The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Jesus Priorities: 5/5: Spread the Word

March 29, 2009
Fifth Sunday in Lent

The Jesus Priorities: 5/5: Spread the Word
Matthew 9:18-26 and Romans 4:13-25

"How are they to hear about Jesus without someone to proclaim him?" Romans 10:14

My sermon outline:

• We’ve spent past 4 weeks on 4 other priorities of Jesus’, gleaned by Christopher Maricle’s examination of the gospel in his book The Jesus Priorities. We looked at Seek God’s Will, Treasures in Heaven, Children Are Precious, and Live with Humility. Falling right behind the big three of love and pray and heal, today’s focus is Spread the Word.

• Jesus’ mission: reveal God’s love to the world.

In 2000 years, millions have heard the gospel, the good news, the news that God loves them and invites them to reconciliation and to fullness of life. Millions have heard the gospel, millions have not heard the gospel, and millions have rejected the gospel.

Christopher Maricle pulls a few points of focus from Jesus’ life and teachings...

Invite everyone. Easy to name scriptures for this, Great Commission perhaps foremost (Go and make disciples of all nations). Another classic example is the great banquet Jesus tells about in Luke 14. Some who are invited make excuses cuz they’re busy.... “I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.” Another just bought some cows and he wants to go check em out, and another just got married and apparently doesn’t want to bring his wife... So the homeowner tells his servant “Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” When that is done and there are still seats left, the owner says “Go into the roads and country lanes and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Clear in the gospels (again, good news) that the good news is good news for everybody, it is not merit-based or based on any characteristic we can think of...

Rich poor sinners saints able-bodied crippled diseased well clean unclean male female young old with teeth without teeth long-haired bald with IRAs without IRAs fat skinny teen young adult mother father sister brother black white latin asian uneducated educated blind sighted deaf hearing dog owners cat owners

Can you imagine them all in the kingdom of heaven, and if so, can you imagine them all in worship at Spring City UMC? Jesus lived for all and died for all, and cries out that we invite all. There is ample goodness in heaven and God does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9) but to come to saving relationship with Jesus.

Romans 10:11-17... (read it)

• Another point Maricle brings up is that the job of gospel telling and inviting belongs to everyone. Invite everyone, and everyone invite. In the Great Banquet as recorded in Matthew 22 the master has his servants go out to bring people in.

Jesus himself recruited folks to spread the word, to go and preach the kingdom. At one time he sent 12 out, another time he sent out 70, and again, the Great Commission is for all. Jesus even welcomed the testimony of one who was not among the twelve – the disciples found him casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and Jesus blessed his work. Accepting the call of Christ does not mean simply that we have been invited to the banquet; it means that we accept the task of inviting others as well. Jesus became a servant and invites us to do the same. We are bound to extend Jesus’ invitation by serving as vessels of his love, mercy, grace, and compassion.

Invite everyone, everyone invite, and invite well.
Servants go out where people are, they don’t stand at the door or put up signs...
Woman at the well had no special training but spoke from her heart about her experience with the Messiah. Your personal experience with Christ is the best personal evangelism tool you have (well, that and the power of the HS promised us in Acts 1:8). Edify your personal experiences with Christ the way Christopher Maricle did – by studying the gospels, immersing yourself regularly in the teachings and actions of Jesus, and then telling others. Also is the Jesus you tell people about alive in your life today, or are you telling about someone 2000 years ago?

• invite well... good news (not bad, not threat). Listen and connect, don’t forget to pray (before and after)

• Acts 5:42: And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

• Hymn 413 A Charge to Keep I Have

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 67 in worship.


Blogger sweetpeabart said...

I'm a follower of this blog!

11:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home