Summary: What is a good investment today? Several strong companies that enjoyed a superior reputation a year ago are now struggling to service. Companies like Enron, Nextel, Worldcom, Delta, and United have suffered huge losses. Financial investing has always b
Ministry – Investing in Others
What is a good investment today? Several strong companies that enjoyed a superior reputation a year ago are now struggling to service. Companies like Enron, Nextel, Worldcom, Delta, and United have suffered huge losses. Financial investing has always been risky, and the risk has increased with a volatile world economy.
An investment that always provides a positive return is investing in the lives of people for the glory of Christ. Almighty God promises a reward for our service if we stay faithful in serving Christ. Numerous passages of Scripture challenge believers to serve. Some describe the special gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit to equip us for effective ministry. Today’s message focuses on the heart of ministry as modeled by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 20:28-34.
I. Slow Down
a. Jesus encounter with two blind men on the Jericho road reveals several key principles for investing our lives in others.
b. First we must slow down. Matthew 20:32 says, “Jesus stopped.”
i. What appears to be a rather simple fact is actually a significant step in serving others.
ii. Jesus was leaving Jericho, he had an appointment elsewhere.
iii. He had already spent time ministering in Jericho, and now he was going to another town.
iv. But, he stopped!
c. Our pace of life often becomes so fast that we speed past ministry opportunities.
i. Jesus slowed down and stopped
ii. He allowed his temporary schedule to be interrupted for an eternal investment.
d. We must be ready both in and out of season to share the gospel, just as Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2.
II. See the Big Picture
a. To minister effectively we must embrace a servant philosophy
i. The Bible says in Philippians 2:3, “Consider others as more important than yourselves”
ii. The opening verse of our text describes the glorious Son of Man as one who came to serve not to be served.
iii. The big picture of life is far greater than our personal desires and dreams.
iv. We need to remove the blinders from our eyes that we so often put on as Christians, because we don’t want to see what is really going on around us.
b. When we see the big picture, we notice that all people are important to Christ.
i. In Mark 10:46-52, the gospel identifies one man here as Bartimaeus, the other unknown
ii. Jesus did not show favoritism to a respected family in the community while ignoring the needs of ordinary or lesser known people.
iii. We cannot pick and choose who we will share the love of God with.
iv. Christ himself said, “What you do for the least of these, you have done for me.”
v. Jesus demonstrates amazing love to all who call upon His name.
c. The church doors must be opened to everyone and we are not to judge, but love and invest our time in them.
III. Serve with Compassion (v. 34)
a. Jesus modeled genuine service by slowing down and seeing the big picture.
b. He also served with compassion
i. “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes”
c. Many seek the applause of men instead of the approval of God.
i. Jesus did not serve for compensation.
ii. These blind men begged for mercy
iii. They did not offer to pay Jesus for healing.
iv. Christ-honoring service is motivated by compassion – not compensation.
d. Our reward has been reserved for us in heaven because no bank on earth could contain the incomparable riches of serving Christ.
In his book on service, Charles Swindoll shares a convicting anecdote of the way we often approach Christian service.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warn milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a someone different then me. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
We are called to serve as Christ served. The cost is far greater than $3, but the rewards are out of this world! Today you need to allow the hand of God to slow you down, open your eyes, and touch your heart that you might serve lik