A Demand for Sacrifice

This week Im trying to talk to you about reaching your world, through the words of a famous old hymn, called So Send I You. Here goes verse 2, “So send I you to bind the bruised and broken, or wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake, to bear the burdens of a world a-weary, so send I you, to suffer for my sake.”

You know, witnessing for Christ is a wonderful experience- it is positive, it is joyful, and many times it brings fantastic and beautiful results. But theres one thing we must never forget. It is also a demand for sacrifice.

It is also sometimes suffering. Many a person has died physically just for sharing the Good News and the love of God in Jesus Christ. Many of us have not been physically beaten up, but we have been insulted or psychologically manipulated, or made to feel inferior, or extremist, or as some people say, a fundamentalist- just because you share the love of God and the cross of Christ, and His resurrection, and His power to change their lives. But we must be ready for that.

My mother always taught me that verse in St. John, “In the world you will have tribulations, but cheer up, I have overcome the world.”

So when you share the Good News you must be ready to expect somebody to look down their noses at you. But on the other hand Jesus Christ says, “ah, you are doing it for my sake, I love you, I will reward you.

The Reward of Sharing

Years ago, when my wife and I, started to proactively try to reach our world, there was a Christian hymn that was sung very often in churches. I hum it to myself quite often, even now, years later.

This is the first verse, “So send I you to labor unrewarded, to serve unpaid, unloved and unsought, unknown. To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn, and scoffing. So send I you to toil for me alone.”

When I sang that song, I always used to think, I believe all those words except one… and that is the first line, “So send I you to labor, unrewarded…”

I believe theres a great reward in serving Jesus Christ. The biggest reward is when a person repents, believes in Jesus Christ, opens their heart, surrenders to Him, and begins to witness of the Love of God and the cross of Jesus Christ.

But you know there is a point to this verse, when it says, “unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown…” Youve got to be ready, when you share the Good News of Jesus Christ that not everybody will applaud, not everybody will think that youre great, and not everybody will respond by faith.

So by faith, launch out, and expect God to reward you in His own way.

The Lord’s Patience

God our Father would love for everyone to believe in Jesus Christ and have eternal life. Thats His deepest desire. And Gods plan for saving souls is to enlist us Christians to be His hands, feet, and voice – lovingly drawing people to repentance and faith in Jesus. Then, God will send Jesus back to earth, bringing all believers up to Heaven with Him.

But sometimes, as year after year passes, the Lords return can seem so far away. We may feel that we have all the time in the world to share our faith. So it becomes easy to put off witnessing, until a more “convenient” time, (which rarely comes, by the way). But the Lord will come back, as He has promised. And it could be any day.

II Peter 3 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise … He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Our Lords patience means salvation! He is waiting to return until as many people as possible come into the Kingdom. You and I are His messengers – His ambassadors — to preach the Good News to a desperate and dying world.

Will you answer His call? Its an exciting way to live, thats for sure!

Left Behind

The second coming of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the body of the Christian, is promised in the Bible very clearly. But sadly, there will be many unbelievers left behind when Jesus returns again.

Luke 17 tells us, “On that night, two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” Its a sobering thought, isnt it?

If Jesus came back today, who in your world would be left behind? Is it a co-worker who sits next to you in your office? Is it a neighbor you go walking with? A classmate, teacher, friend, or even your spouse?

Imagine Jesus returning and your friend or neighbor or wife turning to you, asking, “Why didnt you ever tell me about Him?” Can you imagine the regret?

The reality is that no one knows when Jesus is coming back. It could be at any moment. So we must be vigilant today, to speak up with the truth of the Good News Gospel. Why dont you make a commitment to share the Lord with whoever He brings across your path?

Lets shine the light of Christ to everyone we meet, so that no one is left behind when He returns.

Perhaps Today

I was taught as a little boy that Jesus is coming back someday to take His followers with Him to heaven. I think thats one of the most exciting subjects in all of the revelation of God! And Im ready to go! I know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I have tried to be faithful to His call on my life.

But we dont know when Hes coming back, do we? When the Apostles asked Jesus about His return, He said, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.”

God has a plan that He alone knows about. Yet He asks His followers to live as if Jesus Christ could come back at any moment.

Have you ever thought about how differently you would live if you knew Jesus would return tomorrow? Would you be bolder about sharing your beliefs with your family? Would you call up your college buddies, and plead with them to give their lives to Christ?

Jesus could come back in the very next hour. That truth should motivate you and me to do everything possible to reach the people in our world with the Good News. Remember, thats freedom from sins, a joyful life here on earth, and eternity in Heaven!