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Ready, Get Set...Go!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2021 12:00 am

Ready, Get Set...Go!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 13, 2021 12:00 am

As believers and members of Christ’s Church, we have made a promise to demonstrate and communicate the Gospel to our community and our world—especially as our culture rapidly extinguishes the Judeo-Christian foundation on which it was established. In this rich lesson, Pastor Davey provides six action steps we can take to effectively share our faith with others.

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Yourselves with wisdom toward outside that word again we've encountered in its order.

Personally I believe are those outside the Fellowship and here's then the implicit warning behind the action point, the gospel of Christ is judged by the world, not by what it reads in the Bible what it sees in the believer and Paul is implicitly stating walk wisely there watching you more than you know God's family made a promise to demonstrate and communicate the gospel to our community and our world.

This is especially true as our culture rapidly declines morally and increasingly embraces sin as good people watching you might make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, but that's part of being a Christian because the world is watching. What are they seen in you.

Welcome to wisdom for the hearts in this message.

Stephen Devi provides six action steps we can take to effectively share our faith with others. Now here's Stephen with today's message. Take your New Testament turn to Colossians chapter 4 was camp out here in this session today. Just a few versus a few phrases. Well I do is to start Paul out of this six very practical action points that are necessary for the church and the individual Christian to maximize opportunities to authenticate and communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing that I'm going to save even a believer along are going to strike you as new year. I write that down while never heard that before.

Really going to just rehearse.

We all know, but as we pursue the kind of church that glorifies Christ it's good to rehearse the simple truth.

The first and I give you them as we work our way through the first action point to point out is simply this, pray faithfully pray faithfully look at chapter 4 and let's dive in verse to just the first phrase devote yourselves to prayer.

Paul was eventually going to get around and talk about seizing the opportunity and going to open doors and delivering the gospel really begins where we must begin. In fact, the reason in my study. I found myself backing up backing up backing up to begin at least adverse to because this is foundational. This is where we must begin to leap over this step means we stumble at every other step is why the apostle Paul tells the believer.

Here in Colossae before he tells us to do anything publicly heat stress is what we are to do privately.

I wonder if we fail as much as we do publicly because we fail as much as we do, privately one author now that the Lord put it this way. Prayer prepares like that prayer prepares is the beginning of what we do. It is the ending of all effective Christian service. It is, and he wrote an interlude is not a luxury for only a few to exercise. It is not an emergency measure for a crisis. It is every Christians devotion the word devoted means to be busy and I find it interesting because I know it's possible for me to be busy about everything else but this about you. It's so easy to get dizzy need to be devoted to everything and when we take stock of our private lives. How many of us would say we are devoted to prayer certainly convicts me joint. Paul considers this paramount. Everything else so devote yourselves to prayer, and he says that activity will be taking place privately before you ever consider doing something. This is first and foundational pray faithfully.

Secondly, think gratefully, Paul writes in verse two. Keeping alert and it with thanksgiving.

Why remember, prayer isn't complaining about the world.

It's easy to do that is interceding for the world. We gotta get around that. How do we take the gospel to our pre-Christian world and we pray that God will allow us to be effective why or how to be alert. In other words, it's so easy to slip out of gratitude and develop a bad attitude right and anybody have a right to be angry with the world of anybody have a right to be upset with God. It was the apostle Paul.

At this point in his life with great passion he wanted deliver the gospel.

He's in prison. Colossians is what New Testament authors referred to as one of the prison epistles to put it in our language today. This is a letter from an inmate what would an inmate right to get a list of things he wasn't thankful for study. George the believer effectively to stay on his toes to be alert to think sharp to move away from this attitude of ingratitude toward the grace and sovereignty of God that assigns you and me as Paul well understood to those mountaintop experiences where it is exhilarating and he also assigns us at times the deep valleys and Paul is grateful, even there. Pray faithfully think gratefully. Thirdly, cultivate dependency verse three praying the same time for us as well that God may open to us a door for the word so that we may speak for the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned Paul as basically saying why are praying, don't just pray the typical prayer Lord, help them in prison and up the food to be palatable.

Help them to get a good night sleep.

You know, beyond that evening evening asking for that is asking for the opening of a door related to the mystery of Christ during the limiting speak forth. The mystery of Christ, I would agree with New Testament scholars believe the phrase there is simply categorical euphemism is a word for the gospel is the gospel which in its mysterious work brings Jew and Gentile together and united body called the church and and Paul wants to be prepared for whatever God has planned. He's thinking beyond what the foods going to be like and whether or not to be able sleep he he's waiting for God to open some kind of door he wants to be prepared for whatever God has planned and isn't it true that we need prayer more than ever, isn't it true that we must cultivate dependency on God through prayer, more than ever for him to provide for us when we just discovered what he has prepared for us and a lot of times you don't get the pray at the moment you discover what God is prepared the prayers that you been praying. You forward God's plan and so there is this cultivation in this man's life and heart which speaks so well to us that here he is in prison and is asking for an opportunity to deliver to somebody mystery of Christ, godly dependency for whatever God has prepared forth behave wisely writes in verse five the first phrase conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders.

There's that word again we've encountered in its order refers the unbeliever. Those outside the Fellowship.

Those in the community without saving faith in Christ alone does to our your mission field and in mine and here's then the implicit warning behind the action point, the gospel of Christ is judged by the world, not by what it reads in the Bible, but what it sees in the believer and Paul is implicitly stating walk wisely, as if to say there watching those outsiders there watching you more than you know. So walk with wisdom. Conduct yourself wisely. What is that mean anything zag would you think of me means to walk with tact and common sense and discernment and self-control and insight, respectability, prudence, whatever you want in such a way that the world who will never read the Bible, they don't really care you have a Bible they don't care how worn-out your Bible is not have any open mail really care about your devotion prayer either they're not interested in that, though never read it, but the read you so conduct yourself wisely to the outsiders. It's our responsibility to promise to each other in the Christ woman in the congregation today is a believer now part of the Fellowship because she watched her coworkers life and finally overturns a listen I got to know what is your source of joy which your source of joy when men are Fellowship told me that he and a coworker called home some time ago and say look this is got to the chase. I know you're one of those Christians I want to know what that means, because you have something I don't have. Tell me about this in our conduct in the midst of outsiders is the most compelling advertising campaign for Christianity, there is on the planet. Think about these believers in Colossae here there there in the minority as I thought about that. Their numbers are so small compared to their city.

I don't think you could even call them a minority probably more like a focus group that met weekly, often daily, they have no church building.

There are no printed New Testament to give anybody the reader to read themselves. They have no gospel tracts to hand people to think about and read in after-hours schools, then no missions organization, then the steeples they have no staff then no budget, no reach your world. The next action point is going to come in to play five: this maximize opportunity perspiring in the latter part making the most of every opportunity, making the most of every opportunity. Now your cross reference. Or maybe your study Bible, you probably see a reference that phrase might have a little number by that word with the phrase new look over those they redeeming the time. That's because the original participle your muse rather would lead by the marketplace and the preposition alongside has the sense of urgency eagerly by at the marketplace. That's the attitude at Walmart on Black Friday, eagerly buying up the marketplace is why I avoid it on that day, especially because I'm trying to pick up something 200 other people want and are bigger than I so I'm just gonna leave that day alone. I think that's a good illustration of the attitude by the time biopsy opportunity.

Don't miss it. Don't let it slip through your hands is the sense of urgency now is the time as numbness.

Remember being in the car years ago with a very fruitful man who live for Christ is the president of missions organization and his own personal life was always a challenge to me personally.

I picked them up in the car several years ago, driving her to preach and he just flown in from somewhere else in the country and actually the world and he just does were talking. He just said to me see that I just don't want to. This anything I don't want to miss anything that could glorify God this man in his 60s was so passionate he just kinda live with that attitude.

That's the attitude of Paul. I'm here but I can hear as it were, and I think it was the kind amendment that live with this sense of hearing tuned for the creaking of a door opening for 2016. Nine uses that image again why door for effective ministry is open to me. Use it again to the Corinthian church is in chapter 2 he writes for what I came to tries for the gospel of Christ.

When the door was opened to me in the Lord. I went on the Macedonia ECC is always on the lookout. Always, always watching alerts devoted in prayer dependent on the spirit of God grateful for what God is doing asking for more opportunity to maximize and look if he is urgent 1900 years ago in Colossae. Can you imagine how urgent it is today carry in the surrounding region for the gospel need to be willing with an eagerness like this to capitalize on every opportunity for the gospel.

One of the managers told me some time ago that he had literally get asking God for opportunity was isolated in his role as an IT guy. He worked on computers and typically whenever he arrived at somebody's desk to work on it. They would leave while he fixed it so he was around a lot of people in conversation and wasn't happy with that and he told me was praying that God would give them an opportunity to tell somebody about Jesus Christ and I plotted those wonderful he came to me couple days after that and he said you will believe it is in one of the salespeople near where I was working on a computer again.

The person left her desk. I just happen to be near the salesman as he was working with a customer and he was trying to get in the buy this product and and he was even throwing in something rather substantive for free to try to give them the incentive to go & and he can't he just can't pass this up and that customer just wouldn't buy in. He just wouldn't lock down on it and eventually he laughed and the salesman was really put off by it, and he looked over this guy from IT working on this computer and he just said them.

Can you believe that someone would turn down a free gift that switch goes softball from God day ready at the plate. He said I go and and said well people actually do that every day but I do what you mean. And he walked through the door and began a conversation with this man about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Maybe beloved, we don't have the opportunity we want to have because were not asking God for he knows our ears are close to the sound of creaking hinges, but of God would give us a longing to declare the gospel to our world and begin to pray for that to happen, and we began to reach our city hundred thousand people in this little town alone are going nowhere today do not know the Savior.

You know, we are just beginning spray God will give us opportunity and then look for it and listen out for number six while you're communicating.

Here's another action point will call if this communicate graciously, communicate graciously verse six let your speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with thoughts of you may know how you should respond to each person again. He started out, the people outside isn't telling them what to say.

Did you notice you telling them how to say it, how to speak how you talk to people outside the church.

How do you talk me back it up. Talk outside the church. I know in here. We gotta polish everything outgoing we might send off a few rough edges so we might clean up a few things were in church. What about when you're not in church and interesting middle English word for sanctuary was fain that they any talk about a beautiful fain in the Middle Ages and the Latin Fama morphing in the Middle Ages, they eventually added the prefix Pro which created the word profane which they literally understood to mean out in front of the Cathedral outing out there and then over time, somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

The word profane came to represent language that belong outside the church never bring it in here we call it profanity, profane speech you never talk that way in church, but you can talk that way when you're outside in front. The truth is beloved our speech is not only an identification of our nationality in a locality to hear the accent. It is a revelation of our spirituality.

Probably one of the best gauges of whether or not were growing in Christ, has to do with our speech as it comes from our heart out of the heart perceives those things we say there's no excuse there's no excuse. If we ever hope to take the opportunity and maximizing for the gospel is no excuse for course speaking for sexual innuendo in our conversation for dirty malls, dirty jokes and you could expand that when angry mouth Laura slanderous mouth or a deceitful mouth or an unkind mouth you want to make a difference in your world as you maximize the opportunity. Paul writes, led your speech always be with grace. Now it might be tempting as one New Testament author pointed out to just sort of hide behind the belief that wellies talking theologically hear about the subject of grace and so you know, we can tell people God bless you, or God will provide for you are God's grace is sufficient and in the nevermind is not speaking in this context I believe not so much. Theologically, as he is practically one New Testament author wrote more than likely that the idea here in Paul's mind is the idea of beauty. The idea of winsome this speak with grace, winsome speech. You might think it will people in the church.

I can have a problem with that.

What they did in the first century, and I think it's possible it could happen in the 21st century. I listen to the great fearless apostle find this text interesting.

He writes he's writing ahead of the visit is to make the cart and he says that in the letter that precedes his visit these words I'm afraid striking to hear him say that, but I'm afraid that when I come alive visit you there will be strife angry tempers disputes slanderers and disturbances. Wonder if he's writing the hockey players are busy and addressing here. Tempers disputes disturbances always writing to the church thing read this chapter 12 verse 20 Paul writes to this church in Colossae.

Speak to your world as you do with winsome this the winsome oneness of grace. Then he had this wonderful phrase. Let your speech be seasoned as it were with Saul auditing mean what it mean to him. She start there not what you think it means to you an article that I had tucked away 17 years ago I found recently. A few weeks ago and it detailed the history of salt which got me researching I I got to do a message on this its humans after 12, so images can whittle it down Marco Polo in his travels during the 13th century.

We want to start their discovered the Tibetans of compressed salt cakes and stamp them with the Imperial seal of the great Kublai Khan and used those cakes as honey civilizations going back to the formation of the Roman Empire began around salt marshes with a good harvest that the first Roman road of an incredible system of roads to connect to the Empire was called via solaria. The salt Road came from the very first Roman colony built that saltmarsh and Ostia. The Roman Empire would also import salt from France and north Africa and other parts of Europe.

Officials would be appointed to tax it to monitor this precious cargo. This precious commodity. I mentioned to you before that Roman soldiers were often paid in salt they would buy and barter with salt. Salt as it was weighed out for centuries was worth more than the weight of gold against which it was compared so if someone or something wasn't worth it.

Salt that came out of that ancient practice of bartering and buying with this commodity you go back to the Old Testament.

In fact, this is a fascinating study, you discover that God ordered salt to accompany the sacrifice represented Leviticus chapter 2 is a symbol of purity and preservation. It also represented fidelity and faithfulness. There was a salt covenant, you can make in the Old Testament days it was binding that even Arabs through the centuries who made peace treaties and declared their loyal fidelity to the one they made the treaty with would use the expression, there is now salt between us. For Paul, the metaphor is simple enough salt is valuable salt symbolized purity came out of those offerings dedicated to God course on a very practical way or manner, seasoned food, it also created thirst right so Paulo, I'm not sure exactly what he's thinking about maybe's thinking about all season.

Your words don't waste your words there valuable. Don't throw them around worth more than gold so leave them keep it clean firm represents purity in the context of this challenge to reach our world for Christ. Use your words to create, thirst, talk to people outside in such a way that God might use your words to create thirst for Jesus Christ who is the water of life.

May we speak in such a way that people become thirsty for Christ for communicate graciously with God wants to work and use you to influence the people in your life. I hope that's what you want as well. Now the work begins. As we go out and live the truth we've learned this is wisdom for the heart if you'd like to send Stephen a card, letter or note of encouragement. Please address your correspondence to wisdom for the hearts.

PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627 if you prefer to correspond by email. Our address is will also find our ministry on various social media platforms. However, it is that you prefer to interact with us, we'd enjoy hearing from you. Stephen Davey has one more lesson to go in this series called going public that's tomorrow here on wisdom for the heart

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