Today is the Rock's 5th anniversary. Pastor Miles gave the Rock church an Np3 update this Sunday. He encouraged us to continue in our praying and giving, as well as encouraged those with skills or resources to help in the progress and construction of the building to help too.
In 1984 after Pastor Miles was saved, he went to a party. The party he went to was like those that he used to go to before he was saved. However, at this particular party he didn't do the things he use to do, like the drugs or drinking that everyone else was taking part in. Instead he found himself sitting at the dining room table of the house telling people about Jesus. Even though at that time he only knew the basic things about Christ, he was still able to share, and he found more and more people coming around him as he spoke.
Today Pastor Miles took us to Matthew 9, in which we see a Marty take place. A Marty is when the introduction of non-Christians to Christ takes place whether it is through an event or a lifestyle.
The "R" in ARMY
Last week at the Rock we looked at what the A in Army stands for, which was accountability relationships. This week we will look at the R, which stands for reaching out to the lost.
As Christians we cannot avoid non-Christians and selfishly keep the good news about Jesus Christ to ourselves. Instead our mission must be to share His love in any way that we can. The Lord has gifted us all in many different ways to minister to those who don't know Him. The whole reason Jesus came to earth was to reach out to the lost.
Jesus says in Matthew 9:13, for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
A Soldier's Duties
The Rock's Salvation Army is a group of people trained and armed to fight for the souls of unbelievers. As a soldier for Christ there are four things Pastor Miles outlined that we must do to be effective soldiers prepared to fight.
Accept the Call to Follow Him
Matthew 9:9 states, as Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
Matthew got up and followed Jesus when He called him. Luke 5:28 recounts the same story saying that Matthew, left everything and followed Him.
We must be willing to acknowledge our need to walk away from our old life and follow after Jesus. Following Christ means imitating Him in all things.
Plan to Host a "Marty"
Matthew 9:10 states, while Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples.
Matthew invited Jesus over to dinner to eat with all his friends and neighbors. He recognized Jesus' importance and made sure everyone he knew had the chance to meet Him as well.
Where will your Marty be? Could it be the Easter service at Cox Arena? Could it be a church service, small group, or an event at your home? Who will you invite? Will it be a friend, neighbor, or a relative? Make a list of at least three people you want to invite and begin praying for them now. An evangelistic lifestyle begins with prayer.
Begin Training for the Battle
Matthew 9:11 states, when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
A soldier doesn't go to war to not fight. They must be trained and prepared for battle. The same is true for the Christian life. People may ask why it is that we go to church, or pray, or read the Bible. Are we prepared to give an answer though?
1 Peter 3:15 states, but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
A method of preparation could be to develop questions and answers with an accountability partner to practice. There are many topics or scriptures that we can go over with others to be better prepared in reaching out to the lost.
We know that Satan will attack, so we must begin now praying against the evil one. James 4:7 states, submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. To resist means to take a stand against. Stand up against the enemy and he will flee from you!
Be Prepared for Follow-up
Once we share with someone or pray for him or her we cannot stop there. Follow-up is key to helping a person stay afloat. We should be equipped with information regarding church, a small group, etc, to help them get plugged in.
It is equally important to stick by their side through thick and thin. Remember that Jesus did not come to call the righteous, and devote His time, energy, and ministry to people who think they've got it all together. He came for the sinners.
Decide whom you will pray for and begin praying about how you can reach out to them this week. When and where will you host you "Marty" and who will you invite?