New Life Chapel

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A Call to Action – Sermon March 21, 2010

A Call to Action!

Good Morning!

Over the last several weeks we have been looking at different aspects putting out Faith in Action. This week I would like to bring it all together and talk about some of the challenges we face about putting our Faith into Action.

 How many enjoy coming to church and hearing God’s Word taught?

 I to enjoy hearing God’s Word taught. When I used to commute a lot I would spend a couple of hours each day listening to sermons. I also try to listen to one every time I mow my lawn. I really enjoy it and I get a lot out of it, but there is more to being a Christian than listening to the Word being taught.

 We are not called to only sit here and listen to what we are being taught. As Christians we are called into action. In Matthew 28 we find Jesus talking to His disciples after His resurrection, and He gives them what we know as the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:18-20

18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I want to pull a couple of what I see as key words out of this passage, Go, Make, Baptizing, Teaching, and obey. What do these words have in common? They are all verbs, they are Action Words. Jesus is telling His disciples to get moving, to go and spread the good news. To do what they have been called to do.

 James 1:22 tells us “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO what it says.”

 Hearing the Word taught is not enough, we need to practice what we hear. As Christians we need to be actively doing what the Bible teaches, we need to be reaching out to people, we need to be showing Christ’s love.

 Matt 7:21 says “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

 Essentially knowing Jesus is Lord is not good enough, after all even the demons know that He is Lord, we need to do the Fathers will. 

 From these verses we can see that listening to the Word and knowing that Jesus is Lord is not enough.

            We need to do the Fathers Will.

            We need to take what we have learned and apply to our lives.

            We need to take action!

 The BIG question is what is stopping us?

            What is stopping us from getting involved?  

            What is stopping us from taking action?

One of the main reasons I think Christians do not act, is out of fear. Fear of failure, fear that they do no know enough, or fear of not being good enough.

Has anyone here felt this way before? I have!

There are times when I feel God calling me to do something and I get afraid. I would have to say my most common response is, “Who am I to do that, I am nobody.”

What we need to remember is that:

God did NOT take the time to create a nobody

God took the time to make each one of us, Psalm 139:13 tells us that God knit us together in the womb. He did not create us to be nobody’s and for us to do nothing. He created each of us for a reason, and He wants us to fulfill that reason.

When we feel we are being led to act and we are feeling unworthy or afraid, we need to remember a couple of things…

            The first is found in Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

We can depend on Jesus to be there for us. He has given us the strength we need to accomplish all that He placed before us. 

            2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Timidity can also be translated as fear. Instead of fear God has given us power so that we may ACT, He has given us Love so that we can ACT as Jesus would want us to. And he gave us self-discipline so that we can control our actions and not give up when things get tough.

After all God created each of us for a specific reason, as has given us the tools we need to be successful.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Before we were born God knew exactly what He was creating us for. He knew each challenge that we were going to face, each opportunity that we were going to have to share His love.

Since God knew all these things in advance don’t you think he gave each of us the skills and gifting we will need to accomplish His will?

For each of us being active Christians will manifest differently, Some of the ways it could take form are cleaning the church, giving of time, self, or money, evangelism, encouraging, and many others. God has created each one of us to be exactly what He has called us to be.

Thankfully God gave us his power and authority before He called us to act.

Let’s turn to Luke 9 verses 1-6

1When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. 4Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” 6So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.”

In verse 1 Jesus gave His disciples power and authority and in verse 2 He told them to go, and they went. Verse 6 tells us that they went from village to village preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere, they were successful.

Jesus gave His disciples the power and authority to minister in His name, thankfully that same power and authority is available to us through the work of the Holy Spirit.

As believers all of us have the authority to pray in the name of Jesus. Pray for healing, pray for God’s provision, and so on.

Each of us has the authority in Jesus name to meet someone’s need. We can give someone a cup of water, food to eat, or a jacket to keep them warm. Jesus has given all we need to show His love to those around us.                  

As Christians we are called to Act, we are called to Do. Thankfully, God did not take the time to create a nobody. Thankfully, He has given us authority to do His will in His name.

Besides feeling unqualified or fearful, there is something else that keeps Christians from reaching out.

Some Christians are not struggling with doing what is right versus what is wrong, they cannot choose which of the right things to do. Especially in today’s world there are so many options to choose from, you could serve in a ministry here at New Life Chapel, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, and the list goes on and on. We have a lot of needs in this economy and especially in this state. Some Christians are stopped in their foot steps by just the sheer overwhelming volume of options.

With so many options out there we need to make sure we do not get stuck. We need to choose a path and act on it. No matter what we do we need to show Christ’s love to someone each day. When we are standing still not sure what to do, we need to remember that:

God judges us by direction, not by distance.

In Matthew 16:24 Jesus is speaking to His disciples and said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

We need to follow Jesus, What do you do when you follow someone? You head in the same direction they went. So if we are followers of Jesus we need to make sure we are heading in the same direction he went.

We don’t need to be superstars in the church, not all of us are going to be great evangelist or famous authors. We are average people serving an amazing God, and He loves us no matter what. God is going to judge us, not by if we know His words, but by if we are following him. It does not matter if we have only just made that first step or run a whole marathon. What matters is that we are moving towards Him, that we are NOT standing still. 

Let’s recap, God is calling each and every one of us to Act, to do something. We know that He does not want us to be afraid and that He will give us the strength to persevere. We also know that there are many different options out there and we need to choose one.

So the next question is how do we get started? What are the practical steps to fulfilling the plan that God has laid out for you? I have broken it down to 4 steps that need to take place.

 The first is Saving Faith.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 There is no way around it, each and every one of us is a sinner. If we are to serve Jesus in any way we need to have asked Him to forgive us of our sins, we need to thank Him for the sacrifice he made on the cross for us, and we need to be following Him.

 The Second is Pray.

            1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray Continually.”

             We should be praying at all times. Start praying when you wake up in the morning and continue to pray as you go through your day. As you pray seek God’s will for you and ask Him to make opportunities for you to reach out and spread His love.

 The third thing you need to do is Grow in Knowledge.

            Turn to 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”

             These verses tell us that the Word of God, our Bible, is useful for teaching, it is useful in rebuking, correcting, and training in Righteousness. And for what purpose? Verse 17 answers this for us, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 Paul is telling us that God’s word will equip us for doing what we were created to do. It is through studying scripture that we learn what God has done for us, how we are to live our lives, and much much more. Some of the things we should do to help us grow in knowledge is to read our Bible’s, come to church each week ready to learn, and join one of our home Bible studies. The more we immerse ourselves in the Word the more we will learn.

 The final step I want to give you this morning is to Step Out in Faith.

If you feel God is leading you to do something, step out and do it. If you want to help out at the church, volunteer somewhere. Do not be afraid, God will guide you to do exactly what He has created you to do.

In Genesis 12 begins the story of a man named Abram. This is a story about a man who continually steps out in faith. Abram left his family and went to an unknown land because he had faith in God. We need to follow Abram’s example and step out in faith, no matter how scary it is.

Please turn to Matthew 7:24-27

 24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When we look at these verses there is a wise man and a not so wise man. The wise man listened to Jesus and applied His teachings to His life. He put to practice what he was taught. The not so wise man heard the teachings but never changed, never acted. The wise man was spared, the other was not.

Do you want to end up like the man who built his house on the sand or the man who built his house on a foundation of rock? I say let’s build our house’s on a foundations of Rock. Let’s put what we have learned in practice and become active Christians.

I invite each of you to join me on this journey of becoming active Christians. Now there may be some of you here this morning saying to your self, I am not yet following Jesus. If you are wondering how to give your life over to Jesus, it is easy. A simple prayer will get your started.

If everybody would please close their eyes and those who are wanting to give their life to Christ, please repeat after me.

Lord Jesus, I come to you today confessing that I am a sinner. I come to you knowing that only through your death on the cross can I be forgiven. Lord Jesus Please forgive me for my sins. From this day forward I commit my life to You. In your precious name, Amen.

Now if you have just said that prayer for the first time, I would like to be the first to welcome you to the family of God.

Now I hope each one of us will step out in faith and act. I know help is needed here at New Life Chapel and all throughout Jackson County.

I would like to suggest that we look at all the different activities that go on around here in the spring and summer seasons. Could be the Carp Carnival in MI Center, the Civil War Muster, 4th of July at Cascades, or ??? If we look at these activities we can probably find a way as a local church to reach out. It could be volunteering at these events or handing bottles of water to people. It does not have to be complicated, or even time-consuming, just something to help people know we Love this community and want to be more than the church that used to be a barn.

Together let’s take that step of faith and be active Christians in 2010. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

May God bless you abundantly!

Pastor Robert

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March 21, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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