Change the World – Part 1
We are ordinary people, but we can change the world with God and for God.
I have a fascination with superheroes…not just that I like watching them on the big screen or reading about them…no, my fascination is deeper…I want to be one. I want to be a superhero…like really bad. But…there’s a problem…I’m not a superhero. I am super!…but super ordinary. I think that the reason I so want to be a superhero is because I’m often so overwhelmed with my ordinariness BUT, what I LOVE about God and what I LOVE about the Scriptures is that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
In the Bible, there is not a single person that changed the world that is not ordinary. (Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Daniel, the disciples, Paul) But these are some of the superheroes of the faith. In the Bible, God used a lot lesser known people to change the world. (Barnabas, Ananias, Rahab, Gideon, Judah, Tamar, Aaron, Tabitha and many others) These are people we often overlook in the Scriptures, but because of these people, the world has been changed.
Tonight we’re starting a series, looking at some of these people…these ordinary people that God used in extraordinary ways…to change the world.
(We need to start at the beginning though…before we can change the world, we must deeply understand something…)
1. The World Needs Changing.
God created an absolutely perfect world (Gen. 1-2). God created, God created, God created…and it was good…That perfection…that goodness didn’t last long though. Adam and Eve sinned, and it fractured this perfect world (Gen. 3). From this point on, not only were Adam and Eve messed up…not only has all creation been messed up…but we are messed up to…broken from that goodness and perfection…longing to get the goodness and perfection back.
Rom. 8:19-23 – 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
So, this world and everything in it drastically needs changing! But how can we change the world?! It has been this way for a VERY long time! We change the world when we bring it a little closer to God’s original design. We don’t change it all at once. We change the world one world at a time…one life at a time.
(But this is still a big hard thing…and I know we change the world one world at a time…but HOW CAN I DO THAT?!)
2. We can change the world WITH God.
I want us to read some mind-exploding verses
1 Cor. 3:9 – For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
2 Cor. 5:21-6:1 – 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 6 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
1 Thess. 3:2 – and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker[a] in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith
Think about what this means for a second. We…fallen, ordinary people…are co-workers with God…perfect, holy, and powerful. We…people…ordinary people…are co-workers with God…the Creator and Sustainer of all things. If you are a Christian, this is who you are working with and beside.
John 1:3 – All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
All things were made through Him. Think of the power that goes along with that! No wonder we can boldly proclaim Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
But, changing the world WITH God requires a lot. It requires hardship and messiness…just take a look at how Jesus ministered…you will see hardship and messiness…and He calls us to the same as we work with Him to change the world…but it’s worth it.
Listen to what Jesus says to His disciples…
Matt. 10:16-22 – 16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
He’s saying, it’s going to be hard! But don’t worry! I am with you! I am helping you! I am working beside you! You see, it is God who will give them the words when they need it…it’s not themselves…it’s God that will sustain them when they can’t carry on…it’s not themselves…Y’all, we can change the world WITH God!! He has all the power! Come alongside Him! Work with Him!
(But it’s still hard and messy. There’s something that can help us through the messiness and discomfort of changing the world WITH God…it’s remembering that we are changing the world FOR God.)
3. We should change the world FOR God.
Rom. 11:36 – For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Colossians 3:23-24 – 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
If it’s for me…I’m going to pick my comfort over _____________ every time. If it’s for God…which it is…I don’t care how uncomfortable I get…how messy I get…I’m following Him. We should change the world FOR God, because that’s what He did for us.
He got uncomfortable…He got messy…He paid a price…He was talked about…He was shunned…He was despised and rejected and we esteemed Him not…He was smitten and afflicted…He bore the sins of many…His body was pierced…He died. But, He changed the world! That broken world! That fallen world! That hopeless and messy world. Your world and my world. Collectively and personally.
He rose from the dead and defeated the sting of that curse from the first sin! And He calls us now to accept the free gift that He has given…the freedom from that pain and messiness and sorrow and sin. He calls us to hope and love and live. He calls us to come along side of Him and change one world at a time…WITH Him and FOR Him. He calls us to change the world!
Are you going to step up to the challenge?! Are you going to change the world?! Well, it starts right here…with you. Your world needs to change. He’s calling you to Him. To salvation and to service. Serving with Him, in His power, and for Him, for His glory. Bringing this broken world a little closer to its original design. Changing the world one world at a time.