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Summary: Churches can be missional (other-centered) or tribal (self-centered). This first lesson reminds us of the need for awareness of others and opportunities to act on their behal -- in word and in deed.

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Before we have our lesson this morning, there are two things I want to bring to your attention for PRAYER.

1. On September 21, there will be a Satanic Meeting in OKC at the Civic Center

a. One purpose is to perform blasphemous acts directed against

b. Another purpose is God their attempt to combat the placement of the 10 Commandments at the Oklahoma Capitol with a statue of Satan

1) The statue depicts children in the presence of Satan

2) Please know what Satan really wants is not to be kind to our children, but to destroy them

3) On our trip to Israel we passed by the Hinnom Valley --

That was the garbage dump of Jerusalem

It was with this backdrop that Jesus described the place of hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die

It is also the place where the Hebrews sacrificed their children to Molech -- in the fire

2. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Navy has instructed housekeepers to remove Gideon-placed Bibles from every hotel room on its military bases after it received a letter from the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The bibles were to be boxed and sent to some donation center

The good news: Thousands of protests have reversed the decision

3. Prayer Actions

a. Prayer for the Satanists to have the Living God revealed to them

b. Pray for the cessation of this event

c. Pray for our country and take every opportunity to lovingly act in the name of God

4. More than ever, the church has a major role in changing the culture in which we live. We must BE the church Jesus intended.

Sermon:

Churches and Open Doors -- Colossians 4.2-6

I. Be Aware of Outsiders

A. In Timely Conduct

To make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good

B. With Seasoned Speech

1. Perception of Dullness in following Jesus

2. In reality, it is an exciting journey -- Abraham -- Moses -- Apostles -- Us

3. Reflected in our speech -- not merely an absence of the profane

[Authors know how to "spice up" their vocabulary to make the most of their words -- a book is composed of chapters; chapters of paragraphs; paragraphs of sentences; and sentences of words -- each word is chosen with care

4. To speak we must listen --

a. We shouldn't speak until we have listened to God -- Ezra 7.10; James 1.19

b. Listen to others: Jews needed a different message than pagans (Acts 14,1ff)

There is an irony here -- Paul prays for an open door while he is in prison!

There are many forms of prison in our world. We can open doors by prayer and awareness of others. Proper words and deeds can give freedom and hope to people.


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