Christ Makes All the Difference

John 1:40-42; 4:25-30; 39-42

For many people, it was not a sudden desire to go to church that brought them to church but, rather, a personal invitation by a friend, co-worker, classmate or even a total stranger.

The greatest rewards in ministry do not come from extraordinary church events but from everyday person-to-person witness, something all Christians can do, regardless of our gifts or position.

Jesus expects all His followers to reach out. In Matthew 28:18-20, we read: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”

Statistics show that Andrew’s kind of outreach-evangelism is the most effective. Pollsters indicate that 75 to 90 per cent come to church because someone invited them.

Not everyone will have the gift of evangelism. But Jesus’ command is that all the believers must be His witnesses.

Acts 1:8 says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Even though evangelism, in general, is essential to the church, personal evangelism is of vital importance; every believer telling another person about Christ and inviting them to meet Him.

Let’s look at three examples.

1. Andrew reaching his brother (John 1:40)

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.

From The Pastor Devotionals – Temple Baptist Church in Montreal

Ephesians 5:22-6:4

The proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” originated in Africa and is often used to make the point that raising a child is not as simple as some people seem to think it is.

It does take more than one individual to raise a child well, but I believe that home is the most important unit in a child’s life. The home is ordained by God. A nation is made up of homes. And the spiritual life of a church is determined by its homes.

Troubled homes make for a troubled nation. In fact, troubled homes are a greater threat to a nation than external threats. However, homes with:

• dedication instead of divorce,

• faith instead of fighting

• harmony instead of hatred,

• the Bible instead of materialism,

• God instead of worldly idols and masters

…are what a Christian home should be like. A Christian home is a place where Christ reigns.

You cannot have a Christian home without Christ as Lord. You may have a religious home. You may have a well-run, functional home. But unless Christ is the unseen head of your home, your home will not reflect Christ and the Holy Spirit’s presence.

A Christian home is a place where love reigns: A wife lovingly submissive to her husband; a husband loves his wife unconditionally. Yet there are Christians whose homes are just the opposite of that. There is constant arguing and
competing. The couple merely puts up with each other rather than loving and helping one another. This is why the
Bible says we must not be unequally yoked. In Amos 3:3, we read: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”

And what about children? Who teaches them, who helps them, who guides them? The mantra these days is: “It takes a village to raise a child.” This may sound good and it holds some truth. But it takes a mother and a father to raise a child who will reflect Christ.

Sadly, many single parents today find themselves trying to fill the role of both parents. Also, parents who can afford it will give all the good things their children want and need to have, a good school in a good neighbourhood, beneficial activities, nice clothes, toys, etc., but none of these things come close to a good and spiritual foundation for their souls. If they gain the whole world but lose their souls, what is the point of everything else?

Parents should be good role models, bringing their children to God when they are very young, even while in the cradle. They should teach them the Word of God and lead them to Jesus.

The Bible tells parents: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) Also in Proverbs 22:6, we read: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

A Christian home is a place where Christ is on the throne. The Bible is the Lord’s way of cleansing a home. Ephesians 5:26 says, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”

Attending church services should be a family affair, a commitment and not merely an option. God’s instructions to Moses apply to us, too, today. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)

Your home should be a house of prayer. Remember: The family that prays together, stays together and becomes a blessing to others.

Pastor Joseph Hovsepian