Summary: A world changer is known not for what he gives up, but for what he takes up. Will you take up the challenge to be a world changer OR who just changes his clothes every day to look good?
Opening illustration: John, do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
That was the challenge Steve Jobs issued in 1983 to John Sculley, then president of Pepsi-Cola. Mr. Jobs was the creative genius behind Apple Computer. He knew that the soft-drink executive could help Apple make its mark on the computer world. Sculley accepted the bold challenge.
Jesus issued a challenge to three fishermen as they tended their nets. He commanded, “Follow Me!” (Mark 1:17). They did, and with a handful of other ordinary men they changed the world. On the Day of Pentecost the promised Holy Spirit began a new work through them, and 3,000 were saved (Acts 2). Eventually critics would charge that they had turned the world “upside down” (Acts 17:6).
Our world is wrong-side up and right-side down, living by principles opposed to our Lord’s teachings. We can either follow the world’s dead-end philosophies, or we can accept Jesus’ challenge to bring change to the world.
Today let’s serve God by praying, giving, and witnessing in our small corner. One day the King of kings will return and transform the whole world! (Vernon C. Grounds, Our Daily Bread)
Let us turn to Mark 1 in God’s Word and check out the marks of the real world changers …
Introduction: When you hear the phrase ‘World Changer,’ what comes to your mind? I have a number of things that come to my mind, but the preeminent thing is to “Go and make disciples” after Christ had made His disciples “Fishers of men.” This is how Christ commissioned the disciples to go out and change the world. They were supposed to go and make Disciples of Christ. They were to point people to Christ and preach the liberating message of Jesus Christ. I won’t hesitate to say that these 12 disciples were the ones that really initiated and were the true World Changer’s. Apparently they turned the world upside down for the glory of God. For being world changers they not only had to make sacrifices, but even give up their life for the cause of Christ, His gospel and extending His Kingdom. They just set the stage and an example for all of us. It is high time we pick up from where they and many others who walked before us left …
What are the marks of the World Changers?
1. EMBRACE and LIVE the HARD CALL (vs. 17-18)
We are called to a holy and noble purpose! You were put on earth to make a contribution. You were not created just to consume resources, to eat, breathe, and take up space. God designed us to make a difference with our life. You were created to serve God- the Bible says, in Ephesians 2:10b. “God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do" (Colossians 3:23-4; Matthew 25:34). You were saved to serve God, the Bible says. "It is He who saved us and chose us for His holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was His plan" (2 Timothy 1:9). God redeemed you so you could do His "holy work." You are not saved by service, but you are saved for service. In God's Kingdom you have a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value.
Our God is a God who calls people. This fact is essential to His dealings with us. After they had sinned, Adam and Eve "heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. ... the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?' (Genesis 3:8-9). Could it be that God is seeking you? The sound of His voice is disquieting, and you may think, oh, no, it couldn't be that He's calling me.
Let me define what I mean by God's call: I mean God getting our attention to make His own wish known. For example, He calls at conversion. Everyone who is a Christian is a Christian because he or she has been converted, and the reason of the conversion is that the person heard the call of God. Saul-to-Paul!
Let us ask a question: When you get to the very center of God's will, is it perhaps at great cost? Could it be that there is a call to spirituality at a deeper level than you have known? What if, in your midlife, when things are going well, God puts His finger on your lifestyle, the way you have been spending your time, your money - all the comfort you have taken for granted - and says, "I have something else in mind." The pain can be great, but the reward will be greater.