Summary: HOw do we see the church? Are we the cowboys or the Indians?
Cowboys or Indians?
LK 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Do you remember the days when Westerns dominated the radio? T.V? Movies? I grew up with Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train, and Rawhide. Remember the Indians, warpaint, whoop war cries, “Circle the wagons.” Remember seeing the Indians perched on the attack, the cowboys realizing the imminent danger and circling the wagons. The sight of flaming arrows and the sound of the Winchester rifles. Now imagine one being the forces of Hell and the other being the Church, which one would be the Indians and which one the cowboys?
Maybe you see the church as a giant spirit-filled department store. The saints, all sanitized, locked doors, selling Christian merchandise to each other? Those who see the church as the cowboys have this view. Is this how we are to operate?
Evangelism is vision driven:
John 4:35 says; Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
We have to see the field. Why is it an abundant crop and yet a labor shortage? Don’t we normally see it the other way around? Or do we see it as someone else’s job? Write down, either mentally or physically the number of people this week you intend to talk to about the Lord. How many of these will we really work to win? How many of these could we win if God goes with us? We need God’s eyes, He says the field is ripe the harvest is plentiful, either we believe it or not. Does that mean everyone we talk to is eager to jump on the Jesus bandwagon? NO! It does mean we have our work cut out for us. This is not just for the superstars, not just for the elders, deacons, evangelist, or teachers. Notice Jesus sent out the 72, which is everyone who calls himself or herself a Christian.
Vision see the Hand of God on the move
Each place we are is for Christ. Remember the woman at the well, Zaccheus in the street, woman taken in adultery, Paul before Felix, Festus, Agrippa, Caesar, Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, wherever we are we have an opportunity to be used by God. Do we see our opportunities as chances for success or failure?
Each of us has a different gift. Maybe yours is shoveling snow, then shovel snow. Maybe it is driving nails, (Those of you who have seen me nail boards know it is not my gift) Maybe it is taxiing, card writing, letter writing, whatever it is do it for the LORD.
Isaiah 58:6-8 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard
Jesus wants us to show our deeds, Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus made an invisible God visible by what he said and what he did. Our light, the light of Christ in us should eliminate, illuminate, liberate and supply. Our words need to reinforce and be reinforced by our actions. We must meet physical and spiritual.
Galatians 2:7-10 says; 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. 8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.