Sermons

Summary: Should we (as individuals and churches) be Purpose Driven or Presence Driven? (answer: both! But we need the Presence of God to bring People, Preaching, Prophecy and Power)

Purpose and Presence Mark 2:1-12 WBC 10 Aug 2003 am

I want to speak this morning about the importance of us being people, and a church, with a Purpose… but who also seek the Presence of God

PURPOSE

It’s very easy for us as individuals to fall into one of two camps:

- ‘I’m an active kind of person. You won’t really find me coming to prayer meetings and so on- but give me a purpose… a hammer’

- “I believe in seeking the presence of God’

It’s funny how we so easily like to ‘type-cast’ ourselves. Maybe ‘limit’ ourselves, even

Actually- this kind of dichotomy exists in the western Christian world, at the moment!

- Rick Warren ‘Purpose Driven Church’

- Tommy Tenny : the God chasers

Having a purpose is great! WE have a purpose:

- ‘building a community, empowered by the HS bringing: glory to God, people to Jesus, believers to maturity, God to the world’

o it keeps us focussed… balanced… on the rails-

o makes sure we’re seeking to achieve GOD’s purpose for us

 can’t go into it at length: but as a CM has made us realise we need to look at doing an Alternative Service – for all those around us we’re not reaching

• maybe midweek- for those who would be reached by a short, half an hour, lunchtime service?

Focussing on purpose is great! I fully believe Jesus was a man with a mission. A focussed man. A purpose driven man

- “I have come to do the Father’s will”. ‘repent and believe!’

The only problem is:

- PEOPLE who focus only on this can end up- dry spiritually. Missing intimacy with God. The presence of God

- Churches can end up like business

o More important ‘hosting the lost’ than ‘hosting the Lord’

- And for both churches & individuals: our spiritual life and church dynamic can become more like ‘entertainment’ than ‘encounter’ with God

Here’s the truth: we need both. YOU need both

- what’s the good of having plans, purposes, structures… a fireplace- if you like- but no fire!

Think about this- which is more important to YOU? Purpose or presence of God?

- which kind of church should we be?

The answer is: BOTH. It’s NOT either/or

I want you to understand, from this passage, this morning –that the presence of God is the answer to so much of what we seek

PRESENCE

Jesus combined purpose and the presence of God. A man with a purpose who carried the presence of God (Mk1:7, 8)

And look what happens when this man (Peter?) invites Jesus into his house

- yes, the roof gets torn off! (nothing tame about inviting Jesus in!)

- but Mk 2:2 ‘packed with visitors’. Mk 1:33 ‘the whole town gathered at the door’

There’s nothing wrong with good publicity, artwork etc. In fact- we want them!

- but truth is- when Jesus is in the house… the presence of God is there

o the crowd gathers!

PEOPLE

- you get the people! Because people, inside, are hungry for the presence of God. The real thing

o the publicity happens! 2:1 AV ‘noised abroad!’

With the presence of Jesus come the people

- ‘if you have the cloud, you get the crowd’

PREACHING

And when the presence is there- that’s the time for preaching

Truth is- a lot of our evangelistic preaching falls on deaf ears, nowadays (in OUR culture)

- people don’t want anyone telling them anything. Even if it’s the way to be saved!

o That’s why testimonies are powerful! (more!)

 People are nosey!

 They’ll listen to your story

 Folks want to know this stuff WORKS!

• They (esp Gen X) want experience

• Again= why the presence is so important

But if the presence is there- they’ll listen to the word. They’ll be spellbound.

- nothing beats the anointed preaching of the word!

- the presence doesn’t negate preaching… it’s the platform for it

o cf the day of Pentecost

Oh, Lord- we need the word in your anointed presence!

But it’s so easy just to be satisfied with a bit of preaching…. When we need the presence as well

- because ‘preaching’ can be safe: ‘oh, very nice’

o but then leave and act exactly the same

- if Jesus is in the house- you will NOT leave the same

So- we need the presence, but we need to teach folks as well

Another thing that happens in the presence of Jesus is

PROPHECY

Often we can think- oh, shouldn’t have this kind of stuff around ‘unbelievers. They’ll think you’re out of your mind’

- that’s not what the Bible says, nor experience shows

o that’s true only if badly managed. Out of order

 Robert came to faith hearing tongues

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