Brent Clark does reading and prayer to introduce today’s lesson. It is on the audio.
In Matthew’s gospel we have seen Jesus Christ as our King, establishing the church and bringing us into His kingdom.
In Mark’s gospel we have seen Jesus Christ, the Son of God as our teacher, saying, “Follow me!”
In Luke’s gospel we have seen Jesus Christ as our Savior, the one who came to seek and save the lost.
In John’s gospel we are seeing Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, every action and word of Jesus reflects the Father.
God saw fit to give us four books on His Son’s life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection. In fact, the entire Bible points to Jesus. The Old Testament prophecies His coming, the gospels tell of His presence, the rest of the New Testament give us His instructions for living in Him as His church the body of Christ. It’s all about Jesus.
We’ve read through the Old Testament and are up to John 10 for this week. So what do you think?
Are you beginning to see that God’s vision for His people is to be like Jesus Christ, His Son? Is this true? If Jesus is the role model for our lives, how are we becoming more and more like Him?
That’s how we discovered our mission as a church. Last year we read through the New Testament together looking of our mission, remember? John Curtis was the first to suggest three words to sum it up: seeking, saving, and serving. Remember? From January through March we did a 90 day New Testament reading asking one question: What is our mission?
Lo and behold, as we studied through just the New Testament, these words came to life:
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
Jesus gave us our first mission word in His first Matthew sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. Seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is number one! If we do this we submit to God’s authority and follow God’s instructions and keep God’s commandments. When we seek first God’s kingdom, God rules our lives. When we seek His righteousness, we come face to face with Jesus Christ who IS our righteousness!
Second, upon seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness, we discover we are to share that calling with others in a saving mission. We are seed sowers, in the saving mission of Christ in this world. Jesus came here to save us from our sins. But we are not saved just to sit back and soak in the grace! As children of the heavenly King, we are commissioned to share God’s saving grace with others! Jesus came to save and when we enter His kingdom we also enter His mission of saving the lost by His grace as we share His word.
Third, we discover that our King and Savior did His mission as God’s servant. Jesus told us, “The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus taught us that the greatest among us is the one who serves. We are called to be serving like Him with His love as His hands and feet. The church is the body of Christ, continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ in this world.
We are to be like Jesus: seeking His kingdom, saving the lost, and serving like Him. Doing all this in His name as His people, for His glory and the spread of His gospel.
This entire year has been an adventure through the Bible from Genesis forward with the purpose of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We’ve got less than two months to go. Let’s finish strong! We are in the last seven weeks of this year.
Next year’s 2018 adventure through the Bible together will be in Chronological order. Our mission focus will be: Saving the Lost by His Grace as we share His word. We’ll be talking about our sin and God’s redeeming work all through the scriptures! Get ready to share this with someone! May God prepare us to sow the seed of the gospel and reap a harvest that makes us out grow this building. I’ve been praying for 100 baptisms in one year. Would you join me in asking God to use us in His saving mission? Pray He will use me. Pray He will use you.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all conclude their gospel accounts with this saving mission focus.
Luke 24 is in this week’s reading. Go there with me. (Read 28-53). What was everyone talking about in this chapter? What did Jesus envision happening to fulfill the Old Testament scriptures? Look again at verse 47. Who is Jesus expecting to participate in carrying out this saving mission of the kingdom? If you are not sure, just ask that question when you read the book of Acts over the next two weeks. I think you will see, it’s Jesus our King working through you and me!