Summary: A look at how each of us are "appointed" by the Lord and the importance of the witness that each of us share.
PAUL'S ROLE: Paul was appointed an apostle.
- Unpack Paul’s unique place in salvation history.
HOW MANY CHRISTIANS ARE APPOINTED? All of us.
- We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- This is something we are all called to be.
- We are all called to be His representatives.
- Spiritual gifts given to each Christian for use in serving (1 Corinthians 12:1-30).
- Each of us have been gifted to serve.
- Not just preachers.
- When I say “appointed,” I don’t mean that you’re going to have to go off somewhere exotic. Most of us are appointed to exactly where we are. God desires to use us in the place where we now stand.
WITH SO MANY CHRISTIANS AROUND, IS MY WITNESS REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
1. YES, BECAUSE YOU OCCUPY A UNIQUE CORNER OF THE WORLD.
- Each of us occupies a unique corner of the world: our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers.
- There are people that you have influence on that I will never know. There are people that you have influence on that would never listen to me.
- This is an important part of the answer to the question “With so many Christians, is my witness really that important?” It is, because there are people that you are around that other Christians are not around.
- Think of it this way:
a. “I am appointed to represent God’s love at Patriot Coal.”
b. “I am appointed to share God’s truth at the Capitol.”
c. “I am appointed to embody Jesus on Third St. W.”
2. YES, BECAUSE OF YOUR CLOSE CONNECTIONS.
- There are people that you’re close to: family, long-time friends.
- Those close connections create an enormous open door.
- One obvious example: people talk about how influential their parents are on their lives.
- We have to note that a bad witness here is especially traumatic. When we have a church-going parent who is a hypocrite, it’s enormously damaging to a child’s faith. When we have a Christian friend who is a vicious gossip, it’s enormously damaging to a seeker’s faith.
3. YES, BECAUSE OF THE MAGNIFIED IMPACT OF YOUR FAITH THROUGH STRUGGLES.
- Our witness is multiplied when we stand strong in our faith in the midst of struggles and difficulties.
- Why is that? Because the problems that we’re going through make it easy to walk away or give up. They make it easy to curse God or give up on our faith.
- When we instead stand strong and hold tight to our faith, the witness of our faithfulness is magnified by our trials.
- Me in my health posting to Facebook, “I am trusting God today” may have a small impact. Me posting that when I’m going in for a cancer diagnosis is another matter entirely.
4. YES, BECAUSE OF CONSISTENCY OVER TIME.
- There are many who show up for church for a season. There are many who pay lip service to God during a time of blessing.
- Rarer, though, are those who consistently follow and obey Christ over the long haul – through the highs and low, during the blessings and struggles.
- There is a power to this consistent witness over time. It says, “This is what I really believe. This is what I’m staking my life on. This is who I am.”
MY HOME COUNTRY: We are living representatives of a Kingdom unlike the country we now live in.
- I am an American, but that is not where my ultimate loyalty lies. Far more than being a citizen of the United States (though I thankful for that), I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
- The Kingdom of God has values, priorities, and goals that are unlike the United States. This is not always recognized. Sometimes we act as though the Kingdom of God is just like the American Dream plus “be a little nicer.”
- It’s not. The world says take revenge; the Kingdom says forgive. The world says your behavior is really not that bad; the Kingdom says repent. The world says cling to all you have; the Kingdom says lose your life. The world says you’re the most important thing; the Kingdom says Jesus is.
- Be an ambassador who brings honor to his home country – your real country.