Called to tell the story of Jesus – Sermon preached at Eastern European Mission Workshop

Acts 5:42

It is the highest privilege that someone can receive in this life. To be called to tell the story of the One for whom my heart beats, the One that I get up in the morning and I lay down in the evening thinking about. The story of the Man that saved my life, my best friend, my Savior. We are all called by the Almighty God to bring the light into darkness, bring hope where there is despair and love where there is only hate. And the only way that this can be possible is to bring Jesus into the people’s life. Off course Satan has a different agenda for us. He is trying to convince us that people are not interested or that we don’t have what it takes to do it. That is a big lie brothers and sisters. And the sad thing is that to many believers are deceived by it. I pray that my message today will give you the confidence that no matter what your job is, your sex, education or age, you can share the story of your Savior to others. Let us open the Scripture to John 12:1-11.

I had the chance while I was serving the Lord in the church in Cluj, Romania to attend several opera spectacles. I was blessed with brothers and sisters there that were singing in the opera chorus and they were inviting us once every couple of months to watch their shows. Under the stage where they were singing there was a band that was playing various instruments. After several shows I was able to understand how important is the harmony between instruments in the success of the play. Every instrument had a specific role, and each one of them were different but they were all important in creating the show that we were all enjoying. I also understood that every instrument needed the other instruments and that is so similar with what is going on in the church. The church is called to invite the people to see the spectacle called “The divine love of God for man”. The church is called to preach Christ to the world.

In the passage that we just read we can see such a spectacle created by Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Martha is like the drum, Maria is a violin and Lazarus is the trumpet. They were as close as it can for a family to Jesus and after He raised up Lazarus from the death they wanted to do something special for their Lord. So they had a special meal and celebration in His honor. And what is beautiful here is that everyone of them knew what it needs to be done to honor their Lord in front of everybody. Let’s talk a little bit about each one of them.

I said Martha is the drum because she is always doing something. Always worried about serving others and make them feel like home. She is very organized, reliable and focused on what it needs to be done. Every church needs a Martha, actually needs at least 30 Martha’s. She is like the bunny on Duracell that we see in the commercial. She is going and going and going. Always involved and active in the church. And she does everything for the Lord, not to be praised by man. But she needs to be helped and encouraged by the rest of us. She can’t do the whole work in the church by herself. Because she is not the only instrument in the orchestra of Jesus. She needs Mary and Lazarus to create the spectacle through whom Jesus is preached to the world.

Then we have Mary. She is the worshiper. She doesn’t only come to church, but she actually praise and worship God with all of her being. She is like the violin, a very gentle and delicate instrument that can perform unbelievable sounds. Mary is the one with a sensitive heart, the one that found her place at the feet of Jesus. The church desperately needs people like Mary. People that would dedicate their lives in prayer and fasting. The one that will share tears for the lost and pray for the sick. Mary is the person in the church that we need to make sure we are on her prayer list. Because we can be sure she will pray to the Lord for our families, for our jobs, for more love and unity in the body of Christ. She won’t just say “I will Pray for you” she will actually do it, again and again. People like Mary are for the church like medicine is for the sick.

And we get to Lazarus. What was his role at the table. It seems like he does nothing important there. Well brothers and sisters he is the trumpet, vs.9-10. Because of him, many Jews believed in Jesus. His role in the orchestra was to shout the miracle that Jesus did in his life. And what a testimony he had to share. To be raised from the death. I mean he was literally dead for three days. He was as cold as he could be, he was smelling bad but at the voice of Jesus his heart started to beat again and his body started to warm up. And Lazarus came out from the grave hoping. His hands and legs were bound and his face was covered in shroud. How about that for a confession. I was dead but now I live because of Jesus.

So we see Martha, Mary and Lazarus working together to share the story of Jesus to the world. Martha was serving, Mary was worshiping and Lazarus was confessing the miracle that took place in his life. Not all of us have what it takes to preach, but all of us can make the Lord known to people by serving, worshiping or confessing Him. Some of us will serve, others will encourage and pray and others will evangelize. And by doing that we will all get to preach Christ. The church needs everyone of us to introduce to the world the spectacle of God’s divine love.

I urgently need to ask myself: what is my role today in the orchestra of Jesus? How do I preach Christ to my co-workers, my neighbors, my friends, my family, and even to the people I don’t really like?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Martha is reminding us that to serve others is a blessing for them and for us. If you are a Martha then continue to serve because the Lord will never forget your good work and sacrifice. Your life is an investment in the bank of Heaven. You might not get to have a big account in the bank here but you can be sure you have it in Heaven.                                     Mary is teaching us that we don’t just have to come to church or just to know the bible we need to live it and breath it with all of our heart, mind and soul. If you are a Mary go ahead and praise the name of Jesus with all of your being because the Lord loves your worship and the church is encouraged by it.                                                                                                       Lazarus is encouraging us that if we have a powerful confession about how Jesus saved our lives we need to shout it so that many other people would believe in Jesus.

There are so many ways to preach Christ today if the heart is completely filled with that desire.

I can do it by preaching Christ the way Philip did it to the eunuch and bring the miracle of salvation in someone life                                                                                                                       I can do it by simply living the Gospel like Tabitha did it, serving the widows and orphans in Joppa.                                                                                                                                                     I can do it by confessing the miracle Jesus did in my life and say like the blind man said “I was blind but now I see”                                                                                                                         I can just sing to the Lord and those words might be heard by someone and change their life. This is what happened with a man that decided one Sunday morning to end with this life. He was slowly walking to the place where he had decided to kill himself. At one point he was walking behind someone that just came out from church and was singing “Just as I am” Hearing those words gave him the strength to cancel his plan for that morning. In the evening he attended the worship service of that church. And today brothers and sisters he is the preacher of that church.                                                                                                              I can do it by giving a brochure that speaks about Jesus. This is what a sister did one morning after service. She took some brochures with the plan of salvation and the church contact information and decided to give them to the people in the bus that she was riding home. The first one that she gave made that person so mad that he threw it out on the window. She was so disappointed by the man’s reaction that she didn’t give any that day. A couple of weeks later a woman came at church and when she was asked how she found out about the Church of Christ she said: “one Sunday while I was heading home I picked up a brochure that someone threw from a bus window. I read it and now I’m here to find out more about Jesus.

You see brothers and sister how much can the Lord do with the little that we have if we just decide to put it in His hands?  I pray that if the Lord is asking today: “whom shall We send. Who will speak for us?” To answer like Isaiah did:” Here I am Lord, send me.” I don’t have much but I give it all to you and I know that it is all that it takes for you to do miracles. Preach Christ brothers and sisters and your lives will have a meaning here on earth, a recognition in Heaven and your name will be known even in hell because of your passion for Jesus. To me, that is the life to live. God bless you all!

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