Summary: This is the fifth sermon in a series of five to help my congregation become more outward focused. It is based on the church outreach program titled - "Outflow". 1. God Sends You 2. God Changes You 3. God Enables You
Touching the World for Christ – Overflowing Outreach
Over the past four weeks we have been looking at how God wants to give us an overflowing life – an abundant life. A life so full of His joy, His peace, and His love – that it spills over into the lives of those who are around us. In John ten – ten it says:
“I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)
The word picture that the Greek paints for “abundance” actually means – an overflowing abundance. Not that your cup is full – but that it is flowing over the rim. The cup is so full that it is spilling out into the saucer. God wants our lives overflowing with is His love, His joy and His peace. He wants our lives so full with all the gifts He has to give to us – that it overflows into the lives of other people around us. That’s called outflow.
If you were to picture your influence for Christ as a fountain it would look sometime like a four tiered fountain. God fills up the top level – the top tier. That tier represents you. He then fills you so full that you spill over into the next level – the second tier. The second level represents the people who are closest to you – that would be your family and friends. The third tier represents your community. The fourth tier represents the world. God wants to have an impact on us – to have an impact on our family and friends – to have an impact on your community and finally to have an impact on the world. Today we are going to talk about – how you can have an influence for Christ on the entire world.
Let me give you three important insights about how God is involved with you to reach the world for Him. Here is what God does for you:
1. God SENDS YOU.
There is an interesting verse in John chapter seventeen. It is verse eighteen. Let me give you a little back ground before we read the verse.
What is going on in John chapter seventeen is that Jesus is praying for His disciples. The entire chapter is a prayer that Jesus prayed. He is praying for the disciples who were with Him while He was alive but He was also praying for the disciples who were to come after His death and resurrection. In other words – He is praying for you and me. The whole chapter is a prayer for us. Remember Jesus is praying to the Father and He says:
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:18 (NKJV)
Wow! Jesus is saying that in the SAME WAY God the Father sent God the Son into the world – Jesus is now sending us into the world. In the SAME WAY! Folks if you are a Christian - you are a new creature in Christ:
Your sins have been FORGIVEN.
You have a home in HEAVEN.
You have a purpose for LIVING.
You are important! You have been commissioned by God to serve God. Just as God the Father sent Jesus into the world – Jesus sends us into the world. IN THE SAME WAY that God empowered Jesus – God empowers you. IN THE SAME WAY that God commissioned Jesus – God commissions you. IN THE SAME WAY that Jesus reached the entire world – God wants you to reach the entire world.
Do you know what happens when I read the Great Commission? I get overwhelmed. I often think the task is too big. It’s too large. It’s too huge. Look at what Jesus tells His disciples in Mark:
“And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
Wow! That is huge. That is gigantic. How in the world are we to reach the world? How are we to have an impact on the entire world? Do you know how you do it? You do it the same way you eat an elephant. You eat an elephant - one bite at a time.
Here is an old saying I heard somewhere:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
We are to touch the world in the SAME WAY that Jesus touched the entire world. Do you know how Jesus changed the entire world? He touched the entire world by touched people. He touched people one at a time. He accepted people where they were. He talked to them. He listened to them. He helped them in times of crisis. He served them. He gave a word of hope to those who viewed life as hopeless. He offered direction to those who were on the wrong path.