Summary: This message is for our 16th Church anniversary. It speaks to our being motivated to do the work of the Lord versus being obligated.
Don’t Do It Without Me
Today we celebrate sixteen years as a Church. When we look around the sanctuary and see the empty seats, it appears that maybe we do not have a lot to celebrate. If you are having these thoughts, let me tell you now that you would be very wrong. We are blessed that we get to worship in a place where people love God. We get to worship in a place that is paid for and cannot be taken away from us. We worship in a place where we understand the hearts of those around us; knowing we are not perfect, yet we stand with one another in good times and bad. We get to worship in a place where the young people have the opportunity to not only participate in the service, but take a lead role in conducting the service. While we may be few in number, we get to worship in a place where the Word of God is taught and shared across the world impacting people we will never meet.
I have shared with you previously how I share my sermons for others ministers and/or lay people to use. Recently I started receiving a weekly report of where those individuals are located who are viewing those sermons. In the last 30 days my sermons have received 11,500 views in 116 countries. The sermons preached in this building have been viewed approximately 1.9 million times in the last 11 years. Last month on the 23rd I received an email through that website from an individual who had read my sermon “Peace Be Still.” The person wrote, “I so needed this. I asked Lord show me something, anything to help me with the fear I am struggling with at the moment, and my Lord and Savior led me here. Thank you Lord! Thank you for this wonderful sermon.” I am sharing this with you not to brag or to shine light on myself, but to make the point that God is using all of us in ways that might not be so obvious when we walk into this building at this specific address. People all around the world are accessing the messages preached in this building which is possible because of each and every one of you. And now that we are live streaming the messages, even more people are able to access the Word of God through this ministry. So while we may not see the building full to capacity, it does not mean this ministry is not having an impact on the lives of many others. Writing a sermon and posting it on the internet for the world to see is the easy part; living the faith before the world is the hard part. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who are trying to live their faith before the world. We may not get it right all the time, but I am blessed that you are at least putting forth the effort to change the world around you. So, today we have something to celebrate. God has been good to us, both individually and as a Church. As we honor our commitment to Him He is not slack in keeping any of His promises. Can you say, “Thank you Lord!!!”
The title of this celebratory message is “Don’t Do It Without Me.” In Isaiah 6:8 the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) Our Mission Statement says, “We empower our members to have their own personal relationship with Christ, and through that relationship, serve everyone.” When you think about our Mission Statement in relationship to what is recorded in Isaiah 6:8, we are saying; “Based on my personal relationship with Christ, I am ready to be sent.” We are saying, “Lord send me.” Now while we may be saying that with our mouths when we repeat our mission statement do we actually mean it with our hearts? If with our mouth we are confessing that it is our mission to serve everyone and we are not doing that then we are not fulfilling our mission. This is a question that each of us must answer individually.
There is a song by Bishop Paul Morton titled “Don’t Do It Without Me.” In that song it says, “Lord whatever You are doing in this season, please don’t do it without me.” In other words, whatever the Lord is doing right now we have a desire to be in the midst of it. We have a desire to be a part of it. We want to be involved, regardless of what those around us may be doing. It’s not about them; it’s about our own personal desire to be a part of what the Lord is doing in this season. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, there was an increase in people enlisting into the military. People wanted to serve their country and fight against its enemies. There was also an increase in people attending Church. People felt vulnerable and they sought the out the Church for peace. Years after this event, some people reverted back to the pre-9/11 ways as their desire to continue in worship of the Lord was over shadowed by their desire to go back to living the life they had lived previously. I point this out so that you can understand that our decision to serve the Lord is not a one and done decision. We do not make the decision and then stop. Once that decision is made, then the work starts and this is what we must address within our hearts. Do our hearts say “Lord don’t do it without me!” or is our hearts saying, “Lord let me check my schedule and I will get back with You.”