Friday, November 14, 2003
Recently I met a man from St. Joseph, Missouri, and I surprised him with my trivia knowledge when I said, "Pony Express country, right?" He confirmed my recollection that his town was the beginning of the famous Pony Express. Those guys rode their way right into the history books. They're practically legends of the Old West - riding endless hours through hostile territory, risking their lives to deliver the mail to the West Coast. You probably know that part. What you may not know is how many guys we're talking about here in this legendary operation - just 80 riders, and only one mail delivery was ever lost. How long did the Pony Express run? Only 18 months! It only took a few people a short time to make a great impact!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Riding to Glory."
For most of us, our ride through this life will last, on average, about 70 years. Some will get more, some a lot less. The question is how much of a mark will you leave in the years you have left? Inside all of us is this deep desire to make our life count, a desire to do something significant while we're here.
Maybe you know that restlessness inside that says, "I want to make a greater difference with the rest of my life than I have made until now." Then you need to hear our word for today from the Word of God from Daniel 12:3. It's God's road map to making the greatest possible mark you can make with the one life you have. Here's what He says. "Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever."
God says the way to have a life that matters forever is to "lead many to righteousness." And this side of the cross, we know that means leading many to Jesus. Now what immortalized those young men of the Pony Express? They were people with a message willing to risk whatever necessary to deliver that message. And they made a huge mark in a very short time.
If you belong to Jesus, you need to see your life-assignment as God does - you're a person with a message to deliver. The significance of your life depends on how faithful you are in delivering it. In 2 Corinthians 5:19, the Bible says, God "has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us." The message: "Come to Jesus and get the relationship with God you were made for." Your assignment: "ambassador" - Jesus' personal representative to the people where you work, where you live, where you go to school, where you shop. You're there to take some of those people to heaven with you.
How are you doing? Maybe you say, "I'm afraid to tell them about what Jesus. I might mess it up." God doesn't need your perfect presentation to reach the heart of the person you care about. He does need for you to tell them about Jesus. The only way you can fail in your mission is to remain silent.
Maybe you're not delivering your message because you fear the risks - the risk of building a relationship with lost people, of getting started, of being rejected. But "God has not given us a spirit of fear." Please let God show you that the greatest risk of all is that you will lose this person forever because they never got the message about Jesus.
Like those heroic Pony Express riders, if you'll dedicate your life to delivering your life-giving message, if you'll risk whatever it takes to get that message through, then your heart-cry for a life that counts will be answered big-time. As you lead people to Jesus, you are riding to glory - eternal glory.