Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus has invested us with Divine Power of Attorney to transact his earthly business with his word of truth to bless, to serve, to forgive and tell others of God’s love and peace in Jesus. His prayer is that we remain in a contemporary culture which see

In Jesus Holy Name May 28, 2006

Text: John 17:11, 14-21 Redeemer

“Power of Attorney-Given by Jesus’”

A few years ago Colleen and I were asked to take care of her aunt. We were given “Power of Attorney” to transact her business for her. When you are preparing your own “Trust” you will have to choose someone to whom you give “Power of Attorney.”

This legal document enables a person, whom you trust, to buy, sell, make investments, and give tithes and donations in your name, according to your instructions. While the hand writing on the check belongs to another, the bank expects you to be responsible to cover the amount.

Think of the level of trust required to invest another person with your assets to carry out your business in your name.

In our text for today Jesus is investing us with Divine Power of Attorney to transact his earthly business. We are to bless, serve, forgive, and tell others about God’s love and his offer of eternal life beyond the grave. We are to tell others about Jesus, his sacrificial death on the cross which establishes peace with God by faith.

This morning we have participated in the Baptism event.

What did we see and hear? We saw two parents bring a child to be baptized. We heard them make a promise to God. We saw water poured. As a community we made them a verbal promise. We promised to support them in the task of parenting.

God created a new human being from the combined genetics of Erik and Julie. This is a new human being, not a reincarnation of another.

Today, God gave Erik and Julie “Power of Attorney” to bless, to serve, and to teach this child right from wrong. They are to teach their child to pray, they and he will learn to practice forgiveness. They are to provide their child with self esteem, and the knowledge of God’s love through Jesus. They will teach their child not to be selfish but to love. They will help their child connect to the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus.

They are to do this in a culture and a world that is different than the one we grew up in. And it is different from the one our parents grew up in. Kids today have never heard of “Blue Laws”, but they have seen the “Blue Men” in Las Vegas.

We live in a culture that “out sources and replaces”. We experience deployment and unemployment, downsizing while others are sizing up. We live in a culture that talks about high fat, and low fat, carbs and low sugar foods and drinks.

They will raise this child in a culture that tries to tell us that “truth” is no longer an absolute, but objective and subjective to the eye of the beholder, “where everyone does what is right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)

We now live in a Post Christian Era. Here’s an example: In 1996 at a Cocktail party in South Carolina the discussion turned to religion. Someone asked what “born again” meant. The response… “Oh, that’s something Jimmy Carter started when he was in the White House.” The lone Christian in the crowd tried to explain, “No, born again was something Jesus started when he said, “You must be born again.” But no one listened.”

When I was a kid in the 1950’s when someone called a city Sodom and Gomorrah you know what it meant. Today you have to program your computer’s spell check in Windows 95 because it does not know the names of the books of the bible, nor recognize biblical names.

The Christian faith was never universal in US America, but there was a broad consensus that our national culture should rest on a Christian world view. Now religious plurality is the dominate feature of life in the US and we have pensioned off from imagination things like hell, Satan, guild and grace.

Science has replaced religion as the basis of social morality, but it lacks ethical guidelines, with no answers for what is right or wrong behavior.

On a “60 Minutes” interview the other night Mike Wallace asked Ophrah: “Do you believe in God? With a big smile she said, “Yes, I pray to her often.”

Pop singer Gloria Estafan says that “organized religion is detrimental to the spirit “and inhibits spirituality. But she prays daily and testifies that “we are all part of God.”

My question… If we are all part of God…to whom is she praying…and does she expect and answer?

We are in “beeper bondage”. We are becoming enslaved to electronic technology, but 26 million veterans just discovered, their personal identity was stolen. Today even the grave is not saving some from identity thieft.

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