Summary: Jesus wants us... 1. To make His message our priority (vs. 5-8). 2. To trust in His ability (vs. 8-10). 3. To follow His plan for our service (vs. 11-13). 4. To recognize the danger of rejecting Him (vs. 14-15). 5. To walk in the wisdom of the Lord (vs. 16).
Important Instructions from Jesus Our King (Part 1)
The Gospel of Matthew
Sermon by Rick Crandall
(Prepared December 24, 2021)
*Someone put together a list called "Kid’s Instructions on Life." Nine-year-old Rocky said: "When feeding seagulls, always wear a hat." But my favorite was twelve-year-old Joel who said, "Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat." (1)
*Those are some pretty good instructions, but we’ve got infinitely better instructions right here in the Word of God.
1. AND THE LORD'S FIRST INSTRUCTION IS FOR US TO MAKE HIS MESSAGE OUR PRIORITY.
*Just after Jesus chose His twelve Apostles, vs. 5-7 tell us that:
5. These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
*We must understand that the message of the kingdom was infinitely more important than the miracles. As wonderful as those miracles were, they were only temporary. But the kingdom of heaven lasts forever! And the miracles were given to prove the truth of their message.
*Jesus told His Apostles, "As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Of course, all of us are not called to be preachers, but all of us are called to be reachers. All of us are called to do everything we possibly can to help reach more people for Jesus Christ. He is our King! And our King wants us to let people know that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
*Jesus Christ is the King of the whole universe. He is the righteous and holy Judge of all. We are accountable to Him. And there would be no hope whatsoever for us, -- except for the good news that our King is also gracious, kind, and full of mercy for everyone who will trust in Him.
*As believers, we know that our King Jesus loves us. He came into this world for us. He even died on the cross for our sins and then rose again from the dead. When we call upon the Lord, He forgives all our sins and gives us His eternal life. He makes us citizens in His Kingdom. He even makes us part of His royal family!
*And we can echo David's joyful words in Psalm 95:1-7
1. Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3. For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.
4. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also.
5. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.
6. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. (2)
*Everyone needs to know this truth, so King Jesus calls all of us to do all we can to spread this good news about the Kingdom of Heaven. And our task is ever more urgent, because we live in a world where God's enemies do all they can to spread their lies.
*James Hewett gave an example of how God's determined enemies work. This happened years ago when James was serving the Lord in Miami. And James said, "While working among Cuban Americans in Miami, I frequently heard the following story: Shortly after the Communist revolution in Cuba, there were strong attempts to turn the people away from God.
*In elementary schools, Communist teachers would ask their students whether God could live up to His promises or not. Of course, the students said 'Yes.' The teacher would then use a deceitful trick to make her case that God was weak.
*The teacher would tell the students to pray very hard for some candy. After ten minutes, the teacher would ask if anyone received any candy. The students responded with a sad 'No.'
*Then the teacher would ask the students to ask the Communist state for candy. And when the children did, the teacher would go around the room filling the students' hands with candy." What a monstrous thing to do! (3)
*You may think, "Well, things like that could never happen here in the United States." But they are happening here, because many people in our nation are just as opposed to Jesus Christ. Now, more than ever, we must do everything we can to spread the good news about our King!