What part will we have in the Gospel continuing to impact our world?
II Timothy 4:16
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
II Timothy 4:6, 7
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
The mission of the church continues on and the message of the Gospel is still being proclaimed by God’s messengers!
I. OPPOSITION AND OBSTACLES TO THE CHURCHES MISSION AND MESSAGE REMAIN
We are not to be superstitious people but Spiritual.
There is no truer test of our claim to Christianity then how we react and respond to calamities.
II. GOD ORDAINED OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND
"For all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been’! ”
“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
I Thessalonians 5:5, 6
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
1. Take the opportunity to invite!
2. Take the opportunity to invest!
3. Take the opportunity to get involved!
4. Take the opportunity to increase!
Philippians 1:9, 10
“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”
*Gracious warnings often come through the most un-likely people and are not to be ignored.
*When you choose to go against the gracious warnings you end up in situations and circumstances beyond your control.
I. GOD’S PURPOSE IN THE STORM
*When God wants to grow you in your faith and reveal to you what your heart is like, He will place you in circumstances and situations that you are not accustomed to and cannot control.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
*The storms of life may seemingly hide God’s face but they never hinder His purpose.
*Storms are not punishment, they are a part of the brokenness of this world that God is controlling to eternally bring about good.
II. GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE STORM
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
*God’s ever abiding presence in our life gives us the calm we need through the storm.
*Storms are often opportunities for God’s children to give hope and strength to those who have none!
*The presence and peace of a merciful God was experienced through the testimony of a faithful servant.
III. GOD’S PROMISE IN THE SHIPWRECK
*God has placed you where you are in life for His purposes and so that you would proclaim Him and point people to Him reminding them of His faithful promises!
*God uses the storms and the shipwrecks of our life to show us that the safest thing we ever cling to is the promises of God!
*Our Saviour is Lord of every storm and shipwreck!
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
*No one likes turbulence but it is in troublesome times that we must learn to trust the God who controls our life.
I. SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL
1. God’s Will Is Not Determined Through Your Emotions
2. God’s Will Is Discovered In God’s Word
3. God’s Will Is Something You Obey
Quote: “Lord, what thou wilt, where thou wilt, and when thou wilt.” Richard Baxter
4. God’s Will Does Not Include All The “Details”
Quote: “God’s will; exactly what I would choose if I knew all the facts.”
II. STAY HUMBLE DESPITE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES
*Until you’re fully committed to following Christ and yielding to Him, submission will always feel more like a curse than a call to cheerful obedience.
*The physical pain Paul experienced was overshadowed by the spiritual pain Paul had in his heart for those who didn’t know Christ.
III. SEEK COMFORT FROM THE LORD
II Corinthians 1:3, 4
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
*Courage to keep going through turbulent times is found by clinging to Christ.
*What looked like madness to many was simply a man whose life had been totally transformed and radically altered by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
*Church buildings across the globe are filled with people who appear perfectly awake but are spiritually asleep.
*Symptoms of Spiritual Sleepiness
1. Desensitized to sin.
2. Indifferent to spiritual things.
3. Becoming critical of the church.
4. Skipping out on church.
5. You stop thinking about sharing the Gospel.
*You are either asleep because you’re spiritually in sin or asleep because you’re spiritually dead.
“The safest road to hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” C.S. Lewis
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
Romans 13:11, 12
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
I Corinthians 15:34
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
I. LIVE A FAITHFUL LIFE TO THE GLORY OF GOD
*Success in life is figuring out what God has called you to and faithfully carrying it out.
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon
II. FINISH YOUR COURSE WITH JOY
Hebrews 12:2, 3
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
*Jesus gave away all the joy He had and suffered more than we could ever understand so that we might know the eternal joy of the Father!
III. DON’T FORGET WHAT JESUS SAID
*Do I live to get or do I live to give?
*I am always taking more from Jesus than I could ever give to Him.
II Timothy 4:7
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
*When my “one more thing moment” comes, what will the story of my life communicate?
*God is not looking for a few stand in’s, to come and volunteer but for sold out committed Christians who will have a very real part in the continuing mission of the Church.
*God’s mission from start to finish is the same; He is seeking, saving, sending and He is coming soon!
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
I. INVOLVED IN CORPORATE WORSHIP
*Sunday worship is the gathering of God’s family to publically proclaim the greatness and glory of God.
“Worship is not restricted to what we do when we come together in church, but about the way we relate to God through the Spirit and in accordance with the teaching of Jesus, and that touches the whole life.” Colin G. Kruse
II. ENGAGED AND COMMITTED IN SERVICE
*The problem for many churches today is that they have a cruise ship mentality when we should have a battleship mindset.
I Corinthians 4:1,2
“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
*Jesus is not only our standard of service He is our source to serve others!
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
III. FAITHFULLY CONNECTED IN COMMUNITY
*Real Christian community is bound together in love.
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
*Unity is Christ-like attitudes, affections and actions demonstrated toward one other.
*Caring, sharing and praying were a central and interregnal part of the early church.
“God did not make others as I would have made them. God did not give them to me so that I could dominate and control them but so that I might find the Creator by means of them. Now, other people, in the freedom with which they were created, become an occasion for me to rejoice, whereas before they were only a nuisance and trouble for me. God does not want me to mold others into the image that seems good to me, that is, into my own image.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
IV. CONTINUE TO CARRY OUT THE GREAT COMMISSION
“It’s not so much the case that God has a mission for his church in the world, as that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for the mission-God’s mission.” Chris Wright
*It’s not just what we say with our lips it’s how we live our life that causes the Gospel message to have greater impact.
I John 2:28
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
*The imminent return of Christ either brings us a sense of great joy or great fear.
*God uses every day ordinary people to accomplish His plans and purposes.
*Only God can bring unlikely people to unimaginable places and accomplish incredible things impacting the World for His glory!
*We can do the possible but only God can do the impossible!
I. NEW PLACES, NEW PEOPLE, SAME PROBLEM
*The light of the Gospel shines the brightest in the darkest places!
*Just because life has not turned out as you planned remember that this may very well be the start of God’s plan.
Proverbs 3:5, 6
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
II. A LOW POINT IN AN ENCOURAGING MOMENT
*The cure for a heavy, hurting, or broken heart is to hear the voice of God.
1. The promise of God’s presence.
2. The certainty of God’s power.
3. The assurance of God’s protection.
4. The importance of God’s purpose.
*God didn’t just save you from something he saved for something!
I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and self-seeking and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already with something else.” D.L. Moody
III. PARTNERING IN MINISTRY
*Only humble people will receive instruction and help from others who come alongside them!
*God doesn’t do things in your life just for you; everything He does in your life is for accomplishing His plan which is making disciples.
*God is still using every day ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His glory!
Quote: “The most important thing in life is getting to know God and nothing in life compares with getting to know the God who knows us!” David Jeremiah
I. THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER ON THE MOVE
*Making God known requires that we stay on mission, moving toward those who do not know God!
II Corinthians 5:20
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
*As representatives of God we are joining Him in reconciling the world as we reflect Jesus in our conduct, character and communication.
I Peter 3:15
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
*If we are not living a Gospel centered life privately than our message will sound phony and people tend to spot a fake.
II. A PASSIONATE PLEA TO A PAGAN FILLED CITY
III. A CLEAR AND CONCISE GOSPEL PRESENTATION
II Corinthians 4:3-6
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
*The unknown God has been made known, the question is do you know Him?
*The story of the Gospel is not only the most important story you can tell, it is the only story that will really matter for all of eternity!
*The Gospel message still has the power to rewrite the story of people’s lives!
*If you can’t work it out and have to walk away just make sure you keep walking with Jesus and you keep ministering to others.
II Timothy 4:11
“Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”
*Don’t allow your disappointment and discouragement to darken your spirit and stop you from obeying God when He redirects your plans!
I. A SPIRITUAL WOMAN
*We will never convince or convict anyone into salvation but we can and we must communicate the Gospel message.
II. A SLAVE GIRL
*While we cannot cast out a demon we can declare the name of Jesus and help make a difference in the lives of people who are being destroyed by sin.
III. A SOLIDER
*When life brings us pain remember that people are watching how we worship; how we worship puts on display how we value the promises of God.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
*When you start to really understand that your story has been totally rewritten by grace you will start singing with greater intensity!
*Only Jesus has the power to rewrite our story and unite us with one another!