Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dig Deeper (Sermon Series...Part 2 of 4)

Series: Dig Deeper - Hard Work Pays Off

Subject: Can't We All Just Get Along? (Digging Past Unhealthy Thinking)

Scripture: Luke 9:49-50 (New Living Translation)   John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”
50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”

Introduction: Anthropology (science of humanity) has a branch that focuses on social habits. In observation, much like animals humans tend to run in packs. We're extremely cliquish. Because of the presumed safety in the size of the gang, we'll develop thinking that's exclusive to anyone outside of our group. There's a sense of unhealthiness in that kind of thinking, because it takes three arrogant stances: we don't know you, we don't want to know you and don't do what we're doing because we have a monopoly on it. That's fish bowl thinking. It's micro when it should be macro.

That's why I believe that God is calling us to dig deeper! We must dig past that unhealthy thinking, because it severely limits the church's impact of expanding the kingdom of God. It subjects the spread of the gospel message of salvation and liberation, to mediocrity. We're faced with those frightening realities and those of us who are followers of Jesus, are forced to answer the question Can't We All Just Get Along?

Transition: After a high speed chase on March 3, 1991, California police arrested and brutally assaulted a taxi driver named Rodney King. Those officers were charged and tried for their crimes, but were found not guilty. The verdict was the spark which started the 1992 riots in major cities across the country. Rodney King, in a televised plea for peace, asked the question "Can we all get along?" Martin Lawrence then picked up the line and made it his own in his self titled sitcom by asking "Can't we all just get along?" That's the question that we're presented with today. The church has been confused with who our true allies are. So, Jesus clears up our confusion in the text, by assertively voicing his mind.

Exposition: in order for us to answer this question honestly, we must examine three crucial elements...

1...Inadequate Observation (John said to Jesus, Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons) The apostles were standing on the outside looking in, saying that this guy is trying to be us. They'd allowed the power that Jesus gave them in verse 1, to become perverted by their inferiority. Their observation was inadequate because they were not in a position to be quality control!

2...Inappropriate Action (but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group) We handled it for you, is the attitude that the disciples took. The problem is that they genuinely loved Jesus, but they didn't have Jesus' heart (that's a major principle)! The spirit of exclusiveness had meandered it's way into their ministry philosophy. Jesus empowered and employed them, with the purpose of growing the group, but they wanted church to be like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. But, if the group stays closed, we miss out on the willing, talented and faithful. Notice that while the church/disciples were looking at the man, the man was doing what they were supposed to be doing: working to help someone be made better!

3...Inevitable Correction (But Jesus said, Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you) No question about it, Jesus had to say something! I'm positive that they could see it written all over his face, that he was about to doctor on their unhealthy thinking. Jesus is very straight forward and stern with this word of correction. The admonishment gives the sense that they had power over demons and diseases but not over people! Furthermore, the man that you all bullied, wasn't even an enemy!

Conclusion: What's the take-a-way for today? To understand that our mission is expansion! It's a good thing when you come to church are unfamiliar with someone. That simply means that we're on the grow and you've got a stronger family with their addition. So what do we do about them? Love them, befriend them and train them to keep the cycle of evangelism (reaching people) and discipleship (teaching people) going.

1 comment:

  1. Previous adolescent star Hilary Duff reemerged without precedent for years upon the arrival of another collection in June. Titled Breathe In Breathe Out, the record was the main Lizzie McGuire star's first collection in eight years. In that interim of a close decade, Duff was focussing on parenthood and marriage. Self-named sitcom