Summary: This message is a message on compassion and evangelism. When we put ourselves in the place of others, we discover true love is telling them the good news.
Put Yourself In Their Place
How many of you know that God has equipped you with what you need to make a difference in the lives of others. You are going to be surprised at how many people have looked up to you and admired you for who you were when you get to heaven. Right now for good are bad, you are making a difference in the lives of others. Our theme for the next few weeks is Making a Difference. We will be preaching messages entitled “Put Yourself In Their Place”, “We’ve Got The Best”, “You’ve Got Good News” and “Invite Them On The Journey.”
Let’s suppose for a moment that it was Friday night and you wanted to go to a movie. You’re running late for the movie because you got home late, and then once you put down the keys, you forgot where you placed them. It was frustrating but you did find them. You finally jump into the car and you’re on way making good time until you come up behind a blue car. You are on a two lane road with a solid yellow line down the middle which means no passing. The car in front of you is doing twenty in a thirty five mile an hour zone. You want to grab some popcorn before going into the movie. You are starting to wonder, where did the person in front of you get her license. What’s going on in your mind at this point?
Would it make a difference to you, if you knew that woman was heading home from the hospital to an empty house. She had driven to the hospital an hour earlier. Her husband of 40 years and her only son had arrived at the hospital dead after being in an automobile accident. She didn’t have anyone she could call on to come and drive her home. She didn’t want to leave her car at the hospital. She was crying and driving 20 miles an hour in a 35 mph zone right in front of you. If you had of known this information, you would have still been late for the movie, but you probably would have had some compassion. You probably would have prayed for her. What you would have done is that you would have put yourself in her place and thought what you would have needed if you had been her.
Do you know why we don’t treat people with more grace and more love. It’s because we do put ourselves in their place. Do you know why we fight as much as we do at home. It’s because we do not put ourselves in their place. The last time you were in an argument, how many of you are convinced you would have won the argument if the other person could have put himself in your place and seen things from your point of view. It is a form of selfishness and pride, to insist that how we see something is the only way that it really is.
We even think the way we see people, is the way they really are. Yet not a single one of us can look at a person and see what’s in his or her heart. No matter how well we look like we are together in the eyes of others, we all have some issues in our lives that need to be dealt with. If we are going to make a difference in the lives of others for God, we are going to have to put ourselves in their place every now and then.
There are times when we quickly put ourselves in the place of others. Suppose you were going down the street and saw a person in the driver’s seat of a parked car looking asleep or unconscious. You also saw smoke and flames starting to come from under the hood of the car. What would you do? How many of you would try to get the person’s attention? How many of you would try to help the person out of the car? How many of you would say, “if they wanted my help, they would ask.” Many of us would risk our own safety for a total stranger to try to alert that person of the danger that surrounds them. We know what their future is going to be if they do not act.
One of the reasons that Jesus came into the world was to make people aware of the danger that surrounds them on a spiritual level. John 3:17 (NIV)
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. . In our Scripture passage this morning it read