Bold Influence Through Church (Matthew 11:28-30)Rev.Silas Owiti, September 20, 2017
Part of the Bold Influencers series, preached at a Sunday 1st Service service
Question: What is your experience with the church? What impact has the church had on your life?
Two thousand years ago, when Jesus looked at the crowd in the streets, he saw a people who needed hope and restoration.
? The people had a background of captivity and slavery. From Egyptian rule, to Syrian rule, to Babylonian rule, to Persian rule, to Greek rule, and now to Roman rule.
? The people were under the tyrannical rule of the Romans, in which they were oppressed, paid heavy taxes (remember Zacchaeus) and served the Emperor Caesar with all they had
? The social fabric was characterized by slavery
? The ‘spiritual’ leaders of the time (Pharisees and Sadducees) thought they were on the right track yet they were completely off course.
? The people were heavily burdened by the requirements of the law of Moses, which made life so difficult
It is against this backdrop that Jesus had compassion on them. The Bible declares “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36).
He wanted to give them hope and so he made an invitation: “come to me all yea that are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Fast forward 2000 years later, when Jesus observes our society today, what does He see? I am sure there are many things we celebrate about our society today. However, does Jesus still see a people who are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd?
? Spiritually; I think He sees a people who claim to be Christians yet the DNA of the Christian faith is not evident in how we live our lives. Spiritual unfaithfulness is very common.
? Socially; I think He sees families that are struggling with strained relationships, suspicions of infidelity, threats of divorce and separation, strife between parents and children, sibling rivalry.
? Morally; I think He sees a society that is walking the tight rope of 21 century freedoms verses godliness i.e. legalization of abortion, homosexuality and same sex marriages, reduced dignity to life,
? Politically; I think He sees a people who are at crossroads between choosing godly leaders or choosing tribe, between fully putting our full hope in God or investing our hope in our political leaders.
Sermon prepared by Rev. Silas Owiti
? Legally; I think He sees a people who perhaps have thought a water tight constitution is the solution to our problems, and yet the constitution can’t change our hearts.
With so much brokenness and turmoil in the world, where does one turn to? Is there hope? M submission is that there is great hope for the future.
? This hope lays in ripping ourselves of dependence on human pursuits and surrendering at the feet of Jesus.
? This hope depends on us setting our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
? This hope is founded on the church of Jesus Christ, which He established as the avenue for redemption and salvation of humanity – the church is the hope of the world.
? This hope is based on you and me believing in and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and walking consistently with Him. Jesus boldly and confidently declares in Matthew 11:28-30 “28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
1. After Jesus has gone round the town and in the streets (in the preceding chapter), ministering to the people, healing them and raising some from the dead, His heart is moved and He offers a solution to them. The solution is based on Him as the Son of God.
2. Jesus is calling all of us who are heavy burdened with hopelessness, brokenness, and weariness into rest. A rest that has an eternal benefits.
3. Jesus declares himself a gentle and humble in heart. When we respond to Him we partake of this gift of gentleness, humility and lighter weight.
The Lord Jesus is calling the whole world into this rest, by His Word into His body – the Church. The church is the expression of Jesus in the world today.
In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus declares “18And I tell you that you are Peter, [meaning rock] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [or hell] will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
1. Jesus established His church and He is the one building it, not us
2. Jesus gave the assurance that the gates of hell will not prevail over it, no matter what
Sermon prepared by Rev. Silas Owiti
3. Jesus gave the ‘keys’ of the kingdom of heaven to the church; what the church binds on earth is bound in heaven, whatever the church loses on earth is loosed in heaven. What manner of power?
Question: Does the church realize that it has some much power and potential, both as individuals and corporately?
Summary of Lessons
1. The church is the only solution to the world’s problems.
a. Spiritually; let’s share our faith and love of Christ confidently, in our families, workplace, community. Faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point (Share about land tussles at home)
b. Economically; let’s a rise and exercise our financial potential for economic empowerment. Uthabiti Sacco was started for this purpose. Today we are celebrating a milestone of the same.
c. Politically; let’s allow our Christian faith to play out first before our tribal or political inclinations. (Share the conversation I had yesterday)
d. Socially; look at how faith in Jesus Christ led people in fighting against societal ills
i. William Wilberforce (1759-1833) as he fought against slave trade in Britain
ii. Martin Luther King (1929-1968) as he led the civil rights movement
2. The church will not be subdued by the gates of hell
a. Sometimes it appears like evil is defeating good, but always know that good ultimately subdues evil. God cannot be mocked – whatever you sow is what you reap
b. Jesus promised us the keys of the kingdom of heaven. These keys open all doors
c. The spirit of witchcraft sometimes seems to have some relief, but eventually you see victory by the power of the Holy Spirit, evil dies.
3. The church must exercise its God-given power to draw men from them hopelessness and brokenness
a. When you invoke this power, in the Name of Jesus, things happen. Mountains move and hope is restored
b. Let’s approach the brokenness in our society head-on since we know that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
Illustration Story: Acts of Kindness
Christ invites us to enter into his rest. He then sends us as his ambassadors to take the Good News. Those he calls are His Church. He then sends us back to the world to be salt and light.
Sermon prepared by Rev. Silas Owiti
Bill Hybels has observed that “The local church is the hope of the world.” But it all begins with one person.
1. Pray for those who feel hopeless, broken and weary. It could be as a result of strife in the family, conflict at work, failing relationships, financial hopelessness, etc.
2. Pray for the church of Jesus Christ to be bold in influencing the society around us with the great deposit that the Lord has given to us.
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