Sunday, January 27, 2019

Christ in Every Place (Christ in Every Place Series)

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This morning, our pastor shared his vision for our church community.  His new sermon series is titled Christ Place in Every Place.  We will be talking about the places where Jesus went.  Our church is about following the example of Christ.  My pastor's message applies to all Jesus-followers.  As born again believers, we should all be in the mindset of sharing Jesus with others.  Jesus lives in us so wherever we go as believers, He goes with us.

Christ in Every Place
Image Credit:  Hugues de Buyer Mimeure - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos

 Christ in Every Place

You are invited to watch and listen to my pastor's entire sermon here.

Our focal passage for today is Luke:14-20.

Luke was a doctor.  He cared about people and wanted to meet their needs.  Our church is a caring place.  We care about our community.  As Jesus-followers, we should care about our communities.  Jesus stepped into people's lives.  

The Public Ministry of Jesus

And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Notice verse 20.  All eyes were fixed on Jesus.  It is important for us to keep our eyes on Jesus.

Jesus read from the book of Isaiah.  He read from Isaiah 61:2.  This verse would have been very familiar to the people of Jesus' day so they would have recognized immediately the phrase that Jesus left off . . . "and the day of vengeance of our God."  Remember, this was the day Jesus chose to proclaim his ministry and Jesus was filled with grace.  He wasn't indicating that He didn't believe the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures.  He was telling the people that He came to save, redeem, and rescue.  He came to love and heal.  Jesus was filled with grace and truth.  He knew how to balance the two.  We are to live by His example.

Look at verses 18 and 19 above.  Jesus came for:

the poor in Spirit
the blind
the bound
the broken-hearted
the oppressed

Do you see yourself in verses 18 and 19?  I know that I see myself in those verses.  Jesus came for me and Jesus came for you.

Look at those verses again.  Do you feel what Jesus felt?  Once you have received grace, do you want to give it to others?  Do you want other people to experience the grace that you have experienced?

Are you about what Jesus was about?

Jesus ministered to others in every place He went.  He fulfilled His mission, but He invited His disciples to join Him in His mission. 
Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. - Luke 10:1
Jesus sent other ahead of Him.  He sent disciples ahead to all the places He planned to visit.

If we are disciples of Jesus, then we are to take Jesus into all the places we go - the places we work, learn, and play.

We are also to love others the way Jesus loves them and listen to them the way Jesus listened to them.
What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you?  What if, for 24 hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, and assumes your schedule?  Your boss becomes His boss.  Your friends become His friends.  Your pains become His pains with one exception - nothing about your life changes.  Your health doesn't change.  Your circumstances don't change.  Your schedule isn't altered.  Your problems are not solved.  Only one change occurs - Jesus lives your life with His heart.  Your heart gets the day off and your heart is led by the heart of Christ.  His priorities govern your actions.  His passions drive your decisions.  His love directs your behavior.  Would others around you notice a change?  - Max Lucado
If we take Jesus into every place we go, the world will notice big changes.  We need to pray for God to extend our borders of ministry as Jabez did.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Christ in Every Place
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Jesus said we are to do things as He did.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. - John 14:12
 God can keep on doing what He has done.
Anything God has ever done, He can do now.   Anything God has done anywhere, He can do here.  Anything God has done in and through anyone, He can do through you. - A.W. Tozer
6 out of 10 people in my community do not know Jesus.  Perhaps the statistics in your community are similar . . . or worse.  We are to take life into lifeless places.  We must carry the love of Jesus where there is no love.  No place should be off limits.  There are no boundaries because Jesus is not bound.

We need to reach out to others with the contagious joy that we know in Christ Jesus.

Are you wondering how you can receive into your heart this Jesus we so eagerly share?  Please allow me to share more with you here.

*Note:  The day after attending this sermon, I started attending a new ladies' Bible study.  We are studying Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer.  God had a vision for Nineveh just like we have a vision for our community and hopefully you have a vision for your community.  I am so encouraged by the parallelism of these two messages.  You'll find my first post bout this Bible study here.

God invited Jonah to participate in His plan and purpose for Nineveh which would impact eternity.  God is inviting me to participate in His plan and purpose for my community.  Is God inviting you to participate in His plan and purpose for your community?  What a privilege to be invited into God's plan and purpose!

How will you respond?  How will you take Jesus into every place in your community?

I'd love to hear your stories!  Please come back and use the comment section below to share with us all that God is doing in your places.

You'll find all my posts in this Bible study series here.

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