The Crown of Joy: Serving Christ is a Team Effort

A summary of today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
God uses each of us as His instrument to manifest His glory here on Earth. People will see your life and even the hardships that you experience, and it can prompt the observers to ask how you are able to respond in such a positive manner. God uses us to bring people closer to making a decision to accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior.To bring about this salvation, it required a team effort through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit long ago.

John 3:16-17
16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Whoever believes is a key point. Man himself cannot believe in God. The Holy Spirit must convict one of his or her sin and enable the person to make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ.

When you serve Jesus Christ, you are on the team to reach others, and it is a team effort.

1 Corinthians 3:5-8
5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

To work for Jesus is to be actively involved in reaching others. All of us who serve Christ are part of the team–the question is your role. God will challenge your heart, first and foremost, for its sincerity in service for Him. Our love for others will be evident as we remember how God loves us.

1 Thessalonians 2:3-10
3 For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. 4 Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. 5 For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness— 6 and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others. 7 Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle[a] among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. 8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-20
11 As you know, like a father with his own children, 12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

13 This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us; they displease God and are hostile to everyone, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result, they are always completing the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them at last.

17 But as for us, brothers, after we were forced to leave you for a short time (in person, not in heart), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face. 18 So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy!

Our team effort consists of being obedient to His will and using our personal abilities to serve within the body of Christ, without letting hardships or adversity slow you down. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is to share your life with others. It starts with your focus on living a life that is holy and blameless. Your obedience to God is what draws people nearer to you, and as a result, nearer to Him.

The result of these efforts is a testimony that brings people to Christ. We need to share, to teach and provide guidance about truth and repentance. Once we do this, the gospel can be presented. It is the greatest work that you will ever be a part of.

Colossians 1:28
We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
but violence takes lives.

Daniel 12:3
Those who are wise will shine
like the bright expanse of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars forever and ever.

1 John 3:4
Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

James 5:15
The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

Your effective work for Jesus Christ requires a focus on Him, His sacrifice for all of us brings joy in the midst of your struggles and suffering. It reveals God’s love for us and for others who see and hear our testimony of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:15
But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

John 8:36
Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.

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