SERMON NOTES (Sept 27, 2015): Three Dimensions of the Missional Church - 2 Tim 2:1-7

Three Dimensions of the Missional Church
2 Timothy 2:1-7
Intro: Gospel defines the church, but many times instead the church confines the gospel. 
According to Paul, there was a PATTERN (1:13) of sound teaching that he passed on to Timothy (4 Generation Vision) what you heard me say (PATTERN) I-You-Faithful Men- Others also.
What is the biblical pattern for being a healthy, intentionally missional church?
Paul told Timothy this PATTERN was like a soldier who plans to war, like an athlete who plays to win, and like a farmer who plants to reap. Each one of these metaphors were to explain how Timothy was to be "GRACE STRONG" in his missional discipleship:

I.                    A Soldier Strategist Who Plans to War (vs. 3-4)
Planning to War: Missions IS Spiritual Warfare
Greek Word for Soldier (strategomenos): title of honor; descriptive of planning, involves endurance over evil emotions.
EXP. Paul could have used ½ dozen other words for soldier:
1.       Hoplite: spearman
2.       Phalanx- rectangular mass of soldiers in formation
3.       Akonstitei- stone throwers
4.       Toxotai- archers
5.       Peltai- shield bearers
6.       Gymnetes- unarmed fighters
But he said “strategists”
Planning the strategy of missions: local, regional, international
Soul Winning, Disciple Maker, Missionary (specific plans for engagement
cf. Eph 6:10-18; 2 Cor 2:11 
Warning against Civilian Distraction!

II.                  An Athlete Competitor Who Plays to Win (vs. 5)
Playing to Win: Missions IS Spiritual Victory
Rules for Greek Athletes (Athle): Born Greek, 10 month training, no shortcuts to completion
Marathon vs. 100 meter dash: Some churches are trying to run too fast on their own strength; reserve power is Holy Spirit’s alone!
Warning against cheating!
Taking a shortcut by giving in to the world, flesh or devil is cheating (1 Jn 2:16).
Lust of flesh, lust of eyes, or pride of life is our competition.
When another church becomes your competition, you’ve crossed over into satanic sides.
 cf. 1 Cor 9:26-27; Heb 12:1-2; Phil 3:13

III.                A Georgia Farmer Who Plants to Reap (vs. 6)
Planting to Reap: Missions IS Spiritual Harvest
(Georgon) Farmer is a land actor who labors.
Harrow (distressing the ground),
Plow (cutting the ground),
Plant (seeding the ground),
Irrigate (water the ground),
Weed (remove obstacles to growth),
Reap (take the fruit to the Glory of God!)
Warning against losing desire to taste the fruit!
ILL. Leading a disciple to win souls.

Conclusion: Do we want the desire to taste the fruit of soul-winning again? Are we fighting the good fight or fighting God? Are we running the race or running from God? Are we planting good seed expecting a harvest, or are we planting seeds of complacency?

SERMON NOTES (Sept 20, 2015): Widow's Oil- Christian Stewardship - 2 Kings 4:1-7

The Widow’s Oil: Christian Stewardship
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Question: What would it look like if we tithed our life?

Background: "Sons of Prophets" were persecuted by Ahab & Jezebel; hidden in caves by Obadiah; they gave their all to the Lord's ministry; many died martyrs and left widows and orphans.

I.                    We must confess our Inability to Meet our own Needs (vs. 1-3)
EXP. “certain woman” “wives of prophet’s son” “servant dead” “creditor” “slaves”
“nothing in the house except a jar of oil”
Heb. vs. 2- asuk “flask; anointing flask for anointing the sick”
A.      Needs vs. Wants
B.      Bondage to Debt
C.      Living beyond Means vs. Giving beyond Ability (cf. 2 Cor 8:3)
a.      For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord,
D.      Careful not to judge

II.                  We must first Give Ourselves to God (vs. 2-3)
EXP. “my two children” “your maidservant”
A.      Humility to say we are humbled
B.      Total submission for ministry
C. Quote from ReFRESH Conference in Albany this week: "Jesus doesn't ask you to give because He needs something; He asks you to give because you need something."
D.      Cf. 2 Tim 2:20-21
a.      Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

III.                We must Act Upon God’s Word by Faith (vs. 3)
EXP. “go” “borrow vessels at large” “empty” “not a few”
Heb. vs. 3- kelim vessels “prepared vessels, large general purpose containers”
A.      Faith without Works is Dead Faith – James 2:14-18
a.      What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works.
B.      Action based on Faith
C.      Reception based on Faith
APP. One tiny insignificant ministry vessel of special purpose could fill so many common vessels. A physical impossibility becomes a spiritual ministry of supernatural proportions.

IV.                We must Receive each blessing as a miracle (vs. 4)
EXP “go in” “shut the door” “pour out into all” “set aside”
A.      The way we reap salvation
B.      The way we reap deliverance
C.      The way we reap the Kingdom
D.      Warning against perversion of biblical truth by con-artists (not a magic trick or mystical formula for getting God to bless) Cf. Acts 8:20
a.      But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

V.                  We must Prepare for what God might want to do (vs. 5-7)
EXP “bring me another vessel” “not one vessel more” “oil stopped” “sell, pay, live”
A.      WARNING: The provision is directly proportional to the preparation. The provision will go as far as the need, or only as far as your preparation to receive the blessing!
ILL. Bryansk – Jesus Film – 8 movie theaters: 40K watched; 14K received; 4K into churches; lost all but a few dozen due to lack of belief & preparation.
B.      What if God granted a 200% increase in ministry opportunity next year? Are we preparing to receive what we’re asking for? Are we prepared to minister to what we might receive?

SERMON NOTES (Sept 6, 2015): DaySpring: Moving from Darkness to Light - Luke 1:76-79

DaySpring: Moving From Darkness to Light
Text: Luke 1:76-79

Introduction: Four Things Needed For Gospel Light
1.       To Prepare or Make it Ready (hetoimazo)
2.       To Let Someone Have Knowledge of it (didomi)
3.       To Make it Clearly Shine (epiphanai)
4.       To Direct  it (kateuthuno)

I.                    To Prepare His Ways – vs. 76
We have to cultivate an atmosphere conducive for Gospel sharing
We have to remove any hindrances from the King’s path before He travels it.
We are called to prepare our city for the King’s coming visit.

II.                  To Give Knowledge (Teach) – vs. 77
To give suggests Generosity
To give suggests sharing the Gospel by giving yourself away
To give suggests wide seed sowing
How can we sow seed generously in our city?
III.                To Shine Clearly into the Dark – vs. 79
Penetration of Gospel into Lostness
“We Cannot Love the World if We have never known the Love of Christ” – 2 Cor 5:14-15
Spiritual Warfare- Movie War Room  
What are the Dark Places in our city? Where are there Spiritual Strongholds?

IV.                To Guide our Feet into Peace – vs. 79
Do we really believe that the Holy Spirit is in control?
Look for a Person of Peace
Cf. Luke 10 “Peace to this House” Shalom
Pray for the “Peace” of our city – citizens, leaders, merchants

Conclusion: Give Yourself Away for the Gospel Light to Shine