Summary: In order to be a world changer, I must be willing to lay down my life daily through intimacy with God. Part 2 of a series called "How to Change Your World"
How to Change Your World – Part 2
October 21, 2001
Public School 279 in Brooklyn, New York has used the Internet to post some ways that their elementary students believe they could make the world a better place.
A student named C.J. says…I would make the world a better place by trying to make peace with all the countries
Joseph - I can make the world a better place by helping poor people.
Shannon - I would try to help people that commit crimes to become nice people.
Sammy - I would make the world a better place by planting more plants because they make the air cleaner.
Carlos - I could clean up parks and streets and I could recycle.
Nothing all that new or original, and yet each one has a vision of a different kind of world. Each one realizes he or she can have a part, be it ever so small, in making the world a better place.
As we age we tend to lose some of the idealism of grade school. We realize how big the world really is – and how small one we are by ourselves.
Sometimes we forget that God wants to use every follower of Jesus to make an impact on planet earth. So we begin to live out a smaller story than the one He has called us to. In His larger story, He calls us to be world-changers.
The process of becoming a world-changer for God isn’t the way of might or strength or power in the world’s conventional usage of those terms. It’s a process that begins, as we learned last week, with laying down our lives before God in an act of extreme surrender. God wants to take our lives and transform us into the image of Jesus Christ. And as we are transformed, the world will be changed.
But how does God want us to continually lay ourselves down before Him? Today we are going to talk about that in terms of “Extreme Privilege.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 points the way…READ TEXT
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Painted in broad strokes, there are some inevitable passages in the growth process where we move from simply focusing on our own needs to focusing on the extreme privilege of worshipping God.
TRANSITION: The first passage we could call…
I. RECKLESS LOVE
There must have been something special about Helen of Troy. Two kingdoms went to war over her; thousands of men gave up their lives so that one might have her. Hers was the “face that launched a thousand ships.”
Helen was the wife of Menelaus, King of Greece, in the ninth Century, B.C. Their kingdom was peaceful until the arrival of Paris, Prince of Troy. Paris fell in love with Helen, and depending on the version of the story you’ve heard, she fell in love with him. Under the cover of night, Paris stole away with Helen and took her back to Troy. It was the beginning of the Trojan War. Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon assembled a might Greek army and set off in one thousand ships to attack Troy, all to win Helen back.
Few people have ever felt so pursued. In fact, many of us wonder if we’ve even been noticed. We live much of our lives wondering if someone will ever find us special and show interest in us. We tell ourselves, “No one has ever fought over me. No one has risked it all to sweep me off my feet. There is nothing special about me.”
And yet the Gospel says something entirely different. It says someone has been pursuing us all this time. When we listen to God’s version of the story, we find that we, too, were stolen from our True Love, and he launched the greatest campaign in the history of the world to get us back.
Brent Curtis and John Eldridge say it like this in their book, The Sacred Romance, “When we turned our back on him he promised to come for us. He sent personal messengers; he used beauty and affliction to recapture our hearts. After all else failed, he conceived the most daring of plans. Under the cover of night he stole into the enemy’s camp incognito, the Ancient of Days disguised as a newborn. The Incarnation, as Phil(ip) Yancey reminds us, was a daring raid into enemy territory. The whole world lay under the power of the evil one and we were held in the dungeons of darkness. God risked it all to rescue us.” (p. 91)