Summary: Becoming a difference maker in our community
What can we do to reach this community for Jesus Christ? This is a burning question on my heart as we enter 1998. We have not even come close to attaining the potential Jesus spoke of when He said, "These same works that I do you will do, and greater works also." What is it going to take to do the same works? What is it going to take to do the greater works.
In Mark 16, after the death of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb to anoint Jesus body and on their way they asked, "Who is going to roll the stone away?"
That is the question we are asking today? Who is going to roll the stone away? The people have to roll the stone away so Jesus can do the resurrection power. If we don’t roll the stone away, if we don’t take away the grave clothes, if we don’t meat the conditions of doing greater works than Jesus did in his day, then God will never do what He can do, and that is to bring Lazareth alive.
And when they arrived the stone was already rolled away although it was very large. There must come a time when we acknowledge that we can never solve our problem on the level of our problem but that we must look at our problem with a different perspective. To look to another point of view. With this in mind, I want you to turn to Psalm 121.
How many of you have seen the hologram pictures in the mall? When you first look at them, you see a two dimensional image, but when you learn where and how to look, you discover behind the two dimensional image is a third dimension you don’t see at first. Now the Bible says the whole earth is filled with the glory of God, but in most instances, we only have a two dimensional view and what do we see is that sin abounds. And to say there is no sin would be to live like an ostrich with out head in the sand.
And I know what we see around us, and I see it as proof of what Paul said in the Book of Romans 1:21: " For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
It is not as though the whole world is not filled with the glory of God, the problem is there is a veil that lies over our hearts, and because of that veil we see through a glass darkly.
Have you ever been sitting in your house at night, and the rain is pouring outside your house, and you look out your rain spattered windows out into the dark and everything outside is distorted, it seems eerie, even spooky but when daylight comes and the rain stops, the sun comes out and everything that seemed distorted is now seen in its proper perspective. And Paul says when you return to God, the veil will be removed and we will soon see things from God’s perspective.
Now the experts on these holograms tell us the best way to see the third dimension is to put the picture to close to see the whole picture, that is, to put it up right next to your nose so what you see is blurred. Our natural tendency is to see things at infinity to search for a lost horizon that might be there. Infinity is the distance setting of a camera where everything will be seen in focus. Is it possible that when you lift your eyes to the infinite one that everything else comes into focus? But until we lift our eyes to the I AM, who is God, the infinity awesome one, we will never come into focus.
How many of you believe it is time that we bring the dreams and visions of God into focus? How do we do it? It is in Psalm 121, "I lift up my eyes to the hills" My Bible calls this a song of ascent, a song of lifting my eyes up. There is a perspective we must begin to look at, and it is God’s perspective, different than what we see in the natural.
That is what Joshua could say give me the land. He saw things from a different perspective and was ready to acquire what God had for him. It is time to sing the song of ascents, it is time to look at things from a different level, it is time to go a little higher in our Christian life.
It is time that we lift our eyes above the hunger crowd like Jesus did when he saw the crowd that was hungry and thirsty and about to pass out, where there was only a few loaves and fishes, and he lifts his eyes above what he has, and he sings the song of ascents, Thank you God for what you have given.