LOOKING BEYOND SELFWe have all asked God what His will is for our life. Traditionally, when thinking about ministry our mindset usually goes to the platform. That is more of a leading of the work of the ministry, to train you to do the work. It is to help you to have a vision beyond your own life.
If we don’t look beyond ourselves, we will never get past needing healed and fixed—we’ll never be able to quite overcome ourselves our own needs. God gives us the tools to look beyond ourselves to others. There is one thing that God has called every one of us to. It is a corporate, global call—the evangelization of the whole world. Not just of our community, city, state, and/or nation. The Great Commission involves the whole world. The task seems so vast and overwhelming. But the key is to just start.
THE INVITATIONLuke 14:15-24 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him,"Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" 16 Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' 19 And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' 20 Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' 22 And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' 23 Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
The people who will be in heaven are the ones who have been invited to Christ and who have accepted the invitation. If they aren’t invited here on earth (invited to come to God), they won’t be in heaven.
God wants His house filled. The basic strategy of that happening is through an invitation. Eighty percent of the people polled said they would come to church if they were invited to an Easter service. Most people came to Christ because of an invitation. Why? Because He wants you to come to Him. The majority of the time, people come to church because they have been invited. It can be a little scary to come to a place where you don’t know anyone. But they tend to come if they know someone there. Who are the ones who are to give the invitation? We are. We are to invite people to God. One step in that process is to invite them to church. We have to get beyond just talking about God to people. Inviting them to God will help them to eventually get them born again.
WINNING SOULSChurches realize that God will do more through their honest mistakes than through willful disobedience.
It’s easy to just live your Christian life for yourself, but we exist for the non-members. We can at least invite them to open the door of opportunity for them to meet Christ. We are dealing today with a ravaged harvest field. We talk about the second coming, but half of the world hasn’t heard of the first coming. Our job as a church is to share the good news of Jesus Christ, not to build big cathedrals or to be popular among men. You can have notoriety, but not be effective. Sometimes we can get caught up with getting the next prophecy when there are people without hope in the world. I want you to get the prophecy, but not at the exclusion of evangelization. What we don’t want to do is fly over a neglected mission field to another mission field. We can begin right here at home.
Wherever you focus your faith, things will happen. We can do more than what we realize. But, we not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the establishment, by educated people. They need Christ, too.
THE THREE-FOLD COMMISSION OF CHRIST
Look(John 4:35) Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
You are an evangelist. You may not think you are, but God has called all of us to do the work of an evangelist. You may not think you are, but that may be just because you haven’t taken the time to look.
To get a passion and burden for the lost, lift up your eyes and look. The son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost. Lift up your eyes and look. I could walk past someone and see him without really paying attention. But if I look, I’m not just glancing, I’m gazing and paying attention to that person. Many times we are not mindful of the people around us. We don’t look at their pain and their plight. The enemy wants to create so much drama around your life and mine to distract us from the main thing that God wants us to look at.Right now we are in a time when everyone is looking at money. People are looking at the political landscape. But God doesn’t want that to consume our complete attention.
If we don’t look at the harvest, we will never reap it. A harvest lost is a harvest that will never be regained.
When it’s time to reap the corn, everything shuts down in a farmer’s life to get the harvest while it’s ripe. You never know if a person will be ripe again. Look at their pain, their tragedy, their drama. Deliver them to Christ and then deliver them to the harvest field and make them a harvest for reaper. But before that happens, we must look at them. Jesus said, “Look at them; the harvest is ripe.”
What you look at the longest will become the strongest in your life.
Proverbs talks about how the things your sight is set upon affects your desires Do you realize the dramatic move of God that could happen in your life if you just stopped looking at yourself? We need that kind of passion and mentality. Too often we look at every other thing except for what God wants us to look at. One of the greatest pillars of spiritual growth is being other minded.
Pray(Matt 9:36-38) But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
If you don’t pray, you will be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. If you pray, you will get divine strategy, divine empowerment, faith and vision. When we pray, there is a stirring that takes place. All of a sudden things start happening. We must pray at all times in every season. Pray and keep on praying.
He has set every one of us in a harvest field—you will touch people that no one else can touch. You are to pray over those people that you are called to touch. When we pray, courage will take over. You proclaim the gospel to them and the Holy Spirit will explain it to them. Just lift up the Son of God and trust that the Holy Spirit will do His work in their hearts.
GoMark 16:14-16 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Go and preach the Gospel to every creature. Can you go next door? Can you make a phone call? Can you talk to your co-worker? We can all go in some way, in some manner. Many Christians suffer with unnecessary defeat because they never look; they only pray for themselves and don’t even consider going.
(Rom 1:15-17) So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
It is easy to increase the number of church members in an area without increasing the number of believers. We’re called to increase the number of believers.
In the book of Romans, Paul is writing to the Roman church. He was ready to preach the gospel to the church. Sometimes when we hear the word “gospel” we equate it to a conversion experience only. The gospel is such a comprehensive word. It starts with justification, then sanctification then glorification. It deals with your past, present, your whole life into your future.
We need to evangelize the church as well needing to evangelize the lost. Some ministries get into moral preaching—what we are supposed to do and how we are supposed to live. But, if your life style is not rooted in what Christ has done, you willl never have the power to do to live in a godly manner. Often times people fear Satan more than Christ. This is because they don’t have a firm foundation in what Christ has done for them. If we don’t have the gospel inside of it, what are we going to tell the unbeliever?
(1 Cor 15:1-5) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you -- unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures...
Paul is speaking to the spirit-filled church. The Corinthian church was flowing in the power of God, falling short in none of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yet, Paul was preaching the gospel message to them trying to get them back to the main message of Christ. The Gospel is for the believer—it will make the saint strong, stable and make you grow.
(1 Cor 1:16-18) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Notice in verse 18 that the message of the cross is also for those who are “being saved”. The gospel message is the power of God to the person who is saved –saved from self, from the world, from a fallen humanity. The message of the cross is life. It has transforming power for the saint.