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Pray, Act, Watch

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March 2, 2022 9:00 am

Pray, Act, Watch

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 2, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. encourages us to pray, act wisely, and stay alert as he follows Paul’s conclusion of the book of Colossians.

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Today on Summit Life with JD Greer.

Wisdom is leveraging what God gave you for the purposes He gave it for you in this brief window, which is why Jesus talking about the same kind of wisdom said John 9 for you Better work while today only one life to live will soon be past Only what's done for Christ will last only two things in your life will actually be around forever One of them is the Word of God. The other is the souls of people Hey, thanks for joining us here on Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer of the Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. As always, I'm your host Molly Vidovitch You're joining us as we come to the conclusion of our short teaching series titled first the preeminence of Jesus in Colossians Today Pastor JD encourages us to pray fervently act wisely and stay alert as he follows Paul's conclusion to the book of Colossians Sounds like a good plan of action for all of us as we seek to follow Christ every day So let's not waste any time and let's dive right in Colossians chapter 4, what an amazing amazing several weeks it has been as we have worked our way through this Great little letter to the Colossians from the Apostle Paul Trying to press in on what it means for Jesus to be first in our lives The theme of Colossians as I've tried to explain to you each weekend Is that because Jesus is first in creation and because he went first for us in salvation And because he went first for us in salvation, therefore, he should be first in our lives in prioritization y'all listen the good news of the gospel is Not that you and I are accepted by God because we are generous enough or because we Managed to put Jesus first in enough places in our lives And that's why God accepts us the good news of the gospel is that God accepts us because of the free love Gift that was given to us in Jesus Christ where he paid for our sins and purchased our way to heaven and that all who? Received that will be accepted by God That's what we mean when we say that Jesus went first for us in salvation what Paul then tells us in Colossians the logic of Colossians is because Jesus went first in salvation and because it was a free gift and because we didn't have to earn it Therefore he ought to be first. He ought to be preeminent in our lives Colossians chapter 4 Paul Begins his conclusion to the book of Colossians By the way, it's very encouraging to me that when Paul begins his conclusions He's still got another chapter to go That's encourages me as a pastor because sometimes I say in conclusion and I talk for another half hour So that's what Paul does here.

I'm bald Colossians 4 begins his conclusion by saying this Hey you Colossians devote yourselves to prayer stay alert in it with Thanksgiving at the same time pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am in Change so that I may make the gospel known as I should act wisely toward outsiders making the most of the time I see three primary commands that Paul gives to the Colossians as a Call for commitment as a way of wrapping this letter up number one. He says pray for us Specifically in these three or four verses Paul is going to ask them to pray for three things Which are three things that I would suggest you pray for yourself and others in your small group or in your life as well When you say people say pray for me How can I pray for you these three things ought to be what you're praying for? Alright, the first one I'll give them to you is an A B and a C The first one is in verse 4 letter a Paul prays for wisdom to fulfill gospel obligations you can see that in this phrase so that I may make the gospel known as I should as I ought to as I'm obligated to Paul is asking for wisdom to know how he might fulfill the particular ministry assignments the obligations that God had given to him as we have seen throughout this letter Paul believed that he had been given a Particular personal assignment in the kingdom of God in chapter 1 he calls this a commission from God as some of your translations said Stewardship which meant something given only to Paul something that if Paul did not do it Paul believed would not get done We see that throughout Paul's letter Paul believes that not only he is an apostle But every follower of Jesus has been given a commission as well Sometimes we like to say around here not everything that comes from heaven has your name on it Not every ministry assignment that comes from heaven is assigned to you But something has your name on it and something that's been assigned to you and you need to figure out what that is and fulfill It you are responsible Obligated even to fulfill that ministry commission In fact, we saw that God considers it stealing from him and stealing from the world and wicked in his eyes When you don't fulfill that commission There are certain people in your life that you are supposed to share Christ with and if you don't share Christ with them They're not going to hear that you have been given certain gifts certain talents certain opportunities certain resources certain Experiences that you were supposed to steward for the Great Commission. That is your commission in the Great Commission so that's the first thing Paul prays for is wisdom to perceive and Wisdom to be able to fulfill his gospel obligations, by the way Don't you find it encouraging that at this point in Paul's life? Toward the end of his life after he's been an apostle for a long time He is still looking for clarity about what his obligations are I find that encouraging because sometimes I feel like I still don't know Amen, I know big things that I'm called to but sometimes I'm like well What does God want for me in this situation? Does God want me to give this does God want me to get involved in this ministry assignment? Does God want me to pursue that relationship? Does God want me to share Christ with that person in those kind of moments? I've told you I turned to two major sources of comfort The first major source of comfort is the understanding that in God's eyes I am a sheep and I've told you before that that the bad news of that is that sheep are helpless idiots That if you leave a sheep to his own devices without exception every single time he will get lost and die sheep need a shepherd a shepherd to guide them a shepherd to show them where they should be and what they should be doing and The good news is that you and I have a very capable shepherd who has promised to guide us in Paths of righteousness for his namesake and I can say God give me clarity and guide me in those paths My second source of comfort in this is that throughout the Bible God repeatedly Demonstrates that he can use whatever instruments that he wants to accomplish his purposes whether they are even aware of it or not He even once spoke to a prophet through an unwitting donkey And as my friend Joby Martin says ever since then he has continued to use donkeys to speak to people Which is good news for you here at the Summit Church. Amen. All God's people said.

Amen Um, not that enthusiastically, please. Okay, God had a purpose for Paul and Paul prayed for wisdom to perceive What that purpose was and that God would guide him in it and that he would have the courage to fulfill it Second thing Paul prayed verse 3 is Paul prayed for ability to pursue new gospel opportunities You can see that in this phrase that God may open a new door to us for The word now by this point in Paul's life. He'd done a lot right? I mean, he'd been on several missionary journeys He planted lots of churches. He'd written two-thirds of the New Testament. He'd written a bunch of books He'd spent a lot of time in prison He had testified before bunches and bunches of Roman rulers if there was ever anybody ever anybody who could probably say hey You know what? I've done my part.

I've done my part. It would have been the Apostle Paul. Hey, I did that Okay, it's your turn now, but here we have Paul Late in his life after all those accomplishments still asking God to open up new amazing Incredible doors for the gospel It's like I told you Jesus has said there's more joy in heaven over one that repents and over 99 that are already his Impulsive. Yeah, I may have 99 things under my belt, but I'm still looking for the one that's still disconnected Man, praise God for the growth of this church But there are still so many people outside of the walls of this church and beyond the ministries of this church that are still lost And without Jesus Paul was not done.

He never could be I hope you understand that our goal at this church We are not trying to grow an empire. We do not care one whit about the name of the summit church We don't care about being the biggest church in the triangle and we're not just growing so we can have a bigger budget and more Facilities and more stuff to do with with the with all this stuff We just believe y'all that eternity is real and we believe that lost people matter to God and we believe that still in our day Jesus has more joy in heaven over one person that repents that he does 99 of us who already belong to him So as long as we've got opportunity as long as there is breath in our body, we've got to keep serving and striving That's how Paul saw it He's like look as long as there are people out there disconnected from God and as long as I got Opportunity and breath in my body. I'm gonna keep going That's what we've got to be and finally Paul praise letter C for strength not to waste gospel circumstances You can see that in the phrase verse 3 for which I am in chains Paul saw his circumstances as divinely arranged for the sake of the gospel So he asked for the Colossians to pray for strength not to waste those chains Now most of you listening to me right now are not in chains. The point is in whatever circumstance you are Paul says I see this as divinely arranged for gospel purposes My question is what if you saw your present situation? Under the lens or through the lens of that same promise that it was divinely arranged just like Paul's unfortunate Circumstance it was divinely arranged for a gospel purpose Maybe you're sick and maybe you prayed multiple times to get better and maybe you haven't gotten better And it's because God wants you to demonstrate to family members and friends and maybe even your doctor That you got a hope that goes beyond what most people hope in better health You've got a hope that that is eternal and the only way you're gonna be able to really to demonstrate that to your doctor And to your family and to your friends is by showing that you can have joy Even when your body's in pain and you're sick Maybe you didn't make the team or get the job And maybe that was so you could show your friends that your identity unlike theirs Your identity is not wrapped up and how much you succeed and achieve It's not wrapped up and how many people know your name or whether or not you're on the team or made the job You've got an identity that goes beyond those identities and that is you were a child and servant of God Maybe you didn't get the raise because God wants to teach you to value the things that really matter in life and to learn to Be content with what you have Paul was in chains yet He was still looking upward to God to say What is your purpose in these chains Paul saw every setback as a setup from God for the gospel purposes? What if you saw your circumstances in the same way you see when it comes to generosity? You've got to ask God why he has put you in the circumstances that he's put you in Maybe God has prospered you and maybe God has given you access to Extraordinary wealth and privilege. Hey, if that's true y'all praise God for that. You don't need to feel guilty about that God has divinely arranged that my question is have you ever asked yourself?

Why? Why did God give me this kind of opportunity? Why did he give me this kind of success and this kind of privilege and this kind of access to wealth? One of my favorite unknown stories from Christian history is the story of a guy that you probably never heard his name But your life is radically different because of this man because of what he did. His name is Humphrey Monmouth All right, you're like tough name. Yes, indeed tough name Humphrey Monmouth You never heard of him, but you might have heard of a guy that was connected to him named William Tyndale William Tyndale lived around 1530 or so and William Tyndale was a priest who started to read the Bible on his own in Latin and He basically became a Christian He realized that well nobody in England could read the Bible because the Bible wasn't in English it was only in Latin and church leaders would not Want the people to have the Bible because they weren't interested in the eternal salvation of people they were interested in Controlling people and so they would literally chain the Bible to the pulpit in the church and it was only in Latin It was called the chain Bible.

William Tyndale said that's wrong. Everybody needs to know this message So William Tyndale translated the Bible into English and he said I'm gonna try to get this into the hands of every person in the English Empire Ultimately William Tyndale would pay for that with his life He'd be burned at the stake And the Bible that you hold in your hands if it is in English has a connection that will go all the way back to William Tyndale's translation in 1530 Okay, but you would never have that translation if it weren't for this other dude Humphrey Monmouth Humphrey Monmouth was not a priest He was not in ministry You know He just somebody that that William Tyndale had led the faith in Christ and he believed in what William Tyndale was saying and he said You know what? I'm a wealthy merchant and I've got first of all, I can fund your translation project So he funded William Tyndale's all the work that had to go into translating and then he had this big fleet of merchant ships and he used that fleet to smuggle these English Bibles that Tyndale had translated to get them into all the different parts of the English Empire so that When the English King at the time decided he wanted to get rid of all the translations He couldn't track them all down because there were just too many of them spread too far apart And so he wasn't able to succeed in that led to the Bible that you hold in your hands, right? You never heard of this guy But because he realized that God had put him in William Tyndale's life at just the right time for just the right moment was something He was supposed to use mine and your life looks different You know, it's not a stretch to realize God does the exact same thing today God puts a vision for Ministry and he puts vision for how he wants to see the gospel go through around the world into the hands of some people But because we're a body he usually doesn't give all the vision and all the resources of the same person What he does he puts people together He brings people into one body of people at the same time And he says this is the vision I have and then here's what God's given you and you're supposed to ask yourself Why did God give me this and did God give me this because I'm supposed to be a part of what God wants to do in this generation you understand that this generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls all over the world and God has given different ones of us a Commission a role to play in that and that's what Paul is praying about I want I want wisdom to know what my role is By the way I read something the other day in a book that I thought was a great perspective that I think some of you might find helpful It was written by a really wealthy believer who said that for most of his life He just assumed that everything that he'd earned would one day pass to his kids He's like I kind of thought of it as you know, like there it belonged to them This is what my obligations were to them And so he says so my question was how much of what belongs to them my kids How much should I give to God? He said now I want to be generous to my children and I plan to be I plan to leave them I want to make sure that they're taken care of He said but the question is no longer it belongs to them. How much should I give to God?

The question is it belongs to God how much do I give to them? He said I believe this is a much more biblical and gospel-centered way of looking at it because Jesus comes first in my life Not second That's what we're talking about with this as you begin to look at everything in your life in the exact same way This generation of Christians this man said is responsible for this generation of people all over the world So yes I plan to take care of my kids and I plan to be generous but also realize that God entrusted something to me so that I could see the gospel go out in my generation so that I could see the gospel spread to the ends of the earth And that's why God has sovereignly arranged. My success was for gospel purposes today.

Am I using it that way? Here's your second and third commands or they're a lot shorter because they're kind of just applications of the first one Here's second command Paul tells them verse 5 act wisely after you prayed for clarity acting wisely means being aware of How precious time is and how brief the moments you are to have that you have to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish Yeah, I pray I know what it is now and I gotta realize man. This is short. I got a little window here It's the kind of wisdom the psalmist was praying for in Psalm 90 verse 12 And he says so teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to learn wisdom in other words God help me to grasp how short life is so that I'll have the right priorities and make the right choices It's a kind of wisdom that Paul says that David lived with Paul was describing David's life in the book of Acts He says now when David has served God's purposes in his own generation.

He fell asleep. I Love that once in this description. I hope that one day is said about my life JT Greer served God's purposes then he died Does it he did what God told him to do and then he died and went to sleep and somebody else came along? That is what success in life looks like. Are you living with that kind of wisdom? Have you perceived how brief life is and that God has given you a window to leverage what he's given you for the Great Commission? No, listen, especially if you're young. I know it seems like life goes on forever.

I'm Here to tell you it does not Only one life to live will soon be passed only what's done for Christ will last The death rate in America is still one for one. Okay, and And I'm telling you especially if you're young you don't get this but it goes by so fast Veronica and I my wife and I were looking at each other the other night I was just like how how did both of us get to be in our mid 30s already? I Never understand why you laugh so much at that or How do we have two teenagers in our house already?

How did that happen? We were watching a sitcom the other night from from the early 80s that both of us had watched when we were teenagers in high school And I looked over her and I was like it just struck me in the middle of this thing I was like, you know all these actors that we were watching we were in high school. They were young and beautiful and hot And I was like man, I saw an article about one of these people the other day They ain't young and beautiful and hot anymore And then it occurred to me in the middle of my conversation with her that the same amount of years has passed for us As that passed for them there's actors and I thought oh no one day. I'm not going to be young and beautiful anymore Now you're like you're like dude that ship has sailed a long time ago, whatever But the point is it just goes by so fast. I woke up yesterday You can't really tell but I'm not really I'm not moving around much up here because I'm very like sore I got up yesterday morning and could barely move I'm fine.

Don't pray for me or don't send me any essential oils. Okay, but I'm you know, I'm fine But I was like I was like I was like what did I do and I was like I can't think of anything I just slept I'm at a time. I'm at a place in my life Now we're going from like this in the bed to this in the bed is enough to mess me up and make me sore What's happened to my body? It just goes by so fast As Ia says it's like something written in the sand of the seashore that time comes along and just washes away and nobody remembers it That's what your life is like. It's like grass. He says grass springs up one season It's luscious and it's beautiful.

And then the next season is totally gone. It's replaced by new grass Wisdom is perceiving that and leveraging what God gave you for the purposes He gave it for you in this brief window Which is why Jesus talking about the same kind of wisdom said John 9 for you better work while today Man, cuz we can see that Sun setting it's already setting in your life and the night is coming when nobody can work Only one life to live will soon be past Faster than you think only what's done for Christ will last only two things in your life will actually be around forever one of them is the Word of God the other is the souls of people and The wise person is going to build and invest his or her life primarily on those two things That's what Paul means when he says act wisely by the way The admonition to act wisely means of course is possible to act foolishly Acting foolishly means not taking eternity into account not investing in things that last forever Spending your life. I've said climbing the ladder of success. I want to find out it's leaning against the wrong building providing a comfortable life for yourself only to enter into eternity with nothing or acting foolishly means spending your life focused on keeping your family close-knit and together and providing them with every advantage at Making sure they experience everything that that that kid should experience and and leaving them a big pile of money one day But not imparting to them The one thing that actually matters and that is the wisdom to know that life is not about accumulating stuff Life is a very brief moment in which you were given opportunity to invest in eternity So Paul tells the Colossians you got to act wisely number three. He says last one. He says you got to stay alert You got to stay alert as much as Paul's accomplished He's always on the lookout for what God wants to do next Again, it is tragic to put a period in your life when God was only intense a comma It's like hey just a comma there.

I got something else to do. It's not over sentence is not done Paul knew God wasn't done that Jesus still cared about the one Summit Church. God has done some amazing things at this church But I believe not because I'm kind of a you know, rah-rah kind of leader but because I believe the promises of Jesus I believe that he's just getting started a Great conclusion to a powerful teaching series I pray it's been a blessing to you and has brought lasting change to your perspective of the gospel You're listening to summit life with JD Greer And as always if you missed any part of this series, you can listen again free of charge at JD Greer calm Pastor JD We talk a lot about gospel partners here on the program Letting our listeners know how important they are to the health of our ministry Can you share a little bit more about what a summit life gospel partner is? Well first I want to thank all of you who became gospel partners in 2021 we were quite honestly pretty overwhelmed blown away at how many of you stepped forward and believed in in What's happening here through summit life and the places that God is taking us the new the new places He's allowing us to go and and already we're seeing fruit that has come that is coming from teaching the Word of God On the airwaves in some of these places and so I want to thank you for making that possible now you say well What is a gospel partner? Well It's a it's an exclusive group of people that have committed to give at least $35 or more every month when you join that group You're gonna receive a new hand selected resource from me in addition to getting private access to To updates and some resources that we we make exclusively available to our our gospel partner community And we consider you a team member here when you become a gospel partner because you are now an integral part of helping us Proclaim the Word of God in the airwaves and and and take the gospel into some places that it otherwise would not would not Be able to go your gift helps people just like you or your children your family Maybe a neighbor that you've seen blessed through this ministry It helps them have access into the gospel and then dive into it. So so we would love it I would love it if you would join with us today in that mission of just making the Word of God accessible and Understandable to people everywhere. That's what we do with Summit Life.

That's what we're about. None of this stuff comes back into us We turn it right back around to provide Resources and opportunities for people to hear and experience God's Word. You can sign up to become a gospel partner today You can go to JD Greer comm you'll see information there and we'd love to have you join this team When you sign up today, we'll send you our newest resource as well ask for smoke from a fire How our emotions reveal what's really going on 10-day devotional and scripture guide when you join the gospel partner family today? This is the last day to reserve your copy. So don't delay. Give us a call right now St. Augustine once said that our deepest emotions often function like smoke from a fire They can indicate what is going wrong in our hearts before we can articulate it in this latest resource We talk about how the aim of the Bible's teaching on emotions isn't to suppress them or even to manage them But to read them accurately express them honestly and then allow the gospel to reshape them completely Call eight six six three three five fifty two twenty. That's eight six six three three five fifty two twenty Or you can donate and request this devotional workbook online at JD Greer comm that's JD GRE E a I'm Molly vinovich inviting you to join us tomorrow as we begin a brand new teaching series never before aired on summit light We're going to be working our way through the Old Testament book of Daniel and I promise it's about a lot more than just lions This book is about how to shine how to thrive in a very dark and hostile world So we'll see you right here tomorrow on summit life with JD Greer Here today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 07:50:03 / 2023-05-28 08:01:04 / 11

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