New Hope Notes

How To Change The World
The Promise

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
April 12, 2009 - W0915gf

We’re living in a world where identifications (IDs) are bought and sold so much that we don’t even know who owns them anymore.  For example, below are some very common brands that we’re all familiar with but I think you’d be surprised by who owns or makes these products:

 

Gerber                        Switzerland

Holiday Inn                  England

7-11                            Japan

Trader Joes                 Germany

Bud Light                     Belgium

Wrangler/Levis             Mexico

Walmart                       China

Honda/Toyota              USA

 

Everything’s being bought and sold so frequently nowadays that we almost never know who owns or makes a product anymore.  But what does it mean for someone to own something, and what does it matter anyway?  Well, when we talk about “who owns what,” we’re really talking about whose hands things are being put into.  And then when you consider whose hands things are in, it can really affect (or determine) the value of that object.  For example, a basketball in my hands is probably worth about $19.95 but a basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is probably worth about $33 million.  A baseball in my hands is probably worth $6.95 but in Alex Rodriguez’s hands, it’s probably worth $25 million.  Then a tennis racket in Venus Williams’ hand is probably worth about $23 million but in my hands, it’s probably only good for a self-inflicted wound!

 

So you see, who owns or controls a product or object can greatly affect how that object is used and its value.  Here’s another example, a bar of steel made into a batch of nails is probably worth about $30.  The same bar of steel made into needles may be worth closer to $300.  If that bar of steel was made into ginzu knife blade, its value may be as high as $3,000.  But then again, if that steel was instead fashioned into Swiss watch springs, it could be worth as much as $3,000,000!

 

If you consider ownership (and it affect on value) as it relates to us, whose hands would you say that you’re in?  That was one of the major problems the people of Israel seemed to have:  they kept forgetting who their maker was! "I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King" (Isaiah 43:15).

 

Your value really depends on whose hands you put your life in.  However, we have strayed so far from God that the chasm was too far to span until Jesus came.  “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:6).

 

Yet Jesus purchased us and set us free so we don’t have to be subject to this world.  “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).  God purchased you!

 

There’s a story of a young boy who crafted a boat that he could sail down the little stream near his home.  Well on one particularly rainy day, the boy took his boat to the stream and he was floating it down the river but because of the rainy weather, the stream was a bit unruly and it washed the boy’s boat away.  The little boy was so unhappy because he lost that boat that he loved so much, one that he had made with his own hands.

 

Well the way the story goes, a couple weeks later, the boy was walking in town and he passed a little shop when something caught his eye in the window.  It was his boat!  He ran into the shop and told the shopkeeper that it was his boat in the window and he asked for it back.  The shopkeeper said the boat cost $19.95 if he boy would like to buy it but the boy said it was his, he made it and he had scratched his name into the bottom of it.  Nevertheless, the shopkeeper said it would be $19.95.

 

The boy left the shop discouraged.  It was his boat and he loved that boat.  He knew the only way he would get his boat back was to buy it back from the shopkeeper so he set out to earn the money so he could by back his boat.  He went around his neighborhood and asked the residents if they had chores that he could do for 50 cents here or a dollar there.  After a long day, the boy had earned enough money to buy back his boat so that’s what he did. 

 

When the boy got his boat back, he hugged it tightly and said, “Not only did I make you but I bought you back too!”  It’s the same with God and us: not only did He make us but He bought us back too.

 

Yet, when we give our soul to an illicit relationship, greed, or ungodly behavior, we are in effect selling ourselves and our identities in Christ.  "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:26). God already purchased us – with the blood of His Only Son, Jesus Christ – so we don’t need to be bought and sold by or in this world. 

 

God wants us to change the world by changing just two lives.  The first life is yours.  Then the second life He wants us to change is (as so aptly put by my mentor Mother Teresa who recently passed away:  “the one of the face that He puts in front of you”.

 

Everybody is waiting for Jesus.  “And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him” (Luke 8:40).  Everyone is waiting for Jesus…His touch…an encouraging word…healing…eternal life.

 

Everyone is waiting for Jesus but how do we share Him with the world?  Just start with the face that Jesus puts in front of you. 

 

So how do we (or how will He) change the world?  With two lives:  You and the face Jesus puts in front of you.

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, make the most eternal decision you’ll ever make in your life.  God is a gentleman and will never force truth down your throat.  However, He will take every step to reach you accept the last one.

 

To accept and receive Him as your Savior, say this little prayer with me:

 

Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner, but thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins that I may be forgiven and have everlasting life with you.  Please come into my life and be my Savior.  Help me to leave my past behind and be a new creation in you.  Now I say this so You can hear me, so the devil can hear me, and so that I can hear myself…Jesus Christ is my Savior. I belong to Him.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Happy Easter Everyone!  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

 

 

DISCUSSION SUGGESTIONS

 

1.      Who or what do you think people would identify you with?  Why?

 

2.      How does the story of the boy who lost his boat and then needed to buy it back again pertain to us?

 

3.      What does it mean that God has purchased us?  What did He purchase us with?

 

4.      Who or what do you want people to identify you with?  How can you make sure that they do?

 

5.      Pastor Wayne says, “Everyone is waiting for Jesus (Christians and non-christians alike).  What does he mean by that?  Why does he say that?  Is it true?  Why or why not?

 

 

Guest artist Michael English joined our service this weekend and shared his testimony of how he went from a success life (by world standards) as a #1 Christian music artist to a locked down treatment facility because he wasn’t doing well.  Then when he got tired of the facility, he lied his way out facility be convincing the staff that he was okay…to end up in an even worse situation.  He turned away from God and his family.  He had an affair, was arrested three times, became alcoholic and addicted to drugs.  He even nearly died three times.

 

But somewhere in his sin and misery, he heard God calling him, “It’s time to come home.”  Michael felt that he had lost his salvation; after all, he had loss his Christian music.  But Jesus told him, “You don’t need Christian music. I love you just the way you are.”  Michael talks about God’s redeeming love in his song:

 

“Feels Like Redemption” by Michael English

 

I know how hopeless feels
When you're staring at the bottom of an empty hole

In my life I know how forgotten feels

Wondering if the world even knows who you are

But I've never known anything, felt anything
Like the love of Jesus
And it's hard to describe what's happening inside
But right now all I know is
It feels like redemption raining down on me

It feels like forgiveness is come to set me free

All my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken life
It feels like redemption
Now I know how thankful feels
'Cause I am overwhelmed by this gift of grace

And I know how healing feels

'Cause all my pain and all my shame
And all my tears have been erased
It feels like redemption raining down on me
It feels like forgiveness is come to set me free
All my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken life
It feels like redemption
Say goodbye, the past is ending
Say hello to a new beginning
No more night
The sun is shining
Feels like redemption raining down on me
It feels like forgiveness is come to set me free
All my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken life
And when the hands of love touch a broken life
It feels like redemption
I cried out to the Lord, He heard my cry
He healed my heart and He touched my life
It feels like redemption
So say goodbye, the past is ending
Say hello to a new beginning
Feels like
Feels like redemption