Summary: How can we be the church Jesus wants us to be? 1. Lift up the light of the Lord (vs. 21-22). 2. Tune in to God's truth (vs. 23-25). 3. Be willing to work with God (vs. 26-29). 4. Trust God to grow His Kingdom (vs. 30-32).

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The Kind of Church God Wants Us to Be

Mark 4:21-32

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Oct. 9, 2016

*Christians: We are part of the most important organization the world will ever see: The Church of the living God!

*Many of you have heard my favorite description of God's Church. It came from Pastor Russ Blowers when he was speaking to the Rotary Club in Indianapolis, Indiana. Each week, a different member told a little about his job. And this is what Russ said when his turn came up:

*"I'm with a global enterprise. We have branches in every country in the world. We're into motivation and behavior alteration. We run hospitals, feeding stations, crisis pregnancy centers, universities, publishing houses, and nursing homes. We care for our clients from birth to death. We are into life insurance and fire insurance. We perform spiritual heart transplants.

*Our original Organizer owns all the real estate on earth, plus an assortment of galaxies and constellations. He knows everything, and lives everywhere. Our product is free for the asking. (There's not enough money to buy it.)

*Our CEO was born in a hick town, worked as a carpenter, didn't own a home, was misunderstood by his family, hated by enemies, walked on water, was condemned to death without a fair trial, and arose from the dead! I talk with him every day." (1)

*God's Church is the most important organization the world will ever see! Thank God for the church of Jesus Christ! But how can we be the church God wants us to be? -- The Lord shows in today's Scripture.

1. First, we need to lift up the light of the Lord.

*The Lord shows us this truth in vs. 21-22. Jesus started with a question, and said:

21. . . Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

22. For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

*For us, candles are usually decorative treats. For them, candles were an essential source of light in the dark of night. And Jesus Christ is the essential source of spiritual light in our dark world. In fact, Jesus is the only source of true spiritual light. As the Lord said in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'' And John 1:9 tells us that Jesus is "the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world."

*Jesus is the Light. So, if we belong to Him, we have the Light, and He wants us to let His light shine. The Lord wants us to help shine the light about His Words, His character, and His mighty miracles. He also wants us to shine the light about His death, His burial and His resurrection. And Jesus wants us to shine the light about His power to save everyone who will turn to Him in faith.

*Jesus Christ's whole life shined the light of Heaven. And now He wants us to shine His light for others. That's why in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus tells His followers:

14. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

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