“GOT RICE?”                                                                    By Pastor YAU

Text: John 1:35-42                                                            October 2, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION: For thousands of years, rice has been the common basic food stuff for people in Asia and Africa as wheat has been   in Europe and America. Generation after generation people raise families and children with rice.  But what is the meaning of the “Got RICE?” posters all around our church anyway? As the Mission Committee has explained the meaning and the purpose of the slogan for a Mission and Outreach campaign, let us see them from different perspectives:

1)    The meaning of RICE: This is an acronym of 4 words: Reaching Individuals concerning Christ for Eternity. This slogan was chosen by the Mission committee from many suggestions for the coming campaign of a mission and outreach program.

2)     The purpose of RICE: As rice is the essential and nutritious food for physical needs of people, RICE is the essential and important ingredient for Christian spiritual growth. Christians will certainly grow stronger and more effective for the Kingdom of God if they all will get involved with RICE.

 

THE COMPONENTS OF RICE:

1)     Reaching: This is the Key to the success of the whole campaign: people need to reach out to GO. This is also an echo to the call of Jesus when He asked His followers to “go to all nations” in Matt. 28:19. If there is no going, it doesn’t matter what else we may do, there won’t be results.

2)     Individuals: God did and still use many great preachers in massive evangelistic rallies to reach tens of thousands of people and bring hundreds or even thousands to repentance and salvation. But He had also used and will continue to use individual Christians to bring many individuals to be saved through personal witnessing.

3)     Concerning Christ: Outreaching to people mass is not a monopoly by Christians. It has been used by business planners, political campaigns and social activists for monetary, political and social concerns. But we reach out for a different purpose: we want to reach out to non-believers with the message of Christ. He is the only hope of salvation. Our purpose is to bring people to know and accept Christ and be saved through His forgiveness of sins.

4)     For eternity: While many human pursuits are important and valuable, none of the pursuits of man will last beyond the grave. Before His ascension, Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples for salvation of man back to with God in eternity. We are engaging in something that will last forever. 

 

BIBLICAL BASES OF “RICE”:

1)     RICE is a Commandment by the Lord: Reaching people for Christ was commanded by the Lord Jesus in what was called the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. The Great Commission has been the guidepost of Christian movement in the past 2,000 years. It is the lifeline of Christian worldwide expansion in making tens of millions of people disciples for the Lord Jesus.

2)     RICE is the foundation of the Church: Since the first church at the Pentecost recorded in Acts chapter 2, the Church of Jesus Christ is on business of saving the lost. From the preaching of Peter to personal witnessing by the early Christians, millions were saved and tens of thousands of churches were built to continue the campaign of salvation through Jesus Christ.

3)     RICE is the mission of the called: Through out the 2,000 years of Christian history from the day the Apostle Paul was called to bring the gospel message to the gentile world, tens of thousands were called to give their lives as missionaries, evangelists, pastors and teachers to teach people the salvation message taught by the Lord.

4)     RICE is the cornerstone of the Kingdom of God: It is by reaching the lost and bringing them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God is being built and expanded everyday and everywhere on earth. The Lord will come one day to receive His bride, the saints, into His Kingdom of eternity.

 

“RICE” IN THE BIBLE: The focal passage from John 1:35-42

1)     RICE begins with a personal testimony: It was the testimony of an individual John the Baptist, two of his disciples found the Savior Jesus and followed Him. (1:35) Again, it was the testimony of another individual Andrew, Peter was led to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. It was the testimonies of millions of believers, tens of millions were led to the salvation knowledge of Jesus Christ. (40-41) While God does use some mighty evangelists to lead hundreds or even thousands to believe in Jesus at one time in massive rallies, it is the personal reaching out by faithful believers to families and friends, co-workers and classmates, that build the strong foundation of the Christian Church.

2)     RICE points to Jesus the Savior: As John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God, the God ordained sacrifice for the remission of the sins of men, (36) Andrew witnessed to his brother Peter that they had found the Messiah, the Savior. While many had found their dream teachers of philosophy, fine arts, ideology, politics and even religion and many other fields of academic pursuits, it is Jesus, only Jesus, is the Savior of the world. Many people had pointed to great men in human history, none of them, including many founders of popular religions and philosophies, could ever save themselves much less save anyone else.

3)     RICE calls for personal involvement: As John the Baptist brought two of his disciples to see Jesus, Andrew led his brother Peter to meet his Lord. These two men did not just tell others their testimony they personally brought people to meet the Lord Jesus. Reaching people involves more than words, it also requires works, actions. As the Lord said in the Great Commission, “GO and make disciples of all nations,” Christians need to DO something, to go out, to tell, to bring people to the church where they will learn to know the Lord as their personal Savior.

4)     RICE will last to eternity: If you want to invest your asset somewhere, you will want to put it a place that will last. If you want to devote your life into something, business or anything else, you also want to make sure that it will last. No sensible people will invest things of importance in things that are of fleeting or transient nature. If you want to give to something really important and lasting, give it to leading people to Christ. Give your possessions, your time, your energy, your heart and mind and even your life to bring someone to know the Lord and be saved. Nothing you may gain in this world may last a minute beyond your death. Invest in eternity. Lead someone to Christ and you will see him/her in heaven.

 

CONCLUSION: 

1)    Bring a gift to see Jesus: Most of us will bring some kind of gift to someone important on important days, like birthday, anniversary, etc. to show our love and respect. The best gift you may bring when you see Jesus in heaven is to bring a saved soul. This is the best way to show your love and respect to the Lord and is the best gift He will be please to receive.

2)    Build something of lasting value: We all dedicate our lives and invest our resources in things we deem important and lasting. Put them in the most lasting value by leading someone you love to Christ, your family, your best friend. You will certainly be very happy to see the results of your investment when you see the person(s) in heaven again.

3)    Secure your own eternity: Nothing you try so hard to make, to keep and to feel proud of will mean anything the moment you depart from this world. Save your seat in heaven while you still have a chance. Life is fragile and very uncertain. There is no reason to push that important decision away for another day. Call to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness of your sins and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Just do it, now.