Summary: Beginning of Year Sermon reminding people they were created for a purpose and mission in God's Kingdom. Heavily Adapted from a series offered by Sermon Central *note*- parts of this sermon refer to the death of our associate pastor the day before
We are all Called!
Made for Mission: Week 1
CCCAG January 5, 2020
Scripture- Matthew 9
Today we are going to start a 6 week series that will help focus us in the new year. It’s called “Made for Mission” and we will be focusing on how God has made each one of us to fit within His Kingdom as part of His sovereign plan for our area and for our lives.
We will begin by looking at a biblical example of a person who was the least likely to ever be used by God in his time.
This man had the worst job a person could have as far as how his relatives, neighbors, and people were concerned.
He was so despised and hated that if you was walking toward you on the sidewalk you would go to the other side of the street to avoid him.
I don't think he intended to end up here. No one dreams as a child to have a position or a job where everyone would hate you.
His parents had turned their backs on him. His friends wanted nothing to do with him.
He knew what was in every person’s mind as they would pass him by each day.
Listen- People in his position were so hated that he couldn't even be grouped in the same category as “normal sinners”.
Instead, guys like Matthew were one step worse, “Tax Collectors.”
On one day Matthew was alone, as usual, sitting at his post on the side of a busy intersection. There was a bit of a commotion heading toward him and he saw a crowd of people surrounded a man who seemed to be taling and teaching.
Matthew heard someone said the name Jesus in passing, and immediately he knew who this was- that troublemaker from Nazareth that his Roman bosses warned him about.
Still, I imagine Matthew leaned in to try and hear what the popular teacher had to say. Right in the middle of Jesus’ sermon, a group of men interrupted Jesus and brought a paralyzed man right to his feet. Instead of being annoyed, Jesus immediately looked at the man and simply said “Your sins are forgiven.”
Then Jesus turned back to the man and said, “Just to show you that I can forgive sins, Get up and walk.” At once the man jumped up and the whole crowd stood in amazement.
Matthew had seen nothing like this before. Then Matthew looked up and Jesus was walking directly towards his table. If Matthew didn’t know better, the teacher was looking right at him
Jesus stopped at the table, leaned in, and whispered to Matthew just loud enough to hear.
At that moment, Matthew knew very little about Jesus. He didn’t know his mission, his calling, his plan, or his purposes.
Yet, Matthew found himself immediately standing up and leaving his life of tax collecting behind. Somewhere in the deep part of his soul he knew that this was the most important decisions he’s ever made in his life.
My friends, Jesus is leaning into your life this morning and whispering “follow me”. It doesn't matter what you have done , where you have come from, or even what our society thinks about you in this moment.
Jesus still puts out the call to everyone who would believe in him and says “follow me”.
Everyone today is searching for and are seeking a purpose to their lives that is part of something bigger.
This is exactly what is driving many young people today. They want their lives to matter and be about something bigger than themselves.
Stanford University did a study recently to find out if people truly desired happiness or meaningfulness. They found there as a connection between the two but ultimately what people really want is a life of meaning.
This speaks to a deeply help human need within each one of us, and it was placed their by God.
The idea is- We were made for a Mission. Your life has a purpose.
Over the next 6 weeks we are going to spend some time figuring that out for your life.
Turn to Matthew 9:9. We are going to read about Jesus calling on Matthew’s life and believe it has incredible significance for our lives today.
Read Matthew 9:9
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
I thank God that Jesus chose Matthew. The fact that Jesus approached Matthew says so much. It shows that those the world rejects are still loved by God.
Tax collectors were seen in that culture as the worst of the worst. Tax collectors were Jews that had sold out their own people in order to become wealthy. People hated them. If we could go back in time and freeze frame this scene and then pick out of the hundreds of people there who would be the last person Jesus would pick to train up and send out to change the world it would be Matthew.