CONNECTING WITH A NEEDY WORLD
First in Series: “Love In Action”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold Perth Bible Church June 29, 2008 AM
VIDEO: “What Are We Missing?” (BluefishTv) – 1:18
How many people do you know who can relate to this? Or, perhaps easier, how many do you know that would have trouble relating to these feelings and struggles? When you look around at the world, read the paper, watch news and people on tv, hear the gossip (those 1 or 2 of us who accidentally hear things or find the occasional tabloid in our shopping bag), talk to your neighbors and co-workers – what do you notice? How do you feel? What do you think?
I.) THE WORLD IS A MESS!
Let’s face it folks, our world, our community and many of our families are a horrific mess!
WHY? What do our world, our community, and our families all have in common? That’s right, PEOPLE, and people all around us (perhaps even some of us) are a mess.
(tongue in cheek) Just what is THEIR problem, anyway?!
OK, so maybe it’s not just ’everybody else’ that has problems or whose life is a mess. Nevertheless, I believe that – as God’s Word teaches – there is one common, underlying reason why sin reigns as it does and keeps this world and it’s people such a mess.
(refer to slide w/ ReverendFun© “Jesus Who?” 11-22-2005)
Far too many people have NOT truly encountered the love and majesty of Jesus! Again, perhaps even some of us here today. Sure, there might have been the occasional encounter with a lesser substitute, imitation, or impostor that was presented or believed to be “the real thing.” A counterfeit “angel of light” as the Scriptures describe it. ’Love’ with strings attached. ’Love’ inspired by ulterior motives. Good intentions offered from sin-stained hands and hearts. But NOT the genuine, unique, one-of-a-kind love & majesty of Jesus!
Because it is a mess,
The World Needs Salvation
Which begs the question:
II.) WHERE IS GOD?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve asked that question countless of times in my life. Perhaps the most poignant was when my life and my ’world’ was the ’messiest’ it’s ever been. College Freshman, dumped by woman I was going to marry, parents getting divorced, driving license suspended, plenty of ’buddies’ but no real friends on campus, sick of depending on others and getting disappointed, sick of depending on self and failing. You know how God answered my desperate, angry question? He immediately brought into my life godly people who represented Jesus to me in so many ways. In fact, the parents of one of those godly students (Tim Ball) who forever impacted my life are here this morning (Ken & Kathy Ball, ministering at Sac.) The first time we met I was a shy, insecure unsaved young punk making fun of their son for being so ’straight’ and ’good.’ This morning they are here sitting under my preaching because their son freely allowed Jesus to live through him before me)!
You know, there is no doubt in my mind that no amount of teaching, preaching, reading, listening, or church going would have gotten through to me at that time in my life. But seeing Jesus present and active in the lives of others? Absolutely irresistible!!!
God Is Present As ’The Church’
We Are The Body of Christ In The World
Do we act like it? Do we live it?
If my friend, Tim Ball, a poor country teenage and helpless Bills fan from a little town outside Buffalo who was the first person in his family to graduate college, certainly we all can too.
Jesus (even through us) Can “Supply All Our Needs”
That night I talked about earlier when my life was in desperate shambles and I cried out to God, I did more than ask where He was. I also brazenly challenged Him to prove to me that He is worthy by supplying all of my needs and never letting me down like so many others before, including myself. Without question, I had no right to ask let alone demand such a thing of my Creator and Lord of the Universe. But, not knowing the Lord at that time, I didn’t exactly reverently fear Him either.
In any case, let me tell you something. That was almost 18 years ago. Since that day, not once have I deserved His blessing (apart from the grace of Christ). But you know what? Not once has He let me down or failed to supply ALL my needs!
And, if He can do it for me (often through others), then why shouldn’t I be not only allowing but imploring Him to do the same for others through me?!
III.) WHAT CAN WE DO & HOW?
A.) See The Needy Anew - Matthew 5:3-11; 9:10-13
We must learn through the Spirit to look past the disgusting grime, the wretched slavery of the flesh, and the stench of hopelessness in the needs of those all around us.
Rather, we need to grow and mature to see them as Jesus sees them – people who will shine with beauty after a good cleansing, become adopted princes and princesses in an eternal Kingdom, and become a source of hope for countless others.
B.) ’Bleed’ For The Need – 2 Corinthians 8:7-9
Looking upon our spiritual poverty, Christ did not simply shake His head with pity, shrug His shoulders with indifference, or experience a momentary sympathy.
NO! Jesus was pierced through the heart with sadness over our condition and refused to do anything else but become as us, personally know and experience our need and give the fullness of His life to address it.
Redeemed by His sacrifice and filled by His Spirit, we need to follow His example and “bleed for the need”!
C.) Serve The Need – Matthew 10:40-11:6; 25:34-46
- ’Nough said.
D.) Love The Need – 1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John 3:16-20
Just remember, it’s not just about WHAT we do. What means the most for eternity is WHY we do what we do!!!
COMMITTING TO CONNECTION FOR CHRIST:
1.List by name the needy you know:
2.Next to their name, write HOW you will address their need for more of Christ in their life.
4.KEEP DOING IT!!
Start NOW, list at least three people and how YOU will bring Jesus to each one: