Summary: A sermon about living life to the full through following Christ.
“What Are You Looking For?”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN www.eastridgeumc.com
(Many of the ideas from this sermon came from a sermon by Brett Younger)
How would your life be different if you were not a Christian?
For some of us who have been surrounded by Christian people all our lives, it may be hard to imagine.
For others, we can remember what it was like.
We can remember the darkness and the lonely feeling of being lost.
We can remember the desperation and feelings of hopelessness.
Some of us wouldn’t be alive right now if Christ had not saved us.
So, how about you?
How would your life be less or more or just the same?
What would you miss about church?
I, for one, would never sing out loud in public if it were not for Church on Sunday.
I would also not know what it is like to be surrounded by such a community of love and acceptance.
Which of your friends would not be your friend if you had not embarked on this Christian journey?
If you had never met the people in your Sunday school classes, the folks you fellowship with and serve with…how great of a loss would that be?
How would your family change?
What would be missing?
How would you spend your time differently?
What would be different about your attitude toward your neighbors?
Would you know what love is?
What do you do because you are a Christian?
Do you feel good about the time you have spent helping strangers in the name of Christ?
Do you wish you still had all the money you’ve given away?
Have there been experiences you would hate to have missed:
…experiences of God’s grace…
…times you’ve cared for hurting people?
If you were not a Christian would your life be less fulfilling?
Every once in a while, the disciples probably wondered about how different their lives would have been if they had never met Jesus.
It started out so innocently, so unself-consciously.
John the Baptist was standing with two of his followers when Jesus walked by.
John says, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
And the two disciples are understandably curious.
They start following Jesus.
“Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’”…
…or “What are you looking for?”
That’s the most fundamental question in life, is it not?
The disciples answer Jesus, perhaps a bit nervously, “We thought we would see where you were staying.”
In other words, “We don’t know what we are doing or what we want, but we are looking for something. We are looking for something to fill us.”
“Our lives lack meaning and purpose.”
“We are unsatisfied.”
“We are searching and seeking.”
“Could You be the One John told us about?”
And Jesus offers them the invitation that will change their lives big time: “Come, and you will see.”
They end up staying with Jesus the entire day.
They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.
They don’t know that they will end up leaving behind their nets, boats, homes, friends, work and retirements.
They will end up changing their ideas about almost everything!!!
Notice that the time is recorded: “It was about the tenth hour.”
Many think that the reason this detail is in here is because, John, the author of this Gospel was one of the two first disciples himself, and he could tell you the very hour of the day and no doubt the stones on the road he was standing on when he met Jesus.
At 4 pm on a spring afternoon in Galilee, life became a new thing for him!
And take note of Andrew.
In verse 41, we are told, “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”
There are only three times in the Gospel of John when Andrew is brought onto center stage.
And in each of these incidents, Andrew is bringing others to Jesus.
Andrew is a great example for all of us—he could not keep Jesus to himself!
It’s amazing, miraculous and true: God works through people and depends upon them to introduce others to Jesus.
Andrew’s story is unfinished until his witness brings others to Christ.
And the same can be said for us.
I am aware of a long list of people whom God has used to bring me to Christ, how about you?
Mothers, youth leaders, pastors, and friends.
Who has God used to help bring you to Jesus?
Whose witness has inspired your belief?
More than likely, some persons have brought you to Jesus by example.
Others have probably influenced your faith by simply spending time with you.