One Who Loves
You minister to people as you share Christ with them.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Everything going Alright at your house today? Oh, I trust so, bless your heart.
Glad to be back with you and we want to turn now, if you will please, to the book of Colossians, and we were talking about the word of the Truth of the Gospel, “Which came to you brings forth fruit, since the day you knew the grace of God in truth”. You hear the Truth of the Gospel, but when you really know it in your life, then it becomes fruitful. How often I’ve said to you on these broadcasts that the Word of God is forever true, the Bible is forever true, whether or not anyone reads or believes it, but it becomes of value and of help and inspiration to you and me, when we appropriate it and make it our own. That’s all wrapped up in that word, know, “When you knew the grace of God in truth”. Apply God’s Word to some specific of your life today and you’ll find that it has transforming power.
Now, not only the word of the Truth of the Gospel, but also a person who demonstrates the Truth of the Gospel, so you come to verse seven- that’s where we were the last time we got together, Colossians 1:7, as you learned of Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ.
How do you communicate the Word of the Truth of the Gospel? Well, fellow servant, the idea of serving other people for Jesus’ sake. That idea comes into focus immediately if you want the Gospel to be believable. “We preach not ourselves”, said Paul the apostle, “but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves, your servants”, same word, “for Jesus’ sake”. It’s a Greek word, slave, doulos, “ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake”, 2 Corinthians 4 verse 5, and so Epaphras was a fellow servant. He did things as though he was serving a master, like a slave would serve a master.
Now, what does that mean to you and to me today? Well, I think it means, where you see there’s a need, get at it and help to fill it. Where there’s a burden, help to lift it. Where you can bring some advantage to another person, do it without being asked. Volunteer your help. Don’t stand back and say, “That’s not in my job description, that’s not my responsibility. I don’t have to do that”. This is what I call the trade union mentality. You don’t really demonstrate the Christian faith by standing around and letting somebody else bear a burden while you say, “Well, I don’t really have to do that”. Of course you don’t have to. That’s not the point. The point is, are you willing to share another person’s load? Are you willing to share another person’s hurt? Are you willing to share another person’s sorrow? That is the point of Christian service.
Then he says, “Who is for you a faithful minister of Christ”. Now, this whole idea of ministry has in it the idea of service, and of sharing, and of proclaiming or shining. Service we’ve talked about. Sharing, how do you minister things, minister God, minister the Gospel to people?
First of all I think it’s pretty clear, you need an experience of Christ yourself, don’t you, before you have anything to share? One of the reasons that many pulpits of our land seem so empty of real content is that the dear minister himself has never had a saving experience of Jesus Christ. I’m constantly running across pastors who, thankfully, had been brought to Christ through the ministry of the great evangelist, as for example, our brother Billy Graham and his great Crusades. He has seen hundreds of Christian workers and pastors converted. They were busy in religion, but they’ve never been saved, and so in order to share your Lord with people, you must first of all have known Him as your Savior and have acknowledged Him as your Lord. That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?
Then there is the, the communicating of your own faith in the Lord. Just as you share any other good news, see the Gospel is Good News, that’s what the very word means, isn’t it, so just as you share any other good news, you share the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has come into your life and by His Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer, He has revolutionized your thinking and your living. Why we share the good news of different things all the time, don’t we?
My father gave me many years ago, a book called, “A Sample Case of Humor”, and there was in one of the classifications of humor, the humor of the enthusiastic person, and this writer told about the old farmer whose son had been away at school in the big city, who got a letter one day saying that the boy was arriving on the noon train the following day. He was arriving on the noon train the following day, that’s what the letter said, and this dear old farmer, this writer said, “Dashed out into the road, stopped the first person who came along and he said, ‘Good morning! Have you seen George yet?’, and the neighbors said, ‘No, is he here?’, and the old man said, ‘No, he’s coming tomorrow’. He was so happy that he just had to share it with somebody. Oh dear.
Some friends of mine were traveling in Norway, and they didn’t speak any Norwegian, but they got a cable from the US saying that a little child had been born to their daughter and son-in-law, and they were now grandparents. Well, they were so happy they just, they just couldn’t contain themselves. They went down into the lobby of the hotel and they couldn’t find a single person who spoke English. That’s unusual because many of the Scandinavian folk speak English very well as you know, but they couldn’t at that point find anybody that spoke English, so they dashed out into the street and they started walking. They were so excited.
Finally, they saw another American tourist on the street and they dashed up to him and they said, “We’re grandparents”! Well now, have you ever shared with real enthusiasm, I mean to say, with real joy, the thrill of knowing sins forgiven, and knowing that Christ is your Savior, and knowing that there’s an open door into the very Presence of a Holy God, and knowing that prayer is indeed answered, and knowing that every promise in the good old Book is yours. The thrill of the joy, now, see that’s part of ministry. Had you thought of it that way? Sharing. Oh just a spill over, the joy of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, you minister to people as you share Christ with them.
Small thought here; be sure that you share how to know Christ. It’s one thing to say, “I am a Christian”. It’s another thing to say, “Here’s how you may become a Christian”. In the days when I had some responsibility in Youth for Christ, which goes back a while doesn’t it, I remember that I would say to the visiting minister, “Now brother, when you’re through preaching say, ‘Let us pray’, and then step back and I’ll take over the service”, because it was my custom always to give the Gospel appeal myself. The reason being that sometimes a visiting speaker might falter a little in, as we say, drawing the net, and I didn’t want that to happen, and so I established the procedure of saying, I’ll give the appeal, you finish your message and say, let us pray.
Then when that happened, I would almost invariably say something like this, “Many of you expect someday to be a Christian, when you get around to it or when you feel like it. If you wanted to become a Christian, would you know how”? Then I’d pause just for second and I say, “Here’s how you may become a Christian if you wanted to be one”, and I would give the very simply of a layout of Gospel Truth. The fact of sin, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The penalty for sin, the wages of sin is death. The penalty must be paid, “It’s appointed unto man, once to die, demand, but after this the judgment, but Christ paid the penalty for it”, me, “God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”, so salvation is a free gift, “By grace are ye saved, through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”, but you must receive the gift, John 1:12 says, “As many as received Him, God’s gift turns out to be a wonderful lovely person, the Lord Jesus Christ”, and you receive Him by faith.
If I came to your house and knocked on the door, how would you receive me? Why you’d open the door, stand aside and say, “Come in Brother Cook”. Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him”, and so tonight or today whenever the meeting happened to be I would say, “You open the door of your life by faith to the Lord Jesus and invite Him in, then I would say, “How many of you want to do that?”, that was the substance of an appeal I would give, time after time after time.
Do you know how to become a Christian? Well I’ve just told you beloved how, haven’t I, and somebody listening to me this moment who never has made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior by faith, you should ask Him now, this minute, to come into your life. Please do so. Lord Jesus come into my heart, forgive my sins, make me a child of God, come in dear Lord. You pray that prayer and He will, He said He would.
But sharing the Gospel, here’s the point I was making, sharing your faith also includes letting people know how they too, can know Christ. Would you think about that in your own life and your relationships with people? Can you remember any time recently when you explained to somebody how to receive Christ?
Many of you travel. I find invariably that people on airplanes and trains and buses are quite willing to talk, and many times quite willing to talk about eternal matters. It does seem that multitudes of folk are heart hungry in these days, and what a joy it is, as you talk with people and you find out that no, they have never opened their heart to Christ, they are not saved. You find that out and then you ask that question, you probably expect sometime to become a Christian, do you know how to do when, whenever you decided to? No, they don’t. Would you like to have me explain it to you? Yes they would, and so you explain to them how to become a Christian. Oh what a blessed ministry that is. Start that today, will you beloved? God will bless you in it.
Dear Father today, help us to share our blessed Lord with everyone we can, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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