Pastor Dave Sarsons
July 16, 2018
SERMON: July 15th, 2018 “Ambassadors – Christ in the Public Square – Vision, Filter”
How do we appear to the world? Do we live fearfully where we sentimentally long for the past or do we live faithfully where we are always looking into a better future based on what we have learned from the past? From Numbers 11 and Exodus 16 the Israelites were faithfully taken care of by God – from deliverance from Egypt to the Red Sea and provision in the desert – but they still longed for the past days of “cucumbers, melons and garlic:”. In Isaiah 43:18-19 we are told “remember not the former things, not consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?…” We are a new creation and we are to press on ahead (Philippians 3:14-15). We are in the world, but not of the world. To not hold on so tightly to the things of this world, that we miss the future that Christ has for us.
“Some people have taken “not of the world” as their life motto. From the earliest of ages, when people thought they had to escape to cloisters and deserts to serve God, to our own days when some seek to show their piety by harshly judging all that is in the world, there have been those w ho counted this the only true religion. There was separation from sin, but also no fellowship with sinners. The sinner could not feel that he was surrounded with the atmosphere of a tender heavenly love. It was a one-sided and therefore a defective religion. Then there are those who, on the other side, embrace the words “in the world.” They appeal to the words of the apostle, “Since then you would need to go out of the world” (1 Cor.5:10). They think that by showing that religion does not make us unfriendly or unfit to enjoy all that there is to enjoy, they will induce the world to serve God. It has often happened that they have succeeded in making the world very religious, but at too high a price – religion became very worldly. The true follower of Jesus must combine both. If he does not clearly show that he is not of the world and prove the greater blessedness of a heavenly life, how will he convince the world that a better way exists? How will he prove that there is a higher life all can attain through Christ’s love? Earnestness, holiness, and separation from the temptations of the world must be his aim. And yet he must life as one who is “in the world” – expressly placed here by God, among those who are of the world, to win their hearts, gain influence, and communicate to them the truths of God’s Word. How effective are you at balancing these perspectives?” Andrew Murray (Power for Living July 15th, 2018)