There is an inward yearning in all of us to influence others and have a life of significance. Everyone wants to be a hero to someone. God wants us to know that we do not have to have a cape and wear tights to do so. It is simply a matter of faith and obedience in small decisions in the world around us. Are you ready to save the world?
Movie Clip: Pay it Forward. Please excuse slight objectionable language
What does the world mean to you? Is there anyone who matters to you? How often do you think of people outside the church? What does the world expect of Christians? NOTHING? Unfortunately, these are difficult questions facing Christians and the Church. But what if we flipped everything upside down and it was POSSIBLE to save the world?
1 Kings 17:17-24
“What if I could save the world? What if every time I witnessed someone was saved?”
If you want to save the world then:
Get ready (17:17-18).
The widow’s need was that her son was ill and died. Obviously, this was a huge crisis for the woman emotionally and spiritually. Emotionally because she was a widow and all her family had passed away; she was all alone. She was in a spiritual crisis because she didn’t know where to turn and felt God was abandoning her only to bring judgment.
Likewise, people have needs all around us. Are we (you) ready to meet some of those needs and answer such questions that the world is asking? You see, it is God’s desire to bring awakening to the world but God’s people are often unprepared for the harvest. The world is asking the right questions and yearning for something more but unfortunately, many believers are not ready to share the reason of their hope (1Peter 3:15).
It begins with getting serious about your personal faith journey and knowing who and why you believe. Are you ready?
Get involved (17:19).
Elijah saw the need and took the initiative to get involved. Rather than viewing the woman as a problem to be managed or ignored he saw her as a hurting person who needed help. He took charge of the situation and made himself available to God to be of assistance.
As you look around the world, there are countless opportunities to get involved. It starts with seeing others not as problems to solve but people to love. We can invest in relationships to show others we care by listening to their life stories and being there when they have spiritual curiosity.
Certainly there are way too many needs for any one person to get involved on their own. To make a difference you must focus your resources into a few areas where you see God is leading you to make a difference. As God’s people take initiative and work together they can accomplish big things for God. They can be somebody’s hero, who points to the ultimate Hero, Jesus Christ. However, it only happens when we understand Christianity is not a spectator sport or lived on the sidelines but requires personal involvement with others.
Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Get praying (17:20-24).
Elijah knew he could not bring the boy back to life on his own. As he personally engaged himself in the problem by stretching himself out three times and did the best thing he could do – cry out to God. He prayed for God to give an answer. Note that Elijah had to persevere, he did it three different times. Through committed prayer God not only heard but responded by bringing the boy back to life. The woman’s response was priceless as she saw and believed in God’s power.
The power of prayer is often overlooked when it comes to making a difference, bringing others to faith in Christ or solving problems. Every great movement of God began and continued from the priority of prayer. E.M. Bounds says,”The praying which makes a prayerful ministry is not a little praying put in as we put flavor to give it a pleasant smack, but the praying must be in the body, and form the blood and bones. Prayer is no petty duty, put into a corner; no piecemeal performance made out of the fragments of time which have been snatched from business and other engagements of life; but it means that the best of our time, the heart of our time and strength must be given.” He goes on to say that the character of our prayer life will determine the character and impact of our ministry life. If we desire to join God’s desire for significant impact then we must become people who get praying.
TAKING IT HOME
– How will you prepare to “save the world” and leave an eternal influence in the world? What are some practical steps for you to take?
– What community problems do you see that Christians and the Church could address?
– Think of a way to save the world and put it into action! What would it look like to act justly and love mercy in our community? Be specific.
– Why is prayer an essential element of reaching others? How can we (you) make it more of a priority?