Summary: The third part of a Christmas series looking at how best to use God’s Christmas gift to us -- IE: Jesus Christ. This message explores another two "uses" -- duplicating the gift and sharing our "insights" about the gift
THE BEST WAYS TO USE GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT Part 3
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
INTRODUCTION: We see it everywhere now a days, …. Some sort of prohibition against duplicating this or copying that, or using the other thing without permission. And this is PERFECTLY understandable. The creator or maker of the product is trying to protect his investment, and to reap a profit from what he has done. God though, is different. He does not mind us “duplicating” His gift to us. In fact, He encourages it.
This morning, this “duplicating” is another great way to use God’s Christmas gift, as is “sharing your insights about the gift with others. SO lets look once again at the greatest gift EVER given – Jesus Christ!
I ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO USE GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO US IS TO DUPLICATE THE GIFT – There is no copyright on God’s Gift
A SEND SOMEBODY OUT
1 The local church has the biblical authority to send out missionaries
2 Corporately and individually – we are the church
a Do we identify with this ministry?
b Are we concerned enough to set aside for this ministry?
c Others may assist – BUT only the church has the biblical authority
B SEARCH FOR THE QUALIFIED
1 Identify those among us with gifts for missionary service
2 Identify those who have been faithful where they already are – RIGHT HERE!
a Visible activity of service
b Desire to be used greater
ILLUSTRATION: In a previous church I served as pastor, there was a family who joined the church. She was successful in a home-based business, and he worked for a machine shop supply company. He was also studying – mostly through correspondence, to be a pastor. What was so interesting was that often they would not be in church. Now, if I asked him to fill the pulpit – he was there. Many times though he was absent. What I found out was that he would be doing his correspondence work, or studying for a test when he should have been in church. So, I encouraged him to get his priorities straight. How could God use him effectively, if he neglected the most basic of responsibilities? Ya know what! They stopped coming altogether. They started attending another church. The reason – I did not have the right to tell him that he should be in church! Can you believe it?! He had the desire, yet lacked the activity.
WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SEND – WE ALSO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SEND THE BEST!
C SEEK GOD’S APPROVAL
1 How we are NOT called!
a We are not called by the church
b We are not called by the leaders
c We are not called by our own determination
d We are called by the Holy Spirit
2 What we are called to
a We are not called to a life of witness
b We are called to a life of ministry
WE BEST USE GOD’S GIFT TO US WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOLY SPIRITS CALL, COMMIT OUR SUPPORT, AND THEN OBEY THAT SAME SPIRIT WHO CALLED THEM! THIS IS SUCCESSFULLY DUPLICATING THE GIFT!
II ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO USE GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO US IS TO SHARE YOUR INSIGHTS ABOUT THE GIFT – Going beyond the owners manual
Can you ever remember getting a gift, and as much as you wanted it, you had some problems getting used to it. It did not seem to work quite right for you, or you could not get it to do a certain thing. And then someone came along who already had what you now have and they were able to offer you some “pointers” on using your new gift.
God wants us to help others – using our knowledge, when they get their gift from Him
A WE SHOULD HELP THEM GET STARTED
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
15But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."