Walking In His Shoes Part 1: Passionately Committed To The Lost
On Sunday 26th June at our morning service, we started our new series Walking In His Shoes with the topic 'Passionately Committed To The Lost'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
It was 22 years ago that Ruth and I first felt this stirring in our hearts and minds that God was calling us into this mission and passion for the lost. And for the last 18 years we have had the most amazing opportunity to pursue that and we are so grateful to have been able to live that out at EBC.
If you’re a Christian – a part of this church or another church, this is still the mission that Jesus gives to you. If you’re not a Christian – you need to know that you are God’s primary mission, you are the reason why Jesus came to earth 2,000 years ago and you are supposed to be the reason why churches exist today, to follow on in that mission.
And just in case we are in any doubt that that is the case, we are going to look in a bit more detail at that story of Zacchaeus because it teaches us some really important things. That story can be found in Luke’s account of Jesus’ life in the Bible chapter 19 verses 1 to 10. You can read that by clicking here.
There was something attractive about Jesus…even though Zacchaeus was wealthy and seemed to have everything, there was something missing, something that meant he wanted more and he was wondering if Jesus might be the answer (verses 1 to 3).
So Jesus reaches out to Zacchaeus (verses 4 to 7). But everyone else didn’t like it – they muttered and chuntered. You know so often religious people can put up barriers that stop others encountering God. Christians can become the barrier to non-Christians finding God and we must stop it!
Zacchaeus discovers that an encounter with Jesus is life changing and Jesus reminds everyone that the reason he had come to earth was to seek and to save the lost. Jesus came for people like Zacchaeus. He came for you and me, because we are lost. This was the primary mission of Jesus – this is why he came and if it was his primary mission it ought to be the primary mission of Jesus followers too.
There should be churches that unchurched people love to attend in every community, town, city in this country. That is the crowbar that will unstick things. This great church is one of those churches and we pray and hope that EBC will continue to be a church that unchurched people love to attend. But it will take all of you who are a part of it to commit to carry on building that kind of church and I urge you to do so, our nation needs it.
Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1. What are the passions in your life that drive you? Where do they come from? Are any of them from God?
2. What does it mean for someone who isn’t a Christian that they were the primary reason Jesus came to earth?
3. Do you agree that without Jesus you are lost?
4. What was it about Jesus that had attracted Zacchaeus to want to see him?
5. Why do you think the other people in the story criticised Jesus for spending time with Zacchaeus?
6. What does it mean for Jesus to say that he had come to seek and to save the lost?
7. What does it mean for you and for the church that Jesus had this as his primary mission?
8. What needs to change in your life for that to be your primary mission too?