From Pastor Johnny

The Jesus Plan on Missions Sermon Blog Day 2

The Procedure that Organizes His Plan: v.6-8 

6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to  know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  8 But you shall receive power  when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and  you shall be  witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the  end of the earth.” 

 Jesus establishes a procedure for organizing the plan of missions. The procedure involves a focus that is primarily preoccupied with the here and now.  Spending most of my time focusing on the future robs the ministry of now.   The primary purpose of understanding end times is as a motivator to persevere to the end and minister passionately now. 

The procedure also involves a function that starts here and works out to there.  It is a logical plan of missions that,  we will not reach the lost on. 

In the middle Georgia area, back in the 1990s, there was a restaurant Elissa and I used to eat at in Warner Robins. It was called Gabby’s Diner. They served good food and had an enjoyable atmosphere.  About the time this restaurant opened, we saw others open in Macon and in other parts of Georgia.  This chain of restaurants apparently expanded to multiple locations in a matter of months.  After about two years this restaurant in Warner Robins went out of business.  Later we saw all the others in the other locations were out of business.   

I found out later that the failed chain had tried to expand so fast that it bankrupted itself.  It outgrew its ability to be supported by the public.  If that failed chain had become very effective where it began, then grew out from there, then it probably would have succeeded.  It is a simple logical principle that we should become effective right where we are before we expand outward. 

Are you looking for ministry somewhere?  Have you taken advantage of opportunities right where you are?  Does your small group teacher need someone to help do outreach?  What about ministry in your office?  What about your ministry to your family?   HAVE YOU BEGUN MINISTERING RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE? 


The Impact of Christmas on Our Worship Sermon Blog Day 2

A Worship Design by Scripture: Luke 2.22-23

“Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’),”

              These two things – the purification and presentation – were both tied to God’s Word. Worship is driven, not by our felt needs or emotion, but by God’s Word. The centerpiece of true worship is designed by what God has spoken through His Word.

            Years ago, I was asked to spend two days in early June doing some sessions for Bible study and worship with a group of college aged counselors as they prepared for an entire summer of youth camps. Each week, for about 8 weeks, they had groups of students coming in – approximately 400-500 each week – for worship, Bible sessions, recreation, discipleship, and summer camp life. It was up in the mountains of Tennessee.

            They asked me to come in, as the counselors were preparing for camp, and do 3-4 sessions to challenge them spiritually. I did that, and on the last day toward the end of the final session, I simply did a Q&A that allowed them to ask biblical questions, questions about spiritual growth, and questions about ministry.

            One guy, who was a rising junior in college asked this, “Everyday we are going from early in the morning until late at night. We will have students around us from about 7:30am until 10:00pm. We will have Saturdays and Sunday mornings off, but the rest of the time is going a lot. Most of us do our personal worship times early in the mornings or late at night. We know that we need them, so could you recommend a format that would be most helpful for us with very little time?

            I said, “If you have really limited time, then set aside any additional devotional books or aides. Get your Bible and a notepad. Make your personal worship times exclusively prayer and God’s Word. Jot down thoughts God gives you or prayer, but as much as devotional books and aides help, when time is limited the most important piece is fellowship with God and worship in His Word.”

            Why would Jesus give Himself the way that He did? He did it as an act of worship that was according to God’s Word. There are prophecies of the coming of Christ but also those about his death and His Second coming. God’s Word and worship are inextricably linked. You simply cannot have claim to be a worshipper and not daily be in God’s Word and weekly gather to hear God’s Word preached and taught.