Summary: The fourth message in the "Pay-off of Perseverance" Series
Series: The Pay-off of Perseverance
Message #4: Coming Together to Complete God’s Mission - September 23, 2007
The Big Idea: God has a race, a specific mission, marked out for our church family that he is calling us to finish together.
1. As a church family, let’s run linked up.
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…let us…us…let us… Hebrews 12:1-2
We are surrounded by people who stayed with God’s mission despite the struggles.
We are a group of people who God has called to complete his mission despite the difficulties.
As a church family, let’s unite together to fulfill God’s mission for our church.
Espirit De Corps: A united sense of feeling, direction, and conviction toward a shared call or purpose.
I appeal to you…that all of you agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united together in mind and thought…Watch out for those who cause divisions…
As a church family, let’s be excited about and embrace God’s purpose for our church.
United means coming and staying together to accomplish a common purpose.
Together, let’s maximize the unity of our church and minimize division
by watching out for those who would cause problems.
Division among a group can destroy God’s mission for the group.
As a church family, let’s stay together to complete God’s mission for our church.
Together, let’s be excited about and embrace God’s mission for our church. Let’s protect the unity of our church.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… All the believers were together, and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods they gave to anyone as he had need. Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
The early church in Acts provides an example of a church that embraced God’s mission for their church by coming together to fulfill God’s mission for their church, learning God’s word, praying for their church, caring for one another in their church, cultivating relationships with those in their church, reaching out to those not in their church, assimilating new people into their church, and growing as a church.
2. As a church family, let’s run light.
…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles… Hebrews 12:1
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart…So we see that they were not able to enter because of their unbelief…the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith…(they) did not go in because of their disobedience…no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. Hebrews 3:12, 19, 4:2, 6, 11
In the book of Hebrews, sin, as seen in the children of Israel while in the wilderness, is…
…failure to move forward by faith because of the mountains we face.
…a lack of confidence that God will complete what he called us to do.
…a lack of assurance that God will accomplish what we anticipate for the future.
…being pessimistic rather than optimistic about the future God has for us.
…continually complaining about how things are, rather than counting our blessings.
…is being frustrated with and failure to follow the leadership that God has put in place.
…focusing more on the problems rather than the promises of God.
…is failure to act upon what God has assigned us to do because of adversity and failure to act upon the word spoken to us because of apathy.
…is giving God the last of what we have rather than giving him what is first.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13
As we fulfill God’s mission as a church family, let’s encourage one another when we are tempted to become discouraged. Let’s lift each other up when we are tempted to get down. Let’s encourage each other to move forward by faith despite the mountains we face when we are tempted to back down by fear. Let’s encourage those who would complain and become pessimistic about how things are to count their blessings and be optimistic about what will be. Let’s encourage those who are focused on the problems to have faith in God’s promises. Let’s encourage those who are frustrated with and fail to follow leadership to humbly follow the leadership of our church. Let’s encourage those who are negative to have a positive attitude. Let’s encourage those who say it will never happen, to believe by faith it will happen. Let’s encourage those who are giving God what is last to give God what is first. Together, let’s not only embrace the mission God has given us, but let’s create an environment of encouragement and expectation in our church family. Today, choose to become a member of our church family who will join with others in creating this kind of environment in our church by daily giving large doses of encouragement to those who are lacking in faith.