Let’s Roll

Let’s Roll

As most of you are aware, this was originally written for our “Let’s Roll” conference, so you’ll have to excuse me if it seems a bit preachy and less interactive for a small group setting! 🙂

Tonight, our goal is that God, an all consuming fire, would ignite a fire within each of us here that would motivate us to be men who move God’s kingdom forward!

To lay a firm foundation for the conference, I felt lead to first discuss a little bit about God’s Kingdom and what it means to move it forward. It would be good for all of us to remember and always keep in mind these basics of God’s kingdom.

First off, God’s kingdom is exactly that: a kingdom. It is not a republic ruled by popular opinion that is ever shifting such as the democracy in which we live. It is ruled by the King of kings who never changes and is perfect in every way. It’s government has no corruption nor will any type of corruption, such as our sins, be accepted nor tolerated.

In God’s kingdom, it’s His way or the highway and 1/3 of the angels have already learned this the hard way. This is a good thing, though, because God knows what is best and He desires only the best for all of the members of His kingdom. The highest of quality in regard to workmanship and life are His specialties. He is the one and only Creator. By Him, all things were skillfully crafted and by Him, all things continue to work together and be held together.

God’s physical kingdom consists of not only God, those who have accepted His salvation, and the angels. The Bible reveals that it also consists of many creatures, some of which look like they came straight from a sci-fi movie! It consists of both the physical world that we’ve seen quite a bit of as well as the spiritual world, which we’re far too ignorant of. It is far greater than we can imagine or comprehend here in these bodies.

God sovereignly reigns forever as His kingdom will have no end. He rules His kingdom with a perfect balance of justice and mercy, wrath and grace, truth and love, righteousness and peace, knowledge and wisdom. In God’s kingdom, there is no sickness, no pain, no disease, no mourning, no crying, and no death. In God’s kingdom, there is true freedom and fullness of life!

In the beginning, the earth on which we live shared these same attributes as God’s kingdom currently does.

However, it became corrupted.

Adam and Eve chose their own desires over God’s wisdom and we’ve all suffered the consequences since. They lost their place in the Kingdom of God. Instead of walking with God in person like good friends, their sin separated them from Him. Sickness, pain, disease, death, mourning, and tears now consume the earth. However, God had a plan – a plan to do away with our current order of things and to make all things new.

Jesus came to make a way for everyone and anyone to be able to become a member of the Kingdom of God. The sin that kept us separated from God and out of God’s kingdom, He paid the price for personally. Now, through simple faith in this free gift of salvation, we are adopted into the family of God and become royalty in His Kingdom!

However, this is just the start. This is just the beginning of what it truly means to be a Christian.

Most of us are familiar with the many things that Jesus did while He was here on the earth. The dead were raised to life, the blind could see, the deaf could hear, the lame could leap, sins were forgiven, and lives were transformed.

Essentially what happened was that the Kingdom of God once again came to earth. Remember, in heaven, there is no sickness, no death, no pain (Revelation 21:4). Jesus invaded earth with heaven.

Jesus taught us how to pray, and many of us have memorized that prayer. If you know it, quote it along with me.

Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Thy kingdom come, they will be done in earth as it is in heaven. That was the prayer of Jesus, the life of Jesus, and He taught us to pray that same prayer. Jesus showed us that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words only, but of

action and adventure. Jesus showed us that the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of power and change. Jesus showed us just how powerfully a single person who chooses to follow His lead can be in changing the culture and atmosphere in which we live.

We may think, “Well, sure, He was Jesus. He was the living God wrapped in flesh. Of course, He could bring heaven to earth!”. However, read beyond Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read the book of Acts and you’ll find that those who followed Jesus continued doing all of the same things that He did. They lived lives of action and adventure and transformed entire nations.

Jesus said this:

John 14:12
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Jesus died and rose again not only to pay the price of our sins and to make a way into the Kingdom of God, but He also rose again so that He could send the Holy Spirit to any who would believe in Him. In this way, they would be equipped and empowered to do all of the works that He had done and even greater!

If we believe in Jesus, then, men, we’ve got work to do! Listen to this parable of Jesus. For those who are fathers here, you can probably well relate! Jesus said:

Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

The Kingdom of God is not a matter of words, but of action! It’s not enough to just say that you believe in Jesus! It’s not enough to say that you believe the Bible or quote from it! It’s not enough to say that you are saved and going to Heaven! This generation is looking for someone who stops talking about it and starts doing something about it!!!

This parable makes this crystal clear. Jesus is seeking out men of integrity who believe Him; not with their words, but with their actions!

God didn’t create us so that we could slave away most of our lives at a job just to keep bills paid, then to wait until we die. God created us for so much more! God created us to be men of action and adventure!!!

Think about Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Joshua, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Timothy, David, and Elijah. These are all men who committed themselves to live wholeheartedly for God. They lived bold, courageous, and adventurous lives. In fact, when I read through the Bible, I don’t read about a single man who gave their lives to God who did not lead a life of adventure and influence.

No one ever gave their lives to Jesus just to have Jesus say, “Yup, that’s about all of the potential that I created you for. Just keep doing what you’re doing; that’s basically all I’ve got for you…” No, when Jesus simply said to a man, “Follow me.”, their lives were never the same! They were immediately called into ACTION!

Today, I believe that God is calling us all into action. These three simple calls to action apply to each one of us no matter where we are at in life. They are:

1. Surrender!

Just like in the old westerns, we’re surrounded and we’ve got no way out. We may think that we’re the fastest gun in the west, but we’re wrong. We’ve been outlaws for far too long and our shenanigans are over! When we find ourselves alone on that dirt road through town face-to-face with Jesus at high noon, we might as well just put our hands up and throw down our weapons. We’ve got no chance! Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. There is simply nothing better for us to do, but to surrender to Him.

Of course, there is always the choice to coward out. We can always choose to sneak out of town the night before the showdown and continue to live our lives foolishly avoiding that showdown with Jesus as long as we can. The Bible says, however, that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. We either surrender now and receive the rich blessing and reward that comes with it or we wait until we’re forced to do it and realize all that we’re going to lose by not choosing to do it sooner!

2. Ask, “Is it worth it?”

We took just a brief overview of what the Kingdom of God is like. Jesus also taught the crowds all about what it is like and people started to follow Him. However, He did a strange thing. Instead of being happy and giving them all a pat on the back for their choice, He did something interesting:

Luke 14:25-35
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Jesus was up front with those who began to follow Him. He knew that not all of them were going to be man enough for the challenge. He didn’t lead them on and then ease them into some of the challenges that come with following Him. Instead, He let them know right away what the cost is of following Him. It’s not a choice suited for the weak and those who value the comforts of this world. It’s a choice for those who see the true value in the Kingdom of God and are willing to give up anything and everything to gain it.

Finally, Jesus is calling each of us to:

3. Follow Me!

For those who see the value of God’s Kingdom and are willing to give up anything and everything to gain it, Jesus simply says, “Follow Me!”. He gives us His Holy Spirit and says, “Saddle up and hang on tight! It’s gonna be quite the ride!”. There will be danger, there will be opposition, it will not be comfortable, it will not always be easy, but it will absolutely be worth it!

It’s time for heaven to invade earth once again and Jesus is calling on us to be men of action and to move God’s Kingdom forward. The reward will be rich, but the sacrifice is great!

It’s sort of like this:

* The Quick and The Dead – I Won’t Draw *

People may hate you – they hated Jesus. People may spit in your face and put you through all kinds of crap – they did to Jesus. However, when push came to shove, men of God pull the trigger. They free themselves and this earth from the work of Satan by putting a bullet through their own flesh every day and choosing to live a life lead by the Holy Spirit. They put to death their old selves and their old way of thinking and they move into action!

I believe that God is calling us this evening to do exactly this. I encourage you to allow God to speak to you. Get out your Bible, read it, live it! Read through the gospels and learn how Jesus lived. Read through the book of Acts and learn about the action and adventure filled life that the church is meant to live!

Allow God to speak to you and show you how you, personally, can take action and move the Kingdom of God forward here on the earth. Wherever you are at in life, God has a divine plan and purpose to do something extraordinary through your ordinary life. The book of Acts (the Acts of the Holy Spirit) is still being written. Start adding pages through your own life that others can read and be challenged, themselves, to take action!

In the words of Jesus:
John 14:12
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.