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April 12, 2022 4:00 am
All of us are called to love and God.
But how do we determine what specifically were supposed to do or where we should be serving today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg looks at the example set by the apostle Paul and the instructions he gave to the church in Corinth. Alister's teaching from chapter 16 of first Corinthians were in verses 512 is one of the great debilitating factors in involvement in Christian ministry. People are afraid of rejection. The answer is listen. If God puts his hand upon you, shows you the pink slip sign your name on the pink slip and do the job.
Would you accept your limitations.
You can do everything assume the responsibilities you can do something and don't let the evil one tell you that because you're young, frail and timid that is everybody else's job or that your old frail and Paul addresses the matter of the Thessalonians end of the leadership amongst the Thessalonians. It is interesting that he encourages the people amongst the Thessalonian believers to hold their leaders in the highest regard in love, not because of their personality, but because of their work. See when Paul commends Timothy to the Corinthians. He says when Timothy can't see that he is nothing to fear. While he is with you because he's a great guy now see is not an affair with her with when he's with you because your sense of humor just crank you see on the file with you.
Chris he's 196 people. You could have hoped. Now see is nothing to fear Wiley's with you because he is carrying on a warrant of the Lord is the issue and the issue. Ultimately, in Christian service is not what do I like him. Do I like hardware like the process to I like the way to highlight his face to I like your voice. Do I like your style door like this is he or she doing work something. First Thessalonians.
We ask you brothers to respect those who work hard among leaders of most work hard.
They don't work hard to kick in. The cedar pants you are over you in the Lord who admonished you hold them in the highest regard in love because you really like them. No, because of their work. I don't get me wrong, I like being liked, but ultimately I don't care whether you like me or not but I do care when I'm doing the Lord's work and you like some more than others and some new year more drawn to the planters. Some of your more drawn to the waters, some of your more drawn to the evangelizing vision summary are more drawn to the quiet and some of your more drawn to the extrovert and certainly are more drawn and has made competitive, the issue is the work of the Lord in which he uses a variety of people you doubt that Paul was not committed to team ministry just turn to the final chapter of Romans look clear this amazing list that he begins. Paul was dramatically effective. Even though he described his ministry not in the most glowing of terms there's no question this guy was powerfully useful, God helping him. He had been used for the establishing of churches for the evangelizing of people.
Although his words were not dramatic and powerful, by his own reckoning. Nevertheless, they were a demonstration of the Spirit's power in Corinth. The reason there was a church in Corinth, under God, was because of Paul's willingness to go but when he gets to the end of the book of Romans. He starts off I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church and came clear.
I want you to receive in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and give her any help. She may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. In other words, Phoebe was like when much about her beyond its most of us will live our lives without anybody knowing very much about it beyond our immediate circle of influence. But in the end of the day it will be enough for our epitaph to read. She has been a great help to many people. You want an objective for your life. I give my life today, Lord Jesus, to be a great help to many people and I thank you that you not put me in the job because of my personality. I thank you that I don't step up to this because I'm so uniquely powerfully gifted. I just realize you give the jobs you assign the tasks you make a grown I'm not going to trust you for the rewards we have a reach thanking the spiritual milestone years in your pilgrimage ever had that kind of encounter. You go through this list that are 24 names to complete families all knew that God in the Lord's work used a variety of people. Philippians and is big on Aphrodite's. Second Timothy Forney is big on John Mark. Interestingly, after a long John Mark out on a previous occasion is a reminder to is that even good guys made mistakes. He says get John Mark two Timothy 411. He is very useful to me in the ministry. Barnabas must've looked at him and said your radius that even realize that back then, but that was then and this is not getting me cities useful rights to Philemon about a runaway slave on SMS and he says hey and SMS is big time on SMS is useful to Lord is useful to me. In other words, you just couldn't rub up against Paul whatever he was talking about the people, the variety of people who made the ministry the last point, along with the first two first being it's the Lord's work. The second being God uses a variety of people and the third being there is no ideal place in which to serve. Paul talks here about deficits. He talks about Macedonia talks about Corinth terms about maybe staying about going away just want to come for little while.
He wants to come for longer while, and so on.
But irrespective of geography.
He realizes all that he supposed to be doing is evangelizing and edifying. I like fall from a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons I really like you care what I like him or not, but the wonder is this. He's always looking ahead. He's always planning there's nothing static about Paul is not in some little cottage somewhere on the Adriatic Sea. Having people come and kiss his fingers because he is such a mighty apostle. He's like a general pouring over a map in the battle headquarters saying work and we go next.
Where can we send the next group of troops where can we go get the enemy and given my next he's always looking at Minneapolis as many Corinth maybe I'll go to the departments of a KI. Many elderly in the seer now what about I chromium and Lister. Now let's go to Darby go go go go all the time thinking we can go there we can do this we can do that hang on Paul.
Wait a minute, some is our vision to go beyond the end of her nose were happy with us for no more shut the door, wrapping the Bible study group rub each other's backs and turn ourselves into great fathers so we can all sit around and commend ourselves from being great dads and the rest of my life. While the world outside wonders who is this Jesus of Nazareth's the end is the evangelization of the world. That's the end that's Paul's great calling you and choose places for ministry that would suit his convenience or his pleasure. Unlike many who are looking for opportunities in ministry. Today I am staggered by the letters that I get for young men looking for places of ministry.
They want the church to be at least 500 members. They wanted to be." White-collar church.
They wanted to be a multiple staff church. They wanted to be a church in which they can have this this this this this and this and this and bye-bye bye and while Barbara and PS will be very, I will be very happy to come and serve along with you. You realize how brilliant it would be for you to invite me to be a member of your passion. I don't think I would like to be in Michigan. Michigan is a little cold in the winter. No I don't and I would like me in Florida is rather steamy. Finally, I would like to be a New Englander too many pagans out there or where would you like to be. Last year start time and where you would like John and then we'll just get you in the eye deals you go back in the acts of the apostles and ask yourself whether Paul was involved in ideal places of ministry acts chapter 14 he comes out of my Conan with people coming flying at his heels. Verse five a plot amongst the Gentiles and the Jews together with their leaders to treat them, enter Stoneham how's it going and I chromium not so good. Where you going next. What we got hit Lister and Darby so they go to Lister and Darby were in acts chapter 14 and verse 19.
Then some Jews came from Antioch and I chromium and one the crowd over the storm. Paul dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. No, Paul was not on the Adriatic and the little cottage Paul was in the thick of the battle. He accepted the challenges and the oppositions he accepted them, not as a hindrance, but is a great privilege and you have this amazing paradoxical statement here. There is, he says, in Ephesus, a great door for effective work that is open to me and there are many who oppose me. Let us be done once and for all with the idea that if you're really in touch with God if you're really in the place you should be all goes smoothly. That is a prevalent notion.
It is a nonbiblical notion, this is perfect. Great opportunity great opposition. Do you think that you can invade the territory of the damned and not face opposition, you can live in cozy, comfortable is for no more evangelical Christianity never know a bit of opposition. You can silence your witness so well in your office. You'll never have anybody say anything bad about you new soon because everybody likes you and think you're great you're really been effective for the gospel when in point of fact you are and meaning you are benign you are ineffective and soon I'm great door of opportunity and opposition if you've any doubt about it. Just looking accepted 19 because is describe their emphasis had an elaborate system of organized idolatry. The Temple of Diana, or Artemis sponsored ritual prostitution, and sexual perversion, which was part and parcel of the religious product of the day so if you live in Ephesus and you are a religious person.
Guess what you going to do all of these things, along with an Paul comes in and challenges that talk of purity.
He comes in and he demonstrates the great power of the Holy Spirit, both in his teaching and he and in his persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God where he gives himself daily. According to verse nine of acts 19 to discussions in the lecture hall of Taranto's you want to build a work of God, then here's one way to go at it. Spent two years every afternoon, find a public building going there just argue with people and discuss with people.
The reality of who Jesus is why he came in what he's about as a result of that, all kinds of things happen. There are some Jewish exorcists that are described in verses 13 and 14. Yes, the deal with them.
There are occult practices in verses 17, 18 and 19. And you have this big fantastic bonfire that takes place when, in discovering the truth that he is proclaiming the "earn their scrolls. In other words, what happens is the palm readers get converted bring all our claptrap out. I want to bother little silversmiths under the prosperous control of Demetrius verse 24. Demetrius had a great giggle. He's building these little silver deals that are directly related to all the Celtic prostitution of the Temple of Artemis is perfect for people you can be religious, and do what you want with whoever you want anytime you want. Be malevolent in a religion will give you a religious experience with no rules into what you want to do you want anytime you want.
I just find your own God for that incomes the apostle Paul says Nonno that's totally bogus. Let me tell you this, Jesus of Nazareth died upon the cross to bear your sins things you are doing another name of religion totally left. Therefore, let me tell you, God has commanded that all men everywhere, repent, and is sent a day when he will judge the world and guess what happened, people start to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. The demonstration of the Spirit's power so strong that the impact begins to be felt right from the very central element of the city of Ephesus and Demetrius and his boys call a meeting to say if we shut this guy all business think it's going right down the Suwanee room or whatever you know this request. What was the strategy that led to the burning of the scrolls of the sorcerers and lands to the dramatic impact on the commerce of the city of Ephesus know you guys are tired of hearing me say this, but I am going to continue to say this until somebody shows me that I'm airing against Scripture and saying he said to me again. It was not a political campaign to close down the perversions of the goddess Artemis. It was not one 800 target against all the sorcerers in the city of Ephesus was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, leading whose life was consumed with reading palms began to read her Bible and she closed the show and a man who was making a healthy living from prostitution itself shall perversion was redeemed by Jesus Christ, and she closed his stall. We have been sold a bill of goods uniquely in America. Somehow or another we are going to be able to legislate sin out of this country and I want you to know it will never ever ever happen that is not the same as saying that we should not strive for godly legislation. Yes, we should is not the same as saying that we should not be involved in the political democratic process. Yes, we should, but it is saying this, we will never, by means of political manipulation ideology. In one 800 numbers. See the sorcerers, the sexual gods and goddesses brought to destruction. Only one way power cleansing blood Jesus Christ and the church gives up on that message will be forced to find another message as it says New Orleans New Orleans of dollars currently being generated to try and make this a nicer place for us all to bring up our children and our grandchildren. While poodle Paul. He says you know I'm going to stay longer.
Ephesus because is really ideal. Let me tell you about Ephesus. It's full of paganism, idolatry, oak occultism demonism superstition sexual vice racism, religious bigotry, what is policy a great and effective door has opened to me now our time is gone. Let me make three points of application on each point number one the Lord the work to which we are called is the Lord's work.
Therefore, my home, my employment, my vocation, my vacation, my friendships, my college, my leisure, my society, my culture everything that goes up to making the content of my days is clean by him and maybe did.
Secondly, he uses a variety of people to do his work.
Therefore, he can use you any plans to use you, only to be what he wants me to be every moment of every day yielded completely to Jesus alone every step of the program way just to be clay to Potter's hands ready to do what is will commands only to be what he wants me to be every moment of every day.
Won't be the same for all of us.
For me, that kind of crisis crossroads encountered in my life redirected all spine of my future for you may send your bag with renewed emphasis to the work of your corporation to the task of mothering to the opportunities of singleness to the responsibilities of academia. Whatever it might be, but every inch of this great variety of people and the last thing there is no ideal place in which to do the work of the Lord except the place he put you still living with the idea that there's an ideal place to serve God. The risen, I came here in 1981 I came to Cleveland never been here before. Look for on the map preached in Cleveland then went to San Jose and preach there people in San Jose were really proud of San Jose told me was very cool in the mornings got to the optimum temperature around midday cooled off in the evenings. Beautiful writing bikes fabulous for golf really was exception to me in a private plane and flew me all over San Jose and down over San Francisco Bay down over San Quentin or whatever it is and down over the Golden gate Bridge, 500 feet above the Golden gate Bridge.
One of the elders in the church just cruising me all around me home part the plane going in a car to me to the country club for dinner showed me all the fairways in the wash.
We said no you think this would be an ideal place to serve Jesus Christ when I thought more about Cleveland when I remember well Cleveland claimant was IN clean member driving from the airport that wind blowing off those chimneys there on the freeway. You know what Cleveland is like paradise to me. I mean that in a funny kind of way. God has made this place to me.
Paradise because of the relationship.
She's given me with his people because of the opportunities that he grants in ministry supplying the needs of my wife and my kids and myself far beyond our ability to even call I'm seeing in any sense of self preoccupation is said to say I proved again that God is no man's debt you can give up your mom, your dad, your brothers and your sisters for the sake of the kingdom of God and you will receive 100 times more in the present age and needs to come is God's work uses a variety of people and there's no ideal place thinking of leaving your home as your marriage is an ideal thinking of moving on. Because your boss is an ideal thinking of leaving Park site is were not ideal. There is no ideal place to save except the place in which he said she there is the ideal place for any of us to be doing God's work is right where we are doing whatever he's given us to do your listing to Truth for Life with Alastair back how Easter is just a few days away and if you been looking for some additional reading as you prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Go to Truth for Life's list of recommended Easter books and sermon series on terrific books for personal study or books you can give as gifts. When you go to Truth for Life.org and don't forget about the book were recommending today to book titled lessons from the upper room. The author is Sinclair Ferguson really takes us on a step-by-step journey through the remarkable hours, commonly referred to as the Last Supper. This book is written to help you feel as if you been brought right into the room with Jesus to hear him speak as he teachers his disciples and as he prays for them. Request a copy of the book lessons from the upper room would you give a donation to Truth for Life.org/donate by the way, in addition to reading the books we recommend articles available on our website on a wide variety of topics to draw from Alistair's teaching post new articles each week. Check it out online, go to Truth for Life.org/articles about peen. There's a big difference between putting on a uniform and actually playing the sport will, in the same way. Being a Christian is about more than just looking the part. Tomorrow will find out how to get off the bench and get into the game. The Bible teaching of Alastair back is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living