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Summary: Outreach - A Church Expense or a Church Investment?

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Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself

Center Point Baptist Church

May 11, 2005

Introduction

What is a good investment today? Several strong companies that enjoyed a superior reputation not long ago are now struggling to survive - or have gone bankrupt. 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

*People all over are trying to find out what the best investments are...

• news shows completely dedicated to money

• the financial section of the newspaper – bigger and more confusing than ever

• the number of investing companies that we’ve never heard of – those companies that don’t have a tangible product

• “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen” – who should we listen to now? They’re out of business!

There is more than just the investment of money –

• materials

• manpower

• time

*The thing about investing is that nothing is ever a sure gainer!

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.

Read Matthew 20:29-34.

1.) Slow Down

Observe the plea of the men - "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" – twice, while being rebuked.

• They cried in humility and in prayer; Have mercy on us!

• They cried out with faith in prayer; in the title they gave to Christ, which was in the nature of a plea; O Lord, thou Son of David; they confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

• They persevered in prayer, even through discouragement. The multitude rebuked them.

What did their plea result in? – Jesus stopped!

*Jesus was leaving Jericho and was headed toward a new ministry with a large crowd in tow.

Speak of celebrities and their large crowds – who tend to ignore those in their paths.

The difference in reactions:

• the crowd – wanted to continue uninterrupted – self-centeredness

• Jesus – He stopped – regarded these people as important – selflessness

2.) See the Big Picture

Why did Jesus put a hold on His own plans, when so many others would be unwilling to do so?

Read Philippians 2:3-8.

*Jesus modeled the practice of putting others first!

• He put his own plans on hold.

• He inconvenienced His own crowd of followers by making them wait.

• In doing so, He taught those that would learn the value of servant-leadership!

What did Jesus realize that the crowd did not realize?

Jesus’ investment of time and attention paid off with eternal dividends! – Are you investing yourself in eternal matters?

Read Matthew 20:28.

• Never was there such an example of humility and servanthood as we have in the life of Christ!

• Never was there such an example of beneficence and usefulness as we have in the death of Christ!

1. Jesus Christ laid down his life for a ransom. Our lives were forfeited into the hands of divine justice by sin. Christ, by parting with his life, made atonement for sin, and so rescued ours.


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