If you're motivated by people in ministry, at some point you're going to lack motivation because somebody's not going to be as appreciative as you think. But if you understand that God sees what you're doing and that it really is the Lord you're serving. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the Senior Pastor of the Bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina.
Often in life, we can get frustrated as we deal with people, whether it's in a work situation or maybe even at church. But we need to remember who we serve and why. Find out more about this as David McGee continues in the book of Romans chapter 1. But before we get into today's teaching, from beginning to end, the Bible shows the special nature of God's relationship with the nation of Israel.
But what does that have to do with you today? Romans chapter 11 tells us that God's covenant relationship with Israel has huge implications for you. To help you understand more, Pastor David wants to send you his teaching video recorded in the Holy Land called Israel, the Bible and You. This powerful resource will encourage and strengthen you as you learn how connected you are with God's chosen people. Israel, the Bible and You is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit crossthebridge.com to request your copy.
Again, that's crossthebridge.com. Now here's David McGee with his teaching, Be a Blessing. Turn with me to Romans chapter 1. We've talked about Paul is the author of the book of Romans, but he's writing this epistle, this letter to Rome before he's ever been there. Now he's going to express a desire in this passage to go to Rome, but we need to understand that's why there's an introduction here. And, and I know that we're, we're taking some time and spending some time in this first chapter.
There's just a lot of stuff in here. And, um, J. Vernon McGee, who's one of the commentaries that I read, uh, when I was going through that, he actually spent 42 pages in his commentary on this first chapter. So obviously there's a lot of stuff in here and there's a reason to, uh, kind of take it slow, but we're in verse nine. So Romans chapter one, verse nine for God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his son that without ceasing, I make mention of you always in my prayers. So first of all, he says, pray without ceasing, pray without ceasing. Now he says that in another place.
So what does that actually mean? Pray without ceasing. Does that mean that Paul got up in the morning and first thing he did was pray and he prayed throughout the day. And maybe he, I guess he prayed as he was eating his meals and whatnot, and then got to the end of the day and then went to bed still uttering prayers.
No, that's not what it means. And means he stayed in the attitude of prayer all the time that there was a conversation with the Lord. There was a recognition that God was always with him and he was always speaking to the Lord and friend.
That's something that we all should have. Now, I don't know where we got to the point that we think God is really impressed with long lengthy repetitious prayers because Jesus actually says before he gives us the Lord's prayer, he said, look, don't make vain repetitions like the heathens do. What's a vain repetition. That's when you're saying something you're just repeating it and you don't really mean it. You don't understand what it says, but you say it anyway. That's interesting to me that that was his introduction to the Lord's prayer, because what have we done with the Lord's prayer?
If you were raised in a denominational church as I was, you know, you're all set up every Sunday morning. And what was that? That was a vain repetition. The thing that Jesus said, don't do. We turn the very prayer where he was teaching us how to pray into a vain repetition. We'll come across in a few weeks, a story in Kings where these prophets of Baal prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing happened. And then we look at the short, sweet prayer, the prophet prayed and a lot happened. Does that mean we should never travail in prayer?
No, no. There's some times and some situations, friend, that, man, you should, you should bathe yourself in prayer. You should spend time in prayer, extended time in prayer. But a lot of us don't pray as much as we should because we think, well, you know, I, I, it would be difficult for me to work in 30 minutes before I get to work. And I know some of you do that and that's awesome. And, and that's great.
And that's great. Some of you just, you're not doing it because you're thinking 30 minutes, but friend, just take a couple of minutes, maybe get in the habit of praying in the shower. Maybe get in the habit of praying while you're shaving or doing whatever you do or getting dressed. Maybe get in the habit of praying while you're driving to work. When I lived out in Summerfield for a while, when the church was here and there was about a 25 minute drive one way, gave me a lot of time for prayer. Now I'm like, I live in Kernersville.
I'm like six minutes away. That's one of the things I miss. So I have structured my day to have more time for prayer because that commute. So, you know, you have all these opportunities in your day, built into your day for prayer.
If you go to Walmart today, or you go to Target, or you go to some retail place and you get up there to the register and there's a long line, thank God, you got a couple of minutes to pray. And Paul's saying here, he prays without ceasing. Now he also says something there, whom I serve with my spirit and the gospel. So he speaks about serving the Lord. We talk about serving and the Bible, you know, why do I talk about serving? Why do we talk about serving here so much in the church? Because I teach the Bible and the Bible talks about serving. And so, yeah, do I want to challenge that spectator sport mentality of Christianity?
Absolutely. Because in the Bible, the word serve or serving is in there over 240 times. So as we go through the Bible, it's going to come up that we're supposed to serve, that we're supposed to be serving.
And keep in mind, you're going to serve somebody. You know, that old Bob Dylan song, you got to serve somebody. It might be the Lord, it might be the devil, but you're going to serve somebody. I guess we could throw a third one in there, self-serving, self-serving, but Jesus talks about serving and warns us that we need to serve him wholeheartedly. Luke chapter 16, verse 13 says, no one can serve two masters for you will hate one and love the other and be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Now, does that mean, you know, you can't go to work because that's serving money? No, that means what you need to understand as you go to work, that you're serving the Lord in what you do. And remember that it's for the Lord. If you're here and you're serving in the parking lot or greeters or children's ministry or cafe or media, that it says unto the Lord. Colossians chapter three, verse 23 and 24 says, and whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance for you serve the Lord Christ.
That's what you do. You serve the Lord. If you serve here in any ministry capacity, you're serving the Lord. And you need to remember that is the form of your service to the Lord. Take the form of serving people.
Absolutely. But if you're motivated by people in ministry, at some point, you're not, you're going to lack motivation because somebody is not going to be as appreciative as you think, or somebody is not going to notice your service the way that you think. But if you understand that God sees what you're doing and that it really is the Lord you're serving, then you'll understand that. In the, the writer of Hebrews points us out chapter six, verse 10 says, for God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians as you still do. So evidently, and the Bible points us out, when we get to heaven, there will be rewards and God will take time to recognize what we have done and loving other people and then serving other people.
And I guess the flip side of that is that if you're not doing that and you don't do that, then you will not be recognized for that. Make mention of you always in my prayers, verse 10, make and request if by some means now at last, I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. Paul's praying about getting to Rome.
So this kind of makes it obvious. He has not been there. And again, I pointed this out. We're going back in the low twenties as far in the book of Acts is where we are. The acts, the book of Acts closes with Paul being in Rome. And this is before the closing the book of Acts. And he's praying. He's saying, God, you know, I want to get to you any way possible. It's kind of interesting because now that we've studied the book of Acts, if you've been here for a few weeks, you know how God answered that prayer.
Paul said, let me go to Rome any way possible. And the Lord said, okay, well, here's what it's going to involve. It's going to involve you getting beat up. It's going to involve several trials. It's going to involve you being in jail. It's going to involve you being in a shipwreck. It's going to involve you getting snake bit. And then, and then finally you'll get to Rome.
Life lesson here. God answers prayers in his own timing and in his own way. God answers prayers in his own timing and his own way. I appreciate Paul's heart. It shows through in this verse when he says, God, you know what, if there's any way possible to go to Rome, any way that you see fit, I want to go to Rome. God makes it possible through some challenging circumstances. And at the end of it, you see Paul's okay with that. Understand prayer.
A lot of times we treat prayer like we write out the whole contract and then just want God to sign it. God, here's a five page contract. I want you to use my life. I want you to work in my life and save coworkers and friends. And here's the way it's supposed to go. Now here, I'm giving it to you, sign it and give it back. Is that really prayer?
No, it's not. See, prayer is God, I want to see my friends. I want to see my family. I want to see my coworkers come to you. Any way that you see fit to do that, to use other people or to use me is awesome. That's prayer. See prayer, a lot of times we think, well, prayer is to change the will of God. More often prayer is to change our will about our circumstances and what's going on in our life. So remember that when you pray, God, I want you to do this.
God, I want you to do that. It's not a honeydew thing. You know, if you're married, you got the honeydew list, honey do that, honey do this. And, and, but prayer is not supposed to be a honeydew list. It's supposed to be talking to God and, and use, listen, when you pray, use your regular voice. Don't try to use King James English.
Don't do all those things. I, you know, I know guys, I know pastors, man, they can just pray the most beautiful prayers and they're so eloquent. And I appreciate it. But something that freaks me out a little bit is they like change their voice and they begin to speak and these and thouest and comest and dah, dah, dah, dah.
And it's just a little weird. I appreciate it. It's very beautiful. I appreciate the King James, very poetic, but use your normal voice. Now be reverential. He is God. And again, when you pray, Lord, use me any way you want to. God's looking for somebody with a will and heart, somebody being available and understand when you step out to make yourself available in ministry, you're going to be challenged. Paul stepped out and made himself available.
God sent him in a room Rome. He was challenged in that. That's the next life lesson ministering or serving people is often difficult and hard ministering or serving people is often difficult and hard, but it's a glorious thing. There's, is it the most challenging thing you can ever do? It really is because there's a spiritual battle going on as you step out of your comfort zone and you begin to serve other people, you get challenged. But that's part of the plan is that once you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, that you begin to pour out your life so that other people can come to that same knowledge. And so it is hard.
It is difficult, but it's the best thing you could ever do. And it's what you were designed to do. It's what you were created to do. Ephesians chapter two, verse 10 says that we are his workmanship created in him for good works for serving him and serving people. Colossians three 24 says, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance for you serve the Lord Christ. So as you serve the Lord, there is rewards. Now let's understand something. Let me be clear. Your entrance in the heaven, your salvation, your heaven, getting into heaven, that is all by faith and grace.
Okay. Maybe plain about that's not workspace. Ephesians two, eight, nine talks about that. What happens when you get there depends on what you do for him.
Now, the Bible is very plain about that. That as you do things for the Lord, as you serve the Lord and serve people that you are storing up re heavenly rewards. So I'm telling you now, so that, you know, when you get there, you're not shocked.
You know, Oh my gosh, what, what do you mean rewards? What do you mean I'm supposed to serve you? Cause you know, somebody up there is going to say, you didn't know about this. Who is your pastor? And then I'm getting in trouble with you. So I'm telling you now I'm full disclosure disclaimer the whole bit, because it is the Lord that you choose to serve. If you choose to serve in this place, you're not serving me. You're not serving other pastors. You're not just serving the people here.
Although all that is true. You're serving the Lord. And Paul had this heart of service from, from the moment he got saved.
And we've talked about this moment. He got saved. He said, what do you want me to do? And then he lived a life out, turn into the Lord. What do you want me to do?
What do you want me to do? You're listening to pastor David McGee on cross the bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's word in just a moment. But first God's grace and mercy is greater than any of us could ever fathom. That's why he's been so faithful to the nation of Israel throughout the ages.
And he's not finished. He's promised to remain true to them to the end. We want to show you what God's faithfulness toward Israel says about his relationship with you by sending you pastor David's teaching video, Israel, the Bible and you. In this exciting teaching recorded in the heart of the Holy land, pastor David unpacks important truths from God's relationships with Israel that impact your life today. Israel, the Bible and you is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit cross the bridge.com to request yours. Again, that website is cross the bridge.com. This is pastor David McGee with cross the bridge. You know, I want to thank you for listening to cross the bridge. I also want to tell you about an exciting website.
The website is lost loved ones.org. And it works very simply like this. You go to the website and you put the first names of up to 10 people that we begin praying that they get saved. Now it takes two things to get saved, presentation and prayer. And what we're offering is prayer. And also there's different tools there to help you present the gospel to them. So we're there with you, helping you with the presentation, helping you with the prayer. There's over 920 people that belong to the prayer team on lost loved ones. And you can join the prayer team as well and help us to pray for others who don't yet know Jesus.
And together we can see a huge revival, starting with your lost loved ones. Now back to today's teaching verse 11, for how long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift so that you may be established. So Paul saying he wants to impart a spiritual gifts and it's interesting what we've done with spiritual gifts. It's spiritual gifts are not to toot your own horn about, you know, I've had conversations with people and they start listing all their spiritual gifts. Well, I've got this gift and that gift and this gift.
And yeah, I think, yeah, and you got gift of pride too, over the whole thing. The spiritual gifts are not to toot your own horn. They are to bless other people. If you've been blessed with a spiritual gift, let's say of encouragement, that's to be a blessing to other people. If you've been blessed with the gift of mercy, that's to be a blessing to other people.
I think that's supposed to be the heart, not just of Paul, but of all pastors and all believers. You know, I'm so blessed here. And we talked about ministry being hard. Absolutely. It's hard. It is.
It's difficult sometimes. But man, is it glorious. I am so blessed to be able to do what I do. And I love what I do. I love being a pastor. I love teaching the word of God. And when I'm studying, I go, oh, that's really good.
You know, and I make a little note, including I can't wait to share it with the people. I hope this blesses them because, see, I want to be a blessing to you guys. And what happens is something happens in your heart where you're being blessed by being here, blessed by the teaching.
And then you say, you know what? I want to be a blessing to other people, too. And that's the way the church is supposed to operate this cycle or circle of blessing, if you will. And we see that in the heart of Paul. And look, if a pastor does not love the word of God, love the people, he should leave the ministry.
I mean, I'm not saying you won't occasionally be challenged, but, you know, I've heard people teach. It seems like they're mad at everybody and they don't love the Bible. And it's like, you know what? Time out, friend. You're starting to hurt people.
Go take a break or something. Luke six thirty eight talks about the circle or cycle of blessing. If you give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your bosom for with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. See, as I seek to bless you guys, you understand what happens? I get blessed. As you step out in ministry and seek to bless others, you know what's going to happen? You're going to be blessed. And if you're sitting here this morning, you go, well, I don't feel very blessed. I don't feel like I'm being blessed.
You know what? Step out and be a blessing to somebody else and watch what happens. You'll be blessed. And that's what God intended and put into motion and being a blessing to others. And you get blessed back. Now, if you just sit there and go, bless me, bless me, bless me, bless me, bless me, Lord, you're probably going to miss out on a whole lot of blessing. But if you say, Lord, use me to bless others. Oh, you'll be amazed at how God will bless you. Verse 12, that is that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith, both of you, both of you and me.
So again, we see kind of that circle. He wants to encourage them. And what's going to happen is they're going to encourage him back and comfort together. And one thing that encouraged together, and you'll see the phrase one another in the Bible. If you've got Bible software or you've got access to the internet, do a word search of one another. It's really an amazing thing what you'll see, because the Bible tells us, spends a lot of time on the one another, on what we're supposed to be doing with one another. Romans says this, be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love and honor, giving preference to one another. Romans 13, eight, owe no one anything except to love one another for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 16, 16 says, greet one another with a holy kiss.
Be careful with this one. The churches of Christ greets you. 1 Corinthians 11, 13, therefore, my brother, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. Galatians 5, 13, for you, brethren, have been called to liberty, only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another. Ephesians 4, 32, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Colossians 3, 13, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. And if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. So instead of complaining about him, forgive him. 1 Thessalonians 4, 18, therefore, comfort one another with these words.
Guys, this is just a little smidgen of all the one anothers. But we get from these verses how we're supposed to be interacting with one another, loving one another, blessing one another, waiting on one another, encouraging one another. And I have to think that if we did that, Christianity would be far more contagious than it is. One of the things that happens here is the way you guys love on people and welcome people here. You have to understand, that is a blessing to people. And because you do that, because some of you in the parking lot ministry love one another, helping them, and I've seen you guys go out in the rain, the umbrellas, and hold the umbrella over the person while you're in the rain. That's loving somebody, the greeters out here, the media team serving. And what happens is I'm able to get up to bat because, you know, if you guys are out there sneering at people, you know, what are you doing here? You don't look like you belong here.
You know, I'm never going to get up to bat. Actually, you know, me and my wife visited church when I was kind of floundering and somebody came up to us and said, what are you doing here? Thanks for the greeting. One of the things the Bible talks about a lot is loving one another. As a matter of fact, 13 times in the New Testament, we're told to love one another. Why are we told that 13 times? You know, Jesus often repeats himself. Have you ever noticed that? I used to wonder why Jesus repeated himself so much.
Then I had children. And now I understand why Jesus repeated himself because I found myself as a father going, don't do that, don't do that, don't do that, don't do that. So why in the Bible are we told 13 times in the New Testament to love one another?
What do you think, guys? I think we're supposed to be encouraged in loving one another and that we need to be reminded to love one another. John 13, 34 says this, a new commandment I give to you that you love one another.
And here's the challenge. As I have loved you, that you also love one another. How did Jesus love us?
That cross. He died for us. And in simple fashion, we're to lay down our lives for others as well. We're supposed to die, sacrifice our selfish nature for one another. The Bible also says that if you say that you love God and you don't love people, you're lying.
And it's a strong statement, isn't it? John in his epistle, the first one, he says, you know what, if you say that you love God and you don't love people, then you're lying. Because how can you say that you love God whom you've never seen and you don't like or hate or dislike people that you have seen? See, whenever somebody exhibits a real hatred, bitterness towards other people, the Bible seems to indicate that that's showing something about their relationship with the Lord. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that you can pray this prayer so much that He died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask Him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him.
And He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Before we go, we want to encourage you in your faith so that you can experience more of the grace and love of God for you. That's why we'd like to send you Pastor David's teaching video recorded in the heart of the Holy Land called Israel, the Bible, and You.
This encouraging look into the history of Israel and God's covenant faithfulness to His chosen people will help you take bold new steps in your relationship with God. Israel, the Bible, and You is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit crossthebridge.com now to request your copy. Also, if you're not able to make it to your home church this Sunday, why not join us for our live stream at 9 a.m. and 1130 a.m. Eastern? Just visit crossthebridge.com and click on our live stream link. There you can watch Pastor David teach from his home church, The Bridge, in Kernersville, North Carolina. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee to hear more from the Book of Romans. We'll see you then.
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