Summary: We are called by Christ to get out of our comfort zone and impact the world for Christ!

Date Written: July 1, 2006

Date Preached: July 5, 2006

Where Preached: OZHBC (Wed - PM Service)

Series Title: Basic Bible Study

Sermon Title: Are You A Trailblazer?

Sermon Text: Philippians 1:12-14


12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,

13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole Praetorian Guard and to everyone else,

14 and that most of the brethren , trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment , have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.

Phil 1:12-14 (NASB)

The Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles was a Spanish Admiral who founded the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine in Florida. He founded it on September 8, 1565.

The French, trying to gain a foothold in the new world, landed a few miles north, where present day Jacksonville, FL is located. Admiral Menendez knew that an attack from sea would NOT be successful so he had another plan…

HE decided to make the long trip from St. Augustine to Jacksonville on land. But for him to do this with his army he had to enlist a group of pioneers… a group of trailblazers to clear a path for his army…

They used machetes and other tools to clear the way and their hard work enabled Admiral Menendez to surprise and defeat the French and drive them out of Florida…

In the same way, Paul says that the circumstances and hardships that he had faced in Rome had actually blazed a trail for the Gospel into a new place…

When Paul writes that his “…circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel…” He is referring to a band of wood cutter… a group of trailblazers… that go before an army and clear the way…

Today it seems as if the church is far too willing to run from what is difficult rather than face it…

Today it seems that too often we in the church hide around the corner to avoid speaking to people God has placed in our path…

Too often we have a tendency to run away from our situation just because it will require a little spiritual effort on our part…

We have to realize that God may have chosen us to face whatever hardship it is that is in our lives. We are called to be trailblazers in bringing the gospel to new places and to people who have never heard it before…

If it was not for the willing believer, the Gospel may not be heard in the midst of the circumstances that many of us face. In v.13 we notice that as a result of Paul being in prison, the Gospel message was making an impact on Caesar’s palace… among his elite Praetorian Guard.

Can you imagine how the Christians reacted to this news! Can you imagine their joy and wonder that Christ was moving in the midst of their greatest enemy!

It would be like revival breaking out in the ACLU lawyers convention and many getting saved…

It would be like school boards all across our nation being led to Christ and turning away from the secular humanism that permeates our schools today…

It would be like, the stars of Hollywood screen and TV being saved and converted from a life of sin and self-interest, to a life of service and self-giving…

Can you imagine if these things were to happen? All it takes is a willing vessel… one who is totally submitted to God’s plan and authority. All it takes is for a trailblazer to be willing to work for Christ in the harshest of conditions…

So take heart tonight! There are those of you here tonight whom God has chosen to be a trailblazer for His kingdom! So instead of running away from God’s calling… begin clearing the path for the Gospel to be brought!

People are watching you! And when you make it in spite of all the situations and circumstances that surround you and they ask, “How did you make it through?” You can tell them… it was by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and then you can watch the Gospel begin to go to work… are you a trailblazer tonight?


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