Irresistible Life – I believe with all my heart that the kingdom of God and the church should be irresistible. Church should be a strategic group of irresistible environments – irresistible children’s ministries, youth ministries, adult ministries, praise/worship, teaching, etc. Jesus was irresistible. Every place he would go, he strategically made irresistible environments for people to enjoy and that allowed him to minister to them and for them to enter the kingdom. Jesus said,
Simply Irresistible Kingdom
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: John 12:32, John 1:4-5, Matthew 5:14, Matthew 5:15-16, Luke 10:39-42, Acts 9:36, Acts 4:36, Acts 10:2, 24
[John 12:32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAW ALL MEN unto me.
Jesus was IRRESISTIBLE when he was on the earth and even more IRRESISTIBLE after his resurrection. He had an Irresistible Life. More people are Christians today than ever in history. Everyday, the kingdom of God is increasing and filling the earth just as Daniel said it would (Dan 2:34-45, 44). I want us to see that no matter what we hear the doom and gloomers saying, the kingdom of God is winning the battle against the kingdom of darkness. Jesus said he would draw (drag) all men to himself. No one is immune to the pulling power of Jesus – NO ONE! I know that is true.
What we do to set up strategic environments for the kingdom is the most important thing that we can do. Here is why. We are all products of our environments. Put a group of teens in a rock concert and that environment captures them. Put that same group in a strategically designed environment set for praise and worship to God and they are captured by that environment. There is nothing more important that any of us can do than to strategically make this place irresistible by having an Irresistible Life. That way when children, teens, adults, or anyone comes in they enjoy it and are drawn into the kingdom. Jesus wants his church to create IRRESISTIBLE ENVIRONMENTS.
I want to talk today about the IRRESISTIBLE LIFE. Jesus had an IRRESISTIBLE LIFE.
John 1:4-5 In him was LIFE, and that LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Notice how the Bible relates LIFE and LIGHT. Jesus was an IRRESISTIBLE LIFE because of the LIGHT he was. We understand that he was not a literal light walking around. Yet, his LIFE was THE LIGHT of men.
I know the life of Jesus was irresistible, but I want to talk about your life, my life, and every life in the kingdom. The Bible says that we are his body. We are his hands, feet, mouth, arms, his heart, etc. We are to be like him, so if his life was a light, then our lives are also lights. One reason that the kingdom of God was for thousands of years and is today SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE is the radiant lives of the people in the kingdom. It has not only been the life of Jesus. Jesus said,
[Matthew 5:14] “You are THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A city on a hill CANNOT be hidden.
Jesus compared our lives to light also except he said that we are the light (Strong’s #5457, phos – luminousness) of the world. You are THE LIGHT, not “a light.” You are it. There is not another light. The kingdom and the church is God’s plan A, plan B, plan C, etc. It is his only plan to bring light to this world. Can you dig that? You are the light of the world (kosmos – Strong’s #2889 – arrangement, i.e. decoration). You are the light to society’s arrangement – environment. Jesus compared what the church does for the world to what the sun does for the planet. The earth must have the sun to flourish. Without the sun, there is darkness. In the same way, the world must have the kingdom of God to flourish. Without the kingdom, there is darkness. Our lives – our lights (phos) – are SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. We all need to have an Irresistible Life.
Jesus strategically places a church in a region to bring light – phos – to that region. We are a phos to this region. We are here because God has placed us here just as he placed the sun for this planet. This region needs us. That is what Jesus designed his church to be. Jesus said that when we do church correctly, we are like a huge city on a hill that CANNOT BE HIDDEN. You are irresistible. Do you know how many visitors New York City had in 2003? 37.8 million people visited New York City from all over the world.Do you know how many people live in the NYC, Manhattan, and Bronx area? About 11 million live there. Judy and I went to NYC several years ago. It is an awesome city. We stopped along the interstate and looked at the Statue of Liberty and at New York City. It was irresistible. You do know that many of the immigrants that came to America came through New York. Perhaps your ancestors came through there. Jesus said he would draw all men. We had to go into that city. We got lost and that was not good, but looking at the city was an incredible experience. Isn’t that the way church should be? People should look at it and then it should pull them in. God designed his church and kingdom to be incredible. It is to be SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. A reason is we all should have an Irresistible Life. Not so much perfect as irresistible.
If that is true and I am part of the phos of the world then why am I not “drawing” more people to the kingdom ofGod? Why is Life Gate not doing better at this? Why are you not doing better at this? You invite people all the time. Right? Why don’t they come? Well, Jesus said that it is because I have put my light under a bushel.
Matthew 5:15-16 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Jesus changed gears a little by going from the phos great light that we are as the church, to a single candle – (luchnos – Strong’s #3088) meaning a portable lamp used in a room in a house. Instead of positioning the light so it can give light to my room, we place a bushel or basket over it.
Jesus said that God designed us to light a room. When you walk into a room, something lights up. I remember a true funny story. A man and woman were married and she attended our church, but he did not. One dark night he got out of bed and said a few choice words after stumbling over something in the floor and hurting his toe. He yelled, “Turn the light on!” She said, “I am a light.” He said, “Then open your mouth so that I can see.”
There is a lot of truth there. The Bible tells the story about Jesus being at the house of Mary and Martha. Mary and others sat and listened as Jesus opened his mouth and became the light that God designed him to be.
Luke 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
You may remember the story. Martha became aggravated with Mary because she would not help take care of the guests. Here is what Jesus said.
Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “YOU ARE WORRIED AND UPSET ABOUT MANY THINGS, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
People are worried and upset about many things. But, what they need is for someone to open their mouth and let their light shine. They need someone to take the bushel off, lift the light high, and give them what is better.
Jesus said that we have an IRRESISTIBLE LIVE when we LET OUR LIGHTS SHINE. So, what is your light?
I began to think about that thought. I realized something. There is one thing that I do that I cannot ever remember failing to be SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE when I took the opportunity to “unbushel” it. That one thing is when I have gotten to share what God has shown me about the eternal kingdom of God. I thought back to when I first came to this area. I would sit around tables with people who would have me over. We would talk and eventually I took the bushel off and shared with them deeper things about the eternal kingdom of God. You might say, “Well, Delbert, you share about the kingdom of God every week.” No, I really do not, at least, not to the extent that I am capable.
I think about some of the young people who we raised under this ministry and have now moved away to other regions following their dreams. They have all had difficulty finding a church where they can truly lock in. That may sound like a bad thing, but they heard a truth about the everlasting kingdom and now they just will not settle for just any teaching called the gospel.
Why have so many people stayed with me for twenty years? It is because of what I taught them about God’s eternal kingdom. I think about some of you. Your life has changed over the past few short years that you have known me. I had the opportunity to “unbushel” my light and tell you in depth about God’s eternal kingdom. It is a powerful and IRRESISTIBLE message. Once heard and seen in the scriptures, a life changes forever. Those of you, who know what I am talking about, please raise your hand to verify what I said.
The remainder of us may not understand what I am saying. You are probably saying, “Well, if it is so powerful and IRRESISTIBLE then tell me.” I would love to and plan to next week in the lesson called IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH. Today, I am attempting to make a point. It is when I “unbushel” my light, and LET IT SHINE, that I seeIRRESISITIBLE results. It is then that I have an IRRESISTIBLE LIFE.
What is your LIGHT? You too have something that makes your life irresistible. You are a light also. Jesus said you are.
Let me tell you a story that I read about a man named Edward Kimball. He was a normal man. He worked a normal job. He attended a normal church. He taught a normal Bible study class. One day a young man named Dwight visited his class. One Saturday as Ed was preparing his Sunday school lesson, Ed felt a burden to visit the shoe store where Dwight worked and “unbushel” his light by sharing the gospel with that young man. That day a Dwight L Moody surrendered his life to Jesus. Dwight L. Moody eventually became a great evangelist in the US and England. God drew and saved thousands of people through Moody’s light. Moody also began the Moody Bible Institute that continues to minister today. Moody awakened an evangelistic zeal in the heart of another “normal” man named Fredrick B. Meyer who brought to Christ a “normal” man named J. Wilbur Chapman who brought to Christ a “normal” man named Billy Sunday. Perhaps you have heard of Billy Sunday. He was another great evangelist who shined his light who, without the aid of microphones, TV, or radio preached to over 100 million people.. Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, N.C. There, a group of local men became so enthusiastic that they planned another evangelistic campaign, bringing a man named Mordecai Hamm to town to preach. DuringHamm’s revival, another “normal” young man named Billy Graham heard the gospel and gave his life to Christ. I do not need to explain what Billy Graham accomplished. All that happened because a man named Edward Kimball LET his light shine.
My point is, who knows what will happen if you let your life shine. God has given you something that causes you to light up a room. What is it? It may not be to teach a Sunday school class. It probably is not to preach. BUT, IT IS SOMETHING. Something about you is SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. What is it? I want you to think. What is it that you do that draws people to you? My wife is a great counselor. She is a very wise woman and enjoys talking with and helping people. I get amazed sometimes at the light that comes out her mouth.
The Bible tells us about a woman named Tabitha who shined her life by doing good and helping people.
Acts 9:36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.
She influenced many lives with her goodness. She enjoyed doing things for people and because of her goodness, many were drawn into the kingdom.
The Bible tells us about a man named Joseph whose light was encouraging people. He did this so well that people began calling him Barnabas – Son of Encouragement.
Acts 4:36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),
Barnabas was always bringing someone into the kingdom. Did you know that Barnabas encouraged the apostle Paul to do his ministry?
The Bible tells us about a Roman soldier named Cornelius. He had a gift of giving.
Acts 10:2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
He brought in his relatives and friends. He let his light shine AND created an IRRESISTIBLE ENVIRONMENTwhere the Holy Spirit fell.
Acts 10:24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
So, as we LET OUR LIGHTS SHINE, and set up strategic environments, the Holy Spirit comes and brings people into the kingdom. The kingdom of God is to be SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. We are to create IRRESISTIBLE ENVIRONMENTS that allow the Holy Spirit to work and Jesus to draw all men into the kingdom. We should have an irresistible life. God made you an IRRESISTIBLE LIFE. There is a light in you that is IRRESISTIBLE. What is it? Is it helping people, encouraging people, or maybe giving? It is SOMETHING and it is when we take the bushel off that we become SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE.
Other Related Sermons:
NYC & Company, http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=57
US Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US36&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-PH1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=ST-7