Faithlife
Faithlife

An Influential Kingdom

Kingdom Orientation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Big Idea: Kingdom Lives help others find and follow Jesus.

Notes & Transcripts
Introduction - Man robs bank to get away from wife
I mean, how bad is your marriage when you feel like robbing a bank is the answer to fixing your marriage.
If you are here today and your marriage is this bad, please, do me a favor and come get me. I want to help.
Relationships have a way of leading you down a path
tells us
1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
We often tell our kids, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”
But my question today is this: have you ever considered how your actions, your behavior, your very life influences and affects others.
In the Kingdom of God, we need to realize that as much as our relationship with God is fixed, so too is our relationship with each other
And we need to realize as people who follow King Jesus, our relationships must be ones that help others to find and follow Jesus as well.
In our text today, we see Luke’s record of Jesus’ teaching about life in God’s Kingdom.
He moves into a discussion about how we live lives of influence.
The simple truth is that each one of us has an influence on everyone around us - we affect everyone we meet.
The grocery store cashier, the person on the interstate - everyone.
The question is this - Do we influence one another for good or for bad?
Do we help people to find and follow Jesus?
Jesus calls us all to consider how our lives influence others - for good and for bad. The question I want you to consider today is how you are using your life as a Kingdom influence to help people to find and follow Jesus so they too can be Kingdom people.
In our text today, we see Luke’s record of Jesus’ teaching about life in God’s Kingdom.
He moves into a discussion about how we live lives of influence.
The simple truth is that each one of us has an influence on everyone around us - we affect everyone we meet.
The grocery store cashier, the person on the interstate - everyone.
The question is this - Do we influence one another for good or for bad?
Do we help people to find and follow Jesus?
Jesus warns against influencing others to sin
Let me ask you - do you live in such a way that you encourage and edify others or do you lead or influence people to sin?
“What a question, preacher! I don’t lead people to sin!” Really?
When did you not say to someone, “Hey, one more cookie won’t hurt.” Well, you’re tempting me to be gluttonous - and to sin.
Or, have you ever asked someone to cover for a … falsehood you told?
Or have you ever thought your behavior was OK but it clearly annoyed the other person?
Illustration - Meeting a singer
I know some people are bothered by the bar part of a “bar and grill”.
How do you respond when
After the meeting, I said a particular word that is OK in popular culture but really bothered this guy.
As many of you know, I love board games. But I remember when a lady at a church I went to said that we couldn’t play Monopoly at a youth event. Why? Because there were dice.
If I know you are bothered by it, I would be tem
He said something and after I said it again and I had a choice to make.
Now,
I could say, “Hey pal, I don’t think this word is vulgar. Deal with it.”
But then I run the risk of tempting this brother of mine to get angry with me.
Certainly, we have to be aware of how our behavior affects others. If it is a distraction to them, then I should stop it so I don’t get in the way of them finding and following Jesus.
These are
I want to be clear, I am not talking about actions done out of ignorance. These are intentional acts. If I knowingly do something that leads you away from finding or following Jesus, Jesus tells me it would be better for me to have a stone tied around my neck and for me to be tossed into the sea.
Do you see this? The question is how am I living my life in such a way to lead my boys, my family, my neighbors, my church to find and follow Jesus rather than leading them down a path of sin. Because I can do this.
Illustration: Complaining about the church
You may think nothing of it, but if someone struggles with lustful thoughts, a day at the beach is a day of temptation.
Now, this is hypothetical. No one here has ever made me complain just like I am sure no one here has ever went home and complained about me.
So, we need to be mindful
But, if all I do is complain about the church in front of my family, then I am tempting them to have a negative opinion of the church and thus sin.
It can be innocent - but the question that Jesus wants us to help others to find and follow Jesus - how will I help others do just that?
The simple truth is that if I am leading someone to sin, then I am leading them away from Jesus. Life is filled with enough temptations, we don’t need to help one another. Our goal should always be to help others to find and follow Jesus.
Jesus tells us that our relationships need to be corrective as well.
Jesus tells us in this passage if we see our brothers in sin, and I would say if they do something that tempts us to sin as well, we are obligated to tell the person about it.
Now, this doesn’t mean we have a license to go around looking for sin. We don’t become “sin police” or offense police. It just means we don’t look the other way when we see it either.
What it means is that in love and with repentance as the goal, we want to encourage people to stop sinful behavior and turn back to Jesus.
Illustration: Glen, gossip, slander
Now, I was a bit mad at the time, but she was right to do it.
We were sinning. We needed correction.
tells us this truth
Hebrews 12:11 ESV
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
In other words, correction helps us find and follow Jesus.
Really, why do we speak out against sin in people’s lives?
Is it because what they are doing is hurtful and destructive?
Is it because we love them and want what is best for them?
Or is it simply because we find what they do “icky” and we don’t want to have any part of their “icky-ness”?
Even if the person is not a Christian, the reason we speak up when we see someoen sinning is that sin ALWAYS destroys.
We speak up because we want to help them find Jesus so they can follow Jesus.
It is corrective change, to lead them to repentance.
We are not out to be the morality police, and we must always show grace and mercy - but that doesn’t mean we keep silent.
Too often, we chose not to say anything and we let people continue in sin or to be a temptation to sin.
Illustration - Frank & young lady
His goal wasn’t to embarrass her and never have her come back.
The opposite was true. He WANTED her to find Jesus and to follow Jesus … just maybe with more clothes on.
So, he went to here quietly and privately to gently lead her out of being a temptation and into being an encouragement herself.
We must use our relationships to help people find and follow Jesus and that includes leading them away from sin.
Jesus also tells us that we need to be people who forgive.
In context today, Jesus is speaking of withholding forgiveness from those who have genuinely repented and are asking for forgiveness and reconciliation.
Illustration: Me and the boys
So, I was mad because, in my mind they ruined my plans.
But when they said, “Daddy, we are sorry.” I didn’t want to forgive!
Then I remembered my sermon and said, “I forgive you. Forgive me for being so hard on you.”
And Jesus doesn’t give us an option to say, “Well, you have done it too often for me to forgive you again.”
We know that number 7 means completely and fully.
So if they repeatedly sin against you, you forgive.
Our forgiveness must be unlimited.
Because when we forgive and forgive, we model the love of Christ to others. And this helps them to find and follow Jesus.
When we strengthen our relationships with each other, we reflect the joy of renewed relationships with God.
Illustration - Dylan Roof / Charleston / Forgiveness
Sheila Capers, the sister-in-law of one of the victims, said she prayed for Roof's soul to be saved. "If at any point before you are sentenced and you're in prison and you want me to come and pray with you, I will do that," Capers said.
"If at any point before you are sentenced and you're in prison and you want me to come and pray with you, I will do that," Capers said.
“The willingness of some of the relatives to forgive the gunman was widely discussed in the days after the killings. And there are others who said forgiveness is still a work in progress.”
It’s ok to say, “I forgive. Help my unforgiveness.”
The question is will we model the very forgiveness that is offered to each one of us when we repent? And when we do this - we help others to find and follow Jesus.
Will I love others the way God love me?
This is what it boils down to, right?
I mean, Jesus loves me so much that He would never lead me into sin.
He cares enough about me to rebuke me when I get off track.
And when I do get off track, He lovingly welcomes me back into the Kingdom after I have wandered.
You see, ultimately, this passage tells us that in God’s Kingdom, we are to live to reflect and model the very Jesus who is our King.
This teaching today is about how we are to live in light of God’s Kingdom, reflecting His character to everyone who needs to see it as we live as his ambassadors.
When we live this way, we live to help others find and follow Jesus.
Conclusion - Helping others find and follow Jesus.
Illustration - Corrie Ten Boom and the Guard.
So often we look at forgiveness through the eyes of the one forgiving.
But I want you to imagine the guard for just a second.
How much did her forgiveness reinforce God’s loving forgiveness in his life?
We want our rights -
Rights to do what we want and if you have an issue, then the problem is on you.
Rights to avoid correcting or being corrected because I really don’t want to change.
And rights to hold onto my bitterness and offense because you hurt me or derailed my plans or whatever.
Kingdom living means we live not for ourselves, but to help others find and follow Jesus. We give up our rights to make this happen - because that is what Jesus did for us.
Let’s pray
Benediction -
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
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