Summary: It comes to the time when we have to actually share the message.
Sharing the Message
Purpose Driven Life #37
May 29, 2004
Today, we celebrate the church, and the church is active, dynamic, and even organic. It’s growing and changing and developing, and we’re part of that development. We’ve been given a mission and we’re on mission with God.
(Pass out 3x5 cards to everyone.)
2 Cor.5.20, 21; 6.1- this is what we’re involved with. This is where Paul was, as he lived the command Jesus gave to his disciples to go out. This is what we are to live, too, as we go out with the message. Remember, that you may be the Christian- the Jesus person- that someone has contact with. You may be the one that God intends to tell a certain someone about Jesus. You and I cannot shirk our responsibility to Jesus, as we enter, in obedience, the work before us.
How do we do it? How can you tell someone about Jesus? Obviously, we know of methods that are less than effective. Standing on street corners and shouting that people are sinners isn’t very effective and doesn’t bring the kind of reputation to Jesus that we want to see. Most of us, too, don’t get to preach to huge crowds like Billy or Franklin Graham.
But think of how a good company builds its product. It’s one customer or one client at a time. What is the best recommendation for a company? Is it the company president, or company management, telling you how good the product is?
Think about this. If you’re going to purchase a Ford Windstar, whom will you believe more? Will you believe Alain Batty, president of Ford Canada? Or will you believe your neighbor, who drives a Windstar and happens to be incredibly delighted with it? Obviously, your neighbor, as a satisfied customer, has a higher credibility with you than the paid president of Ford Canada, who stands to gain some bonus if you add yet another Windstar purchase to the ’bottom line’ of Ford Canada.
What’s our product? It’s a relationship with Jesus. You and I know this relationship changes life- it gives value and meaning to life. This relationship gives that necessary floor to our lives and brings us security and confidence for both the present and the future. You and I can declare this, but for most people, you’re more effective than I am. In some contexts, I will be effective- personally, with people I know- but for people you know, you’re the satisfied customer- I’m the middle management- the paid advertiser, if you will.
How can you tell people about Jesus? This is the question that scares the socks off all of us. How can you be that ambassador for Christ? It’s all well and good to be living the life, and this is vital in this post-modern environment. We have to live lives of integrity, above reproach.
1 Jn.5.10- ’those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them.’
There are some keys to think about in considering how to tell your story to people you meet. Knowing this takes away a lot of the fear.
1. Your life message includes your testimony. People want to hear about the lives of others.
1 Pet.3.15-16- what do you need to be able to say to people, or tell people about?
(This is where you get to use your 3/5 card.)
- What was your life like before you met Jesus? I’m assuming that Jesus is your friend. Remember that, as I said last week, in the past, we were all about knowledge and knowing stuff. Now, we’re about a relationship. Make sure you have that relationship. You need it before you can invite anyone else to have it.
- How did you realize you needed Jesus? If you’re just realizing this, then talk with me about this. I want to help.
- How did you commit your life to Jesus- don’t talk in terms of coming into the church- that is an irrelevant term- talk in terms of when you committed your life to Jesus. For me, that happened before I came to this church, I now realize. If you haven’t, then this is something to do. Have you committed your life to Jesus? If not, this might be something you want to do during communion today or even in prayer now.
- What difference has Jesus made in your life?
2. Your life message includes life lessons. It is the wise person who learns not only from his/her own experiences but from the experiences of others, too. Think through lessons you have learned- that God has taught you. These are valuable to be able to share with others- witness Solomon and Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
3. Your life message includes sharing your godly passions. What is it that you really care about, that God has turned your mind and heart toward? Everyone won’t be passionate about the same things, but Christians are not called on to be ’cool’ and ’above it all’ but to be passionate about something. What are you passionate about? Do you need a passion? Ask God for it.