Our Mission for the Master
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 15, 2013
*A big part of Missions Sunday is Louisiana missions. That's because today is the first day in the Week of Prayer for State Missions and the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering. Some of our young people will pass out prayer guides at the end of the service this morning. And I hope you can see a little about day 6 in this video clip. (VIDEO) (1)
*Pastor Jose said, "God put it in my heart: Somebody got to share the gospel with them." Christians: We are those somebodies. One way or another, God wants to reveal Himself through us.
*How does He do it? Let's look into the Word of God and see.
1. First: Jesus sends us.
*We see an example of this truth in vs. 1&2, where the Bible says:
1. Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
2. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
*Jesus sent them. Of course this was true of the Apostles. But believers, we need to see that Jesus has sent us too! In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said this to ALL of His followers:
14. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
*We could say, "I'm just an ordinary person. There's nothing special about me." But these men were ordinary too. Not one of them was chosen by Jesus because they were rich or highly educated or famous. Most people won to Jesus have been won by ordinary people, who realized they were sent by God.
*King Duncan once said: "There are reasons why God wouldn't want you and me to serve Him, reasons having to do with our various inadequacies. However, we're in good company:
-Abraham was too old.
-David was too young.
-Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
-Elijah got depressed.
-Jonah ran from God.
-Noah got drunk.
-Jacob was deceitful.
-David was an adulterer and a murderer.
-Naomi was a poor widow.
-Samson had long hair.
-Elisha had none.
-James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on some Samaritans who would not receive Jesus.
-Peter was afraid of death.
-And Thomas doubted the resurrection.
-But God used every one of them, and He wants to use us. (2)
*King Duncan once pastored a church in the hills of east Tennessee. For 18 months, the average attendance was four. Sometimes there were six. And on Easter, there were seven, because of an old gentleman named Claude, who only came on Easter Sunday.
*But one time Claude came on another Sunday. And about halfway through the sermon Duncan saw a tear running down Claude's face. After church, Duncan went to Claude, and asked if he wanted to talk. Claude looked at his pastor and said, "Preacher, things aren't going to be like this around here anymore."
*Duncan didn't think much about it. But when he drove up the next Sunday, the parking lot was filled with cars, and the church was filled with people! They had 58 people in Sunday School that day!
*Duncan asked Claude where all the people came from. And Claude said, "Preacher, I know these hollers up in here better than you. I went to some families that I knew didn't go to church and I asked, 'If I came up here Sunday morning and picked up your children, -- would you let them go to Sunday School at our church?' And every once in a while, someone would say, 'Claude, you don't have to pick up my children, I could bring them.'
*And then I went to older people that I knew, shut-ins, and I said, 'If I came after you Sunday morning, would you come down to our church?' And every once in a while someone would say, 'Claude, you don't have to come after me, my daughter could bring me down there.' And, preacher, this is what happened." (3)
*That church was totally transformed, because a 78-year-old man realized that we have been sent by God. And all of us need to be more like Claude, because Jesus sends us.
2. But Jesus also supplies us.
*Verse 3 helps us to see this truth, where Jesus said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece."
*Sending us out wouldn't do a whole lot of good, if the Lord didn't give us the right supplies for the mission. And when we look at vs. 3, it doesn't seem like the Lord cares very much about our supplies. But, of course, Jesus had good reasons for sending His disciples out that way. Maybe He didn't want them to be overly attached to the things of this world. That sure can be a problem for us. Have you ever been too busy for the Lord?
*The most important reason Jesus sent them out the way He did in vs. 3 was because He wanted His followers to be totally dependent on Him. And Jesus supplied them with everything they needed. For example, in vs. 1, Jesus "gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases."
*Now, the Lord will supply us with everything we need! We may not be able to heal people like the first disciples. But we have more power than we realize. We have the power of prayer, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit, and we have the promise that God will supply all of our needs! As the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:19, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
*This great truth reminds me of an old story Reuters reported from Vancouver, Canada. It was about some baby ducks that fell through a sewer grate on the side of the road. The amazing thing was that the mother duck waddled up to a police officer passing by on foot patrol, and she grabbed him on the pants leg.
*His name was Ray Peterson, and at first Ray thought the duck was just goofy, so he shoved her away. But she grabbed his leg again when he tried to leave. Then she waddled to the sewer grate where she sat down and waited for Ray to come.
*When he went to the sewer grate, Ray saw 8 little baby ducklings in the water below. He got a tow truck to help remove the heavy metal grate. And he used a vegetable strainer to lift the ducklings to safety. Mom and her babies then headed off to a nearby pond. (4)
*Christians: Just like that mama duck, we are going face burdens we cannot lift by ourselves. But we know Someone who can! Remember: "God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
*When Jesus sends us out, He supplies us.
3. But Jesus also schools us.
*Whenever the Lord sends His people out, He instructs us on what to do, and what to say. We have already seen one of the Lord's instructions in vs. 3, where Jesus said: "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece."
*Look at another instruction in vs. 4. Here Jesus said: "Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart." There was a good reason for this instruction. Christianity is not a fly-by-night operation. And the Lord wanted his disciples to stay long enough for people to get to know them, long enough for people to see the difference Jesus was making in their lives. That's an important lesson for us. Somebody is watching us. Can they see the difference?
*Now look at the instruction in vs. 5: "And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.'' Here the Lord wanted them to learn how serious it is to reject Him. Have you learned that lesson? We need to let this truth sink in more and more.
*Christians: There is so much for us to learn! It's a life-long project. But Jesus will teach us all we need to know. And we can learn His lessons.
*When we do, we will be more like the missionary in a book by Brian Harbour. Many years before, this young man had a great desire to answer God's call to the mission field. After he applied for a position, the young man was asked to report for his examination at 3 o'clock in the morning.
*He sat in the waiting room until 8:00, when the Missions examiner finally showed up. Then, without a word of explanation for his five hour delay, the examiner said, "Let's begin the test. First question: Please spell baker." The young man answered, "B-a-k-e-r."
*"Very good," responded the examiner. "I'm impressed. Now let's see what you know about numbers. How much is 2 2?" The young man answered, "4." "Fine," the examiner said, You have passed the test. I'll recommend to the board tomorrow."
*At the meeting the next day, the examiner spoke very highly of the young man, and said, "He has all the qualifications of a missionary, as I discovered in my test. First, I tested him on self-denial. I told him to be at the office at 3:00 a.m. He left his warm bed, and came out in the cold without a word of complaint.
*Then, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me. He showed no signs of temper or impatience, even though I did not explain my delay.
*Finally, I tested his humility by asking him questions a small child could answer, and he showed no offense. He has all the characteristics necessary to be the kind of missionary we need." (5)
*Church: That's the kind of learning we need too. And the Lord will send us to school, because Jesus Christ has a mission for us. It may be all the way up to Canada next summer, but it is certainly here in Caldwell Parish.
*Our mission may be halfway around the world, halfway across the country, or halfway across the room to talk to a co-worker or friend. But one thing is for sure: If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, God's got a mission for you.
*Somebody's got to share the gospel with them. God loves us. Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again from the dead. Now He will save anyone who will turn to Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
*As we go to God in prayer, let's ask Him to help us complete our missions for our Master, Jesus Christ.
(1) 2013 Georgia Barnette Prayer Guide - Day 6 - Horeb Hispanic Church, Chalmette
(2) Adapted from the Internet - Original author unknown - Source: "NEEDED: PEOPLE ON A MISSION" - by King Duncan - Matthew 9: 36-10:8 - found 06102002
(3) Amazing Law of Influence - Sermon 2: "CHANGED BY A SMILE" - Matthew 12:29 - based on the book "The Amazing Law of Influence" by King Duncan - Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 2001
(4) Dynamic Preaching sermon "WORRIED ABOUT HER CHILD" by King Duncan - Matthew 15:10-20, 21-28 - August 18, 2002 - Also see: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Only in Canada.-a079087197
(5) Brian L. Harbour, LIVING EXPECTANTLY, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1990 - Source: sermons.com illustration on patience