Summary: The Good News is best when accompanied by Good Deeds. This sermon examines that.
The Good News + Good Deeds = A Positive Influence
Living Springs Assembly of God
36As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),37you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
The title tonight is, The Good News + Good Deeds = A Positive Influence
Let me share a cute story about the power of influence.
A mother took her young son shopping. After a day in the stores, a clerk handed the little boy a lollipop. "What do you say?" the mother said to the boy, to which he replied, "Charge it!"
On a more serious note of influence, “Dr. John Geddie went to Aneityum in 1848 and worked there for God for 24 years. On the tablet erected to his memory these words are inscribed:
When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.”
I want to start tonight with this statement,
“To TELL the truth, we must SHOW the truth.”
This is precisely what our Lord did. He served, met needs and people listened.
If you can, write this down and remember it.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Showing through serving can help Christians and churches TELL more effectively.
When the crowds were following Jesus, he “welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God (that’s the good news), and healed those who needed healing (that’s the good deeds)”
When Jesus sent the twelve disciples out, “he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God (the good news) and to heal the sick (the good deeds)”.
You see, engaging our community with the good news and good deeds is not just a good plan or strategy of God’s people; it is at the very core of who they are. We learn that we’re not really following if were not engage in the life of our community through ministry and service to others.
It is based on this idea that Jesus was demonstrating to us how to effectively present the good news through good deeds.
The life of the church is most clearly reflected in the life of the community in which it serves.
Addressing Christian involvement in the community the Christian writer Tertullian wrote:
“Do we not dwell beside you, sharing your way of life, your dress, your habits and the same needs of life? We are no Brahmins or Indian gymnosophists, dwelling in woods exiled from life…We stay beside you in this world, making use of the forum, the provision-market, the bath, the booth, the workshop, the inn, the weekly market, and all other places of commerce. We sail with you, fight at your side, till the soil with you, and traffic with you; we likewise join our technical skill to that of others, and make our works public property for your use.”
The summary of all that is this, “The early Christians were not a society of separatists, they engaged in the life of the city. They socialized with their neighbors. They looked out for them.
Churches today should be defined as assets to their communities and not Liabilities. This can only happen when the church is engaging in the life of their community. Remember, people don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.
Learning and Growing
Learning is defined as, “to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study or instruction.
One of the definitions of Growing, oddly enough is, “To have an increasing influence.” The most widely held view would be, “to spring up and develop to maturity”.
So, by this we can see that Learning and Growing isn’t necessarily the same thing. The better way of considering these two are by seeing them as two separate functions. Not as the same thing. Some would argue that if you’re learning, you have to be growing. Well, that isn’t always the case. A person can learn but not be growing. Conversely, a person can grow but not be learning.
For example, how many know that a person can eat and work and sleep and eat and work and sleep and they’ll grow but that growth doesn’t mean they are learning. Learning comes through instruction, not a ham and cheese sandwich. Even it is does have mustard on it!
So how can we relate this to the church? That is, learning and growing.
Well, let me just put it out there first and then I’ll come back and attempt to qualify it.