Summary: We are on the same team, we may serve different roles but we are on the same team. If you are on the team you should be on the field!
Date Written: August 28, 2014
Date Preached: September 7, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: We Serve the SAME God
Sermon Title: We Are On The SAME Team!
Sermon Text: Colossians 1:1-12 [ESV]
Have any of you seen all the rukus going on on the internet about ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease) and the Ice Bucket challenge? I have seen COUNTLESS videos of people dumping ice water over their heads in so many different ways, all to raise the awareness of this disease among the masses.
I was finally called out by my son-n-law this past weekend to take the ice-bucket challenge. I immediately went online and donated $100 to NoWhiteFlags.com – the Steve Gleason charity that supports research and development for an ALS cure. So far, I have not filmed my ‘ice bucket challenge’ but this morning with YOUR help, I would like to get it done.
Today is a busy day for our fellowship as we have our business meeting with its regular items as well as some other very important information and decisions we must look at as a fellowship. However, immediately following our business meeting, I ask for as many of you as can, to stay and be witness to my ‘ice-bucket’ challenge in the church courtyard!
You may wonder why I bring up the ice bucket challenge this morning in the sermon? Well, as I have said, for quite a while, I have watched so many of these challenges online and to be honest I sort of felt left out.
After all, no one was challenging me to dump ice cold water on my head. No one mentioned my name and asked me to participate, no one called me out to donate, so I began to feel like I was on the outside looking in.
I began to feel as if I would miss out on being a part of this phenomenon to raise awareness for this disease. I felt left out, and I was disappointed that I was not a part of this event, and to be honest the more I watched the videos online the more I felt this way.
Now I understand that I should never place my worth in whether or not I was ‘invited’ to join an internet challenge, but I have to admit I was a little sad about it.
Then 2 Saturdays ago, my son-n-law called me out on Facebook and all of a sudden I felt immediately included. I was going to be a part of what I believed was a really good thing.
Remember, before my son-n-law called me out I had felt left out… I had felt like I was on the outside of the bubble looking in at what was happening… I had felt that I was NOT a part of something that I truly desired to be a part of!
Now you may wonder why this was so important to me. In my quiet time God revealed to me that He used this internet phenomenon to teach me an object lesson about an extremely important Christian principle!
I am going to preach about that principle this morning and for the next 6 weeks. You see, just as I had felt left out of this challenge, there are many people who profess Christ as Savior today who also feel like they are ‘left out’ when it comes to serving God and connecting within their fellowship.
They see ministry happening around them…
They see others doing things for the church and the Lord…
They see their friends & fellow church members working in the kingdom…
But they don’t feel like they are part of something, to them they feel like they are still on the outside of some sort of spiritual bubble and they are looking into a world where they feel like they are either NOT needed or NOT wanted.
I want you to know that God does not desire that any believer should ever feel this way! God’s desire for His church is close fellowship! He wants us to be a close-knit group of believers who love one another and, in obedience to Him, which we lift up/encourage one another and include one another.
While it is true that we are called by God to do HIS ministry and spread the Gospel message of salvation to the lost… Scripture is also clear in that we are ALSO called to edify/encourage/uplift the body of Christ! We are called to lift up fellow believers who need our encouragement!
There are MANY believers who, for whatever reason, feel like they are on the outside looking in… they feel that they are not included in the efforts of the fellowship.
I want to emphasize here that Scripture paints a clear picture about this subject. Serving God within a fellowship of believers is about total obedience to God, and to accomplish obedience we must include and encourage everyone within our fellowship.