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Summary: The fourth message in a series looking at what keeps us from really dreaming great things for God.

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CHRISTIAN MYOPIA

CHRISTIAN SHORTSIGHTEDNESS

ACTS 4:36-37

1 PETER 4:7-11

Acts 4:36-37 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

INTRODUCTION: Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles to dreaming is our own shortsightedness. We cannot, or even worse refuse to see beyond ourselves. Or even worse, we choose who and what we will see.

Can you solve this riddle:

What is 750,000 miles long, reaches around the earth 30 times, and grows 20 miles longer each day?

Give up? Here’s the answer:

The line of people who are without Christ.

If we reduced the world into a village of 1,000 people, we would find 564 Asians, 210 Europeans, 80 South Americans, and 60 North Americans. There would be 300 Christians, 175 Muslims, 128 Hindus, 55 Buddhists, and 47 Animists.

59% of the world lives in Asia

16% of the world lives in Europe

10% of the world lives in Africa

6% of the world lives in the USA & Canada

5.5% of the world lives in South America

3% of the world lives in Central America

.5% of the world lives in Oceania

Ninety-one percent of the world does not speak English and yet, only 6% of the preachers of the Gospel minister to that 91% of the world. How shall their hear without a preacher?

We are desperately shortsighted – and this shortsightedness keeps us from Dreaming BIG and accomplishing big

ILLUSTRATION: John Stott told of visiting a rural church in England while on a study leave. He worshipped with them each Sunday and shared in their fellowship. Week after week he heard the pastor address issues facing the village and pray about the concerns of the church. Stott said, “I came to the conclusion that these people worship a village God.”

What kind of God do we worship?

1 Tim. 2:3-6 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

WE OUGHT TO BE WORSHIPING A GOD WHO IS CONCERNED FOR MORE THAN JUST OUR “NECK OF THE WOODS”!

OUR GOD IS INTERESTED IN MORE THAN US!

In Matthew Jesus says it this way:

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

In Mark Jesus says it like this:

Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

In Luke Jesus says:

Luke 24:47-48 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.

Finally, Acts records the words of Christ:

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

How does Jesus choose to answer the need of the lost?

Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Ø Jesus knows the need that needs to be met.

Ø Jesus knows what will meet the need. WE WILL

Ø JESUS CHOOSES TO ANSWER THE NEEDS OF THE WORLD WITH US!

THINK FOR A MOMENT, WOULD GOD REALLY ASK US TO PRAY FOR SOMETHING THAT HE KNEW WOULD NOT WORK?

Peter in His first letter gives us a clue to thinking biblically in this area

1 Peter 4:7-11 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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