If you live in our area, you might remember our You Matter campaign. We handed our church family cards with a heart on them that simply said "You matter". The goal was to hand them out to people that you encountered in a day when you felt led to. It became as close to a viral sensation as this little town can get. Business owners were asking us for cards to put up in their windows, you would drive by the gas pump and see one of these cards, or on the drive through at the McDonald's window. We had new people come to church and be saved. It was truly amazing.
Romans 1:8 ESV
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
In this verse Paul is talking about the church at Rome. Their faith in God is so big and so bold that it is being talked about worldwide. Can you image what kind of faith that must take? Today we live in a world of influencers. We see them on social media, in our day to day lives, but what does our influence say about our faith? Is our influence pointing people towards Jesus like the church Paul is talking about? As followers of Jesus, we should all strive to be the kind of Christian that is portrayed here. A Christian whose faith is so big, that people can't help but talk about it. That is the kind of faith that brings people to Jesus.
When we launched the You Matter campaign mentioned above, our entire goal was to help people feel valued, and to bring them to Christ. It is one of the most important things you can do as a Christian, and it takes love. Loving people helps us to have a heart to see them be saved. If you are paying attention, as believers you can feel the Holy Spirit move in you. It will move and convict you to be bold in your faith, to reach out to others, to show love to others, to help them see the truths of Jesus Christ.
As humans, we find that our flesh gets in the way. It is natural for our flesh to want to turn away from the things we are called by God to do. Our sinful nature can convince us that it is ok. We find in the book of Galatians that our natural spirit as humans, is literally at war with God's spirit living inside of you. This is what we call spiritual warfare. What determines which one is going to win?? It will always be which one you give into. Will you give into your human nature? Or will you give into God's will and direction for your life? Seems like an easy choice when it's put so simply doesn't it?
Christians were called to impact this world with light not darkness. Part of the way we do that is to reach people with the Gospel. You can find several examples in the Bible where we are told to love others, spread God's word, reach all nations, etc. What we have to remember is that no matter who a person is, where they are, what they have done, they matter to God. People get stuck today in what we will call the comparison trap. They look at their life compared to others that they see around them, or on social media, and decide that their life has a different value than others they see. They decide that God has blessed some more than other and then by default infer that their life doesn't matter as much. What is dangerous about the comparison trap is that it couldn't be further from the truth. Our God loves each and every one of us and wants to see us all saved and out sharing the Gospel with others.
Your soul has eternal value, but we want your life to have eternal value.
- Pastor Brian DiCicco
There is a very big difference between the two. Your soul was created to be eternal. You have two options for what that eternity looks like. Heaven or Hell. Your life however, is not eternal, it is finite timeline. Believers are called to live in such a way that their life has eternal value. To live for God so that the Kingdom and the world is impacted by their lives.
John 3:16 is thought of as the most famous verse in the Bible. When you back up some, to John chapter 1, we find that he is writing to a group of Jewish people, who have lost their faith. They spend their time memorizing verses, and not trying to reach people for the Gospel. They knew the principles, but they missed the point. The word of God is living word. It can breathe life into you and the people around you. The word of God can SAVE people around you!! As a Christian, you should have a hear to win souls. If you don't, then its important that you grow closer to God to make sure you are living right with Him. He has called us to reach all nations with his word. So if you aren't looking to win souls, you aren't living right with his plan for you.
You know, the whole reason Jesus came to Earth was because there was a divide between God and man. He is the bridge between God and man. We are called to bring people to Him. To love them and show them the way. Of course its not us that saves them, its Jesus that saves them. But why do you think Jesus isn't here today? It's because he left the work for us to do.
This Sunday, Pastor Brian gave us scripture after scripture to drive home these facts. Think about the times in your day to day life where you have to repeat something. It's because it is important right? You need to get the message across. Watch what happens in these scriptures.
Matthew 28:19 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
We are called to go out and make disciples of all of the nations of the world, to bring them into God's glory.
Revelation 5:9 ESV
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
God wants to save everyone, everywhere. No matter what you have done or where you are, you have a place with God. We as human's have a purpose to follow God and live out our purpose to testify and witness to God's plan for us
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope
We know that God is just in everything he does. He sent his son so that we can love each other and know that he loves us and has a great plan for our lives. The problem is that the church needs to stand up for God and fulfil His plans for us.
Romans 10:14 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
People don't know what they don't know. If you have never been told that the burner on the stove is hot, you don't know. If you have never been told that jellyfish will sting you, you don't know. If you have never been told that Jesus loves you, you don't know.
Revelation 21:8 ESV
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
The only way to save people is through Jesus Christ. We can't save them, its Him that saves them. However, we should love people enough that we are eager to share our faith with them. That we can't wait to give our testimony for all God has done for us. It is our job, our calling, to spread the message of Jesus.