Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 6th, 2019.
Today we are starting a new series titled “Made for Mission.” I believe this is a timely Word for us. Timely because chaos seems to be ever increasing, suffering is prevalent, the enemy is stealing, killing and destroy many lives. The truth of God’s love can change lives and we have a part to play. We were made for a mission. A life-changing mission.
SURVEY: Stanford University did a study recently to find out if people truly desired happiness or meaningfulness. The result of their study showed: ultimately what people really wanted was a life that had meaning.
>People are seeking a purpose in their lives that is part of something bigger. Bigger than wealth…
>People also want their life to be about something good.
We were made for a mission. Over the next 6 weeks we are going to spend some time figuring that out for our life.
Matthew 9:9 NIV
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him
That Jesus approached Matthew says so much. Tax collectors were seen in that culture as the worst of the worst. Tax collectors were not liked, they represented the oppressive rule of Rome and collected taxes for Rome. People hated them. If we could go back in time and freeze frame this scene and then pick out of the hundreds of people there who would be the last person Jesus would pick to train up and send out to change the world it would be Matthew. Think NFL Draft first pick first round, nobody uses their pick for a backup punter. That’s Matthew, the backup punter.
This is incredibly significant for us? If Matthew is called then that means we are all called. There is a widespread myth in the churches that “calling into ministry” is a secondary experience that happens to only a few Christians. Their job is to do the ministry and everyone else's job is to just show up and foot the bill. Few lies cripple the mission more than that one. Each believer is called to share the gospel everywhere they go. The question is no longer whether we are called, only where and how.
You are called by God! He has chosen you to be an active part of his mission. Since you’re called, you need to start asking some big questions.
>Those in the business world—why did God make me good at business? Surely not just to fill up your life with all kinds of comforts so you can spend the last twenty years of your life on vacation.
He has given you talents as a means of blessing others and as a platform to spread the mission.
>If you’re a stay-at-home mom, ask yourself: What role do I play in the advance of the mission as I raise my kids?
>The same question applies if you work in construction, in an office, at fire department, a teacher or a student, anywhere… God may have not put you in a vocational pastor position but He has put you on the frontlines for mission. The word “vocation” actually comes from the Latin word voca, which means “to call.” What if you started seeing your job as an actual calling from God.
Don’t miss the point here. God isn’t calling us to simply “Do Something”. Look at Jesus’ invitation to Matthew. He doesn’t say, “get in line” or “do what I do.” He simply says, “Follow Me.”
The idea of following is to learn his ways, walk, talk, think, respond as Jesus (the teacher) would. This is relational. Jesus invites Matthew first and foremost into a relationship with him. The relationship was not the by product of them doing ministry together, the relationship was the assignment. The ministry is what would come from them spending time together. The Christian life is not about doing stuff for God but being in relationship with God. We aren’t to hide it. We are to bring it in to the relationships we have with people so that they may experience His love, care and compassion through you.
From Matthew’s point of view he’s obviously shocked that Jesus approached him, but it’s also remarkable how Matthew got up immediately with no questions asked. Why drop everything? He had a good paying job, most of Israel was living below the poverty line. He seemingly didn’t have to work hard. (He’s just sitting there) He was a part of something bigger. (the Roman Empire probably had a good retirement plan)
Jesus invitation is from sitting to following. (sitting to serving) Replay scene for a moment.
>Matthew is just sitting there. (sit down on a stool)
>Then Jesus walks up. (Get up and play role of Jesus before sitting back down)
>What does Jesus call on Matthew’s life require of Matthew? Movement! He must get up!
>He had to get up. He had to make a conscience decision to make a move. He couldn’t just stay in his seat and follow. The moment he took a step he was on mission but a step of faith was required.
For us, God is calling us to get off the sidelines and get in the game of being made for a mission. It will require you to consciously get up even if it may be a bit uncomfortable.
Matthew 9:10 NIV
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.
SO we see in verse 9 that Jesus calls Matthew, Matthew gets up and follows Jesus. But to where?
There is this fear that if I am all in, I give my “YES” to God then I may move to Africa or Antarctica. That could happen…but God more often says, “let’s just start with where I have you now.”
P.S. #1 - Jesus’s discipleship model moved from where the disciples were in Jerusalem to Judea, then outward to Samaria then the world.
This next scene takes place at Matthew’s house. Who probably provided/cooked the meal they were eating? Matthew.
Had Matthew probably had friends over to his house before? Yep, but this dinner would have felt different. Before he was
Matthew the tax collector but now he’s Matthew the missionary. His ability to BBQ is now being used for the mission of
God. When we go from sitting to following, God is going to internally start changing the way we start seeing things in our lives.
God wants to transform how you use your resources.
God has blessed us with stuff that can be used for mission. Matthew used his house and food to be on mission. The same is true for us. You’ll look at your finances differently. You’ll look at your possessions differently.
God wants to transform how we see our relationships.
Matthew possibly had many meals with his tax collector buddies prior to this meal with them, but this one was different. Jesus was there…
Why even have a meal together? What was the motive? How do you think Matthew introduced Him? Hey friends, this is Jesus, the Messiah. He changed my life today. My sins were forgiven —you could have that happen too.
What do you think the conversations sounded like? Maybe he thought that they too could experience a different life by following Jesus… Here’s what I do know:
When you join God in a life on mission, you begin to realize that none of your friendships or even acquaintances are coincidental.
God has placed people in your life and you should desperately want what happened to you to happen to them. At some point all of us had someone tell us about God—it is quite significant when we we realize that we get to do the same thing for others.
Jesus transforms lives. Jesus transformed Matthew from a man who needed a savior to a man who not only trusted Jesus as His savior but became a voice that revealed hope, love and peace.
Matthews willingness to be a vessel, an instrument of change has touched many lives. How many millions have been saved through his writings?
God wants you on mission as well. You have no idea the impact God might want to make through your life.
You’ve been called by God and made for a mission. What if every one of us simply had the attitude of “one more.” Jesus, would you use me to reach just one more person? If we all did that, the light of God’s love would shine forth…we’d change the lives of many…
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.