Sunday, May 7, 2023

Church Mission Part 7 – When is When

Church Mission
Part 7 – When is When
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
The House of Faith Church | |
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·          Introduction
o   Step One: Where do we Begin?
o   The Disciples
o   Go and ‘Make’ Disciples
o   Get Your Nets
o   When, Where & How to Fish
WWhen is When?

Today is Sunday. April 30th, 2023
            Over the last few weeks, we have taken a close look at and compared Luke 5 and Matthew 18 to better understand what our mission and ministry should be as a church or member of the Body of Christ.
            We compared and could see Jesus’ ministry, which began in Luke 5, was the same as He stated in Matthew 18 at the end of His ministry; it was the Lord who calls, gives direction, and commands what is to be accomplished.
            Jesus is the Lord of when, where and how.
            We talked last week about how many times in scripture the ministry and mission was compared to sowing seed, watering, growing, harvesting. We need to remember this allegory, because it will aid in your mission for Christ.
            How? Because once you understand that Christianity and following Christ takes time and nurturing, you will understand patience and kindness to those whom you are ministering to. Which is the first two actions listed in 1 Corinthians 13 when scripture descries love.
            It is less frustrating and disheartening when you are serving the Lord when you understand that time and patience is needed in ministering to the lost.
            This brings us to today's message. How important God’s timing is.
            The bride takes one more look at herself in the mirror before pulling her veil down. With much anticipation and excitement she goes into the sanctuary and stands at the front of the church. The pastor look’s at her and smiles.
            She smiles back.
            The pastor nervously looks about the congregation, then back to the bride, and asks, “What are you doing?”
            The bride smiles and says, “I’m getting married!”
            The pastor nervously smiles again, “Yes, but that’s next week.”
Timing is important!
 The Lord’s Timing is of the Utmost Importance
 SCRIPTURE READING (Legacy Standard Bible)
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to lose;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”
The point these verses make is this, God has set a time for all things, regardless of whether they appear to mortals as “good” or “bad,” the times have been appointed.
This is an example of predestination in action, without removing the free will to choose God has so graciously given us. I may be powerless over the time of my death, but I can choose the manner in which I live until then.
This also reveals to us that there are going to be times of heartache, sadness, pain and suffering. But also times of peace, love, laughing, dancing, healing, living!
But God’s timing of such matters serves His purpose, not ours.
I learned at a very young age, cracking jokes and goofing off at my great aunts funeral is frowned upon by most of society. Poor timing. In my characters attempt to lighten the mood and make others feel better I upset others because it appeared I did not care for my aunt.
This, of course, was completely wrong. I did care for her. In a bad time in my life, I will always remember the kindness she showed me, just for the sake of being kind.
However, we must listen closely to the Spirit of God, and watch, wait, listen for His timing. Jesus is the Lord of “When.”
I.          LISTEN
a.      How do you Hear when the Lord Speaks to You?
                                                 i.      Through the reading the the Holy Word
                                              ii.      Through Prayer
                                           iii.      In quiet time and meditation on God’s Word
                                            iv.      Through others
b.     Listening is not the same as hearing
                                                 i.      You may tell your child to do something and they answer back, “OK.”
1.      Then they sit there, doing nothing.
2.      They “heard” you, but did not “listen” to you.
                                              ii.      We don’t want to just “hear” the Spirit of God, we want to “listen.”
c.      Knowing the difference between the Lord and everything else
                                                 i.      It will always line up with scripture
1.      Sometimes the Spirit has led some prophets to do some incredible things.
a.      However, some of the things prophets of old had to do were because there was no Bible, and the foundation of belief of God was established through various extremes, because as you know, news travels when it is extraordinary.
b.     Isaiah 20:2-4 “at that time Yahweh spoke by the hand of Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet.” And he did so, going naked and barefoot. And Yahweh said, “Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.”
                                                                                                                         i.      Though not out of the realm of possibilities, it is very unlikely any of us are called to be a major prophet and have to go to these extremes to get the message of God across to the people.
                                                                                                                      ii.      We have the complete revelation of God in His Holy Word, and need nothing more today to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
                                                                                                                   iii.      Because of the cross and what the Lord accomplished there, the Holy Spirit can now dwell within mankind and be his guide and teacher in all he hears.
                                                                                                                    iv.      John 14:16 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
                                                                                                                       v.      Luke 12:12 “the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
2.      The key is to compare what is said with what the Bible says. When God speaks to a person today, it is in 100% complete agreement with what God has already said in the Bible.
3.      God does not contradict Himself. 1 John 4:1 instructs us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
4.      1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 declares, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
5.      So, whether it is a “word from the Lord” or a supposed prophecy, our response should be the same. Compare what is said to what the Word of God says. If it contradicts the Bible, throw it out.
6.      If it agrees with the Bible, pray for wisdom and discernment as to how to apply the message (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:5).
7.      And if anyone claims to be a prophet or have a Word from God, and they are wrong, even once, they are a false prophet and have nothing to do with what they say.
                                              ii.      What the Spirit of God speaks will always benefit the Kingdom (though we may not always know how)
                                           iii.      The more time you spend in the Word and Prayer, the easier it will be to recognize the voice of God.
1.      When my wife calls me and I answer the phone, I don’t need a caller ID to know it is her I am speaking to. I know her voice.
a.      What Good is a Command if it has Been Ignored?
                                                 i.      I asked my boys to clean their room. They heard, but did not listen.
                                              ii.      We need to listen and DO what the Spirit of God reveals to us.
b.     What Good is Obedience to Our Faith Walk?
                                                 i.      Continual “hearing” and “obeying” grows us in faith and our walk, and brings us ever closer to God.
c.      How can we be Sure we are Obeying?
                                                 i.      If the Lord reveals a “when,” then you do not move until then.
                                              ii.      The Lord gave me a “when” approximately 1 year after my salvation.
1.      “I” will make you a pillar in “MY” church
2.      and you will teach my Word to my people.
                                           iii.      I did not understand until years later that “pillar” was an allegory in the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple for an Elder.
                                            iv.      One day the pastor of the Baptist church approached me and said, “The Elder’s have recognized a calling on you from God to preach and teach. They want you to become an Elder.”
1.      It was then I realized what God had said was fulfilled.
2.      I did not seek that position, and never told anyone other than my mother and wife what God had said to me.
                                               v.      KEY TAKEAWAY
1.      I will make you = God did it, just as He said He would
2.      In my church = Body of Christ, not a building or denomination
3.      You will teach My Word to My People = I am not an evangelist, I am called to teach God’s Word to His people. I am a teacher.
God gave me a calling.
When? When He would make me a pillar.
Where? Within His church, the Body of Christ.
How? I would teach His Word to His People.
a.      Where Comes After the When (Sometimes before)
                                                 i.      Sometimes you may get the where before the when.
                                              ii.      However, it usually comes after the When.
                                           iii.      Sometimes God may put the where on your heart long before the when.
1.      A heart for children
2.      Mission work in a certain place
3.      A call to evangelize
                                            iv.      We still must listen to the when, and remain within God’s timing.
b.     The Lord’s Voice will be Confirmed
                                                 i.      Through the reading of God’s Word
                                              ii.      Through other believer’s
1.      As it was with the Baptist Elder’s and Pastor for me
                                           iii.      Sometimes through non-believers
1.      If the lord can speak through a donkey, He can speak through whomever He chooses.
a.      However, it will still line up perfectly with the Word of God if it is Him.
c.      You are Ready for Where (or When)
                                                 i.      Once you know the when, you are ready for the where.
                                              ii.      Unless you know the where, in that case, you are ready for the when.
God’s Timing is the ONLY Timing we need to be Concerned with!
The Lord will give us a mission, sometimes multiple missions, in this life. When we eagerly peruse Him, and His Will, He will bring you to the place He wants you to be, when He wants you there, and make known to you, what it is He wants you to accomplish.
Sometimes we are to “get the door open” for the gospel.
Sometimes we are to “Sow the seed” of God’s Word.
Sometimes we are to build, encourage, strengthen, edify, grow, water, that seed through the Holy Spirit within us doing a work.
Sometimes we are there to bring that brother or sister to the decision of Christ, and lead them to the next step of Baptism, the outward expression of the spiritual truth which took place within their heart, preparing the way for God’s Holy Spirit.
There are many stages of the Christian walk, and every stage needs a Saint and a minister of the Gospel to be there.
All those who belong to the Lord are Saint, ministers and part of the Holy Priesthood, and the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest, leading us and guiding us through obedience to Him. If we will listen.
Next week: Where is Where?
Part 8 – Where is Where?
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