While I was at reach week, I was asked to present a sermon over the topic “Our Purpose” after presenting this lesson, I have had several request to put it in “writing form” so this is my feeble attempt.
“Our Purpose” is such a broad thought. There are so many ways that one could answer this question. However, if this question is directed towards a Christian, I would hope that their answer would be a little different from the world. In short, our purpose as Christians, in it’s simplest form is to show Jesus to the world.
This is much easier said than done. As I was planning for this lesson, I began to ask myself “How can we show Jesus to the world in the best possible way?”
#1. We show Jesus to the world by what we say.
Have you ever been asked the question, “Where do you go to Church?” rather than “Do you go to Church?” chances are if you answered yes to this question, you are doing something to show the world that you are different. My guess would be, your words have something to do with that.
When I was younger I worked for my dad who was a carpenter. (After all, Jesus was the son of a carpenter 🙂 We didn’t go around the job sites “quoting scripture” but we did have a different kind of speech than many around us on the construction sites. For no reason other than our language I cannot count the number of times we were asked “Where we went to Church.”
I want to call your minds to Peter in Matthew 26. Peter is the apostle that many of us can relate to. Because Peter would be on fire for Christ one minute (cutting off an ear of one of the guards in the garden of Gethsemene) and turn his back on Christ the next (denying Him 3 times later in the same chapter)
But I would ask you to consider how he denied Jesus. First he simply said “I do not know Him” then whenever he saw that this was not convincing those who were questioning him, he began to “curse and swear” instantly disassociating himself from Jesus. Because even Jesus’ enemies knew, that Jesus would never speak in this way. When People hear you speak, which thoughts do you think would come to their minds first, “Where do they go to Church?” or “That person couldn’t be one of Christ’s disciples.”
Another aspect to using our words to show Jesus to the world is simply this, what do you talk about? What do you talk about more than anything else? I’m afraid when you get a bunch of Christians in a room they talk about football, baseball, golf, movies, tv shows, the weather, family outings…. But there is rarely a mention of Jesus. Let me ask you, if Christians are not talking about Jesus, who is? Why is it that we find it so hard to talk about Jesus? I believe Jesus himself has the answer for us– Matthew 12:34-“…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” if we don’t talk about Jesus, maybe it is because, Jesus isn’t in our hearts.
#2. We show Jesus to the world by what we watch/listen to.
Does it really matter what we watch on tv or listen to on the radio?
It is such a depressing sight to watch as people sit and watch television program which contains language that they would “never say” themselves. Or when parents allow their children to watch movies, or listen to songs that have strong sexual themes and undertones, then wonder why their children struggle with remaining pure.
When I was working with youth groups, I had a rule for van rides, a very unpopular rule. I allowed the youth group to choose what to listen to, however, as soon as the first curse word came through the speakers, it was time to turn off the radio for the rest of the trip… We had many trips where the radio was on for a grand total of 25 seconds.
Let me ask you to consider honestly… Can we say with honest hearts, that we are fulfilling the “greatest command” and loving God with all of our hearts, and minds if we are continually putting garbage in our minds?
Consider this.. What effect could it have on those around you if you refused to watch filth on tv? What would effect would it have if you made a determination to never listen to songs with un wholesome themes/language in it’s contents? Do you think it would open a door for conversation about why your standards are different?
#3. We show Jesus to the world by changing our lives.
I want to call your minds to one man that we read about in scripture. The example that I am thinking of is found in Mark 5. We read of a man only known as legion. You see, legion was a man with a problem. He was demon possessed, he had so many demons inside of him, and he was so strong… All of the people of the town were terrified of this man. Until one day, something happened, one day his life changed, one day… he met Jesus.
After and encounter with Jesus, this man was cured. The demons were gone, and the men of the city found the man formerly known as legion “clothed and in his right mind” according to the text, the men of that area were terrified, as they began to wonder what power could have brought about this change within this man.
Legion wanted to go with Jesus. Wouldn’t you? After pleading with Christ, he was turned away. Jesus commanded him to go into the city and tell all that he had done for him. Mark 5:20 makes a statement that when the people of the land heard his testimony they “all marveled”
Why did they marvel? Unfortunately I do not believe they were amazed at what the man said. Because many men have proclaimed Christ before, and after, and sadly people do not typically stand in awe when they hear the message of Christ. However, they marveled because of the man who was speaking to them. They knew who he used to be, and they know who he is now. They may not have understood all that legion was trying to explain to them, but they understood one thing very clearly. This man, has changed.
Let me ask you, when you became a Christian, what changed in your life? There are too many who have committed their lives to God verbally, been baptized for the remission of sins, then walk out the door of the building, and use the same speech, watch the same movies, listen to the same radio station, their lives are unchanged by the commitment they made to their God. I hope you have changed your life. No matter how high, or how low you were when you first were named a Christian. I hope your life is different than it was then. Do you want to show Jesus to the world? Change your life.
Phil 3:20- “for our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”
We are aliens in this world. A people who do not belong in this world. Do you fit in?
Let’s show Jesus to the world! It starts… With me.