Culture of We- Them- Week 3 June 14, 2019
Father’s Day- Dad’s, Spiritual Father’s, Uncle’s, Adoptive, Foster and Step Dads, – Thank you!
Culture of We- God, Us, Them, You
Week 1- God- Great Commission, Great Commandment, Great Consecration
Week 2-Koinonia- Biblical Community- Bible, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer- Giving and suffering. Many times God calls us to into community, into giving, into suffering with “them.”
Week 3- Them- Learning to see other people
2 Corinthians 5:11-21 NLT11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us,[a] so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.[b] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.[c] 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[d] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
The Gospel is others-centric
- Identify “them”
Who do you think if when I say we need to minister or offer reconciliation to them2 categories:
- Spheres- Family and friends, people in church and people you encounter outside of church
- Christian and non Chrisian
- I am called to bring reconciliation to both worlds/both people
We have influence where we have proximity
The Reticular Activating System (RAS)is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information and helps us focus on what is important to us.
- New car
- It will help create a filter on things that are important to you and what you value
- When you see need…you will see it everywhere even when others don’t
- You provide the frame work- if it becomes important to you, the brain will help you see it
- Romans 12:2 NIV 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We have to redefine and pay attention to our filters
If we don’t have a filter for them, we won’t minister to them. If we don’t see them , we won’t serve them
Some of our filters may have excluded people . Some have limited you
Everyone, Everywhere, all the time
anyone who I come into contact inside or outside of the church
In our home
In church I look for:
- Look for moments to interact and pray for people
- I hug people- do you know why?
- Who God may highlight
- People who are untapped
- People who could help create new expressions of God’s kingdom through creativity
- I look to connect people
Individuals have to create filters to identify people
As a church we have to create filters
Uncommon alliances and uncommon opportunities:
It is important to ask what is the filter our community uses to see Good News?
Church community- prayer and worship, maybe multicultural
What does the population at large think of Good News in our community?
We have to identify the needs of people in our community
Where are the Daniels, the Nehemiah’s, the William Wilberforce’s, Frederick Douglas’s and Harriet Tubman’s, Barrnabas’, Christine Caine
Some future leaders of the church will not be discovered inside the church
There are needs in our community we are called to steward
Get people to church- get the church to people
How to identify them:
Matt. 9:36 NIV When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Proximity- Community, Neighborhoods, Your job and normal life
- Radar- what issue do you have a filter for? As you read the Bible, what comes off the page?
- What is your story?
- What do we have?
Understand our role: spiritual and practical- James 2:14-19 NLT
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
We have to have a filter to identify people God wants to reconcile
- Pray for “them”
Who you pray for you grow close to
Who is on your radar?
The heart of prayer:Luke 18:11-14 NLT 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
This should be the most welcoming, kindest and most expectant faith-filled place on the planet. Why? Because we have been reconciled. If Jesus can reach you…
Quit trying to change their behavior and show them what the Bible looks like
Give your life away
Mother Teresa: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
The church has to change- According to Barna Research, 18% of Millennials don’t find Christianity relevant to their life
We don’t solve people, we solve problems. We serve people
When we try to solve people, we remove their humanity. When cleaning up the mess becomes greater than working through the mess, you have a recipe for dysfunction.
249-262 AD- The plague of Cyprian- St Cyprian- probably smallpox
Christians were of course blamed for it
- Christians were mocked for welcoming slaves, cared for women, demanded fidelity from men to their wives
- The church would raise funds to purchase the freedom of slaves
- When Romans would leave unwanted children, Christians would adopt them and take them in
- When the plague hit, the doctors and noblemen left, leaving the poor and dying abandoned
- Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, eyes turned red, limbs would be infected and could fall off
- Christians rushed in
- Estimated 5000 people were dying a day and the church was feeding 3000 a day
- They were washing/caring for the sick, offering food and water, consoling the dying
- Romans would marvel and say look how they love one another
- What a grandeur of spirit it is to struggle with all the powers of an unshaken mind against so many onsets of devastation and death! what sublimity, to stand erect amid the desolation of the human race, and not to lie prostrate with those who have no hope in God; but rather to rejoice, and to embrace the benefit of the occasion; that in thus bravely showing forth our faith, and by suffering endured, going forward to Christ by the narrow way
Rick Warren story about his wife Kay
We have to ask some serious questions of ourselves and change our filter.
Are we living biblical Christianity to them?
Jesus is not inviting us into moderation. Are we actually living biblical Christianity to them? Jesus offends my reasonable Christian sensibilities. I would find myself qualifying statements such as to alleviate myself of the fear that maybe He really meant what He was saying
Identify them, pray for them, serve them
Ambassadors of Reconciliation
Get your hands dirty
Apologize if you have made mistakes- I have blown it
Say the words I love you. Write the words I love you. Start some where
Ask God to meet you in the places of lack or brokenness
Make it a point to meet with other men
Become an ambassador of reconciliation in your home and family
Church gather to pray for our Dads.