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Sharing God

Sharing God

Feb 10, 2019

Passage: Matthew 28:16-20

Preacher: Michael Grigsby

Series: Established

Category: Discipleship, Church

Detail:

Title:Sharing God

Text:Matthew 28:16-20 NLT

 

            Welcome, everybody. We've been in a series over the past 6 weeks called Established. Where we have looked at what it is to be rooted in the love of God. We have looked at Knowing God, Hearing from God, Talking with God, Serving God, Walking with God. As we wrap up the series, I want to talk to you about Sharing Godor sharing your faith. We're actually going to look at one of the most famous passages of scripture in the Bible.

 

OPENING PRAYER

 

            Turn to Matthew Chapter 28. That's the last chapter in the book of Matthew. We're going to begin in verse 16, and what we're about to read is known as the Great Commission. It's the last thing that Jesus says to his followers before He ascends into heaven.

 

            So He's died on the cross. He's risen again. He's made himself known to his followers, as the resurrected Jesus for the past 40 days. He's standing on a mountainside, and He's about to ascend into heaven.

 

            Here's what your Bible says: Matthew 28:16-17, “16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!” NLT.

 

            Let's take a time out and have a “pastor” moment. Jesus is standing there; the resurrected Jesus. He's been revealing himself now for 40 days. They are looking at him. Some worship and some what? Some doubted. Anytime God is on the move, anytime God is at work, some are going to worship, and some are going to doubt.

 

            There are always naysayers. If you're a Jesus follower  don't be a doubter. Be a doer. Just do what Jesus says. If you're like, "But I got all these doubts," let me tell you how much faith is enough—51%. You can have 49% doubt, but if 51% of you believes just go for it.

 

            Jesus is standing there and every once in a while, God's on the move and people are being baptized and lives are being changed and somebody will be like, "I don't know. Music seems kind of loud to me."

 

            All that stuff's normal. But don't be a doubter. Be a doer. Whatever Jesus asked you to do, even if you're like 49% no way. All it takes is for you to move!

 

            So Jesus is standing on the mountain, and yet some are doubting. It's obviously God that's at work. Look at Matthew 16:18-20, “18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NLT.

 

            What's a disciple? A disciple is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. Here's what we do as a church. We help people meet, know, and follow Jesus, which is another way of saying that our goal is to make disciples. This is vital to who we are as followers of Jesus. This is vital to who we are as a church. Just look at our mission statement: To seek and save the lost by building passionate DISCIPLESof Christ.

 

            How many of you have heard this passage of scripture before? This is known as the Great Commission. Again, let me remind you that Jesus has done his ministry. Three years of ministry in fact. He caused the blind to see, and the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk.

 

            He fed thousands of people with just a little bit of food. He's done all kinds of miracles. He has spent time with his disciples. He has died on the cross. Three days later, he rose again. This is the resurrected Christ. For 40 days, he's made himself known to his followers. Hundreds of people have seen him.

 

            This was recorded in the scriptures. Now, He's standing on a mountainside. He's about to ascend into heaven, which literally means He's going to do a Peter Pan Right off that mountainside and go up into the clouds. This is the last thing He says.

            At this moment, this was a big deal. This was the culmination of his time on the earth. He could talk about anything. He could say anything, but what He does is he gives this last command before He ascends.

 

            He says, "19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

 

            Which begs the question, what is the subject of that command? What do you think the most important word is? Go make disciples. Baptize all nations. Teach. What do you think the subject of this command is?

 

            It's the word THEM. Pop quiz. Who is Jesus telling the disciples to go to? Them.Who are they supposed to make disciples out of? Them.Who are they supposed to baptize?Them.Who are they supposed to teach? Them.So, who are them?

 

            If you're a Jesus follower, themwould be anyone who is not currently in the category of us. If you're a Jesus follower, in the context of this scripture, you would be in the us category.

 

            You used to be in the themcategory, because all of usused to be one of them. Then, we put our faith in Jesus and became part of us. Is everybody tracking with me?

 

            Wherever you go, that's where you are and themis always there. Now, this was fascinating because church people very rarely think about thembecause, as church people, we're usually thinking about who? Us.

 

            Yet, the last thing our king tells us before He ascends into heaven is for all of us to go after them, baptize them, make disciples out of them, teach to them, and by the glory of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, them will become part of us. This is our mission.

 

            If you have this idea that church is for church people, that's not biblical. The church is not for church people, because if you're a follower of Jesus you AREthe church. As the church, you are called to reach whom? Them.

            The church is not a building that you come and sit in on Sunday mornings. It's a movement that you choose to be part of to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus. If that sounds overwhelmin take a deep breath for me and listen, because it isn’t overwhelming or at least it shouldn’t be. Look at Matthew 28:20 again, “20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

 

            Remember that you are never alone, and that Jesus will always be with you no matter where you go or who you go to. When you think about missions and missionary work, missions is across the world and missions are also across the street. It's not either or it's both, because God has called you and me as Jesus followers. He has called us to reach whom? Them.

 

            Listen; there is no Plan B. If you're a Jesus follower, you are the hope of the world. You are God's plan to change the world one life at a time. When you look around, when you watch the news, when you see all these horrible things around us, what's God doing? He is waiting for His plan to unfold. What is His plan? It's you.

 

            If you are a Jesus follower, you've got some work to do. I absolutely understand that this kind of heavy, but here's the beautiful thing. The Bible says you and I are in the sharing business. We are not called to be the next savior. We are not called to be a salesman for Jesus. You know what we're called to be? Witnesses.

 

            You know what witnesses do? They just talk about what they've seen and heard. Missions are across the world, ANDit's across the street. You and I are called to be missionaries. We've got some saving to do. Who in your life do you know that doesn't know Jesus?

 

            A mentor of mine, Drew Sherman, always says, “If you aren’t surrounded by people who don’t know Jesus then you aren’t as close to Him as you think you are.”

           

            Could it be that God in His mercy and His grace and His truth, and quite frankly, in His sense of humor put you in their life to be a witness, and to give them an opportunity to respond to His love, grace, mercy, and truth?

 

            You never know what God might do through a simple invitation. Now here's the power of planting seeds. You can count how many seeds are in an apple, but only God knows how many apples are in a seed.It could be that you think you just planted one seed, but you planted an orchard and you don't even know it. You make an invitation but have no idea what God will do with that.

            Just be faithful. If you are nervous or scared that’s fine, and expected. Just remember that even some of the apostles doubted. Do you have 51% faith, because 51% faith is enough. Martin Luther King Jr, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

 

CLOSING PRAYER