SETTING THE PACE / Living life with an eternal perspective
In the book of Acts, the early Christians were described as people who turned the world upside down! You could say they were world changers. These were individuals who had limited resources and education, yet still managed to make a huge difference in the world.
Last week at First Baptist Church of Newcastle, we saw a mighty movement of God. My father, Ken Freeman, spoke eighteen times in six days, and on the last night of the event, we had nearly 1200 people in attendance and saw 71 people give their lives to Jesus Christ. We have baptized a total of 35 so far, and have seen nearly 140 saved people. I pray this is only the beginning of making a difference in our community, state, nation, and world.
As I thought about the early church and what happened this past week, I came up with seven things people need to do if they want to be world changers. Take a moment and be challenged and encouraged by these things.
First, we must recognize God’s grace. If we want to turn the world upside down, we must first be turned upside down ourselves! Becoming a world changer begins with a heart change. The Apostle Paul was good at reminding the early church that they needed to never forget God’s love and God’s grace. He wanted them to know you will never turn the world upside until you have been wrecked by God’s grace. You cannot offer living water from a dry soul. You cannot turn anything or anyone upside down if you yourself are unphased by the grace of God!
Second, we must embrace the Gospel. The Gospel must penetrate our hearts. If you have genuinely trusted Jesus and received the Gospel, your life will never be the same.
Third, we must receive the Word. Our spiritual lives will rise and fall depending on the depth of our commitment to the Word of God! We must receive the Word of God as the Word of God and not as the word of men. Our words will never have any impact on people, but God’s Word will. If we want to turn the world upside down, we must do it with the Word because there is power in the Word!
Fourth, we must be an example. We have to be an example of what we are calling people to! If people were to imitate our Christian life right now, what would it look like? Here is a good question, “What kind of church would my church be if every member were just like me?” We must be an example of a changed life, for we will never make a difference if people see no difference in us!
Fifth, we must share our faith. There are no such thing as private Christians. It’s funny to me when people say, “I am just very private about my faith.” That makes no sense to me. You can be shy and reserved in your personality, but boldness is a requirement for every Christian. A faith that is alive will be a faith that is active! These new believers were making a difference because their faith was being shared wherever they went. We turn the world upside down with a faith that is alive and active.
Sixth, we must have a testimony. The testimony of the early church was that they had turned to God from idols. In other words, they let go of the trinkets of the world for the treasures of God! I often say that whatever consumes you, controls you. Here is a great quote, “None of us can enthrone the true God unless in the process we dethrone our other gods.”
Finally, we must live for eternity. Those who turn this world upside down simply do not live for this world. They live for the world to come. We will never turn the world upside down if we do not see anything wrong with the world in which we live. As author Randy Alcorn says, “May what will be most important to us five minutes after we die become most important to us now!” We must live with eternal perspective.
This week, let us turn the world upside. Let us be world changers. Apply these seven principles and see what happens. See you next week.