Summary: This sermon lays the vision for the first Sunday of a brand new church.
A Touch Brings New Life
Look at your hands for a moment. God has placed within those hands the power for you to bring new life into the lives of others through a simple touch. A touch on the shoulder of one who’s discouraged, brings new life. A touch in the hand of one whose afraid brings New Life. A touch on the back of one who is stumbling backwards, brings stability and new life. All of human life begins with a touch of something to small for us to see with the naked eye. The touch of a sperm and an egg, brings about possibilities that only God could dream of making into reality.
We are celebrating the touch of the power God in giving birth to a new church. We have spent the last few weeks in labor pains in order to bring forth this new part of the kingdom of God today. Every child has a personality uniquely its own. Every church will be different from every other church. The vision of New Life is to touch people and to empower them with new life by bringing them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus made the declaration once, I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. It’s not God’s will for us to view life as something to be dreaded, but rather as a gift from God with unlimited possibilities for God to work in and through us. Jesus’ gift of life is not something reserved simply for heaven. His life is available to change people today. He brings new life offering it to anyone who wants to make a change.
One day Jesus was very busy and there was a large crowd around him. But in the midst of this assembly was a man whose daughter was in need of a touch from Jesus. He begged Jesus to please come and go with him because his daughter of just twelve years of age was very ill. The man’s name was Jarius and he was a leader in one of synagogues. When Jesus saw this man and heard his plea his heart was moved to compassion, and he got up to go and bring new life into the heart of Jarius and into the life of his daughter.
New Life Fellowship is to be a church, that no matter how large it gets, it will always have compassion for the one. One person’s pain will always be felt in the heart of God. Jesus left the abundance of the crowd because a 12 year old girl was sick. He gave up the opportunity to speak to thousands, just to go and see about a little girl whose name we never even learn. I wonder what became of that child. Everybody matters to God. When God calls you to do a work for him, remember it does not have to be something that everybody else calls great. Just as Jesus was sent to leave the group, for the one, you may likewise receive that call in order to bring new life into the lives of others with your touch.
As Jesus went on his way, he could hardly get to her because the crowd was hindering his movement. The Scriptures tell us they were pressing in on Jesus so tightly that they were crushing him. The sad thing is they were crushing Jesus, but not touching him. Oh yes they had their hands reaching out to touch him, much as people do today when they go wild over some music star, or political personality, or some movie star. Some consider it a badge of honor to say, "oh I touched so and so." Jesus never came to be considered a super star, for us to brag about as though he was merely a Michael Jordan or a Tom Cruise or a Janet Jackson. No Jesus is only important to those who know that deep down inside they have a need in their lives that only he can fill.
New Life Fellowship will never be a place of superstars. Ministry here will always be team ministry. The goal is not to simply fill up pews and have the crowds be entertained. Our goal is to bring people into the reality that it is not enough to simply see Jesus at a distance or to admire him from afar. Just like Jarius came to Jesus and said Lord, I have a need will you come with me to my house. We expect people to come to worship because they have a need in their lives. They come with the expectation of taking Jesus home with them to bring new life into their situations.
Jarius had a religious background and was considered an outstanding member in the community. He was held in high esteem by others. He was a ruler of the synagogue. But those things were not what got Jesus’ attention. Jesus focused on Jarius because Jarius knew that he had a need that only Jesus could feel and he had faith that a touch from Jesus could make all the difference in the world.