See Kendall’s Sermon: As One Who Serves. This is the email content I sent to him.
Serious provision and serious serving
As our final Sunday morning lesson in this summer’s ready, aim, fire series, let’s recap our mission and then I will focus our attention on our target in this AIM message.
We started this year reading through he New Testament searching to discover God’s mission for the Signal Mountain Church of Christ. We considered the words: seeking, saving and serving and explored what God’s word teaches us about being like Jesus Christ. These three words: Seeking, Saving, Serving are not just nice “S” words that roll off the lips in a nice way. We discovered that they do indeed describe Jesus Christ’s own character. Seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first is Jesus command for us in Matthew 6:33, and it comes with a promise that God himself will provide for those that take this seriously and do it. Saving is the very reason Jesus came here and it embodies the greatest work of God through Jesus on the cross. We have a Savior and we are called to receive and declare His Saving gospel. Jesus commissions us to this great task as his final words in Matthew’s gospel. Serving is the means by which we express and live in the love of God. Jesus said, “The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.”
This summer’s Ready, Aim, Fire series takes this mission of Seeking, Saving and Serving to the next level where we attempt to move from talk to practice. Hearing the word of God does no good unless we also do what it says. Jesus told us this at the end of His Sermon on the Mount. Those who hear His words and do them are like the wise man that built his house on the rock, those that hear and do NOT do His words are like the foolish man that built his house on the sand. The storms will come, the rains will fall, the streams will rise, the winds will beat against what we build our lives on. Jesus’ promise is that we who hear and do what He says will stand. All others will fall with a great crash!
Our mission must be more than what we hear, it must be what we do.
We are seeking His kingdom and righteousness in hope. We receive and declare the Saving work of Christ to a lost and dying world in faith. We serve one another and others with the love of God which He pours out upon us.
Today completes this series, but not this mission. We’ve begun a life long quest as seeking, saving servants of Christ. Today we look at the seriousness of serving.
2 Kings 6:24-7:20 tells the story of a terrible time of war and famine in Samaria. The city has been surrounded by a vast army and the food is almost gone. People are starving. There are four men with leprosy who decide to go into the enemy camp and face whatever comes: death or perhaps mercy. When they come to the enemy blockade they discover the army is gone! God has caused a panic among them and they have all fled, leaving all their goods behind. These four are ecstatic over this! They begin gathering food, gold and goods for themselves in a frenzy of excitement. Then they come to themselves and realize what they have and what they are doing. Listen to his words:
9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
In contrast, consider this story from the lips of Jesus about material goods we have been blessed with.
Luke 12:13-21 gives us a parable of Jesus about a rich fool. His crops produced in a huge abundance and he is so excited! He has a conversation with himself in his celebration of his success: listen to his words:
17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
Notice the difference in attitude between the four lepers and the rich man. Which took the mission of serving seriously?
David Bible started this series off looking at a chart that shows us our weekly schedules. David asked us to consider looking at our schedules and our spending habits to see what our true priorities are.
I’d like to ask us to look at ourselves in this world and see what God has provided for us:
Do we have houses?
Do we have cars?
Do we have food?
Do we have clothes?
Do we have comforts?
Do we have entertainment?
Do we have employment?
Do we have safety and security?
Do we have electronic devices?
Do we have Bibles, comfortable church buildings, paid church staff…
Compare what we have with what most of the world has and with what Jesus Himself had.
We are people who HAVE much. Let’s become people who SHARE AND SERVE much.