Summary: Choosing may be the greatest power and privilege that we have as humans. The power of choice separates us from the angels and animals. We are faced with multiplied thousands of choices during the course of our life. We are faced with easy choices, silly
Pt. 3 – I Choose To Share
We have been talking about the choices that we are faced with in life. Thousands if not millions of decisions must be thought through and made during a lifetime. Some choices are important . . . while some are trivial.
For instance have you ever thought about the 1000’s of choices you have to wade through to purchase a car? Did you know that there are approximately 16 million new vehicles sold annually? So if there are 16 million cars every year, just stop a second and think about the number of vehicles that had to be available so that you could pick the exact color, wheel package, interior package, and floor mats that you wanted.
Are there any ice cream lovers in the house? If you love ice cream then you have more than likely been to a place called Baskin & Robbins. Home of the 31 flavors, right? Wrong! Did you know that this company has actually created more than 1,000 flavors since 1945? More choices!
Over the last few weeks I have challenged you to make choices that are lot more crucial and important than what color of car you will drive or the flavor of ice cream you will eat. I have asked you to make some life changing choices. The first was to choose to forgive. Lay down grudges and allow God to be the judge. Then last week I challenged you to choose to submit to God’s Word, to Jesus as Lord, and to the assigned relationships in your life. These choices, when made, will change your life forever. This morning I want us to make another critical choice. This choice should be the easiest of the choices we have discussed so far, but incredibly the longer we are Christians the more often we fail to make or ignore this choice.
TEXT: Romans 1:14-16
14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager (passion) to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (NIV)
14Everyone I meet—it matters little whether they’re mannered or rude, smart or simple—deepens my sense of interdependence and obligation. 15And that’s why I can’t wait to get to you in Rome, preaching this wonderful good news of God. 16It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! (Message)
It would seem like a no-brainer, but we must decide or choose . . . are we obligated? The word "obligated" means to be bound legally or morally. It also means necessary or essential. Do we feel like sharing is an essential part of our life? Are we eager or passionate about sharing? Is there any urgency about us? Or are we apathetic? Are we ashamed of the gospel? Does our lack of willingness to share reveal shame as if the answer we have found isn’t worthy of being shared?
I wonder about the true answers to those questions when statistical we are told that 95% of all Christians will never win anyone to Christ. And that only 49% of born again Christians shared their faith in Christ in the past year by taking a non-Christian friend to church so they could hear the gospel. (2004) According to a 2007 survey, only 54%, just over half of born again Christians feel a sense of responsibility to tell others about their faith. (2007)
I believe the apostles would have been sickened by those statistics. They wouldn’t understand our lack of willingness to share when they were willing to share even if it meant they would lose their lives in horrific manner for doing so.
Jesus evidently knew that we would hesitate when it came to the idea of sharing our faith and so He addressed it so that He would understand His position on sharing. In Matthew 5:13-16 He says this:
13“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 16Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”