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A couple of weeks ago our SAS team went and spent some time up at Point View Reserve overlooking the city and spending some time with God one on one. They all had a specific assignment to do but I was free.
Free to stop and city watch.
I found a spot under a ginormous tree and cast my eyes over our city.
As I looked down I could see one house in the distance surrounded by emergency vehicles. I could see the lights flashing.
My heart did a double take. Someone in that house was having an emergency!
I don’t know what it was but it could of being anything. Perhaps a child had a fall and broke their arm. Perhaps an elderly person had a heart attack. Perhaps someone had gone into anaphylactic shock (okay, only an allergy geek would think that). Perhaps someone had broken into their house, or there was a home invasion, or a kitchen fire, or a cat up a tree. I don’t know, but the point is. There was an emergency happening, to real people in that house.
I didn’t know who they were but God did.
It made me aware afresh of the importance of touching our world.
I had a new vantage point and awareness that each house represented a person, a family, someone that needed to know God.
It made the mission really big, and really personal. They were no longer just houses intangible statistics… they were people.
God has orchestrated it that we are the delivery agents of the good news. Now if I was God I would have done it differently. I would have picked a reliable messenger service. Like angels. Or sky writing rainbows.
But God has entrusted us with the mission to reach out to those around us and to tell them about His reality, His grace, His love, His hope. He says “tag you’re it… you’re the light of the world.” Touch the person beside you and say “tag you’re it!”
His design is that He touches the world THROUGH us.
"You’re the team of God; the best He’s got. And He believes He has a winning team."
I’m esp stoked to be here today as our Street Outreach Team are out there, in our community today, knocking on the doors of those house, praying with people and talking to people about how good and real God is.
Last time we were out, you may have heard this, but it’s a but wait there’s more story, we met a young mother, with a newborn, who opened the door in her pjs. She apologised for her state and then burst into tears after we introduced ourselves and said why we were there. She had been up since 5am with a screaming baby and felt so overwhelmed and had been praying “God do you see me? Where are you God?” knock knock knock. Her family had all gone to church and she was feeling alone and vulnerable and incredibly overwhelmed. God had seen and was with her and equally impressive sent the only mother in our SOT (me) to knock on her door and pray with her, give her a big hug, and encourage her. Here’s the but wait there’s more part – we thought that was amazing enough – and like many of our conversations with strangers – we pray and walk away, leaving it up to God to heal and God to work in their life, often not meeting them again. Anyway last week I popped down to Mainly Music to say hi to the team and some of the mums I know from there and there she was. The pj lady. She hugged me so tight and began to tell Gail and I how that one conversation and prayer had changed her life. How she knew God was with her and how she had then being telling all her friends about what had happened and had begun to reach out to her new neighbours to invite them to church.
One conversation turned into a ripple that is affecting the world that SHE is in. Us touching her world is touching other peoples world.
Cool, lets turn our bibles, or flick on our devices…. To 2 Kings 7:3-11
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die? If we say, “We’ll go into the city”– the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’
At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!’ So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
Then they said to each other, ‘What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.’
So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, ‘We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there – not a sound of anyone – only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.’ The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.
What you may notice here is 2 things.
1. The lepers experienced the feast
2. They then went and told those in famine about the feast
The lepers were in a town under siege and suffering the affects of a long campaign. There was no food. It was a no win situation. So they made a bold radical choice. To leave the city and throw themselves on the mercy of the Arameans in hope that they had some food and a good bill of rights for prisoners.
When they arrived in the tent city they discovered it abandoned. God had turned up and defeated their enemies. And then they found the food. And the gold. And the clothing. And the everything. And then they ate the food. And then they remembered… their friends. Their family. Starving children. Hopelessness. Back in the city there were others who needed food too.
They said: This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.
This is a day of good news. Our enemies are defeated and gone and we have food!
The same thing works with us right here right now.
We experience the feast – experience salvation – experience grace – experience His goodness and greatness and then we go and tell others about our experience. We experience God bringing us into a family, into new understanding of purpose and love and eternity. We experience being able to be connected intimately to the Creator of the Universe, the One who breathed out the stars and spoke and there was light.
What you experience as real and good in your life you will broadcast to others.
This is the day of good news!
Seth Godin, a marketing guru says that people like that are sneezers – they catch onto a new thing really fast but more importantly they let everyone in their world know – they’re like an infectious bug that is then sneezed into everyone in the room so before you know it, you’re all sick. The aim of marketing is to get the sneezers excited about a product/service so that they’ll ah ah ah achooo it out into the world.
When there is a great sale on at the mall, or a new burger joint opening down the road, or a new movie opening or you’ve just had your hair cut by the most amazing hairdresser ever – don’t you tell everyone? We naturally sneeze what we’re into to the people in our lives.
You’re called to be a sneezer for Jesus. To experience all that He has to offer and then to sneeze it out into the world around you and infect the people in your life, in a good way.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread ~ Matthew 6:9-11
Give us today our daily bread – we need to have our bread fresh every day – just as the israelites had mana, every day, fresh, from heaven.
Perhaps Jesus isnt talking so much about kai on the table but kai for our hearts – soul food – spiritual nourishment.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 ~ Give me today my daily portion / God is my portion
*** kai = food /
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:5-8
Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “. . . pray to your Father who is in the secret place. . . .” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.
We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from “the secret place”— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God. ~ Oswald Chambers
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, Matthew 6:10
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
how do we seek first the Kingdom of God? how do we see His Kingdom come, His will done?
how do we make this real in our lives?
how do we walk with God?
1/ practice the presence of God
2/ pursue His priorities
3/ pour out for His people
1. practice the presence of God
be God conscious, throughout the day turn your heart and mind towards God. think about Him as often as possible.
2. pursue His priorities
the interesting thing is that often His priorities are different to ours. eg we would choose bitterness and slander over His ways – forgiveness and love
the plans for our lives look like they bring life but they bring death, but the plans God has may look like death but bring life.
HIS ways, HIS will, not our ways and our will. if we want His Kingdom, we need to be prepared, and surrendered to do HIS will.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
3. pour out for His people
we dont hide away to walk with God but we live our lives in our real world. we are called to be the light of the world, demonstrating the love and grace and reality of God as the light of a city on a hill can seen from afar.
how do you walk with God in the places you walk the most aka work, home, school???
When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.
When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward.
When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
When you pray, don’t be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you. Matthew 6:1-6
There IS a reward!
keep being faithful!
keep being just!
keep living with mercy!
keep reading the Word!
keep meeting with God!
THERE IS A REWARD!
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him