BACK TO SQUARE ONE #2: THE LOVE REVOLUTION(June 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan) To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE. To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
OPENING TEXT: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16, NKJV).
It’s time to arise and shine and let God’s light shine through us so people will be saved!
STORY: Pour it Forward at Tim Horton’s (Vancouver Sun, December 2012)
It appears a trend of people paying for the order of the stranger in the lineup behind them is warming hearts – and bellies – across the country. Customers at a Tim Horton’s have been spreading holiday cheer by offering to pay for the next customer’s food and drink order.
The idea, which some have dubbed “pouring it forward,” has been popping up in several provinces after a customer at a Tim Horton’s in Winnipeg set off a chain reaction of goodwill last week. The chain made it to up to 228 customers until one man opted not to pay for the three coffees ordered by the person behind him, even though his order of four coffees had been paid for by another customer. Pouring it forward is derived from the concept of pay it forward, that instead of repaying someone when they do you a favor, you pass on the same kindness to others.
- This is a great example of how our good works can be bright shining lights in our world!
THE BIG IDEA: God has called us to let our lights shine before people so they can see our good works – acts of loving kindness and goodness – and glorify God.
JESUS’ STRATEGY FOR REACHING PEOPLE:
“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, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:1-9, NKJV).
1. Take a travelling buddy. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. (v.1).
“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). We need each other!
2. Pray for the harvest! Pray that God will show people their need for a Saviour. (v.2).
Come up with a list of family and friends to be praying for regularly (Matthew list).
3. Expect persecution. Jesus sends us out as lambs among wolves. (v.3).
There are many Christians today who are martyred for their faith. Not us!
4. Travel light. In today’s world, we have become so busy and sophisticated! (v.4).
We need to simplify and go back to square one: People first!
5. Build relationships with people. People are valuable. People matter to God. (v.5a).
The most effective ministry is that which flows out of relationship. Too many people have a concept of evangelism that is knocking on stranger’s doors and trying to talk to them about God. Most people aren’t open to that!
6. Go to people’s homes. Share meals together or invite them into your home. (v.5a).
“The Barbecue-First Principle. We’re wise to try to first establish relationships on natural, nonthreatening grounds and then later, in the context of that relationship, open up the conversation to spiritual issues.” (Bill Hybels, Contagious Christian).
7. Be a blessing to people! Bring love and peace to people’s homes. (v.5b).
Pray Numbers 6:24-26 over your neighbours: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
8. Pray for people. Jesus said, “Heal the sick there.” (v.9a).
There are few things as powerful as asking someone if they would like prayer.
9. Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. (v.9b).
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, sometimes use words.” We will always have to use words if we want to see people get saved:
“For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13-14).
We will be giving practical ‘how to’ teaching in the months to come…
10. There is joy in the harvest! “Then the seventy returned with joy…” (v.17a).
JESUS’ STRATEGY IN ACTION:
“9 As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. 11 The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” they asked his disciples. 12 When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.” (Matt. 9:9-13, NLT).
- Matthew invited friends, and neighbors to his house for a meal and to learn about Jesus.
- We can do the same thing today to introduce people to Jesus.
THE LOVE REVOLUTION:
“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).
- It’s time for a love revolution in the church – to be moved with compassion like Jesus!
“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?
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).
- Are you ready to join the love revolution?
- Let’s start building relationships with people and loving them with the love of Jesus!
- Fill out the “Matthew List” in the bulletin of all the people you’re praying for.
- Look towards November when we will participate in Billy Graham’s My Hope Outreach