Sermons

Summary: What if God multiplied your efforts by 100?

Living Wide Open (Part Two)

Matthew 19:16-30

Acts 13:36

And David served the purposes of God in his generation.

Participant vs. spectator

Read Philippians 2:5-11 “He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.”

Object Lesson: serving towel

1 Co 16:15, house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia...and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints

Addiction means "to arrange in an orderly manner."

This morning I want to contrast the difference between those who are committed to the ministry and those who have no concern for ministry whatsoever.

The rich young man had to learn that life wasn’t about him, but it was about following Jesus. John the Baptist put it succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Talk about humbling yourself. Yesterday we went to the Topsfield Fair on the NorthShore in Boston. My two year-old Kayla had been before and seen the Snow White drama so we had to find it and see it again. We showed up as they were choosing volunteers. The dramatist chose Kayla and me. I had to be GRUMPY! Hat and everything. Next thing I know I am on stage and Kayla is in her seat still. Snow White tried to give me a chance to leave, but I was so embarrassed, I had to stay up there. Imagine 5 little kids on stage with hats on and one adult. Next thing I know we are HI HO HI HO marching around the building and everything. I was embarrassed.

Sometimes I think people feel like I did yesterday. I got recruited to volunteer into something I knew nothing about. Not only that, but it got harder and more embarrassing as the thing went along.

I can understand how the disciples felt. Each day with Jesus was harder and harder. Often Jesus embarrassed them. Case in point: rich young man.

Matthew 19:23-30

Let me see if I can connect what happened with the disciples in the passage to what happens to us today.

Recently we had one of the most successful outreaches in our churches history (movie night). In fact it came on the heels of another highly successful movie night in someone’s backyard.

Looking back on that, many of us wonder whether or not it was worth it b/c we put so much effort forth and received so little back in terms of people visiting the church afterwards.

We often ask, “Jesus we have given all to you, but what have we gotten out of it?”

I have given you my work

I have given you my marriage

I have given you my leisure

I have given you my money

I have given you my talents

I have given you my fill in the blank.

The question is, “Where is the payback?”

Jesus answers, “It will all be worth it.”

100 times as much in return (Aren’t you glad our God multiplies by 100?)

I give 10-20% of my income to church/help poor, but it isn’t much. That’s ok, God is multiplying by 100.

I don’t have much time to volunteer here at church. That’s ok, God is multiplying by 100.

I don’t have much energy to give in service to God. That’s ok, God is multiplying by 100.

Is there an area of your life where you feel discouraged or deficient? Remember that God is taking what you give and multiplying by 100.

Thinking about the movie night; God is multiplying the effort we put out by 100.

As illustrated by the rich young ruler, we are not responsible for the results. We are only responsible for following Christ and giving up whatever He has asked us to.

It will be worth it all.

It Will be Worth it All When We See Jesus

Ofttimes the day seems long,

Our trials hard to bear;

We’re tempted to complain,

To murmur and despair.

But Christ will soon appear

To catch His bride away;

All tears forever over,

In God’s eternal day.

Chorus:

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus;

Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.

One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,

So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Closing Illustration which refers to an earlier illustration: “I volunteered b/c I thought it would please my daughter. I continued to help out b/c of my daughter. The whole time I was looking at her face to see her response.” I was playing to an audience of one.

The principle I shared earlier about Christ multiplying by 100 is for you who follow Him and give up whatever He has asked you to give up. I am about to share some opportunities for some of you to get more involved with the vision of our church and God may be asking you to lay something down so you will have the time and energy to be more involved in YOUR church.

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