Summary: Week 9 the final Week of the Sermon Series it ties in all the that has been spoken in the past 8
Here we are at the last week of our series, we have taken a trek through the Bible exploring what God wants for us and our Church. In this trek we have begun a transformation process into seeing how God is at work in our lives and how that work can make a huge difference in the lives of those around us.
There is a video called "Transformations" made in 1999 shows stunning Revivals that are taking place mostly in third world countries (Africa, South America, etc) - Revivals that have literally TRANSFORMED ENTIRE TOWNS AND CITIES for Jesus.
It showed how in one Columbian city (notorious as a drug citadel), the church leaders who were hopelessly divided only became unified after a well-known pastor was murdered. Suddenly, through this unity God was able to move. They decided to hold a huge all-night prayer gathering in the city stadium and 50,000 Christians came. Within nine months of this united prayer the drug lords who had dominated that city were dethroned and everything had changed. Since then the Christian community has experienced massive growth and has become a ’beacon set on a hill’ in that place. They continue to hold massive unified prayer gatherings in the city stadium.
In another dark South American town the desperation point again came when a pastor had a gun jammed against his head. This sparked intensive unified PRAYER and the situation turned around until now about 90% of the people in that town are Christians! God has even blessed the ground so that the soil produces huge crops - carrots as thick as your arm! The whole place is covered with God’s abundance, as His glory is able to be displayed through His unified, praying people.
Andrew Strom, “Blueprint for Revival”
This video in itself is not a fictitious dream. All throughout South America and Africa, churches are on fire for God. So on fire that many in the U.S. who are afraid of the change in dynamics have worked against this change. Even cursed it by referring to those who brought the Gospel to them as “those damned evangelicals”.
Today we our scripture lesson visits that transformation we see those spiritual gifts that God has given us put to use.
I) So what is God saying to us in Ephesians 4 7, 11-14? How about the work of ministry is the project of each member of the body of Christ and not a select group of leaders. The ultimate task of the leader is to cultivate the individuals and cooperative ministries of those he or she leads.
A) In other words….Leaders in a church whether it is pastor, lay leader, board chair or PPR Chair need to always be on the look out for those with gifts and encourage and foster those gifts. At the
B) This also applies to families, Fathers and Mothers , Grand parents, the children look to you and when you see those gifts in them help them to grow and foster those gifts. In a loving way. (Don’t be obsessive, like the Sports dad or the beauty pageant mom, but treat those gifts with care and help the child to love them)
C) Remember God gave us these gifts to glorify Him not us.
II) What Does God want people to be or do?
A) God wants us people to be grateful for what has been given us.
B) God wants us to use our gifts and talents, to use them in fairness, kindness, and in a humble way. (Don’t brag)
C) God wants people to always be willing to help people to see their own talents, and that it is okay to share them with others.
D) Be loving, Be discerning, and Caring.
III) What would happen if we took this passage seriously? Think about the items I mentioned above. How would church be different? Would it be intimidating or friendly and inviting? Would it be a place of status quo, or would it be a place of pushing faith and communion with God deeper?
I know personally if we took this passage as seriously as the early Methodist Societies and our modern evangelists to Africa and South America took it we could do amazing things! People would be
In the end, like I said a couple of weeks ago encourage each other always. When we do that the Gospel takes on a whole new look to it. Good News takes many forms and when we spread it, Captives are released, the blind see, justice is proclaimed, and mercy is ever present. Amen