Faithlife Sermons

God's Change Agent

Salt and Light  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:28
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Series Intro

change agent, or agent of change, is someone who promotes and enables change to happen within any group or organization. In the famous sermon on the mount Jesus said to His disciples "you are the salt of the earth you are the light of the world" AKA you are change agents. As a result His disciples carried on a movement that changed the world. This sermon series challenges us to have in impact with your lives and community, to be the salt and the light. How has God gifted you to be a change agent?

Intro

Background

Matthew’s Gospel, while not the first written, that distinction belongs to Mark, it is the first of the four Gospels we have collected in the New Testament. Matthew tells the whole story of Jesus, from his remarkable birth in Bethlehem to his death and resurrection in Jerusalem. He includes Jesus’ baptism and temptation, his preaching and teaching in Galilee, and many of his parables about the kingdom of God. Matthew gives a clear call to Christian mission. Jesus, the risen Christ, sends his disciples to preach his gospel and make disciples among all the nations of the world.
And in our text this morning we find ourselves easedropping on Jesus most famous sermon the sermon on the mount it starts in chap. 5 and goes until chap. 8, you out to read it when you get home.
What’s amazing is that introduction to his sermon is off putting. He sees a crowd of his followers, he goes up on the side of a mountian or a big hill for better positioning, sits down and says the strangest things.
Like : Blessed are the poor in spirit… that’s how he starts his famous sermon
then he adds more… blessed are those who mourn, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rightouseness… then he pushes it even more… blessed are those who are persecued. You are blessed when other people revile you and persucute you.
This is disturbing, this is off putting. This is not the come and let me heal you, let me deliver you, let me give you want you need type of sermon. This is not the “this is your season” kind of sermon.
What’s interesting is that after saying these off putting counter cultural things you’d think that Jesus was preparing his followers to seperate from the world. If you stopped at vs. 12 you make assume that the followers of Jesus are to move to their own places and stay with their own kinds of people.
But when we look at vs. 13 we see that Jesus challenges his hears by saying… go turn the world upside down go be change agents. He says go be a change agent.
This morning I want us to ask three questions of this text.

I. Who Is A Change Agent?

When reading the Bible you’ve got to be careful that we don’t ascribe things meant for one person to ourselves. He told Peter.. upon this rock(revelation) I will build my church, that does not mean you can run around say that the church is build on YOUR revelation.
When reading the Bible some things are meant for a specific audience.
1 Cor. 14:34 Paul says women are to remain silent in church… people have taken this to mean that women can’t speak in church.. specific audience because of the structure of the church.
However somethings are meant for all believers. And vs. 13 of Matt. 5 is meant for all believers.
I love this, Jesus says “You are the salt of the earth”

You is emphatic and restrictive: Jesus is not talking about people in general but specifically about his followers. He says, you are: he is making a statement, not giving a promise.

I love this because here
Jesus is saying you are not becoming a change agent. You are not a change agent in the making. When you became a follower of Jesus Christ you became a change agent. Look at John 14:12.

II. What Is A Change Agent To Do ?

Infiltrate society
Preserve the Good
Stay Salty

III. How To Be A Change Agent ?

BE A CHANGE AGENT: God has created you and every other person on Earth with abilities to help solve the world’s problems – and as a disciple of Jesus Christ God wants you to fulfill your potential by using your life to solve problems as much as you can. Keep in mind that people are constantly looking for visionary people who can provide solutions to the problems they face. The Holy Spirit enables you to be that change agent.
Eliminate the divide between sacred and secular work. Realize that, from God’s perspective, all work is sacred when the people doing it are using their talents and skills to accomplish God’s purposes for their lives. No matter what type of work you do, your work can significantly change the world for the better when people see you working with God’s purposes in mind.
Be a voice in the public square
Moses was a change agenct
Vashti was a change agnet
Isaiah was a change agent
Paul was a change agent
Philip was a change agent
Barnabus was a change agnet

Close

How many of you know who Edward Kimball is?  
In 1855, Edward Kimball was a Sunday school teacher in Chicago.  He led a 19-year old shoe-clerk to Christ.  The shoe-clerk eventually became a world-famous evangelist who led thousands of people to Christ.  His name was Dwight L. Moody.  Moody Bible Institute just down the street is named for him.  
In 1879 Moody influenced the well-educated and cultured British theologian Frederick B. Meyer to change his preaching style and emphasis.  
Later on a preaching trip to America, Meyer influenced a discouraged young preacher named Wilbur Chapman to become an effective evangelist.  
As his work grew, he needed an assistant and hired a former baseball player with a high school education to help him.  His name was Billy Sunday, and he eventually led more than a million people to Christ.
In 1924, while Sunday was preaching in Charlotte, North Carolina, a prayer group was formed, that later invited another evangelist by the name of Mordecai Hamm to preach.
It was while Hamm was preaching that a teenager named Billy Graham gave his life to Jesus.  And Billy Graham has told more people about Jesus than anyone in history!  
It all started with Edward Kimball, a Sunday school teacher who led a young man to Christ.  (Of course, it really started before Edward Kimball—some unknown person led him to Christ.)
We can all be Edward Kimballs!  You can influence one person who influences another and somewhere down the line it might be the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa.  

Reflection

How are you using your life to be a change agent?
In what areas (education, arts, media etc.) are you gifted to be to be a change agent?
How are you staying salty?
How will you influence this week?
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