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Investing Your Life In People

(1)

Sermon shared by David Owens

December 2006
Summary: This final lesson in the series is designed to motivate us to realize that the soul-saving business is the most important business in the world.
Audience: Believer adults
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the God of the universe.
3. When we finally come to that understanding, then we will live differently. We will pray differently, love differently, work differently, serve differently and give differently.
4. We will become preoccupied with people and their spiritual needs.
5. And we will want to know how we can become more effective fishers of men.

F. Let me ask you a personal question: Has that kind of thing happened to you yet? Have you come to that conclusion yet?

G. In 2 Peter, chapter 3, Peter describes what will happen on the day of the Lord.
1. He describes how that everything that so many of us are so concerned about getting will be burned up.
2. Peter writes, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? (2 Peter 3:10-12)
3. What a waste to invest ourselves in things that just won’t last!

H. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 9, Paul talks about competing in the games.
1. Paul writes, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor. 9:25)
2. Paul was saying, in effect, “Don’t get all cranked up about the wrong race! Rather, set your sights on winning the right race: the one that makes your life count for eternity by the way you serve God and the way you serve and save people.”

I. In reality, only a few of us will be asked to leave our nets and abandon our professions.
1. Some of us will be led by God to make ministry our career, but the vast majority of Christians will be asked to function within their present occupations.
2. But all are challenged by Jesus to do so with a whole new mindset, one that reflects God’s perspective on the eternal importance of people.

J. I’m thankful that Peter and Andrew chose to major in the people business rather than the fishing business.
1. And in John 21, after Peter’s miserable failures, he thought about going back to catching fish, but Jesus went to him and renewed His challenge to stay preoccupied with people.
2. Three times Jesus told Peter to stay with the people business.
3. That’s what Peter did, and he was used by God to impact the entire world.
K. But what will we do? How and where will we invest our lives?
1. I implore you, for your own sake and for the sake of others, stick with the people business.
2. Let’s say to God each day, “Today, let me do more than merely catch fish. Help me do more than sell a product. Inspire me to go beyond providing a service. Enable me to touch a human life. Work through me to reach a man or woman for you. I want to be in the people business.”

L. Before we bring this lesson and this series to a close, let’s look one more time at the final challenge Jesus gave before finishing His earthly ministry and ascending into heaven.
1. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20)
2. There are several important things we notice in Jesus’ challenge.
3. First,
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