A Life On Mission (3)
A Life On Mission • Sermon • Submitted
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Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Roy Campanella was one of the first African Americans to play in the US Baseball major leagues. In a distinguished career he won the Brooklyn Dodgers Most Valued Player award many times, and in 1955 was in the team that won the World Series.
But in January 1958 his career was cut short after a car crash left him a quadriplegic. After he was injured, he spent a lot of time in the Institute of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City. One day he stopped to read a gold plaque upon one of the walls, and for someone who had been blessed with such athletic gifts it resonated deeply within him:
“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey…
I asked for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity that might do better things…
I asked for riches that I might be happy,
I was given poverty that I might be wise…
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of others.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God…
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things…
I got nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!
Source: Scott Higgins, using information from Baseball Library.com and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
As we prepare for the upcoming holiday, it is a time for us to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. We as believers, have more to be thankful for than anyone else. Not because of what Jesus did for only us, but because we realize what he did for humanity. He sacrificed himself to pay the sin debt that you could not pay. And in doing so, offers you a place in His kingdom.
The life of Jesus was a life on mission. We could talk about all the prophecies concerning this one man. We could focus on the miracles He performed. We could take a look at so many aspects of who He was; but, I want to peek into His life, to see how He lived that life and learn how to live our lives on mission.
First, Jesus not only understood that He had a mission but He embraced His mission,
Luke 2:41 records a very familiar story. It is the story about Jesus teaching in the temple. Let’s take a look at what happened that day.
Share the story in your words!
Now, look at His reply to His parents. "Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?"
At the age of 12, He knew, accepted, and embraced His life of mission.
Jesus is our example. He is the bullseye that we should be aiming our lives at. Do you accept the call and mission God has for your life? Maybe a better question would be can you accept the call and mission?
You may be thinking "God has a mission for me, a plan for my life?" Or "He couldn't use me, not with my past." Oh, He does. He can. He will. All that is required by you is to surrender to Him.
Let’s look now at Mathew 4:18-20.
Who did Jesus approach first? And why? He went to fishermen first. He went to common working men. Men who worked with their hands and backs. He didn’t go to a bunch of rich folks. He didn't go to the religious leaders or crowd. He went to fishermen.
I’m not sure what fishermen were like during the time Jesus lived; but I know the reputation they have today.
Have you ever watched any of the reality-based fishing shows on television? You know, the guys who fish for crab in the Bering Strait in Alaska, Deadliest Catch?
That's my idea of professional fishermen, then and today. Men who work hard for a living. Men who break their backs to provide for their families. Or maybe men who are willing to take the risk chasing what they think is a big payday.
Men who work hard and play harder. Men with a past full of poor choices and mistakes. Men who see no future other than a boat and a net. Men like you and me, let that sink in for a minute.
You think Jesus can't or won’t use you because your messed up or broken in some way? That's exactly who He chose. And let me remind you that the 12 men He picked turned the known world upside down with the Gospel.
Why did he pick these men? Because most people can relate to working for a living. We all know what it's like to try to make ends meet. Most of us, if we were honest, are living payday to payday. We can relate.
We can also relate to the fact that these men weren't perfect. They all have a backstory, just like us. He chose these men because people could relate to them and would listen to them.
Christian, you must be willing to lay everything else down and follow Him, just like these fishermen did.
Maybe you aren't a Christian yet, maybe you haven't decided to trust and follow Jesus. Let me point out that He didn't ask any of these men to change to follow Him. They were changed as they walked with Jesus. Today is the day.
What is holding you back?