The world today is a crazy place. Terrorists, riots, explosions, famines, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more are overwhelming the world. The world needs to change. Today we talk about what that change is.
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Watch the video of this message at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/be-the-change-the-world-needs/
There is an attitude that most perfectionists share; “It can always be better”. It doesn’t matter what a perfectionist is looking at or doing, they will almost never be satisfied because it could be better.
Today we would like to speak about changing the world. Whether you are a perfectionist or not, you cannot help but see the world needs changing. One part of the world is suffering from food shortages while another part is experiencing extreme health crisis from overeating. One part of the world is in extreme drought, and another part of the world has unending rain causing flooding. One part of the world is ruled by fear and intimidation while another part of the world is so open and free there is no sense of right and wrong.
In other words, our world is in utter chaos and there is no doubt who is truly causing this all, the devil.
If you honestly and objectively look around, you will see issue after issue after issue that needs to be addressed and solved. If you take your focus off yourself and place it on others you will see the true needs of people all around you instead of your own.
Frankly, it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the current state of the world and all that needs to be accomplished to make this world better. It can make you want to head for the hills and leave society behind. Unfortunately, many people give up at this point; return their focus on themselves; and live their life in a bubble, ignoring everything and everyone else.
We all want that one person who can come lead the world to be a better place. Some of us want to be that one person or think we are that person. That one person already exists and was born more than 2000 years ago.
Ancient Israel was watching and waiting some 2000 years ago, too. The world wasn’t in any better shape then either. But Israel hadn’t heard from God in 400 years. There were no prophesies, no instructions, nothing. They had been overrun and their land had been occupied by a foreign government who did not serve God. Their heritage, customs, and sacred laws were being preempted by this occupying government.
They were being held in bondage and desperately wanted to return to the days of their freedom and the ability to worship God freely and completely. They were crying out to God for a savior. And God delivered his son to them to be that savior. But when Jesus was born, there was controversy. There were political and social challenges, much like today.
Who Jesus was and how he came to them defied the experts in the law, the Pharisees. They could not see the fact that he fulfilled 353 of their prophesies. They were too focused on themselves, and on maintaining their own positions of power and prestige.
The people were looking for a great general to rise up and lead Israel to a huge military victory over Rome and to keep them safe afterward.
God gave them a son. A son who was a carpenter. A son who valued peace and meekness over conflict and aggression. A son who knew the only way to change the world was to start with individuals and change their hearts one at a time. Jesus knew the only way to change this world was one person at a time.
Jesus did teach to thousands at a time though, also. Jesus did go through crowds healing the lame and sick. He did bring sight to many blind people and opened many deaf ears. But he invested greatly in 12 people. These 12 he poured his life into. These 12 he taught and explained things to and shared the meaning behind his parables with.
You see friends, we know you want to change the world. We do too. But the best way to change it is not to work your way up to the tallest stage or biggest pulpit. It is not to become a great political leader with the most camera time. The best way is to invest yourself into the lives of a handful of people around you. The best way to change the world is to teach others that they are not number one.
The best way is to live like everyone else comes first and teach that to the people around you. If you truly want to change the world, do what you can for people in your own neighborhood, in your own school, in your own workplace, in your own family. This is what we here at Cell Life Church call “being the church”.
We want to change the world too. We see all the problems in the world. We see the famine, the wars, the greed, the hunger, the disease, the gluttony, and many other ills of this world. We also know there is but one answer for this lost and dying world, Jesus.
Our view of this world is skewed by our perspective, that is by how we see it from where we are. Our view of the world from America is very different from the view of the world from the Middle East, the view of the world from Africa, or the view of the world from Asia.
If we only see the world from our own point of view, the solutions we come up with will only work from our point of view.
Instead, we must believe and trust that Jesus is the son of God. We must believe and trust that he is at the right hand of God the Father right now interceding for all of us. We must believe that Jesus is the savior of this world. In believing and following Jesus, we must not judge those around us, but serve them in kindness with love and compassion.
Let’s look at an interaction the Apostles Peter and John had at the temple after Jesus ascended to be with the Father in Heaven. Let’s read Acts 3: 1-10
(1) One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. (2) Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. (3) When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. (4) Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” (5) So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. (6) Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (7) Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. (8) He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (9) When all the people saw him walking and praising God, (10) they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Peter and John are great examples of being the church. They stayed alert and aware of those around them. When the man called out to them they looked straight at him and made sure he saw them. They were about to share what they had received from the Lord with him. They didn’t give what he asked for, they gave him what he needed.
Don’t get hung up on the miracle. God may not have given you the gift of miraculous healings, but he may have given you some other gift to use to serve others. What Peter and John did is not important. Why they did it is what is important.
They used the power Jesus had given them through the Holy Spirit to bring healing to this man who could not walk. They were being the church. That is what being the church is all about. Sharing what Jesus has given you with others to their benefit. You may have the ability to feed a family that has no food. You may be able to help someone get clean water or put a roof over their head. You may also have a supernatural gift through the Holy Spirit to bring someone a miracle.
Here’s the catch. Sometimes there is a cost to sharing Jesus with others. Let’s look at Acts 4:8-12.
(8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! (9) If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, (10) then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. (11) Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (12) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Peter and John got called in and questioned by the religious leaders. They wanted to stop what was going on, but Peter and John would not be deterred. They were doing exactly what they had been equipped and trained to do by the Lord himself. They were changing the world, one person at a time, just like Jesus did. We must never lose sight of who Jesus is, the authority He has given us, and the power we receive through the Holy Spirit to act in his name.
If we are going to change the world, we must work on our piece of it, in Jesus’ name. If we all started praying for our neighborhoods and serving the needs of those around us, and then those neighbors did the same thing, it would not take long before the world would be completely different.
Let’s change this world by serving our neighbors and co-workers, in Jesus’ name for Jesus’ glory. Let’s change this world by being the hands of feet of Jesus in our own villages, towns, and cities. Let’s be the change this world needs by being the church.