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Summary: This sermon’s purpose is to recognize that God is searching for humnaity. Humnaity is searching for God. And that Jesus Christ is the answer to completing the search.

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Please note: Our church has put up a billboard saying "Search Parties Conducted Weekly" which is one of the themes of the "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" United Methodist September Open House themes. This sermon was an attempt to introduce that theme while connecting it to Scripture.

“Searching for Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”

2003 Searching Series

Ephesians 6:5-9 (hearts), Romans 12:1-2 (minds), John 10:7-10 (doors)

Matthew 22:1-14 (read for the congregation)

September 7, 2003

Purpose: The search for open hearts, open minds, and open doors is as much God’s as our own. While God is searching for those who would accept his gracious offer, many are searching for that gracious offer. God’s solution is Jesus Christ. The church’s opportunity is to share the solution with those who are searching.

Introduction

- Mary Ann trying to describe what we have open hearts, open minds, open doors on our pens at

children’s time. Talk to pastor Greg to see what “Open hearts, open minds, open doors

mean.”

- 9/11 Anniversary – California Recall – Koebe Bryant and former N.D. football players on

trial…all of this can be so overwhelming.

- I believe that a search is on.

I. SEARCHING

God is searching…

God is in the great search for people to come to the banquet (Matthew 22)

Luke 15 tells us that 3x things were lost, 3x things were found, 3x there was rejoicing was what was lost was found.

The Bible is “God’s search for man” – who wrote it? how was it written? In it is everything we need to live a righteous – God-pleasing – life.

Humankind is searching …

When asked people will tell you that they are Christian, but when asked about their spiritual life the last person they mention is the Judeo-Christian God.

Most people will buy on a book on searching for God’s Spiritually than looking in the book that God inspired and wrote for us to help us on the search.

And there are many ways for humankind to search… My first impression of new "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" theme for our United Methodist denomination was was not a positive one…

We can have open hearts…and go back to the “free-love” 1960’s

We can have open minds…and except all ideas as the truth, nirvana and enlightenment here I come!

We can have open doors …and put attendance figures ahead of our mission of nurturing, reaching out, and witnessing in our walk with Christ.

Do I really want that for my church? I mean if this was taken to its limits…this could be dangerous.

But then began to think about Jesus…

When the religious establishment began to close their hearts, minds, and doors to the world around them...

It was Jesus who had an open heart (In fact, he loved those that no one else would loved.)

It was Jesus had an open mind (he continually challenged the Pharisees in their close –

mindedness with the message of grace and reconciliation and lived-out faith),

And it was Jesus who was the inventor of the “open door policy”(sinners, prostitutes, thieves, and

the rest were all welcome as he stood out on the hillside sharing God’s message.)


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