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Summary: The church that embraces the mission of God and looks beyond itself ~ identifying ways to reach the lost, draw in the wandering, touch others for Jesus’ sake ~ this is the church that will be alive and making beautiful harmony with the Holy Spirit

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WAC2BL:

Missional ~ Taking the Good News to Others

Scripture Text: Matthew 10.1-10

INTRODUCTION

Rick Warren’s book called, A Purpose Driven Life… has had a dramatic impact upon millions of people. He explains life is not aimless, wandering; …but-that God has created us with purpose in mind. A life well-lived is a life that is lived in view of the purpose for which we are created. And-that-means, we have to understand our life and our purpose in view of God.

It’s no insult to say-that Rick Warren hasn’t said anything-new in his book. As-a-matter-of-fact, …the basic-idea is contained within Scripture ~ …and-so, it’s been around for thousands of years! We are created by God. We are created for God. We are created to-love and serve God with the life that He gives us!

TRANSITION

Rick followed up his first book with another book: The Purpose Driven Church. And that-idea ~ that the church has a God-given purpose ~ …that-idea is also very-Scriptural. You see it played-out and explained in-all-sorts of places. Our life-together is not an end-in-itself. We are who we are; …we are brought together and connected to one another and our lives are woven into a tapestry of many gifts and talents, shapes and perspectives, …our church is being built together by God for bigger purposes than we can imagine or dream-up!

I think there’s something–about Lego’s that might help us to understand the church. The makers of Lego’s designed-them to be played with ~ …to be taken out-of-the-box, …put-together, …used to-create new-and-different structures… I-guess you could say, …that’s their created-purpose…

As we continue to mull-over this question: What’s A Church to Be Like? ~ …as we wrestle-with-this-question, …I’m convinced that one piece-of-the-answer must-be that the church is to be purposeful. Even-as Legos are created with a purpose in-mind, …so-the-church is created-by-God with purpose and mission in-mind.

In previous-weeks, we’ve discovered that some of the key-characteristics of the church are: …that we are all sinners, saved by grace; …that because we’ve been forgiven-of-much, we should be forgiving toward-one-another; …and-that, since we are beloved-by-God, …we should strive to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in our attitudes-and-actions.

Today, we turn our attention to yet-another characteristic ~ …another ingredient in the recipe that makes-for a healthy congregation: Purpose. Mission. You-might-say-that it’s our calling.

BODY

Matthew says:

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness… These twelve Jesus sent out with the [instructions]…”

The disciples represent the entire church at this point-in-time; We should see ourselves in their shoes, …and we are included in Jesus’ instructions: …not-as-the-recipients of their ministry, …but as fellow messengers-and-ministers. As people who’ve already received the promise of salvation ~ …now we’re called-together with mission and purpose. It is something that’s given by God. It’s not something that we conjure-up with our-own imagination. The mission and the purpose of the church springs out of the will of God; …and it’s our responsibility to submit our collective-will ~ …as-well-as to-submit our individual dreams-and-plans ~ …it’s our responsibility to submit our will, to the will of God.

You recall the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray? ~ “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”? ~ In-other-words, …we-are who-we-are because of Him, and who He is!

And-whatever-it-is, that we set our hearts on, …whatever we set our attention on, …whatever we pour our energies out on, …whatever goals we dream of achieving and attaining ~ …whatever captures our hearts-and-imaginations, …we must submit it-all to the will of God! We are a healthy-church, …we are a blessed-church, …we are the kind of church that we’re supposed-to-be, when we seek the purpose-and-plan of God above-all-else!

What’s a church to be like? Missional. Purposeful. Goal-oriented. Devoted to pursuing and following the dreams-of-God. After-all, …we are not-just the product of God’s will, …we are also called to be partners in pursuing His will!

In the infinite wisdom-of-God, …He sees fit to call you-and-me, …church-families like ours, and-others, …He sees-fit to make us partners with-Him in carrying out His mission-and-purpose for His Creation!

I don’t know how that makes-you-feel, …but it is extremely-humbling to me! I’m a-lot-like-Moses in-that, …I don’t feel qualified for such a high-calling! And neither-are-you! And-together ~ when you add-up all our abilities and all-the-things that we have-to-offer, …when you add-it-all-up, …we still come up way-short of what it’ll-take to accomplish God’s will for our city!... It is His will that none perish, …but that all come to saving-relationship with Him, through Jesus. Who will tell them, if we don’t!?!

It is His will that we preach and teach and play-a-part in delivering-people from the stronghold of the enemy! Who will do this, if we don’t!?!

It is His will that we go into all the world, …proclaiming the good-news of salvation through Jesus. Who will go, if we don’t!?!

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