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Date: 3 January, 2018
Title: Accomplishing the Vision
The message today is a bit like the speech from the throne where the Queen sets out the agenda for parliament or the State of the Union in the United States where the President does the same.
We are going to get a big picture of what we are doing as a church as we encourage ourselves to ACCOMPLISH THE VISION.
ill. I noticed something interesting about prayer this week as I read....
2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
32 And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:
33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me:
34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.
35 And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.
37 So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
exp. David had prayed about it. Now, God had provided a counter measure against the council of Ahithophel in the person of Hushai.
Ahithophel was an incredible counselor. 2 Samuel 16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
exp. However - in answer to David's prayer - and the action of Hushai in giving contrary council - Ahithophel's council was rejected.
note: Praying without a readiness to work would have been vain. David prayed. AND David looked for how to do what he was praying about.
exp. It is vain for us to pray for things with NO CONSIDERATION as to what God wants us to do as He answers our prayer.
ill. Edwin Orr's dedication to the call of God. Coming to Liverpool - riding his bike all over the UK. Meetin Evan Roberts (Welsh Revivalist) and agreeing with him when he said, "'Working for God is prayer in action. Being wholly yielded ensures that God will direct you all the day, therefore one's task is to listen for the voice of the Lord, and then to obey.' Roberts further said, 'Vision is as desirable a gift as faith. I have seen men who have had great faith, but who have never exercised it because of their lack of vision. I have seen others who had vision, but who never responded because of their lack of faith.'"
TO PRAY (Vision - God I know you can do this)
AND PARTICIPATE (action of faith - and I'm willing to get my hands dirty getting it done.).
What are we praying for this year?
exp. I have some suggestions this morning regarding what we have been praying about and what we need to prayer about. (Additionally - tonight with our communion service, we are going to take some time to carry these requests to the Lord.)
We need to pray about these things - but as we pray - think also of this question - God - what do you want me to do to help get this accomplished?
quote: It has been said....
"Pray as if everything depended upon God. Work as if everything depended upon you."
WE NEED TO PRAY (vision - God I know that you can do this)
AND PARTICIPATE (faith in action - I'm going to participate) to get this done.
WE NEED TO PRAY AND PARTICIPATE. (What are we praying about?)
I. God please help us build your church.
exp. We are not just a gathering of individuals this morning. We are the gathering of the body of Christ. Each one of us who is born again and committed to this ministry is a member of this local church.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
question: What ought we to be praying about with regard to building our church.
A. God Please give us a Faithful core group.
exp. We want to grow as a body. We need saved, baptized, sanctified and serious about serving Jesus.
ill. The military has gotten pretty silly in their approach to recruiting.
The military is now seeking to target "snowflakes, binge gamers, phone zombies...."
exp. Snowflake (slang) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Snowflake is a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are over-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.
note: I anticipate they will change these traits the first week of training.
app. We want to grow God's army. We need a faithful core group. If you will get the vision (pray) you need to be prepared to take the step of faith (pariticipate.)
B. God please help us train church leadership.
exp. The church needs leadership.
Ephesians4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
exp. God will help us with this.
1 Corinthians12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
exp. We also need to get this done.
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others als
1. God please provide Sunday School Teachers
exp. My home church is Bible Baptist Church in Hudson, WI. We had several adults that participated in teaching the Bible stories to us. nursery classes, p4-p6 boys class and girls class, teen class, young adults class, pensioners class....etc
app. How did they get so many teachers? God developed the people of the church. My p4-p6 teacher was a man who rebuilt homes and rented them out. We had two teachers here for a wee while. God can provide again AND WE NEED TO PRAY. What it if God called you to help out?
2. God please provide Deacons. (Church servants)
exp. Deacons were the result of the need for church servants to oversee the church ministry to the widows. They were to take some of the church work off of the back of the preachers.
note: As we pray for deacons - we need men who are qualified.
Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
1 Timothy3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
app. I challenge you to pray in faith for God to supply deacons for our church. As you pray consider the qualifications and ask God to help you meet them. If you are married seek to meet those qualifications as a couple.
C. Please help us develop our church programs.
ill. I remember a teacher/ pastor I had in Bible college saying, "The church is like a tamatoe vine. Programs are just the support that helps the vine to grow so that it can bear fruit."
exp. The program is not the main thing. However, it is an important part of the health of the vine.
1. God, we need your help with our weekly programs.
Act 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
exp. Acts models for us the local church. This one verse teaches us that the church consists of disciples, listening to preaching and fellowshipping in the Lord's Supper who met together on Sundays.
note: They did not just meet together on Sundays - Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
a. God grow our Sunday School. (Romans)
b. God grow our Sunday Morning.
c. God grow our Sunday Evening. (Proberbs)
d. God grow our Thursday Evening. (Genesis)
e. God grow our Youth choir and men's prayer time.
ill. How did these services begin.
We started with a Sunday School and Sunday AM service on 4 July, 2010. (Alec came on our 5th Sunday.)
About a year later God allowed us to beging Sunday PM and Thursday PM.
6 years ago we started a men's weekly revival prayer meeting.
3-4 years ago we started a youth choir.
note: When you start something - you have to be there even if no one else comes and it was often that way in the beginning. If no one came, my kids had class with my wife and I had prayer.
exp. A church that does not congregate does not exist. Our weekly meetings and faithful attendance are vital to the health of our ministry.
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
app. If you are going to pray in faith for God to grow these weekly meetings - you need to ask God to help you be there unless he providentially hinders you.
ill. Grandpa Shore - leaving the cows out in loco weed. Losing one sickly cow. All 4 of his children went into full time ministry.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
app. You'll reap the blessing in others things when you put the house of God first in your week.
2. God We need your help monthly.
exp. Some of our ministry opportunities are not weekly but monthly.
a. Ladies Meeting - 1st Monday
exp. Great opportunity for our ladies to fellowship together and grow spiritually. It is also a good outreach opportunity to invite unsaved.
b. Trust Service - 2nd Sunday
exp. Evangelistic outreach and ministry opportunity for our teens.
c. Youth Activity - 4th Friday
exp. Fun activity and good discipleship teaching opportunity with our church young people.
app. Like weekly meetings - without people to participate these special ministries cease to exist. God led us to start them and we need to pray for them to continue. We can attend (if it is for us) and encourage others to attend - if we have a vision (prayer) for these important monthly ministries.
3. God We need your help annually.
exp. There are wonderful annual events on our calendar. These are special fellowship, discipleship and evangelistic ministries.
a. Pastor's Fellowship
(Tuesday, 14 January, 10AM - 1PM, Farewell for Merle and Barbara Ventrello)
b. Men's Camp in Ireland
(week following Easter - Wednesday through Saturday)
c. Family Seminar
(24-27 May, 6:00 PM, Friday-Sunday, Dr. and Mrs Steadman)
d. Football Tournament
(8 June, Tabernacle Baptist Church, 10 teens, 3 sponsors)
e. Gala Day and parade
f. HBC x 2 (All hands on deck - around 4 children total this past year.) Several children saved!
g. Evangelistic Meetings
(Late September, early October - Barry and Cheryl Webb)
chalk art, puppets, ventreloquism, preaching, singing, Flugal horn
app. We will get to evangelism in our considerations this morning. But, I want to highlight that these annual ministries, monthly ministries and annual ministries are ETERNAL LIFE AND DEATH OPPORTUNITIES. How important should they be on our calendar? We need to pray and participate!
D. Please help us with the discipleship of new converts.
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
exp. God's method is me teaching others to teach to teach others to teach to teach......
exp. I counted recently 11 people - children to adults - who have trusted Jesus in the last 6 months. As best we can we want to disciple them in the truths of God's Word. When someone gets saved their is a lot of spiritual growth that needs to take place.
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
question: What discipleship opportunities are available in our church.
1. Growing in Grace.
exp. Dr. Ed Nelson - has given us permission to copy and print his discipleship book. It takes time to go through discipleship. It would be great to have others in our church ready to take someone else through the book.
2. Leadership lessons and opportunity for involvement.
exp. We have a 4 lesson leadership which I taught a couple years back. Anyone interested can do the lessons and handouts.
app. The more God allows us to grow the more people we need ready to help with discipleship of new believers. We need to pray for our disicipleship and participate as God gives us opportunity.
II. God please help us see real fruit of salvation.
ill. Parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
ill. But evangelism with prayer will not be accomplished without participation.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
question: What are we praying about?
A. Help us reach specific individuals.
Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
1. Family and Friends
exp. We are going to pray for family and friends to get saved. We need to be ready to invite and speak when God so directs.
2. Following up evangelism.
app. Our church had a calling program on Tuesday nights to follow up on those who were close to salvation. We need to pray for these. But, we also need to follow up and see if God would help them come to salvation. 2 Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
B. Help us reach population targets.
exp. Flyers and door to door.
exp. Weekly I do flyers twice a week and door to door on Saturday. Men are welcome to join me putting out Gospel flyers.
Everyone is welcome to do door to door on Saturdays at 11. We'll train you. (Go with someone who has done door to door.)
note: However, our prayer vision needs to be big and we need to be ready to participate as God directs.
1. Help us with outreach in Midlothian.
2. Help us with outreach in Edinburgh.
3. Help us with outreach in the United Kingdom.
4. Help us with writing flyers and technology. (sermon audio, webpage, facebook.)
app. As we pray God may open a door we don't expect.
1.) Preaching a funeral.
2.) Preaching the wedding.
3.) Articles for Midlothian Advertiser.
III. God please bless our mission's program.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
exp. God may not call you to move internationally to carry the Gospel to another part of the world. Your pastor's family was called to take the Gospel internationally and they did.
note: However - if we don't participate by going ourselves - there is much we need to do to get the Gospel around the world.
A. Help us to give generously.
exp. Our church is the result of faithful churches and individuals giving to world wide evangelism.
B. Help us to know who to support.
exp. As our giving increases we need to know as a church who God wants us to support. We will be able this year to take on at least one new missionary at 100 pounds a month, increase our support of the Kelly's or possibly both.....
app. Are your praying about world wide evangelism? Are you participating?
note: I will conclude this morning with two more points and will not spend a lot of time dwelling on them.
IV. God please provide a permanent location.
exp. God has given us some closed doors so far on our desire to obtain a building. However, God will open a door in his timing and we need to be ready to step through.
A. God bless our building fund.
exp. Anything given in gift aid will grow that fund and anything designated (envelope) will grow that fund.
B. Please provide a building.
exp. It will be a miracle - but God is the worker of miracles. What is amazing about God is when it is time to do it, it will all fall into place very simply.
Jer 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
C. Please provide the workers and skills when a building is acquired.
ill. Our church in NYC obtained an old fish market - much work was required. Mission teams came and helped and the men of the church helped.
app. When God supplies we may have to get our hands dirty in the work of the Lord. Let's pray and participate.
V. God please help us start other churches.
exp. We need to have a vision (prayer) for God to help us start other churches.
A. Help us know where we should focus our prayers.
exp. Biggar, West Linton, Tranent....
B. Help us to have a plan for starting other churches.
exp. Will we begin with mid week services? Home Bible study? What literature should we put through that area? Should we put out feelers?
C. Help us to know when to begin these efforts.
exp. Should we plow the field now and help pick rocks in preparation for the future?
D. God please provide church planting preachers.
exp. Teachable men that who likely need to be tent making pastors. However, God may lead us to give them a significant part of their support.
note: You may say, "Pastor you are dreaming." Yes - we have to have a vision (praying) but we need to be ready to participate. (JESUS IS COMING AND THERE IS MUCH STILL TO BE DONE.)
Are you a bit overwhelmed by the list? God has given us a big responsability. It will never be accomplished by vain prayers (vision) without practice (actions of faith.)
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Has God spoken to your heart about as specific area where....
1.) You need to pray.
2.) Maybe you are praying, but you need to participate.
We need to pray AND we need to participate. We need to ask God for His help and be ready to help Him where possible.