Summary: Sermon for Missions Conference, Evangelism focusing on "the heart of God."
HIS MISSION, MY MISSION, YOUR MISSION
Life and how we live it sure can be pretty crazy sometimes, can’t it? Let me give you 3 illustrations of what I mean and how this is true.
1.)Dead Poet’s Society. Others “boxing” us in and determining our identity/roles for us.
2.)My pride and stubbornness in trying to do things myself, in my own power. Seriously throwing my back out moving the plank in Caroni.
3.)Sailing. Dependence of wind. Getting out there and finding no wind.
From these illustrations we can see 3 potential obstacles that we all most deal with in
our lives – including and especially in regard to how we do or do not live our lives as Christians and consistent with God’s calling and will for us.
2.)The “Do-It-Yourself” Disease.
3.)An Empty Sail.
PROPOSITION: We can and will overcome these obstacles and fulfill our God-given role as Christians, when we do so in the power of the Spirit of the LORD and in accordance with the specific mission given first to Jesus and then extended to those who follow Him.
THE QUESTION: What is our God-given role or mission in life?
I.)THE MISSION EXEMPLIFIED BY JESUS.
Background: Jesus’ baptism – wilderness temptation (can be summed as a series of temptations to get Jesus to accept a role and mission different than the one the Father sent Him to complete).
Scripture: Luke 4:14-22 (pg. 1008)
Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61:1-3. These verses are a part of Isaiah’s prophecy which follows a long, sometimes harsh call for the wicked to repent and turn from their sins (chaps. 56-59). Now, in this section (chaps. 60-62), Isaiah looks ahead at the future glory of a restored community of God’s people and then is followed again with one last warning of final judgement of the wicked and restoration of the repentant (chaps. 63-66).
6 Purposes (in One)
A.The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
What does that mean? He is endowed, covered and filled with the awesome power, authority, guidance and favor of the LORD God Almighty – creator of all that is, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Because He has anointed Me
For What? Why?
To represent God, His glory, and His works of deliverance on this earth and to its people. Not only does “anointing” refer to a bestowal of authority, but also to the endowment of rich gifts. All of this, then, is to fulfill His mission and purpose on this earth. . .
B.To preach the gospel to the poor;
The “poor” are not just those with little financial means. There is a much broader application here. The poor refers to those who are “poor in spirit.” That is, those who are lacking in spiritual truth or power. It is all who are without an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, all those who yet need to depend on God.
Is anyone here today poor?
C.To heal the brokenhearted,
To be a spiritual internist – to heal people’s deepest emotional and spiritual wounds.
To proclaim liberty to the captives
* Who are the captives? Again, all who are without Christ and thus without salvation from a life of sin and weakness. Captives to sin. Captives to the limitations, weaknesses and temptations of the flesh. Captives to the chaos and senselessness of this wicked, lost world. And captives to the Enemy, who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pt. 5:8). Captives to a past filled with pain and regrets and a future without hope.
D.And recovery of sight to the blind,
Oh, how much we take our own sight for granted!
Spiritually blind, because ALL are blind apart from Christ. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Co. 2:14).
And blind, not because their eyes don’t work, but because they live within the darkness rather than the light.
Hiking from the Gap in the pitch dark, and a storm.
Later in His mission, when referring to His future death on the Christ Jesus proclaimed to His disciples: A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light (John 12:35-36).
E.To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
Oppressed? Well, let’s see, if you were poor, brokenhearted, imprisoned in chains and blind I suppose you’d feel oppressed, don’t you think? I imagine many of us here today.
F.To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.
The Jewish audience in the synagogue would have clearly recognized this is a reference to the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-17), the one year in every fifty when God proclaimed that all debts be forgiven and slaves set free. The prophet Isaiah long ago and now Jesus, refer not to this 1-in-50 Jubilee, but to the final spiritually Jubilee – that time in history when God, in His sovereign grace will bring freedom from the debt and chains of sin to those who are His. Shockingly, Jesus then proclaims that that time is now!