Note: this is the sketch of a sermon, not a complete sermon. I first delivered it in February 2008 at the Sojourner’s Workshop at Central Florida Bible Camp. They must have liked it, for they invited me back for two messages in 2009. I am indebted to Jim Woodroof for some of the thoughts, particularly my treatment of 2 Corinthians 5:19-20. You can see these in his book, The Aroma of Christ.
- Isaiah 5:1-4.
- I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?”
- God had blessed Israel more than words can tell.
- He called Abraham & gave him a three-fold covenant: A Land, A Nation, & A Seed to Bless all nations.
- He delivered them from Egypt, but they murmured in the wilderness.
- He gave them the promised land, but they wandered from him.
- When they wandered from God, he sent his servants, the judges & prophets.
- NEVERTHELESS, they continued to wander – and God cried, “What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?
- There was an awesome quiet in Heaven as the Lamb of God replied, “Here am I, LORD! Send me!”
- Hebrews 10:5-7.
- Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, O God.” – Jesus Came To Do God’s Will.
WHAT IS GOD’S WILL?
- 2 Peter 3:9 – God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
- 1 Tim 2:1-6 – I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I am telling the truth, I am not lying – and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
- John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- God’s Will Is the Salvation of All!
HOW DID JESUS DO THE FATHER’S WILL?
- IN YOUTH: – “I must be about my Father’s business.”
- IN MANHOOD: – “It behooves us to fulfill all righteousness.”
- IN LIFE: – “My Father works, and I work.” Let us do his work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work.
- IN DEATH: – Not my will, but thine be done.
AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, I AM SENDING YOU! (John 20:21)
- The Father Sent the Son to Die.
- So, we also are sent to die
- Deny Yourself
- Take Up Your Cross
- Follow Me!
- Let This Mind Be in You That Was Also in Christ Jesus….
- The Father Sent the Son to Reconcile the World to Himself.
- He preached peace.
- He was also a peacemaker.
- We must receive the ministry of reconciliation first – 2 Corinthians 5:18. That is, we must become peacemakers – and be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).
- Then our message of reconciliation will become credible! – 2 Corinthians 5:19.
- But to be a reconciler, I must die – even as Jesus had to die to reconcile us to God.
- Jesus is the perfect model for us to follow. He sets the standard.
- His teachings, His life and His death provide a clarion call for us to live in all godliness and holiness.
- However, he was not a conventionally religious person – and he does not call us to be conventional.
- He calls us to be cross-bearing peacemakers, not to be belligerent, cocky judges of all who differ from us.
- Above all, he calls us to love one another as he loves us – and he loves us as the Father loves him! (John 13:34; cf. 15:9)
- He calls us to respond to God’s call as he himself did: Here am I, LORD. Send me! Send me into the sin-fractured world to heal and make whole! Let me go, realizing that this will demand my death to self, death to this world, and death to sin – but that it will also mean abundant life from above as I walk in the steps of Jesus.
If you should use these thoughts as the base for a sermon of your own, please leave a comment about how you developed it – and how people received it. Thanks – JS