Summary: A message on Christian growth.
THE LORD WANTS YOU!
INTRO: During WWII there was a unique sign in front of an army recruiting office. In the center of the sign there was an oval cutout with a mirror behind it. Underneath were the words, “Your country needs you.” When a man would read these words and look into the mirror, the sign became a personal message to him. He saw himself in the mirror and received the message that his country needed him. This recruiting station enlisted more recruits than any station in the area.
Almost 2,000 years ago, a greater leader than Uncle Sam came into the world. He came to wage a greater war, to launch a greater program. He needed men to serve with Him so He went right down where men worked and lived, and there He gave His call, “Follow Me.”
In the text we see Him going into a tax-collector’s office to see a man named Levi. Everyone despised Levi because he collected excessive taxes. But Jesus saw something in Levi that his neighbors could not see. He saw a hungry heart and a potential for great usefulness. So Jesus simply said, “Follow Me.” And Levi did. Jesus needed Levi. He wanted him, so He called him and Levi followed. The same is true today. God wants us, and needs us, so He calls us.
I. THE LORD WANTS YOU AS ONE OF HIS OWN.
He wants you to be saved to become one of His, to have your name written down in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” That is why He came to the earth.
The fires of Hell and judgment burn toward us. Is there a place of safety for us? Yes, thank God, there is. There is one spot where the fires have already burned out. That place is Calvary. If we will just go to that spot we will be safe forever. That’s why Jesus came into the world. The greatest desire of Christ is to have you as one of His children.
II. THE LORD WANTS YOU TO BRING OTHERS TO HIM.
The first desire of a new Christian is to bring someone else to Christ. He has tasted of the Lord and found Him so good, so sweet, that he wants others to know about Him. When you feel Jesus in your heart you want someone else to know Him, also.
ILLUS: A telegraph messenger brought a telegram to a businessman. After the man had read the telegram, he said to the messenger, “You have brought me a message, now I want to give you one.” So he opened his Bible to the gospel of John and gave the boy the message of John 3:16. He soon won the boy to Christ.
ILLUS: A university student once talked to his mother about his ambitions. He wanted to be a great lawyer, and wanted to become rich and famous. Just before he left home to return to the university for his Senior year, his mother slipped a note into one of his pockets. Later, in his room, he opened the note and read it. It said, “For what shall it profit...” The truth of this text pierced his heart and soon he was saved.
The Lord wants to use us to bring others to Him.
ILLUS: Years ago a young man named Paul Redfern flew on a solo flight to South America. He was last seen flying over the Caribbean. For many months search planes flew over the jungles and searching parties on foot searched for him, but never found him. Why go to so much trouble? What was one aviator among so many? Why, he was everything to his family. Is it right to search for many days for a lost aviator and not to search for lost souls?
On the day to Pentecost Peter preached to a great crowd. On that day 3,000 people trusted Christ and joined the church. Did one sermon do it all? No! While Peter preached 119 other Christians witnessed for Christ. If any church could have 10 or 20 or 50 members faithfully witnessing for Christ every week, scores would be saved every time the pastor preached. The greatest joy on earth comes to a Christian when he is used to win someone to Christ.
III. THE LORD WANTS YOU AS A BUILDER OF HIS CHURCH.
1. THE CHURCH IS CIVILIZATION’S GREATEST ASSET. Can you name any organization or institution which has meant as much to the world as the church of Jesus? Take the church and its influence out of the world and you would have only a jungle left. Isn’t it wonderful how the church has stood for nearly 2,000 years. A preacher comes to a small church. He stays there for 10 to 30 years. He always has someone to listen to him as he preaches the Gospel. He has little help in the church. It is almost a one-man concern. Yet it goes on and on, doing the work of Christ. But look at some of the theaters. They have large staffs, spend thousands for publicity, change their programs every few days. Yet many of them fail. But the church stands because it is a divine institution. The Russians said to the Christians many years ago, “We are going to pull down the churches. We will topple every steeple and everything that will bring to men any idea of God.” But the church still stands and Communist Russia is no more!