Summary: So many times, we look at the end result of our purpose rather than the journey we must travel to accomplish that purpose. We must constantly give God our best so that He can use that best for His Plan, Purpose and Promise.
A. GOD’S ENVISIONED VISION FOR NHBC!
As I strive to become who God desires me to be, I learn more of what Paul meant when he said, “we live by faith and not by sight”. And as a church, we also find ourselves striving to become who God has envisioned us to be.
I am still not 100% positive on the precise door that we will walk through to realize that purpose. It seems that everyday I think I have it figured out, there’s another closed door.
What I am becoming MORE CONVINCED of is the danger of placing too much emphasis on THE BUILDING and I’m NOT CERTAIN that is the Vision but RATHER THE END RESULT OF THE VISION.
B. SERMON SERIES TO PREPARE US FOR THAT JOURNEY!
1. It is EASY to See The Finish! The big, pretty, packed church – That Lighthouse on the Hill. That awesome choir, full staff, tons of children, excited teenagers – Oh what a sight! That’s EASY TO SEE!
But THE JOURNEY – THE JOURNEY ALONG THE WAY – If there is a place that we pastors, as leaders of God’s Church, fail, it is that we don’t spend enough time preparing the flock for the journey to become what God has called us to be.
ILL: THE TRIANGLE OF MINISTRY
If you picture a triangle – at the top is Jesus because we know “He is the way, the truth and the life.” At the bottom of the triangle are the different members of the body that God has uniquely placed here.
In the middle is the Holy Spirit. (READ JOHN 14.26) (his purpose)
From our study of Ephesians, we know the Holy Spirit is the Protector & Administrator of The Church so now ADD THE CHURCH to the middle of the triangle. The job of the church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help us along the journey to Christ.
Each Member of the Body (through the HS) learns and performs the task which Jesus has equipped them to do (each according to their ability as Jesus determined).
Through the different ministries of the church, every believer not only grows themselves but ALSO allows the HS use them to grow and mature another.
The Result is that the “whole building is joined together” as Paul says in Ephesians 2:21-2, so that “to rise & become (a process of the journey) a ‘holy temple’ – a ‘dwelling’ in which God lives by His spirit”.
So the CHURCH through the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit helps TO PREPARE US FOR THE JOURNEY God has CALLED US TO WALK.
2. LAST WEEK, we looked at “The Vision Behind the Purpose of the Church”;
For the next several weeks, I want us to focus not on the end result of this Vision, but instead How We Will Accomplish This Vision (whatever that SPECIFIC vision is).
TODAY, I want us to understand We Must Offer God Our Best!
OUR TEXT IS FROM MARK 14:1-9 and is recorded in Matt., Mark, and John.
The Passover marked the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt when God “passed over” the homes that were marked by the “blood of the lamb”. This was the Last Plague on Egypt whereby God took the “firstborn male of every household” (including Pharaoh) if the blood of a lamb was not found on the door.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread - 7 day festival recalling the ‘escape from Egypt’ – but in the escape they did not have time to let their bread rise & baked it w/o yeast.
READ VERSE 3
Bethany was located on the East side of the Mount of Olives – Jerusalem on the West Side. Upon his many trips to Jerusalem, Jesus would stay here and walk to Jerusalem.
This meal takes place at the home of Simon who either had leprosy in the past or will get it. Obviously he doesn’t have it now or he would not live at home. I believe he probably had been healed by Jesus which might would also be the reason they are in his home.
Bethany is also the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and according to John’s recording of this event, they were not only here, but MARY is the woman who performed this tremendous offering.
READ John 12.2.3
She brought a Beautiful Jar of VERY EXPENSIVE perfume and poured it on his head.
This act is what we are really focusing on.
READ VERSE 4-5
Here come ‘the complainers’ – those wanting to distract others from giving their best. Where Mark says ‘some’, John (vs. 12.4) specifically mentions ‘Judas’ as the main instigator.
Judas was influencing others not because of his concern for poor, but because of his selfishness