Sunday, August 3, 2008

Recognizing where we are

The Great Commission

Recognizing where we are…and who is in control

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


The Great Commission – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry


Over the next few weeks we are going to talk about our relationship as a church with the Lord.

We are going to look at issues such as;

Recognizing where you are at in your relationship with Christ

We are going to look for roadblocks

Take a look at your responsibilities as followers of Christ

Look at Christ’s instruction on Tithe / Alms and Love Offerings

And Examine Prayer in the Bible

After we look at what the scriptures tell us we are supposed to be doing as a church, we are going to evaluate this church, and take a personal evaluation of ourselves as well.


Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

We can get tied up in thinking we know what is best for ourselves, for others, for our church…

But God has already told us in His Word what is best.

We can not hear what God’s Word instructs, then “do it our way”

We’re not Frank Sinatra, and God is not buying it.

We can not do anything “our way”

It’s God’s way, or “no way”

Or, as I like to say, there’s two ways to do something for the Lord, the right way, or your way.


Genesis 4:2

2 Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Here we see two men, both tithing.

Maybe even giving equal amounts.

One was accepted by the Lord with favor, the other was not. Why?

This is an example of how we want to do things “our way” instead of God’s way.

Because Able gave the FIRST FRUIT (First Born), and Cain just gave from the some of the fruits…

You see, Able gave to the Lord what was FIRST to come to him, and Cain gave from his excess, or what was left over.

He gave from what he didn’t need or want.

Cain says…”what’s the problem, I’m tithing?”

But he was in disobedience because he was not doing what the Lord said to do.

God does not want your table scraps. But to be first.

In this, we show that God is first in all things in our lives.

Can we say to the Lord, well, this would have just went to waste, or rotted, I would have to throw it away anyways, so ‘here God, this is for you…’

Or should we say, ‘Lord, I know that all I have comes by your hand, thank you Lord, from what I have received, as your Word says, here is a portion back to you in thanks…’

We receive instruction from the Word, and we try to do it “our way”…then like Cain, get angry when things don’t work out.

That anger in Cain drove to more sin…

We must do things God’s way…THEN we are looked upon with favor.

So what is God’s way?

This is God’s purpose for us…this is what we are going to examine over the next few weeks…God’s way…God’s purpose for us.

I. What is the Lord’s purpose?

a. Three Will’s of God

i. That all are saved and come to a knowledge of Christ

1 Timothy 2:3-5

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Matthew 18:12-14

12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

ii. The Great Commission: GO, Witness, Baptize, Teach

iii. To receive the Spiritual Gifts so that you are God enabled

Daniel did not survive the lions den because he used to work in the circus.

Moses did not part the red sea because he was an engineer.

David did not defeat Goliath because he was a slingshot champion.

Joshua did not defeat Jericho because his army was so overweight when they marched they caused an earthquake that tore the walls down.

And Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross so you could have a free ticket to heaven, yet not serve Him a day of your life here on earth.

Do not take His grace for grant-it

As Job says, ‘The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away’

I pray that you do not run out of grace, before you run out of time.

We must be God enabled, and we must be DOERS…

Daniel was enabled by God, but if he did not PRAY, angels would not have come.

Moses was enabled by God, but if he did not STEP into the raging waters, they would not have parted.

Joshua was enabled by God, but if he did not OBEY, the walls would not have fallen.

David was enabled by God, but if he wouldn’t have faced the giant, he could not have defeated him.

This is where we are at as a church…a body of believers…the Body of Christ.

God has called us out and planted this church

God has enabled us to fulfill His calling on us

Now we have to DO our part!

We have to PRAY like Daniel.

We have to STEP INTO the raging waters.

We have to OBEY the Lord, and the enemies walls will come tumbling down.

And we have to FACE THE GIANT, so that he may be defeated!

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

We are at war.

We are in God’s army.

And God has given us a home base.

b. Local Church is to be Home base

i. For Followers to be built and strengthened

ii. For lost sheep to be saved and become NEW

New Creation / New Creature

We receive a NEW FAMILY AS WELL!

Mark 3:35 - New Family (Jesus)

35 Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

iii. For the lost to find refuge

iv. For sinners to be forgiven

II. These purposes are our questions to ask ourselves

a. Are you a follower of Christ?

i. Have you accepted the covenantal promise of commitment?

ii. Have you confessed to the Lord you have sinned?

iii. Have you repented of that sin?

Romans 2:4-6

4 … do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."

God’s kindness, tolerance and patience toward us, leads you toward repentance.

What will you do?

Will you turn to Jesus and make Him your Lord,

Or will you continue to live ‘Your Way’ and store up wrath for yourself on the day of judgment?

God has given His grace to lead you to repentance after you accept Him, not to continue living in sin because you have claimed the blood of Christ, and think you can now live ‘your way’, and be right with the Lord.

b. The Great Commission is our command

i. Are you going?

ii. Are you witnessing?

Romans 10:8-15

8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Matthew 18:14

…your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

iii. Are you baptizing?

iv. Are you teaching obedience to Christ?

III. Time to see what roadblocks are in our way!

i. After examining the basics, we will dig deeper

Ask yourself the questions that will grow your relationship with the Lord

Romans 12:1 - 3

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy (which is given to lead you to repentance), to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

You need to live your life and all you do for the Lord, this is how you worship God spiritually. By putting HIM FIRST in everything!

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,

Stop living like the unsaved!

…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Change your thinking…

Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


REPENT, put God first in all things, stop living like the unsaved, and change your thinking…

You can not live God’s will for you in your life.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Judge yourself with your understanding!

Take the faith God has given you, and judge yourself, so that He will not have to judge you.

Luke 19:43-44

43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

This is now.

2 Timothy 2:1 – 6

1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.

5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

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