Summary: I have called you to step out of your comfort zone and get involved with serving God, but is this something God is calling us to do that He himself is not willing to do? Let's look at Phil 2 and see...
Date Written: March 15, 2013
Date Preached: March 17, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Easter Series
Sermon Title: Did God Step Out of His Comfort Zone?
Sermon Text: Philippians 2:4-8 [ESV]
For the past several weeks… well since the 1st of the year you have heard me speak about the building up of our church… on how we can GROW our church!
I have talked about the ‘elephant’ in the room… I called it “the empty seats” & I told you that these empty seats do NOT represent a church that needs more members; these ‘empty seats’ represent a community that needs Jesus! And I have said over and over again that WE are the instrument God is going to use to reach them!
All along these past few weeks I have asked you the question, “Do you want to grow?” The answer I keep getting is YES WE WANT TO GROW! So you then saw me put out four tables that revealed four areas of service that our church should be addressing…
Prayer (to draw us closer to God and in line with His plan and purpose in our times of worship, study, ministry and outreach!)
Discipleship (to help us grow closer to Him and become more like Him!)
Ministry (to force us to focus on Jesus and others rather than seeking to please ourselves and becoming a church of INWARD focused members)
Outreach (to get us UP and take us OUT of our comfort zone here in our beautiful bldg and force us OUT into the community to share Jesus with those who don’t know Him)
I challenged EVERY member to step out on faith and to come and put your name on the tables and to commit to service in at least one of these areas… I was pleased to see that MANY of you did just that! I praise God for the great response that we had!
Then we came to a point where the people of Israel surrendered in CORPORATE confession… confessing their sin… the sin of their fathers…and seeking repentance and forgiveness for those sins!
I called on you one more time! I called you to repent and confess our sin before God… our individual sin and the sin of those who have come before us here at OP…
Once again I was very pleased by the response! People came and prayed and I believe God was moving greatly that morning here in our fellowship!
Then this past week I spoke on how the people of Nehemiah’s day AFTER they had confessed their sin and repented… they decided to make a commitment to God, to serve and obey Him!
The people fashioned a covenant and had their leaders and all the people sign it and commit to is in a public place and they had a desire that God would hold them accountable for this covenant.
Yet one more time I called on you to respond… this time it was something radical in the realm of church life as we know it! I called on you to make a radical commitment of obedience to God!
I challenged you to place your faith and trust in God and actually write a BLANK check to God! I challenged all of us to become a church that wants God to know that ANYTIME He calls we will be ready… for ANYTHING He wants we are ready to DO!
Another good response flowed forward as last week, 32 people PUBLICY stood before God and wrote a blank check calling for God to call on them no matter WHAT… no matter WHEN… no matter WHERE!
I will be honest with you, I had actually believed that there would be more to sign this covenant, but I also want you to know that I am extremely thankful for those 32 of you who were courageous enough to step out on faith and step out publicly and make such a radical and open commitment of service to God! That is what it is all about!
So as of last week, I had completed my sermon series in Nehemiah and it was my full intention to head in a totally new direction this week as I was planning on moving toward the Easter season and the Passion of Christ and the resurrection…
However, as I prayed about the sermon for this week… AND as I was going thru my quiet time this week… God really kept dealing with my heart about what we had just finished! God was impressing upon me that we were not finished with this subject!
I prayed and discovered that God wanted me to continue to put forth this vision that He wants us to make an open and public commitment FOR Him in this church… and TO this community!