(this was one of those outline sermons… so here are the notes)
People everywhere… people here in this church, people in the community, other pastors, friends, family – are asking the question: How DO I live for Jesus?
The song we just sang was simple enough. The words were easy. The sentiment was real. We certainly seem to want to live for Jesus…but why do so many of us have such a hard time actually doing it?
In these past few weeks we have gone deep into Romans chapter 12 – the theme scripture behind our new church vision. We have explored some hard concepts like sacrifice, transformation, community and gifts. And every week that question keeps returning: Yes, Pastor Katie…. But HOW DO I DO IT?
How do I really sacrifice it all? How do I let God transform my life? How do I claim my gifts?
With our children, we talked about what fills us up – what gives us the energy to run, jump, go… and in many ways we are seeking the same answer. What will fill me up with good? What will change me? What will give me the strength/courage/energy to say YES?!
Nicodemus had the same question – How do I get eternal life and Jesus said… Believe into me
Live with me and for me. Trust me.
And then he talked about Moses: Snake on the staff – healing emblem of medical profession – Jesus on the cross, lifted up, high for all to see – look and you will be made well!
Numbers – poisonous snakes sent by God to the people because they were doubting and grumbling and complaining. Now, this wasn’t instant judgment, God’s intent wasn’t to kill, but a little bit of suffering in their midst helped them to refocus their attention on him. God wanted them to trust him. And as soon as they were ready to listen, God provided the cure – he said to Moses – “make a poisonous snake and place it on a pole. Whoever is bitten can look at it and live.” Moses made a bronze snake and place it on a pole. If a snake bit someone, that person could look at the bronze snake and live.” Numbers 21:8-9
We may not have poisonous snakes running around, but we have been bitten by sin. We are broken. We need healing. And as Jesus responds to Nicodemus and his brokenness and searching and longing… Jesus becomes the snake on the pole – we need to look to Jesus
Parable of the cave and the sun – cave goes out to see the light = great. Sun comes in to see the darkness = it no longer exists.
But if we stare at the cross for a while, nothing will happen… how do we focus on lives on Jesus? How do we invite Jesus in?
How do you keep yourself centered on God? How do you open yourself up to the Son coming into your life? What has worked for you in the past?
Eternal life – not just life everlasting… but the quality of life lived in God’s presence starting now