Summary: This culture is longing for an authentic view of Christianity and God demands it. This series paints a picture of the Authentic Christian.
Authentic Christianity - #3 of 7
* In 1965 lyricist Hal David and music composer Burt Bacharach teamed up to write a song which was recorded and released by Jackie DeShannon and climbed to #7 on the US charts. The title of that song was “What the world needs now is love.” The lyrics were very simple, “What the world needs now is love sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love sweet love, no not just for some but for everyone.” While I don’t care to make this song my personal piñata. But we do need to be clear the kind of love this world needs. It is God’s love or Agape Love. The only way to attain this love is through Jesus because no one comes to God except through Jesus. The better song might be, “What the world needs now is Jesus sweet Jesus. He’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, and no not just for some, but for everyone.” If people are to ‘have’ Jesus, then believers must sharing Jesus. This is to be our mission.
* I submit to you that the very reason this culture, this country, and the massive number of churches in this country are decaying is because of the brand of Christianity which is so prevalent. It is foreign to scripture & lives without a mission.
* Here is a question for each of us to chew on: “What is YOUR mission for YOUR life?” Is it to make a living, to live comfortably, to take care of your family, to be a good parent/grand-parent, or is it something else? Sadly, the brand of Christianity which is so evident today is a puny counterfeit for what Christ died.
* God designed you, He created you, & He saved you for a mission, and a mission of eternal consequence. We tend to focus on today while He focuses on tomorrow. We are concerned about the things of earth which will pass away and God calls us to be concerned about the things of heaven which will never pass away.
* Before I continue, take a step back. Back up from the desk of your life and ask yourself, “What is the over-riding-driving focus, & the life-directing mission of my life? If my life continues as it is, what will be the ultimate outcome? When they attend my wake, what will people say that my life has stood for?” These questions could go on and on, but I begin with these questions because, quite likely, they’ll resurface again before I conclude. (If they don’t NOW – God may ask similar ones)
* The life of an Authentic Christian is a life of mission. This mission is not man-made but is given by God & evaluated by God. For clarification, consider 3 thoughts:
1. The Examples – Scripture is replete is examples of God people on mission. We find them both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. If I begin to call the roll in the Old Testament, I begin with Abraham, God called (Abram) Abraham to change location, have faith, and father a nation. For all the bumps in the road, Abraham had faith and completed his mission. The mission of Joseph is not a ‘mission trip’ any of us desire to take. It included a pit and a prison before it became a palace. All along the way, Joseph was being prepared for saving people from the famine. There are many others, Moses, David, Saul, Solomon, Jeremiah, and more – all with a mission.
* The examples of mission in the New Testament requires us visit Luke 10. Jesus appointed 35 teams to go out on mission. (READ) This was training for what was to become their life’s mission. It was not a ‘one-night’ a week for the ‘spiritually elite,’ it was a lifestyle for the spiritually awake. Watch how this worked & works: After Pentecost in Acts 3, Peter & John were going to pray & an opportunity for ministry presents itself. This man had obviously been here many times before, but now the guys were on MISSION – they had a MISSION – & this MISSION was on their minds.
* It doesn’t stop there as Chapter 3 & 4 put on display that the impact of living on mission will lead to one chance after another to share Jesus with a needy world. (Review Acts) Candidly, the book of Acts gives us the picture of mission.
* Every Monday night we gather to visit. Have you ever thought about it? If only half of this crowd lived on mission, having a visitation or outreach program would not even be necessary. If we were like Jesus & the first century believers who shared the truth of Jesus in their normal pattern of life, not only would we not have to we would not need to because we would have our plates full discipling new believers.