To this juncture is everyone's here and it's technically 736 on a body clock. This is the time when you praise Jesus for sunshine because we're going to see more of it. Amen. Yes see more of it. The gloom and doom is over daylight savings is here. We can be telling ourselves that is there still rubbing sleep out of our eyes. Well done. Brave eight o'clock service. It's good to see all of you my name Sandy, one of the pastor's here, Cottage Grove. I want to welcome you if you're a visitor, we love visitors here. We want to get to know you know more about you. In our kind of cafe space back there where you got coffee, we have a welcome space. That's what we call it. It's freaking good. It's kind of all the information you would want about Cottage Grove you can fill out some of your information and give that to us. And we're also having a new to Cottage Grove brunch coming up very soon. information for that is in your program. But with that is just a time for you to come and get to know more about what is going on in the life of our church and how to take the next step in getting involved In our church, free food, meaning people getting to know other people and feel known in this place, that's our goal for you. That's what we want to have happen for you. So please sign up for that Cottage Grove brunch that's coming up real soon. And by the way, if you do go to that welcome space and you are brand new, or how to scrub you will get a brand new handy dandy mug that has our logo on it. They are reminded every time of the wonderful experience that you had a connoisseur of church right? So I invite you to do that for real for we'd love to meet you guys. And we also are having our Easter services coming up and about a month here so that you can clap for so please do so Easter services. Yes, yes, yes. If you've been here at Cottage Grove for any time you know that this is the highlight of our entire year is celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we tried to jam pack this weekend to make it to so worthwhile in celebration what Jesus has done so a couple of different dislike new things. We want to tell you About one, we're still doing our regular like Good Friday service. Okay, but it's a little bit different this year, we're still doing the seven last words. Okay, so we'll go through the seven last words of Jesus, we give a little, like, five minute sermon on each one by seven different preachers. This time though, we're actually bringing in other pastors from Des Moines to share this time with us, which is going to be super exciting. I tell you what we talk, we talk a lot about unity in this church, we need to continue to talk about unity in the larger church. And if we can't find unity around the shared blood of Jesus Christ, I mean, are we even the church so we're excited to bring in some of our some of our brothers from throughout the city. And by the way, it'll be me and this other guy and cold Nike will be the only white dudes on stage. So it'll be a super diverse one as well. So yeah, frontier church, New Life Center, a handful of other churches will becoming Corinthian Baptist. It's going to be a really exciting time. So invite you to come. It'll be really sweet. We're gonna have more services and what we normally do because it'll probably be a little bit packed. But informations can be in your program. We're also because the Lord's blessing us a lot of people are showing up. We're going to do this really kind of not okay thing. We're going to have a Saturday night Easter Sunday service. Yeah, that's right. So people are excited about that. So, still, baptisms are happening that night, we're still gonna pretend like it's Sunday morning, it's gonna be great. It's gonna be awesome. Really excited to honestly just try it out. And if it's terrible, we'll just never do it again. That's freedom in Christ. So excited about it though, baptisms will be happening if you have given your life to Christ recently and you're wanting to celebrate the truth of what has happened in you because what Jesus has done for you. Baptism is something that we invite you to participate in. It's the sacrament that God has given us to declare that I belong to Jesus. So if you have not taken that step of obedience and been baptized, we invite you to sign up you can do so we as a church want to celebrate that with you. It's and you guys No, it's a party in this place on a Sunday morning when we're celebrating those baptisms. This time. We'll have him on the Saturday night too.
So sign up. It'll be really great if you haven't done that yet. If you have any questions about that, by the way, grab the pastor, grab a staff member or grab someone, you know, ask more questions about baptism, let's talk about it. But if that's something that Orj turn on your hearts, I implore you let this Easter Sunday be the time when you can be officially to celebrate about this church taking a step of obedience. Amen. Amen.
Okay, so I want you to turn to Luke chapter 13. That's where we're going to be this morning. Luke chapter 13. Starting in verse 10, is I'm sorry, not starting in verse 10. Starting Yep, verse 10. That's where I want to be. So starting in verse 10. This is going to be the story about the bent woman and a couple of parables that Jesus is sharing as well. So I invite you to stand up with me the words will be up on the screen too. This is Luke chapter 13, verses 10 through 21. We'll read this out loud together and then we're going to dive on in starting verse 10.
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for 18 years, she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her woman, you are freed from your disability. And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God, but the ruler of the synagogue indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, there are six days in which work ought to be done, come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. Then the Lord answered him, you hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it and not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, who Satan bound for 18 years. Yours be loosened from this bond on the Saturday. As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame. And all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. He said, therefore, what is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air may nests and its branches. And again, he said, to what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like 11 that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all 11. The title of this message is the promise of deliverance, the promise of deliverance. Let's pray God, I ask that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer, you cast a lofty marvelous Kingdom vision And promise in this text today God would we be a fresh and new for those of us who know you and love you who've experienced your deliverance but God for those in this place who have not would the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ shine clearly this morning I pray all these things in your name Jesus amen you guys can take a seat.
So 2020. Caucusing is underway Super Tuesday just went down. There's all of that just you know stuff happening all over the place. And if you've noticed, during campaigns presidential candidates make promises for real, that really only kings can make. Right? You notice that? I mean, one of the strategies is make the biggest promises cast the greatest vision that you can possibly ever cast or promise. And yeah, when you think about it, like freedom from taxes, freedom from legislation, freedom from fear, freedom from bureaucrats, freedom from whatever fill in the blank. And by the way, I'm not going to say anything like contentious or offensive right now. I saved those offensively. tweetable comments for November so we'll wait for that. But so I was listening to the this this podcast on Freakonomics. So podcasts are my way to pretend like I'm way more educated than I actually am. So the this Freakonomics podcast was asking this question, does the President matter as much as you think? Now, I'm not a poli sci major, so I'm not gonna like, you know, I fake it till I make it. So listen to podcasts. But I'm gonna dive into this question right now. Briefly. Does the President matter as much as you think? Well, they kind of just diagnosed all of that. I'm going to summarize podcasts for you. Spoiler alert, but so they talk about the economy, foreign policy, management of the executive branch control of the judiciary, domestic affairs, all the stuff the President does, right. And overall, all of these like sociologists and policy people and you know, whatever the experts, they all basically gave the president like a six or a seven on how He actually matters in any of those areas. And honestly, in my mind, I thought it was a 12 right out of 10. I mean, just like every time, like, this is like what that dude ultimately does, because the reality is, especially these candidates, they cast this vision, like they're the king, they're gonna get it done. You give them their vote, and they're gonna make your dreams come true, right, like all over the place. And they do this because of this. They are absolutely casting all of this because they want to woo you to vote for them. Right? All of these massive promises all of this they're describing all this these things, but it's kind of funny because the government is literally designed to keep them from having the power of a king. Yeah, like checks and balances. Like there's three branches on purpose. You're never going to be a king, bro. So stop trying to like pretend like you are right. So that is why none of these candidates ever ultimately fulfill any promise that they give you. Sometimes they get close, but at the end of the day, they always let you down, right? I want you to know that there's a king in heaven who is never ever going to fail. Its affiliate His promises and his vision of the kingdom campaign he's coming to set forth in this entire world. That is Jesus Christ. His campaign is glorious and marvelous. It's the kingdom of God, and it blows our minds. And the vision is lofty and the promises are insane. And they're all true. Because he has the power to fulfill him, because he's the king. So Jesus in this text is promising deliverance. Jesus promises deliverance in this text, we're going to see this. Think about a campaign right now. Jesus is kind of like going through it. We see a campaign advertisement. We see a campaign debate. And then we see a campaign strategy all laid throughout this text. So let's look at this campaign advertisement. It's his interaction with this woman. So this woman, Jesus is teaching in the synagogues, okay, so he's doing his thing as being a rabbi he's teaching. This is in verse 10 through 12, and this one that is in the crowd, and the text is pretty Lucas, his position is pretty, pretty specific. about what's going on with this woman he says that she is bent. A bent woman. She had a disabling spirit for 18 years she was so bent she could never straighten up. Okay, so like I mean even some of the some of the commentators are talking about what this could have been they're trying to figure it out some sort of horrible deformity that type of thing that constantly had her like bent over my father in law has some back issues and as battled with back issues for years. Okay, so how to get some surgeries, like try to figure out different things, gets the shots, all that stuff. But it's, it's, I know what's going on in that dude's back and what he's actually feeling all over the place, but he powers through it for this specific fact. He wants to play with his grandkids. So he literally in his mind is thinking this, I'll pay the price later. There's no way that this back is going to keep me from hanging out with my grandkids. So he's rolling around, he's wrestling is doing all this stuff. And we're just like man pops, take it easy, because you're just not gonna be able to get up for the next like, three days, right? So but but he's powering through Because this reality, to have some debilitating issue to keep you from holding the people that you love is so deep debilitating. This woman for eight years has not been able to stand up and embrace her loved ones.
And Luke, the physician is attributing this to spiritual oppression, saying she has this spiritual disability that is going on here. So I'm not saying that like every single physical element we have is some spiritual attack from the devil. But sometimes according to the text, it most certainly is. And in this case, that's what Jesus is like. Jesus was noticing that this woman is bent over and he's seeing because he sees everything, the spiritual ramifications of what is occurring with this woman. She is being enslaved and oppressed by Satan himself, enslaved and bound by spiritual oppression and Jesus saying that's my territory of battle right there. I'm going to step into that physicians can maybe come up with a way to heal your broken back I'm the only one that can heal your broken soul. So Jesus steps in to this battle right now. So he's seeing this woman sees her there and I love this. He's teaching By the way, he's doing the important Rabbi work of like disclosing all of this Godly wisdom and insight from the text in the synagogue. And he stops in the middle of it. Because he sees a woman. I sometimes when I'm preaching and teaching, don't even know that like something happened one time I think a Pew broke in the middle of me like preaching, I didn't even know what happened. So Jesus, though doing all of this notices this woman and he stops what he's doing. And he calls to her. Literally all the synagogue is looking at him, and he stops and he calls her and she comes to him. limping, barely getting over there. I love this. He calls this shot is like LeBron James shooting from the logo, okay, calls a shot and says you're healed. And then lays hands on her. And then for the first time in 18 years, she stands up straight. Jesus heals this woman breaks the spiritual oppression that she's been experiencing for 18 years by merely calling a shot and doing this honor. That's it. And this spiritual bondage is now completely broken. that Satan has been punched in the face and his inability to control this woman is totally gone. Jesus laying hands gets that done. It's the power of our king. There's deliverance right now and I want you to see this. Compassion is what leads to deliverance. Jesus has compassion on this woman. He sees her he feels for her. He he sees her as his daughter. He has compassion and it motivates him to deliver her. That's what God has been doing all throughout redemptive history. That is what prompted him to finally get Moses to go in and deliver the Israelites. Right. He said, I've heard the cries of my people in Egypt. I've seen Seeing their oppression. I've seen their, their, their shackles and the brutality that they're experiencing. So I'm going to do something about it. Compassion is what stirring Jesus. And it's what's been stirring God all this time out of love for his people. He's stirred towards deliverance. So he delivers this woman out of this compassion. He's doing this advertisement of what his kingdom is all about. When you're in His Kingdom, deliverance, what happens to you, when you're in the kingdom of God, deliverance is what happens to you, The kingdom of God is full of delivered people. And Jesus is that Jesus is showing this this advertisement of what it looks like for all of us in this room, where we are struggling deeply horribly with sin bent over unable to stand up ourselves the slavery and the death that we are deserving of bins us over to a D debilitating in slave state with there's nothing that we can do about it and Jesus comes in out of compassion. For you and me out of love, he looks at us and he says, I will come for them, I will free them. I will break the chains for them so that they could stand up straight and do what? worship me. Stand up straight now be freed to worship me. And that's exactly what the woman does. Do you notice this? The woman's first response is not to go and hug her family members. It's not to go skip around. It's not to do anything else. But to put her hands up in praise. The first thing the woman does, the text says, she glorified God. She glorified God. She did nothing. I want you to notice this is the women's participation in all this.
The woman did nothing to be delivered. She did nothing. She simply received The deliverance from Jesus. Jesus called her she walked towards him, and then she did nothing else. Jesus did all of the work. I want you to hear this people. It's not your bold faith that delivers you. It's not your good life that delivers you. It's not your just understanding of great theology that delivers you. It's the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that delivers you. The axis by which we obtained that faith is that grace is faith. But ultimately, it just takes just a little teeny little ounce of just taking one step towards Jesus that results in miraculous deliverance of our souls. It's nothing that we do. It's all an initiation of His grace is how deliverance occurs to this woman to simply received this deliverance. And the woman's immediate response was rejoicing in that deliverance, rejoicing in the first time she stood up in 18 years. She was delivered miraculously, so she rejoiced passionately.
She was delivered miraculously so she rejoiced passionately. I'm gonna pause on there for a minute. How many of us in this room would say that your testimony of the Lord's deliverance is in the boring category? Right? If that's me, a little, you know, angsty 15 year old kid realize that people don't like him very much. And so God showed up and revealed that he loves me like crazy that I am a sinner and then I'm therefore believed I seriously placed my testimony in the boring category. No, like deep dark sin. No crazy like crackhead you know tossed in the ditch and Angel shows up and Lord delivers me right like none of that I'm in the boring category. How many of you are in the boring category of just it's like really not that big of a deal. Like Christian household. It was great. I understood. It was awesome. Like, okay, but really, man when I hear those testimonies, like if I could Have a story like that I would I tell you what I be the evangelist on the street because that just right there is just the most amazing thing I could ever possibly imagine. Okay? If you find yourself in the boring category, this is what you need to hear. Every single soul saved and delivered by Jesus Christ is a miracle. Every single soul saved by Jesus Christ is a miracle, you are dead in your sin, you are doomed. You are on the pathway towards a an eternity of being imprisoned because of your sin. And Jesus came down and set you free. We weren't even looking for it, most of us and he showed up and miraculously delivered us. You know, often I wonder if the lack of passion in our praise is because we don't fully comprehend the miraculousness of our deliverance. So here's the back to what I even I talked about last week with a couple of services at eight o'clock. I don't know if I actually went there with you guys, but I'm going there now. You know, we were talking a lot in this church about celebrating. We talked a lot about it. We want you to do this bizarre thing. And for those of us come from kind of the reformed Midwest, white evangelical background, this thing is really hard for us to do. Right, saying amen. It's really weird and awkward for us to do. I, I'm placing it this in this category.
Celebration is a discipline. It's a discipline. It's a hard thing to do. It's a discipline. Here's also why it's a crucial discipline, because you celebrate when you understand the miraculousness of your deliverance. So it takes work for you to really do the deep work of understanding you should not be here right now. You have no business being in the presence of God. You have no ability in and of yourself to actually have a relationship with the king of the universe, but you don't All because Jesus did this for you and delivered you because of his grace and His compassion. So it is it is us doing the hard work of realizing that makes no sense. This is my only response. So it's it's a work of discipline, okay? This is also crucial thing. When you do discipline, sometimes you got a look at different teachers who are better at it than you? Well, there's a people group in our country who understands what it looks like to be set free. And that has been the minority church, specifically the African American church in the United States. So when you look and we understand, we talked about that a lot like man, there's a lot of this kind of back and forth between the white church and the black church and why do we do that? Well, the reality is, the black church outpaces us in celebration. We got some stuff to learn from and be like them and because they could content that they understand the history of that entire denomination is based upon oppression. That whole chunk of the Church of Jesus Christ exists because they were not allowed to worship with the Rest of the people of God said understand, what does it mean that Jesus broke them out of the tyranny and enslavement of sin and set them free, and the resurrection is real. And Jesus stomped death, and he freed us from sin. They get it. They totally understand it. Our brothers and sisters understand it better than many of us in this room do. So we look to some of our teachers and say we need to act more like them. That's not us being fake. That's just admitting that they do this better than we do. So we're doing this discipline of celebration, because we need to properly respond to the miraculous deliverance that we've received. Amen. Amen. So that's why we do this. That's why we're pressing into this miraculous deliverance leads to passionate, rejoicing, passionate, rejoice. So this miraculous advertisement of deliverance took place and the ruler of the synagogue was not pleased. Right? With what transpired so now the campaign debate stage has been set in here comes this ruler stepping in, and he's angry at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. Look at verse 14, verse 14, but the rule of the synagogues indignant because Jesus said he'll on the Sabbath and said to the people, there are six days in which you ought to work and be done. Come on those days and be healed and not on the Sabbath. so angry and healing on the Sabbath. They're not supposed to do any labor according to Jewish law, any labor and there was a lot of rules that the Jews set up table to get that done. It began with an effort by the way we toss the we toss these Pharisees and synagogue rulers, often just in the doghouse constantly but the reality is all this was out of an effort to obey the Sabbath day. That was the goal. It Their goal was to say how do we do this faithfully, but what became a rule to lead towards authentic devotion to God became a rule that became oppressive towards the people want you to notice this. He's ticked it For doing something by the way, that was not laborious for Jesus. Remember, all he did was call a shot and do this wasn't a lot of work going on right now. But but but you would think the dude would be rebuking Jesus right? Notice in the text, he's not calling Jesus out. He's mad at Jesus. But instead he yells at the people. He said to the people, there are six days in which work ought to be done, come on those days and be healed but not on the Sabbath day. These rules have now led to oppression. This self righteousness, of thinking that we can do the right things to be pleasing in the eyes of God has now led to oppression of the people. Satan is spiritually binding this woman. These rulers are religiously binding the people oppression all over the place.
This is an opponent in antithetical to the kingdom campaign message of deliverance. He's loading them with oppression. How often do we do the exact same thing?
Telling someone they need to do blank before they can come to Jesus telling people they need to stop drinking so much before they come to Jesus, to get out of that relationship before they come to Jesus, to figure out that sexual attraction before they come to Jesus.
To be able to attend church for these many days before coming to Jesus to have proper ethical stance before coming to Jesus before doing this mercy and justice before coming to Jesus. So often, even in our efforts to be obedient to God, self righteousness, heaps religious oppression upon people. You got to understand, remember what happened to that woman? You receive and you rejoice? That's what happens. That's it. Receive and rejoice to the deliverance of your say, How are you delivered? receive your response, rejoice. That's what we do. You receive it and you rejoice. That's the rhythm of what a delivered Kingdom people do over and over and over again. And if we start heaping, but before that gets done or in addition to that, or on top of that, or maybe underneath that or that make sure that your impulse is this we have now been self righteous and if you to religious suppression on people, oh, God help us. We need to probably do some work this week on our own souls to ask that question, what spiritual oppression? Am I heaping on people without me even knowing I don't even known? Well, Jesus rebuked him. So he This is the debate case shuts him down. It was really one comment and the debate was over after Jesus talks. So this is what happens. He points out their hypocrisy. Verse 15. Do you set them you hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his oxer his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water and not not this woman, a daughter of of Abraham, who Satan bound for 18 years be loosened from this bonds on the Sabbath day. So summarize that y'all will loosen the bonds of your livestock so they can drink on the Sabbath. But you're not okay with me loosening the bonds of this woman on the Sabbath. You have more compassion on your animals than you do on an image bear. You have more compassion on animals than you do on your image bear. You, you're watching the Humane Society, like we remember you campaign ad right? And you're giving all your money to get those little puppies out of that Humane Society. And meanwhile, we are not willing to pay the utility bill of a single mother. How often are we valuing something in this life? Some creature some organization Some idea, some campaign, some whatever and at the same time devaluing God's image bearers. Jesus is saying, You're hypocrites. If you're doing this, you must, obviously and have infinite more importance. Make sure you're valuing the image bearers and whatever you were doing in this life.
So it's amazing. Again, as I said, there was only two conversation debate because what happened was, all the adversaries are putting shame and all of the people rejoice that the glorious thing Jesus had done for that debate was over, right like Jesus one in the midst of that, but he's highlighting that hypocrisy. Practically for us, this is what I think this is kind of the implication. Our pious lives must lead to loving acts of charity. Our obedience and love of the Lord must lead to service and love for others. Oh, the text talks about that all over the place, right. Love God. Live people. James talks about this, you know, pure and righteous religion is this that you abstain from the evils of this world and you love the orphan and the widow, a pious life of devotion and love the Lord Jesus Christ flows into compassion and charity, and justice and mercy in the hands and feet of Jesus caring for others, like we care for ourselves. That's the authentic religious faith. That's us being in alignment with our king and his kingdom campaign. If we've been delivered, we seek their deliverance on a spiritual, physical, emotional, holistic level. That's what we strive to do, because that's what our kings done for us. If we're Kingdom people, we act like our king. So Jesus is saying that we been involved in his work results in us being a part of his delivering work for others. We'd be a part of it. So it's advertisement of his promise of deliverance. heeling the woman, he highlights the hypocrisy of his opponents and ends the debate. And now he describes the strategy for how all this is going to get done. Like the growth strategy, the kingdom campaign, he lays it out in these two parables. What is the kingdom of God like and what shall I compare it to? Well, it is like a grain of mustard seed, a mustard seed that a man took and sewed in the garden and it grew and became a tree and the birds of the air made nests and its branches and again, he said to what shall I compare the kingdom of God it is like leaven that a woman took and hidden three measures of flower until it was all loving. So here's strategy number one, laid out from these parables on how the kingdom will spread. The kingdom will start small but become large. The Kingdom starts small but becomes large. There's a small miniscule mustard seed the smallest seed known to Palestinian farmers at that time, small seed is planted and then it becomes This gigantic tree a teeny little pinch of leaven is put within this batch of flour and over time it spreads and impacts the entire batch. teeny Middle School act resulting in expansive results. expansive impact, small act, expansive impact. So Jesus is talking about here. The Kingdom cares what practically I'm talking about. The Kingdom may look weak, small, insignificant and unnoticeable now, but Jesus promises in His Kingdom growth strategy, that it will get gigantic, that it will expand and blow everybody's minds that it will not be hindered or stopped that when his stuff starts, even if it's under the surface, even if you only see the roots growing or there's a lid over it and you don't see the leaven spreading. The reality is he Working, he's expanding it. He's growing it and it's gonna blow your minds and how huge it's gonna get. That's the growth strategy. It's going to start small and it's going to get gigantic, it doesn't begin gigantic. We think the most effective Kingdom work is the who can do the biggest Cannonball. Right? And cause the greatest is Kapow. At the very beginning. Well, the reality is, there's a humble beginning, because our King even came humbly. Notice, all throughout redemptive history. God has been doing this type of stuff he called one unknown named dude from Abraham. Industry said you had nobody. I'm going to take you. You, by the way can't even get pregnant with your wife. I'm going to take you and I'm going to create a nation that will outnumber the number of stars in the sky. He grabbed the the seventh of Jesse's brothers. They're ready. shepherd boy who hadn't even hit puberty yet, but hanging out with the sheep and grabs them and you said, I'm going to take you, oh forgotten one, and turn you into the Messianic four runner for the nation of Israel. And you're actually going to to free Israel from all of their enemies at that time. And then he took a baby in a manger, that God chose to become a baby in a manger, and live a common Carpenter life in the middle of Palestine. And he used that man to deliver the entire world. No, God starts small, he starts humble, and then he gets to expansive explosive impact. Because that way, we've said this over and over again, but you're never going to get tired of hearing it. When God starts small and it gets huge. Everyone can unequivocally say that was not me that did that. That was the Lord Jesus Christ that got that thing done. He was the one who started like, that was Honey, that was just a teeny little idea and a teeny little effort and it became this gigantic thing. One of the most practical examples I'm looking at right now. There's this man who I know who's now in his mid 70s, late 70s. Now, his name is jack Owens. JACK Owens was a college worker down in Oklahoma. Okay, so Baptist dude. And he hung out down there and he did his thing and he felt the call from the Lord to go up to the, to the pagan country, Iowa, just felt felt called from the Lord's be able to say I'm going to go up and I'm going to start a Baptist Student Union in Iowa State University. So he said, Yes, sir. So he grabbed his bag and he moved up to Iowa, and he started at Iowa State University. This relatively ln, I've been told Baptist Student Union discipling some of these young guys discipling these dudes who are coming into his ministry and getting just understanding Jesus and loving it was one of those people who became a part of this pretty lame Baptist Student Union was a man named Troy Nesbitt and Troy Nesbitt in what became a man who started loving college students even more and he was the one who actually started this thing called the salt company. And the salt company now has become, which we just celebrated just two weeks ago. We're 3000 college students from all over the United States all came to Des Moines, Iowa to say, Jesus has delivered me and He's worthy of all of my praise and all of my life. So much so that I will be thinking about not what job I can get after college, but which church plan I should be a part of.
That started with jack Owens saying I'm gonna go start a relatively lame Baptist Student Union at Iowa State University. God gets all the glory for that. JACK didn't even think that that could have been a possibility. And here we are today. product for real for real, of Jax small seed that he planted in the ground crazy our God test that you can hit you can think of things in your own life of that indeed being true another kingdom strategy number one start small gets huge. started the number two, Jesus says I'm going to employ passive participants. I'm going to employ passive participants. So all these pictures of the kingdom if you notice in this text, the woman the mustard seed, the leaven are human agents acting passively. Human agents acting so the woman doesn't do anything to be healed. She just walks up to Jesus. The the farmer doesn't cause anything to grow. He just plants the see the baker doesn't make the leaven spread. He just puts the pinch she puts the pinch in the batch of flour. The work of the kingdom is accomplished By God's people so Bach Darrell Bock has commentator says the kingdom is best characterized in the current era not as an institution, but as the presence of God's power and a special group of people. When his people are activated by His Spirit to do His will, Kingdom work gets done. But it's done passively.
Our participation isn't is this minuscule, small act of planting a seed. By the way, you can't do anything else after that. You just sit there and stare at it like watching water boil or you put a little pinch of lemon in a batch and you just close the lid and just wait for it to spread. Or you just take a step and just wait for your deliverance. Kingdom work God invites us to participate in it, but the growth is done passively. So so so he He calls us to participate and announcing his kingdom by being walking advertisements of his deliverance, sharing the good news that they can be delivered as well. But get this, this task will never be a failure. It'll never be a failure because the results aren't up to you. I actually campaigned for my buddy of mine and he was 19 years old. I grew up as spirit like I will my buddy ran for the House of Representative when he was 19 it was crazy. I walked around Spencer I was knocking on doors tell him a vote vote for Zack Whiting by the way is the senator now so dreams do come true. So anyway, but so we're doing this and and so much work so many hours. laboring, laboring, laboring labor and getting the word out knocking like crazy just handed people tracks casting vision of what it's gonna look like all this type of stuff is actually the best he's gonna blow up all this bureaucrats, right like all of that and he lost.
I remember sitting in the boat with him because we're in Okoboji is what you do sitting in the boat lamenting the fact that he lost. All that work was like for nothing. And here we are just All of that work, you need to know any door you knock on any any message that you declare any act of love that you display any pleading that you go through to your friends, your family, your neighbors, whoever it may be, it will never fail. Because the Lord Jesus Christ is the one responsible for the growth responsible for the impact. We're responsible for the small act, he takes care of the rest. That's freedom, enjoy and doing this kingdom work. That's strategy number two, that we are just passive participants. But here's this final strategy. The kingdom will become a blessing to all the kingdom will become a blessing to all notice this tree grows, branches that provide shade and shelter for the birds of the garden. The birds who were in no man's land can now find rest and comfort and peace. They can build nests, they can raise family Emily's, they can have just safety underneath the branches of this tree that has now grown up as a result of that small seed. Notice how the rulers obedience didn't lead to the blessings of others, but Jesus's actions did. The kingdom of God and its expansion is for the good of everybody around it. It's for the good of everyone around it. God uses his people to be a blessing for others. We saw that with the Adam and Eve for God's saying, you're going to be stewards of this earth, it's going to be better for them. You're going to make it better. You're gonna make it beautiful. You're gonna establish culture, you're gonna make it good. You're going to help me make my goodness be spread. He promised Abraham in Genesis 12. I'm going to use your people to not only become this massive nation, but that nation is going to be a blessing to the whole world. He told the Israelites were then enslaved in Babylon, to seek the welfare of the city to build your homes to work. Raise your families to plant your gardens because when this play spot prospers, you prosper where my people are, things are better. Where my where my message is declare people find refuge people find deliverance, people find joy. People find comfort, when we are being the kingdom of God, the place should be better wherever we find ourselves. So here's the question.
If you left your company, would anybody notice? If you left your street, would anybody notice? If Cottage Grove left this neighborhood would anybody notice when where whatever we do wherever our presence is goodness and love and the good news of Jesus pervades all around us. Everybody would notice when we left.
Let that be a prayer for all of us. You individually what is God calling you to do to be a blessing in the environment that you're finding yourselves in Pray that individually, but pray for us corporately. Something we as elders have been realizing is that we believe that one of the primary reasons God has called us here is to be neighbors to this community. I'm going to be honest, we're not being good enough neighbors.
You realize that the kingdom of God Paul says in First Corinthians four is not one of talk, but of power. We got a lot of good ideas. But God is now calling us to say be a blessing to where you're finding yourself. So pray, pray for this church, that we would become that true, neighborly blessing to this community because we're people, God's people, our blessing should be everywhere else to the people around us whether they know Jesus or not or not. We should be that walking advertisement of saying Jesus is worth it. His deliverance is real. Come and follow Him. Our King keeps his campaign promises of deliverance. You got to understand this. Jesus is an addict. running for office. This whole analogy has been bunk. Because guess what? He doesn't need any delegates to be voted into power. He has all the power. He doesn't need votes to gain the popularity contest. He has all the glory and all the universe. He doesn't need us to, to vote and to be able to sit in office and be able to execute justice and mercy. He's sitting on the throne, able to execute righteousness and justice and purpose and peace and goodness, wherever he finds himself. He's the king.
Do you believe in Him? Are you following Him? Do you believe in his deliverance? are you celebrating the deliverance that you receive? Have you taken a step towards even receiving it at all in your life? You got to understand that he keeps his promises he promised that he'd forgive and purify us. So he died in our place. He promised that he defeat death and sin so he rose from the grave. He promised that he'd never leave us or forsake us. We sent His Spirit to dwell with Dennis, now he empowers us to passively participate in His Kingdom campaign, the solution to the brokenness in this world, in this city, in this neighborhood, in our schools, in your heart. is King Jesus in His deliverance? Do you know him today? Are you rejoicing in your deliverance today? May God be gracious to us as we celebrate the reality that he is that true, deliver that true king who keeps his promises? Amen. Let's pray.
Jesus, we love you. Thank you for your deliverance. Thank you for the good news of Jesus Christ that while we were bound, oppressed, locked up, thrown into prison, you came and you broke open the bars and you broke the chains and you set us free. God so many of us who have been delivered in this place love to dis shackle ourselves once again. But who the sun has set free he is indeed free and God would we not only rejoice in our deliverance, but would we live in that marvelous deliverance and be those protest passive participants of your kingdom campaign that your king has come to deliver those who are in bondage? Well, there are some brothers and sisters in this room here who are in bondage perhaps has been religious oppression that they're shackled to thinking that they just have to do the right thing in order to be delivered. God some of us in this room are guilty for even keeping on that religious oppression. Okay, God forgive me for doing that so often. I've had a brother and sister in this room who doesn't understand the reality that they are a sinner in need of grace, but there is a God who has compassion on them, and who loves them and has given up his very life for them so that they can be delivered and be a part of God for anyone in this room hears the sound of my voice who does not know you today, Holy Spirit. Take this small seed of my voice right now. What it results in repentance and faith and true gospel transformation and deliverance, even now Jesus Christ would you do that God you are worthy. All of our devotion, our legions, our affections, our praise, and our worship. Every single person in this room has been delivered is a miraculous example of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, to overcome the grave, to overcome sin, to overcome death to overcome whatever would keep us from you, you've done it, you've delivered us, you brought us to yourself. So Lord, which you received a worship of your people today, because you're deserving of all of it. We pray these things in Christ's name, amen.