need to see one another as God’s sees us – as His beloved. For when Jesus loved us with His sacrificial love, He paved the way for us to become children of God. And now God wants us to see one another as He sees us – as His beloved.
For at the heart of becoming a blessing to the world is experiencing this great love. That’s why God sent Jesus into the world. To show us how much He loves us, by dying for us to make us His beloved. And so we are. For this God of love has always wanted us to know Him; always wanted us to be with Him; and has always wanted to make us holy and blameless before Him, so that we might know His love and then give this same love to one another.
Then when we love one another the way Jesus loved us, everyone will know we are His disciples, and we will become the blessing God has calls us to become.
This is what Rock Springs Reboot has been all about. It’s been about seeing ourselves as God’s beloved instruments of grace to a world lost in darkness. It’s been about knowing God’s plan to use the redeemed of Jesus to bring His blessing to our world today. And the way God calls us to bring His blessing to our world is…
…by taking our place in His story
…helping all people come to trust and follow Jesus
…all the while walking closely with Him, sharing His yoke and learning His heart, so together we might share His heart with others, through the love Jesus has given us.
This is who we are to be as His Church. You and I were saved for something more. To be part of the greatest cause in all history: to see every man, woman and child redeemed by the grace of Jesus Christ. So may we live as His beloved, love one another, and be the blessing of God has called us to be by taking our place in His story with Jesus.