Derrick finishes up our series on Worldviews and we talk about how to communicate the love of Christ.
Derrick pointed out that we must live out our faith wisely, be countercultural and push against the darkness. We must remember that the gospel is simple, but life altering. Our message is Jesus and we shouldn’t be hardened into the world’s mold. We should be poured and hardened into God’s molds and thoughts. To push against the darkness, we must:
I. Think Critically and Theologically
A. Love God with all our heart, soul and mind. (Matthew 22:37)
* To be earthly good, you must be heavenly minded. (Colossians 3:2)
* To be heavenly minded, we must morph our thinking into God’s thinking. (Romans 12:2)
B. Thinking Christians need discernment and wisdom (1 Chron 12:32).
* Read books, articles, journals
* Ask intelligent questions
* Make associations, compare, and contrast
* Discern truth claims
* Ponder and wrestle with important, big questions
II. Reason Culturally
Paul shows us a great example of communicating the love of Christ with his persuasion on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-34). God has placed eternity in all of our hearts (Ecc 3:11) and He is nearby. All we need to do to share the message with others is:
1. Find common ground with those we engage in discussion.
(Movies, music, books, children, work, hobbies, sports – Use these subjects as conversation starters).
2. Clarify and illustrate the truth.
3. Graciously show how the culture’s ideas are unlivable.
4. Present the truth clearly and forcefully.
III.Speak Persuasively, but Lovingly
Don’t assume people want to listen. You need to earn their attention. There are 3 barriers to communication today:
1. Deafness of mind. There are too many voices vying for a “hearing”. Too many words that have no meaning. In our message of the gospel, Jesus Christ has to break through.
2. Devaluation of truth. (Confusion of truth.)
3. Defiance of conviction. Indifference or defiance to listen to truth.
If you have an opportunity to speak, make sure your communication is:
1. Logos – speak logically
2. Pathos – speak passionately
3. Ethos – speak as a person with moral authority
IV. Live Radically and Ethically
You are the salt of the earth and light of the world. An atheist once said, “Jesus’ disciples will have to look more redeemed if I’m going to believe in their Redeemer.” How saved do you look to those who come in contact with you?
V. Serve Passionately and Faithfully
We live in a passionless society. Esther 4:14 says, “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” God has given us a purpose. Regardless of where God has placed you, serve passionately and faithfully.
John Wesley summed it up best, “Get on fire for God and men will come to see you burn.” We need to live by His presence and lean on His faith.
Derrick closed by saying that God is calling us to burn for Christ, to push against the darkness. He is calling us to be more like this African martyr who said:
“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have a Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast; I’ve stepped over the line. The decision has been made: I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, or dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first or tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by His presence. I lean on His faith. I love by patience. I lift by prayer. I labor by power. I won’t give up; I won’t shut up, let up, or burn up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes to get His own. He’ll have no problems recognizing me, my colors will be clear.”
Our call is to push against the darkness and our prayer should be, “I am… a sword made sharp to smite the unclean forces, an enchanted sword to cleave and disperse them. Grant, O Lord, that I may not break as I strike! Let me not fall from Thy hand!”
(Material provided in this summary is Copyright © 2008 by Derrick G. Jeter. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)