Summary: Examines the importance of a heart for evangelism.
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL
- Read Psalm 126:1-6
This Psalm begins with God’s people remembering when God did a great work. Some believe it was when the Israelites returned from being captives in Babylon. Others believe it was when an invasion and siege of Jerusalem was stopped by the miraculous intervention of God. We may never know exactly what the situation was, this side of heaven, but in any event, God did a great work in His people’s lives and they remembered the joy they experienced in the past.
Today we remember as well. It was 6 years ago today that we held our first public worship service. In the past 6 years we have seen God work in many ways and we have experienced the joy of His blessings many times.
We have known the joy of having friends and loved ones come to know the Lord. Some of you have developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the past 6 years. You have known the joy the psalmist speaks of. Some of you have experienced the dream-like state the psalmist writes of.
I can remember many times that I have stood in awe and joy, as I have seen God work miraculously in some of your lives. Some of you, like me, have known great joy as we have seen God miraculously provide for and bless this church. I spoke in length about God’s blessings to our church last week, so I will not dwell long here.
After remembering God’s faithfulness, the psalmist stopped and looked around. In verse 4 he says, “God, we remember what you’ve done, but now we ask you to do something miraculous again. God you’ve blessed us, but not all of our nation is blessed. God, something is missing. God, restore our fortunes like watercourses in the Negev.”
The Negev was the dry portion of Israel. It was the part that seldom saw rainfall. It was largely a dry, rocky, and unfruitful part of the nation. From time to time a rare rainfall in the area would transform the normally dry streambeds in the area, into raging torrents. When the water came, flowers and such would bloom and life would return to the area. The Psalmist says, “God, we remember what you’ve done in the past and we rejoice. But God, the work is not finished, the land is not healed, God, do something special again.”
Last year, “a rare burst of color softened the stark landscape of Death Valley, with clusters of purple. Pink, and white wildflowers dotting the black basalt mountainsides and great swaths of golden blooms bordering the blinding white salt flats on the valley floor.
Winter storms dropped 6 inches of rain on that thirsty desert – three times more than usual – encouraging wildflower seeds to sprout. Experts say this kind of show comes once in a lifetime. … Death Valley hasn’t seen such a wild array of flowers in about 50 years” (Orlando Sentinel, “Rains bring color, life to Death Valley”, A8, March 15, 2005. Juliana Barbassa).
A normally dry and foreboding place, 292 feet below sea level, saw life, color, and beauty rarely seen in that place. A once in a lifetime occurrence, all because the area was blessed with something rare, rainfall.
In response to their prayer, God gave them a vision. He showed them the part they are to play in the great transformation. He showed them a sower.
My friends, God has blessed. He is blessing now, but our communities are still largely unreached. There are more unsaved, unbelieving people in Deltona and in our surrounding communities than there was 6 years ago when we began. Our population continues to grow, and our churches aren’t nearly keeping up with that growth, and I believe part of the problem is that we have forgotten our primary calling.
As we celebrate the anniversary of ROL, I think it’s time we remember our primary calling.
My Dad and my brothers as served in the Marine Corps. I always wanted to, but the Lord, in His wisdom, saw fit to keep me from passing the physical. Even though I was never able to get into the military, I was impressed about one important focus the Marines had. They always kept in mind what was most important.
The Marines have many different positions, they have many different specialties. If you join the Marines, you can work with computers, fly planes, work as a cook, or many other things. But, when you join the Marines, you are first and foremost a rifleman. Before you go on to specialized training, before you can work in any other field, you must first qualify on the rifle range with a weapon. You are first of all a rifleman.
The same is true in the church. You and I are all parts of One Body, the Body of Christ. We all have different gifts. Some of us are called to preach. Some are gifted to teach, some to sing, some to clean up, some to serve, some to visit, some are called to a specific prayer ministry. Many different tasks the Lord has given us, but first and foremost in our calling is soul-winning. You and I are to be busy leading other people to Christ.