A Place Of Grace
- O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing God is Love
- the lion and the lamb god is love
- great are you lord god is love
- ever be
- At 4:30 pm today, an event will occur called the Super Bowl. Over 100 Million people will tune in to watched 22 men fight for, run, throw, and kick a piece of leather. Two teams consisting of no more than 53 players on each team, along with some coaches working… striving… giving their all, while 100 million sit by, entertained, relaxing, maybe cheering, critiquing, as they sit in their comfortable easy chair eating chips,wings, and drinking soda!We are beginning to look at in the book of acts sections commonly referred to as “the missionary journeys of Paul”.It can be tempting to allow ourselves as we go through these sections to fall into spectator positions in our understanding and application of these passages if we are not careful.There is a place for spectators in the church however…“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.The church, never was intended to be a spectator lifestyle, rather one of engagement and movement forward. Building up the body, building up the church… all through the power of the Holy Spirit.“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.Paul explains this well inAnd He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;The work God has in store for His church is far too great for a handful of those He has gifted and called in certain areas to do. He expects them to EQUIP!Equip for what??? “Works of service… building up the body of Christ!”This is important for us to understand as we look at the Biblical mindset of MissionsMISSIONS...We get our English word for “mission” from the Latin… it carries the concept ofA Task Assigned or Act of SendingWebster defines it as: 1) the act or an instance of sending 2) a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faithI believe it is important for us to understand how our culture approaches missions before we look at how God defines missions in His scriptures.2 a: a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on humanitarian workMany define missions as anything that requires raising support for (non-profit)Travel, building things, feeding, helping… etc.These are good, they can even be a mission for sure… BUT it is not ALL necessarily the Biblical mandate of missions.In order to better understand the Biblical mindset of missions let’s turn to & 14As we begin here we will ask and consider:Who?How?Where?WHO?The “who” will probably be a smaller number. In Ephesians remember Paul state “He gave some” or appointed some to be “pastors, teachers, evangelist etc”Some of you this morning may be pray that you are not the some…Please Don't Send Me to Africa Song by Scott Wesley BrownOh Lord I am your willing servant You know that I have been for years I'm here in this pew every Sunday and Wednesday I've stained it with many a tear I've given You years of my service I've always given my best And I've never asked you for anything much So, Lord I deserve this requestLyrics Oh Lord I am your willing servant You know that I have been for years I'm here in this pew every Sunday and Wednesday I've stained it with many a tear I've given You years of my service I've always given my best And I've never asked you for anything much So, Lord I deserve this requestPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man, I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me out into the bush Where the natives are restless at nightPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man, I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me out into the bush Where the natives are restless at nightPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man, I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me out into the bush Where the natives are restless at nightI'll see that the money is gathered I'll see that the money is sent I'll wash and stack the communion cups I'll tithe eleven percent I'll volunteer for the nursery I'll go on the youth group retreat I'll usher, I'll deacon, I'll go door to door Just let me keep warming this seatI'll see that the money is gathered I'll see that the money is sent I'll wash and stack the communion cups I'll tithe eleven percent I'll volunteer for the nursery I'll go on the youth group retreat I'll usher, I'll deacon, I'll go door to door Just let me keep warming this seatPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me to the ends of the earth Where the natives are restless at nightPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me to the ends of the earth Where the natives are restless at nightPlease don't send me to Africa I don't think I've got what it takes I'm just a man I'm not a Tarzan Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes I'll serve you here in suburbia In my comfortable middle class life But please don't send me to the ends of the earth Where the natives are restless at nightSource: Musixmatch Songwriters: Scott-wesley BrownFor the SOME of you that are wanting to sing harmony with this song we will come back to you later, in the meanwhile we are going to look at the other some… let’s look together atNow there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.Notice who and how God chose:“While they were ministering”… they were already serving God, He was just going to change how it looked!They were not sitting waiting for God to callThey were faithful in what God was having them doThey had just returned in fact from ministering to the church in Jerusalem with the famine!Set apart… for a special work.Fasting and Prayer… Biblical disciplines in the Christian lifeFocus on God, not for God to focus on us!A Team Set Apart & SentBarnabas… (an encouraging man)Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement),He encouraged Paul stood up for him...But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.Every team needs a Barnabas… Every team needs a Paul too… Look how God Prepared this man:Born a Roman CitezenA rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher, and a lawyer all in oneAnd he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.
a rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher, and a lawyer all in oneA pupil under the well known and celebrated rabbi GamalielHe was comfortable traveling, we even see him going beyond the norm on the road to Damascus when the Lord calls himHe was naturally passionate about serving GodWe celebrate and revere the Apostle Paul… but notice he never does things aloneThis time Barnabas is with him, as well as John Mark (Verse 5)Partners in ministry, training the next ones to serve…Beware in ministry those who seek to be “Lone Wolves” they just may be wolves in sheep clothing.The church in Antioch is there “sending” agency!PrayerSupportEncouragementThis is the church in action… maybe not in Africa but in actionThe song jokes at the tithing, sending, prayinSHOW MAPNext week we will look more into the strategy, but I want you to see the WHERE and the HOWThis is the smallest area Paul will cover on his missionsPredominately the region of Galatia and the Island of CyprusIMAGES of CyprusMost likely lasted a year to two yearsgives an example of the pattern we see:So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? “Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord.Pattern of Ministry/MissionsPattern of Ministry/MissionsProclaim the Word of GodIn Synagogues FirstJews and Gentiles alikeFace OppositionRemain FaithfulMove OnNext week we will Look at this in closer detail as we consider the strategy more. Do you know what Paul and Barnabas would leave behind as they moved on…Believers in Christ (AKA The Church)!!!They equipped them to shareThey equipped them to growThey equipped them for service!The church today has grown enamored with the spectator position of things… we have stepped off the field (a field ripe for harvest) and put ourselves in the seats of the world watching, begging to be entertained rather than on the field working at being trained and doing the work of proclaiming the Word of God!We treat Sunday mornings like it is the game, and we come only to watch and be entertained, when in reality it is only a huddle… when we leave here we should be saying BREAK or AMEN and go and do the work… to put into action what God has instructed us to do!As we leave today I want to pray for two groups:the group God may be calling to be set apartthe group that God will use this week for works of serviceIf you are a follower of Jesus Christ… then you fall into one of these groups.
- Song Jesus Name above all names God is love
- Song SanctuaryGod is Love
- We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:He is a priestThey are said to be considered righteous in the sight of GodI am so glad God is watching!An angel will visit himGod will work a miracleIn the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...MalachiHolman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.”At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...Feelings of forgotten as a nationZacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no childrenWhen in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!& declare what God will do in the coming future...1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would comeAlexander the Great would come in… create one language GreekHis empire would be divided four way among his generalsEventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!God’s PromiseThe Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 153 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!NOW… back to Luke.We Can Take God at His Word!Setting:Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ timeSelected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of IsraelAnd an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of MalachiYour son will prepare for the Promised MessiahIt Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!What God says WILL HAPPEN!Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”Several lessons here:Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!This was good news, not intended to create a problemThe last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning GodGod has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His WordGod’s Hand Working Deserves Praise“ His Name is John”These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!
Let us get to know you!
Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
How did you hear about us?