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Be A Christianizer


Suppose everyone was a soul winner like you, read the Bible like you, prayed like you, and attended church like you, what would the world be like?

Suppose every person in the world was the same type of person you are. Husband or wife, son or daughter, father or mother, church member, citizen, or employee. Suppose every person was a soul winner like you. Suppose everybody read the Bible like you, prayed like you, attended church like you, and had an attitude like you.

Would it be a good thing if your companion, your children, your fellow coworkers, and your neighbors were changed into the same type of Christian that you are? Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

And as we become Christians our lives must be in perfect harmony with the will of God. Our lives should be contagious to those around us.

If we are a Christian, we will “Christianize” those around us. A Christian is a “Christianizes.” We are to be Christ-like in thought, Christ-like in word, and Christ-like in our deeds. We need to frequently take a self-check to answer the question: Am I an example of a Christian that God would have me to be?

We are still looking at the Parables which Jesus used to teach us how we should live. Today’s Parable is the Parable of the Leaven. We find the Parable in two places in the Gospels. Matthew 13:33: Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened.” Look also at Luke 13:20-21 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.” In the parable, Jesus used leaven to symbolize the wholesome influence of his Kingdom, the Church.

So, this morning let’s look at some of the qualities of leaven and the application of that leaven to our lives.

1. Leaven works inwardly.

God works the same way - from the inside out. From the heart, life's issues flow and build character. In the parable, the leaven hid in three measures of meal, and there it started its work.

Conversion and reformation – that is change - must spring from the heart, from within.

In Luke 17:21, Jesus says the “Kingdom of God is within you.

” Paul, in his writing to the Church at Colosse in Colossians 3:1-4 says God works within to change the without.

Colossians 3:1-4: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Christ changes our ambitions to the heavenly. We seek those heavenly things by recognizing Jesus, who is in Heaven as our head. We are members of his body. We do his will in our lives. He changes our minds from earthly to heavenly. To set our affection on Him is to direct our thoughts and desires toward things in Heaven. We cultivate an earnest desire for them, following the paths that lead to them. By faith we are crucified to ourselves, we have died to our own life and now we appropriate the life of Jesus into ours.

2. To be effective leaven must make contact.

Leaven influences what it comes into contact with. It is not influenced by what it comes into contact with. In the parable the meal would have remained unleavened unless the leaven had been placed therein, so many will remain non-Christians unless we make contact with them. Church buildings don’t fill up on their own. We all know someone or many someones we can invite to church or share the Gospel with.

Luigi Tarisio was found dead one morning. There were very few comforts in his home. But those who found him there also found 246 exquisite violins, which he had been collecting all his life. They were crammed into an attic. The best of the violins was found in the bottom drawer of an old rickety chest. He held a very special devotion to his violins. But he had robbed the world of all that music all the time he treasured them to himself. Others before him had done the same, so that when the greatest of his collection, a Stradivarius, was first played, after Luigi’s death, that Stadivarius had been silent for 147 speechless years.

Yet, how many of Christ’s people are like old Luigi Tarisio? In our very love of the church, we fail to give the good news of the Gospel to the world. In our own search for the truth, we neglect to publish it to a lost and dying world. We must learn that the Good News needs not just to be cherished but needs to be told. All people need to hear it.

If we are growing spiritually each one of us will see to it that we grow numerically because we will freely share our hope (the Gospel) with others. Paul says as we should also “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. “Romans 1:16

3. Leaven works persistently.

It is amazing how much good can be done by just one person, or just a few working together. Lot could have saved a city and Jonah did. Starting with 12 men Christ changed the course of the world. We should never say “I can’t do that.” Remember what Paul said to the church at Philippi? “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” Philippians 4:13

4. Leaven must change the substance that it comes in contact with.

In the home, Christians change strife to peace, selfishness to selflessness, harshness to kindness, and hate to love.

In the church, we should change indifference to zeal, pessimism to faith, turmoil to peace, and defeat to victory. Christians, whether on the job, in school, or wherever they are should fight against evil by changing dishonesty into integrity, impure speech into wholesome language, and immorality into purity. The world needs the preserving influence of Christians being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are not to conform; we are to transform. We are to overcome the world, not to be overcome by the world. Leaven influences and is not influenced.

Hear John as he writes in 1 John 5:3-5: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

5. Leaven works by contagion until the whole is leavened.

God wants the whole person - the inner man- to control the outer person. Matthew 6:24 says no man can serve two masters. Through us, God wants to reach others. Jesus uses leaven in this parable as a symbol of the wholesome influence Christians should have. We are to influence the world to become Christ-like.

Teddy Stallard surely qualified as “one of the least” interested in school. He was a bit smelly, his clothing wrinkled, hair never combed, and whenever Miss Thompson, his fifth-grade teacher, spoke to him, he always answered in monosyllables, more like a grunt. He was unattractive, distant, and just plain hard to like.

His teacher said she loved all her class the same, but deep down inside she was not being completely honest with herself. Whenever she corrected Teddy’s papers, she got a certain pleasure out of putting big red “X’s” next to his wrong answers, and when she put an “F” on the top of his test papers, she always seemed to enjoy it. She should have known better. She knew more about Teddy than she wanted to admit. His school records read like this:

  • 1st Grade: Teddy shows promise with his work, but has a poor home environment.

  • 2nd Grade: Teddy could do better. His mother is seriously ill. He receives little help from home.

  • 3rd Grade: Teddy is a good boy. He is a slow learner, his mother died last year.

  • 4th Grade: Teddy is very slow but well-behaved. His father shows no interest in him.

Christmas came, and Miss Thompson’s class brought her presents. They piled their gifts on her desk and crowded around to watch her open them. Among them was one from Teddy. His gift was wrapped in plain brown paper and held together with scotch tape. On the paper, he had written these simple words, “For Miss Thompson, From Teddy.” When she opened his present out fell a gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with some of the stones missing, and a used bottle of cheap perfume.

The other boys and girls began to giggle and smirk over Teddy’s gifts, but Miss Thompson at least had the good sense to silence them by trying on the bracelet and spraying some of the perfume on her wrist. Stretching out her hand toward the children she asked, “Doesn’t it smell lovely?” Taking their cue from the teacher, the children agreed with “oo’s” and “ahs’s”.

At the end of the school day, Teddy lingered behind after the other children had left. He slowly approached her desk and said, “Miss Thompson, my mother’s bracelet looks really pretty on you.

And you smell just like my mother, the perfume was hers too. Whenever I miss her, I smell her perfume and it reminds me of her! I am glad you liked my presents.” When Teddy left, Miss Thompson got down on her knees and wept as she asked God to forgive her.

The next day the children were greeted by a new teacher. Miss Thompson had become a different person. She no longer was just a teacher; she had become an agent of God’s love. She was committed to loving her class and doing things for them that would live on after her. She helped all the children, especially the slow ones, and especially Teddy. By the end of the school year, Teddy showed dramatic improvement. He had caught up with most of the class and was even ahead of some.

She didn’t hear from Teddy for a long time. Then one day, years later, she received a graduation announcement with an enclosed note.

Dear Miss Thompson: I want you to be the first to know that I will be graduating second in my high school class. Thank you for believing in me when no one else did. Love, Teddy Stallard

Four years later, another graduation announcement came to Miss Thompson.

Dear Miss Thompson: I have just been informed that I will be graduating first in my college class. The work was challenging, but I enjoyed it. Thank you for all that you have done for me. Love, Teddy Stallard

Finally, she received the most exciting graduation announcement of them all.

Dear Miss Thompson:

As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I wanted you to be the first to know. I’m getting married next month, the 27th to be exact. I want you to come and sit where my mother would sit if she was alive. You are the only family I have now; Dad died last year. Love, Teddy Stallard.

Miss Thompson went to that wedding and sat where Teddy’s mother would have sat. She deserved to sit there; she had done something for Teddy that he would never forget.

The only way for the leaven of the Gospel to reach and influence the entire world is for every Christian to make sure they have within themselves the qualities of leaven that Jesus requires.

1. Leaven works inwardly-God works from the inside out.

2. Leaven must make contact. It influences and is not influenced.

3. Leaven works persistently.

4. Leaven must change the substance that it comes in contact with.

5. Leaven works by contagion until the whole is leavened.

Suppose everyone was a soul winner like you, read the Bible like you, prayed like you, and attended church like you, can you imagine what would the world be like?

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