“For God sent me before you to save your life,” said Joseph to his brothers in Genesis 45:4-5 (NLV). In view of Easter, Wu Yuzhuang taught the church that each believer is sent as God’s vessel to reach out and bring the lost to Jesus.
“The moment we become Christians, we have a full-time mission, and that is to save lives,” said said Pastor Wu Yuzhuang of City Harvest Church on Apr 6 and 7. He added, “Our workplace, school and anywhere God has placed us—that is our mission field.”
Reading from Luke 5:1-4, where Jesus asked Simon Peter if He could enter his boat, Pastor Zhuang explained that while the boat was a business tool to Peter, for Jesus, it was a platform to preach His word.
Pastor Zhuang said that believers would never see true value in their jobs until they see their jobs as a platform that God can use. For Peter, it was after Jesus preached from his boat that he realised his true purpose—to be a fisher of men, and not just a fisherman.
“Use your job for the people, and not the people for the job,” said Pastor Zhuang. “What is the purpose of your job? Is it just a tool?”
He stirred the spirit of the congregation by pointing out that the devil sees every believer’s job as a platform that God can use. That is why they face stress and discouragement at work, and that is the reason why the devil has been attacking them relentlessly.
HOW TO BE GOD’S PLATFORM
Firstly, one has to live and work excellently. Quoting Philippians 1:27 (NIV), Pastor Zhuang reminded the church that what one does in his lives is more important than what he says. He noted that Jesus did whatever He said.
“People do not care what you say until they see what you do,” he said. To bring people to Christ, Christians must first bring people to themselves.
Excellence can be explained as transcending one’s job description; to outdo oneself each time. As Matthew 5:41 suggests, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles”. This speaks of going beyond the call of duty to the call of love.
Pastor Zhuang encouraged Christians to have a spirit of excellence in their work, because it is their witness for Jesus. He continued that Christians should be “audio-visual Christians”—people who not only talk the talk, but who also walk the walk.
Secondly, Christians must love and enjoy the unchurched. Jesus loved to fellowship with sinners and tax collectors, and likewise, Christians should do the same. He elaborated that they do not always have to agree or condone everything the unchurched are doing and the lifestyle they are leading, but they can still love and enjoy them. Christians should see the worth of every unchurched person and know their value, because even if they are messed up, God loves them.
Jesus Himself loved to fellowship with the unchurched, but there was one group of people Jesus could not tolerate—the religious pharisees. These are the ones who were always critical and judgmental.
“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Pastor Zhuang said, reminding the people to not be like the Pharisees, who were quick to condemn, but instead to show love and enjoy the company of the unchurched.
Lastly, Christians should always be ready for opportunities to share the Good News. Referencing 2 Timothy 4:2, the pastor emphasized that Christians need to be “ready in season and out of season”. This means one will seize every opportunity and opening to share. Pastor Zhuang reminded the congregation that wherever God has placed them, if they would set their hearts to look for opportunities to talk about Jesus, those opportunities will come.
He exemplified this through an account by an American pastor who witnessed the patience and excellent attitude of an air stewardess who encountered a demanding passenger on flight. When the passenger was rude, she was polite; when he was impatient, she was patient. She did not let the passenger’s behaviour affect her attitude towards him. When the pastor went to look for her to compliment her good service, she answered, not knowing he was a pastor: “I do not only work for American Airlines, I work for Jesus Christ.” And she proceeded to ask if she could tell him about Jesus Christ.
Pastor Zhuang reference Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”
“You’ve got to show it and tell it,” he reiterated.
TELL THE STORY OF JESUS CHRIST
How then do Christians let down their nets and share the Good News?
Firstly, use bait. Your bait can be any story about God’s goodness in your life: a life-changing miracle, a healing, restoration of relationships, financial breakthroughs. God has appointed Christians to be His witnesses and to tell the world of His goodness in their lives (Acts 26:16 TLB).
One does not need to have a colorful past to tell of God’s goodness and be His witness. Pastor Zhuang encouraged the church that they just need to tell truthfully about how Jesus has changed their lives.
“Your story is not about how bad you were, but how good God is,” he added.
Secondly, throw your net into the water. The boat is Jesus’ platform, the bait is your story, the net is the Gospel, the water is the world, and the fish represents the people. He encouraged the people to use their stories as bait, and go out to the waters and cast the nets into the deep, to keep going deeper to share the Good News.
In closing, Pastor Zhuang shared statistics of how responsive the unchurched are in regard to being invited to church services, and it showed that 50 percent of them who would go to church only once a year will choose to go for Easter Sunday, if they are invited.
“Do not rob them of the one time that they are willing to come to church,” he encouraged the church as he brought his message to a close.