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Community Church Putney is a registered Charity: (1158141). A limited company registered in England (09012734)

  • Matt Beaney

VISION SERIES - "COME TO ME" PT. 5... BRINGING NON-BELIEVERS TO JESUS (27/10/19)


CONTENTS

1. Vision introduction

2. Come to Jesus Daily devotional

  • Monday – “Come to me”

  • Tuesday – Who’s invited?

  • Wednesday – Receive Jesus’ rest from guilt

  • Thursday– Receive Jesus’ rest from legalism

  • Friday– Receive Jesus’ rest from fear

3. Community Group/Family Study

For links to the message go to our website,

www.communitychurchputney.com



1. VISION SERIES INTRODUCTION

Whilst praying about this vision series I felt led to the gospel of Matthew. Matthew wrote because he wanted to bring people to Jesus - the promised Saviour. Matthew wrote,

‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).’ (Matthew 1:21-23)

God’s wants us to know that in Jesus, forgiveness and His presence are available to you, me, to anyone! This gospel ends with Jesus’ direction to take this Good News to the whole world,

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)

Jesus invites you, and through you, He wants to invite your friends to, “Come to me”.


LET’S OWN THIS VISION TOGETHER

Vision is something that we need to ‘own’ together. Therefore, I encourage you to commit to three things:

Make Sunday special by coming to church each week.Get along to a Community Group so as to learn with others. Use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ devotionals each day.

May we, like Matthew, respond to Jesus’ call,

‘He saw Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.’ (Matthew 9:9)

Let’s whole-heartedly respond to Jesus’ invitation to “come to me”.

Matt Beaney September 2019


VISION AND GOALS AT CCP

Our vision at CCP is, Bringing people to Jesus - Myself, One-another, Non-believers.

Two key texts have shaped this,

John 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Matt.11:28-30“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Bringing people to Jesus is to share in God’s greatest ambition. This is a vision with eternal worth that invites us to give our lives for the worlds’ greatest need.


HOW DO WE BRING PEOPLE TO JESUS?

Bringing people to Jesus involves three different relationships:

1. MYSELF

Goal to help me to bring myself to Jesus: I 'come to Jesus daily' by setting aside quality time daily in prayer and worship out of the bible (20 minutes, using the ‘coming to Jesus daily’ blog is a good start)

2. ONE-ANOTHER

Goal to help bring one-another to Jesus: Every member is in an amazing Community Group.

3. NON-BELIEVERS

Goal to help us to bring our non-believing friends to Jesus: Hospitality Week – on the first week of each month, we ‘invest and invite’ through 'Hospitality Week'.



2. COME TO JESUS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

One of our goals as a church is to,

'Come to Jesus daily' by setting aside quality time daily in prayer and worship out of the bible (20 minutes, using the ‘coming to Jesus daily’ blog is a good start)’

Jesus promises rest for the weary and burdened (Matt. 11:28-30) and ‘living water’ (John 7:37-38) if we will come to Him. During our devotionals in this vision series, we will seek to learn from the Gospel of Matthew how, what it means, and what happens to those who come to Him.



MONDAY – COME TO ME

Matthew 11:28–30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Read also John 7:37-38

Do you see the radical nature of what Jesus is saying? Most religious teachers point to a god, a lifestyle, a philosophy, the universe… Jesus is the centre of His own message. For example, we read,

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

In an age where exclusivity regarding religion is frowned on by many, Jesus is totally exclusive - He is the only Lord and Saviour!

Only in Jesus can one find salvation and rest for the soul.


RESPONSE

John bloom writes, ‘Unique to anyone else in human history, Jesus simply offers himself as the universal solution to all that burdens us.’

Have you fallen for the lie that salvation can be obtained apart from faith in Jesus - coming to Jesus? Do you confess that only He is God?

Let’s not forget that as much as it is strong and exclusive to say that all must come to Jesus alone, it can be overlooked that to say that Jesus is not God…He’s not the only Saviour… all are saved no matter what they believe…there is no God anyway… all of these views are equally strong and exclusive!



TUESDAY – WHO’S INVITED?

Matthew 11:28–30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Read also John 7:37-38

Today I want us to see just who it is that Jesus is inviting to come to Him. Not everyone is invited, and it’s surprising to see who exactly the invitation is given to. It might have been expected that Jesus would have announced, “come to me…all the good…all the righteous…all who pray…” However, He invites those who know that they are lacking – ‘all you who are weary and burdened’ and ‘anyone who is thirsty ’ (John 7:37). Only those who are ‘weary and burdened’ can or will come to Jesus. To truly come to Him, we must come to the end of ourselves.

We cannot come to Jesus with anything in our hands - my works, another Saviour, my pride. This is why Jesus speaks of the difficulty of the rich coming to Him for Salvation,

“Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:23-26)

It is hard for anyone to see there need of Jesus when they feel strong, secure and successful! Now, when we become weary and thirsty - when we realise our sinfulness, our condemnation, our weakness…then we are able to hear the invitation!


RESPONSE

Have you heard Jesus’ invitation to come to Him? Are you still amazed that God would invite such as you to receive forgiveness, adoption, eternal life and His faithfulness every day? The content and regularity of our thankful worship reveals how much we have understood His grace to us.



WEDNESDAY – RECEIVE JESUS’ REST FROM GUILT

Matthew 11:28–30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Read also John 7:37-38

The ‘weary and burdened’ and ‘thirsty’ are invited to come to Jesus for the promise of ‘rest for your souls’. This burden and thirst refers to a number of things including the burden of the guilt and penalty of our sin.

The burden of sin’s penalty

Matthew Henry wrote, ‘All those, and those only, are invited to rest in Christ, that are sensible of sin as a burden, and groan under it’. When we come to realise that we have sinned (lived in ways that displease God) and that we face God’s perfect judgement, this becomes a great burden.

In the Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, Christian flees the city of destruction carrying a burden on his shoulders. Bunyan writes,

Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which CHRISTIAN was to go was fenced on either side with a wall; and that wall was called “Salvation". Up this way, therefore, did burdened CHRISTIAN run; but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a Cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as CHRISTIAN came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble; and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was CHRISTIAN glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart,"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, And life by his death.

Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks…’

One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sin. Jesus wrote,

‘When he comes, he will prove (convict) the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned’ (John 16:8-11).

One of the evidences that God is at work in a non-believer’s life is a sense of guilt. This is a ‘burden’ and ‘thirst’ that can only be satiated by Jesus who has died for our sin.


RESPONSE

Are you weary with the burden or your sin? Do you dislike aspects how you live and think? Are you ashamed of your past? If so, have you given your burden to Jesus? If you have, why are you still carrying a burden that He has taken?

Hear, again, Jesus invitation to a life that is free from the burden of guilt, ” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)



THURSDAY – RECEIVE JESUS’ REST FROM LEGALISM

Matthew 11:28–30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Read also John 7:37-38

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus has taken the burden of the guilt of our sin. We no longer have to carry the past around with us. But, too often, like the proverbial dog that returns to its vomit, we put ourselves back under the burden of guilt.

What is legalism

There are, in essence, two approaches to getting rid of the guilt of wrong-doing (sin): firstly, there is the legalistic approach; this involves keeping the rules by our own efforts in order to earn salvation, this is self-salvation or self-righteousness. Secondly, there is Jesus’ method of salvation, summarised by the word ‘grace’ (a free gift) and so beautifully summarised in today’s texts.

Stop striving and receive Jesus’ gift of righteousness

Just look at the condition that Jesus gives for His rest - we simply need to ‘come to Him’, that means to put our faith in Him for salvation. Paul wrote about the difference between legalism and grace,

‘Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)  “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’ (Romans 10:5)

Paul describes legalism as seeking to be ‘the person who does these things’ - that is seeking to achieve righteousness through obedience. However, grace does not seek to ‘ascend’ or ‘descend’ - that is to strive to achieve righteousness through strenuous effort, which, is dishonouring to Jesus and the gospel. We don’t have to climb mountains or plumb depths, we have one who has done that for us on the cross. We can rest in the work of Jesus!


RESPONSE

Are you at rest? When was the last time that you spent a serious amount of time thanking God for His grace in Jesus? Why not make a date with yourself and God when you will sing and celebrate the rest that you have because of Jesus?



FRIDAY – RECEIVE JESUS’ REST FROM FEAR

Matthew 11:27–30 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Read also John 7:37-38

Jesus is over of all things and He is for us

Jesus says something extraordinary when He says, “All things have been committed to me by my Father…” We will only have rest if we understand that Jesus rules over all things and that He is for us, and in this text we have both ideas. Jesus wants you to know that He has ‘revealed’ the Father to you- you are a Christian by the working of His grace – He is for you! And He wants you to know that He rules all things - He will never let you go or let you down. Paul says something similar in Ephesians,

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22-23)

Jesus is ‘head over everything for the church…His body’. Jesus is Lord over creation, but He serves us, His people, who are His body.


RESPONSE

The burdens of fear, impatience disappointment… are regular visitors to our hearts. The antidote is to ‘come to Jesus’. But, let’s remember that coming to Jesus involves ‘take my yoke…and learn from me’; this involves listening and applying what He says – and He says He is Lord and that He loves us! What is burdening you at the moment? Have you come to Jesus in prayer? Whilst praying are you trusting that He has the power to do the impossible? Whilst praying are you comforted knowing that He is concerned about your life? Whist waiting for an answer are you believing that He is Lord?



3. COMMUNITY GROUP/FAMILY STUDY

BRINGING NON-BELIEVERS TO JESUS. PT. 1


Let’s begin by reminding ourselves of our vision which is… BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS. We do this in three relationships: Myself, One-another and Non-believers. It’s on our relationship with non-believers that we will be focusing on this and next week.

Our Goal to help us to bring our non-believing friends to Jesus: Hospitality Week – on the first week of each month, we ‘invest and invite’ through 'Hospitality Week'.


In John 7:37-38, one of the key texts that has shaped our vision, we see that anyone or church that truly comes to Jesus, who is filled with the life of the Spirit, will see the Spirit’s work overflowing into the communities around them. The key to evangelistic compassion, courage, effectiveness…it meeting with Jesus and being filled with the Spirit. Today, we will see this process in the life of Philip.

Please read John 1:43-51

Philip had been called by Jesus to ‘follow me’. Immediately, after meeting Jesus, Phillip, someone who is not an extraordinarily gifted evangelist, seeks to bring his friend Nathaniel to Jesus also.  


Discuss together:

  • What does a true meeting with Jesus (or the Spirit) always lead to? (See Matthew 4:19).

  • What does this episode teach us about the importance of investing in non-believing friendships?

  • Philip said, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Would this phrase make sense to your non-believing friends?

  • What words would you use to try to bring people to Jesus?

  • Verses 48-49 speak of Jesus’ power and involvement in our evangelism. How does knowing Jesus is sovereign in all our conversations and interactions with people help us to"bring people to Jesus”?

  • Who are your Nathaniel’s? Who are you investing in through prayer and time spent time with them?

  • Hospitality Week is coming up on 4th November - what do you plan to do with your friends?