Summary: God has given to all believers the Great Commission – to preach the good news and make disciples. It’s time to respond to this call from Jesus.
OUTREACH: THE FRUIT OF THE HARVEST
OPEN – TIM TEBOW:
Until the BCS national championship in 2009, Philippians 4:13 was the Scripture verse Tebow kept on his undereye strips. But he said he felt God prompting him to change it two days before big game to John 3:16, He recalled that when he told his coach, Urban Meyer responded, “Timmy, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you talking about? Phil. 4:13 is an awesome verse and it got us to the national championship!” All the players too said, “Are you sure?” But Tebow followed his spiritual intuition, and within the first 24 hours after the game aired, the new verse was the most-Googled item of the day with more than 92 million searches.
It would have been more than enough for the polarizing Denver Broncos quarterback to simply lead his underdog team to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC wild-card game. And Tim Tebow did, thanks to his 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime that left the Steelers and the watching world simply stunned.
But then the facts and figures emerged, and the Internet verily exploded: Tebow threw for exactly 316 yards in the 29-23 upset win, presenting an eerie allusion to the Bible’s John 3: 16 passage — whose number Tebow famously wore in the black under his eyes when he led the Florida Gators to victory in the 2009 collegiate national championship game. What’s more, that event took place exactly three years ago on the same day as his latest miracle comeback. And that wasn’t it for the coincidences: Tebow set an NFL playoff record with, you guessed it, 31.6 yards per completion and the TV rating on CBS peaked between 8.00-8.15pm ET with a rating of, say it ain’t so, 31.6.
A cursory glance at Google Trends hot searches Monday morning presented three of a kind: the top trio were, in order, the 3: 16 passage, followed by Tebow and Tim Tebow. So Tebowmania is somehow getting bigger. We’ve been down this road before, of course, but surely nothing can match these twin events, right?
VISION FOR 2012: Go Deep, Grow Strong and Bear Fruit
Jesus said: “Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:35-36, NLT).
• God wants us to bear fruit – the fruit of the harvest – people coming to know Jesus.
“Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
THE BIG IDEA: God has given to all believers the Great Commission – to preach the good news and make disciples. It’s time to respond to this call from Jesus.
KEY TEXT: (Luke 10:1-9).
“1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'”
JESUS’ KEYS TO EFFECTIVE OUTREACH:
1. Take a travelling buddy. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two.
2. Expect persecution. Jesus sends us out as lambs among wolves.
3. Travel light. In today’s world, we have become so busy and sophisticated!
4. Spend time building relationships with people. Go to people’s homes and share meals together. The most effective ministry is that which flows out of relationship.