Summary: The Body of Christ should be sound in doctrine and in Love (The way I did this, required a rose for everyone in the audience, BUT it was extremely effective) 4.88/dozen @ Wal-mart
Intro: (Start w/Blank)
PREACHER found a shoe box in a closet. Opened it and found strange contents. Inside was an egg carton with 5 eggs inside. Next to the eggs was a stack of bills that totaled over 10,000 dollars.
As soon as his wife walked thru the door he stopped her to ask if she knew anything about this odd combination. ¡¥Yes, dear, after we got married I decided that after every sermon you preached if it was a bad one I would put an egg in this shoebox¡¦. The preacher thought with pride about all the years they had been married and that only 5 eggs were in the box. ¡¥But honey, what about the 10,000 dollars?¡¦ ¡¥Oh, well every time I got a dozen eggs I sold them¡¦.
I wonder what Jesus would think if he were standing here right now. We give the pulpit to him and let him tell us, good, bad, indifferent he speaks and we listen. We hear every word he says. I wonder what he would tell us about our attitudes, our vision for this church, our relationships inside and outside the church. Would he point to the future and tell us amazing things are going to continue to happen? Would he tell us to caution us about the future? Would he tell us about the past? Could he name everyone in the picture out in the hallway, and would he smile when he gave the names? Would he scold us for the direction we¡¦ve come, or how we got here? Would he say something like ¡V if you don¡¦t remember the past you will relive it, and if he did, would it make a difference? Would his ideas be so radical that we¡¦d march him to the town square for a hanging? Would we embrace his message with love and affection?
Here¡¦s my belief ¡V we have a letter from Jesus. Yeah, sure, you don¡¦t have him in front of you, but you have his words. He cared enough about the church he told John, the disciple, to write these things down. He did that seven times to seven different churches. Each is a letter to a specific church, for a specific reason and with a specific outcome in mind. I believe we could take parts from each letter and apply those parts to this church in Piggott. This morning we are going to start with the first letter to the church in Ephesus. (Advance) ¡V Scripture is on two slides break at vs. 5
Turn with me to Revelation 2:1-7 (Read)
So what is Jesus telling us this morning? I believe he¡¦s telling us to look back. We are to remember 3 things this morning (Advance)
I. Remember your Passion (1-3)
As we go through these 3 things see if they apply to your life or not. Are you doing what is being honored here, if so ¡V good, if not ¡V why not? (Advance)
a. He gives honors the church (Advance)
i. I know your deeds
Gives the idea that Jesus is watching this church especially. He knows what they are doing, what they spend their money on, how their leaders act. He¡¦s speaking for the church in general ¡V He says: (Advance)
1. Your hard work
This hard work is a blisters on the hands kind of word. When we were kids we had two gardens. And we were expected to keep the weeds out of the garden. This meant hours and hours of hoeing the rows and getting the weeds out. I remember pulling my gloves off one time and I had blisters on the sides of my thumbs ¡V that¡¦s this word.
This is the word Simon uses when Jesus was calling them to be disciples. They had been fishing for along time. They had caught nothing Jesus tells them in (Advance)
Luke 5:4-6¡K"Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."
5Simon answered, "Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. (Advance)
a. Jesus honors their hard work
If Jesus were here right now physically would he thank you for your hard work? Are there roles in this church you could do, but you aren¡¦t for whatever reason?
Jesus says: Thank you for: (Advance)
2. Your perseverance
When I was a young boy we lived in Fort Worth, Texas. I know that destroys your view of me, I was born in Texas. We¡¦d go to the Mesquite Rodeo. I think you can still see this rodeo on TV, on Saturday nights. Anyway, they¡¦d do something really stupid, they¡¦d allow all the young kids to get in the arena with a calf and the kid who could chase after this calf and get this ribbon off the calf would win a prize. There was a kid one time bigger than the rest of us, and he got to the calf first. The ribbon was attached a little better than it should have been and the poor kid probably would have won if he had just let go of the ribbon ¡V but he wouldn¡¦t let go. He was bound and determined that he was not going to get the ribbon. This word perseverance means that you grab the ribbon and hang on for dear life. It means to stand fast, to stand one¡¦s ground and to wait patiently.