Summary: Expounding on Psalm 119:29-37, Pastor Jonathan talks about the importance of our actions matching our testimony in sharing our faith with others.
It’s Thanksgiving Weekend and a couple of days ago we gathered with our family and friends and we thanked God for all that He has provided for us, the family that was sitting around the table, and certainly the food that was provided for us. We thanked Him for all He has done for us in our jobs and all these things. But have you ever sat back and simply thanked God that Jesus is enough, that He is our healer, that He is all that we need, that when life is falling apart, things are crumbling down around us and we don’t know what to do, are you thankful today that Jesus is there and that He will bring us through?
That is something that we as Christians need to be reminded of often. We need to be reminded that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to come to this earth, to be born in a manger. As we talk about what Jesus has done, we celebrate that. We celebrate the fact that 33 years later He allowed Himself to be crucified on that cross for you and me, that He was buried three days later and rose again to give us life, to give us salvation and freedom. We celebrate that because Jesus is all that we need.
The problem, however, is that we live in a culture, we live in a society, we live in a city where a lot of people don’t believe that. A lot of people don’t believe that Jesus is all that they need. People that are going through the same kind of crises that you and I are going through, the same kind of trials, the same kind of tribulation that we all face, and yet they don’t know, they don’t believe, they don’t cling to the fact that Jesus is everything that they need to get them through.
Oftentimes not even knowing Jesus at all. No clue about who He is, no clue about the Gospel, no clue about the death, burial and resurrection, no clue about God’s love for us.
And you know we, as a church, we, as a people, we have been sent here, and our job, our responsibility is to preach the Gospel to those people, to let them know who Jesus is. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, a few days after that some of the last words that He spoke on this earth, we find it in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Acts 1, you know what He said? He said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” He said, “Go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the outermost parts of the earth. Make disciples of all the nations.” He gave us our mission statement, our marching orders, if you will. Go preach the Gospel so that others might know who Jesus is, that others might know that Jesus is our healer, and that others would know that Jesus is all that we need. In the most difficult moments of life, when life is falling apart, Jesus is enough. That is what our duty is. That is what our job is.
Here at Thomas Road, our mission statement to change our world by developing Christ-followers who love God and who love people comes directly from Matthew 28, directly from Mark 16, directly from Acts 1. Jesus is saying, “Go and preach the Gospel. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” and that is something that we here at Thomas Road will always be doing.
But you know one of the challenges we have as a society, as people of the church, as people of faith is this: there are really only three ways we can do that. There’s really only three ways that we can preach the Gospel, that we can change our world, that we can evangelize the world. The three ways are first of all through our testimony, through what others see in us. The second way is through caring, and that is what others get from us. And the last way is through sharing. That is what others hear from us. So it is through our testimony—what they see; it’s through caring—what they get; it’s through sharing—what they hear. Those are the three ways we can evangelize the world.
And I would submit to you today that here at Thomas Road the people of the church and people of the churches, generally, around our country and around our world today, that we are pretty good at the last two. We are pretty good about caring for those in our community. We talked about it this morning. You saw on our video announcements today the opportunities we have to care for our community. You walk down Main Street and you see opportunity after opportunity of caring for those in need, whether it’s providing a toy to a child in need at Christmastime or digging a well in Guatemala, which we do each year; whether it’s going to Africa to minister or planting churches all across the country—at Thomas Road we planted over 1,100 churches last year. Whether it’s through ministering to those in need in our community, those who are hurting, providing food to those who are poor; regardless, we are pretty good at caring for our community.