Let’s pick up where I left off yesterday. Every church of every tradition and size has only one mission from God: To Make More Followers For Jesus. This is why every church exists. It’s not to serve us, but to give us a place to serve God through serving others. The vision must be to serve the mission of making Followers for Jesus at all costs. Folks, we have made church more complicated that it really is. There is a simplified way to make followers for Jesus!
But it is not all that easy but it is really simple. If we believe that Jesus is God’s Son, that He died on the Cross for our sins, that He arose on the third day, that He ascended back into heaven and sent down the Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of believers, and that this is true IN us, then we have to believe what Jesus told His first Followers is what He tells us: Go make followers! Listen, Jesus didn’t say, “Uh, folks, I would like for you to try to make more followers. As long as you try, that’s good enough.” No! He said: “Go make Followers!” If we aren’t making followers then we are not the Church. Some of you may be thinking, “Preacher, that’s hard to do!” My response is this: It’s NOT hard to do. It’s not hard to do, if we remember 3 things:
1. Presence. (Verse 3—So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.)
We live with the confidence that He actually is present with us. Only His presence gives us the passion, the desire to do what we are redeemed to do. The Holy Spirit is who sets our hearts on fire. If Jesus has never done anything for you, then there is no fire in our hearts. But we can have a fire when we realize what God has done for us. We can have a fire when we realize what God is doing for us. We can have a fire when we realize what God will do for us.
And what has God done for you? He has nailed your sins to the cross and you bear them no more! What is God doing for you? He is at work transforming you and your moments for your good and His glory. What will God do for you? Stay by your side until you as you live forever in His Kingdom! To make another Follower of Jesus doesn’t take a committee nor a team, but the passionate conviction that God has been, is now, and will continue to be present and at work in your life. The Passion To Make Followers Comes From Knowing The Presence Of Jesus.
2. Power (Verse 4—There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.)
The source of our power is the Holy Spirit. Have you ever been surprised or amazed by something you did or said? Then afterwards you wondered, “Well where did that come from?” Those are moments when HE has complete control of us. It is so important that we stop relying on our abilities by living in His power. Do you know why some meetings are irrelevant, dull and boring? It’s because we have forgotten the real power of the Church. Whatever it is that God calls you to do, He will give you the strength and power to do it.
When you feel the nudging and prompting of the Spirit to do something, do it because with His Prompting comes His Power. God designed the Church to withstand the power of hell itself! And this is the power that lives in us. Did you hear me? The power that conquered death, the power that hell cannot overcome, is the power that lives inside each and every one of you when you desire God above all else. Remember the third thing:
3. Provision (Verse 7—A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.)
To engage our heart in what God is doing, we have to know the Provision of spiritual gifts that are designed by God for the common good. The gift God gives you is designed so that you are able to help others both inside and outside of the church. The Work Of The Body Of Christ Is A Spiritual Work And Requires Spiritual Tools. These provisions are not rewards for us being good, but they are the result of our God being awesome! God Gives Us The Tools We Need Not To DO Church Work, But To BE The Church That Is The Body Of Christ In Your World. You have to know your spiritual gifts. God does reveal your spiritual gifts. If you do not know your Gifts it’s your fault.
It’s not easy, but it’s not hard. I know, I know, I’m sounding like a politician. You’re thinking if it’s not hard, then it is easy, but if it’s not easy then it must be hard. If you think it’s too hard to do the ONE thing God wants this place to do, then remember Genesis 18:14—Is anything too hard for the Lord? God had just told Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son within a year. He was an old man and she was an old woman. Looking at them, you would be right to believe that they were too old to have a child. It was impossible for them. But do you know what? By the next year, they had a son. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is too hard for the Lord. All you have to do is Trust Him with all your heart.
When you give Him all of your heart, over and over again, when you worship Him with all of your heart, when you listen to Him with all of your heart discovering the truth about God, the world and yourself, here is what you will discover: God Is Making Available To Us His Presence, Power And Provisions To Fulfill Our Primary Task in His Kingdom And That Is To Make More Followers For Jesus!
Failure To Do This Is Failure To Love God, Worship God and really, Failure To Know God. Pursuing the heart of God means that after surrender, after worship, after studying The Word, we must be doing the things that will make disciples of others, which will bring them into this process of surrender, worship, study and doing! This is the cycle of Kingdom Life.
You and I NEED His Presence. You and I NEED His Power in order to be faithful to our Primary Task. And You and I NEED what He alone can provide to be more than disciples of Jesus in name only, to be real Followers of Jesus by doing what HE wants done.
And the question for you in such a time as this, is Do You Have It? To have it you must WANT it. You and I must say: I WANT Your Presence. I NEED Your Power so that I can be found Faithful. I MUST HAVE what You Provide for the Task You have given me. Without it, you miss not only The Gift, but most importantly, the Giver…
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!