This is the last sermon for 2019, and this week Kent casts a little vision for our upcoming sermon series in January, “On a Rebound.” He reminds us that God isn’t done with us yet. He wants to use you to make a difference in someones life this next year, tune in to learn how! Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request. Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (http://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (http://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)
MEMORIZE: Isaiah 61, Luke 4SCRIPTURE STUDY:Isaiah 61:1
—>We all depend on each otherOPENING ILLUSTRATION:When I was a kid, the thing I hated most about being sick was having your parent force medicine down your throat that tasted like soap that had been dragged through vomit. Man, I hated it, seemed like they always tried to suck you in by telling you it tasted like bubble gum. First of all, whose idea was it to make medicine taste like bubble gum, if your goin to flavor it, why not go with chocolate shake or something. But it always tasted horrible, didnt it? Then, you finally get old enough to graduate to pills and you thunk your battle is over… Till your mom shows you the horse pill you have to swallow. I know that some of you take pleasure in giving your kids those big pills, you all are sick :). But for me, I could not figure out how to swallow pills, it would always get stuck on the back of my throat and you’d get that gross bitter taste working it’s way up your tongue. I’d be gagging and my mom would try and give me the hymlic. Horrible…And I have to tell you, somewhere in my Christian experience I found that I started to view the Gospel, the good news that Jesus had died to redeem me from my sinful state, I viewed it as an intellectual pill people had to swallow.-Somewhere along the way I started to think it made people gag rather than satisfying a hunger-I thought it got stuck in their throat rather than wetting their whistle.We are getting ready to start a new sermon series next week called: “On a Rebound” and we are going to talk about how to get your relationship with God back on trackAn as we go through it,My hope is, that you will start to realize that God is not done with you yet…Get your bibles open to Isaiah 61. Now jump two thousand years back in time with me, Jesus is in his home town, it’s the sabbath (Saturday) and Jesus is in the synagogue (Jewish church). He grabs this ancient scroll and unrolls it to the passage we are about to read, and he reads this:Isaiah 61:11 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,for the Lord has anointed meto bring good news to the poor.He has sent me to comfort the brokenheartedand to proclaim that captives will be releasedand prisoners will be freed.Get this, Jesus is in his hometown at his home church, he reads this and sits down and says, today, this passage has been fulfilled in your hearing…BAM! Have you ever stood in line to get a book signed or to meet someone famous, maybe to watch the latest star wars movie (come on be honest…). The anticipation builds, you get excited, and there’s that moment when the opening credits start playing, or your next in line and you get all giddy like a school girl? You have to know that what-Jesus has just told these people is a little like saying, your wait is over.-You see God has been silent in Israel for hundreds of years. No prophecy, no miracles, just people faithfully trying to follow week after week.They knew this passage, they knew it was a passage that referred to God redeeming Israel through a messiah.I don’t know how to tell you what it must have been like, but I imagine it was silent afterwards. Jesus is telling them clearly that He is the one who will redeem Israel. -So much so that they sit there a little later and ask how it can be, he’s josephs son – this kid could make you a nice dining room table, but heal the sick?Hear the contrast between what Jesus says about the Good News and the pill I thought it to be.The good news isn’t a pill to be swallowed, it’s a hope to be embraced– set the captive free-find those of us with broken hearts and to mend them- free prisoners- Jesus offers hope! Real tangible freedom! Restoration to who God intended us to be.ILLUSTRATION:I used to work at this youth center. It was pretty cool, we had skateboarding, rock climbing, all kinds of stuff for kids to do. We had this huge skat bowl, 6 ft deep. And almost every month we had a kid break a bone in the bowl. I got to the point where I could diagnose it just by asking a few questions. But one of the things that I found was that kids, laying at the bottom of a huge metal bowl with broken legs needed one thing. Hope. They didn’t want to know what was going to happen next or that their leg was bending in a way that no humans leg should bend. They needed someone to tell them it was going to be ok.Hope is powerful, especially when it’s backed by truth.Look, God is not done healing the broken and hurting-the amazing part of the whole story is that He uses you and me-the broken and battered ourselves to deliver a message to other broken souls. See, God is not done yet! Not with you, not with me, not with our church!The most amazing part of this whole story is that God chooses to use you and me to share this message with the world!2 Corinthians 5:20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.Let me ask you a question:Who is in your life that the message of the good news would sound like healing salve? How exciting that you and I carry around inside of us a message of hope the whole world needs to know! Let me give you some practical things you can do to bring the good news into your world.Ways Jesus brought the message to a dying world:• He was available for people• He brought healing into brokenness (what if you prayed with coworkers who were hurting – say, “I don’t know what you believe, but I believe God loves you and want to walk through this with you, can I pray for you?”). Listen, no ones going to turn down non judgmental prayer. •His life was his evidence – you need to be rendering yourself to Jesus in such a way that the gentleness, grace and love of your life is evident.CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:I want you to know, that’s what brought me to Jesus! A girl named Amy who was willing to be Jesus to me. She cared enough to care about me. Who are you willing to care enough about? This world needs our hope, it needs to know it’s ok to be on a rebound!