*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!
*There is not a pill for patience. Patience is something that only the Spirit of God produces in you and through you.
*We miss moments to show Christ because we are so self-consumed.
*The ability to endure for a long time whatever opposition and suffering may come our way, and to show perseverance without wanting retaliation or revenge. It is, the ability to put up with the weakness and faults of others (including other believers) and to show forbearance toward them, without getting quickly irritated or angry enough to want to fight back.
*We need to be a patient people not only for the glory of God, but for the sake of the Gospel, and so healthy relationships can be developed.
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”
Micah 7:18, 19
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.
He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
A. God’s Patience Revealed
B. Patience Received
A. Patience Required
B. Patience Returned
A. A Word of Warning
Poem: “To live above with the saints we love will certainly be glory, but to live below with the saints we know, well that’s a different story.”
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
*Endurance and patience are qualities we would like to possess, but we would all like to skip the process that produces them.
B. The Worth of Waiting On God
*When we are in awe of God and love Him, waiting on Him does not cause us to become irate or irritated because we know, in the end, God is always worth the wait.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
*The same situations and circumstances that can rob us of our joy will also disturb our peace.
*The common denominator to the disturbance of our peace is uncertainty.
*True peace is only found in the person of Jesus Christ.
I. A BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF PEACE
*Peace has its roots in the soil of relationship.
*From the soil of a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, peace can be produced in us and through us by the Spirit.
*Peace is the presence and application of God’s righteousness.
*Conflict between mankind will still be present but conflict with God was cured through Jesus.
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in
himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”
Philippians 4:6, 7
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything 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.”
*The peace of God is the calm assurance that what God is doing is best.
Isaiah 26:3, 4
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”
II. THE UNDENIABLE MARKS OF PEACE
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
*People not at peace with God will tend to be at war with others.
*The issues of Christianity change but the danger of disagreement, division, and disunity do not go away!
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
*The love we live by is more important than the lines we draw!
Quote: "Peace is not just a happy feeling it’s the heart of the Gospel of Christ and the glory of God." - Christopher Wright
*The mission of a Christian is to carry the message of peace to a world in conflict.
*THE HALLMARKS OF A PEACEMAKER
1. I have accepted the peace that God has offered me; I am at peace with God.
2. I strive to live at peace with others.
3. I desire to lead others to know this peace that I have experienced.