God has an encouraging word for you and me today, through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton on this edition of The Encouraging Word. Today Dr. Wilton asks a very powerful question about when sharing Christ is worth it. Actually, he'll be illustrating that and asking something that perhaps you've asked yourself.
Is it worth it? There's a risk today in this culture more than ever to share our faith. But the reward is as great as it's always been.
It's the difference between life and death. We have wonderful resources that will help you share your faith on our website. If you haven't been by lately, drop by www.tewonline.org. Of course, during Love Month there's a wonderful series on 31 Days of Prayer for our wives and husbands. But there's so much more there as well. Be sure and sign up for the daily email from Dr. Don just by clicking Devotion at www.tewonline.org.
Now, Dr. Don Wilton. You know, I often ask myself the question, and I know that you probably do the same thing. Is it worth it? What we do, is it worth it? And I think that all of us would answer that and say, it is, it's worth it.
You know, we've been talking for many months about going, about serving, about giving. Is it worth it? Is it worth what we do for Christ? Is it worth it? You know, well, I'm just asking a ridiculous, redundant question, aren't I?
Is it worth it? It is. And when I look at our world today, then you think about what's going on this week. You know, I kept asking myself the question, how can we put all of this into the context of what God has to say? What does the Lord have to say to us? So God directed me to a passage of Scripture, and Mirror Image is going to listen.
The rest of you, you can turn in your Bibles or whatever means you've got today, your iPhones and your blackberries and your strawberries and your raspberries and everything else that goes in between. But I want you to turn to Acts chapter 18 and then listen real quick to something that God has put in my heart. This is a message for all of us, and I know that you are listening today, and because you're listening, I want to invite you to give your life to Christ. This is God's encouraging word just for you. You can be a part of what God is doing in the lives of many, many people, and it's all centered around this question or the statement when sharing Christ is worth it. It's worth it for me to stand here today and to speak to you.
I can tell you that not only because I love you and because I respect you, but because I know that what Christ has done for me, that he'll do the same thing for you. Now in the book of Acts, God directed my attention to a man by the name of Apollos. That's kind of got a ring to it, and I've seen mirror image these students and our boys and girls and those going to Kentucky and our college students. I see Apollos in all of them. I see Apollos in our congregation today.
Listen to Apollos. I want to just read to you a few verses and say a few things about this. So we're in Acts chapter 18 and verse 24. Now a Jew named Apollos, Acts chapter 18 verse 24.
There was a Jew. His name was Apollos. He was a native of Alexandria, which is right on the Mediterranean Sea in what we today know as Egypt.
If any of you have been on a cruise to that part of the world in years gone by, you probably wouldn't want to do it today, but you might have come into the port of Alexandria. And this man left Alexandria, even though he was a native then, he went up into Ephesus. And he was an eloquent man, the Bible says. He was competent in the word of God. I'm going to talk about that. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and he was very fervent in spirit. I love that. When I heard that word being fervent in spirit, I thought of our church.
I thought of these students here today. I'm going to talk about that in just a moment. This issue of being fervent in spirit and I'm going to explain that. You know, to put it into modern day terminology, it means there's a fire that is inside of you for the Lord Jesus. Now we've got a fire inside of us concerning a lot of things. I hang around you a bit and there's a fire for a lot of things. There's a real fire for good food.
You know, we're all part of that. There's a real fire for having a good time. There's a fire for traveling.
There's a fire for going to the beach. There's a fire for enjoying life. But when you've got a fire in your heart concerning the things of Jesus Christ, that's very unique.
It's very special. Bible says he was fervent in spirit and he, as a result of that, he spoke and he taught accurately concerning Jesus Christ, even though for Apollos, he was a novice, he only really understood the baptism of John. In other words, he was trying to connect, but God by his spirit was giving to him the ability to be able to really understand the real meaning of what it means to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 26, so he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. So Steve Skinner got all the young people all fired up and they were all ready to go. And for weeks on end, he and Britt Dillard and Jim Henry and Teresa and the team got together and they rehearsed and they practiced and they began to take a hold of that spirit of fervency and put meat on that bone. That's what the church does. And if there's anything that I want to say to you amongst many other things, I don't only want to thank you for going to prisons and to giving up your time and your holidays and vacations and things like that, but I want to thank you for what you did to prepare in order to go. These young people didn't just go, folks, they gave up countless days and hours getting ready and putting meat on the bone, taking the fervency of their spirit and giving it substance.
You know what it takes to get everything in sync? Now I want everybody to listen here carefully. This is a challenge to you. Apollos was a man who was fervent in spirit. He was eloquent. He was prepared. He understood the scripture.
He had passion in his heart. And then Priscilla and Aquila and the church got around him and they went to work with him and he submitted himself to time and preparation. They put meat on the bone and they all began to do it in sync and their timing became perfect and all of a sudden the picture of Christ that was given was complete and beautiful to watch and incredible to take hold of.
I'm telling you guys, ladies and gentlemen, if you are with us in prisons, what they do is a class act. They are a mirror image of the perfectness of Christ, not in terms of a movement but because of the fullness of the spirit of the living God. And it didn't stop there because the Bible says that in verse 27 as a result of this, remember he's now in Ephesus, Apollos decides he wants to hop on a ship and go across the Aegean Sea to the province of Achaia.
And the Bible says that they all encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. So when he arrived on the other side of the sea amongst all those people, many of whom were in prison, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Was it really worth it? Is sharing Christ really worth it? Are you worth it? Are we worth it?
Is this worth it? Is it worth it, church, for us to go? Is it worth it for us to serve?
You're giving so magnificently. You're fulfilling your obligations. You're tithing as a congregation. You're meeting your pledges for the special drive to take care of this place. You're sending young people out. You're providing for our boys and girls. You're supporting Vacation Bible School. We've got mission teams going all over the world. Is it worth it, church?
Is it really worth it? And this man, Apollos, was an amazing person. Bible tells us a lot of good things about him that he was eloquent in the scriptures. Bible says that he was capable. The Bible says that he wanted to know that he had a fervent spirit building up inside of him. He had a fire burning in him. He didn't quite know how, when, why or who or what it was, but he just knew that Jesus was real.
And so this man who was born in Alexandria, which, by the way, was a cross-cultural community, he understood the winds of change. Went and left and went to Ephesus. When he got to Ephesus, the church got around him and said, We're going to do everything we can to take the fervency of your spirit and send you where God wants you to go. And he hopped on board a ship and he went across the Aegean Sea and he arrived in the province of Achaea and listen, listen to what the Bible says. The first thing that happened was that the believers were greatly encouraged.
By the way, I just wanted to say this to you. Did you notice how many times in how many prisons? Yeah, we look and we say, Man, look at all those inmates giving their hearts and lives to Jesus. But did you notice how encouraged the Christians in those prisons were?
Did you notice that, guys? Do you know how many believers there are in our prison systems? You know how discouraged they get? If we had any reason to go and to do what we do, that would be enough for me.
That would make it worth it right there. Had the privilege to speak to someone just recently and they were pretty down and after I got through speaking to them, they said, Gee, well, thanks so much for talking to me and spending so much time for me because I feel so encouraged. I said, Well, are you feeling encouraged?
They said, Yes. I said, Well, then it's worth it. Please forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the rest of today's message when sharing Christ is worth it with Dr. Don Wilton in just a moment. But Dr. Don insists we take this break to let you know we're here for you. We would love to connect with you anytime day or night at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 and we're here to encourage you.
We believe firmly that God would want us to be able to pray with you and for you anytime. Dr. Don says we all need 2 a.m. friends. And one of the ways we can be there for you at 2 a.m. is to take that call at 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. We also believe that the local church is where we ultimately build the best 2 a.m. friends. And if you don't have a local church, we have wonderful team members, both Michelle and Jim, that specialize in helping you connect with a local church, one near you, that we have some affiliation with.
So call us at 866-899-9673. We would love to prayerfully and intentionally help you find a church to plug into. Now let's plug back in to today's great teaching when sharing Christ is worth it with Dr. Don Wilton. I don't know how many people have encouraged me. I've got a whole congregation.
You're always encouraging me, always lifting me up and always encouraging me. I tell you, you go into these prisons, folks, in places that you can't imagine. You and I read about it, read about two men, killers, who escaped from a prison in upstate New York that's on the front page of every newspaper and the headline in every newscast. We think about it and we look about it, we read about it, we understand it, we look upon some of these faces, we're perplexed by it. And then groups like these students go filled with the fervency of the Spirit and they arrive there and if nothing else happens, it's worth it because believers, chaplains, police officers, family members, nurses and doctors, medical technicians, people who work in these prison systems, many of whom are incredible believers and they are so discouraged and there's a group of people who believe it's worth it to go out across America and just encourage believers.
Believers in America today are suffering from great discouragement. But is it worth it? Sharing Christ is worth it. It's worth it because people are all trying to look for all the same kind of things, folks. I say this from one prison to another.
Scott did the same thing this week. Talking about encouraging people. Why is Christ worth it? Christ is worth it because forgiveness is attainable. Forgiveness is attainable. You can be forgiven of your sin.
You can be. Say amen. All of us have sinned. The old proverbial if I was to ask all those who are sinners who are worshiping with us today, not only in our two venues worshiping with us here in downtown Spartanburg but the thousands upon thousands worshiping with us through the encouraging word television ministry, if I was to ask you right now to identify yourself as a sinner, surely every single one of us would stand up and say I am a sinner condemned by God.
I have sinned in the sight of a holy and a righteous God and I need to be forgiven. I want to tell you why sharing Christ is worth it because forgiveness is attainable. That's why Jesus died on the cross.
That's why he went to the cross. Not only is forgiveness attainable but change is manageable. Just think about that. You think about all those faces that you and I have got etched in our minds. I'll guarantee you right now you're thinking of someone. You're looking at someone's face between here and New York City and back. And I'm telling you for weeks if not months those faces will not leave you.
You know what I'm saying? It's like you have this print in your mind. Pray for them every time you see that face. Pray for that person. You know so many people will say you know I want to give my life to Christ and confess my sin. I want to be changed and we believe that Christ is worth it and sharing Christ is worth it. Because we know that change is manageable. That's what the Spirit does. The Spirit of God enables us to maintain and manage meaningful change in Christ.
I am different not because of myself but because of Christ in me. Some who are worshiping today you're saying to me but pastor what can I do? I'm so tired. I'm tired of the same thing. I'm tired of going back to the trough. I'm tired of always falling back. I'm tired of tripping. I'm tired of the sin. I'm tired of being angry.
I'm tired of being lonely. And I turn my life over to Christ. I want to be different. Change is manageable. That's what God by his Spirit does.
But you know it goes even further than that. We believe that sharing Christ is worth it because hope is eternal. We're in a world today my precious friends that people are saying everywhere where's real meaningful hope in this world? You know we attach hope to the here and now.
We say well you know I've got something to look forward to and hope tomorrow. Christ is worth it because the hope that we have in him is the same yesterday and today and forever. And when you give your life to Christ it's not only what he does for you for me today and tomorrow and next week and next month but forever.
He takes away the sting even of death. Have you ever thought about dying? If you haven't you will. And you get diagnosed with something you'll really start thinking about it.
I spoke to a friend just three weeks ago that got a very very bad report from a doctor. And he said those exact words to me. He said pastor I've never thought about dying but I can't get the issue of death out of my mind. And that's the thing about knowing Christ. Hope is eternal.
It's forever. And this life is like a vapor. Every one of us listening today we are all going to die. And what an incredible message that we can know Christ. Forgiveness is attainable and change is manageable and hope is eternal.
It's worth it because joy is sustainable. You know when I look at these inmates in these prisons. You know when you get through in these prisons it's always to me one of the most it's one of the hardest times for me personally. I don't know how you guys feel but you know when we've sung and we get up and we share the word of God and all these people make decisions for Christ and then maybe the warden or one of the officials come up and say a few words and then we tell them we'll not forget you and then we all have to stay where we are because they've got to start dismissing people by their cell blocks. So we've got to just stand there and wait. They've got to clear everybody out, send them back into some little hole where they stay, some little tiny room, some little place surrounded by concrete.
And that's one of those times that just gets all over me because we've entered into the zone. You can see they came in there and all of a sudden God began to speak and to say something and many of them encountered a holy and a righteous God and then it's time to go. And I can just see the lines of them as they begin to walk out and you know how many of them turn around and they wave and say thank you, thank you, thank you and they try to say something to you and they walk out and then suddenly you see them with all the gods and they begin to walk out.
Many of them with their hands behind their back or whatever their circumstance and they begin to pray it out and they go through that door and that door closes and they disappear back into their nothingness. And I love the fact that in Christ the joy that we have in Christ is sustainable. Perhaps one of my favorite statements is you know when the Lord Jesus comes into your heart he sets you free whether you're on the inside or the outside. You've gone through a divorce, I'm so sorry, Christ sets you free.
You're going through a circumstance in your life, I'm so sorry, Christ sets you free. You see when sharing Christ is worth it, it's just worth it. It's been a powerful day studying God's Word in the book of Acts, Acts 18 about when sharing Christ is worth it. Perhaps as Dr. Don has been teaching and preaching many of you have listened and realized that you're not only being challenged to share your faith but perhaps you're being challenged because others have been sharing their faith with you and you have yet to commit to Jesus Christ. Sometimes you have committed to Christ in the past but you realize that you have not only drifted from God but perhaps even turned your back on God. I guarantee you that Scripture assures us, not me or Dr. Wilton, but Scripture assures us that nothing can snatch you out of his hand and that he is using even this broadcast to let you know that he loves you and has a plan for your life. I pray that you've heard Dr. Don as he's been teaching and preaching but you would open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ?
I'm so happy to hear that. Why don't you pray this prayer with me today? Dear God, I know that you love me very, very much and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ came and died on a cross so that I might be forgiven of my sin. Today I repent of my sin. I confess my sin to you and I invite you to come into my heart and into my life by faith. In Jesus' name I pray. If you've prayed that prayer, let me be the first one to welcome you to the family of God.
This is wonderful. I hope that you know how much I'm going to be praying for you and how very important this is for me. Call us so that we can talk to you and connect you in the right place so you can begin this wonderful journey. And in just a moment I'm going to come back with a final word. If you've given your life to Jesus Christ, perhaps moments ago praying along with Dr. Wilton or perhaps today's the day you rededicated your life to Jesus and you're coming back home to the faith, welcome home and let us welcome you with some information and more importantly, let us pray for you.
Here's how we can connect. You can call us right now at 866-899-WORD and share your decision for Jesus. That's 866-899-9673.
Perhaps it's a first time dedication or saying yes to Jesus Christ for the first time or perhaps it's a rededication. Either way, we'd love to pray with you and for you and Dr. Don wants you to have these free resources as you call 866-899-9673 or if you'd rather connect via keyboard, we're online at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. That's T-E-W online dot O-R-G. And our pastor, Dr. Don Wilton, loves to read the stories of what God's doing in your life. If God stirred your heart and there's been a decision that perhaps was influenced by the encouraging word, won't you write to Dr. Don?
His email is Don, D-O-N at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. That's D-O-N Don at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. He would love to hear from you, to pray for you, and to make sure that we get you all the resources you need. Now before we get away, there's a wonderful new resource available on our website at T-E-W online dot O-R-G.
Here are all the details. It's easy to celebrate Valentine's Day by buying candy and flowers, but when was the last time you actually prayed for your spouse? Join Dr. Wilton as he unpacks a powerful message on the forgiving family. Plus, you will receive 31 days of prayer books for my husband and wife. This offer set will help you learn how to support each other through prayer and how important forgiveness plays in the family. Not only are marriages under attack, the family is also under attack. Support your spouse through prayer and see what God does in both of your lives. Commit to praying 31 days for your spouse. Let God change your spouse.
Let God change your family. Call us today at 866-899-WORD and request the February offer for your gift of $25 or more per set. Thank you for your support of the encouraging word. Now that's just one of many resources available on our website at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. That's T-E-W online dot O-R-G while you're there. Be sure and sign up for the daily email from Dr. Don Wilton. It's a wonderful encouragement, an application of God's word, and an inspiration for sure. Give us a call anytime for prayer at 866-899-9673.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 02:14:50 / 2023-06-06 02:24:59 / 10