*When it comes to the work of missions what we know is that the mission of Christ has been accomplished but the mission for the church is unfinished.
*Missions is not a program of the church it is the whole purpose the church exists!
*The danger for the church in every age is that the church ceases to be a movement and instead becomes a ministry that provides services to people or a place to attend. J.D. Greear
*The purpose of the church is to intentionally engage our culture proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
“Our mission is not defined by precepts, principles, and priorities but by a person-Jesus Christ.” Russell Moore
I. BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL IMPACTS OUR LIVING AND OUR GIVING
*It’s almost impossible to try and share the Gospel and be a generous giver if what you claim to believe isn’t all that real to you.
“Your conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right or wrong and what you believe is right and wrong is not necessarily the same as what is actually right and wrong.”
1. Our conscience must be cleansed.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
2. Our conscience needs calibrated.
3. We need to keep our conscience clear.
4. You can have a calloused conscience.
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:”
II Corinthians 5:10, 11
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”
*Shedding tears and showing concern for our sin is not the same as repentance and change.
*Hell is filled with procrastinators.
*The Spirit convicts through the truth, cleanses us by the truth, comforts us with the truth, and changes us so that we can represent the truth!
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
*The return of Christ will be a wonderful soul thrilling day for freed prisoners but it will also be a horrible moment for fence dwelling procrastinators.
“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”
*Being unfaithful always causes hurt and pain to yourself and those around you.
*We are not called to compare or cast judgment we are called to be faithful.
1. The faithfulness of God’s character to us.
2. The Spirits work producing faithfulness in and through us.
3. The ever increasing pattern of faithfulness in a person’s life.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
I. FAITHFULNESS DEFINED
*Spiritual fruit is never produced through keeping laws and rules but through loving Jesus and being obedient to the Spirit.
“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?”
“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.”
*Faithfulness can never be measured on a short term moment but on a long term pattern.
*A Working Definition: Faithfulness is someone who is trustworthy, dependable, and honest having proved this over a long period of time.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
II. FAITHFULNESS DISPLAYED
A. In the Character of God
“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.”
“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
I Corinthians 1:9
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I Corinthians 10:13
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
I Thessalonians 5:23, 24
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
*God’s proven faithfulness is what we look to as we seek to set a pattern of faithfulness in our own life.
B. Through The Conduct of God’s People
*Our conduct reveals the character of Christ dwelling in us.
*Faithfulness is all encompassing.
II Timothy 1:12
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
II Timothy 4:7, 8
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
*Faithfulness means knowing what you really believe, who you truly love, and what you’re ultimately committed to.
*Steps To Increasing Your Faithfulness
1. Surrender to the Spirit.
2. Study the Scriptures.
3. Structure your life around living for God’s glory.
4. Seek out spiritual mentors who can help you grow.
II Timothy 2:2
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
5. Surround yourself with other faithful people.
*The pattern of Christianity is faithful people, following a faithful God encouraging others to remain faithful.
“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.
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” John Wesley
*Goodness is both a character and a command.
*It’s whose we are and who we are that dictates what we do and why we do it.
“God’s been too good to you for you not to be good and do good.”
I. God Is Good And God Does Good
*When we are challenged to make sense of what is happening to us, always remember to trust God’s character.
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
*Christians are not called to be a bunch of “do-gooders” but “good doers”.
II. God’s People Do Good Because We Have God’s Spirit Within Us
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
*Doing good is one of the external evidences of internal change.
*Christians are to be predictably good in a world of evil!
“Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
“The cross and the resurrection are not just proof of God’s goodness, they are also the source and pattern of any and all goodness we can do as Christians”. C Wright
I Thessalonians 5:15
“See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”
II Thessalonians 1:11, 12
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
*As believers doing good we demonstrate the transforming power of the Gospel and give evidence of God’s goodness.
*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?
*The Spirit enables us to tap into an unlimited supply of kindness and gentleness.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”
II Peter 1:7
“And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
*To be kind is to be thoughtful of others more than of myself. It carries the idea of wanting to help, comfort, encourage, and do something for somebody else.
*To be gentle is the ability to respond to harsh and difficult situations without anger and aggression. It carries the idea of not retaliating with hostility and sharp words; controlling our tongue and temper.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
*The reason we are kind and gentle toward others is because Jesus has been kind and gentle toward us, He has forgiven us!
I. A PERFECT EXAMPLE
*Being kind and gentle is not just a description of our actions it speaks to our attitude.
Titus 3:4, 5
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
*God showed us what gentleness and kindness looked like, in real life, by giving us His Son Jesus.
II. PRACTICAL APPLICATION
I Thessalonians 2:7
“But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:”
*Kindness and gentleness are the hallmarks of people who are filled with the Spirit.
*Kindness and gentleness should govern all our relationships.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
*Kindness and gentleness are self-sacrificing Spirit filled actions done on the behalf and for the benefit of another person.
*May the fruit of gentleness and kindness ripen in our hearts and relationships as we seek to show a cruel and unkind world the love and grace that we have received from Christ.
*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!