General Booth once sent a telegram to every captain in the Salvation Army. He insisted everyone come together in the churches to hear this telegram, and be there when it is read. Salvation Armies across the UK and further afield gathered to read this powerful telegram, sitting in their church halls with expectation for this powerful message from the General. When everyone was ready, the various captains all opened the telegram to tell their people and everyone was shocked. The telegram was not long, it was short. It was actually just one word, in capitals with an exclaimation mark: OTHERS!
The Salvation Army people in all the churches sat there and took it in: OTHERS! God started speaking to people across the Salvation Army and they started to realize afresh that the Christian life is not about you! It’s not all about you, it is about others.
There are other people on the planet than you. It’s not all about you, you should not be living your life for you. You should not be spending all your money on you. You should not just be serving you. You should not just be laying down your life for you. Paul said “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2.4, ESV). All the blessings and grace you have in your life – that should be used not just for you and is not all about you.
You need to know today that:
CHRIST IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. Other people need Jesus. Right now there are millions of people across planet earth not even close enough to a church to go to church. There are others that the church does not help because the churches around them think just about themselves. Jesus is not just for you! It’s great you love Jesus, it’s great you love worship, it’s great you love singing praises and you love His presence, but please please please realize that Christ is not just for you and so many people do not know Him! They have never heard the gospel! They have never seen the love and power of Christ. Think about and pray about and dream about how you can get Christ to others.
CHURCH IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. I know if you go to Tree of Life you go to a great church, with lots of love and care, and you probably help make that happen too. But church is not just for you – others need to be in the Tree of Life, others need to be cared for by us. All Christians need a church and all Christians need a pastor. It is great to be a Christian, but a Christian in a good church with a good pastor – that is whole different level. So, how can we help other people find church? Tell them about it, recommend it, maybe even pray about being an elder or helping us pioneer a new Tree of Life. I know the church is feeding you well, but how can you help others get fed, because it is not all about you! It’s great you are coming, great you are enjoying the great food we are feeding, the great messages that right now are coming almost daily to you, but do not forget about the others. Take heed of General Booth’s one word telegram: OTHERS! Others need shepherds, help us plant churches in more towns, more cities, more villages, more nations! Others need church, others need shepherds, others need to be discipled!
THE GOSPEL IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! The good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone. How can you take it to others? How can you help others get it? My passion is to go deep with the Tree of Life Family and really build us on the Word of God, but at the same time my passion is to go as far as possible and share the good news with as many people as possible. Others matter, and others need the gospel!
A GREAT SERMON IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! If you heard a great message, share it with people. Let them know about it.
YOUR MONEY IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! You should be tithing, giving offerings and using your money to help take care not just of your things but the things of others!
MIRACLES ARE NOT JUST FOR YOU. Since going on TV, I have found everybody wants their miracle, their healing, their breakthrough, but very few are actively helping others get their miracle. God wants you to be a worker of miracles, not just a recipient of miracles.
BEING FREE TO BE YOU IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. Paul became all things to all men to win them. He didn’t whine about his rights or his freedom, he adapted to the situation as not to offend people or upset them, without compromising the gospel Sometimes people want things so much their way because they have never considered the interest of others.
HAVING PROBLEMS IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. So many Christians are just thinking of themselves and their problems and their issues all the time. But other people have problems too. Some people have bigger problems than you, some people have more complicated problems than you. But most of us are so obsessed with our problems, we do not realize other people are having problems too, and we do not help others with their burdens.
I want to remind you all today we all have problems. We all need some compassion, we all need gentleness. Stop thinking about yourself all the time, and think about others – as you do the love of God will flow through you and start giving you wise ideas on how to help others. It’s going to change everything.