Summary: We Christians spend a lot of time learning how to witness. But, there comes a time when it's time to get off the bench, get in the game and use what we have learned to witness to those who are lost.
Some years ago, I took a group to Glorieta, NM to attend a Sunday School training week. I became aware that a man by the name of Paul McClung was supposed to teach a specific witnessing strategy. Because of family connections to the McClung’s I decided I would participate in this particular breakout session. I wasn’t so interested in the witnessing strategy than I was in meeting a distant family member and comparing stories about the family.
When I got to the room, I found out that Paul was not going to be the presenter because he had become ill and did not come to the conference. As I sat through the training, it appeared to me that the man presenting didn’t really believe in the strategy he was teaching. I finally asked him, “Have you ever led anyone to faith in Christ using this way of witnessing?” He admitted that he had never used this, he was only filling in for Paul.
There was a man once who preached a sermon titled "The Catching Kind of Religion." His first point was, "Do you have religion?" The second point was, "Is it the catching kind?" And the third point was, "Has anyone ever caught it from you?" So, this morning, I want for us to think about sharing our faith, everyone of us, every single Christian.
Jesus had a wonderful way of taking the things around people ... the everyday, common things that everyone knew about and experienced ... He took those things and tied some divine, wonderful teaching to them. It might be farmers sowing in the field, a rebellious runaway boy, another boy that was selfish and stayed home, children playing in the marketplace, birds flying through the air, or beautiful flowers growing wild on the hillside. He took the things all around and just laid those alongside the truths of God and taught.
I often wonder what it would be like if our Lord had chosen to live in this society at this time. If this had been the time the Father had sent His Son down to earth to live among us, I wonder what kind of illustrations He would have used.
I feel certain, given the time of year and the problem we face in trying to schedule activities, He would have used a football illustration if He lived in this society.
So this morning, I want to talk to you about when it's time to get in the game.
We will begin in Mark 9:2 (READ through vs. 7)
Several years ago, Andy Griffith created no small stir in the entertainment world with a record entitled “What It Was Was Football.” He portrayed a country boy come to town who saw his first football game. He saw the field as a little cow pasture that someone had ruined by painting stripes on it and driving posts into it.
He saw the referees as escaped convicts running up and down that cow pasture and blowing whistles. He saw the football as a pumpkin from his viewpoint. He said it must have been a very tough pumpkin because they kicked it and fell on it all day long, and it never once broke. But after watching that game for awhile, he decided that the object of the game was for one of two bunches of men to take that pumpkin from one end of that cow pasture to the other without either getting knocked down or stepping in something.
Well, you and I have watched football, and we know that the huddle is not the most exciting part of that game. But it's a very important part. It's a time when the team comes together. They remind themselves of their objective.
They know what their goal is. Each one is given a particular assignment to reach that objective and attain that goal.
They get together in the huddle, and then they leave and go run the play, trying to reach that objective and accomplish that goal.
One day, Jesus took three men with Him up on a mountain ... Peter, James and John. There they were, praying. It was a very special huddle. It was a time of inspiration, information, gaining new strategy, and remembering what they were about and what was to happen. While Jesus was praying, He was transfigured.
That's an interesting term that's hard to translate into our language. It literally means that what was inside of Him shown through His skin. It was a glorified and illuminated kind of thing. His clothes became brilliantly white ... whiter than any earthly process could whiten them. That was very unusual for that day, and He shone.
When John wrote, "We beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). I believe this is what he was talking about. They saw the glory, grace, and truth of God shining through Jesus that day.