Pastor Jason: The Culture of We- 08.25.19
Proverbs 3:27 NKJV
NLT: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.”
John 13:3-5 NIV
John 10:10 NIV
According to these verses, what is the responsibility of powerful people?
Why are we the most powerful people on the earth?
You cannot give away what you have not received. You cannot give away what you do not possess. But if we have received it, what is our responsibility?
- Pray. Be About It. Give Life.
Story: Foster kid who hid spaghetti underneath his pillow
Powerful people serve. Powerful people love. Powerful people help. Powerful people initiate. Powerful people give what they have.
- We need to live in the powerful identity God has given us.
- We are distinct, because we have been given a different kingdom.
– Relational vs. transactional
-Selfless rather than selfish
-Others-focused rather than self-driven
- We are powerful in the kingdom. We are no longer from this world.
-Most of us don’t think this way
As Christ followers, we live far below the potential of this new kingdom, and below the expectations of this new kingdom.
Definition of Them: used to refer to certain people, animals, or things as the objects of a verb or preposition
- “Them” is anyone who is not part of us, part of our biblical community and in relationship with us.
The “Be About It” challenge: I hope that this is not something that comes and goes, but becomes part of who we are.
How are you going to make it part of who you are?
If you are not or don’t feel like you are powerful, how do we become powerful people?
What does giving life to others look like? What gifts has God given you to give life to others?
1. Powerful people restore them (others) to life.
- Inside the church: Find people that stand out and ask them to belong to our family.
- The church needs to come along side the world, and invite them to belong.
- Mature Christians must step in and pour out.
The Prodigal- Luke 15: When you understand the culture in the time Jesus spoke this, it was a very revolutionary and controversial parable.
- Youngest son- living like a wild one. Asked for his inheritance.
-Luke 15:17-20 NIV
- The Father runs- shames self to preempt rejection from town. He would have been kicked out.
-Quick. Bring the Best Robe: forgiveness and social status of family.
-Ring: represents covenant (relationship) and ability to spend and do business. He had spend half of his father’s wealth, but the father chooses to trust him and let him spend it again
-Shoes: no longer a slave
-There is a feast and a party: someone has been restored to life.
- How well do we restore people who have come back to Jesus? Maybe they are on the fringe at church? Are we paying attention to who is coming through the doors?
-How do we reach out to the fringe person: Can I ask your name? Can I get you connected? Can I ask how you are doing? Can I pray for you? I want you to be a part of our family.
- Oldest- living like a hired servant
-The older son is mad, and he doesn’t want to celebrate his brother.
–NIV 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
-This is an example of transactional Christianity.
-How many of us have had this attitude?
- I see tired and defeated people in the church. I see overwhelmed people in the church. I see people whose light has gone out in their eyes. They have given their life to Christianity, and have lost their joy.
-Some are living far beneath the full life Jesus spoke about.
Powerful people restore them to life
- Has your light gone out? Do you feel defeated? How do we get the light back so that we can reach out to others?
If you have never read the book The Prodigal God, I would highly recommend it.
It is a powerful book, and it speaks a lot to this older son. The book is also a quick read.
I have lived as both of the sons in this parable.
- I knew I did not deserve God’s grace. I was more than willing to work as something less than a son. We can’t allow people to do that. I look for people I see doing it.
- Then, there have been seasons where I was losing sight of the incredible privilege of being a son.
-Tired, disappointed, betrayed, tension between the promise and my current reality.
- We need to speak truth to people in this tension: “Hey, c’mon, you can’t stay here. You know better. God is too good. That is not who you are. Do not live beneath what God says about you”.
- How about at home? With your family? Do you desire to restore? Do you desire to be restored?
I see people who are afraid to receive the grace they have been given. As well as those who have forgotten the grace they once received.
- Powerful people restore other back to life.
2. Powerful people give their life away.
Good Samaritan- Who is my neighbor?
Luke 10:30-33 NKJV:
- Priest- it happened by chance, a religious person is there, sees and walks away.
- Levite- sees, passes by on the other side.
- Samaritan- sees him, had compassion.
-He is half dead
Who in your life is living half dead, reach out to them? Are you living half dead?
Who can you bring life to and “Be About it to”?
- 28 days of kind words. 28 days of a nice gesture. 28 days of flowers.
We can simply give away what we know and what we have. What do you have?
- It will cost: time, money, inconvenience, kindness, healing is a process. I think there are small things we can do for some, and large sacrifices God may ask us to do because the need is there.
- We may help someone we agree with.
- We may help someone we identify with.
- But the tension in the story is on the fact that the people who should have done something, and saw the need, did nothing.
Have you ever asked the question: If we, the church, are actually making a difference?
-In no way am I condemning our church.
If we did not exist, would it even matter to the unsaved and un-churched community around us?
Are we just playing church?
-Sometimes a person you help may become a people you are called to.
Music reflects culture: Sasha Sloan – The Only
Luke 10:36-37 NIV:36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
- Jesus revealed who a neighbor is: even with a different race and different faith.
- God is calling us to “them” because that is who WE are, not who they are.
How should the most powerful people on earth live?
–Be spiritual and practical. If they are hungry, don’t just pray for them, but feed them. If they are eating, bless them and their food. If they are having a bad day, listen. Ask if you can pray for them.
What does this look like in your life? How do we get in the mess?
Real deal, actionable answers here. Keep each other accountable to actually be about it.
- Powerful people serve. Powerful people love. Powerful people help. Powerful people initiate. Powerful people give what they have.
- Powerful people restore to life by giving their life away. It is what we as Jesus followers do!
If you are not doing this then who are your following?
Is the cost stopping you from reaching out to others?
Be about it challenge. Get the list of examples out.
What are you going to do about it? What is your family/small group going to do?