Can you think of something that happened in your life that you were so overjoyed with that you could not wait to tell everyone you knew? Can you think of some gift you were given that you were so thrilled with you could not contain your excitement? Do you have the same enthusiastic response to sharing the story of your salvation through Jesus Christ?
Would you agree with me that some things in life must be personally experienced in order to fully understand them? Try as we might, we men cannot fully describe childbirth; we are limited to an intellectual understanding only. Even though people around the world watched the horrible events of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, they cannot explain it with the same impact as someone who was in the building and was rescued that day by a brave firefighter. Unless we were on US Airways flight 1549, which made an emergency landing on the Hudson River, we can’t really understand what is was like to be saved by Cpt. Sullenberger’s heroic effort. I believe in the same way we need to experience the saving touch of Jesus in our own life to in order to convey to others the true joy of salvation.
Today I want to make 4 key points. Point one is: we are lost and broken people. The Bible speaks clearly about Jesus coming to earth to save the “Lost and Broken”. It also is quite clear that we too are called, as Disciples of Christ, to seek out the lost and broken and bring them to Jesus. For today’s topic I I will combine “lost and broken” into the one word BROKEN.
By way of clarification and to eliminate any confusion let me point out that “brokenness” is not exclusively a result of sinfulness. Brokenness can be caused by two things. The first and most obvious of course is sin but the second is simply living in an imperfect and flawed world. The term lost might apply to someone on a wayward path in life or someone who does not yet know the Lord.
“His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered,” Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”
Clearly blindness is a type of brokenness but for this man Jesus made it clear that it was not caused by the man’s sins. Despair, grief, illness, or loneliness are just some of the additional ways the world causes us to be broken.
Of course the more obvious way we become broken is through sin, and none of us are exempt from sin.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
Therefor whether it is a result of just living in the world or as a result of sin, we should be able to see that in one way or the other we all experience brokenness.
Point two is: we can’t save ourselves, we need a savior. Pride, the root of all sin, often gets in our way here. We tend to think so highly of our own ability that we think we can save ourselves from our brokenness. My friends, we can’t. It doesn’t matter if we are broken by the world or broken by sin JESUS is the only answer.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Point three is this: Jesus came to save us. It is precisely because we are broken that Jesus came into the world.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
”It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”
Ultimately, it is inconsequential as to whether our brokenness is caused by living in the world which can take the form of despair, grief, illness or loneliness or by our own sinfulness which can take the form of lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, pride or sloth, or many other sins, JESUS is still the only one who saves us from our brokenness.
Now stop for a moment, and utilize the description of brokenness above, and reflect on these two questions:
- Has Jesus already saved you from some area of brokenness in your life?
- Is there brokenness remaining in your life from which you still need Jesus to save you?
IMPORTANT NOTE: In today’s writings what do I mean by the word saved? I am using the word saved in the context of Christ destroying the power of our brokenness over us. This does not mean that if our brokenness is caused by the world that we will receive a physical healing nor does it mean if our brokenness is some form of recurring sin that the temptation for that sin will be removed from us. It means, as Paul says in 2Cor. 12: 9-10, that God’s grace is sufficient and the chains with which our brokenness had us bound Jesus will break and set us free.
Point four is this: if we have experienced the saving power of Jesus in our life, we should not be able to contain our enthusiasm. Unfortunately for many Christians, the call to share the news of Jesus with others, which means to evangelize, can be scary. It might seem more like a required task than an uncontainable joy. So what transforms evangelization from some form of spiritual drudgery to the most joyous calling in life? There are some necessary elements that must be present in order to move evangelization from an intellectual concept to an emotional issue, in other words move it from our head to our heart. We must accept, experience and believe these three things:
- I am or was lost
- I am or was not capable of saving myself
- Jesus is the only savior
Some of us might still struggle to accept the reality that we are broken. In today’s world with increasing relativism, where the prevailing thought is; “I am okay and you are okay” it becomes increasing hard to accept that fact that we are in need of being “fixed” or better said in need of being saved. If we cannot acknowledge that we are in need of being saved then we don’t need a savior. I am of the opinion that the inability of some people to see themselves as broken is a contributing factor in the decline of attendance at churches today. Many people fail to see the need for Jesus because they fail to see their own need to be saved.
Juxtaposition the attitude of, “I don’t have anything from which to be saved” to the attitude of “Lord have mercy on me a sinner”. If we fully acknowledge our broken condition and see Jesus as our savior then we should be so excited about Jesus that we are compelled to share this good news with everyone. Read the passage below and observe that even though Jesus tells the two blind men not to tell anyone about being healed they could not contain this news; they “had” to tell everyone.
“And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.”
Jesus himself said he “had” to proclaim the good news because that is the reason His father sent him.
“But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.””
I hope I have made the point today that once we have truly experienced our own transformation from lost to found and from broken to healed, then the salvation story will migrate from our head to our heart. At the point it resides in our hearts we should become an uncontainable font of joy, with the desire to tell everyone of our relationship with the savior of the world, Jesus Christ. We should not have to be prompted to evangelize, it should occur spontaneously. The lyrics of the song PASS It ON state it this way:
That’s how it is with God’s loveOnce you’ve experienced itYou’ll spread His loveTo everyone
You’ll want to pass it on
I’ll shout it from the mountain topI want the world to knowThe Lord of Love
Has come to me
I want to pass it on
My friends if Jesus has saved you from any form of brokenness in your life GO SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TODAY!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my salvation through your Son Jesus Christ. Please grant me the gift of an enthusiastic heart so that I will joyfully tell others of my experience of being saved, amen!