Summary: This sermon helps Christians realize that we have received God’s blessings in order to share the Gospel with the world.
“BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING” Gen. 12:1-3
INTRO – So often, our prayers are full of requests for God to bless us – our families, our nation, our churches, our community, our economy, etc. Nothing wrong with that. Prayer of Jabez – “O that you would bless me indeed…” And God does bless us. Last Tuesday night at Prayer Meeting, those present shared the blessings for which they were thankful with a small group of people. At the risk of being redundant, it such a blessing to be blessed by God! Eph. 1:3 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms w/ every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
But is the outpouring of God’s favor and blessings on us for our sake alone? Is it for our benefit alone, or is it for a higher purpose? God’s desire is that all peoples of the earth know Him and worship Him. The theme for this year’s International Missions Emphasis is “That all peoples may know Him.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 reminds us that we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but not you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” We have received all of these blessings and become the people of God so that we would proclaim His glory among the nations.
I. WE ARE PEOPLE W/ HIS PURPOSE.
A. In God’s call to Abraham, God said, “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:2-3)
a. When Israel prayed for God’s blessings, it was for the purpose of declaring His salvation among the nations.
b. Ps. 67:1-2 – “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us – that your way may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations.”
B. God’s purpose for us as His people is so clear. It always has been clear. We’ve just gotten really good at blurring that purpose is our own eyes.
a. His purpose is for us to be His witness.
b. His purpose is for us to disciple the nations.
c. His purpose is for us to declare His glory to the ends of the earth.
C. Every individual who has a personal relationship with Christ should have a heart for reaching the lost.
D. Every church should be a global outreach center.
a. MBC is one of 1,172 churches that are a part of the “Global Priority Network” w/ the IMB.
b. What does that mean? Action plan to be a GPNet church:
i. Prioritizing missions & providing missions leadership
ii. Praying for missionaries & the unreached peoples of the world
iii. Providing missions education, information, events, & displays
iv. Promoting cooperative missions giving
v. Participating in missions projects
vi. Producing missionaries for today & tomorrow
vii. Personalizing missions by connecting to IMB personnel
viii. Partnering in missions efforts by adopting unreached people groups
E. God has called us, blessed us, and equipped us, not for our own success & prosperity, but to fulfill His purpose, and to build His Kingdom.
II. WE ARE PROMISED HIS POWER.
A. The great news for us as God’s people is that His call for us to carry out His purpose in this world is accompanied by His promise of His power to do it.
a. Acts 1:8 – The expectation that we would be His witnesses in our Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth is affirmed by the fact that we have received the indwelling power of the HS.
b. The Great Commission that sends us to make disciples of all nations as we go through our lives is framed by 2 important verses:
i. “All authority (power) in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (v. 18)
ii. “I am w/ you always.” (v. 20)
c. When we go in obedience to fulfill His purpose, He promises to go w/ us and empower us for the task.
B. What does that mean for you individually?
a. For some, it may mean that you will respond to the call to go as a missionary – not b/c of your own abilities, qualifications, or skills, but b/c of the promise that the indwelling presence and power of Jesus will go w/ you.
b. For others, it may mean that you will respond to the short-term opportunities through our church and other organizations to participate in mission trips.
c. For all of us, it means that when we take God’s commission seriously and go to share Christ w/ someone who is lost, He will empower us for the task – whether that is witnessing to a neighbor or coworker, or a complete stranger.