Missions

June 17, 2006

Introduction:
1.  We’re continuing our NEW summer series this morning in our ABF: Strengthening Your Grip on KEY AREAS in your Christian Life
- The goal is to help us to follow through on our theme: Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness which implies staying on top of KEY AREAS in our Christian walk
- my point being, that if we’re not rock solid and continuing to GROW in these key areas in our Christian walk, we’re really NOT going to be ready to meet the challenge that lies ahead of us (Community Center, Vision of Hope)
 Our emphasis this summer is:  ‘people, people, people’ – reaching out, building bridges, getting out of our comfort zones, etc.
 Not to ‘please people’ but to glorify God by showing love to one another and demonstrating that we are the disciples of Christ by the love we have for one another and for all people!
2. Last week, we looked at two key verses:  Matthew 28:19-20 (quote) and Eph. 4:11-16 (quote)
> meeting people where they are and helping them take the NEXT step of growth
3.  We want to keep the following question in front of you!
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you?
[serving, leadership, evangelism, hospitality to others, prayer life, study of the Word, etc.]
4.  REVIEW Last week:  Luke 10:38-42 – 3 principles to help us “Strengthen Our Grip on Relationships”
I.  Establishing and Building Relationships with People Is Important to God.
- we see that throughout the Scriptures and in the life of Christ,
II.  Relationships Don’t Just Happen; You Have to Establish and Build Them on Purpose.
- and that takes a willingness to INVEST the time and energy toward the relationship, and it also takes good communication.
> telling others the truth, but also telling them you love them because you love them!
III. Recognition That God’s Love for Us Motivates Us to Show Love for Others.
5. Our study this morning takes us: Strengthening Your Grip on Missions
6. This subject may not seem like a ‘key area’ in your mind.
Input: What is the connection between what we studied last week and what we’re studying today? [various answers]
- it’s the love God’s love for us [His relationship to us and our relationship to Him] that motivates our love for others and leads us to this study of missions
Input: When I mention the word ‘missions,’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
[various answers – trips around the world, people in other countries, etc.]
- to help us answer that question,  there is hardly a better chapter for this subject than Isaiah 6
[Note: Tie this study into the Missionaries assigned to your ABF – great opportunity to promote building the relationship, prayer, concern]
Remember: It’s about a RELATIONSHIP with a person(s) for the cause of Christ!
[READ Isaiah 6:1-8]
Quote:  “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”  - Let the Nations Be Glad, Piper, p. 17
- worship implies giving glory to God for Who He is and what He’s done!
- that’s why the passage in Isaiah is so helpful and gives us 5 Principles to consider regarding missions:
Cf. Isaiah 6:1-8 * Note the progression – a GREAT model for Missions!
 Seeing the Lord (holy, holy, holy)
 Seeing himself (Woe is me! – unclean lips, sinful)
 Volunteering to proclaim the message (Here am I, send me!)


I.  Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Begins with Seeing the Holiness of God!


“This is a major part of the process as the Lord opens our eyes to His world program we call ‘missions.’  He shows us Himself first, not the starving millions, no the heathen in gross darkness.  No, He begins with a one-on-one.”  Strengthening Your Grip, Charles Swindoll, p. 186
- God revealed Himself to Isaiah just like He revealed Himself to us through the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and the written Word of God!
> the key is: How are you going to respond to that revelation or the RELATIONSHIP you have with the God of heaven Who is holy?
-  Remember the context of this passage:  Isaiah is writing about 700 years before CHRIST – 3,300 years after Adam & Eve sinned in the garden
- much of the book of Isaiah focuses on the coming Kingdom of the Messiah – Isaiah the PROPHET is WARNING THE PEOPLE]
- we need to focus especially on v. 3 – “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD”
Holiness = set apart, sacred, totally and completely separate from sin
- God does not sin, and He cannot sin – He is absolutely and completely separate from sin!
- The holiness of God is His primary attribute – i.e. it is the attribute that ‘governs’ or ‘controls’ all other attributes
Example: God is a god of love, grace, mercy, etc. – but it is His holiness that sets the standard for His love, grace, mercy, etc.
- in other words, God is PERFECT love, PERFECT grace, PERFECT mercy, etc.
- that’s why Peter could write in 1 Peter 1:15-16
• 1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
[could explain the OT sacrificial system – the ‘holy of holies’ (one time a year) – the priest going into the presence of God to offer up the sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people; he went in with a rope tied around his waist in the event that he entered into the presence of God without having made atonement for his sin; he would die, and they would have to drag him out – they couldn’t go into the presence of God to get him lest they be stuck dead!]
Point: *  Missions (and every other aspect of the Christian life) starts with a right view of God!
“Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.  Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to ‘declare His glory among the nations’ (Psalm 96:3).  Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God.”  Piper,  p. 18
Point: God is first and foremost a HOLY God, and we need to passionately worship Him!
Q: How does this tie into strengthening your grip on relationships?
- think about the following quotes:
“It’s possible to be distracted from God on trying to serve God.  Martha-like, we neglect the one thing needful and soon begin to present God as busy and fretful as we are.” – Ibid.
Input: In what way(s) can we be guilty of this?
[various answers]
“The most crucial issue in mission is the centrality of God in the life of the church.  How can people who are not stunned by the greatness of God be sent with the ringing message, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4). Mission is not first and ultimate; God is.” – Ibid, p. 20
*  IMPORTANT:  Of course, we expect our ‘missionaries’ to be that way – what about YOU? What about our ABF?  What about our Church?
- After seeing the holiness of God – Isaiah realized . . .


II. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Takes an Honest Look at the Sinfulness of Man!


- there is no question, that man has sinned against God – Isaiah 6:5 [READ]
 Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
- remember WHY Isaiah saw the sinfulness of man – ‘for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts’
- if you compare your life to other people, you might not be so bad
- but when you compare yourself to the LORD of hosts … it gets ugly really fast because we are so sinful!
- other verses support that same truth:
 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
 Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned --
- notice where the angel touched Isaiah with the burning coal:  Isaiah’s lips
>  his lips revealed what was in his heart – he couldn’t say “holy, holy, holy,” because he was too busy saying, “me, me, me, me, me”
> but he also saw the sinfulness of those around him: a people of unclean lips
- Sometimes we allow our sin to become an ‘excuse’ for us NOT to serve God and proclaim His message that He is holy, man is sinful, and needs help!
Input: What excuses do we make for not being more ‘missions’ minded?  Made you can fill in the blank:
“I can’t serve the Lord in missions, I’m ___________________” (names specific sins)
- if that’s the case, then confess your sin, repent, and start making it right today!
- what should we do?  Exactly what Isaiah did – recognize it, repent, and takes some steps of spiritual growth!
- When you see the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man it should produce something …


III. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Produces a Willing Heart:  “Here am I, send me!” – Isaiah 6:8


* Key Passage:  Romans 10:14-15 [TURN & READ]
- if your view of God is right (He is holy), your view of man will be right (he is sinful and in great need of salvation), then your WILLINGNESS TO SERVE will be there (‘here am I, send me’)
Q: Why aren’t we more concerned about missions (locally and around the world)?
[various answers]
Answers:
1)  Our view of God may be wrong – He’s just a god of love
2)  Our view of man may be wrong – he’s not as bad as we think
:

Conclusion:
- Don’t fall for the thinking:  “Missions is for other people”  - we all ought to be concerned about missions
Input: What else can we do to strengthen our grip on missions?


ABF Series
Strengthening Your Grip on KEY AREAS in your Christian Life
Missions—Isaiah 6:1-8

Introduction:
Key verses:  Matthew 28:19-20  and Eph. 4:11-16
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you?

Input: What is the connection between what we studied last week and what we’re studying today?


Input: When I mention the word ‘missions,’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind?


“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”  - Let the Nations Be Glad, Piper, p. 17
I.  Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Begins with Seeing the ____________ of ________!
“This is a major part of the process as the Lord opens our eyes to His world program we call ‘missions.’  He shows us Himself first, not the starving millions, no the heathen in gross darkness.  No, He begins with a one-on-one.”  Strengthening Your Grip, Charles Swindoll, p. 186
Holiness = set apart, sacred, totally and completely separate from sin
 1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
*  Missions (and every other aspect of the Christian life) starts with a right view of God!
“Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.  Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to ‘declare His glory among the nations’ (Psalm 96:3).  Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God.”  Piper,  p. 18

“It’s possible to be distracted from God on trying to serve God.  Martha-like, we neglect the one thing needful and soon begin to present God as busy and fretful as we are.” – Ibid.
Input: In what way(s) can we be guilty of this?


“The most crucial issue in mission is the centrality of God in the life of the church.  How can people who are not stunned by the greatness of God be sent with the ringing message, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4). Mission is not first and ultimate; God is.” – Ibid, p. 20

II. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Takes an Honest Look at the ___________ of ______!
 Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
 Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned --

Input: What excuses do we make for not being more ‘missions’ minded?  Made you can fill in the blank:
“I can’t serve the Lord in missions, I’m ___________________” (names specific sins)

III. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Produces a ___________ ___________:  “Here am I, send me!” – Isaiah 6:8
* Key Passage:  _______________________
Q: Why aren’t we more concerned about missions (locally and around the world)?
Answers:

 

Conclusion:
Input: What else can we do to strengthen our grip on missions?


ABF Series
Strengthening Your Grip:
Missions—Isaiah 6:1-8

Introduction:
Key verses:  Matthew 28:19-20 & Eph. 4:11-16
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you?
  I.  Establishing and Building Relationships with People Is Important to God.
II.  Relationships Don’t Just Happen; You Have to Establish and Build Them on Purpose.
III. Recognition That God’s Love for Us Motivates Us to Show Love for Others.
Input: What is the connection between what we studied last week and what we’re studying today?
Input: When I mention the word ‘missions,’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” - Piper
I.  Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Begins with Seeing the Holiness of God!
“This is a major part of the process as the Lord opens our eyes to His world program we call ‘missions.’  He shows us Himself first, not the starving millions, no the heathen in gross darkness.  No, He begins with a one-on-one.” – Charles Swindoll
Holiness = set apart, sacred, totally and completely separate from sin
 1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
*  Missions (and every other aspect of the Christian life) starts with a right view of God!

“Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.  Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to ‘declare His glory among the nations’ (Psalm 96:3).  Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God.”  Piper,  p. 18
“It’s possible to be distracted from God on trying to serve God.  Martha-like, we neglect the one thing needful and soon begin to present God as busy and fretful as we are.”
Input: In what way(s) can we be guilty of this?
“The most crucial issue in mission is the centrality of God in the life of the church.  How can people who are not stunned by the greatness of God be sent with the ringing message, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4). Mission is not first and ultimate; God is.”
II. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Takes an Honest Look at the Sinfulness of Man!
 Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
 Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned --
Input: What excuses do we make for not being more ‘missions’ minded?  Made you can fill in the blank:
“I can’t serve the Lord in missions, I’m ___________________” (specific sins)
III. Strengthening Your Grip on Missions Produces a Willing Heart:  “Here am I, send me!” – Isaiah 6:8
* Key Passage:  Romans 10:14-15
Q: Why aren’t we more concerned about missions (locally and around the world)?
Answers:
1)  Our view of God may be wrong – He’s just a god of love
2)  Our view of man may be wrong – he’s not as bad as we think

Conclusion:
Input: What else can we do to strengthen our grip on missions?