by Pastor Tom Anderson
Stadiums all over the country these days are filled with cardboard people. I grin at this absurdity everytime I see it in the background of a sports video clip. Gone are the cheers, the boos and most significantly all the advice hurled from the seats onto the otherwise uninformed players. How do they even play the game without such streams of wisdom flowing from the fans? Sports fans are all experts right? Their criticisms come from a lifetime of athletic excellence right? It’s a miracle the players don’t shout back, “Hey buddy, if you’re so smart why don’t you come out of the stands and get in the game?”
Jesus has millions of fans. I wonder if he doesn’t think the same thing! He’s out on the field of life waging a desperate nip-and-tuck battle against hell itself to win souls for his kingdom. His fans will go to meetings, contribute to his work, believe his teaching and even cheer for the team. But what Jesus really needs is more people actually in the game--fewer spectators and more players. The challenge of Jesus to each of us who know him is to get out of the stands and into the game! CLASS 401 is about getting “church people” into the game of sharing their faith and leading others to Christ.
We have a message about a Relationship--life’s most important relationship. It’s a relationship each human being was created to have. “All things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16) You were created by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. You will feel restless and incomplete until you live in a close love relationship with him.
It’s a relationship you don’t have because of what you have done. We were created to live for Him. But instead we live lives for “me.” “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6) We are running a life that God is supposed to run. The Bible calls this self-rule sin. This is the root of our selfishness, loneliness, depression and guilt.
It’s a relationship we can have because of what Jesus did. The missing relationship becomes yours when your sin is erased from God’s book. God loves you so much that he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for the sin in your life. “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18). The most important decision you will ever make is what you do with Jesus.
It’s a relationship you must choose. You have to be willing to put a self-run life behind you, realizing that Jesus and the sin He died for can’t both be running your life.You are saved when you tell Jesus from your heart, “Lord, I’m pinning all my faith and all my hopes for forgiveness and rescue on You.”
In CLASS 401 we will spend 13 weeks reading through A Life that Matters: Making the Greatest Possible Difference With the Rest of Your Life by Ron Hutchcraft. Sign up today at myhumc.com. Ron’s readable style will provide the “Why” of faith sharing--giving us inspiration and motivation for the “What and How” of faith sharing. Each of us needs to join Jesus in the rescue game of saving souls and bringing them into the relationship they were created for. There could be no better use of your time!