Every day, our church tries its best to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We do that by putting the needs of others ahead of ourselves everywhere we go. We know that Jesus has called us to take up the towel and do the task that no one else wants to do. As followers of Christ, we believe the greatest title a person can be given is the title of a servant. That is our church's DNA.
You will find Sagebrushers all over our community meeting needs at the jails, at the juvenile detention centers, at food banks, working on cars for single moms and the elderly through our pit stop ministry, leading recovery groups, and going on mission trips all over the world.
Every weekend Sagebrushers roll up their sleeves to ensure that our weekend worship services and all of our age-graded programming are done with excellence. Thousands of volunteers, we call them team members, help Sagebrush advance the kingdom of God against the very gates of hell.
People come to a church our size and think that we have everything covered, but nothing is further from the truth. We need everyone working together to be as effective as Jesus wants us to be. We can't afford to have anyone sit on the sidelines; all of us need to get in the game and see a need and then meet that need.
I want you to imagine that today a single dad is going through a painful divorce who is here for the very first time. He's got two kids, and a buddy of his that he works with has been saying, "You need to come to my church. You need to bring your kids to Sagebrush," so today, this single dad got in the car with his four and six-year-old boys, and he headed to one of our campuses. Now, what he doesn't know at this point is that today, a team of people got here at 6:00 AM to make sure this place is as clean as it can possibly be.
So, without knowing any of this, this single dad pulls up on campus for weekend services, and a guest services team member greets him and his boys and directs to his kid's classroom. When they head to Kid's Planet, a man just about this dad's age welcomes them and assures the dad that his boys will be fine, and they've got a great time planned for them.
He steps into the worship center, and again, someone greets him and helps him find a seat.
It's just so obvious that God reached down and touched the efforts of those who planned the services because the videos connect with his life and the music penetrates his soul. And the message, well, God does something miraculous with that too. After the service, he goes and picks up his boys, and they said, "Dad, we learned about Jesus today." Under his breath, he says, "So did I. So did I."
He didn't know it, but he was counting on two things.
And because everyone played their role and did their part, that dad and his boys kept coming back, and over time God spoke to him in such a way that he gave his life to Christ. And now he is no longer going to be eternally separated from God in hell, but because someone cared enough to invite him, and because someone cared enough to serve his family, he will walk on streets of gold and live with God forever.
What if all those people hadn't stepped up? What if we had no one to greet him or help his children understand who Jesus is and the difference He makes in their young lives? What if we had no singers to lead us in song? What if everyone thought that someone else would do what needed to be done?
I'm so thankful for each person who sees a need and then steps up and says, "I will meet that need." As you can see, every role is of vital importance, and for the church to run on all cylinders, we need everyone to step up and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Yesterday Jesus said that if we live this way and live the life of a servant, that we will be blessed.
Every weekend we only get one shot. And we need everyone to do their part. Here is what gets me. When we see a need, and we meet that need, God takes notice. The Bible teaches that for every act of service that we did for Him, one day, God will reward us.
Can you imagine the scene? God calls your name and lists every kind act that you did for the kingdom of God, and then He rewards you for what you have done.
That is what 1 Corinthians chapter 3 says.
"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." I Corinthians 3:10-15
When a follower of Jesus stands before God on judgment day, we don't stand there to be condemned for all the terrible things we have done. Are you ready for this? We stand there to be rewarded for the sacrifices we made for Him and His kingdom. How ridiculous is that?
Now understand our service to God does not earn our salvation. Salvation is God's gift to us, and we contribute absolutely nothing to that. Our service does not earn our salvation, but it does impact our rewards.
One day, we will stand before God, and if everything we gave our life to burns up in this fire, we will be saved, but only as a person escaping the flames.
I want you to think about that. God is taking note of every kind deed done for Him. Every kind word, every act of sacrifice and service. The Bible says:
"if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth; he will certainly not lose his reward." Matthew 10:42
We will be ecstatic as we see how the monies we gave for His kingdom were used to reach hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, that we never got the chance to meet. We will be blown away at the prayers that were answered. We will be dumbfounded as the King of kings, and the Lord of Lords honors our acts of service to Him.
Let me ask you a question. How does this day look for you? Will you be rewarded for your generosity, for your acts of love and courage and risk? Will you be rewarded because you saw and met a need? Will you be rewarded because your life impacted hundreds, maybe thousands of others because you were willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Or will your life's work just burn up because everything you did, you did for yourself?
I'm living my life to one day stand before Him and hopefully hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." What are you living your life for?
Some of us might not feel like we have very much to offer God. You are wrong, friend. God created you, breathed life into you, and He has a plan and a purpose for your life. It's time to give to Him the little bit you have, and let Him use what you have to make a big difference. How can you leverage what you are good at for the kingdom of God?
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