This sermon was based on Isaiah 49:1-6.
The Servant of the Lord
1Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
3And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
5 And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
- God is at work, even from the womb, forming, naming (speaking identity), and calling you – you are called.
- Called to Christ. Acts 2:39, Peter describes the promise of forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit as “for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” and in Romans 8:30, as Paul describes how God works for our good in all things, he reminds us that God has already called us. “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
- Called to God’s Mission. Talking about Mission – It’s not an option, it’s a calling. It’s a commissioning. When Jesus called his first disciples, he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)
- Called to a particular ministry or place. This is not necessarily the case for everyone but clearly is for some.
Enlargement of the Mission
- Resolving the immediate situation is not enough – it’s to small – God is enlarging the task to the outward call of his mission.
- Kevin De Young – “Listen, whatever plans and hopes and dreams you have for the gospel – and I hope you have some… It is possible those plans for the gospel are too self-centered or too impatient or too naïve, but it is not possible for them to be too big.”
The Result: Salvation
- See the impact here: Geographically, to the ends of the earth. What we are doing here, people all around the world today are doing this same thing. Still people groups unreached.
- Salvation – Saving. People have a problem – A predicament that cannot be resolved by themselves. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God … All like sheep have gone astray. Jesus – the saviour. We have experienced it – and we want others to as well.
- The Blessings of God are not meant to be hoarded but shared – Bryan Lorrits. There is no other way to be saved but by faith in him. Ambrose – God chose that man should seek salvation by faith rather than by works, lest anyone should glory in his deeds and thereby incur sin. Salvation will not happen on its own. Someone has to go. That’s what this whole thing was about.
- Next week is Give Big. We try before we do it to set some context for what it’s about./li>
- The next step in planting 6 new sites is to be ready and resourced to launch those sites well. In order to do this, we want to build a fund that will ensure that we are in a position to respond as God moves and launch each site as it is ready.
- This year, our May mission offering will be used to kick-start this site-planting fund, and would be supplemented by future offerings and initiatives.
- When we talked, prayed and shared stories about it faith has started to rise. Now, let that faith turn to generosity. We have been called, and not to something small. This is about salvation. This offering is a part of it (not the entire thing by any means). Ask God what you can give and let’s join together in his mission.