Summary: To have it and to keep it, you've got to share it with others.
SERIES: IT: Finding It, Keeping It, and Sharing It
(freely adapted from Craig Groeschel’s It: How Churches and Leader Can Get it and Keep it)
“YOU SHARE IT WITH OTHERS”
We’re continuing on this morning in our series: IT: Finding It, Keeping It, and Sharing It. The first message was “What is it?” We defined it this way – “It is what God does through a rare combination of certain qualities found in his people.” Those qualities are: 1. A passion for his presence 2. A deep craving to reach the lost 3. Sincere integrity 4. Spirit-filled faith 5. Down-to-earth humility 6. Brokenness.
Our second message began a study of the traits that marked churches that had it and for us to learn how we can develop those traits in our congregation The first trait was a God-given, God-breathed vision and we said that “You Can See It Clearly.” The second trait was the importance of teamwork and we said that “We Experience It Together.” The third trait was innovation and we said “You’ll Do Anything For It.” The fourth trait was about sharing the gospel because ‘You Want Others to Have It.” Two weeks ago we looked at the principle that failure is necessary to success and we said that “You Fail Toward It.”
Today’s message is also about sharing. When you have it, “You Share It With Other.” You don’t hoard it. You can’t hoard it because when you do, you lose it. Some ministries and ministers only look out for their own interests. They become inwardly focused and fail to be kingdom-minded. Kingdom-minded churches share it with other churches and ministries.
Jesus taught the principle of being kingdom-minded in Mt. 6:33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When you are focused on kingdom-wide issues and not just congregational issues, God provides for your need.
God will not let a ministry keep it for very long if they won’t give it away. Keeping it to yourself is a sure way to kill it. And those ministries that don’t have much of it often work hard to guard what little of it they have. What’s funny about it is the more you try to hoard it, the less of it you tend to have. The more you are willing to give it away, the more of it God seems to give.
The key question when your kingdom-minded is, “How can we do more for the glory of God together?” Our concern should not be what can we do for ourselves but rather what can we do to build God’s over-all kingdom? That means, “What can we do globally to build the kingdom?” That means, “What can we do across our nation to build the kingdom?” That also means, “What can we do locally to build the kingdom?”
Most of you would not disagree with our contributions to mission-work across the world and also the work that is done with out support in this nation. Most of you are glad when we join together with other independent Christian churches in fellowship meetings. But how do you feel about working together with other congregations in our town?
17th-century Puritan preacher Richard Baxter lamented, “Is it not enough that all the world is against us, but we must also be against one another? O happy days of persecution, which drove us together in love, whom the sunshine of liberty and prosperity crumbles into dust by our contentions!”
We are part of the Restoration Movement. We began as a movement who desired to unite all believers not around human-made creeds but around the Bible. One of our slogans was: “We’re not the only Christians; just Christians only.”
For some reason since that time, we have become segregated and territorial. We have divided ourselves from others who profess Christ. I’m not saying that we should drop our distinctive doctrines and just melt in with one denomination or another.
What I am saying is that segregation from other believers was not part of Jesus’ original plan. On the last night of his life, we find Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Listen to a portion of his prayer in Jn. 17:20-23 – “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus said in Lk. 11:17 – “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.”