Sunday, August 24, 2008

Share The Virus

We had the greatest experience at church this morning. My church organized a missions weekend, with a dinner last night featuring an awesome singing group from Zambia, Africa, and they also sung this morning for our congregation. It was such a blessing to have them perform for us and share Gods word through the gift of music.

It has been said that Zambia is a country where not much good can come out of it - but this group of talented young men proved that rumor wrong and are a shining light for what God can do even in the worst of circumstances if people are willing to share His love.

In coordination with their visit, our pastor gave a message on the importance of missions. He "spun" his message around an interesting concept - viruses - and I want to share the basic parts of his message with you because it was so interesting!

When we think of a virus, we usually think of something bad, such as germs, illnesses, infections, and yuckiness. But if you think about what a virus really is, it is simply something that spreads quickly through its host, making changes in bodies, and then is easily contagious to others.

Lets look at the Webster definition of a virus:

a: the causative agent of an infectious disease
b: any of a large group of submicroscopic infective agents that are regarded either as extremely simple microorganisms or as extremely complex molecules,that are capable of growth and multiplication
c: something that poisons the mind or soul

Hmmmm... very interesting huh?! I thought so! I have never thought of Christianity as a positive virus, but we can actually apply the above definition to our faith. We want to be a causative agent, causing others to "catch" the vision of a life filled with Christ. We want to help the kingdom of God grow and multiply as a result of our love for Him and sharing our beliefs with others. And although we dont poison the soul, we can penetrate the souls of others by leading them to Christ, forever affecting their mind and their souls for eternity.

The pastor went on to explain that this "virus" crosses all cultures, languages, locations, countries, ages, genders, etc. Christianity is not for one specific group or country, it is for everyone. It is not an exclusive religion, but instead is one that includes anyone and everyone who embraces it with their heart. Therefore it is our calling to spread our faith with everyone we can, in the US but also throughout the world - thus the importance of international missions.

It is our God given duty to spread the gospel to those who have no other way of hearing His word, but just as importantly, we are to share the gospel with those who live in our country, in our communities, our neighborhoods, and our own homes. So many times we try to keep our worship focused in our own churches, denominations, specific worship styles, and our own music and rituals - but its not about us - it is about reaching the lost for Christ. Amen!

He also mentioned that viruses experience exponential growth. If you are like my family, if one person gets the stomach virus, it is only a matter of days before everyone else has it too! Viruses are so contagious! Isnt it awesome to think that we could have that same impact for Christ? If we tell one person, then may tell two people, who might tell three people, who each tell four more people - THE WORD could spread like wildfire!

So many times we may think that we cant make a difference - but friend, we can! God can use even the smallest child to make a difference, but it has to start with a willingness to take that step out of our comfort zone and share His love and His truth with someone in need. Then the rest is up to God - it is His job to grow the seeds, it is simply our job to plant them - to start spreading the virus!

I love the way 2 Timothy 2:2 tells us to act, and here is that verse from The Message Bible:

1-7So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!— to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn't get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It's the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain

Isnt that awesome?! We are told to throw ourselves into speaking out for Christ - to spreading that virus, to pass on what we know, to share that hope that each of has tucked away in our hearts. It may not always be easy, but knowing that we could possibly be used by God as His instrument to build an army of leaders is a huge privilege!

Matthew 9:37 says Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.: Sadly enough, even in biblical times, there was a shortage of people who were willing to take a step of faith and be willing to share the truth of Christ with those who were lost or hurting. There are so many Christians in our country, so many wonderful people who God could use to exponentially grow His kingdom - if only they would say yes to be His voice. If only they would be willing to be His hands and feet, to be the salt and light of the earth.

You know, we probably all spread a lot of things every day. Some days we spread happiness and encouragement, maybe even joy and compassion. But unfortunately, there are days when we also spread negativity, discouragement, gossip, bitterness, bad moods, pessimism and a lot of other ugly viruses.

Lets make a choice to spread something good today - the love of a Savior who wants to reach the hearts of every living person - are you with me?

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Eternity777 said...

Wow, Tracie - very interesting indeed!!! I would love to take this information and share it with several ladies I know. I want desperately to have the virus of the love of Christ, and to be contagious to everyone I come in contact with. Thank you for your post - very encouraging for me today!!! God bless,

Joyful said...

Great teaching. Thinking too often we receive an anti-viral needle or medication to keep us from 'catching' any virus's. We sometimes build up an immunity and are no longer touched by the needs and cares around us. Our response is often to produce an antibody that neutralizes us from spreading God's love. I don't want to be "anti body"...anti all those God created and loves. Praying He will use me to spread His Word and love today and that I'd be highly contagious!