Wednesday, April 8, 2015
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There he was in the homes of some ten million Americans every night - NBC's TV news anchorman. The voice that millions trust, or did trust. The most experienced, most watched anchorman in the country facing the worst possible question, "Can we believe him?"
Because of dramatic stories that he told about his assignments in the Middle East and during Hurricane Katrina; except in different tellings, there were different accounts. Accounts challenged by people who actually were there. So an anchorman had lost the one thing that a man with that kind of influence really can't do without - trust. I mean, if you're reporting important news, credibility is everything, especially if that news is life-or-death information from God.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Losing Trust Can Lose a Soul."
The Gospel! That's what it's called. That means "Good News." It is the only news in the world on which eternities depend. The Bible says in Romans 1:16 (NLT), "This Good News about Christ...is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes."
And every follower of Jesus is God's embedded reporter of that news to the people in their circle of influence - at work, at school, where you live, where you play, where you shop. It's spelled out really clearly and powerfully in our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 5, verses 19-20. "He gave us this wonderful message...we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!'"
When you're the one responsible to report the Ultimate Story - God's Story - there's one thing you can't afford to lose - trust - because your life doesn't back it up. A person has to first trust the messenger usually before they will trust the message. So most people who come to Jesus do it because of a Christian they know. And most people who reject Jesus do it because of a Christian they know.
Your life, my life is either a magnet that attracts a lost person to Jesus, or it's an excuse for them to walk away from Him. In so doing, to walk possibly into an eternity without Him. So, I really need to constantly ask myself, "Is my life backing up the message? What is there in my life, what is there in the way I talk, what is there in the way I treat people, what is there in my attitude that contradicts what Jesus is like?"
Like lying for example. Like talking behind someone's back. Is that part of the you that people know where you're the ambassador? How about that short fuse? The dirty joke? A mean spirit? A selfish attitude? "Checking out" women? Hurting words? It could be just that "me first" vibe you give out. A critical spirit? No time to stop for the wounded person? That just so contradicts everything you say about Jesus.
And if I've lost their trust by my hypocrisy, I need to seek their forgiveness. Because I failed to show them how real Jesus is. I want to be a reason for people to trust Jesus, because they could trust me.