Summary: Rescasting the vision of the church - Honoring God by connecting people, growing believers and sharing hope.
Seeing the BIG Picture
October 8, 2006
Video: Passion of the Christ – Garden of Gethsemane
Trans: What a powerful scene! You might be asking what this clip has to do w/ the mission and vision of our church – EVERYTHING!
Note: Jesus has invested (3) years of His life into His disciples. He taught them about the true God and how to serve Him w/ all of their hearts. He taught them about the plan of God to redeem His creation through His sacrifice. He taught them about the purpose of life. And now, in this climatic event, one of them, Peter almost blows it. He didn’t see the BIG PICTURE.
In this story we find a man so zealous for God that he does things in God’s name that God Himself would not do. Peter, thinking he was doing a good thing does an ungodly thing – and it wasn’t the first time. He got in Jesus’ way in the upper room too when Jesus was washing his feet. But in Gethsemane, it was even more dangerous than the upper room incident b/c of what was at stake. (Read John
Note: Rick Shimer and I were talking this week and this text came up. I said that the great lesson in this passage was that we must never do things in God’s name that God Himself wouldn’t do. Then Rick offered a very challenging perspective – the moment Peter pulled his sword out of the sheath and struck Malchus, he empowered the temple guards to secure the situation w/ whatever force was necessary including executing Jesus and the disciples.
Note: We know Peter wasn’t going to thwart God’s plan, but Peter didn’t. He did something in God’s name and it almost prevented the cross. Peter thought he was doing something good, but it compromised the Godly.
Insert: When it comes to following Christ and being a member of His family, it is essential that we understand the big picture of God’s vision and mission so that we do not substitute the good for the godly and get in the way.
Trans: Last week we started a series regarding the vision of our ministry as believers and as a church. If you remember, I made the comment that our job isn’t to conjure up our own manmade vision, but to plug into God’s vision and then to interpret it for our community and culture.
Recap: Last week I introduced to you a renewed, simpler vision for our lives and church that I want to continue expounding upon this AM. Let’s review it.
Vision: FBC White House exists to HONOR God by CONNECTING People, GROWING Believers, and SHARING Hope.
We exist first and foremost to honor God. To honor Him we must have a heart that is CAPTURED by God – captivated as a deer that pants for water so that we will never thirst again; compelled by the love of God b/c we are convinced of His sacrifice; and committed to offer our lives as living sacrifices not conformed to the world but transformed by God.
Trans: Today I want us to look at how we can honor God by CONNECTING people to Jesus and His church. What is a connecting church? Now this might surprise you, but it is really simple – we are to help people to connect w/ God in faith and to His family in fellowship.
I CONNECTING TO FAITH
Note: Whether or not a person in this community ever darkens our church’s door, it’s essential our lives touch theirs as representatives of Christ.
Note: It’s simple, w/out Christ people will die and spend eternity separated from a God who loves them unless we do our part by living and sharing our faith.
Insert: Jesus came to this earth for one reason only – to seek and to save the lost by atoning for sin. (Lk. 19:10) If Jesus’ sole purpose was to enter humanity to redeem it, then it only makes sense that those who’ve received Him are engaged in the same business. We too must go into the world to seek and to save the lost. The key concept to understand is GO!
Verse: The love of Christ compels (to mobilize or move to action) us, for we are convinced of this: that one person died for all people; therefore, all people have died. He died for all people, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the one who died and rose for them… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and-look!-all things have become new! All of this comes from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. For in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself by not counting their sins against them, and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were pleading through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: "Be reconciled to God!" God made Him who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become God’s righteousness in him. 2 Cr. 5:14-21