DON’T MISS YOUR MISSION
A. HUMOR CRAZY NEW YEARS TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
1. BREAK OLD PLATES. In Denmark they save all of their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December when they affectionately shatter them against the doors of all their friends and family.
2. STUFF 12 GRAPES. In Spain, if you can manage to stuff 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight you’ve achieved good luck for the next year.
3. RING A BELL 108 TIMES. In Japan they ring all of their bells 108 times.
4. FIST FIGHT. Every year at the end of December people in the small Peruvian village of Takanakuy fist fight to settle their differences. They then start the year off on a clean slate.
5. BURN SCARECROWS. In Ecuador they celebrate the New Year by burning paper filled scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from the last year. All in the name of good fortune.
6. DROP ICE CREAM. In Switzerland they celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor.
7. Water Buckets. In some parts of Puerto Rico they throw pails of water out of their windows to drive away evil spirits.
8. BLESSING THE COWS. In Belgium the farmers wish their cows a happy new year!
9. COINS IN SWEETS. In Bolivia coins are baked into sweets and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.
10. SUITCASES. In Colombia they carry their suitcases around with them all day in hopes of having a travel filled year.
11. HIGH JUMP. In Denmark people climb on top of chairs and literally “jump” into the New Year to bring good luck.
12. BREAD POWER. In Ireland they hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits.
13. FURNITURE DISPOSAL. In some parts of South Africa they throw furniture out the window.
14. FROZEN TRUNKS. Just as you might expect, in Siberia they jump into frozen lakes carrying tree trunks.
15. EAT 7X. In Estonia people eat seven times on new years day to ensure abundance in the new year.
16. REAL SECRET TO A BLESSED 2017: Make a new commitment to Jesus Christ and live for Him every day!
1. The title of this message is “Don’t Miss Your Mission.”
I. IMPORTANCE OF RESCUE MISSIONS
A. ILLUS. OF THE SOUTH POLE RESCUE
1. When you work at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, it's understood there will be no physical link to the outside world for you between February and October.
2. You are 840 miles from the nearest populated site and you're facing average winter temperatures of eighty below zero.
3. Now, imagine being Jerri Lin Nielsen, a woman
stationed there and discovering a lump that indicated she had breast cancer.
4. Distant medical authorities determined that Jerri must receive emergency medical supplies. Getting those supplies, though, is easier said than done.
5. A U.S. Air Force plane took on the mission, flying in driving snow and limited visibility, with just enough fuel to get back, searching in that dark polar winter for a C-shaped chain of burning barrels somewhere down there in the snow.
6. Those barrels marked the drop point. Once the life-giving supplies were dropped, the ground people had just seven minutes to collect those bundles before the cold weather damaged or destroyed their contents.
7. It was an incredible true adventure, and it worked. The pilot for this amazing mercy mission said it was his most difficult mission. I guess! He said, "The whole thing is a loss if we don't put it where they can get it."
B. THE SIMILAR SPIRITUAL RESCUE MISSION
1. When you're bringing a delivery that can mean life-or-death, you do whatever it takes to get it there and you put it where they can reach it.
2. If you know Jesus, and if you know someone who doesn't, God has assigned you to a life-or-death mission.
3. God says: "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12).
People without the Savior who died for them, are dying people according to God.
4. Clearly the command to you and me is "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter" (Proverbs 24:11).
5. God sent His Son on the ultimate rescue mission - to give His life for people you know - so they can live forever. But "the whole thing is a loss if we don't put it where they can get it."
II. GOD’S RESCUE OF THE ISRAELITES
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Exodus 3:7-8.
B. GOD’S PLAN – TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE
the Lord is telling Moses about His plans to rescue Moses' very hurting people. The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of My people - I have heard them crying out - I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them." I can just hear Moses saying, "Yes! God's going to do something about the lostness of my people! All right!"
C. “I’M GOING TO USE YOU TO DO IT”
1. Then God says, "So now, go. I am sending you." I can just hear Moses saying, "WHAT?!! Wait a minute here!"
2. But God was reaching to desperate people by bringing life within their reach - by putting Moses in the middle of them - Moses, His representative.
3. Now God says to you, speaking of the people you live close to, you work with, you go to school with, "I have seen their misery, I have heard them crying out, I am coming down to rescue them, and I am sending you."
4. That's why you are where you are, with the people you're with. God has dropped eternal life right in the middle of them, and you are the one carrying it.
5. And like that Air Force crew, God went to great lengths to bring them life. He went all the way to a cross on Skull Hill. Now He's trusting you to be His connection to some of the people He came and He died to rescue.
III. WHAT IF I MISSED MY OPPORTUNITY?
A. THE COBBLESTONES OF SAVANNAH
1. The historic riverwalk area of Savannah, Georgia, is paved with mismatched cobblestones.
2. Local residents say that centuries ago the stones came over the oceans from far continents, put in ships as ballast – weights placed strategically to balance the ships.
3. When cargo was unloaded in Georgia, the ballast stones were no longer needed, so they were used to pave the streets near the docks.
4. Those stones had accomplished their primary job—stabilizing the ship through dangerous waters. Their primary job was no longer needed.
5. But a new purpose for them was found – to pave the streets. So here we are 100’s of years later, and those stones are still fulfilling a function.
6. But it’s not their original purpose they’re fulfilling, but their second purpose! [Daily Bread 6/25/15 Bill Crowder]
B. A SECOND PURPOSE FOR US!
1. Might not this same kind of “second purpose” be possible for you and Me?
2. Many times we feel like:
a. I’ve failed God;
b. God won’t use me;
c. I’ve waited too long to do something for God.
3. I’ve talked to people who felt like God had called them to ministry and because they didn’t answer, God wouldn’t use them anymore.
4. All of these arguments are no good. Just like the cobble stones of Savannah Georgia, they found a 2nd usefulness. What’s more astounding to me is that their 2nd usefulness has lasted for hundreds of years and continues today.
5. So which one of their uses was more important? The ships that brought them across the oceans are no longer in existence. So which purpose was more lasting? Their second usefulness!
6. If God can do that for stones, He can do it for you! In 2017, let’s find some work for God and do it faithfully. It’s the longterm faithfulness that really matters.
C. DON'T MISS YOUR MISSION!
1. God has a usefulness for you right here at First Assembly of God.
2. If we affect a life, there is no telling how many people may be touched through that one life.
3. We’ve all heard of the shoe clerk in Chicago that received Christ in the storeroom, and was influential – through 5 or 6 other people who were led to Christ – in leading Billy Graham to salvation.
4. I’ve told the story of the missionary to China who preached the sermon, “Unto Thee O Men I Call” in a little church. There was no one but women present in the church, he thought. But up in the loft were 2 boys – both of which got saved (without his knowing it) and became 2 of the greatest men of God of that age!
5. Who knows what the next door little boy will become if you lead him to Christ!
1. A Land O' Lakes woman is grateful to be alive and just had the chance to meet the firefighters who saved her life.
2. When you look at Aline Masson's home with burned up siding, windows, a collapsed roof, and piles of melted metal, it's hard to imagine how she survived inside.
3. But because she did, Masson was determined to find the brave firefighters who went inside that fire, risking their lives to save hers.
4. Masson finally got the opportunity to hug her personal heroes. "I'm just one little person and I don't amount to much, but what these guys do for just a single human life, and even my little dog's life. They risk theirs just for that. And they do it 24/7," said Masson.
5. “Thank You for saving my life!” That’s what the firefighters heard, and that’s what you and I will hear some day for our efforts to reach people with the Gospel!
B. THE CALL
1. When it's life-or-death, you do whatever it takes to deliver the life. This is eternal life-or-death for someone you know. And you are life within their reach. Don't miss your mission. Don't let them miss heaven.
2. Prayer for salvation and dedications.
[This is a rewrite of Johnny Knight’s message of the same title]