Summary: Missions! This sermon was preached as we dedicated our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes - Samaritain’s Purse Ministry. A powerful Powerpoint presentation available upon request!
Notice 3 things about these children:
a. Jesus received the children around Him. Which says that He places an importance and value on them.
b. Jesus rebuked those around Him. Societies over the ages have at times put little value on children. I wonder about America at times!
c. Jesus blessed the children around Him. What a Savoir!
I may say that these boxes are an outreach of Jesus...
· We display to the children that get the shoeboxes that Christianity places value on these little lives!
· We are rebuking in a sense the horrible religions around them that keep children from the truth of God. (The gospel tracks)
· By interceding for theses precious lives, we are praying God’s blessing over them. We need to see our prayers as an extension of Jesus placing His hands on each of them!
Fact: 85% of people who place their faith in Christ for salvation do so before the age of 18. …SBC
As your child unwraps the box that you so carefully wrapped, be assured that…
1. My Child is Unwrapping The Immeasurable Love of God.
a. Through Our Method.
That child who has your box will learn… in order for love to be real; it must cost! Jesus love was given to that child on the cross!
Just imagine with me if you can…that 6-year-old boy that has your shoebox and he’s sitting in a gross gutter reading about Jesus in his own language. Or the 7-year-old girl who has your shoebox and she’s waiting in a long soup line for her only meal of the day, reading about Jesus. Or the 14-year-old boy who has your shoebox and he’s reading about Jesus who healed the lame, wondering if Jesus could restore his leg that was mangled by an exploding land mine! Or the 3-year-old girl who is clinging to life because of AIDS, and her only source of comfort through the pain and suffering is the doll she holds.
Folks…there is no other religion that will present the love of God the way your box will! Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist…none of them have any kind of outreach like this! Why? Because they know nothing of the love of God!
Mother Teresa once said, “Think of love as a long garment that reaches the very dust of life. It sweeps the streets and lanes and because it can, it must.”
I read recently about a church that caught fire, and a painting of Jesus, which hung in the building basically unnoticed by visitors, was endangered. Two men rushed into the church and rescued the painting. Many people came and watched as the church burnt. After the fire was put out people began to gather around the picture and admire it. The leaders of the church were amazed that so many people were interested in the picture that had hung so long unnoticed in the church. Then somebody said, “When the church caught fire and moved Christ into the street, people become interested.”
b. Through Our Message.
In much of these countries that child knows nothing about the real love of God…only an abusive God, an unloving God, an uninvolved God!
Ephesians 2:4-5 “…in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.” The Message
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." NIV
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
The map you see…is The 10/40 Window - an area of the world that contains the largest population of non-Christians in the world.
This region is the hardest to reach with the gospel.
Facts About The 10/40 window:
· 90 % of the unreached people groups live in this area.
· 95% have never heard the gospel.
· 85% of the poorest of the poor live in the 10/40 Window - living on less then $1.40 a day.
· 3.2 billion Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims live in the 10/40 Window.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…” We are doing just that!
This is no different for our friends and family that have not yet come to Jesus! They need to know the immeasurable love of God just as much as the child with your shoebox!
Don’t wait to share the love of God with your children! Waiting until Johnny’s 18 to make up his mind is…Irresponsible Christian Parenting!
A preacher wanted to show off his garden to a man who wouldn’t let his children attend church … he wanted them to wait until they were old enough to decide for themselves. When they walked into he garden, it was full of weeds that were choking out his squash, beans and carrots. The man said: “This is a pitiful excuse for a garden!” To which the preacher said: “I just wanted to wait until the vegetables had a chance to decide for themselves what they wanted to do!”