Summary: 4 steps to being an effective worker in the communtiy of God
Intro: I received the news that a young man from our bowling league, William Harris died of a heart attack last Saturday morning. 53 years old, in seemingly perfect condition, gone. I heard someone say, when it’s your time to go, you go. But today, I am not going to preach on death, or eternity, but what takes place before you go. For William he had 53 years of living, and those 53 years of living is what will count forever. Most of us plan on more years than that, maybe 70, 80, 90 or even 100 years of life. But it isn’t the amount of years, but the quality of life that really matters most of all. Today, as we face 2008, I want to challenge you to live a life that counts in God’s community.
I. By Giving Your Best To God—Hebrews 11:4-by offering a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. The first act of giving to God recorded in the Bible are the offerings of Cain and Abel. According to scripture we find that God accepted the sacrifice of Abel, but rejected the sacrifice of Cain. The writer of Hebrews gives us this wonderful explanation that Abel offered an excellent sacrifice to God.
Today I want to challenge us to give our best to God in 2008. It is easy to give the offering of Cain, something without blood, something that doesn’t cost as much, something that is easy.
From a natural standpoint we may not see any big difference in the two offerings of this first pair of siblings. But something in Abel’s heart was pure and perfect, something in Cain’s heart was missing. God sees the heart of the offering, like the widow’s two mites may have seemed small in the natural realm, Jesus declares she has given the most, because she had given all.
This isn’t just in the area of tithes and offerings, but in worship, in witnessing for God, in offering your time and talents to the work of God.
II. By Pressing Toward God’s Call- Philippians 3:14-Paul stresses that for every Christian there is a straining, a pressing toward the mark to receive the prize of God’s high calling. This is not the call of just those who go into full time ministry positions, but for everyone there is a call. The Word of God says, many are called, few are chosen. It is like the political process we are in right now in America, the candidates are all pressing toward the prize, one will be elected. Not everyone who starts the walk with Christ will finish the course, not everyone will continue to stay faithful and true. When Jesus began to place higher demands of those following Him, many turned back. All throughout scripture you have those who give up, give in, and those who press on and press through.
III. By Spending Time with Jesus–Acts 4:13-they took note that they had been with Jesus. When the religious leaders saw the boldness and power in the lives of the apostles, they knew that it was not from natural ability, being unlearned men, but supernatural ability, having walked with Jesus. You won’t make an impact on others until Jesus makes an impact on you.
As we go into our 40 days of prayer and fasting, I encourage you to take an opportunity to spend quality time with Jesus. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more power you will have to fight the devil.
One of the sad facts about the holiday season we have just gone through, it is a busy time, and many people get disconnected from church during the time when they should be drawing closer to the Lord. This new year is a time of renewing, re-dedication and restoration.
For the Bethel community to reach it’s goals, we will need more than natural efforts, but supernatural endowment.
IV. By Sharing Your Faith with Others–Acts 26:28–you almost persuade me to be a Christian. Paul in sharing his testimony of the great things Jesus had done in his life, moved Agrippa to say, he was almost persuaded to become a Christian.
So many people want to rely on mass evangelism, tel-evangelism, and the church service as the means of spreading the gospel. But it is a proven fact that people giving their personal testimony, sharing their faith with unbelievers is still the best method for reaching the lost.
To really make a giant impact on our community you must seek to add to it. Church growth is an essential part in the life of any church. You show me a church satisfied on where it is, I will show you a church that is moving in the wrong direction. We must have a burden for souls. We must want to see His house filled to overflowing.