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So what a Pentium little video, and there may be some things that you disagree with in it, there may be some things that you profoundly or decidedly agree with it, but it’s a video that’s wrestling with this big question, what is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of life? This was the last question in or the fifth question in our series that we’ve been walking through, what is the meaning of life? And you may have all sorts of different answers. You may feel some of what this philosopher, Alan Watts outline there, this sense of, Well, I thought I knew at one point, but then I became a little more undecided as I went through my different career tracks, maybe you got to a certain point of a certain age and say, Well, was that really it? But this wrestling is something that people have done for a long time, and if we’re honest at times, a ransom, what is the meaning? What is the purpose? What is the end of life? Some of your answers have been rather ridiculous, this was a son by a band called Hard Fi some years ago. The song was called living for the weekend, and it said, working all the time.
Work is such a bind, got some money to spend living for the weekend when it gets too much, I live for the Rush, got some money to spend living for the weekend, maybe there’s the sentinels that we have five days to get through their core work days, week days, and we get to the weekend and then life feels better, feels like it should be… Maybe this would sum up some of our philosophy, better days are coming there called Saturday and Sunday. I actually have this mug that I drink from every Sunday morning habitually, it says this, I really need a day between Saturday and Sunday, and I think every pastor in the country should have this mark, just sitting there. You have that moment, you’re like, Oh, I just wish there was a day I wish I could have… Could’ve worked on my lawn or something like that. How about this one? Maybe it’s not the week and maybe it’s… Life would be better if we had six months vacation, but got to take it twice a year, maybe it’s just… If all life or vacation would be fine, would be happy. I have some friends that I grew up with that would say that they live for their week in Spain every year, they would talk about it for six or seven weeks before they left with excitement, with joy.
For about a week afterwards, the SHINE was still there and the town was still there, and they would talk about it for a couple more weeks, but that was the significant moment on their calendar, they were quite honestly living for one week, 51 weeks of the year. Maybe there’s other stuff that you could identify if you search back in some of your history, some other stuff that you would say, I lived for my education, I love to get good grades, maybe I lived for success in school, maybe I lived for my college degree, maybe you’ve lived for promotion, maybe you’ve lived for some kind of achievement that you could put on your wall and say, Man, I have really arrived at this point, maybe you’ve lived to raise kids now for hundreds of years, thousands of years, that was the predominant aspect of why we perceive, we were here, people were told you here to have kids to keep your family line going, this good thing, and we celebrate new birth. That’s a wonderful, exciting thing. And yet, is it the whole purpose of life is marriage in finding the right partner, is that the sole purpose of life is buying a bigger house, that the main purpose of life…
We wrestle with some of these questions on the surface a few weeks ago, when we ask the question, Why does God hate me? And what we found is we looked at Google searches and the algorithm around that, what we found is that a lot of the time those questions were linked to a sense of dissatisfaction, I don’t feel like life is all it could have been, I feel like I was promised something, and I got there and it was a hook, just like Alan Watts outlined. I’d like to push a little bit further into that question with this idea of What is the meaning of life this week? And I’d love to start with a statement that Jesus made. And what we’re gonna do is for those of you that are familiar with the Bible, we’re gonna pull back further and further, so we’re gonna start very focused in on John chapter 10, verse 10, if you have a text you wanna open to, if you have an iPhone that you wanna pull out and pull up on screen, you are free to do that. We’re gonna start here in John chapter 10, verse 10, but then we’re going to sort of zoom backwards, because here’s the truth about those little numbers in the text in front of you, they want there to begin with, someone put them there, and while sometimes they’re useful, they give you like an address that you can go to to find the right part of the Bible, in actual fact, sometimes they’re actually harmful. Sometimes it means that you pick up a book like John, this biographer of Jesus life, and you open it to John chapter 10, and you assume that you can just start at that point with no other context, you can start into a new conversation, and yet sometimes some stuff has been going on for a few chapters before, that actually is really important and really informative, so what I would suggest is sometimes when we do that without being aware of the context, it’s like you turn on Netflix, pull up a show and say, I’m gonna go to season six, episode three. And I’m just gonna jump in and hope that somehow I’ll figure it out as I go along, now I’m not saying don’t ever read the Bible that way, I’m just saying increasingly try and become aware of the fact that there is this whole conversation that’s been going on before so, if you like to read the Bible, if that’s a fun thing for you, go home and read, Start in John Chapter 7, and read all the way to the end of John chapter 10, because that is one conscious stream of thought.
There are all of these events as we’ll see, that are completely interrelated, that are deeply informative of each other, and you’ll probably learn something new as you do it. Now, we don’t have time to do all of John Chapter 7-10 today. So I just wanna let you know we’re not staying that long, it’s Mother’s Day, I have to take my wife out and celebrate, I left in the morning in a Russian, so I feel like I’m letting the side down… I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. Jesus said, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full John chapter 10. Jesus chooses to use this word person, it means abundant, even superfluous, almost more than you can handle when Jesus talked about why he had come in this particular place, He said, I have come that the people that follow me may have life. And it may be more than they can handle it, maybe this big thing that swells up, it may be super full, it may be beyond expectations, all of those different synonyms that go with it, it’s kind of maybe related to this line in the Westminster Confession now, if you’re new to church and the word Westminster Confession means nothing to you. Don’t worry, the Westminster Confession is a list of things that lots of churches believe. And sometimes it’s helpful to get to the heart of something. And the Westminster Confession says, This man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. I would say there’s this inter-connection between this idea of abundant if life is abundant and some level it should be enjoyable. And my question is this, is that what you and I experience, given the fact that we know that Judge attendance has a load of people, and maybe that’s some of us in this room right now that would say, I come because of loyalty, I come because of duty I come because my family members drag me, I come from all sorts of different reasons. I wonder whether the word enjoy is a stretch, I wonder whether we might say, does the idea of enjoying relationship with God sound a bit far? Do we experience what we would call life that’s abundant? Is it more than we can have? Are we seeing that in our marriages, are we seeing that in the way that we raise kids, are we seeing that in our lives in business and work, employment, all those different things, are we seeing in our lives of friendship in every area…
What do we say that what we experience is experiencing is abundant, and what do we say in that process, we’re enjoying life with God. I would guess that for some of us, if we were to look deep inside us and to try and find some honesty, what we would say is this, There are times where that is true, but there are the times… If I’m honest, but then I just survive life with God, I figure it out and he’s there when I need him away, I have a list of stuff specifically, I get to go to him and say I need DUI… Don’t know if enjoyment is the word that most of us would land on, and yet somewhere Jesus says, Now this is supposed to be abundant, this is supposed to be more than you can handle, and someone were told that We should be glorifying God and enjoying him forever where do we land with some of that stuff, so I’d love to wrestle without recognizing that for so many of us… Life is hard, I read this week that Bill and Melinda Gates who are getting divorced in someone’s head, in the report, if they can’t make it work with 140 billion, who can make it work? Now, the truth is, I wonder whether those 140 billion may be harder, and yet we see that all across the world, all across American marriages under pressure, parenting under pressure, everyday life under pressure, and I think most of us would say, If Abundant Life was accessible, if it was something that we could experience that we would jump in on that, and yet we also have just lifted something Jesus said, For all of its context, what did he mean when he said that we should be experiencing abundant life? Is it just as simple as that? Or is there a whole lot of stuff in John Chapter 7, John Chapter 8, John Chapter 9, John chapter 10 that might inform a son first step.
Let’s take back a little bit we… We started in John Chapter 10-10. We’re gonna jump back to the beginning of John chapter 10, and just see what that tells us in terms of the context of what Jesus said. So here we go. Very truly, I tell you, Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to His voice. So Jesus is teaching in what’s called parable, if you’re familiar with the Bible, Matthew, Mark and Luke, these other biographies of Jesus have tons of parables, John, some people would say has none, but this is quite a traditional Hebrew Marshall or parable, and it’s very much fits in with the everyday form, so this at least seems like it’s a parable, there’s characters that come into it, and you can take those characters and you can usually assign them to somebody else in this parable, you might see sometimes Jesus is referring to himself as a shepherd, sometimes he’s referring to a thief, sometimes he’s referring to a wolf, and then he’s talking about sheep, which generally is safe to sees the everyday people listening.
And maybe some of you guys as well. The one who went, us by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He cause His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. So intriguing here is the difference between eastern shepherding and Western shepherding. So some of you have seen things like in England, they actually still show sheep dog trials on television, I don’t know if they would get away with that here. It’s very old-fashioned. Very point, very English. But in that system, what happens is this, You have sheep that are stupid, that are disobedient, and the shepherd sends out a dog who chases the sheep, sometimes it gives them a little nip to tell them where to go, has a stick that helps guide them and is driving them towards a gate that is not anything like the type of shaping that Jesus would have experienced and Jesus would have had in his mind as he’s outlining what it is for God to be a shepherd in the Eastern world.
The shepherd knew his sheep by name, he would name each one of them, and usually that name would have something to do with the way that they looked, on the way that they acted, if there was a sheep that was always behind, he would call the sheet lazy if the sheep had particularly large, as he would say, He’s old big ears coming down the path of we’re a sheep walk on, I don’t really know, but I do know that there was this personal relationship between a shepherd and a shot, so when he talks about a sheep knowing a shepherd, knowing the sheep’s name. Well, that means exactly what it says on the 10 is it’s this idea that a shepherd would go out, his sheep would intermingle with all of the other sheep, and then at the end of the day, he would call the sheep and the sheep would come out from amongst the others, and make his way over to him and then he would walk a longer path and lead them… When Jesus talks about abundant life, it’s talking about, he’s talking about it in direct relation to over the relationship to a relationship with him, he’s talking about the idea that it’s possible for us to come into a relationship with God that we…on some level, I like your sheep, and he would long to call to us and have us come towards him when he talks about abundant life. That’s the context that he talks about, it is, he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and he follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize the strangest voice, Jesus is unpacking God’s idea to be in relationship with each of us abundant life it seems begins with that decision to walk in relationship with Jesus. Therefore, Jesus said again, Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I’m the gate, Whoever enters through me will be saved. They were coming in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. I and the Good Ship, The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
And Jesus starts to give this him that this relationship is possible because he will lay down his life for the sheep, he will go through death and resurrection, that each of us might be in relationship with him, this is the central idea behind this abundant life, but there’s more context than just that, so we pull back to John chapter 10. Now, let’s go a little bit further, because John Chapter 10 only exists because of John Chapter 9, and John Chapter 9 only exists because of John Chapter. What do I mean by that? A few weeks ago, if you can track back that far, we talked about Jesus turning up at a festival in John chapter 7, He appears at a festival and on the last day, he stands up and he says, I have come to give a living water, and He and who is thirsty come? And get living water. For me, he hijacks this religious festival at the highest point of the festival, he says It’s not really about this water, I can give you something that is more lasting, is more significant is deeper, he takes over this festival in this incredible moment, just at its high point, and naturally, the religious leaders are very angry about this, he gets into several arguments about them, and then in the end, has a discussion with them in the temple just about whether he has the authority to act as he does.
At the end of the festival, he leaves. And this is where we find John chap tonight, so he’s in the middle of an argument with these Pharisees, all of this conversation we’ve read so far is directed to this group of religious leaders, and so we read in John Chapter 9, we’ve gone back a chapter as he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind. All of this conversation about sheep and shepherds comes from Jesus healing a blind math, he walks out of a temple, season man who is born blind, heals him, and this group of religious leaders are annoyed that he has healed him. Why would you be annoyed about someone bringing sight to someone who was blind? Jesus says, Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened. Some of the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day… We must do the works of Him who sent me. Now is coming when no one can work, and while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
So Jesus heals the man and the man is dragged in front of these religious leaders. They brought to the Pharisees, the man who had been blind. Now, the day on which Jesus had made the Butera opened the man’s eyes. Was a Sabbath? Just hold that in your mind for a second. That’s important. Therefore, the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He, Jesus put mine on my eyes, the man replied, And I washed, and now I see, you would think that that incredible moment will be the thing that grab the Pharisees attention. This man was blind, and now he sees. What actually grabs their attention? Is something very different? Some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God. He does not keep the Sabbath. Now, notice what concerns both Jesus earliest followers and the Pharisees in the different points, but they’re definitely interrelated… Let’s just go back a second. He went to long and he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples ask Him, Rabbi, who sin this man or his parents? The earliest followers of Jesus are very concerned about, is this mental? Can we blame him for his… Like I say, or do we have to blame his parents, but we need to blame someone, we need to know that this is somebody’s fault, we need to know who failed, and this happened, similar sort of thing with the Pharisees, this guy is not keeping the rules, there’s about the way he’s operating, that doesn’t fit, why is he doing things that aren’t right, there’s a list of rules, and their religion, their experience of God is primarily based on how well they are keeping those rules, this guy is not doing it right, it doesn’t matter that a guy that was blind can now see to them, it doesn’t fit the rules and not being followed Jesus, the Pharisees and Jesus old followers are attempting to count their way towards God, they’re attempting to count their way to towards God. Now, what do I mean by count their way towards God to help you understand this? I’m gonna tell you a story. A few years ago, my wife and I, it’s our anniversary, and we decided to go dancing together, now, I’m not much of a dad, so I don’t dare particularly great, but I did what I lack in skill I make up for in deep passion about dancing. Ostentatious-ly. My wife may have the skill, she has less of the obnoxious ostentatious and is or whatever, but we went tango dancing and it was a wonderful experience. But what I loved about it was this, when we arrived, I was told something that brought joy to my soul, I was told the man is always in charge, in tango, you’re in charge. You just tell her, push out where she needs to go. And that’s how Tango works. We were told awkwardly on a anniversary that we were supposed to split up and darts with other people in the group, and we were like, Well, okay, well, we’ll go along with it, but it’s a little weird, so my wife ended up dancing with a delight for 70 year-old gentleman, and I ended up dancing with the owner’s daughter, and she said to me, You just have to push me where I need to go, and the gentleman told my wife, if I step on your toes, that’s your fault for having your feet where I want to mind, this is how one-sided apparently at its heart Tango is, and of course, there was this delight in my soul, because he’s a confession.
I have a counting mind, I know when you failed, and I know when I fail, I know when you are in the wrong, and I know when I am in the wrong… I know when I feel like God has let me down, and I know when I have let him down, I know who is ahead and who is behind, and I think lots of you would say you have similar articulations as well, maybe it begins with… Oh yeah, you didn’t do the dishes last night… Oh yeah, but one time ago, you also did that thing and it just goes on and there’s the score keeping, this counting that seems to be ingrained in lots of us, and so my delight in Tanger was this, I found a dance that I can win, and the odds are stacked in my favor, when she is wrong, it’s her fault, and when I’m wrong, it’s her as well. This was the joy of my experience, I have found a date that I can win it, and I love winning it, stuff, and I’m always counting, and I say it with you, but also with sadness. I’m always counting.
Counting with God. I’m counting with you. Counting with the people around me, I know who is ahead, and I know who is behind, and it’s hard to escape. It’s hard to escape. These Pharisees have found a way to try and count their way to God.
If they could just keep enough rooms, that would be okay, if Jesus kept enough rules, then he’d be on their side, there’s this whole system in mind who’s keeping the rules for the disciples who’s to blame is that this man or his parents, because somebody always has to be to blame. Right. Now, what I found interesting was, despite everything I was told about Tango at the end of the night, we got to watch one of the young couples dance, it was the owner’s daughter and her fiance, and suddenly I saw something about Tango that I didn’t catch my very broken level. When I watched them date, who was in charge? Didn’t seem to matter anymore.
They want counting, who was right and who was wrong. They were lost in the experience of the music, they were lost in this process of being together, they were in partnership, and it was incredible to watch the Pharisees, Jesus followers, are intensely interested in who is counting and Jesus isn’t interested in whose County or who’s in charge, or who’s losing or who’s winning, this is a parable hotels in Matthew’s biography of his life, therefore the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. A rich king has many servants who are with money, so we pause them all in to figure out who needs to repay what, when he began to settle, one was brought to him, owned him, 10010000 to… That is a lot of money, millions of dollars in today’s terms, and since she could not pay his master ordered him to be sold with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made, this man will never be able to dig himself out of this debt, he will be locked in prison forever, his family will end up in slavery until a family can come along and redeem them. So the sun fell on his knees as you would expect, imploring him, Have patience with me, and I have patience with me and I will pay you everything out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
What is the king, the master suggesting should happen, is he suggesting that He’s gonna let the guy go and the over time He will repay the money. He’s not suggesting that at all. That would be ridiculous. That would be very bad business, complete foolishness. The man can never earn enough to repay the debt that he owes, he’s suggesting, you know that system by which we keep school, you know the ledgers that we have where we write debts down, you know, all of the sort of the back history that we have in our personal relationships where we say, This person did this to me. He’s suggesting, Let’s just cancel the whole thing, he’s suggesting, Let’s wipe the white board clean of the schools, let’s raise it, let’s rip it up, let’s start fresh and never count score again. Is that what the servant thinks that he’s doing, but when the same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, a smaller amount of money, and season him. He began to choke him, saying, Pay back what you owe. So this fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, Have patience with me and I will pay you the same request that he just made of the king, he refused and went to put him in prison until he should pay the debt the King…
’cause ripped up the ledge of the king said, Let’s not count anymore, but the servants still wants to count. I would suggest that Jesus is operating in this new system, he’s saying, let’s not worry about counting, but lots of us still want to count, especially with other people, and especially maybe still with God Himself. I would suggest what God is suggesting is just stop counting your way, to me, it’s not about what you have done, it’s not about how you have failed, it’s not about how you are broken, you are free to come into a relationship if we are not experiencing abundant life in our relationship, we’ve got that thing that Jesus suggested we should be experienced in. I wonder if at its core it because… What was still counting? Am I still okay? Have you failed too many times, has God given up on me? Now, we’re still counting with other people, This person let me down, and now it’s my turn to sort of, I need a revenge for this thing, for that thing, we’re still people at our heart, I think the count. I know at times, I’m still a person that counts, and Jesus system seems to work around the idea that was supposed to be tearing that thing up when he talks about relationship, the relationship of a sheep and shepherd.
He’s not very interested in whether the sheep is doing a good job being a sheep, he is simply interested in the sheep willing in us to come to Him out of relationship, to hear his voice and to walk into relationship with Him. If you are still trying to count your way to God, it will not work, you are invited free of charge on the house, no strings attached. The whole of this passage works around this one Greek word bag, like Zoe, which is very hard to say, especially in front of people, so if you have better Greek pronunciation, feel free to rush the stage and you can pronounce it for us, it means to be moved in the inward parts to feel compassion, it’s this process into something… I mean, that says, I’m gonna let it go. This king is merciful. This king is kind, this king is generous for nothing that the servant has done, the servant has done nothing to deserve the books being ripped up, and yet the king says, Let’s tear them up anyway, let’s just stop County. Let’s let it go. So this event fell on his knees, employing him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything and out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the dead is entirely pity, entirely grace that leads them down this journey, the
Pharisees and Jesus on followers are attempting to count their way towards God, but Jesus offers the possibility that we can all stop counting with God and with each other. He invites us into the same incredible relationship that it seems that God has with himself. So you may have heard the term Trinity, it may be very confusing to you, it’s the idea that God is three and yet also one that the response, the son and spirit, God is in this eternal relationship with himself, and look at some of the ways that relationship operates, God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it. The father sins, the sun goes, My father goes on working. And so do I, the Father and the Son, work together in partnership. The Holy Spirit will teach all things and remind you of everything I have said to you. Each one has his role, each one plays a part, there is this relationship that isn’t based on who is in charge, who is winning, who is losing, it is the relationship that God invites us into and says, This is what relationship can look like, it’s far more like a dance, than it is. A score-keeping system. So here’s my question. We said Jesus isn’t counting. If he’s not counting, what is he doing? What is he doing in this John chapter nyasa, he doesn’t seem very interested in assigning blame as to why this man is blind, what is his role if Jesus isn’t counting, then what is he doing in this moment? Jesus is healing a man, and this is really interesting if you love little details like this, the day that he happens to hear this man on his fascinating, as I told you a little while ago, there’s this festival that took place in John chapter 70, at the end of it, Jesus goes off to the temple, the day after the festival, he leaves the temple and has this moment where he meets a blind man.
This day is called Shami and Sarah chemie era is significant for one reason, it’s the day that Jewish people historically would start reading the Bible again, they will go back to Genesis Chapter 1 and begin to read from the start to think about what is happening all over the Jewish world in this moment, Jewish people are picking up a book or hearing a book red, and it talks about creation, talks about how creation was made good, how creation was made, wonderful, talks about how God made human beings and made them very good. Everything is fine, and then there’s a moment where Jesus walks out of the temple and sees a man who is blind… And think about what that means in that context. As you went along, he saw a man born blind from birth. As disciples, as in Rabbi who sinned, this manner, his parents, that he was born blind. Neither this man nor his parents sin of Jesus, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work.
Well, I’m in the world, I am the light of the world. After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with a slave, the Genesis one story is about a guard who takes dirt and makes human beings from the DART, he takes mud pits on it, so… Sorry, he takes dirt, spit on it, mixed mud, and put it on the man’s eyes, go… He told him, washing the pool of salon, so the man went washed and came home, seeing, on a day when Jewish people everywhere would read the original creation story, Jesus walks out of a temple season man who is blind, who is now the antithesis of what creation was made to be, creation was made good, and he is not experiencing that good creation, and Jesus heals that man on that day. Now, think about this, hearing a person who had become line was considered in the Jewish will to be difficult. It took a master healer, it took a great doctor, hearing a person born blind was considered impossible, it required an active creation on the day that they read Genesis I and talked about creation, Jesus walks out of a temple seaman who is born blind and creates new eyes for him, Jesus in this moment is partnering with his father in the work of creation, this is what’s happening in here, he is creating something new, and then look what He invites us into, as long as it is day…
We must do the works of Him who sent me. As long as it is day, we, let’s do the works of Him, you sent Jesus could quite easily use the word eye, and yet he chooses to use the word we. He is partnering with his father in the work of new creation, and I would suggest he invites us to join him in doing the same. Let’s go back to that phrase we looked at from this Westminster Confession thing that… The man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Part of the reason we don’t experience that enjoyment, that abundance is because we’re still counting and we’re still figuring out if we all got a debt was still playing the old game of rule following, and then the glorifying piece… Well, in glorifying cover, we glorify God by living up to what we were supposed to be in the first place, what was what were human beings made to be… Sometimes in the Christian church, what I would suggest is this. We tell that the story begins in Genesis Chapter 3, here’s the story in Genesis Chapter Three, about man becoming broken, they become a failure and they need fixing.
And for so many of us, that is the start of the story. Man is broken, he needs fixing. And yet the story doesn’t start there, does it… Story starts in Genesis Chapter 1, story starts with what you and I were made to be, we’re told about this creation, God said, Let the land produce vegetation, seed bearing. Plant some trees on the lamb, a terror with seed in it according to their various kind, and it was so, God makes this creation that’s continually expanding, continually growing, continually, becoming something new, and then he makes man… So this creation does this thing, it does this, revise the Hebrew word, it’s gonna multiply. The grass is going to keep growing, how many of you have already removed weeds from your yard, how many of you have already done that for a second time or a third time, How many of you expect to get very tired of doing that by the end of the summer season does this creation that keeps growing. Keeps expanding. And it was always that way. So when God makes human beings, what we’re told is he makes them in His image to do some of the things that he does to partner with him in this creation, and He uses these fascinating words subdue and rule.
He talks about this word Kaba, which means to tread down a path, to bring something into order, and then he says that human beings, you and I are made to be overseers of this creation. The start of our story is in Genesis Chapter Three, with our brokenness, star of our story is this, And so when Jesus partners with his father in new creation and then talks about we… Instead of I, what I suggest is saying is our way of glorifying Him is to do the same… This is one of his final words to his followers, peace be unto you As my Father has sent me even so. Even so I send you. Does this moment where Jesus says to His earliest followers, don’t start doing the same things that I did. Does that mean supernatural healing and things like that, potentially, but does it mean partnering with his father in new creation? Definitely. How many of you would say this? How many of you would say that some of the way that the church is presented, what life looks like has kind of made your work… We feel like it, it doesn’t really matter. There’s the story that we often tell people, and it’s something like this, You need to decide whether you’re made to do church ministry and then you’re supposed to stand up in front of people and talk to people about Jesus, or you’re supposed to sit in a church office and that’s for a certain group of people, and that’s good, and everybody else, well, you should make money and you should give some of that money to the church, so the church can keep being the church and keep making stuff happen.
At times, I would suggest that’s what we have ended up telling everybody about how life is supposed to work, and yet… Does that make sense? When you look at Genesis chapter with whatever you do, whatever role you play, you are invited into partnering with your father in act of creation.
I would suggest that when you read the Bible like this, with this at its core, there is almost nothing that you can do that you can’t do well and partner with God now, the same is true, there’s almost nothing that you can’t do badly and can bring death and destruction to the world, but almost any career choice, almost any path you may take, you can jump in and do that in a way that brings honor and brings partnership with Jesus and his father, suddenly when you read the Bible this way, well, your Monday through Friday, it actually matters how you operate in the world around you, it actually matters. The business that you run, it actually matters, the kids that you’re raising, it actually matters. Your choices actually matter. Sometimes we’ve told people, it’s church ministry, or nothing else, and everything else has a lower value than that sting and your job is… Yes, just keep giving the money, just keep making that happen. The truth is, there is almost no career that you can’t do well, and Carrington and glory to your Father, there’s almost no career that you can’t operate in as an image, dare of God.
This is Frederic Beane. There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of society or self-interest by a large, a good rule for finding out is this the kind of work God usually cause you to is the kind of work that A… That you need most to do and be that the world… Most needs to have done. The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. Think about the things that you are passionate about, you are called in a need for those things, and yet sometimes we’ve been told to follow those deep passions is to move away from anything that God is the Centre, and yet it seems that that is exactly what God is at the center of… You can find almost anything you are passionate about to do, well, to do normally to bring new life to creation, think about how we pull this all back to John chapter 10, where we started, he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.
It seems that God’s deep sense of what brings meaning to the word is this, He longs to call us into relationship with Him, He longs a state for his us to hear his voice, to come to know him, to live in that deep abiding relationship. Not to count our way to him, not to figure out who is winning and losing, but to step confidently into a relationship that he made possible for us, but then it talks about him leading them out as well. That was this moment of, Well, what do you need to do? There is something inside you, gifting, joy, life, some way that you are wired, and the invitation of God is to partner with him in this world, not just to work in a church, not just to go to seminary or any of those things that maybe you’ve been told of the purpose. Whatever you are doing. There is a way to do it. Well, Jesus says, But thief comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy. I have come that they have life and have it to the full… Whatever you do, Monday through Friday, whatever that thing is, whatever that thing that you feel called into is, I would suggest that almost anything you can do it like a thief, and almost any choice you can do like a good Shepherd, you can do almost anything badly and almost anything.
Well, the meaning of life is to find relationship with the God who loves you, and to partner with him in bringing life to the world and the people around you is the purpose of managed to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. I think that covers both of those things, you are made for this relationship, that you are made to bring life to those around you, what
You do matters, who you are need to be in matters, I’m gonna invite Jake in the team to come up on stage and leaders in worship, we’re gonna come to this communion table, which reminds us of that very fact that Jesus on the night he was betrayed, sat with His earliest followers and broke bread and said, Do this in remembrance of me. He reminded them that his death meant something for them personally, but this is death also meant something for how the world was going to work in the future, a new thing was happening, a new story was emerging, Jesus didn’t just die for us, the individuals, he died to create a new world. A new kingdom. When we drink, we remind ourselves of that fact, today, I would invite you to remind yourself that you are called to partner with this card in his kingdom. You aren’t made to sit on the sidelines, you aren’t me to watch others do it, you aren’t made to just own money and share it, whatever you do, you are called into partnership, the meaning of life is to find a relationship with the God who loves you. And to partner with him in bringing life to the world and the people around you. Let’s take a moment to reflect. In this moment, as you close your eyes and lay, I’d like to invite you to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd, whether you’re here in person, whether you’re a home… Take a moment and listen. The
Story of John chapter 10 is of a God who loves you, who laid down His life for you, he invites you into a relationship, who knows your name, knows your distinct characteristics, he knows how you keep score, he knows the ways you feel like a failure. He knows the things that go back years and decades that you still hold against other… Still hold against yourself. He knows the way that score-keeping has kept you from an abundant life from enjoying relationship with Him, he invites you to tear up the after school cars to race the ledger, he invites you to stop the counting system. He invites you to live out your purpose in the world around you, he invites you to celebrate the way he is made you, the deep passion that you have for the world, the deep needs that the world has, I invite you to find a place where those deep needs and deep passions, we invite you to partner with him. I am a good shape. My sheep know my voice. In this moment, maybe it’s a long time since you feel God has spoken to you in this moment, as we approach the table, we’re invited to quiet our hearts.
In this moment, you might want to pray, God, if you’re there, would you please speak to me? In this moment, you might feel reminded of someone that need to forgive, and this may be a phone call that you need to make your… A text you need to send… Holy Spirit is report us. What would you speak to people in this room and at home as the stop as required quite as our human minds can get… Would you speak to us of your love for us, you’re longing for a relationship with us. Thank you that you made a way where there was no way, and you invite us into relationship. Would you speak to us a purpose for those of us that have found that we’re living for something that just isn’t worth living for, would we find that purpose in you?