Summary: Jesus calls us to love Him, one another and the Lost.
JOE’S DREAM CONTINUES
DECEMBER 29, 2002
INTRODUCTION: Members of the Church
Three pastors were having lunch together at a church dinner. The first pastor said: "Ya know...since summer started, I’ve been having trouble with mice in the basement of my church." I’ve tried everything...noise, spray, cats...nothing seems to scare them away. The second pastor then said: "Yea...me too. I’ve got hundreds living in the basement of the church. I’ve set traps and even called an expert to get rid of them, yet...they still won’t go away."
With a grin on his face, the third pastor said: "I had the same problem, so...I baptized all mine and made them members of the church...Haven’t seen one since!!"
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day speaks to us of a dreamer and a dream. The dream is the reality of what God was going to do, but in His timing. The problem was that the entire family had a problem with the dream. Another reality from the text is that God doesn’t seem to mind if we have a problem with His future, it will still come to pass. Joseph’s timing may have been off in sharing the dream, but when God lays a dream on your heart, soul and mind, you have to tell someone. Joseph told those closes to him of his dream and since my name is Joseph, I want to share my dream with you. Just like with Joseph, the dream would eventually involve his immediate family and for us today, the dream I have will involve you, my immediate family!
Four years ago, I shared a dream with you and as I look back, much of the dream has been accomplished, but surely not all. We have become more mission minded in these last four years and with Judy and our ladies leading the way, I don’t see any sign of retreat. Our ladies have really showed us men up when it comes to going! We have learned to LOVE other nationalities; we even support a missionary from Australia, to work in South Africa. We also support a Hispanic church and have done so for two and a half years!! We continue to do occasional outreach through canvassing and even handing out the Jesus film for the first time this year. People have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior within this church. New people are getting baptized each year here. People are being called into ministry from within this church, even one this year. Each year new people join our church. Things are happening here, but we still have room, much room to grow. Ministry marks growth and ministry becomes apparent through numerical growth.
BUT WHAT OF THIS DREAM? LET ME PUT IT IN A NUT SHELL…
THESIS SENTENCE: Jesus calls us to love Him, one another and the Lost.
AFTER THREE YEARS OF SHARING THE DREAM, I REALIZED THIS YEAR WE NEEDED TO GO BACK AND RESTATE THE ORIGINAL DREAM.
THE DREAM BEGINS WITH…
I. A PEOPLE WHO LOVE GOD: HOLINESS
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT! Matthew 22:34-40 “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the Second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
A. A PEOPLE WHO REACH UP
If we are to have any impact in this world, the time is short, we must reach up to God in Love!! 1. Love is a profession of faith: Mark 12:29 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
2. This is a claim of allegiance, “the Lord OUR God,”
3. We must Claim God; it is a response of Love!!
B. A PEOPLE WHO FOCUS
Love is a total focus on God!
1. Jesus calls for total commitment: “Heart, soul and mind!”
2. A single-minded commitment is seen in Heart and Soul.
3. It also brings with it the idea of energy seen in Mark 12:30, “with all your strength!” 4. “With all your mind,” brings full circle the idea of the total self, to be engaged in the love of God, which must include such things as praise, thanksgiving, study, obedience, and faithfulness, as well as loving one’s neighbor as one self!
C. A PEOPLE WHO REACH UP THROUGH THE OUT
Love is... a focus away from self! This is Reaching out to others!
1. Jesus states that loving God is tangible, it is seen in the way we love and care for others.