The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Many years ago, an evangelist by the name of Jakov arrived at a village in Serbia. He met an elderly man there named Cimmerman, and Jakov began to talk to him of the love of Christ. Cimmerman abruptly interrupted Jakov and told him that he wished to have nothing to do with Christianity. He reminded Jakov of the dreadful history of the church in his town, where church leaders had plundered, exploited, and killed innocent people.

"My own nephew was killed by them," he said, and angrily rejected any effort on Jakov's part to talk about Christ. He told Jakov, "They wear those elaborate coats and crosses, but their evil designs and lives I cannot ignore."

Jakov replied, "Cimmerman, can I ask you a question? Suppose I were to steal your coat, put it on, and break into a bank. Suppose further that the police sighted me running in the distance but could not catch up with me. One clue, however, put them onto your track: they recognize your coat. What would you say to them if they came to your house and accused you of breaking into the bank?"

"I would deny it," said Cimmerman.
And Jakov countered, "'Ah, but we saw your coat,' they would say." But the analogy annoyed Cimmerman, and he ordered Jakov to leave his home.

Even so, Jakov continued to return to the village periodically just to befriend Cimmerman, encourage him, and share the love of Christ with him. Finally one day Cimmerman asked, "How does one become a Christian?"

Jakov taught him the simple steps of putting his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Cimmerman got down on his knees and surrendered his life to Christ. As he rose to his feet, wiping his tears, he embraced Jakov and said, "Thank you for being in my life." And then he pointed to the heavens and whispered, "You wear His coat very well."

When we talk about the mission of the church, we must understand that our mission is the mission of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are Ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). We represent Him to the world around us. Paul ends the verse with a reminder of the message we deliver on behalf of Jesus, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Reconciliation involves taking something that was once together, but is now separated, being brought back together. When a married couple becomes distant, the pair goes to a marriage counselor seeking reconciliation. When people get their bank statement in the mail, they may do a comparison between the statement and their checkbook attempting to reconcile the two records. Christ gave his life on the cross so that the penalty for our sin, which has separated us from God could be paid. Therefore, we can be reconciled to him through our faith in him, making us friends again.

This is why the second part of First Christian Church’s mission is “to Share God’s Son with the Friendless.”

In order to be agents of reconciliation, ambassadors for Christ we must wear Christ’s robe. People must see him through us.

This Sunday we will continue our series of messages Mission Possible with a sermon titled,
Share God’s Son with the Friendless  based on Romans 5:6-12, Plan now to be a part of this very special service which will conclude with a brief congregational (family) meeting.

Sharing his coat with you,

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