Summary: Rev. Fair speaks of how God has a line in our hearts. How timely are His messages to use message of love, of encouragement, of assurance, of promise, of direction, and of power. Ours should be a private line and his calls should take precedence over all other calls.
WHEN CHURCH LETS OUT
Scripture: John 15:1-16
I. Thess.1:4-5 Philips - “We know that God not only loves you but has selected you for a specific purpose. For we remember how our Gospel came to you, not as mere words, but as a message with power behind. The effectual power in fact of the Holy Spirit”.
Some time ago, a stranger in St. Louis asked a bus driver to recommend to him a good church. The bus driver said to him, “I don’t have opportunity to attend church, but if I did I would go to the church on the corner of 9th Street. It’s small church and it lets out as I drive by. The people coming out look friendly and happy”.
The people attending church in Thessalonica were walking worthy of their high calling in Christ Jesus. They were living up to their Christian profession. They were the same out of church as they were in church. They thought strait and lived strait. They were the light of the world and were letting their light shine consistently and constantly when church let out. To walk worthy and to live worthy one must possess vital christian experiences.
I. As God’s men and women, the Thessalonian Christians were objects of God’s love. Read the text again, “We know that God not only loves you”. “Not only” signifies that something else is to follow, but we need noting else. To that God loves us is a vital experience.
Paul and Sylvanius and Timothy writing to these Christians say, “We know that God loves you”. How did they know that? Fond parents often ask their child, “How much do you love me”? Their answer usually a hug or a kiss. Paul knew that God loved him. Writing to the Church at Rome (5:8) Paul said, “But God commended his love.
12 x 12 = 1000
Text: Second Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work”
Do you know that 12 x 12 equals a thousand? From your expressions, some of you do not know that. You are shaking your heads and thinking, “How did Rev. Fair ever get out of grade school with that kind of arithmetic? 12 x 12 does not equal 1000 in the old or the new math. Everyone knows that 12 x 12 = 144, no less, and no more. You are wrong and I am right for I am speaking of the ....
I. Arithmetic of the Bible
In Biblical history 12 people x 12 people always equal more than 144. When Gideon was called by God to deliver Israel from the Midianites, he tried to back out because of his feeling of inadequacy, but God said “I will be with you and you will be successful”. Gideon sent out a call for volunteers and 32,000 responded. Seems like a large army but Midians’s army was larger and better quipped.
God looked the 32,000 over and said to Gideon “Your army is too large. Send all the fearful home and 22,000 happy warriors went home. That left 10,000 and God again said to Gideon “our army is too large” and 9,700 went home. That left a mere 300. 300 plus God and Gideon and they proved superior to the Midianites, 12 x 12 = 1000. God and one will be a majority.
When the King of Syria made war against Israel, he tried to capture Elisha, God’s prophet by surrounding the city one night with an army of chariots. In the morning, Elisha’s servant went outside and discovered their predicament. He pushed the panic button all the way and cried in despair, “What shall we do? What shall we do? We have had it”! It certainly looked that way. Every avenue of escape seemed closed. Hearing the commotion, Elisha’s looked out and surveyed the situation. They were indeed surrounded by an army of chariots drawn upside by side.
Elisha said to his servant, “calm down”. North, East, South and West are indeed escape proof, but the way up is still open. Besides, “We have more on our side than they have on their side”. That was hard to believe. He could see what the enemy had. He could see himself and Elisha facing them. He must have had a look of unbelief heavenward. “Lord, open this young man’s eyes that he might see, and behold the mountain was filled with chariots of fire. 12 x 12 = a thousand. God and one is always a majority. Elisha stood still and God brought the victory.
The 12 Apostles became much more than 144. Now 12 is a very small number. I can well imagine that after the crucifixion of Christ the temple police breathed a sigh of relief. There were but 12 of his followers and they were bewildered. On the day of Pentecost there were only 120, but God was with them and 12 x 12 would equal a thousand and the 12 with their followers would march across the Roman Empire in the power of God.