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 Jesus Plan on Missions Sermon Blog Day 1

The late 19th century preacher C.T. Studd once wrote a short verse that says, “Some want to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell, but I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” 

Christ has called out his church to let the world know who He is, so that those who are called would come to faith in Him and become His disciples.    

How many churches, rather than seeking to break into the culture, win the lost, and disciple the saved, are content to maintain what they have? It is our job to train, witness, teach, and proclaim.  God brings the increase. Yet are you aware that there are many churches annually who do not see one single person saved?  

Everyday people die and go to hell.  Yet, we have the privilege as Christians of being called into the service of rescuing many of these lost souls.  Throughout the history of the church, there has been plan after plan about just exactly how to carry out this call most effectively and efficiently.  All those programs and plans that have been really effective will, at some point, be rooted in Acts 1:4-11. Jesus has given the church instruction on how we are to carry out missions. What are the important elements of the Jesus plan of missions? 

 The Power to Operate His Plan: v.4-5 

4 And being assembled together with  them,  He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “ you have  heard from Me;  5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  

In spite of the fact that the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples had seen remarkable and miraculous acts by Jesus, and were ready to tell everyone, they were told to wait. Their waiting would be rewarded by the coming of the Holy Spirit. Be sure that you never mistakenly believe that God does anything in and through the church by human power.  Nothing eternal or truly powerful is done in and through God’s people except by the power of the Holy Spirit – not witnessing, not preaching, not teaching, not loving, and not serving.  Nothing can be done in the way God has designed unless it is the power of the Holy Spirit accomplishing it. It is foolish to think that God’s people can do eternal work in the power of human self-effort. 

A woodpecker tapped with his beak against the stem of a tree just as lightning struck the tree and destroyed it.  He flew away and said, "I didn't know there was so much power in my beak!"  

We look just as foolish when we take credit for something God has done.   When I manage to get through a trying time by God’s grace and say, “I got through that because I have such strong willpower.”  When I witness to someone and see them saved, yet I am proud for what I have done, I am that woodpecker. 

When our small group grows and we think we did it, we are that woodpecker. When many people get saved and we baptize them and take credit for baptizing a lot of people, we are the foolish woodpecker.  When we have real unity and love in the church and say, “There is such unity because all these people are just so sweet,” we are that silly woodpecker.   

The church of Jesus Christ is a supernatural work of God accomplished by the dynamite empowering called the Holy Spirit.  If anything, we should be on our faces thanking God for the privilege or the opportunity to sacrifice and not being proud because we sacrificed.