Summary: This sermon is part of a series dealing with our church mission statement. LOVE like Christ. the O=Open hearts and minds for outreach.
L .O.V.E LIKE CHRIST . .
having OPEN hearts and minds
January 15, 2006 Jay Robison 1 PETER 3:15-18
As I was in line this week to buy 2 ct stamps reminded of story yrs ago city of Pittsburgh build a large, multi-million $$ post office at grand opening, Gov made speech, bands played and people cheered. It was quite a celebration.
But when 1st man entered to mail a letter, to embarrassment of engineers, discovered that in rush to meet the deadline, they had omitted usual letter drop.
Here was a costly new post office, w\no place to mail a letter! Remember your purpose
We are in midst of series around church mission statement
Why are we here, TBC exists “To Love like Christ”
Last week Learning and growing
having Open hearts and minds
But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; Vs 15 NRSV
Paul Little "How to Give Away Your Faith"
"Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ."
1. Stir up A PASSION FOR SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
Not just interest, inclination or desire but passion
We can be passionate about a lot of things
Came to Ky college basketball is big thing
Elton Trueblood, Quaker scholar, compared evangelism to fire. Evangelism occurs, when Christians are so ignited by their contact w\Christ in turn set other fires. It’s easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material.
Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out.
A church w\out evangelism is a contradiction in terms,
Evangelism not what we tell people, unless what tell is totally consistent w\who we are. Who we are going to make diff.
If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch fire of enjoyment from us. Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Christian Reader (May/June 1998, p. 50)]
Passion comes because WE HEAR GOD CALLING OUR NAME
Knows everything about us,
Mt 10:30 God has counted # of hairs on your head
Saw you in every moment of your life, knows you
Better than you know you
Are we really passionate ABOUT GOD’S LOVE FOR US
In Ky 80% of people not in church today are not unchurched
But dechurched means in last 5 yrs been to church
Found it irrelevant, not worth getting up for
George Barna study people to used single words to describe Jesus. "wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble." Of Christians, "critical, exclusive, self righteous, narrow
There is a difference between knowing the good news & being the good news, We are the evidence!
Jesus said, you did not choose me but I chose you Jn 15:15
The Word for Today devotional
Chosen because you are unique everybody is somebody
Chosen cause having something to contribute no one else can
Chosen because wanted by God despite past hurts etc.
Listen to some promises God makes to Christians
God’s presence "I will never leave thee" (Heb. 13:5)
God’s protection - "I am thy shield" (Gen. 15:1)
God’s power "I will strengthen thee & help thee" (Is. 41:10)
God’s leading "God goes before his sheep" (John 10:4)
God’s purposes "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, & not of evil" (Jer. 20:11)
God’s rest -- "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)
God’s cleansing "If we confess our sins, He is faithful\just
to forgive our sins & cleanse us from all unr-ness" (1 Jn 1:9)
God’s goodness "No good thing will He withhold from them
that work uprightly" (Ps 84:11)
God’s faithfulness "The Lord will not forsake His people for
His great name’s sake" (1 Sam. 12:22)
God’s wise plan "All things work together for good to them
that love God" (Rom. 8:28) Our Daily Bread, Jan 1, 1985.
These promises are secure we can build lives on these
No matter what else happens can have absolute confidence.
Many of us are often like Eyore witness with no enthusiasm
Does it really MATTER IF WE SHARE OUR FAITH
Because Life is short; Eternity is long;
Sin separates from God; Heaven can be yours
Consider the difference it makes to God
1 of the things I like about God Lk 15 Jesus story about God
A LOST SHEEP, A LOST COIN, A LOST BOY
Silly how much trouble owners go to to find lost item
That is way God feels about us to
"It is our privilege to have world evangelism as a passion,
not our responsibility to have as a burden." Mary Nordstrom
Lewis Smedes: somewhere people still make & keep promises.