Outreach and the Fruit of the Harvest
Jan. 2012 –BeausejourChurch– Pastor Chris Jordan)
- This is the outline of my sermon notes from a message I shared with our church family two Sundays ago.
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to the audio message, click HERE.
OPEN – TIM TEBOW:
Until the BCS national championship in 2009, Philippians 4:13 was the Scripture verse Tebow kept on his undereye strips. But he said he felt God prompting him to change it two days before big game to John 3:16, He recalled that when he told his coach, Urban Meyer responded, “Timmy, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you talking about? Phil. 4:13 is an awesome verse and it got us to the national championship!” All the players too said, “Are you sure?” But Tebow followed his spiritual intuition, and within the first 24 hours after the game aired, the new verse was the most-Googled item of the day with more than 92 million searches.
It would have been more than enough for the polarizing Denver Broncos quarterback to simply lead his underdog team to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC wild-card game. And Tim Tebow did, thanks to his 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime that left the Steelers and the watching world simply stunned.
But then the facts and figures emerged, and the Internet verily exploded: Tebow threw for exactly 316 yards in the 29-23 upset win, presenting an eerie allusion to the Bible’s John 3: 16 passage — whose number Tebow famously wore in the black under his eyes when he led the Florida Gators to victory in the 2009 collegiate national championship game. What’s more, that event took place exactly three years ago on the same day as his latest miracle comeback. And that wasn’t it for the coincidences: Tebow set an NFL playoff record with, you guessed it, 31.6 yards per completion and the TV rating on CBS peaked between 8.00-8.15pm ET with a rating of, say it ain’t so, 31.6.
A cursory glance at Google Trends hot searches Monday morning presented three of a kind: the top trio were, in order, the 3: 16 passage, followed by Tebow and Tim Tebow. So Tebowmania is somehow getting bigger. We’ve been down this road before, of course, but surely nothing can match these twin events, right?
VISION FOR 2012: Go Deep, Grow Strong and Bear Fruit
Jesus said: “Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:35-36, NLT).
- God wants us to bear fruit – the fruit of the harvest – people coming to know Jesus.
“Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
THE BIG IDEA: God has given to all believers the Great Commission – to preach the good news and make disciples. It’s time to respond to this call from Jesus.
KEY TEXT: (Luke 10:1-9).
“1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘Thekingdom ofGod has come near to you.’”
JESUS’ KEYS TO EFFECTIVE OUTREACH:
- Take a travelling buddy. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two.
- Expect persecution. Jesus sends us out as lambs among wolves.
- Travel light. In today’s world, we have become so busy and sophisticated!
- Spend time building relationships with people. Go to people’s homes and share meals together. The most effective ministry is that which flows out of relationship.
- Be a blessing to them! Bring “Peace” to people’s homes and “Heal the sick there.”
ILLUSTRATION: Imagine if someone found the cure for cancer but didn’t share it with anyone:
- That’s what it’s like when we don’t tell people the Gospel.
- It’s time to get a compassion for the lost, hurting and broken people in our world!
- All sincere followers of Jesus will be enthusiastic fishers of men!
STORY: Dwight Moody
One day DL Moody was walking down the street and approached a man and asked if he would like to meet Jesus. The man was irritated and said, “Sir, mind your own business.” Moody’s response was, “But sir, this is my business!” The man said, “Then you must be Dwight Moody!”
“But when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38).
“The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.” (Matthew 10:1, The Message).
- Would you be more zealous reaching out if someone gave you $1,000 for every person you witnessed to?
- We would do it for the love of money, but not the love of God?
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a little life-saving station. The building was primitive, and there was just one boat, but the members of the life-saving station were committed and kept a constant watch over the sea. When a ship went down, they unselfishly went out day or night to save the lost. Because so many lives were saved by that station, it became famous. Consequently, many people wanted to join the station to give their time, talent, and money to support its important work. New boats were bought, new crews were recruited, a formal training session was offered. As the membership grew, some of the members became unhappy that the building was so primitive and the equipment outdated. They wanted a better place to welcome the survivors pulled from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged and newly decorated building.
Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members. They met regularly and it was apparent how they loved one another. They hugged each other, and shared with one another the events of their lives. But fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions; so they hired lifeboat crews to do this for them. About this time, a large ship was wrecked off of the coast, and the hired crews brought into the life-saving station boatloads of cold, wet, dirty, sick, and half-drowned people. The beautiful meeting place became a place of chaos. The carpets got dirty. So the property committee immediately had a shower built outside the house where the victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting there was rift in the membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s life-saving activities, for they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal fellowship of the members. Other members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all those people who would be shipwrecked, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. And that’s what they did.
As the years passed, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a place to meet regularly for fellowship, and for special training sessions about their mission, but few went out to the drowning people. History continued to repeat itself. And if you visit that seacoast today, you will find many meeting places with ample parking and plush carpeting. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.
CLOSING CHALLENGE: Let’s go into all the world and share the Good News!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/