Playing our Part “How we share the Gospel” June 5, 2016

Evangelism 3 Title.2

Mark 1:16-20

We all know that we live in a world that is motivated by fear, but there is a deep seated fear that drives the current generation. It is the fear that motivates social media, the reason why so many people post selfies on facebook and Instagram. It is the fear that drives people to climb high mountains, or write books.

What I am referring to is the fear of insignificance, the fear of living a life that doesn’t make an impact. Everyone wants to live a life that makes a difference in the world. This generation is driven by the fear of insignificance.

But the truth is that everyone has the potential to live a life of immeasurable significance, everyone can leave an eternal legacy.

We have a privilege, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have the greatest story ever told. This Gospel message is powerful and life changing. It is the only message that we have that can have an eternal impact on the people around us. By keeping this message to ourselves, we are withholding the news of eternal salvation.

In the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark we read how Jesus began his ministry. Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, but he was not simply strolling on the beach.

Jesus was about to set in motion a ministry that would ultimately lead to his crucifixion, and change the entire world. He was selecting his disciples. God the Father led Jesus in this process, Jesus was not randomly calling people, he was not looking for a crowd, he was looking for the select few. Those who would follow him, ultimately paying with their lives for the Gospel message.

Jesus is still calling people today to follow him, to leave all behind and follow him to make a difference in the world.

Mark records that Jesus says three simple words; “Come, follow me” Jesus took the initiative as he called his disciples. This is the truth of the Gospel message. In our own fallen sinful nature, we do not seek God out, he seeks and calls us. Jesus was demonstrating the way of the Kingdom even as he called his disciples.

Jesus goes on to declare a promise over their lives. A promise that still stands for all the people that God calls. “I will make you fishers of men”. Jesus had “caught” them, now he was beginning the process of equipping them to carry the message of salvation. They did not know what they were being called to, but they followed in faith.

When we say yes to Jesus, we don’t know what that will lead to. For all of us, who know Jesus as our Lord and savior, we say yes, because we are called. Called to be people who leave an eternal legacy.

esus went on, and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee, calling them they left everything without delay. They left everything, turned 180’ and followed him. Today Jesus calls us, and asks us to do the same, change the direction of your life. This is the essence of being born again, it is not a mere addition to your life. Being born again is a complete shift; a change of perspective, priorities and life goals.

Below are five practical applications that we all need to bear in mind as we seek to lead lives of eternal significance and be fishers of men.

1: You cannot share what you do not have; In order to lead others into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to know Jesus as Lord for our own life. This is not simply attending church or attending a life group, rather asking Jesus Christ to become Lord of your life, and growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

2: Know your story; Every one of us has a story, but the most important story we can share is how Jesus saved us and our lives were transformed by the Gospel. We need to be able to share our story in three minutes or less in a way that clearly demonstrates the saving power of Jesus Christ.

3: Know the gospel; The central point of who we are as a church is the Gospel message, and we need to be able to clearly articulate this Gospel message. (See 1 Corinthians 15:2-5)

4: Jesus calls us to an exchange not an addition; Unfortunately modern television evangelists and many others are preaching a message that teaches how you will have a better life if you “accept” Jesus, how you will be blessed if you “add” Jesus to your life. A little addition of some Jesus to your life and you will experience blessings, you will have the husband or wife you dreamed of, you will be able to claim wealth and health. That is not the truth. In fact Jesus clearly explained that when you become a follower of his there is a cost involved (see Luke 9:23-25).

5: let the Holy Spirit lead; This is the crucial part of evangelism that we must understand. We don’t convert anyone, we don’t have the ability to bring conviction of sins. We can make people aware of their need of a savior, but we cannot do the work of changing the very soul of a person, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. As D.L. Moody once wrote; “There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit”.

So where do you start?

You start at home. Sometimes the most difficult mission field. Very few of us can say that everyone in our extended family has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And in this challenging mission field is where we are called to start.

You can live a life of significance, you can make an eternal difference, but the only way to make an eternal difference is by telling others about your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Charles Spurgeon once wrote; “Only by coming after Jesus can we obtain our heart’s desire and be really useful to our fellow men.”

Lessons from the Life of David Part 5 May 01, 2016

King David 5 Title.2-011 Chronicles 28

We as a nation are embroiled in one of the most energetic and passionate political seasons of our history. While the candidates position themselves to become the next resident of the White House, the current President is focused on something else, his legacy. How will history remember President Obama?

We have all been the beneficiaries of a legacy that was handed down to us. For some of us that was a wonderful memory or character instilled by loving parents. But for others that legacy is one of pain and hurt that causes one to walk through life with a limp.

David is older now, his kingdom is well established and he calls all the leaders together. He wants to address the leaders, those who will get the job done those to whom he can entrust his legacy.

David starts by talking about his desire to build the temple. With all that David had accomplished in his life, there was one yearning desire that was unfulfilled, he wanted to build a temple for God in Jerusalem. It was David’s dream, but God said no. This is not a job for a man of war but a man of peace.

The motivational speakers of our day will tell us that we can be whatever we want to be, we must dream big in order to achieve big goals. But sometimes we don’t achieve certain goals in our lifetime.

When we commit our lives to following Jesus, he gives us a new direction for our lives and the plans that he has for us are far higher than any dream we could have.

What dreams have you let go of in your life? Do you still feel the sting of regret?

Allow God to give you a bigger dream a better dream for your life and for those who will come after you.

David makes it clear that Solomon is the future King and that his son Solomon will be the one to fulfill his dream of building the temple.

Moving on to verse 8, we see David now charging the leaders of the nation, he is giving them a responsibility to carefully follow the Law in order to receive the blessing of God. David is challenging them to walk in purity.

But then in verse 9 David turns to Solomon and gives him a powerful word of encouragement. (See 1 Chronicles 28:8-9). This is far more than a word of encouragement. This is a charge, a commissioning a handing over of the responsibility of the nation. David had run as far as he could and now he was charging Solomon to continue on.

David urges Solomon to know God, not merely serving Him out of duty, but to really seek Him and know Him wholeheartedly with all his mind. David using language that the Israelites would have easily recognized as coming from the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5. David reminds Solomon to be devoted to God, because God knows every intention of the heart of man.

The sad reality is that this is a major problem today. People are being taught that it is your actions that count. Do good things, make sure you are doing enough good things, following the law and helping the downtrodden. While that is all good and we need to do these things, without a knowledge of God and true heart transformation, there is no salvation. God knows the intentions of your heart. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your heart leads to salvation.

Parents, we are often guilty of this, in our homes, we need to enforce rules and teach our children to obey. Pick up your clothes, take out the trash, empty the dishwasher! How often do we encourage them to know God, to seek Him, to Love him with all your heart. I find this deeply convicting as I was preparing this message. I want my children to know God and to serve Him that is the legacy I want to leave them.

Following this charge, David proceeds to give Solomon the blueprints and instructions for building the temple. From verse 11 to 18 are just some of the details that God gave to David. And then in verse 20 David picks up the Commissioning of Solomon (See 1 Chronicles 28:20). If these words sound familiar to you it is because these are almost exactly the same words that Moses said to Joshua as he was preparing to die (See Deuteronomy 31:6).

There are a number of parallels between Moses/ Joshua and David/ Solomon.

In each case both Moses and David received a covenant promise from God that shaped the future of the nation.

In each case Moses and David received a revelation from God that they passed down.

In each case the former did not see the fulfillment of their dreams.

Moses did not enter the Promised Land, but handed that over to Joshua, and David did not see the temple built but he gave that responsibility over to Solomon. And on both occasions we have that charge to be “strong and courageous”, which is echoed in Joshua 1:9 when God commissions Joshua.

David died and left a void that could never be filled, there was never another king like David. But David completed the task that the Lord had for him to do, and Solomon was a different leader that was required for a different era. David left a legacy, he built a foundation for a nation that Solomon could build on. As we have seen from the life of David, the most important value in his life was his worship and love for God.

Every one of us leaves a legacy.

Some people spend their lives trying to amass wealth in order to provide for the next generation. While that is Biblical and a good thing to do, I want to challenge you to invest in the next generation by pointing them to a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Challenging the next generation to be strong and courageous.

No matter our age, we all have someone younger than us who is looking up to us. Who are you investing in?