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Experiencing God 08 - God Invites You to Join Him

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Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1Corinthians 3:7 (NIV)

I.   God is on a Mission

     A.  God is the Great Missionary

           1.  God has been at work redeeming humanity since our fall into sin.

                 a.  God had a plan since before Gen. 1!

                 b.  All Bible History is a telling of God’s work of Redemption.

           2.  God continues His mission activity in our day through the work of the Holy Spirit

                 a.  He exposes our sin to us (John 16:8) and guides us to truth (v.13)

                 b.  From Pentecost on the Spirit empowers the Church for mission (Acts 1:8)

     B.  God’s mission is Reconciliation

           1.  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2Cor. 5:19 (NIV)

                 a.  God is about the business of reconciling the world to himself.

                 b.  His mission is to set us free from our sin and from their consequences.

                 c.  We are ambassadors of that message

           2.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

                 a.  Jesus came to fulfill God’s mission—it was God’s idea. He’s fulfilling it.

                 b.  This has always been God’s mission.

     C.  God will Fulfill his mission

           1.  He who began a good work will finish it.

                 a.  God finishes what he starts — always

                 b.  He doesn’t give up, or get distracted!

           2.  When God fulfills His mission the trumpet will sound and all His people will gather

                 a.  That is also His promise echoed throughout the Bible.

                 b.  God will gather all his people from the four corners of the earth.

II.  God works through Human instruments

     A.  God works through Servants

           1.  They “aren’t anything” in v.7

                 a.  As far as doing anything on their own.

                 b.  In comparison to what God does.

                 c.  Even Stradivarius is just an antique until it’s in the hand of a master violinist.

           2.  But through them folks come to faith!

                 a.  Who they are may not be much, but what God does with them is a lot.

                 b.  God can hit straight with a crooked stick. (Whew!)

     B.  We are God’s “Fellow workers”

           1.  This is almost too much to bear!

                 a.  “Fellow” workers?! Huh?!

                 b.  What right do we have to say that?

           2.  God does the work, we work with Him.

                 a.  We can accomplish nothing really unless we work WITH Him.

                 b.  So where is God working? How can we join in?

     C.  We are responsible for our assigned Tasks (v.5)

           1.  It could be planting or watering.

                 a.  Maybe it’s spreading the seed of God’s saving work through Jesus.

                 b.  Maybe it’s nourishing that seed once it’s planted.

           2.  Maybe it’s cultivating, weeding or fertilizing

                 a.  Maybe something else!

                 b.  Not everyone has the same task and no one but you has your specific task.

                 c.  The question is, what is your task?

           3.  Whatever our task is, we are responsible before God for it (v.8)

                 a.  We may not be anything, but God wants to use us for great things!

                 b.  Whatever God assigns you to do, you will find joy in doing it.

                 c.  As we said last week — God designed you just for the task he assigns you.

III. God makes things Grow

     A.  Only God can draw people Toward Him

           1.  Jesus said, “No one comes to me unless the Father sends Him.”

                 a.  Which means if someone comes toward Jesus, God is already working.

                 b.  It also means we can’t really lead anyone to Christ (on our own).

           2.  God chose us before the foundation of the world to be his children (Eph.1:4-5)

                 a.  He chose us before the beginning.

                 b.  He chose those who will yet come to faith at the same time.

     B.  Only God can change a Heart

           1.  You and I can’t change someone’s heart

                 a.  We have neither the burden nor the responsibility to do that.

                 b.  We can plant God’s seeds and water his garden with his water (v.6).

           2.  God can and does change hearts

                 a.  So pray and follow God’s lead

                 b.  That’s why we pray with David: “Create in me a pure heart O God” (Psalm 51:1)

     C.  Only God can set us truly Free

           1.  Only God can free us from slavery to sin

                 a.  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal. 5:1

                 b.  We can’t even free ourselves

                 c.  God’s missionary activity in our lives is to set us free from the slavery of sin.

           2.  Only God can free us for valuable service

                 a.  God considers you a fellow-worker.

                 b.  Grab a handful of seeds, or a watering can, or whatever God gives you!

                 c.  God is on a mission and He wants you to sign up for service in His mission

The Bottom Line:

Welcome God’s missionary activity in Your life and Enlist in God’s Mission program.

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