A Life Of Ministry

The only Gospel they'll hear is the Gospel they see portrayed in your life.

Scripture: John 13:16-38


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Oh, I hope so, bless your heart. I know some of you go through circumstances that are less than desirable, some are really tough, and some of you are going through situations that just break your heart. I know. The fact remains that Jesus cares. God hasn’t forgotten you. He says, “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of good, and not of evil, to give you a desired end.” So the Bible tells us, “Roll your burden on the Lord.” That word ‘cast’ thy burden, it actually means roll it over on Him. “Roll your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” You turn the burden over to Him right now, and He’ll carry you, and the burden.

Anybody happy today? Am I talking to anybody that just feels great and you’re glad you’re alive? [chuckle] I’ll join the group. I feel that way too. One of the nice things about being a Christian, is that you can share all, all that is of your moods with God. James tells us that, “Is any of you afflicted? Let him pray.” Pray when you’re in trouble. “Is any happy? Let him sing Psalms.” Now, a Psalm is a Hebrew prayer sometimes set to music. So pray when you’re in trouble and pray when you’re happy. Pray when you’re sick, and pray when you’re guilty, and pray each for the other, so that you bring your loved ones and friends to God, in the arms of intercessory prayer. You can pray any time about anything. I’m glad that’s so, aren’t you?

Well, look with me now at John 13. There’s a clump of verses that I want you to get, before we go any farther in the passage. John 13:20 has to do with the believer’s mandate. John 13:21 has to do a… 13:16 rather, excuse me, that’s the first one that comes up… The believer’s mandate, humbly to serve. And then 13:20 has to do with the believer’s authority. 13:21 announces the possibility of complete betrayal on the part of sinful human nature, and then 13:38 tells us that it’s possible to collapse under pressure, but 14:1 says, “Let not your heart be troubled. I’m still there.” I wanna talk about that for a little while just now, if it’s alright with you. These are the “verily, verily” verses in John 13. The first one that we look at is John 13, Verse 16, “Verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord, neither He that is sent, greater than He that sent Him. If ye know these things, happy are you, if you do them.” Do what? Well, looking back in Verse 12, “Know ye, what I have done? If I, then, your Lord and Master have washed your feet, ye are also to wash one another’s feet.” I’ve given you an example. “The servant is not greater than his Lord.” What’s He talking about?

Well, the last time we got together, I mentioned to you that some entire denominations have in their worship routine what we call ‘foot washing services’ and I have nothing against that. It’s a humbling experience, and one that has in it a good deal of grace, and a beautiful significance. I think, however, that there is a greater mandate here and that is to serve, with complete humility, your fellow man. Paul says, “We preach not ourselves, but in Christ Jesus, as Lord, and ourselves, your servants.” That’s a Greek word ‘doulos,’ slave. “Ourselves, your slaves for Jesus’ sake.” Paul spoke of himself as a bond slave of Jesus Christ. Always, there was the idea of serving. “God, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel,” he said. I think, there you have the mandate. The believer, that’s you and I, are to serve humbly our fellow Christians and others as well.

He said, “I do all these things that I might, by all means, win some. To the weak, I’m weak. To the strong, I’m strong. Weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice, that I might, by all means, win some.” To serve people at the point of their need and within the framework of their feelings. See, you meet some people, and they’re angry, and they have good reason to be angry. Other people and life itself, have boxed them in and shoved them around, until they’re a mass of emotional bruises. They’re angry. Now, you come to them and you say, “You oughta get saved.” Well, if they did what they felt like, they’d haul off and hit you, because that doesn’t identify at all with how they feel. Your service of people has to identify with their needs, and the framework of their moods, and their feelings. The psychologist calls it ‘establishing rapport,’ whatever you wanna call it. You have to get on the wavelength of the other person and identify, sincerely, with how he or she is feeling, and the reason behind those feelings, and then share with them your experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. Serving, serving, serving. Help the other person within the framework of his need.

When Bob Pierce was alive… He’s gone now, five or six years, at least, or more. Leukemia finally took that gallant spirit… But when he was alive, he used to say, “You have to deserve a hearing for the Gospel.” And so he would take a boatload of food over to places like Korea, and other areas of the world, where people were in need. And he would feed them, and clothe them, and he would take care of orphans, and whatnot. All of the work of what we now know as World Vision, crisis, help in needy areas. And he would always say to us, “You have to deserve a hearing for the Gospel,” so that when he had alleviated some need, and when he had changed some painful circumstances, and when he had relocated some homeless people, he could speak with them about the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to be their Savior. “The mandate, the servant is not greater than his Lord.” Jesus didn’t think it was above His dignity to take the part of a servant. He said, “Now, you’re not any better than I am, you do the same thing.”

Second thing is the believer’s authority, 13:20, “Verily, verily… ” Here’s another “verily, verily” verse, see? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me.” Who sent Jesus? God the Father. Whom does Jesus send? You and I. He says, “He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me.” Your authority is that you are a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of God, the Father. “Now, then,” Paul says, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us. We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” “God was in this world reconciling the… God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses onto them and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us.” Be reconciled to God. Your authority is that you represent Almighty God. Now, how well or how poorly you represent Him is another subject. I’m thinking now about the basis here of your ministry. You are sent with the Gospel into this world to represent God, His love, His saving message, and the warning of His most certain coming judgment upon sin.

“He that receiveth you, receiveth me,” He said, “And he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me.” Two thoughts here, one about the believer and one about the person who backs off from this whole matter of trusting Christ as Savior. As far as the believer is concerned, your whole life is a ministry of representing the Lord Jesus Christ. And the only Jesus people will ever know about, until they meet Him for themselves, is what they see in your life. The only Bible they’ll read, is what they read in your life. The only Gospel they’ll hear, is what the Gospel they see portrayed in your life. An awesome thought when you realize how careless we are, oftentimes, about the impact that we may have on other people. But there it is. You, my friend, are God’s contact with people. The other thought is this, you can’t get to God any other way, than through the Lord Jesus. We’re into 13 of John. I want to get into Chapter 14. We’ll come to that great verse, John 14:6, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus said it.

The only way that you’ll ever get to God, is through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one that opens the door of mercy to you. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus,” said the Apostle Paul. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. “And He’s able to save to the uttermost all of them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The Lord Jesus is the way to God. You open your heart to Jesus Christ and you’ll find that you are in touch with Almighty God. He said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” All you ever need to know about God the Father, you’ll find in acquaintanceship with the Lord Jesus, as your Lord and Savior.

So there you have it. There’s a couple of “verily, verilies” there, one in Verse 16, the mandate, one in Verse 20, the authority, and then here, the certainty of human failure. “One of you,” He says, “Verily, verily, one of you shall betray me.” And then they had this byplay, “Who is it?” And so on. And Judas, after Christ had identified him, at least to John, it said, went immediately out. He was on his nefarious, devilish business of arranging to betray the Lord Jesus. “Verily, verily.” Isn’t that interesting that our Lord Jesus used that emphasis there, in announcing the fact that somebody was gonna betray Him?

Another place, He said, “It is impossible, but that offenses will come, but woe unto him by whom it comes.” God is a realist. God knows that there is in human nature the possibility of complete betrayal, but it hurts Him. He said He was troubled in spirit. Has it ever dawned on you that God is hurt by your and my failures and by our double-dealing spiritually? He was troubled in spirit and He said, “It’s gonna happen. One of you shall betray me.” Then the other “verily, verily,” we just touch on it here. He said to Simon Peter, “You’re gonna deny me. Before the rooster has a chance to crow, you are gonna deny me three times, but let not your heart be troubled.” We’ll get at the rest of that the next time we get together.

Father God, today, oh, may we realize that we do represent Thee and may we do it well, as Thou dost enable us. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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