TEXT: II Corinthians 12:14 (in part) – “I seek not yours, but YOU.”
Let’s talk about YOU. If you are a boy or a girl, this is for YOU. If you are a grown-up, let’s talk about YOU. If you are not well, let’s talk about YOU – or about YOU if you’re healthy, if YOU are rich or poor, or whoever YOU are and whatever your station in life, let’s talk about YOU.
The text reads: “I seek not yours, but YOU.”
Probably most of us feel important, sometimes. We give the church some of our time, talent, and money and then arrive at the idea that what we have is badly needed. In a way, it is. But, infinitely more than that, you and I need the presence of God both in this life and the next and we need the encouragement and the protection of the Church all our days on this earth. Recently I heard a minister say: “God does not want your best, he wants all of YOU.”
Thus, it is not what you HAVE that God wants. HE WANTS YOU!
The following points apply to new converts as well as experienced Christians.
In Matthew 5:13, a part of the verse tell us, “You are — salt.”
In Matthew 5:14, likewise we are told, “You are — light.”
Briefly, let us remind ourselves of some of the things we know about salt.
- Salt should be CLEAN. You would not want your food seasoned with salt that contains filth. Just as truly, the Christian MUST NOT permit uncleanness in his life. Paul wrote to young Timothy: “Keep yourself pure.”
- Salt SEASONS — it brings out HIDDEN FLAVOR. Many times we read about people committing suicide because life has no meaning to them — no flavor. CHRIST GIVES LIFE and gives it purpose. And a Christian can put meaning into the life of others and bring out hidden possibilities in those about him.
- Salt is a PRESERVATIVE. This will be a terrible world when all Christians are caught up to be with the Lord, and none remain here. The Christian can bring the saving power of God to the unsaved.
- Salt has a peculiar effect on ICE. The Christian either melts the COLDNESS in the heart of the unsaved, or he intensifies it.
- Salt causes THIRST. To YOU, Christians, I say live so near to the heart of God that the unsaved will be caused to THIRST for the love of God in their own lives. May we all be careful that the salt does NOT lose its savor.
Then, we find that the Bible tells YOU that YOU are Light. Let us think about Light for a few minutes.
- Light is a GUIDE. The great beacon lights of our modern airports lead the airships safely to the landing field. As a Christian, are YOU going to let the LOVE OF GOD shine out of your life in a mighty beam which reaches in all directions to lead lost souls out of sin’s night into the port of SAFETY? YOU can do just that!
- A light can be a WARNING. On our great highways, there are lights which flash continually to WARN drivers of some sort of DANGER. In Acts 20:31 Paul says, “be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.” And YOU MUST WARN the unsaved of the dangers of their position. WARN them to flee the wrath to come. YOU are in position to do it. A man wrote about visiting a certain rugged area in India. One evening he heard a voice crying out from far above him. Not far away, he heard a second voice which cried out some message. Then, far below — very faintly — came an answering cry. In this world, YOU are that one in the middle. You have the glorious privilege of delivering God’s message to the one deep in sin. Is there one who will never hear unless YOU pass the message along?
- Light INVITES. If you are in a strange town and walk along a street and see a store poorly lighted and dingy looking, you are repelled. But when you come to a store properly lighted and pleasant to see, that in itself is an invitation to become acquainted with a friendly store. If we let Christ properly shine out of our lives, that in itself is an invitation to the unsaved to come to our Savior.
Now, let us take the next step with care. Recently a young man said to me, “There is no such thing as an ordinary Christian.” I was puzzled as to what he meant. He explained, that by his standards, a person either is a Christian or he is NOT. And, a man who really is saved, MUST NOT be ordinary! That is a wonderful conception. Water boils at 212 degrees, I believe. Will it boil at 100? Never! At that stage it is lukewarm. God says a lukewarm attitude toward him is sickening to him. God must have Christians who are at the boiling point of spiritual fervor. Thus our lives will help purify other lives.
But you may say YOU cannot do personal work — soul winning. Christ says, “Follow me and I will MAKE you fishers of men.” You do the following, Christ does the MAKING. Either YOU fish for the unsaved, or it would seem that you are not doing much of a job of following. Isn’t that a reasonable conclusion?
Perhaps you say, “What must I tell an unsaved person?” There is a disease; there is a cure. You know sin is the disease and it kills the soul. You know Christ is the only cure and he saves from death. Go to the person you are concerned about. Get him or her to read John 3:16, 17, 18. Then let the person follow the instruction found in Romans 10:9 and 10. I think any of us can win souls if we do two things. First, talk to God about that unsaved one. Second, talk to that unsaved one about God. The Holy Spirit can do the work if we do our simple part.
Do you think you are not good enough? Who is? If everybody waited until they were good enough, nobody would get saved. We are the best God has to work with, and we are all he has, so we must do the best we can.
Do you think you are too young or too inexperienced. I read about some new converts in a foreign land who came to a missionary for baptism and acceptance into the church. He put them in a line, and finally said all would be accepted with the exception of a small boy at the end of the line. The missionary felt he was too young. All the rest of the converts exclaimed, “Why he is the one who led us to Christ!”
No, YOU are not too young or inexperienced. If you are old enough to realize the love of your mother or your earthly father, you can understand and tell about the love of God.
A few days ago, a gentleman pointed out to me that a minister is a salesman. He has the best deal ever offered about anything. YOU can offer this same deal to the unsaved. Some time ago it was shown that 85% of the business done in the commercial world is done by personal contact. That ratio should spur YOU and me to personally contact people for our Lord. In a current magazine, I read that a certain Methodist laymen, a manufacturer, visited a church somewhere in Ohio. The speaker delivered a great message but, after the service, the business man frankly told the speaker, “If you were my salesman, I’d discharge you. Your message was fine and you caught my interest at once. You held my attention, and your words warmed my heart. But you stopped without asking me to do something about the matter.” Let’s be definite about our Christian work. Let’s ask somebody of they’re saved. Let’s tell them about our Christ and what he means to us. Then, let’s lead them to the Christ. NOW!
Christians, are YOU going to win the lost? Up in Canada, during the war, an outfit was getting ready to go overseas and they needed some more men. The officers sent every man home to get some recruits — sent them to their kinsmen, friends, and just anybody. When the time came to sail, the ranks were full. Friends, sometime we shall move to another land. Will we take our friends with us? We look into our homes — will the circle be unbroken?
Does it matter to YOU that a neighbor’s son or daughter is out of the fold? A man got off a train and hurried hime, anxious to be with his family. Passing near a river, he heard somebody shout that a boy was drowning. The man cried, “Why don’t you try to save the boy?” And with that, he threw down his luggage and jumped into the water. He brought the boy to the bank and at once saw he had saved his own son. Friend, maybe you will reach some loved one or your own, if you try to reach a neighbor.
You who are not saved know as well as I do that DELAY IS DANGEROUS. Some years ago, a ship — The Central America — sprang a leak far out in the ocean. It sent out a radio call for help. Another ship reached her just after dark, and the Captain of the damaged ship said for the rescue ship to stand by until morning when they could see better how to transfer the passengers. Later in the night, the lights of the damaged ship suddenly disappeared. The ship went down with every passenger and the entire crew. How terrible it was that the captain delayed about getting the passenger safe. YET? Do YOU delay about the safety of your immortal soul? RIGHT NOW say, “I know the sensible thing to do is to make sure my soul is not lost. I WILL NOT DELAY.” Come now, delay is dangerous. Come to the Savior who tells you, “Him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” At Niagara Falls a man held the hands of his little daughter and swung her out over the falls. In a spasm of fear, the child jerked from her father’s hands and went hurtling to her death. Why did the man trifle with the life of the child he loved? Why do you endanger your precious soul? Behold, NOW is the accepted time — the Bible tells YOU. Will YOU come?