Summary: This sermon addresses the costs and potential of investing more in the Kingdom for the new year. It is not year specific and addresses basic costs of powerful investment.
Going For More in 2004
Colossians 1: 1-14
Let me ask you a question. How many of you believe today that Hughesville Friends Church has maxed out. We are just doing everything that can be done to fulfill the great commission of Christ. We have accomplished our mission and vision ¡V and now it¡¦s time to kick back, relax, and revel in our prosperity? OK- How many of you then believe that we can do more ¡V no should do more in 2004 than we have done to date in reaching these goals? Now last question ¡V how many of you realize that for us to do more means for you to do more? Us is you. Now realizing that I have just led you through the most horrible word trap you¡¦ve ever walked through let me make it plain to you what I am talking about this morning.
Hughesville Friends Church has a job to do ¡V it¡¦s the most wonderful job in all the world ¡V It¡¦s leading people to Christ ¡V seeing hurt people healed in his hands ¡V seeing hopeless people given a new lease on life ¡V seeing broken people restored ¡V seeing dead people live again ¡V seeing families strengthened ¡V marriages made whole ¡V young people lives given purpose ¡V old peoples lives gain new usefulness. ¡V We are called to be light in darkness ¡V blessing where there is only curse and strength where there is only weakness. We are called on to transform our world not be transformed by it. How many of you believe that? How many of you want to be a part of that? How many of you know how?
Well that¡¦s what were going to talk about for a few minutes this morning. How do we do it and what¡¦s it going to cost us to get the job done?
Let¡¦s read together a short passage of a letter that Paul wrote to the church at Colossae ¡V a growing, active, healthy church that was daily accomplishing it¡¦s vision.
1) Mobilize our Gifts v7¡V How many of you exchanged presents this Christmas? Now ¡V very important question! How many of you still have a gift under the tree for you that you have not opened? Of course not ¡V opening the gifts and seeing them opened is the best part of giving gifts isn¡¦t it? It¡¦s not the package that gets us excited ¡V it¡¦s what¡¦s inside. There is nothing so tragic as an unopened gift. Someone put thought, and care, and love into purchasing a gift, taking the tags off, selecting a box, wrapping it carefully, putting a bow on top and placing it under the tree. Now there is this valuable item just sitting there ¡V it¡¦s yours, it¡¦s been given to you, but it¡¦s still all wrapped up ¡V you can¡¦t use it ¡V you can¡¦t enjoy it ¡V your life cannot be made easier or better with it ¡V it just sits there potential wasted. Folks God has given you gifts ¡V gifts that have the potential to change eternity. Gifts so valuable that they cost Him his only Son to purchase them for you. And yet for many of you those gifts go unwrapped. This church is full of unopened gifts, unrealized potential, and unmet possibilities. Friends it¡¦s almost 2004 and many of you have let another year go by and you still don¡¦t know what your spiritual gifts are and you still are not using them to build the kingdom of God. Our church cannot go for more in 2004 unless you are willing to go for more. You are the church ¡V you are it¡¦s potential ¡V and you are it¡¦s hope ¡V mobilize your gifts. No gift, no talent is too small ¡V remember little is much when it¡¦s placed in the hands of Christ.
2) Own the Vision v4-5- Let me get real with you this morning folks ¡V church is more than talk. For too long we have seen church as something that gives to us, something that meets our needs, something that fills our lives. You see it¡¦s wonderful that all these people are using their gifts and talents ¡V because they make me feel good when I¡¦m here (musicians, singers, preachers, teachers). We have become consumers of Church. If I don¡¦t like what I see here I¡¦ll go someplace else. If I don¡¦t get what I need here I¡¦ll find it at the next stop. Folks let me give you a suggestion ¡V If you don¡¦t find what you need here ¡V start producing it. Step up to the plate ¡V stop being consumers and start being producers. Instead of coming to church and wondering what you¡¦ll get today ¡V come wondering what you can give today.