Life was designed to be lived in community.

04/12/15 A Life's Mission!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Under: Sermon
Intro: The Need for Power

Illustration: — Homer Lindsay Jr.

I have a TV set in the house, and it won’t work. The Olympics are coming soon, and I want to see those Olympics. I want to see those guys run dashes. I want to see them run those distances. I want to see the Dream Team play again. But my TV won’t work. I fuss at it. I growl at it. I snarl at it. I say, “You sorry thing, you cost me a lot of money, and you won’t work. The guarantees they give you are not worth the paper they are written on.” I just carry on. So, I’m going to appoint a committee. “Shirley, you will be chair of this committee. We must have a committee to find out what’s wrong with this TV.” So, Shirley has her first meeting and says, “Let’s get an expert in here.” She calls Steve Carswell, the repairman, to come over and fix the TV set. Steve walks in and says, “What’s the matter, preacher?” “The sorry thing won’t work. I’ve turned this button on and off until I’ve almost worn it out. It won’t work. I want to get a picture on here, because the Olympics are coming and I want to see them.” Steve gets out his box, takes out his tools, pulls the set out, takes the back off, and looks over there and says, “What’s this? Where does it go?” I say, “I don’t know.” He says, “Let’s plug this in.”

He plugs it in and turns it on. The picture comes right on. “Preacher, you haven’t had the TV set plugged into the power. You must have the power.” “I had a committee, even had Shirley as the chairperson.” “That doesn’t matter; you must have the power.” Church, you must have the power. Church buildings won’t do it, you must have the power. Music programs won’t do it, church. You must have the power. The power comes from God.

When you look at people who have made the most of their lives, you can usually find one common denominator. They have a purpose. They have clearly defined their objective in life. They know why they are here. When you find people who make their lives count, you’ll find they have a life mission. They have plugged in God’s power!

Text: Romans 10:9-14 (NKJV)

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Application: They are far more ready to receive the gospel than you are ready to share it.

1. The Christian’s Mission:

Paul was a man with a life mission. He understood that the moment you become a Christian, God gives you a new purpose for living. The moment you become a Christian, God gives you a new mission. In Acts 20:24 (TLB), Paul says, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus [that is his mission, and then he tells us what it is]—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.”

That was his mission, and that is your mission. You ask, “What is my mission in life if I am a Christian? What is my mission?” “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8 Receive power, there’s that power again – PLUG IT IN! no committee needed.

Jesus says, “You will be my salesman.” No, that is not what He says. “You will be my attorneys.” No, that is not what He says either. He says, “You shall be my [what?] witnesses . . . [where?] to the end of the earth.”

Not many people misunderstand this. They think, “Well, I am supposed to be a salesman for Jesus Christ.” No, no pressure is involved in this decision. They think, “Well, I am supposed to be an attorney for Jesus Christ; I am supposed to argue people into heaven.” No, it doesn’t say that. It says you will be a witness. What is a witness? A witness is somebody who just gives personal experience, personal evidence. That’s pretty hard to refute.

Let me give you a definition of witnessing. Witnessing is sharing what God has done in my life. Circle that word my, because you are the authority on that. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to be a witness for Jesus Christ. You just have to say, “Here is what God has done in my life.” And if you can say that, you can be a witness.

“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:18 Did you know that you are sent? You are sent into the world by Jesus Christ if you are a Christian.

Every Christian is a missionary. You don’t become a missionary by crossing the sea; you become a missionary by seeing the cross. God has made you a representative of Jesus Christ in your work. You are. It is not negotiable; it is not optional. If you are a Christian, you are a missionary. Part of the joy of being a Christian is the privilege of helping other people come to know Christ.

2. The importance of our Message:

We have a life-saving message: That means there are eternal consequences to what we are sharing. We are talking about heaven or hell here. “Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how shall they ask him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

Does that make sense? Sure. Who does God expect to tell them? Us—me, you—all of us. That is what this passage means. Start introducing other people to Jesus Christ. The dearest thing to the heart of God is the death of His Son, Jesus Christ; and the second dearest thing to the heart of God is when we tell others about it. Tell the good news!

“Jesus came “. . . to preach Good News to the poor; . . . to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him” Luke 4:18-19 (TLB)

You know what those verses are. That is the first sermon of Jesus Christ. It is the very first sermon, and He lists the benefits. He says I am coming to share, not bad news, but good news. It is good news for hurting people, and He lists several different kinds of hurting people.

Do you know any people who are brokenhearted? Do you know any people who are confused? Is there any possible chance that there is somebody at your workplace who is discouraged? Do you know anybody who is stressed out? Tell them the good news. They need to hear it. We have a life-saving message, and the world is far more ready to hear it than we are ready to share it. Why? Because we think that God has called us to be salesmen and attorneys. No, He has said to each of us, “Just be a witness.” Just say, “This is what happened to me.” That is all you have to do.

People are hungry to hear it: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Matthew 9:36-37

Three things were true:

1) Problems were great;
2) People didn’t know what to do; and
3) People didn’t know where to go for help.

Do you know anybody like that? The world is full of people like that! They don’t know what to do; they don’t know where to go. They are looking for help. And the fact is, Satan has gotten you to believe a lie. He has gotten you to believe a myth. Most Christians believe it; they don’t understand it. The myth is: “Most people aren’t interested in talking about spiritual things.” That is not true. In fact, every single poll by George Gallup and George Barna and the Roper Poll and every survey, census, and statistic says the exact opposite—that interest in spiritual matters is increasing, not decreasing. The world is far more ready to receive the good news than we are ready to share it. People all around you are looking for relief and answers, and you have the answer. You have it! As Jesus said, the problem isn’t the harvest, the problem is limited workers.

3. Being a Missionary Everywhere:

So, how can you be a witness at work? “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

You are a representative of Jesus Christ. You are an ambassador in the world. If you are a Christian, you represent Jesus in your work. And God has placed you where you are so that you can represent Him. Work takes on new meaning when you understand that “I am here as a missionary. That is part of the meaning of my work.” One day God is going to ask, “Whom did you tell? If it was such good news—you have eternal salvation—whom did you tell?

Did you ever think about sharing with anybody?” “Well, they are not interested,” you say. You are kidding me! People are looking for answers. They are far more ready to receive the gospel than you are ready to share it.

Here are three ways you can be a witness at work.

By the quality of your work:

Shoddy workmanship is a poor testimony. I don’t care if you are a taxi driver, a computer repair person, a car designer, or an interior designer, Christians are called to competence. We should set the standard that says: If that is done by a Christian, it is quality work. Your work is a witness, so don’t cut corners and don’t try to “get by.” “Each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.” 1 Corinthians 3:13

It will be revealed one day, so you may as well do a good job now. Even a boring job becomes meaningful when you focus on quality.

By your positive attitude:

“Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing . . . and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life.”

Paul says one of the ways you stand out in a crowd, in a negative dark world, is by being positive. When you find a positive person in a negative work environment, that makes a difference. Paul is saying, “Don’t be a cynic.” Go the second mile when needed. Have a proper respect for authority. Be positive; don’t be cynical; don’t be negative.

You are the only Bible some people will ever read. It is like that old statement: If they outlawed Christianity in America, and you were arrested, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

By telling the good news:

“Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them” Colossians 4:5 (TLB)

Paul says make the most of every opportunity. You don’t have to be a salesman; you don’t have to be an attorney; you don’t have to get into arguments; you don’t even have to know a lot about the Bible. You just need to say, “This is what happened to me.” And if you are available, God will wear you out!

Illustration: The Witnessing Muscle

One Saturday afternoon when I was a student, the manager of our church softball team called in search of one additional player in order to avoid forfeiting a game. I didn’t have anything that needed to be done that afternoon, so I agreed to play. I arrived just as the game was getting under way and asked him where he wanted me to play.

He said, “I need you to play catcher, and, by the way, this is a doubleheader. We need you for two games.”

I had never played catcher before, but I figured, “How hard can it be?” All you do is bend down and catch the ball and then stand up and throw it back. I knew I could handle that assignment. What could be so bad about bending down and standing up over and over again?

We finished the two games, and I was a little tired and worn out. I went home, took a shower, and went to bed. I woke up the next morning, and, if I could have moved, the manager’s wife would be a widow today. I have never hurt so bad in all of my life. It took me 15 minutes to sit up in bed. I discovered the anguish that can follow using a muscle you never used before.

Now here is the point of the story. I ended up playing in several games for the team that year. I always played catcher. By the end of that season, I could have caught for a triple- header and never felt it the next day. The difference was frequency of use. In the same way, the more you use your witnessing muscle, the more comfortable and confident you will become. The Holy Spirit places witnessing muscles in our souls, but they must be exercised to release the power. If you will only work through the awkwardness that comes with the first time that you do anything, you will discover the Lord making you an effective witness. —Chuck Kelley

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

The Bible says you should be ready to explain the good news to anybody who asks. Many Christians find it difficult to explain how they trusted Christ. In fact, if you were asked to, could you do it? Could you say, “Here are the steps to become a believer”?

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:7-8

Conclusion: A Life’s Mission needs power; do you want to be a Christian on a Mission? Do you understand the importance of the Message? Who says you can’t be a Missionary everywhere?

You know how you get rid of the fear of talking to others about Christ? You love them. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. When you love somebody, you care enough to tell them the good news. I want to give you a little homework assignment this week. I want you to go home and make a list of three nonbelievers whom you care about, and I want you to start praying for them every day. Don’t do anything about it, don’t talk to them, just pray for them every day. Let God act and watch what happens.

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