RESOLVED | Week 5: Resolved to Go on Mission

February 4, 2018 Speaker: Christopher Rich Series: RESOLVED | Where Desire Meets Discipline

Topic: Old Testament Passage: Psalm 96

Christopher Rich – February 4, 2018

RESOLVED | Where Desire Meets Discipline| Wk 5

Resolved to Go on Mission | Psalm 96

 

Introduction | Resolved to Go On Mission     

Good Morning Welcome to Damascus Road where we are Saved by Jesus Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace, and Living on Jesus’s Mission. We continue our series winter series Resolved: Where desire meets discipline.  We began by recognizing we are not a satisfied people. We know we’re not the best version of ourselves. We want more. We want to be different that we currently are. We have desires that drive us to pursue satisfaction in a variety of things. We experience some short term enjoyment but we often lack long term satisfaction and flourishing. Discipline is not our biggest issue because we will always be disciplined about what we truly desire. So if my deepest desire is short term comfort then I will sleep in, skip work, and eventually lose my job. But if my deepest desire is on going employment and that desire is greater than my desire for more sleep then I will get up and get to work. This seems like duty over desire. I didn’t say is the greatest altruistic desire that inspires. But we have to understand and be reminded about how we’re driven. We should want to be part of something greater than simply our enjoyment or personal satisfaction. We need to be reminded we are part of something greater than just our own personal stories of success or tragedy. We need to be tied to something that transcends ourselves. When we’ve been self focused for long stretches of our lives the results do not lead us to greater joy but to less and less satisfaction. We are not our own people. We are not random happenings in a senseless and impersonal universe. We are individuals who are part of a people who have been created in the image of God. We are created for a purpose. That purpose is to bring glory to God in all aspects of our lives. We bring God glory being aligned with His purposes and enjoying all that He has done for His people and the creation we dwell in. This is how we are made to be but yet this is not our default. Humanity was created good by a good God but we traded our communion with God for a deeper desire we had not to submit and follow but rule and lead ourselves. This is sin. Believing and acting that we would, will do a better job of leading ourselves to joy and flourishing then the God who created us. Driven by desire we chose conflict with God over communion with Him. Sin has infected and affected every aspect of creation and every generation with corruption. This has only made our longing and dissatisfaction greater as we have striven to find our purpose and fulfillment apart from God in a fallen creation that was never meant to satisfy or deepest desires. God knows this and lovingly pursues His people. He is on a mission to direct our desires rightly back to Him not because He’s a sad lonely ego maniac but because He knows this is where we will find the greatest joy and life. God is on a mission for His people

 

PART I | MISSION OF JESUS | Matthew 28:18-20

This is mission is shown in the person and work of Jesus, God-Man, who goes from Heaven to earth enduring discomfort to live the perfect life of worship (Loving God AND loving people) in our place. His life on earth was one on mission in word (the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel Mark 1:15) and deed, healing the sick, freeing those in spiritual bondage, feeding the needy. This was a difficult mission driven by a great desire to see people who had chosen to follow themselves and be estranged from the kingdom of God be brought back as full citizens and adopted Sons and daughters. It was this great desire to see people reunited with God bring Him glory that drove Him to the cross where He died the death we all deserved for our sin, in our place. This mission cost him something, there was sacrifice. This mission was successful. We know this because of the resurrection. Jesus is alive the tomb is empty because the one conducting the mission is powerful. Powerful enough to overcome death. It is through faith in this resurrected Jesus that we have freedom from our sin and joy knowing we have eternal right now life forever. It is a new life, not the old one lived for ourselves but a new one lived for Him.

With this new life we return to our old original purpose. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This is empowered by the Holy Spirit that renews our minds and hearts to give us new desires. We begin to desire that which is temporary and unsatisfying less and less and desire Him who is eternal and satisfying more and more. Because we have been saved by Jesus’ work we are changed by Jesus’ grace, we will be people who are living on Jesus’ Mission. What does it mean to be Living on Jesus’ mission? After His resurrection, before His ascension to Heaven, Jesus gather His disciples to commission them for this mission.

Matthew 28:18-20 | 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus is the king. He has all authority. Those who trust Him for their salvation follow Him for their life’s purpose. Because He has all authority we will be people who Go (as we go) and make disciples of all nations. This is a universal mission to all nations people groups, this pushes us beyond our comfort zone of those we find easy to engage.  It’s a specific mission. The mission is to all people but the mission transforms those who will pledge their allegiance to triune God of the Bible in the name of Jesus through Baptism signifying their death of self and new life with Jesus. It is a comprehensive mission. We are to teach in word and deed all that Jesus commanded so people who have pledged to follow Jesus can Trust Jesus with more and more of their lives. This is an empowered multigenerational mission. Jesus is with us in this mission through the Holy Spirit, AND this mission is for us because it is not only for these first disciples but all disciples until the end of the age. This is the purpose of every one who claims to be a Christian from now until He returns renewing all things. We are in this place between His work on the cross (mission accomplished - Victory) and his return (mission realized- Peace) we are to be on a mission of point others to Jesus while in this world that is marred with sin and people who are blinded to how sin theirs and others has impacted them. So our mission will be difficult, it will face resistance so we have to be Resolved. To be Resolved is to endure being uncomfortable for the purpose of a greater reward. God’s people are a resolved people. We are to have discipline motivated by the captivating desire to experience beauty from in God displayed in Jesus. This drives us to new desires that empower gospel centered discipline. What Jesus people, disciples, desire is to grow in maturity as fully formed disciples. We have to know what this looks like, what target we’re aiming at. At our church we believe fully formed disciples of Jesus are characterized by 4 G’s Gather, Grow, Give, Go. These are not duties we perform but they are desires the drive us to discipline. To at times be uncomfortable for the greater reward of growing as a Family on Mission together. People are Gathered because of the gospel,  grow as they’re centered on the gospel, they give because of the transformed by the gospel and go on mission for the Gospel. We can know this is what we’re called to and yet apathy is so easy to set in. Comfort of being saved and secure can lead us to complacency forgetting the mission.

 

PART II |Our Motive for Mission | Psalm 96:1-6

Psalm 96:1-6 | Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

We desire to be on mission because we love God and we see Him as glorious. This psalm is a grand mission battle cry that rallies God’s people to be on God’s mission. Songs are powerful. Songs motivate, songs stir affections. Songs drill concepts into our consciousness that last longer than mere instructions. That’s why commercial have jingles, shows have theme songs, and movies have sound tracks. It’s why we sing songs here that most importantly are true. When we know something great we sing. We are made to sing! Singing can be vocally or with our lives, actions, and enthusiasm. We are made to glorify that which we find glorious. We sing and share what we feel and desire. We will share with others what we find awesome. When we are captivated by greatness, excited by something glorious, or love something we don’t have to be instructed to go and tell others about it, we do it naturally as a response. We don’t have to be told to tell others about what we find awesome. We become easily disciplined in sharing with others about what we love because our desire is for them to find it lovely too. Mission begins in our hearts. Our hearts are the drivers of all our desires and actions. Worship flows from our hearts. Everyone is a worshipper. Worshippers are natural missionaries. So everyone is missionary for that which they worship. Desire for God’s kingdom to advance drives the church to mission. The mission of the church is not to be taken lightly. It was given to us by Jesus in the Great Commission, so we do not have to guess what we are about. We are to go and make disciples. Christians are Living on Jesus’ Mission not merely because we’re commanded to (though we are) but because it is a natural response to the glorious works of God in Jesus. God’s kingdom advances as our hearts are turned to submit to Him. People who know of and have experienced God’s glory and grace will necessarily “sing to the Lord” and “tell of His salvation”. It won’t be contained.

 

Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposterCharles Spurgeon

 

We don’t sing of and share Jesus because we’ve forgotten who we are. We have forgotten we are a people who know Jesus because of God using countless generations of disciples across continents to spread his Gospel to our time and place and then in His providence he used a person, a group of people, a church, of people saved by Jesus work,  all singing one chorus of God’s Gospel of Jesus to save us too. Who did God use in your life to tell you and teach you about Jesus? Were they excited about it? Where they passionate?

We don’t share Jesus with people because we’ve gotten bored with the song. It’s not new to us. We forget how much we need God daily. His mercies are new every morning. We are as dependent on Him today as we have ever been. When we hear the gospel every week, It’s a song of salvation we’ve heard before so we don’t think it’s new but it will be new and make someone new who has not heard it. Worship of God leads to telling other about God. Verse 2 says “tell” and this isn’t as strong as word  “proclaim” which then translates to tell them good news. We are to see God’s salvation as great enough to sing about. We are to tell others about His work that means we are to tell of His salvation daily. 

 

We evangelize because we see what God has done as great. For those who have been saved by Jesus’ work it is easy to be living on Jesus mission and tell others about Jesus because we are just telling people about what we find to be honorable and glorious. We simply declare what is true about God. To all people and all nations. That means everyone we know is someone who needs to know about how great Jesus is. In these verses we are reminded God is great. We are to fear him not in terror because He is evil but in humility because He is great. He is respectable. He is to be revered. He is praise worthy. Humility inspiring. He is the Creator who made everything good. This is a powerful God. This a God who is greater than anything or anyone else we could worship. Able to change and fix what is broken. Worthy of singing to, worthy of following, worthy of trusting, worthy of sharing with others because we love Him and we love them.

We desire to be on mission because we love people and want them to see God as glorious. Our enjoyment of something is multiplied as we share what we enjoy with others. We don’t like to keep things to ourselves we are passionate about because we know of others experience them or meet them they will benefit too!  

Great commandment is love God and love people. The most loving thing we can do for people is tell them of the love God shown in Jesus. If we love other people we will share with them what is ultimately lovely. We want people to know God and be in communion with God because we have seen it as good to be in His presence. Splendor and majesty are before Him and in His sanctuary where he dwells with His people. to be in his presence is to be in a place characterized by BOTH Strength and beauty. These are attributes we are naturally drawn to. Strength yes, beauty, amen!  Both are desirous and drive us in different ways, but they are rarely experienced together.  Strength without beauty is brutish and off putting. Beauty without strength is fragile and impotent. Our God has both in perfect proportion. Other god’s do not.

 

We desire to be on mission because we love people and don’t want them to follow lame gods. Calling people to worship God is to call them to stop worshipping what is lame for what is awesome. This means we need to be able people able to spot idolatry and address it. We need to be on mission to overcome idolatry in our own hearts and lives. “What I am looking to as glorious.” What is my functional hell? I am I hope will save me? Marketing/advertising is really effective at this. They are able to see how people are driven by desires and where there isn’t a natural one they create a need people didn’t even know they had. How often are you introduced to a product you didn’t even know existed and are like “I didn’t even know I needed this but now I can’t live without it. In the case of marketing they’re creating a need that isn’t there. For us as ambassadors/missionaries we’re revealing a need that is there. “The god’s your serving with your time, talent, treasure, with your desire and affections they are not leading you joy. They are not powerful enough to change you. They cannot save you from your sin, they cannot hear or answer your prayers. They are not worthy of your worship. To see the idolatry of others and our world means being a student of both. Of living in and engaging with both. We need to be disciplined to be with people who don’t know Jesus.

 

“You cannot live and love like Jesus without spending significant time with the people who don’t know him.”  -Ed Stetzer

 

PART III | Living On Mission | Psalm 96:7-9

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

 

Telling people about God is a privilege we’re granted and an action we’re called to. We want to be part of something glorious and amazing. We are called to Go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus has promised to be with us always to the end of the age so that means every disciple is to be on the mission of making disciples. It leads us to worship. These attributes of glory and strength reminds us how weak and fragile/broken we are, this causes us to tremble before Him. We are called to His presence, drawn to His presence, and we are humbled in His presence. The closer to God we find ourselves the greater and more majestic He seems. We will Ascribe = Regard God as He is. To recognize His greatness will lead to worship. This worship drives us to see Him as glorious. It drives sacrifice. We want to give to God who is so great. It drives us to His presence. We want to be with God in communion with Him because that is where life and peace is. We need to know what is true and right about God to be able to share Him with others. Instead We don’t find the salvation that great. We don’t think sin is a big deal or justice is required. Know the gospel. Be prepared to give account for the joy that is within you.

Need to know the product. Brand ambassadors who didn’t know about the product or worse yet didn’t like it were terrible. They actually did more harm than good. They had to be cut.  People who knew the product who enjoyed it were so effective because they would reach out easily because they knew they were offering people something great and enjoyable. They didn’t care about being seen as weird because they were motivated to care more about getting the message out for the people’s benefit than if the people thought they were odd. But we don’t want to be seen as weird. We fear people/revere their opinion of us more than what God says about us. When we’re are worshipping and sharing with others something/someone we find as glorious we stop caring about how they perceive us because we will value their salvation over our own reputation. Isn’t amazing that God’s plan for the expanse of His kingdom is for those in His kingdom to participate in sharing His kingdom with others. It has to be a genuine joy of responding to who God is. You cannot fake it. People have a high filter for being “sold” to or if you see them as a project to be completed.

 

We have to have genuine relationships with people. Multilevel marketing…. Ewe…. “You look like a guy who takes his diet seriously… you should try this Are you interested in having greater heath and working towards financial freedom?  We don’t form relationship for mission to notch another conversion on our belt like we’re the ones who save people or we’re working on our down line. The mission is the restoration of relationship, so we preach the gospel and tell people about Jesus because we genuinely care about them. Who we are the people God wants you point you Jesus? To share the Gospel with? How are you going to engage?

Mission happens in the local church. The church is an embassy of God’s Kingdom. Being on the mission of making disciples includes serving.  We have to believe deeply this is the greatest benefit to people. We will call them to Jesus. We will call them to “his courts” to be with His people the church. This means we need to be in “his courts”. Being on mission is being with God and His people. You being present, you being engaged, you contributing, you serving are all things that witness and demonstrate to active power of God to make people new and make them part of a people. Invite people to our gatherings to see other sing, hear God’s word taught and preached, to see our community together. When I invite people to my running club and they ask why? I better have an answer. Because we go running together. That sounds lame and dumb. If I believed it was lame and dumb then I’d stop going. If they say I don’t like running then I say “ok don’t come” But if I believed that running was the only way to health and flourishing then I would be more passionate about sharing it with everyone. The stakes are not that high for people if they run or not. When we remember how precious the stakes of the mission are it should drive us to desire to purse the mission more vigorously.

 

PART III | Urgency of the Mission | Psalm 96:10-13

Psalm 96:10-13 | 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Mission scatters the local church. We gather as an embassy, but we are deployed in our community as ambassadors who are sent on mission. If we are going to “say among the nations” then we need to be among the nations. But we have to do more than merely be present in the places and people around us. We need to be prepared to tell people what is true. In love for them and love of God be faithful to tell them the truth.

We desire to be on mission because we recognize God is the King and there is an the urgency of God’s judgement. There is a declaration piece. At a certain point being on mission has to include telling people to repent of sin and trust Jesus alone. That He is the way, and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Our response to who God is; is to tell people who God is.

God is the king. He is the Creator. He is the judge….. This is big contrast from our world and the natural disposition of our hearts. To be on mission is to know these truths at a foundational level and engage with people in the advancement of what is true. Creation sings at the Creator begin glorified. All will be restored.

God being the judge, creator and king is a cause of heaven and earth being glad and rejoicing. It means justice is promised. Justice is coming. Justice will be satisfied. Judgement drives urgency. We’ve been warned we’ve been loved. God’s judgement is perfect and it is sure. He judges with equity. He is righteous and faithful. This should bring concern for those who don’t know Jesus. This should be unsettling. But there is good news. As sure as there is judgement for sinners, there is mercy and grace for those who are In Christ. He has bared our judgement for us. He has given us His righteousness. So we don’t fear judgement we long for it because it mean an end to sin and injustice. In means the culmination of God’s mission to restore all things.

Hebrews 9:27-28 | 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Pray for those who don’t know Jesus. By name. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel. Don’t be weird but don’t be afraid to be we weird. Make friends. Be a friend. Earn access. Be personal.  Let’s be a people who are incredibly comfortable with the Gospel and our position before God that we are resolved to have many uncomfortable conversations about Him with those that don’t follow or know him.

 

Our time here is short. The mission is large. There is only one activity as believers we won’t able to engage with in the new heavens and new earth at Jesus return… evangelizing and sharing Jesus with those who don’t know Him. So let’s be people who are Saved by Jesus’ Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace, Living on Jesus’ Mission to love God and love people enough to tell them to Trust Jesus.

 

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