More people - More like Jesus: the Commission
Key Verse: Acts 2:42-47
Why are you even here this morning? I mean honestly what’s the point?
Okay now that I have freaked you out a little; let’s really address this; why come to church week by week and listen to sermon after sermon?
Church today has become another product made to make me feel better about myself. Unfortunately that was never the intention of the church. God made the church to work out His plan for the world in and through His people.
We, church, come to church to be a part of that work! If you get that this morning we will be a more powerful church and you will find greater fulfilment in church than you have ever had.
Now, over the past two weeks we have gone through in detail what the vision of this church is and how we will accomplish that vision with the Lord’s help.
Our church’s mission is More People – More Like Jesus. William established for us that we will accomplish this mission by:
Giving and going…
So today, as the church together accomplishing the plan of God in our community, we commit to:
Gather with God’s people
Grow in a group
Give what I’ve been given and…
Go with the Gospel
My task this morning is to ensure that we all together get on board and make sure that we are all a part of what God is doing here at Wilro Park.
So how do we do this? Well we need to go to Acts 2:42-47 to see a key aspect of how the church actually accomplished the mission of God with the Spirit’s empowerment and help.
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.44All the believers were together and had everything in common.45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The church in Acts went about doing the work of God. What fascinates me about this passage is how the church was focused on what mattered; as William has shared over the last two weeks, and it was in the midst of this focus that God did wonders in their midst and added to their number daily those who were being saved.
It was God working in their midst and adding to their number but it was the church who committed themselves to the vision.
Church we have a good vision; more people more like Jesus. We have a plan; gather with God’s people, grow together in groups, give what God has given you and go with the gospel.
The question is how do we make this a reality in our midst?
We devote ourselves
We read in acts how it was the whole church that committed themselves to the apostles teaching, it was the whole church who did what was needed.
Although the Apostles taught and lead it was the church and the people of the church that were involved in growing and doing the work of the church.
Church if we are going to fulfil the mission that God has called us to WE are all going to have to devote ourselves to the calling.
Now in terms of this I know what it is like; we have the best intensions, however if we never make a plan to implement them, if we never do anything about our intension; guess what? They never get done.
It’s kind of like you desire to get to gym more this year… how’s that going? You see unless you actually make a plan to do something about your intensions nothing will change.
I plan to get to the gym more this year, therefore I will plan to do cardio on a Tuesday before work, arms on a Wednesday and finally legs on a Friday.
That is a plan, it is accountable and implementable.
Now we often have great intensions in church. I want to grow more in God I want to pursue God more. All good intensions, however, what is your plan to devote yourself to it?
The early church was devoted – literally they committed themselves to the work of God and continued in it.
Why because they had a plan and were willing to implement it.
Let me ask you a question; are you committed to this this church? If so, what are you committing yourself to in order for the work of God in this church to be done?
We literally need everyone on board, and God desires for everyone to contribute; it is how he has designed the church. So what is your plan to gather, grow, give and go?
Not what is your intension, rather, what is your plan? How are you actually going to gather, grow, give and go?
Are you committing yourself to be a part of the gathering of this church? If so in what capacity, and how are you going to contribute?
Are you committing yourself to grow together in small groups? If so give yourself a deadline by which you must find a small group, or join the Monday Bible College (which starts on the 8 Feb) to ensure that you grow in your understanding of God.
Are you committing yourself to give what God has given you? If so plan to give at the beginning of the month, put it in your budget.
And are you committed to go with the gospel? If so make a list of who you plan to share the gospel with, start praying for them and being ready when the opportunity presents itself.
This, church, is the difference between intending to be a part of what God is doing and committing yourself to what God is doing.
So we devote ourselves however, we must know that…
We do this together
Church we commit ourselves to make more people more like Jesus, each of us committing ourselves to the work, but I must encourage you that you are not doing this alone.
The church met together daily they lived life together they committed to the work together.
All the personal commitment in the world without the help of others it is profoundly difficult to do on our own.
The problem with our society is that more and more we are living life by ourselves I want us to commit to live life and to do church together.
We are called by God to encourage each other to love each other and to be there for each other.
I have to illustrate it with exercise again. But it has been proven that doing exercise with a partner gains better results and is more consistent than if you go alone.
If you commit yourself to meet your friend you will go if you feel like it or not.
It is the same with church. We commit ourselves to be there for each other. To do this together!
Church and Christianity has never been a solo endeavour it is not meant to be done alone. One of the great joys of church and our walk with God is that we do it with others.
So encourage each other; be more than just a friendly face on a Sunday, actually care about each other. Be there for each other, look past the smiles and friendly faces to actually care for people and connect and encourage.
I believe this is one the most important roles of a small group, it is a place where you can actually connect with some people to be held accountable and be truly cared for.
We must commit ourselves to the call of God in the church also we must also be there for each other to encourageeach other and do this together.
Finally and most importantly…
We do this with Him and for Him
We must remember that Jesus is building His church, Acts clearly states and the Lord daily added to their number.
This is God’s church, it is His work. He is the one that ultimately will get the glory for what happens here and He is the one that will cause growth in the church.
We,therefore, must remember our place here. We are here to serve Him, we do this for Him and church we do this by His power.
I guess the overwhelming thought is to think that we somehow have to make more people more like Jesus. However we are not, we simply have to commit ourselves to our part of His work.
I hope you get this this morning; God has a part for you to play in His work in this church! The profound weight of this is wonderful. God wants you to work with Him here!
When we get this, church, we realise that church is not about me. It is not about how I feel or enjoy it is about his work here that we get to be a part of.
This forces me out of my spiritual consumer mentality; a mentality that makes me ask what am I getting out of this. And forces me into a spiritual contributor mentality; what can I give in order for others to grow.
God is working through you, not only in you.
When we get this the idea of simply just coming to church is not enough the idea of coming to church without contributing becomes hollow, because it is truly profound to realise that you are being used by God for the extension of His Kingdom.
There are many of you here that have gotten this. This is why the church and you in the church are so giving because you realise that you are part of what God is doing in the world.
And through that millions of people will be reached. I just think of what has been done through Fanie’s ministries and the mission organisations that this church supports, all the lives touched.
I think of the people that have come through this church and are now in the ministry.
People who have come through the door of this church and are now involved in planting new churches.
I think of the people who are now a part of this church and that are making a difference here and now and leaving their mark on what God is doing here.
There are so many of you that give hours of effort to the work here and these people know that is so much more than what they are getting out. It is the wonder and awe of being a part of what God is doing in the world.
So, church, I believe God will use us to make more people more like Jesus. I believe that God wants to use each and every one of you to expand that work and make it effective.
So my challenge to you this morning is;
Are you committed (are you actually making an implementable plan) to see more people more like Jesus
Are we in this together?
Are we doing this in His strength and ultimately for His glory!
2016 is the year that all of us, Lord willing, will be used by God to make more people more like Jesus!