As we close out this Blueprint For A Brand New You, I wanted to find the word that brings all this together. When it comes to following blueprints for a house, each specialist looks only at their part. But for the home to be built everything needs to come together in the right way at the right time, otherwise there is chaos and confusion. I want you to be able to see clearly how thinking in a new way, having eyes that are open, and learning to step out in faith can transform you into a brand new person.
Neither God nor I want you to just become a different person, but to become the person that God Created And Redeemed you to become. God takes the junk out of our lives but He also gives us a reason and a purpose in life.
This God-Created, God-Honoring Purpose is where we truly find the life that our hearts are hungry for. More than just you being a different person from last year, God Wants Us To Become Who He Wants Us To Become By Going And Doing What He Has Designed For Our Life In Christ. And the only text that God would allow me to use is from Matthew 28:16-20 (The Message)
Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Anyone here ever heard of the Kodak Company? At one time it was one of the top corporations. Where is it now? On Jan. 17, 2012, it filed for bankruptcy. It took them years to get out of bankruptcy. Why? They forgot their purpose. They thought their purpose was to produce film for cameras. In 1975, one of their researchers developed the first digital camera, but company executives told him to keep it quiet. In 2006 they stopped manufacturing Kodachrome Film after 74 years. They thought their purpose was making film—when their true purpose was creating images.
Ever since then, they have been playing catch-up instead of being the leader in their industry. Imagine people going to work day after day without knowing their company’s business, yet that’s exactly what happens when churches don’t know where they should be going and what they should be doing.
Rather than try to find out what they should be doing, they keep doing the same things, expecting different results. To become the Brand New You that honors God and gives us that life of purpose and meaning, then we need to know where we need to be going and what we need to be doing.
In the beginning of the Church, it was clear to them—they knew where to go and what to do. It was going into their world and doing the very thing Jesus told them to do. They didn’t have anywhere else to go or anything else to do, but the One Thing Jesus told them to do: Make Disciples Of Others Through Loving Them And Sharing With Them What Jesus Had Done In Their Life!
The One Thing that EVERY Church and THIS Church must be is that Community of Believers who GO into the world and DO what Jesus wants, and what Jesus wants is for the lost to know they are loved by the Father and can have a relationship with Him!
We need to know that our One Thing, the ONLY Thing Jesus wants is for us to Make Disciples By Showing Them God’s Love, Sharing What God Has Done For Us, And Inviting Them Into That Most Important Relationship Of All. It is about becoming The New Creation by The Blood Of Jesus Christ.
Too much of what happens in many churches today is about consumerism. We think that the church is all about meeting our needs. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Well, I’m not going back to that church because it’s not meeting my needs.”? They’ve made the church about what they want more than what Jesus wants!
Purpose Is God’s Gift To Us, Not Our Offering To God. This Means We Exist To Show The Real Love Of God To Real People In Real Ways So That They Can Become A Real Disciple Of Jesus.
To be the person that God created you to become, to live the life that Jesus died to give you, there are two steps to take and one thing to remember: Step One
1. Make The Commitment To Go Into This World!
It is a world that is not very nice. Sometimes it’s dirty and ugly. It’s a world that is filled with a lot of pain. It’s a world that is scary. It is a world that is unfair and unreasonable. It is a world that is selfish and narrow minded. It is a world that is torn apart by disasters and wars. It is a world that is filled with darkness and sin. That’s what Satan is doing with God’s creation.
But it was into this same world that Jesus left heaven and entered into. Jesus Entered Into The Pain, The Filth, The Brokenness And The Sickness Of This World. Sometimes, people came to Him wherever He was; but Jesus didn’t wait for them to show up. He went to them. Jesus sat and ate with the worst sinners of that day—Tax Collectors.
He reached out to everyone who was called unclean—the prostitutes, the adulteresses, the lepers, the poor—by those who thought themselves to be religious and godly. Anyone who had been pushed aside by the world, Jesus reached out to them. And if we are going to be His Disciples, then we follow his example! In order to be a Brand New You, we stop going where we want to go and start going where Jesus goes.
Make your commitment to go into this world. Now Step 2:
2. Make The Commitment To Do Something Only Jesus Would Do!
Do you know what Jesus is doing in our world today? He is loving every single person. When Jesus walked this earth as a human, He came to show a world that for some who wondered if God loves them, and for others who felt like God didn’t love them—to show that God has unconditional love for everyone!
It is really clear what Jesus wants us to do—To Love Others Like Jesus Loves Us! Jesus loves us completely, unconditionally and sacrificially. None of us deserves this. Yet Jesus shows us how much God loves us at the cross.
And He wants us out there showing others how much God loves them. We love others with our actions and not our words. We show our love for Jesus when we give food to the hungry, clothes to those who have little or none, when we offer care to those who are sick or lonely, when we care for those who are in prison. It’s not what we talk about that shows our world the love of God, it is what we actually do to help those who are among the least, the last and the lost. Your world will never see how much God loves them until they see AND experience how much you love them. Do Something Only Jesus Would Do!
3. (And Here Is The One Thing You Need To Remember:) Go And Do Because Jesus Is With You!
When we are going our own way and doing it our way, Jesus isn’t with us. But, When We Are Going And Doing What Jesus Wants, We Are Never Alone. He is with you.
Did you hear how The Message translation puts it? “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day.” He has never asked you to go and to do it alone. In fact, He Insists That You Don’t Go Or Do It Alone. In order to be a Brand New You, it takes confidence, the confidence that what Jesus said to those disciples, He really meant it and He really means it for you, too.
And You Must Believe That It Is His Presence That Will Make The Difference In Our Life, And In Those Lives We Are Called To Go To, And To Love. Our Life Purpose is to make new disciples for Jesus, by going to them, by doing for them in love, sharing with them all that God has done for us, And Then Inviting Them Into The Relationship With The Father.
Churches that close their doors when there were people around them without Jesus, didn’t know what their business was. To be a real disciple of Jesus, to be an authentic Christian, to be a real church, we have to remember that our business is all about bringing people into a relationship with Jesus. You have to know why you are here. Do You Know?
- Is Jesus Living In You? Galatians 2:20—“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” I’m not asking how much you know about Jesus. I’m asking: Is Jesus living in you? The only way He can live in you is that you ask Him and surrender everything in you to Him—your will, guilt, fear, your days, your relationships, ALL that makes you who you are.
- Ask Him To Give You This Week and Every Week The Opportunity To Show The
Real Love Of God To Real People In Real Ways So That They Can Become A Real
Disciple Of Jesus. You can do this
in many ways:
- Don’t judge them. Sinners know they are sinners without you reminding them.
- Forgive Someone who has hurt you. The best way someone can know that God will forgive them is to see that same forgiveness in you.
- Help Someone who needs help. Open a door, give up your place in line, help change a tire, share an unexpected gift, encourage someone with your acts rather than your words, take someone to lunch—do you get the idea?
- Tell someone what God has done for you, especially if you didn’t deserve or earn it. The world sees us who follow Jesus as a people who feel superior to others, or that we never have problems. This just isn’t true. Change that perception by being honest about your issues and struggles—and how Jesus came to you in the middle of those struggles.