Thursday, January 10, 2008

Radiate in 2008: Sharing the LIFE, LIGHT, and LOVE of Jesus

Well I couldn't sleep this morning and woke up around 3:15 am. I had a steroid shot in my knee yesterday morning and the doctor told me that it could keep me awake for a couple of nights. WELL…he was right. I didn't go to bed until 12:30 am, fell asleep around 12:45 am and was WIDE AWAKE at 3:15 am. I tossed and turned until 3:45 am and decided to get up and work on my blog. So here I am. As I sit in my office at my home, it is thundering and raining outside. Every time it rains, I am reminded of the faithfulness and POWER of almighty God. He rains on the just and the unjust. Why? Because He truly is a GOOD, LOVING, and FAITHFUL God. We are so blessed by His grace and mercy. I just had to pause this morning as I became so overwhelmed of the blessings in my life. And, I'm afraid to say, that I take so many of them for granted.

As I lay in bed this morning, I got on the internet on my phone to check a Razorback message board that I am a moderator on. I LOVE this board, because I love the Razorbacks and love to talk about them with anyone that is willing. I was disappointed to find out that my board is considering lowering their standards to allow "questionable" pictures on a certain forum. I thought about that for a couple of minutes, and then I felt direction on what I needed to post on the Razorback board. I had to let them know that if that was the direction that they chose to go, then I would be forced to resign my position. It is a personal conviction with me. For you see, as much as I love the Razorbacks, I love Jesus, and my integrity much, much more. As I poured my heart into what I was writing, the thought came to me, "they are going to think you are just a prude." I stopped and thought about it for a moment and decided, "Let them" because God's people need to make sure that we allow Jesus to shine through us as we RADIATE in 2008. Many times that means that we have to make a stand! I want to talk with you a little about that today.

Did you know that the earth travels over six thousand miles an hour? That's how fast the earth is spinning around the sun. It's incredible! Just imagine we're spinning faster than the spin cycle of a washing machine! With a few more spins, we'll be in eternity. Now that's fast.

So with the earth spinning so fast and time going by quickly, are we as a church doing what we were created to do?

I read about a man who went and purchased a piece of equipment that didn't work as it was designed to. He went and purchased a weed-wacker at Sears. There were a lot of gas powered ones which were pretty expensive. So he asked the salesperson if they had anything under three hundred dollars. Exuberantly, he announced a sale of an electric weed-wacker for eighty-nine ninety-five.

He added that it was friendly to the ecology. In addition, it had a contemporary style and had a hard shell case. And on top of this, it had a warranty! After hearing this, the man purchased one and took it home. He then plugged it in to cut some grass. But get this, although it buzzed quietly which was nice, it didn't cut anything! All it seemed to do was lick the grass. Frustrated with this, he took it back to the store.

He told the salesperson that the week-wacker didn't cut grass! He then asked if he had plugged it in. "Of course I did!" he said. The salesman re-iterated that it had a hard case, no emission and a wonderful warranty. Being already frustrated, all of that didn't matter to the man who had purchased the weed-wacker. "It was only eighty-nine ninety-five" the salesman said. Bewildered, the purchaser then asked "if I was on candid camera because this thing couldn't cut grass!" To make matters worse, the Salesman suggested to use the week-wacker when the grass was wet. The man ended up taking this thing back home and left it in the garage. Then about two years later he had a garage sale, and sold it for fifty-five ninety-five. The guy who bought it asked if it was good. The man who originally had bout it replied, "it had the best warranty and with a hard shell case!"

This is a good example of things that don't do what they're created to do. I wonder if God feels this way with us as a church. Truth is when someone comes to Christ, receiving Him as the Lord and savior He gives the gift of eternity. This free gift was purchased through the blood of Christ on the cross. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."(Jn. 3:16). However, some people believe that life on earth is all there is.

So what is eternity? Eternity is sort of like this, a cable stretched out at each end far into the horizon without end. Now, a person's life on this cable is a tiny vertical scratch on the cable. With this illustration, we can see that our life span on earth is not much compared to eternity.

And so for those that believe that life on earth is all there is, they live scratched lives. They have scratched hopes and dreams. They live and love their lives on this scratch. But this is how far it goes. So how will others' know there's more to life?

The reason God saved you and me and left us on the earth is to tell people they have hope beyond this life on earth. This was His design for us. Bringing us to HEAVEN wasn't the only reason why He saved us. If it was, he would have taken us right after we received Him.

Likewise, our lives are short compared to eternity, And, there isn't much time. The Bible tells us that we are the salt of the earth. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." (Mat. 5:13). So don't allow the salt to lose its savor. The Bible tells us that we are a vapor…our life is like a sigh

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16).

Your good works will lead others to the Father and all His glory. We are ambassadors for Christ to a darken world. Astronomers say it this way, in the darkest of space there's still light. But you can't see it because there are no reflectors to reflect the light.

We as reflectors of God's light need to stand in position of the source of His light and in such a way that will reflect to those you want to see the light. And this is our assignment. The greatest command of all is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. And to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

He is the source of light and we are His reflectors. So how do we go about reflecting His light to others in order for them to see God? Here are three simple steps that remind us of who we are. The first of three points is,


"I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God, saving everyone who believes." (Rom. 1:16).

It is an honor to be identified with God. And so do not be ashamed of the gospel. This is the power of God that will save people. Catch this, it would not be a nuclear bomb that would destroy mankind. Nor will it be global warming. But in fact, will be by unresolved sin.

It is important to live by what you believe in because others need to see this. This is one way of reflecting His light. You don't have to be a theologian or a bible college graduate. But instead shine the light on people. One simple way is…

  • Start by being kind.

This may not sound spiritual, but some Christians are not very nice. In fact, some Christians can be very rude with a bad attitude. "…do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of "God leads you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4).

The first step for people coming to a point of repentance is by our kindness. A smile can do wonders and so does learning to listen to others. Kindness you give towards others mean a lot to them. You can be kind to those in your work place and in your family relationships. Remember that…

  • GOOD deeds leads to GOOD will, which opens a heart to the GOOD NEWS!

Jesus' good works caused good will to take place. "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52).

"…'some people have faith; others have good deeds. 'But I say, 'I can't see your faith if you don't have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.'" (James 2:18 NLT).

Therefore, one way of reflecting His light is to close the gap between what we believe and how we live. Another way to reflect His light unto others is…


By having a genuine love for people you can offer a good word. For instance, you could offer to buy a cup of coffee or something. By doing so you're showing that you care by giving a little bit of your time. It could be that someone may just need someone to talk to.
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad" (Prov. 12:25).

You don't need to give a good sermon, a message or good preaching. It's not about getting people to fall to their knees. Instead, just offer encouraging words or be an inspiration unto others. Remember that we live in a darken world that needs to see the light of Jesus. And there are those whose hearts have hardened and needs to see hope beyond this life on earth. With each genuine touch, a heart becomes closer to Jesus. Furthermore, don't worry about taking them through the whole nine yards.

And we need to know the difference. Using the example of football, here is an example.


We need to understand about building goodwill. I love Pastor Wayne Cordiero's writings, and his personal testimony of how he came to Christ. Let me share a little with you:

As for me, before coming go Christ, I was in a rock-n-roll band doing drugs. Our band had planned of doing this for the rest of our lives. At that time, I was far from the cross. On a scale of one to minus ten, I was a minus ten. I did not like Christians and thought they were weird. And so I stayed from away from Christians as I could. And the reason is that all they did was condemn me for what I was doing.

So what brought me to being a Pastor now? It was a whole bunch of people each one with a touch. I remember one person that listened to me when I was going through some problems. From this I moved to minus eight. Although still far away from God, this person warmed my heart a little bit. Then someone else invited me to a Christian concert. This touched my heart and I moved to a minus six.

Afterwards, a Christian man helped me with my car. It warmed my heart to a minus five. Later, a friend of mine who played guitar asked me to play guitar with him for a children’s camp. He said it was for free, but didn’t tell me it was a Christian camp with Christian songs. It was by singing Christian songs that warmed my heart a little bit more. Eventually, I was invited to a campus crusade with a bible study. By then I was a minus one.

Eventually, someone asked me if I’ve heard about the four spiritual laws. Such as how God loves me and his plan for my life. And about the law of sin, law of forgiveness and eternity. So I sat with that person and was so close to the cross.

In the beginning, my heart was like a rock. Now, if you took a sledge hammer and tried to break a hard rock, it would take many hits before it would break. And so there are hearts out there that are hardened because of bad situation, dysfunctional background, hurts or past mistakes. These are those who need a lot of kind touches. We as a church can do this together. Remember, good deeds leads to good will, which opens a heart to the good news.

Wow! What an example of the impact of letting the LIFE, LOVE and LIGHT of Jesus shine through you. The difference between a TOUCH and a TOUCHDOWN? Many times we touch someones life, but we don't stick with it. We feel that one touch is all it takes. We need to become TOUCHDOWN Christians, who stay persistent and consistent in our reaching out to those God brings into our life's. Here is another example of FOLLOW THROUGH to victory, this one from the Word of God.

"…A man was going down to Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have. "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers hands?' And he said, 'The one who showed mercy toward him.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Go and do the same'" (Luk. 10:36-37).

God helps the church to do good deeds. From there it builds good will in order that people's hearts become open to hearing the good news. Many of us have already built wonderful relationships with people and good will has been established. Now there's just one final step.


Ever wondered how the disciples came to walking with Christ? "One of the two who heard John…was Andres, Simon Peter's brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah'" (Jn. 1:40-41).

"Jesus found Philip. And Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me.' Philip found Nathaniel and he said, 'You are the "Son of God; You are the King of Israel'" (Jn. 1:43, 45, 49).

This tells us that all the disciples came through an invitation. Aren't you glad that someone invited you? Now we can return the favor and invite our co-workers, family members, friends, neighbors. We can decide to RADIATE IN 2008! Invite them and ask them to join you at your church. They might find that there's hope beyond the scratch. And find that Jesus is the light of the world!

In recapping, live by what you believe. And start by being kind with little good deeds. For good deeds leads to good will, which opens a heart to the good news. Simply love others with a genuine touch by understanding the difference between a touch and a touchdown. Hence, offering an invitation to others. This is what we were designed to do which glorifies our Father in heaven!

Questions for consideration today:

Q1) What hinders you from closing the gap between what you believe and how you live? What practical things can you do to change this?

Q2) What hinders you from reaching out to others? Pray and ask for God to help you with this.

Q3) In what practical ways can you show kindness to those at work, school or at home?

Q4) Who will you invite to church with you? Why not start TODAY! Be aware of DIVINE appointments, like the Good Samaritan had. If someone comes into your life, it's not by accident. It's God trusting you with that individual. Let Jesus shine through you!

Q5) What from todays blog impacted you most and how will you become a better person because of it?

Let's let the love, light and life of Jesus shine through us today! Blessings!

Today's "THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR" reading (January 10, 2008): Genesis 28:10-30:43

THIS WEEKS VERSE TO "HIDE IN YOUR HEART": Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

How did you do on last week's verse? 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Pastor Rusty

Bible Study Tools online: (This has different versions of the Bible for you to read from, as well as Audio Bible for you to listen to) (Different Devotionals. Some you can have sent to your email daily) (Great study sight) (My favorite. You can download Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries to your computer. I use this daily) (International Bible Society. Different translation of Bibles for you to read from) (My wife's online Bible Study) (Daily Bible reading, prayer request, etc. Laurie Adams (Associate Pastor Wife) developed and maintains)