Missionaries or Monasteries?
|John 17 (NKJV™)|
|11||"Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.|
|12||"While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.|
|13||"But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.|
|14||"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.|
|15||"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.|
|16||"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.|
|17||"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.|
|18||"As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.|
|19||"And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
How can you leave your mark on the world? Most everyone wants to be remembered for some contribution made to society. Well, Jesus wants us to do that, too. In fact, He prays for that. God wants you to make an imprint on life's road so people will say, "Hey look! God's kids were here!" We can't do that by isolating ourselves. We have marching orders!
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Stuff to Think About:
Greek Terms: κόσμος; Kosmos-world;
Publications referenced: Atlantic Journal; Boston Globe
Figures referenced: Augustine, Simeon Stylites; C. H. Spurgeon; David Hume; Billy Graham
Cross references: Psalm 24; Matthew 22:39; John 3:16; Acts 17:24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 2:12; James 1:7
Turn in your bible to John chapter 17 this morning as we continue our study in the Gospel of John. We've been in and out two years we're already almost in chapter 18.
I found a cartoon that said, "The rat race is over, the rats won." It was a little commentary on how intimidating the world can seem sometimes. It can seem scary to us.
I want to read news article to you. The world is too big for us, there's too much going on, too many crimes, too much violence. Try as you will, you get behind in the race. It's an incessant strain to keep pace, you still you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is new scenes so rapidly you're out of breath trying to keep pace with who's in and who's out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can't endure much longer. That's an article from June 16, 1833. It's a news article written 178 years ago that sounds like it could've written this week, political intrigue, wars going on, information explosion, et cetera. The deal is, is that in every generation with our own context, we see the world as filled with pressure. It's not a friendly place we discover.
Here's another headline from the Boston Globe, this is November 13th, 1857, listen to this. Front page: "Energy crisis looms." Energy crisis looms, here's the subheading though. "The world may go dark since whale blubber is so scares."
Now, what do you with headlines like that? What did people do with headlines like that? Energy crisis looms, oh no, no whale blubber. Well they did a few things. Some people actually left Boston, they thought, if there's no whale blubber, I'm a toast, I'm going to the country, I'm going to get a wood burning stove, I'm going to become very independent, other people decided "Let's stay in town, let's be a part of the solution, let's work toward alternate forms of energy. Let's work this thing through; maybe we're too dependent upon whale blubber." You see the pressures in our world tend to make us either isolationist or integrationist. On one hand, it will make some people flee "I'm leaving, I've got to get out, I've got to join the monastery." Other people will say "I want to be a missionary. I want to do something about this."
We're on John chapter 17, we begin in verse 11. Jesus is praying to his Father, it's the high priestly prayer Jesus talking to God, the Father about His disciples. We get to eavesdrop on a little of that language and here in the prayer we're about to see that Jesus is speaking about the relationship His followers have with the world that is around them. Basically Jesus says "Father, I know I'm leaving soon, I'm out of here, but these guys, my disciples, they got to stay and the world is pretty hostile.", they're going to find it a "not friendly environment" and so there are some things that he prays about.
Look with me in verse 11 of John 17. Now, I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, keep through your name those whom you have given me that they maybe one as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me, I have kept and none of them is lost except the son of Perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled, but now I come to you and these things I speak in the world that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word and world has hated them because they are not of the world, just I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world but you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by your truth, Your word is truth as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world and for their sakes, I sanctify myself that they also maybe sanctified by the truth.
That's the text, now let's pray. Father in heaven, we do pray in the name of Jesus just like Angel prayed a moment ago. She remarked on the fact that You pray for us and we think that You are thinking of your disciples, those that followed You then and Your disciples now, those who follow You here are now us and You could see what we need and You could pray for what was most important, in effect what is Your will for us. So help us Lord as we now examine and unpack the truth of the paragraph that we are eavesdropping on to understand our relationship with the world that we live in, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Now in the paragraph that we just read, I want to give you four principles that come out of the text that speak about how we relate our relationship to the outside world. I'll give them to you, one, two, three; four they're in your worship folder as well. Number one, we live in a dangerous place or we're in a dangerous position.
As I read through what you and I just read a moment ago, I counted 12 usages of a single word. The word "world" is repeated 12 times in nine verses, the world, the world, the world, that's what He's praying about, the disciples in the relationship with the world. Five times a phrase appears in the same paragraph. It's the phrase "in the world", they are in the world. Another five times the phrase "of the world" appears. They are not of the world, Jesus says, five times.
So here to sum it up, Jesus says "here's the relationship, here's the position and this is why it is dangerous." They're "in the world" but they're not "of the world" and to top it all up if you look down on verse 14, something else. The world has hated them, you get the picture. You're in it, you're not of it, the world hates you. It's hard to be in something that you're not a part of that hates you.
Now here's the question. What does Jesus mean by the term "the world"? It's an important question because 209 times the New Testament uses the word "world". It's used three different ways. It's used one way here, but it's an important question to ask. What does the New Testament mean, principally when it refers to the world? Because a "for in it" and "not of it", we got to know what it is. Here's a couple more usages, Paul will say this in the Book of Romans. Don't be conformed to this world or don't let the world squeeze you into its mold, one translation puts it.
John will write in I John, I think chapter 2, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. Whoever or if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." So it behooves us to know exactly what the bible means by the term "the world if we're not to love it." And if we love it, it means that we're not loving God, so what is it? Well I mentioned the bible uses it three different ways. Number one, it speaks of the physical world, the world of God's creation.
In Acts chapter 17, Paul addresses the crowd and he says "God who made the world and everything that is in it." It is the created world that God made. So when the bible says "don't love the world", it doesn't refer to the physical world, it doesn't mean that you're to hate rocks and trees and grass and you're suppose to stand in front a tree and go "I hate you." Somebody says "what are you doing?" well the bible says "don't love the world"; well it doesn't mean it that way because Psalm 24 says "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." In fact I believe that once you become a Christian, you actually appreciate the created world more than you did before because now you have a relationship with the one who made it. Now you look at it through different eyes. Now the environment that you're in, you go "wow this is a gift from God."
I don't know how unbelieving scientist do it, they have to look around at the marvelous beauty, order and design and say "what a beautiful accident." Now we know who did it, we love God for it. So it means number one, the created world, the physical world, the universe.
A second way the term is used is to speak of the world of mankind, human kind, people. John said co quoting Jesus "for God so loved the world." What did he mean? Wasn't the created physical universe as much as the people who occupy the planet, God loves people. So when the bible says "you and I are not to love the world" it can't mean we're not to love the world of people right? If God loved the world of people, then we would love the world of people and Jesus said you are to love your neighbor as your self. So we're called to love people. But here's the danger, the danger is that, yes we appreciate the physical universe has made, yes we love people in the world but any time we place the environment or other people above our love for God, we're in trouble.
Some people talk all about the environment. The environment, the environment, the environment and people, people, people, good, great, but don't that eclipse your love first of all for God.
Agustin wrote these words. To love the world and fail to love God would be like a bride who being given a ring by her bridegroom loves the ring more than the bride bridegroom who gave it. Of course she should love what the bridegroom gave her, but to love the ring and despise him who gave it is to reject the very meaning of the ring as a token of his love.
So we've covered two usages of the term "the world", the physical world, the world of people. Here's the third usage, it's the most prominent usage in the New Testament. It is the way Jesus intends it primarily here. It's the world as an ethical system. The word "kosmos", which is the Greek word for world, we get the word cosmic from it or cosmopolitan from it, comes from a verb that means to set things in order or to arrange. So the term, the idea of the world is the world system. The way the values, the way the principles, the way the activities are all arrange in order with their own way of thinking, standards and philosophies. So its the world system.
So here we are in a physical world surrounded by a world of people but dominated by a world system, get this, a world system who's values, standards, and ideas are controlled by the devil. Now for some people there's an immediate disconnect "whoa", that's exactly what the bible says. The bible calls Satan in II Corinthians "the god of this world who has blinded the minds of those who believe not." So here we are in the physical universe filled with the world of people, dominated by a system that is opposed to the values and standards of God, that's the world we're not to be conformed to, that's the world we're not to led by, that's the world we're not to love and when we do, it's dangerous. So here we are, we're in, we're not of it. And that poses; let's call it an occupational hazard. If you love Jesus, there's an occupational hazard to following him. Look at verse 14 "the world has hated them", that's the occupational hazard.
The world has hated them because they are not of the world. See as long as you're in this world but you don't share their system of values, their ethics, then you are ignorant, arrogant, intolerant and blind, that's how they view it. "You're so intolerant because you don't agree with me" tell will say or they will mean. So you're in it, you're not of it and because you're not of it, they don't like you. Now you can be an atheist, that's okay. You can be an agnostic, that's okay. You can be foul mouth, that's okay. You can drink a lot, that's okay. You can be sexually promiscuous, that's okay. You can even be mildly religious but as the moment, as long as you say "I love Christ," there's a target on you.
The world hated them because they are not of the world. So you see this principles stated pretty strongly here and elsewhere. We're in a dangerous position. Let me give you the second principle. Now it's important at this point to get reassured a little bit because though we're on a dangerous position, we're given God's protection. There's a word that is also repeated a few time, it's the word "keep" or "kept", means guarded.
Verse 11, Jesus said, "Father keep them, keep them, guard them." And then later on He says, "I don't pray that you take them out of this world but that you keep them, protect them, guard them." Please notice that. When Jesus prays for His men who are in this world hated by the world he doesn't pray a prayer of escapism. He doesn't say, "Father help them all to find the nice little cave somewhere where they can store food and ammunition and well blubber for the future. It's not a prayer of escape, it's a prayer of integration, it's a prayer of being a missionary they're here, they're in it they're hated by all, keep them.
Years ago when Church history there was the idea that if you leave the world, leave the world of people and isolate yourself in the desert or in the four restaurant of monastery that's the only way you're going to be able to manage and cope. It was the whole movement during church history called the monastic movement a movement toward monasteries or isolationism. People withdrew to stay pure and there's all sorts of interesting stories of how people suck to escape some lead in the fields and grace like cattle because they thought that's holiness. I'm eating like a cow, I'm holy. Really? I think it's weird.
One person was regarded have the reputation for being so orderly holy because he never changed his clothes and he never bathed, I don't want to be that holy. Probably the most famous story and antiquity comes from the fifth century a monk by the name of Simeon Stylites who lived for 30 years on top of a 60 foot high pillar. He became a tourist attraction that he would be up there day and night, day and night. Managed to get food then go back up day and night for 30 years I lived the top of the pillar and it just so impressed people wow and I got must be really holy.
And so others sucked to immolate them and there's a story of one who was a wannabe kind of a recluse and he solve what Simeon Stylites have done except he didn't have a pillar and he lived in the city, so what he did is he took a chair and put it on his kitchen table that was his pillar, put a sheet around him like a contemplation cloth and he just sought this, so this is it and everything was good till his family came home and so what are you doing up there sitting on the chain on the kitchen table and he got down and he writes later on these words. I soon proceed it's a very difficult thing to be a saint while living with your own family. Now I see why Simeon Stylites and Jerome went out to the dessert. Listen, we don't need to saints on pillars, we need saints by in desks and then hospitals and then the work force integrating with our culture besides that you can do all of those things there's a question yourself away and still be a very worldly person.
If you read the stories of those recluses and those monks they battle so often with lust and bad thoughts and to counteract the bad thoughts they had why they were alone in their room they would sometimes go out and throw themselves into a foreign bush, so as not to have bad lustful thoughts now, they have to think about the wounds they have incurred which I never thought was a good idea because it will always be a dead give away right as to what you've been thinking lately you come back to the monastery and say dude your mind is been in the gutter oh. No really I just fell.
Verse 11, Luke at it with me, "Now I am no longer in the world but these are in the world and I come to you Holy Father keep through your name. I love that it means protect that's then how you be render." Verse 12, While I was with them in the world I kept to them in your name, those of you who kept me I have kept and non of them is lost except the son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled." Verse 15, "I do not pray that you should take them out of the world but then you should keep them from the evil one."
Now Jesus said, "I did it, I kept them." While I was with them I made sure they were protected, I kept them but now that I am leaving them, it's really important Father that you take and maintain that and that you keep them."
Now we mentioned before the first time that if Jesus is praying this and it's praying the perfect will of God, you can be assured it's going to be answered. So please let this be an assurance to you. Some timid Christians will sometimes say, "Oh how do I know I even get and make it true."
And I often will smile and say because I know Him. I know Him and he can keep you and he will keep you. The bible promises that you'll make it true. Paul wrote to Timothy and he said, "I know whom I have believed, I love that, not I know what I believe I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him until that day. And if you have committed you to him, he will keep you till the very end. Whatever God starts he finishes, right. He who has began a good work will complete it. He's the author and the finisher of our faith. God does not like me; I have so many unfinished projects here and there and everywhere.
And it's not like God goes, "Oh yeah, you I forgot about you but I can get to you for a while I'm so busy over here whatever God starts he finishes. And some of you say wait a minute I'd looked at Verse 12 too, what about that guy because Jesus said I kept and none of them is lost except we're uncomfortable with that word except whom. The son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled that's Judas Iscariot. And so you might be wondering, why didn't Jesus kept him? Listen you got I want to be kept. Judas never did, he wasn't kept because he never wanted to be kept. There's evidence that he was never a true believer it is a sort of one of allow the crowd, he just went to Church, just open the book into the right verse saying the right songs, his heart was never changed, his heart was never touched, he didn't' follow Christ. He just went along for the joyride but those I truly believed I have kept and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Now knowing that God keeps us produces stability, not knowing that God keeps us produces instability. There's a lot of unstable Christians because they just haven't got the grip on God's preserving, keeping, protecting hand that is not based on you, or your nature, or your activity but God's. You know what's like, it's like if you go on a trip, you got to go all planned out and then you discover you take in the wrong turn and you're lost now and now you panic, well you might not panic. I did.
I have moved to Albuquerque, I hadn't seen much of the state. Our son was born and he was a little baby and I said to my wife, let's see the state. Let's go down the white sand. Now you would think, that's pretty easy and you'd never get lost there but I did and I took the wrong turn and I end up from a little town called "Carrizozo" ever been there. I had never been there and I thought I had been transported 200 years back to the Wild Wild West because my son is in the back seat and he was vomiting. So I knew he had a fever. My car was on the blink so I needed to get a car fixed and I needed to find a doctor neither was a possibility where I was. They said we don't have a doctor on these parts; a nurse comes twice a week that's it. And you can get car fixed for about a 150 miles. So now I started panicking because I thought I was on the right road on the right track everything was flowing the way I wanted to now it's very disorienting.
That's what believers are like who don't have a firm grip on the keeping power of God, so we're in a dangerous position but we're given God's protection in this world. Here's the third principle, we need spiritual preparation. We need spiritual preparation. Not to know about you but I am glad and I am grateful and I thank God that I'm going to be kept in this world that I have that promise but frankly that's not enough. I want more; I don't want to just make it through to the end. I want to make it through well. I want to finish well. I don't' want to just get to heaven and go, "Men amidst, awesome" I'll be saying that but I want to say by God's grace while I was here I was ready for the test and prepared for the test to make a difference. Now is that possible?
In a single word by the truth that's the word, truth. You and I need steady doses of sanctifying truth if we're going to make it any impact at all in this world.
Look at the 17th verse; notice the prayer Jesus rays to his Father. "Sanctify them I know that's an old fashioned bible word that means consecrate them set them apart, dedicate them it could also be translated, prepare them, move them aside and prepare them get them ready. Sanctify them by your truth, your word is true. Verse 19, "And for their sake I sanctify myself that they maybe sanctified by the truth. It's the truth.
This is how you can be in the world and out of the world. This is how you can be kept from the evil that is all around you by the truth. This is how we can stand against a world that hates our Gospel and hates those of us who preach it. And if we're going to make any impact in this dangerous world it's because of the truth.
You got to know it and believe it, you know there's something compelling even attractive about a person who believes the truth with such deep conviction, it moves people when they find that kind of authority and authenticity. Charles Haddon Spurgeon used to say sediment on fire and people will come to watch him burned. There was a man named David Hume, if you took philosophy you know him well. He was a philosopher, he claimed to be a DS here and believed in a deity of Christ he didn't believe in the person of Christ, he didn't believe in salvation etcetera, he didn't believe in the cross and atonement didn't believe the bible has inspired and one evening he was going to the streets of London, and somebody recognized him and he said, "You're David Hume aren't you?" So he said yes I am.
To where you off to, he said, I'm going to hear to George Whitfield to preach and the man was taken to back and he said George Whitfield but you don't believe the word he says, he goes no I don't but he does. And there's just something compelling that David Hume out of his house to listen to somebody who really believed what he preached. Set a mount on fire and people will come to watch him burn and the same has been true with Doctor Billy Gram all these years who stood in and stadiums around the world and from his youth all the way to his old age he always said, "the bible says" and often quoted reframed, "the bible says", "the bible says" and it's the truth that he passionately believed people are drawn to that.
So the truth is what preserves you, it's what prepares you, this world system will eat you alive if you don't get teetered and anchored to biblical truth. If you are like wow, I don't really know what I believe, I don't' really know if that's true and that James put a beautifully a double minded man is on stable and all his ways and if you're doubled minded about the bible, you'll be like a bowie bouncing up and down in the sea, right? But the whole to it firmly, is what prepares you and I to do something in this world.
Again Charles Spurgeon, do it said, "So many cool things, eh said a bible that is falling apart usually belongs to somebody who isn't." I like that. I look at a person's life they're just on course confidence trusting the Lord look at their bible they've been in and a lot pretty be that problem and then what it means she go take your bible home and run over with your car and tear a few pages out and right a bunch of stuff and go see spiritual. But this is why we tell people buy a bible, own a bible bring a bible to Church, read it frequently so it becomes yours, it's the truth you refer to that is how you will be prepared constant study doses of sanctifying truth prepare a year.
So, our position we're in the world not of that. Our protection, God promises to keep you like Jesus kept his own, our preparation the word of God, that's why we come every week. We get fed, get prepared. And the fourth is really it ties it all together, to me this is the past part, this is the graduation part, this is where you graduate because what good is it to be so prepared and so protected if you're not going to really do anything with it. And this is the permeation face, that's the fourth principle we've been called the permeation, look at Verse 18.
As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. Let that phrase just sort of sip into your heart for a minute, think of that, break it up. Jesus recognizes I have been sent into this world by my Father, I'm on a mission from God, he knows what the cross is all about, he knows why he's here. I've been sent by you Father. In the same way that I've been sent on a mission, I have commissioned them, I have sent them into the world.
Now, would you allow me to have you look at the verse along side of that to compare one verse with this verse because I want you to see something I think it's vital. Go back to verse six part of the same prayer. I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given me out of the world, out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me and they have kept your word. Now look at verse 18, as you sent me into the world, I have send them into the world. See how this all works? He takes you out of the world spiritually, that's salvation.
You're not part of the world, you're part of the kingdom of God, and you're part of the church. Different value system, different way of living, taking you out of the world, that's salvation he's claimed you up, that's sanctification then he puts you back into the world, that's mission, that's impact, that's evangelism. Out clans and then hey guess what, you're going back and now you can really affect it.
I want to close by having you with me in your mind just compare different ways through out history, up to this present time that Christians have related to the world and we'll end on this one. Read briefly, number one, historically one of the means that Christians have related to their world is to isolate. To isolate, isolate themselves, that's the whole monastery idea. World is bad, I have to leave all of it and I have to find a lonely quiet place and be away from it for me to even cope as to isolate. That's what monasteries are all about. It seemed to serve some well, I don't think it's the appropriate response. I've even heard that idea in conversations, we had conversations some years back and I remember someone said to me, "Skip would it be cool if every neighbor in your neighborhood love Jesus." And if guy at the post office and at the grocery they were all Christians and everybody in the police force and the fire -- all of them love Jesus and everybody in the town you lived in. If everybody was a Christian, think how cool that would be. I said, "Friend you just described heaven." That's the millennium you're talking about. And that's wonderful but that are not going to happen.
And to say, "let's go create one doesn't serve this world then its good." That's number one to isolate. Response number two is to insulate, the world is bad, I've got to protect myself, protect my family from all the bad influence to the world so I'll just kid for we're here but not really here. And so all be over here and I'll point my finger in at world and say, "Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad." But I wont really do anything about it because I'm insulated from it.
There was a group in the New Testament that tried that, they were called Pharisees. That's what they were called. Pharisees is the word that means The Separated Ones, they were insulated from the world, separated from the world. They would walk to the streets of their town, especially Jerusalem with their robes tightly around their bodies, heads down so its not to make eye contact with the gentile, robes close to them so the wouldn't touch you or I aren't got codices. So that's how they would be insulated from it. Oh by the way, the Pharisees pointed out the world and said, "Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad." But never once do you read of a Pharisee doing evangelism, never once, never reaching out to win us all.
A third response is to vegetate, not isolate, not insulate but to vegetate, this is the apathetic Christian, whatever worlds going to hell I'll let it. All I care about is personal comfort along the way I just want my share now. It's a very, very sad state when a person comes to the "Vegetate phase".
A fourth response, a believers has been not to isolate, no to insulate, not to vegetate but to imitate.
And this is the believer who says, "Well you know what? If we're ever going to reach the world, we really have to be worldly and be a world like. And once they see whereas cool as they are, then they're going to listen to us." No they won't, you have no message for them at this point. None because they can get you anywhere else, they can get your message anywhere else. It's when you're different it's with the word Holy means sanctified. So in start contrast to where they're at that they may listen. They won't listen if you're just like them. What are they changing from and changing to.
The fifth responds and the final one is the best one. It's the bit look of once that when Jesus prays for is not to isolate, its not to insulate, its not to vegetate, its not to imitate, it's to permeate. It's to get called out of the world system, get saved and cleanse by Jesus, and put right back in to make a difference to make an impact.
Those as I prayed it, I don't pray you take them out of the world physically. You keep them from the evil one. And verse 18, "I sent them into this world." Jesus will say, "You are the salt of the earth." Get that picture salt would be pushed into corrupted meat to preserve it. It is contact without contamination. Its making a difference.
So to summed it up, our place is the believer in this world its too fold where have be in the word and were to be end the world. Now, one or the other, both in the word, in the world so if you're just in the world, all week long around the world listening to what the world says, listen at the world amuse if its in the worldly stuff, and you're not in the word, you're going to become like the world. Because you're in the world not in the word but if you're in the word all week, the word the bible, the prayer, that's good. I do it all the time but if you don't make contact with the world, you get fat and sassy. Spiritually speaking.
The Christian needs the word but the Christian also needs the world. You understand? The Christian needs the word but the Christian needs the world. If I were known interesting illustration. Years ago when they were trying to bring cud fish from the east coast out to the west because an appetite had developed for it here. They first tried shipping it out frozen, they would freeze it, ship it out fought out, eat it. But they discovered it last to lot of its flavor from what they remember having it fresh out of the sea in the east coast.
Number two, they try to ship it in tanks of seawater but it was more expensive took a lot longer but the time it got here, the fish was mushier. Mushier, it just didn't work. They try and this is where they succeeded, they tried by putting it in tanks of sea water bunch of the cad fish but inserting into the tanks, one or two catfish which is the natural enemy of the codfish so that from the east coast to the west, the entire journey, the catfish was chasing the codfish all around the tank, all around the tank, all around the tank but the time they got here, fresh, texture, firm, flavorful.
Found out that the codfish needs a catfish. Christians need the word, the Christians the world. We need to be in the word and then send into the world to make a difference. When you live that way, you're really living. I'm going to read a little poem as we close. There's just four lines, don't worry.
There was a very cautious man who never laughed of played, he never rest, he never tried, he never saying, or prayed. And when one day he passed away, his insurance was denied for sins he never really lived they claim he never died. If you really want to live not just exist or make it through to heaven by the grace of God. You want to live, get turn loose for Jesus. We've been in the word, now the salt shaker gets turned upside down and the salt gets poured out into the community. And that's where we make impact.Would you stand with me and we'll pray. Lord, we're yours, we're your people, we're simple people, we're sinful people whom you have saved, who've taken us out of the world. We're in it but we're not of it, we don't belong to it, it's not our home, we have a very different kingdom and a different set of values and a different king. We thank you lord that you have called us, that you are keeping us and that you will prepare us. And now lord as you send us, I pray the great things would be accomplished as we become your instruments, in Jesus name, Amen.