Summary: Conclusion to last weeks message with a few added scripture references, I am uploading it mostly for those who listen to the audio.
Dakota Community Church
August 17, 2008
Living in Laodicea 2
Are preachers called to preach by God or is this something we have picked up from the pagans or during the enlightment?
"Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.
...and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
Is God placing any requirement on believers to show up and hear those teachings?
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
You may be drifting into lukewarm territory if you consistently choose:
1. Independence over community.
Why do you think these admonitions to community are included in scripture?
This brings me to the next point; you may be drifting into lukewarm territory if you are consistently choosing:
2. Ideology over action.
There is something in the human brain that tends to romanticize difficult things to make the reality easier to face or in some cases avoid.
We romanticize war.
We romanticize our youth.
We romanticize relationships that might have been… or that might be.
When I talk to single people the hardest thing is getting them to see past the romantic notions to the reality of committed relationship.
On the other hand when I talk to married people who are having hard times it is every bit as hard to get them to remember single life as it truly was… even if I was there listening to them whine about the lonely emptiness, they try to convince me the freedom was the best time of their lives!
This ability to romanticize things may be a protective release valve for our brains, but it can do a lot of harm if we allow it to block reality.
I think it is especially bad when we romanticize the work of ministry.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
You may feel that you need to escape from the suffocating confines of the local church in order to do real ministry… you are kidding yourself!
We rarely minister beyond the level of our relationship.
How much stock do you put in the advice of strangers?
When you separate ministry from relationship you drift into ideology rather than action.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.