Is Your Bridge Stuck?!
If I asked you, “what is your biggest obstacle/roadblock to making Jesus famous- what keeps you from fulfilling the Great Commission that Jesus gave not only to his 1st disciples but to you/me/us right here- right now today? What is hindering the church from exploding in Kingdom growth? Would you answer with Satan and his dominion (he is indeed our biggest foe/ but not an obstacle/ roadblock)? Would you say a sin-soaked world- yes, this fallen world presents us with bumps/ potholes in the road BUT it is not our obstacles roadblocks! What would you say if if I told you the answer to my question this morning is- YOU/ ME/ US- we are our most significant obstacle to making Jesus famous and we need to get over ourselves?
However, here is the quandary- WE CAN'T apart from finding contentment and satisfaction in the gracious acting of God in the finished work of Jesus- because joy is the bridge that we need to get over ourselves for the sake of the Gospel! Paul made this point clear to the Philippians as he wrote to them as he was not only suffering from imprisonment but also from those seeking to climb over Paul in a power grab- to which Paul responded by thanking God for the Gospel going forward- because the joy of Paul allowed him to see that the Gospel was about the 1 lost and not the 99 found!
Many of us struggle with this because our bridge (joy) is stuck open and not allowing us to get over us for the sake of the Gospel much like a bridge that opens and gets stuck that backs up traffic from moving! We see Paul write to similar thinking not only in Philippians 1:15 but also in 2 Corinth, 8:9, Romans 15:1, and Galatians 2:20!
Individualism is a mode of operation that is given birth through sin and misses the declaration of the Gospel- there is one King, one Team Captain- One Team Team Jesus! As followers Paul makes it clear that there is no room for nay other teams in the Kingdom of God- not even for a team Paul! Paul's joy allowed him to see that we (the church) is all on team Jesus! Paul was not willing to allow division to creep into his thoughts because he was content and satisfied to line up behind Jesus- and he wanted to get this through to the Philippians and some in the church need to rest and settle into following Jesus not men! We see this truth being addressed by Paul in Philippians 1:16-17, as well as 1 Corinth. 3:4-7 and Romans 15:5-6.
The church tends to get caught up in all kinds of debates and discussions and I believe we play into Satan's hands- because we miss what Paul is encouraging and exhorting the Philippians 1:18 to see that making Jesus famous is all that matters! The church are a bunch of skilled debaters in all things unimportant in the realm of the Kingdom of God- and by being drawn into things such as worship styles, programs, and what color to paint something- we lose focus on why we exist- which is to make Jesus famous! Paul wanted to bring the divided Philippians back together not for Paul or His sake but for the Gospel and the sake of the lost! The church today needs to be reminded that by being able to rest in the inner contentment and ultimate satisfaction of being at peace with God through the grace of Jesus- our bridge can be unstuck and allow us to go forward with the message of the Gospel- just some food for though!
Pastor Kenny Vinston