Summary: God does not call us to anything that He will not equip us for. The church is a sleeping giant and if we ever wake up we will make an impact in lives we come into contact with.
Sowing Seeds; Life, Faith, Service
Sermon number 5- Empowered for service
We continue in the series Life, Faith, and Service.
For a couple of weeks we have looked into our faith.
We saw that faith and reason can work together, but reasoning alone puts our focus on limitations and negatives that don’t allow God to be God and be able to use us to do something amazing.
To be able to do something that is bigger than ourselves.
We see that there is another side of faith and that is action.
Faith is not dead.
Faith is never kept to ourselves.
Faith must be stretched and exercised.
Apostle Paul to the church at Thessalonica, after talking and thanking them for their faith, gives us our text this morning concerning faith and service, or faith in action.
“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul tells them that he sees the work they are doing.
That their faith is prompted by love- first to God and then to God’s people.
He’s encouraged that they have put their hope and love in Jesus Christ and has stretched out to others.
This verse tells us why they do what they do.
“We love you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
Napoleon once pointed to a map of China and said “There lie’s a sleeping giant, if it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable.”
Let me quote many other people- The church is a sleeping giant, if it ever wakes up, it would be unstoppable.”
We don’t like what is happening, but we keep quiet.
Instead of transforming the world, we are letting the world transform us.
Jesus Christ implemented the church. It is more than a bunch of leaders in each church trying to find out what they should be doing.
The church is a living manifestation of Christ. It is equipped and empowered by Christ to get things done.
Not that the church cannot accomplish all that God wants, the church usually doesn’t accomplish much because the church does not take its authority and anointing that God gives.
This message is not to make people that are very active in the church feel like they need to do more.
This not a message of guilt on those that are not currently doing anything to fill any particular vacancy in ministry.
This is not about being busy- people are busy!
I know busy. My job at times is 24/7 weather I am on vacation, a day off, weather I am tired, going through something myself, or enjoying time with my family.
We all know demands on our time- we all know there are demands on our life.
The question for each one of us is-
Are we doing our part in the kingdom of God? By God’s standard.
Do we know what we need to do?
If we would get these things right, the church, the sleeping giant would impact the world like never before.
What does the Bible say about ministry?
The church, God’s earthly body is expected to serve. Each believer is to be busy .
First to the Lord-
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Second to Believers-
We are to encourage, equip, disciple, train, and discipline.
Third to unbelievers-
We are to be the salt of the earth and engage those that need to know Christ as Lord. (repeat)
It is in that context that Paul addresses the church at Thessalonica.
“Remember your work produced by faith, labor by your love, endurance inspired by our relationship with Christ.”
I want very quickly to point out some things about ministry, and how each one of us fits into God’s plan.
Before we get to point one, here is a point.
God calls all believers to ministry.
Not all to be pastors, teachers, but all to minister for Christ.
You have to decide if you believe that!
If you do, the prayer becomes Lord, “What do you want me to do”?
If you say no to the call of all to minister, the rest will not interest you.
There are many good people, many talented people with great potential to serve God.
The problem is they never move from potential to productive.
What good is a fruit tree if it never bears fruit?
What good is a car that is stuck in neutral? Sounds good, but never goes anywhere.
What good is a dream if you never act upon it?