God wants to move in and through the hearts and lives of His people. Throughout the scriptures, we encounter a God that is always working with and for His people. Yet, what we see in our day, are all the place where God once moved but appears to be no longer. The Valley of Dry Bones, in Ezekiel 37, is one of these places. Even in the valley, we discover that God moves through the obedience of His people. Where God is moving in us, it is time for us to move after Him.
The Mission of God is compromised of two main events. The first is the moment of salvation when we get all of Jesus. The second in sanctification when Jesus gets all of us. In the middle of these two events is Easter. Jesus came not only to save us but also the sanctify us. He came not only to attract us to Him but also to send out on mission with Him. In this sermon, we will discover what it means to be on mission with Jesus.
Easter is for everyone because everyone needs Easter. There is an event or decision in everyone’s past or present that we wish we could change but cannot. Easter teaches us that change is possible no matter how impossible the change might seem. Easter is more than a revolution that can change our life. It is a resurrection that can change everyone’s life. This requires a SoulShift, a shift from me to we. This SoulShift will not only resurrect us but it will also transforms us to become a resurrection.
For Jesus, Good Friday was that moment it all came down to this. He had to choose between following the plan prepared from Him from the beginning of the world or forsaking it. Jesus chose to follow the plan. When He did, the battle between good and evil commenced. Evil tried to conquer Jesus with force. But, Jesus conquered evil by submitting himself to it. Just as Jesus, in all of His goodness, submitted himself unto evil we are now able, in all of our evilness, to submit ourselves unto His goodness.
When God transforms our soul we shift from being a sheep that follows Jesus to being a shepherd like Jesus. As a sheep, our priority is for our own spiritual condition. As a shepherd, we become responsible for the spiritual condition of others. Throughout the Scriptures, when God’s people have been in a spiritual crisis He has always called for more shepherds. This is why when Jesus told the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15: 1-7), he began with the assumption that each of us are shepherds. As shepherds, there are sheep in our life that we are responsible for. In this sermon, we will discover together how to identify our sheep and how to shepherd them.
When God transforms our soul, we will shift from asking God for answers to listening for His promises. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a clear shift in discipleship between those who ask and those who listen. Jesus uses a key phrase to make this distinction: “whoever has ears to hear let them hear.” If we only listen to God for answers to our problems we will never hear the voice of God. But when we listen to God for His promises we will discover that God is always speaking.
When God transforms our soul, we shift from being a consumer to being a steward. The number one symptom of every consumer is an inadequacy. When we do not have enough of something we are left wanting. When we are left wanting we are suspectible to becoming a consumer. God has a habit of never starting with enough. When we learn to give to God our inadequacy (stewardship) we will discover that God will bless it according to his riches and we will have more left over than what we started with.