Christ, the Revelation
The following is a summary of my sermon preached on January 1, 2017:
CHRIST, THE REVELATION
Part 5 of WHO IS THE CHRIST? Luke 2:22-35
January 1, 2017. The Cornerstone Church.
The mission of our church is to help people find and follow Jesus. We’re all on this mission together. We all have a part to play.
The new year brings a new opportunity to get the job done. The Lord is going to open doors for us to share Jesus. But you might be asking, so … how do I do that? I’m going to show you how.
A. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Simeon said, “My eyes have seen your salvation.” This is a testimony of faith. “This is my own Savior.” Even though Simeon was righteous and devout - a genuine seeker after God - he still needed salvation.
The Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to him. It wasn’t reason. It was revelation. TS Elliot, the English poet, called Jesus the “unspeaking and unspoken Word.” Simeon was convinced that his own cleansing and forgiveness was there in the baby. Simeon did not know, but we know that the baby would grow up to live and die and rise again to provide all we need to be restored to God. He is “the Savior … of all who believe.” - 1 Timothy 4:10
You can only share what you own. First you trust in Jesus. Then you share Jesus. If that hasn’t happened yet, the first day of the new year is a great time for it.
If you feel your heart drawn to him, if you’re seeing Jesus in a new light - as YOUR Savior - that’s the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus to you, just as he did with Simeon. Don’t resist. Make it personal. Declare: “My eyes have seen God’s salvation.”
B. MAKE IT PUBLIC
Simeon saw the baby. And the Spirit said: “this is the one.” Simeon called Jesus “a revelation.” It’s a reference to the promise in Isaiah 40:5, when God promised: “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed.” Jesus is God’s “da daaa” moment. God whipped the cloth off the sculpture and said, “take a look at me now!”
There’s two ways Jesus was a revelation that day: He was a revelation TO Simeon. He was a revelation THROUGH Simeon. Simeon didn’t keep it to himself. He spoke out loud and he made it public.
Did you know God keeps secrets? Did you know he loves to make them known to us? And he makes them known through us. Through ALL of us. We’re all revealers of revelation - the Good news about Jesus.
Here’s how you can share Jesus in 2017:
1. Schedule frequent, faithful participation in the life of the church. Be at church meetings and events - Sundays, Wednesdays, etc. Serve in our ministries. This speaks volumes about Jesus to family and friends.
When the ancient church was persecuted, it was dangerous to meet together, but they were taught to take the risk:
“Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” - Hebrews 10:25
Just being here, getting involved, tells the world that you take Jesus seriously.
2. Select some friends who need Jesus. Pray, pray, pray. Ask the Lord to open doors for conversation about spiritual things. Get God in on the project:
“Pray for us that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.” - Colossians 4:3
When appropriate, ask questions about their beliefs or insights about spiritual things. When the Spirit prompts you, ask, “Can I share with you about the most important person in my life?” Ask the Holy Spirit to to reveal Jesus to them.
3. Suggest to family and friends that they visit the Cornerstone on a Sunday or our Deep Love monthly meetings or other event. Inviting has always been a part of the Christian mission. The very first disciple did it:
“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus.” - John 1:40-42
Simon became Peter and Peter became the leader of the first church - a church that changed the world.
We never know what God will do through our invitations, so give it a try and leave the results up to God: Not everyone will say yes. Not everyone who says yes will enjoy the Cornerstone. But some people will say yes, visit here and meet Jesus and their lives will change forever.
We all have limited time and energy. As the new year begins, we’re being pulled in all directions. Truth be told: we can’t do it all. So, take a quiet moment to decide the 4-5 things you’ll commit to in 2017.
The late business guru Steven Covey used an unforgettable illustration about this. He took a jar, a pile of small pebbles and a few big stones. Then he showed that if you put the small pebbles in first, the big stones won’t fit. But if you put the big stones in first, the pebbles will fit in the spaces.
It’s the same with life. Set your top priorities first. Then fit the other stuff around them. Make your own participation in the Cornerstone and sharing Jesus near the top of your list. Do that … and watch what God in your life and through your life.
2017 could be your best year ever. If you’ll let God work through your life with his blessing and favor: opening doors, bringing people into your life, revealing Christ, changing lives for eternity. Make the commitment now.