Summary: How do we fulfill our God-given mission?
In Acts 10:38, Peter described the life of Jesus by saying, “He went about doing good . . .” If one were to describe the life of many
Christians today, however, he would have to say, “He simply went about!” Sadly, too many believers have lost sight of our primary
purpose for remaining in this world - to call folks to know and follow Christ! This is the only reason why God forestalls judgment.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to
perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 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 done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its
coming.” - 2 Peter 3:9-12a (NIV)
At present, the return of Christ is being delayed so that as many people as possible might come to Christ. And the faithfulness of believers to fulfill our reason for remaining here can somehow speed the coming of that day when Christ returns! For every person who comes to faith in Christ brings us one step closer to our Lord’s return! That’s why it’s important for us to live holy and godly lives that are focused on seeking to obey our Savior’s departing command:
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” - Mark 16:15 (NLT)
“You will tell people everywhere about me . . .” - Acts 1:8 (Easy to Read)
“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” - Matthew 28:19-20a (NLT)
“Come after Me [as disciples - letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” - Matthew 4:19 (Amplified)
The Bible tells us that as ambassadors for Christ, we are sent by Him into this world on mission, even as He had been sent by the Father.
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” - John 20:21 (NIV)
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to go as Jesus went. But how can we live our lives in this world as Jesus lived His? (READ TEXT)
1. We Need To See As Jesus Saw - v. 36
Jesus looked past their exterior facade to recognize their inner need. He saw them as “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” We also need to recognize how many people around us need Jesus!
If all the unredeemed people in the world were lined up single file, that line would circle the planet 30 times. It would grow at a rate of 20 miles a day. If you traveled beside that line at 50 miles per hour, 10 hours each day, it would take 4 years to reach the end, and by the time you did, the line would be 30,000 miles longer!
And all those people are helpless and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd! And they’re searching! We might be surprised to know that many would respond positively to an invitation to follow Christ!
According to a Gallup poll, there are at least 160 million non-Christians in the U.S. 80 million of them say they’d be open to hearing more about the Christian message from a Christian, and could possibly see themselves becoming a follower of Christ!
We need to see as Jesus saw, recognizing the number of hurting people about us and recognizing that many of them are ready to respond to the Good News, if only given an opportunity!
2. We Need To Feel As Jesus Felt - v. 36
Jesus had compassion for people who needed to know Him.
Webster’s defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
If we are going to feel about those who don’t know Christ, in the way Jesus feels about them, we will care to the point that we cannot help but get involved in their lives!
“Loving others is the first step in leading them to Christ.” - Anonymous
American pastor, Theodore Cuyler (1822-1909), had been inspired by the life of Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), a pastor in the Church of Scotland. He wanted to learn all he could about his spiritual hero. On a trip to Scotland, he visited in the church in which McCheyne had pastured. There, he had opportunity to visit with an elderly member who had know pastor McCheyne.He asked him, “Can you remember some of the messages or outstanding quotes of pastor McCheyne?” The old gentleman replied, “No, I don’t remember any sermons or quotes. But I’ll never forget the time pastor McCheyne came by our home when I was just a boy. He had come to visit my sister, who had inquired about giving her life to Christ. After my mother went to get her, he and I were alone together. He turned to me and said, ‘You know, Jamie, I’ve come by today to visit with your sister. But Jamie, I want you to know that I am also very concerned about your soul.’” The man then concluded by saying, “I can’t remember a single one of his sermons, but I can still feel the tremble of his hand and see the tears in his eyes. His concern for my soul resulted in my conversion.”