Sunday, April 3, 2011

An Energizer Heart for Jesus! Romans 15:15-33

Did you ever see the Energizer Bunny on TV? He’s that bunny that just keeps going and going! He’s “gung-ho” and never stops! Do you know what “gung-ho” means? --------------- It’s a term that we use to describe somebody who is all excited about something. We use “gung-ho” to talk about someone who gives something his or her very best effort. You might be “gung-ho” at soccer or basketball if you get out on the court or field and hustle, hustle, hustle! You may be “gung-ho” and not the star player on the team. You are “gung-ho” because of the effort and energy you put into something not because you are necessarily the star player. 15-16 So, my dear friends, … I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God's Holy Spirit. 17-21 Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I'd even say proud, but only in that context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders. In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece. This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped. My text has been, Those who were never told of him— they'll see him! Those who've never heard of him— they'll get the message! 22-24 And that's why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you. But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years, I'm planning my visit. … My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ's more extravagant blessings. 30-33 I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. … God willing, I'll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. God's peace be with all of you. Oh, yes! --Romans 15:15-33, The Message Paul had a “gung-ho” heart for God to tell other people about Jesus and God’s love. Paul was willing to go anywhere people would listen. Sometimes that meant taking a long journey or being in danger but Paul kept going because he was like the Energizer Bunny with his “gung-ho” heart! It was God and God’s love that kept Paul going. Paul knew that God had given him a BIG job. Paul wanted to work for God no matter what. Paul also knew that he wasn’t the star of the show. He was like the soccer or basketball player who plays with all his or her heart whether he gets a goal or basket or not! Paul knows that he is doing God’s work and that only God can help him keep on like the Energizer Bunny. God gave him his “gung-ho” heart in the first place. God keeps Paul going like the Energizer Bunny. God is the batteries that keep Paul going. Paul works to build God’s Kingdom with all his “gung-ho” heart and God keeps Paul going! Paul knows Jesus is the star! Paul is just the “gung-ho” Energizer Bunny for Jesus! Paul knows that he needs a lot of prayer so his batteries will keep being recharged! He asks the Christians in Rome to pray for him and to keep praying. Paul is planning to come see his friends in Rome after he goes to Jerusalem to drop off a little gift to the church in Jerusalem. Paul wants his friends in Rome to have “gung-ho” hearts for God! He wants them to work as hard for God and God’s Kingdom as Paul is. Paul wants them to be Energizer Bunnies with him in God’s Kingdom! God wants you and me to be Energizer Bunnies for God, too! What does an Energizer Bunny for God do? An Energizer Bunny for God works with a “gung-ho” heart giving all he or she has to tell other people - boys and girls at school, friends in your neighborhood or anyone else - how good and great God is! It is not about winning the most people. It’s not about any kind of measure of success in who tells the most people about Jesus! It is really simple: an Energizer Bunny for God just puts his or her whole heart into loving God and other people. An Energizer Bunny for God just doesn’t stop showing other people what loving Jesus looks like!

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