I had just come back from Kansas City after attending a seminar for Congregation Care Ministers. The Church of the Resurrection held the seminar and since their Pastor is Adam Hamilton. I jumped at the chance to attend. If you have not done an Adam Hamilton Study I suggest you do so. They are worth the money and the time you invest in them. We joined them in church service on Saturday night before returning to Texas. As you can guess my minds is in a whirlwind.
The whole weekend my roommate and I discussed things we heard from that day or things that were on our heart and mind; it was awesome to be able to bounce things off one another. I knew God was in this before we even attended the Seminar. I have been burdened with another talk. The talk was in my head, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to put those thoughts on paper. As it turned out the morning before the seminar started we had some free time. My roommate and I decided to return to our room and I began to write out my thoughts on the new talk. I began to share them with my roommate and before long and with her input and an email I received from a close friend the first part of the talk was done. God gave me the opportunity to not only have time to write it down, He spoke to both of us as we together worked on this new talk.
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John,
do you love me more than these? “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”
He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.
“Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
There are many scriptures that I could say is my mission statement. Another one is found in Matthew 25 where Christ is talking about separating the sheep from the goats. The newest scripture I find I am drawn to is found in Ephesians 6: 18-20, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Recently, Pastor Eddie spoke on this scripture. His sermon was around the mystery of the gospel. It was a wonderful sermon. I know I have read this before but this time it hit hard. The word or phrase that hit me was, “that whenever I speak, the words may be given me so that I will fearlessly…” I want to be able to fearlessly speak the words God has given me to share with others.
All weekend the words trust, fearlessly, grace and obedience kept coming up. I have a project that is coming up and I have been fearful about it, but now I am full of trust and little fear. I will be able to do what God has called me to do.
What I want to share with you this morning is we are called to fearless share the gospel with others. As I look on the three scriptures I have mentioned earlier they all have to do with feeding God’s sheep or in other terms caring for others. If we love Christ as we should we will love others as He has called us to. That doesn’t mean offer love and turn away. That means getting into the trenches with them and walking the journey and being there with them when they are in need.
Stop and think with me about the Ephesians passage. In your world what would it look like if you prayed this scripture before getting up each day; asking God to fearlessly give you the words to share God’s gospel with someone that day? Another word for fearlessly is boldly. What if each day you ask God to give you the boldness to speak about His love, His grace and His mercy?
What would your world look like if you lived by Matthew 25 (The sheep and goats passage) and actually took time to walk alongside someone and feed them, or clothed them, or visited them? Or offered them the Living Water? It’s one thing to read scripture, but it’s another to apply it to our busy, often self-centered lives (I am talking as much about me as I am you; remember the saying, one finger pointing at you while three are pointing at me).
People don’t care how much scripture we can recite or know; they want to know we care.
I was anointed and commissioned this weekend to be a Congregation Care Minister. But, you know what you can be one too. You can walk alongside someone who is hurting, lonely, or just going through tough times. God calls each of us to feed His sheep. We all are called to reach out to one another and to offer Christ, to show love, and to share Christ’s words and we are to do it fearlessly.
If we like Pastor Eddie mentioned a few weeks ago became an ambassador to someone who doesn’t know Christ, isn’t walking the path to Christ, or has turned their backs on Christ our churches would be abundantly full. But, more importantly that person’s life will be changed and one day they will join with us in the celebration of Life that Christ offers us after our earthly body has perished.
Read these three scriptures once more. Ponder them. Pray over them. Then ask God where is He or who is He leading you to? Who needs for you to boldly or fearlessly share the Gospel with them? Who needs for you to be walking alongside of them right now as they go through difficult days? Who is God calling you to minister to?
Dear God: Here I am Lord. I know it is I. I will go and I will hold your people in my heart. May I go out fearlessly and boldly sharing not only the Gospel, but your love. Show me today who needs me to walk with them, hold them up in prayer or who needs to know I care. I do love you and I am ready to feed your sheep. May I never forget the one who sent me out and may I only go in His strength; returning all praise and glory to Him. Amen.