A small boy was walking down the street and saw a tent go up. He was so excited as he was sure when he peeked his head inside he would find a circus had come to town! Instead? He peeked inside and found it to be a tent revival. He was already there, folks had noticed him as he peeked inside, so he decided to sit and listen. In that meeting he learned of the blood-stamped signature of Jesus on the cross. Of how that cross argued his worth and that he was born with a purpose. How God is love and he loved him. This meant a lot to a little boy whose home life wasn’t supportive of his value and worth. Where he was often called stupid and made to feel like a burden. In that tent that night he found Jesus, and that’s where he found true healing. That boy grew and brought others to Jesus. He married a beautiful young lady, had children, and was a good, Godly man. Years passed, his wife died, his children grew and were gone. One evening as he was walking down the street he saw the lights shining through the stained glass windows and his heart leapt. But as he walked through the doors of the church expecting to hear about his dear friend Jesus, and the redemption power of the cross, instead? He found a circus….
We have to get back to the gospel plan of salvation because only when someone comes to Christ are they truly healed. Tom keeps telling us at Marshall what is true for the church (Any church, Christ’s Church as a whole) and it’s true as individuals in our own lives. Until the church stops looking inward, and starts looking outward, we have lost our identity. We have to stop being religious, stop focusing on others and becoming easily offended. We have to come together to focus on taking what we learn in those 4 walls outside the church to reach the lost. To go after the one. To become the hands and feet of Jesus.
Yesterday? I went to church. Tom had an on-fire message that got me excited! Had I went home, had lunch and went back Sunday night? That message would’ve went to waste. But instead? I walked into the gas station. I talked to the sweet little clerk I’ve talked to before. I told her the Lord has a plan and purpose for her life. She replied “Every time I speak to you? I get goosebumps.” She shared some personal struggles with me and it broke my heart. Why? Because I’ve been there. I then asked if it was OK if we prayed before I left? We held hands and prayed over the counter in that gas station. I asked Jesus to put a hedge of protection around her. To speak to her heart and let her know that she is worthy and loved and born with a purpose. In those moments? I never feel more at peace or have more joy in my soul. I never understand my purpose any clearer then when I’m looking outward. (It’s not just my purpose – it’s all of ours). Tom’s sermon made me happy, and excited. But true joy? Comes from serving the Lord. It comes when we look outward, not inward. I’m sorry folks – it’s not always about you. It’s about you going after the one. Look outward and watch your inward get fixed!!