Common Ground: The first 8 pt. 2
Speaker 2:0:04this is better than in the first service. In the first service I had Ted Pancoast's yeah. Thing. And he's, he had it about here for me. Okay. So this morning you're looking in your bulletin and you see this car, this word called common ground in there and you're going, how in the world is that a sermon title or anything like that. And so I want to, I want to assure you that it is a title. It might not be what I preached, but it's what's in the bullet. No, I'm kidding. Um, I want to talk a little bit today about how in Christ God went from one verse to another verse and how that happened. Okay. The first verse is John One 18 and it says this, no one has seen God at any time. That's the first half of that first.
Speaker 2:1:03we could have fit it up there, but we didn't. But no one has seen God at any time to this verse, John 14 Nine, if you've seen me, you've seen the father.
Speaker 2:1:18Okay. Do you understand that those two don't necessarily go right together, that something in the middle of has to happen. And that thing in the middle that has to happen is this really fancy theological term called the incarnation, which if you'll know from your study of Spanish means from or from just eating chili con Connie means with meat or human or alive. And so God came to be amongst us, but he did it in this special way. Okay? You use the three step process to move us from the place where we didn't know anything about God to where God's presence or activity was so obvious that Jesus could chai and his disciples and say, what have I not been with you this time? If you've seen me, you've seen the father, don't you understand yet? So he did this with a concept called common ground, but God uses this process and he uses it. The first one is presence. My first word for you today, his presence that Jesus became present specifically on earth. It wasn't a ghost. It wasn't an apparition. It wasn't a story. It wasn't a movie. It wasn't a slide show. It wasn't any of those things. It was a person who came to live on earth
Speaker 2:2:46and now you might say, well, there's lots of people that come to live on earth all the time. Yes, that's true. Now, not all of them have somebody when they're walking through town, say the whole cool the lamb who takes away the sins of the world from a very popular person of the time, John The baptist. You know, people were willing to go out into the desert to hear John the Baptist tell them that they weren't good enough or they weren't ready to see the king. How many of you spend a bunch of time going out to see somebody that says, you're not ready yet? You need to get better. You do that, right? You'd walk 10 miles through the desert, out to the out to the river to to see that, right all the time. Linda says, no, that's not under her to do list. It's, and if it is, it's number 15 the problem with being number 15 on a to do list is there's always something new that comes in above it, right?
Speaker 2:3:49And so this is the second thing that Jesus not only was here on earth, but God pointed him out to us through John the Baptist actions, right? So not only was Jesus present, didn't you rub up against them and he was living in the crowds. He was nearby. There was also John the Baptist going, that's the one you should talk to. That's the one who takes away the sins of the world. And when he went down to be baptized, he said, I'm not even, I'm not even the person that should be undoing his sandals. I'm not good enough for that. And the Holy Spirit comes down and says, this is my son. Okay? So you get all this recognition of who Jesus is and that's great. You Go, okay, now that's God. But then Jesus spent the next years living a specific way. Didn't mean he kind of loved them and he cared for them and he healed them and he bore their sins and he got to know them. And at one point you could almost hear John Speaking in his later books going, this is whom we know we leaned up against him. We touched him, we heard him, we spoke with him.
Speaker 2:5:07God formed common ground with humans. He went from the one who spoke galaxies into existence to the one where they said, well, I was just with him the other day, haven't bread and he did that by forming common ground with us by coming down to where we are and living like us and explaining God and that way, not with a slide show with a five point you know you've all been through lectures of one thing or another, haven't you? But that's not how Jesus explained God. Jesus explained God by living a certain way amongst the people and it was very important that it was a specific and then he's lived at a time and a place and he entered into history. Now I'm going to tell you this, none of you have not ever have, none of you have ever missed a point of history that you lived in cause you were here for it. God was here for us. He lived the enter in it because he entered in at a specific time and place. There's actually a way to know that he's real and he's real in the same way that God sort of takes this idea of common ground where he got to know us and he explained himself in such a way to us that we could understand who god is. He also does does this with his disciples, so I'm going to talk to you about this for a second, okay? The disciples, you know them in acts two they're sort of cowering in a room in Jerusalem, afraid of the world and everything, aren't they? They're sitting there waiting.
Speaker 2:7:07Are any of you waiting for something in your life? Do you know what it's like to wait in your life? This, this Jesus, he's got his disciples and they're afraid of everything. They're behind locked doors and suddenly God takes their location, which is in Jerusalem and he sort of points them out, doesn't he? He comes down and he blows the doors off the place and flames come down and he changes. Everybody's going, what's going on? What's going on. And the disciples start to talk and explain what it was that had happened to Jesus. And then so suddenly they were present in Jerusalem. God pointed them out. You can almost see the holy spirit saying there's the ones you need to talk to them. And then they started to talk about what Jesus had done in their lives as Jesus done something in your life. I know it's not exactly the same as quoting 15 chapters of scripture at somebody in the grocery store, but maybe you could share something about what Jesus has done in your life when, when you get pointed out, and you might ask yourself, okay, so great. Jesus came on earth and he was pointed out and he explained Jesus and the disciples, they were in Jerusalem and they got pointed out and they explained their life with Jesus. What does that have to do with me?
Speaker 2:8:43What does that have to do with you? What does that have to do in our lives?
Speaker 2:8:49I would tell you this, my understanding is that most Christians have a completely a complete of what their position is in life. Okay? And I'm going to use a story. Um, I've, I've done street witnessing and my experience is most people that go out in the world to explain Jesus, see themselves as they're in a boat with people treading water all around them and they're handing out life preservers right? I got to take Jesus to this person here. Now you're, you can be saved and here now you can be saved and, and they just keep handing out these life preservers like they're the ones that do the salvation. But the problem is, is that Hugh humans, pastors, missionaries, individuals all still need a savior. And so if you're a Christian and you start to think of yourself as in the lifeboat handing out life preservers then you've switched places with this guy named Jesus. The truth is, is that Christians should see themselves as in the water treading but wearing a life preserver
Speaker 2:10:01because it was handed to them. They didn't deserve it. The boat came by and said, would you like one? And you said yes, and you got one. Do you understand what I'm saying about this? That you're not in the boat, you're not the manufacturer, or you didn't create the life preserver, you're not in charge of who gets it. You're in charge of one thing. When somebody nearby you needs a life preserver and you're aware and when you go, oh, I know where you can get one of those. I know this Jesus Guy, he takes care of us. He's in the boat. Wait, wait, let me wait for the boat. But this is common ground at its finest in street witnessing. I would tell you this now, some of you would say street witnessing. It's just outside my comfort zone and it's outside of my comfort zone too. I just managed to do it for four or five or six years because God does this work. But I would tell you that you see people that do street witnessing going into groups and pretending like they know everything at all for the sermon this morning or the prayer time with how many of you breathe the air today? How many people in Colville have breathed air today?
Speaker 2:11:20So do you understand that everybody in Colville Breeds Zara? So that is at least one commonality that you have with everybody. And most of them speak some English. I'm including myself in that I speak some English, I don't speak at all, right? I don't say every word in English. Sometimes I use other languages and I didn't even know it, but they speak, they have some form of communication. Well, guess what? That's ground. And most of the people here that live in Colville, we're a little worried about the fire coming close to their homes. And in that way they're exactly like you and exactly like me. And, and they buy food at grocery stores or they grow it, but they eat food. Do you start to see this huge ground of commonality that we have to talk to people? And I'm not saying you have to use that all the time, but what you have to do is understand that relationship is the conduit that God uses to port grace into people's lives. And you can't pour grace into somebody's life unless you have a relationship with them. And the only way to have relationship with them is to recognize that you have some common ground with them
Speaker 2:12:49to form a relationship. God did that same thing. We couldn't understand him. Nobody had seen God ever except for his one and only son who exit cheated at him. That's the really cool Greek word in John One 18 means who explained him, who executed, who pointed out how God was, who changed our understanding, who filled out our little bits of pieces of, of little snippets of what God might be like and said, no, you know he, he did speak the galaxies into existence but he also really loves people. I remember a video I saw on and have the disciples arguing over which one of them was Jesus's favorite and they said, well, Jesus really likes me and the other one goes to Jesus. Pretty much lights everybody.
Speaker 2:13:47There's this common ground that we have this God that loves us and he god because he loves us, moved into the neighborhood to get to know us, to be common Lee in the area with us to speak a language that we could understand. Now, if you're in the grocery store and you bounce a grocery card against somebody else in the grocery store, you've never done that. I know that, right? Cause you're a perfect driver at the grocery store and you're never bumped into anybody.
Speaker 2:14:23That there's a language you can speak in the grocery store aisle that works like, oh, excuse me, I'm sorry I bumped into you. Or are you having a good day? And suddenly a relationship starts to form. Hi, I'm Dave. What's your name? You ever done that with people? I know some of you are way too shy for that, right? You would never say your name and public. I'm not. That guy would say that all the time. Sometimes I might even bump into people on purpose just to say, just introduce myself. Let's see. This is this thing I was talking about that I'm present. I'm present in Colville right now.
Speaker 2:15:11And sometimes God's going to shine his light on me. He's going to point me out and it's my time at. That's not to beat God, not to be the savior, but to be somebody that says, I know that Jesus, he's done stuff for me. Would you like to know some of that? Would you like to know him? That's not really very hard. Some of you I know for a fact at this moment are doing one thing. They're going, Oh God, please don't ask me to do that. That's scary. I will mess up. Is that the second part? After scary. I'm going to mess it up. Anybody know? None of you are worried about messing up what God asks you to do ever, right? Okay, so there's the reaction I was at. Now I want you to know in the first service, Matt could attest to this, that somebody made a comment over here and I came over and we had a conversation in the middle of the sermon. Did Nine Matt.
Speaker 2:16:14Yup. Here's the deal. You're worried about whether or not you can do the work that God's asked you to do when he points you out. I'm going to take some pressure off. Are you ready? How many of you believe that, that God knows more about you than you know about you? Okay. So he's asking you to do something and he knows you, not only knows you, but he knows all the things you've done and all the things you will do, and he's asking you to do something. Do you think he knows that you're going to mess it up?
Speaker 2:16:57And he still asked you, maybe it was the mess up that he was after he knew it was going to happen. Then he asked for it. How could you mess that up? And here's the other little pressure relief valve on you. Just so you know. None of us are so
Speaker 2:17:23So badly messed up in our own lives that we can mess up God's plan in somebody else's life,
Speaker 2:17:34that he's working his plan. He's on his first priority and he knows who you are and he loves you and he's very proud of you and he loves that you're willing to say, hey, I don't know very much, but I'm willing to say I could make soup in the kitchen. Matter of fact, he's almost pulled out his wallet and all the pictures tumble out of all the steps that you did when you were trying to do something new and you didn't think you could do it like God was with you. Just go. See, that's what my kid, that's my kid try on there. So I want to take the pressure off you about what this means to do God's work, to be on common ground with somebody else, to be the vessel that God says, behold my child right there. Go talk to them, because sometimes he's going to point it out to you. Oh, there's somebody over there that needs help. Can you go talk to them? Can you go be the person that messes up every interpersonal communication process that you've ever been part of? For me, that's what God says. And you think, no, I can't do that. God, I have to be perfect. That job description is not available for you.
Speaker 2:18:50There was only the Jesus guy who was perfect and they're not looking for new applications for the savior. You're only you and God knows you and loves you deeply.
Speaker 2:19:04And he loves you enough to form common ground with you. And what he asks is this one simple thing. Can you take advantage of the common ground that I've put you near to stand next to somebody else to care for them for me? You can't mess it up. You sesions two 10 says this, you are God's workmanship made to do good works, which he has prepared in advance for you to do. Therefore, walk in them, doesn't say produced them, doesn't say come up with them, doesn't say any of those things. Just walk in the work that God has made an advance for you to do and he knows who you are and he knows you're going to mess it up and he's okay cause you're gonna mess it up. This is the one thing I, one other little detail that I have no, is that most of the people that you're going to interact with at never ever met somebody that mess something up and then apologized and sought forgiveness for heavy have they? Because they don't do that in this world. People don't mess up and admit it easily. And if you were to mess up and admitted easily and seek forgiveness, you would be radically different from everybody else around you
Speaker 2:20:40and you'd probably be doing just exactly what God's asked you to do is to teach somebody about that bacon granted that they can be free of being mad about people messing things up. But this is the common ground comment. Okay, your here, there are lots of people like you and we all need a savior. You just happened to have met yours.
Speaker 1:21:14Will you pray with me?
Speaker 2:21:16Lord Jesus today I thank you for forming common ground with us for coming and explaining your father to us. We had never seen him. We still have not, but we know that you are the very image of the invisible God.
Speaker 1:21:41May We be light cue.
Speaker 2:21:46May we explain our relationship with you.