Summary: “Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50)
Theme: Your sincerity to God’s work shall be rewarded
Text: Ester 9:20-22; James 5:13-20; Mk. 9:38-50
Introduction: The investigative journalist Anas Ameyaw Anas has over the years clearly revealed the lack of sincerity in the life of many Ghanaians. Sincerity is an important Christian virtue needed for effective Christian witness. The apostle Paul acknowledged this truth when he prayed for believers “that they may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ”. (Philippians 1:10) In the ESV it is translated “that they may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”. Sincerity is a description of a person who has integrity. A person of integrity is pure, honest and blameless, both at home and outside the home. A person who lacks integrity is dishonest, selfish and greedy. As a nation we have many hypocrites among us who appear to have integrity when the truth is that they lack integrity. As a nation we need people of integrity, people who are honest and cannot be bought, people who value character more than wealth, and people who do not compromise the truth. A sincere person will not accept a bribe or do what he knows is wrong neither will he behave like a greedy, selfish hypocrite. Many people appear or are seen as being sincere until they are brought into the light and exposed by their actions. All over Accra you can buy what you are told and what appears to be pure honey. It is only when it is exposed to the light that you see and realise that it still has wax or other remains in it. Needless to say pure honey tastes much better than impure honey. Your life should be pure and blameless and not contain any wax or impurity for your sincerity to God’s work shall be rewarded.
Step One: God’s assigned work – Belief in Christ
a) Belief He restores our godly nature
Sincerity to God’s work demands we know what that work is. God revealed His assigned work when Jesus declared “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29) God’s work is to believe in Christ for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and it is only our belief in Christ that can deal with our sinful nature and restore our godly nature.
b) Belief He has paid the penalty for sin
God’s assigned work is to believe that Christ has paid the penalty for sin. It is to believe that our salvation does not depend on anything we can do or have done but on what Christ has done for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)
c) Belief Christ died to give us eternal life
Christ took our place to give us His place. He was made sin and died in our place to give us His life “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23) “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. For whoever believes in Him is not condemned”. (John 3:17)
Illustration: God has given every man an assignment in life that begins with believing in Christ. Belief in Christ is necessary as it is the only way to be empowered to fulfil God’s assignment. God’s work must be done God’s way and in God’s power and in God’s time. This is the Lord’s prescription for success and fulfilment in life. Everyone wants to be successful and find fulfilment in life but many want to do it their way, in their time and in their power instead of in God’s way, in God’s time and in God’s power. The assignment of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth was “to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” and He fulfilled His assignment God’s way, in God’s time and in God’s power. God gives all of us an assignment and fulfilling our assignments releases His abundant blessings and provisions. God placed Mordecai and Esther in positions where they could fulfil their assignment to save the Jewish people. Anything that Mordecai and Esther did that would not bring relief to the Jews from their enemies would have meant failure to fulfil their God given assignment. When they fulfilled their assignment the result was salvation for the Jews that they celebrated with feasting and merry making.