Sermon Christians Who Want to Minister Mustn’t Miss
By Ruth Wang, August 20, 2018 08:08 AM
"Christianity talks about love. Then what is love? ...The word 'love' is misused for many times." Pastor Y who has served for decades said in a voluntary service training.
According to his sermon that cut to the heart, the word "love" was mentioned the most in the church, but also most misused.
Did you meet many people who claim love all the time but show no love at all through their deeds?
Pastor Y said that he was once confused about this when he just joined a church ministry in his twenties. His experience was not a particular case. "The Bible doesn't say it wrong. It's because that those people fail to live out love. 'Love' is not a noun, but a verb. One needs to present love and realize it. Love is not abstract, which should be reflected from your words and deeds, action, and devotion."
That people never thought about how to live love out was the reason why the word was misused in the church.
The pastor continued that actually, the world also talked about love, like fraternal love, affection, and love (between man and woman). But the world always loved what they loved or those who loved them. In contrast, the love Jesus taught us was perfect love that he loved anyone, even the enemies.
" You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Romans 5:38-48)
--- Love didn't mean to give people charity in a superior position, but a humility that regarded those whom you loved as your peers.
--- We said that serving people presented our love, while as a matter of fact, we served God. The Bible said, "Whatever yo did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
--- Christ's love and ministry were not utilitarian, but universal, resulting from an instinct.
We could attain this kind of instinct through practice and exercise. It was not worthy and incomprehensible in the world's value system, but it was valuable from the perspective of God and the kingdom of heaven.
Shortcoming of Chinese Christians: Easy to receive but hard to give?
Pastor Y recalled that the development of Protestantism in China over the past two centuries was credited to countless unknown missionaries and Christians who spent their youth to serve the land. However, there was a phenomenon today: "Chinese Christians has a shortcoming: easy to receive but hard to give."
"The reason why China has Christians was that missionaries came to China and dedicated their lives, children, and even their next generations to the land that didn't cherish them. Because of this, we, today's Chinese Christians, have faith. But, think of this, how many Christian families or generations will serve in our country?"
He added that God would give you a chance to do some things under any circumstance if you wanted to serve.
"Love and ministry are basic marks of Christians."
Rather than only judge one's words that might seem fantastic and profound, "I only see how you act out love spoken from your mouth and treat people and things," said the pastor.
There are many examples in Christian history and the churches across the world run lots of ministries that serve society, the poor, the elderly, and children. "Rather than grumble, live it out and minister your surrounding people, church and society. We often complain that the church or someone doesn't have love, but can we launch a campaign of love?"
He mentioned "Ten Thousand Villages", a nonprofit fair trade organization founded in 1946. A missionary named Edna Ruth Byler found that the cheap handiworks made by African artisans were sold at higher prices in North America, so launched a campaign to directly sell handcrafted products at reasonable prices to the market in North America. Now the organization has marketed handicrafts made by artisans from more than 120 artisan groups in more than 35 countries.
"As long as you intend to serve, God will always create a chance for you to do something in any situation." He said.
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