You're a Missionary (part 2)

by Oct 8, 2010

(continued from Part 1)

When God’s grace is propelling your life, you just naturally want to share it. That’s what we’ve been seeing in Jesus’ trip to Samaria. Here are three more effects of God’s grace:

4. God’s grace will lead you to be Jesus-centered.

The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:19-22)

Maybe you’ve heard the story about the three blind men who encountered an elephant for the first time. One blind man felt the tail and thought an elephant was like a snake, another blind man felt the side and thought an elephant was like a wall, another one felt the leg and thought an elephant was like a tree trunk. All of these blind men were partially right and partially wrong.

Many people think religion is like that elephant. We’re all blind men feeling our way around the universe, and we each sense a different part of it. We’re right about the part we can feel, but we’re wrong in assuming that the part we feel is what makes up all of spiritual reality.

There was a missionary in India named Leslie Newbigen who heard this metaphor a lot. One day, something suddenly struck him. It’s the fact that you can only say that the blind men are only sensing part of the elephant if you can see the whole elephant!

You’ve got to be the only seeing person around to be able tell all these blind men that they’re only partially right. It seems very humble to say that all religions have a partial view of spiritual reality. But it’s actually extremely arrogant. Because you’re saying that you’re the only person who can see, and everyone else is blind.

If someone says, “No one has a lock on spiritual truth,” what they’re actually saying is, “I’m the only one who has a lock on spiritual truth.” They don’t really believe that all spiritual truths are equally valid, they believe that their spiritual truth is superior to everyone else’s. They’re worshiping themselves, not God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A person will worship something—have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts—but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming. “

That’s what Jesus says here: what people worship determines who they are. God’s grace will propel you to influence others to worship Jesus.

5. God’s grace blesses the people who share it.

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

It’s lunchtime, and the disciples want Jesus to eat with them. But he says, “I’ve already been eating… my food comes from doing the will of my Father and accomplishing his work.”

The more you love, and serve, and minister, and share, the more of God’s love and provision you experience.

2 Corinthians 9 says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” When you experience God’s grace and you give it away, the end result is that you experience even more.

It can even physically take away your need for food, and water, and rest sometimes… because you are receiving so much spiritual nourishment from God, you just forget about physical needs you have.

6. God’s grace can produce supernatural fruit.

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. (John 4:35-36)

Jesus is saying, “Usually, when you plant seed you’ve gotta wait four months before you can harvest it. But that’s not how it works in my kingdom. If you plant a seed, and the Lord decides to make it grow, you might be harvesting your crop four days later. Four minutes later!”

When God’s grace is driving you, you won’t need to rely on programs and procedures to share your faith. You won’t be limited to hard-and-fast rules about how people are brought in to the kingdom. You’ll just plant some seeds, and watch God work!