Why do we do the things we do as Christians? The answer is simple, we do them to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ and glorify God.
Unfortunately we are also human and prone to making mistakes. Inadvertently, instead of pointing people to Jesus we sometimes show them our selfishness, pride, sins, weakness, anger, jealousy, and other things that just aren't pretty to see. Instead of drawing people to a relationship with Jesus we drive them away.
Sometimes even the good things can distracts from the love and grace of Jesus. For instance, Instead of showing them to Christ we point people to the church or the many activities we have going on there. We point people to our good works and our “friendly, family atmosphere”. We point them to programs and worship styles rather than a saving relationship with Jesus. All these things are good but we need to bring people to Jesus, not programs, activities, and ministries.
Sometimes we have even been guilty of asking people to accept Jesus as their savior so they will be saved from the punishment of sin. It sounds like a good reason - Fire insurance…”get out of jail free” card. But the problem is they don’t have an interest in Jesus so their relationship never grows beyond their baptism. We need to emphasis that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He died to take away your sins because he wants a personal relationship with you.
In his book, God is the Gospel, John Piper wrote, “The critical question for our generation, and for every generation, is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and with no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
Ouch! That is a painful question to ponder if you are honest with yourself.
I once had a professor at Johnson University that told us, “You keep them with what you catch them with.” I may not have fully understood then but I do now. If you catch them with fun things when the fun is over they will leave. If you catch them with food, personalities, programs, gimmicks, or fascinating lessons, etc., they will leave when it’s all over. You keep people by inviting them to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
The challenge is to make sure everything points to Jesus. Growth in our walk with the Lord happens when we have a desire to please Jesus and a hunger and thirst for Him. Ministry happens when we have a passion for Jesus and compassion for others.
There was a person who saw the face of Jesus everywhere. She saw the face of Jesus in the wood grain pattern of the church door. She saw the face of Jesus in the shape of a potato chip. She saw the face of Jesus reflected in the glistening light of a pond. She even saw the face of Jesus in the spots on a cow! Many people though she was a bit odd or even crazy. But when you got to know Mary you understood that she saw Jesus everywhere because she loved him so much and was looking for Him in everything around her.
Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Have you seen Jesus lately? Are you pointing others to Him?
Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your mighty works of creation. These beautiful things point me to Jesus and remind me daily of your love and grace for me. Please help me to keep pointing others to Jesus too. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Loren Lung, minister