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March 2, 2022 12:00 am
Not many people in our culture are taking time to read the Bible or get their facts straight about who Christ is. What they hear in the media and in secular classrooms is sometimes the extent of their education. So in the message 'Bringing God to Life,' Stephen reminds us that it is our responsibility
The word refers to mission.
So now you got you got intentionality plus creativity plus initiative.
This person is going to make an exceptional beneficial mark wherever they go. It could be Monday and could be behind the scenes. They're just doing good. Might be public, it might be apparent maybe not matter related just remarkable Christians who adopted this lifestyle that is so remarkable. It is driven somebody now. God calls his children to do as God transforms our thoughts and actions. That creates a distinction between how we think and live and how those without Christ. Think knowing and embracing that reality gives us the opportunity to reflect Christ to those who need to know him. Stephen baby explores this challenge on today's broadcast.
This is wisdom for the heart. Last time Stephen began a message that were going to conclude today this message is called bringing God to life an undeniable demonstration of change life gets notice. That's why Paul throughout this letter.
By the way, even as he's describing the great doctrines of our faith. You'll you'll notice dotted through this letter are references to good deeds.
Maybe you could take out your pencil as I've done, you can just circle this phrase is in the shop several times back to chapter 2 in verse seven. Be an example of good deeds are. You notice that you might you might circle that and draw a line down to chapter 2 in verse 14. Notice the last part of people of his own for his own possession, zealous for good deeds there it is again.
Look at verse one. Be ready for every good deed. Look at verse eight. Were looking at that.
Be careful to engage in good deeds in verse 14. Notice that our people must learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs is a document of social gospel is the truth of the gospel demonstrated in a life that's applying itself to engaging our worldly good deeds. Also, you mean there's more to Christianity and learning are doctrinal P's and Q so you know how committed I am to that. You know I'm committed opposing repeating himself with his good deed good deed good deed good deed because he is running out of material and he really wants to make it to chapter 3 and verse 15.
No remarkable. Christianity isn't just an education in good doctrine is a life of application through good deeds we have received the kindness and goodness and mercy of God. Remember don't keep it to yourselves open up a franchise open up a counter get out there and demonstrated become a distributor of kindness and mercy and grace.
By the way, reflects the character of our Lord the gospel of Luke records for us that our Lord himself was kind even to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 635.
I want you to notice one other word here Paul says that we should be careful to engage in good deed to notice that the careful to engage, be careful to do good deeds know when I was growing up I heard that verb over and over again, be careful, be careful, be careful right interesting that this is the only time this verb appears in all of the New Testament and it would be related to this. Be careful to think what he could tell us to be careful about. He says be careful to engage in good deeds compound verb that that means to think upon or we might say this way to think about or to be intentional. We like that word be intentional. Think about it. I mean how many times he very got up out of bed and thought okay I want to think through two or three ways to do good things today I want to come up with to three things.
What can I do what can I do today what I intend to do to be good. It implies being creative. It implies this verb being thorough thinking upon with intentionality of how and what to do in the form of good deeds and again it's in the present tense which means this is in one solitary isolated acts.
It really goes beyond those two or three things you might come up with on your list. This has to do with the mindset you get up and go out there and I got a mindset on that says I will do good deed. That's right here. You know anybody like that just seems every time you bump into them. They're looking for something good to seem second nature. The first ones to take on. You know that extra assignment that there are the ones to take on the distasteful sure they get their hands dirty without any complaint right here you see them another come in early either leave and later set not taken down making coffee meeting friends doing all teaching discipling all kinds of stuff. They literally was likely look for good things to do. They are an exception to the rule.
Think that's why you notice the people at school know who they are. The teacher knows who they are in his classroom. The coach knows who they are on the football team. Those employees know who they are. The job they're going to put the coffee children or maybe take the old one and dump it out and put fresh. What I really just think this have this attitude. What can I do what can I do for others. Paul is effectively writing here, look if anybody's going to be like that it ought to be the Christian be careful to engage in good deeds that were engage struck me as well. It's a word that refers to initiative. So now what you got you got intentionality bus creativity plus initiative. This verse is going to make an exceptional beneficial mark wherever they go. It could be Monday and could be behind the scenes. They're just doing good. Might be public, it might be apparent maybe not that matter really them just remarkable Christians who adopted this lifestyle that is so remarkable. It is driven benefit somebody else and they do only say that the kind of beneficial life is like a like a rocket thrown upon circles just keep emanating from that spot spot of their lives affecting outward so obviously that kind of attitude can impact your home. Paul will use this this idea in the church. The local church would begin here.
Certainly, I mean if one place ought to be overrun with people wanting to do good deeds. It would be the church right that Paul is writing this way to the Galatians in chapter 6 and verse nine.
Let's do good to all people, especially those of the household of faith. I mean if it were people of creativity and energy and willingness and initiative the first place. Auto benefit is the place we call our house of faith. It would be that that that circle before you get too far out of the local assembly. This house then would be filled with people who are eager to do good deeds, which is I can become very practical. Should we ever have a vacancy in the nursery help around here should be will be in line would we ever need someone to set up chairs or make coffee or greet or usher or volunteer in a myriad of ministries around, wouldn't we be so benefited because we above everyone are committed to good these means we really and I asked him and and today this erect doing. Do we really only need six guys to park a thousand cars, what if they had 60 guys that we could not ignore them, we would have to park where they tell us to partner 60 is one in every corner. We really only need six getting wet out there today and I'm not talking about dramatic stuff just people get up, ready, eager, careful thinking through, I think a better car and orchestra that's grown tremendously in the last year, but we have people showing up at 7 o'clock who will play or sing, and they won't leave until after the third hour or playing in the third hour, which is near lunchtime when the beat when it be amazing if we had 300 people in the choir and 100 were only needed each of the three service I've told each audience on a pole, you how many of you at some point in your life have sung and acquire raise your hand hold on the graph look. I was see you all.
After the service appear as unrealized. Every hours like 80%. How many of you cannot sing razor, you stay right where you are and you just cheer along as a people get up here is able wait a second. I'm not a member of this church. Well, what are you waiting for, join us or leave us did he just say that yet. We need your parking spaces for guys can have a little easier know my point is this. There is a church out there somewhere that need you there is a house of faith needs you there efforts are missing your hands in your heart. We needed to, but if you don't need us find a place that does roll up your sleeves and get involved but one title of a book just jumped out at me. I didn't read the book to read the title. It was powerful enough to preach. It simply said stop dating the church find one settle down. You never find a perfect one. By the way I'm used to date that girl and you married her, is that woman you married perfect. Yes, yes of bright guys. It is 11 o'clock service 8 o'clock is too early to do that one guy does know all four guy was a trick question.
You're supposed to say no. Oh my goodness, it is an unfortunate reality in the average church and were among them that 20% of the people do 80% of the work 20% of the people give 80% of the budget. That's why we as blessed as we are to have needs and just about every department affect the deception and those in the communiqué children's ministry volunteer Summit when the beat unbelievable. If there was a waiting list to get in. Paul writes we could paraphrase this be intentional to engage in every conceivable good deed that can extend out about your family. We talk about this house of faith. What about the broader church at large ministry.
This taking place that is is happening perhaps in your own life outside these walls. This campus, the influence of this church wonderful ministry is taking place. Maybe God wants you to be involved in some way in and that we we we had a call just to give gifts to missionaries in September would be great if we to say the body stop just have too much.
We can't afford the shipping you have a bag I think out there next week. I believe for for the bumper crop really give all of this food to with love from Jesus. They better food shelter you give it away so it is very very low cost of those who needed looking for ways outside this body to benefit others are members.
A missionary kid, I learn more. Just without knowing is learning it. If you don't else was relearning.
I would've been interested but I just watch them.
My dad sometimes after serving the guy would come up and slip him a $20 bill needs 1/2 jokingly have seriously looked on to my pastor about this.
He will be too happy. It wasn't given to the church how small can you be a member growing up with my three brothers and we spent time each summer on call the deputation back in those days traveling with our family or missionary parents mostly up north, which was my father's home country. We would always end up traveling through Ohio I share with the old-timers about 15 years ago you if you heard that, then you'll remember their name to this day because it's just one of those unforgettable names, but every time I went to Iowa we we eventually stayed in the home of the faithful couple named the peepers and my mother would give us a lecture as we pulled in the driveway.
Don't you boys dare say anything about their name because we are already concocting several different we actually love going there. Frankly, because skilled and have kids, a kind of adopted Austin no matter what time of the day we arrived Mrs. peeper would be ready to serve us homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls with extra ice.
I know it's close to lunch but hang with me but we have to sing first sauce for boys or for getting touch the carpet, we'd sit on the couch to boom boom boom boom for this and we'd sing those old courses they they like this one in particular, why worry when you can pray trust Jesus. He will be your stay and if you know that one or my just the only old guy in here okay don't be a doubting Thomas restfully in his promise.
Why worry worry worry worry when you can pray we'd sing that they feel are cinnamon rolls great small price to number-one time in Iowa. Our car broke down. This couple drove across the state to get us tickets back to their home and help get that car repaired back on the road they were on church staff. They want pastor and wife.
They want former missionaries.
They want per church leaders. They were farmers ready to engage in good deeds, especially to those who are of the broader wider household of faith. 11.
The gospel is not like a Broadway play. Were we sit in their chairs and watch it rather we get out of her seat. We put on a costume. We get out on the stage and we play a role as God directs. I want you to notice so what may be surprising because I don't with the analogy of Scripture. What other passages say, but if you look here specifically at what Paul is saying would you notice who benefits from our good deeds. He goes on these things. That is, these good deeds are good and profitable for men that is mankind in general is telling us that the engagement of our good deeds will be profitable beneficial to mankind in general out there. Not just for the religious elite, not just for people you like us or who are like sore who are in our church or in our broader whatever world that may be talking about people in general. He sent an unbeliever is he talking about culture impacted by the good deeds of you and me. I thought back through church history of how the gospel affected the first century. During the days of Paul infanticide was epidemic that his children would be left out, to be exposed to die if they want wanted Christians began providing care for these abandoned children baby girls especially at risk because they were costly dowry would have to be provided with one second century Christian was even martyred by the Romans. We have the record of his life he supported and protected simply this, a number of deformed and crippled children who'd been saved from death after failed abortions or exposure was such an affront to Roman culture violating their cultural norm. And of course bringing down guilt on their heads. They wanted none of it. The put of the death Seneca, a leading Roman philosopher who lived just before this period of time communicated the majority opinion when he wrote these words that we know are tragic quote. We drown children who at birth. Are we and abnormal" and you want to know where we are today.
We've arrived once again, this time with medical sophistication and in prenatal science, but to the same ethical pastor of decision-making. Certainly our world outside is having to decide why is a couple was found to be carrying a child the defects he is encouraged and she is by the majority opinion that the best thing you want to do is take its life. While it's in the sanctuary of the womb.
It's infanticide by another name.
Christianity comes along is is not enough.
Life is precious matter how difficult or disabled about the care of the sick you would be Christianity that would be the foundation for healthcare building the first hospitals, Dionysus, a church leader of third century.
What about a plague that swept through Alexandria into 50 A.D. and he said this of those citizens. They quote thrust aside anyone who began to be sick and kept aloof, even from their dearest friends, casting the sufferers out upon the public roads, half dead and then left them unburied me when I risk our lives right different was the behavior of the Christian how beneficial were they to their culture. Dionysus writes and I quote believers did not spare themselves, but kept by each other, visited the sick, without thought of their own peril, treated them for their healing.
Drawing upon themselves, their neighbors diseases and willingly taking over their own persons the sufferings of those around them and the world says we we can't miss that when an advertisement is happening to this day.
In fact, I click this last year. The New York Times editorialist wrote a column remarking on the work of Christians and he noted by the when he was in the Christian I get to that in a minute but here he says I'm quoting in reporting on poverty, disease, oppression, evangelicals are disproportionately likely to donate their income likelihood that the rest of the world. They are disproportionately likely to donate their income go to the front lines at home or abroad in the battles against things like hunger, malaria, prison rape, human trafficking or genocide. He writes that some of the bravest people you meet are these Christians who live their faith interesting because all right I am not particularly religious myself but I stand in all those I've seen risking their lives in this way. See, that's the advertising campaign for the gospel of grace we have received mercy and kindness and grace, effectively through our individual and corporate franchises disseminated handed out. The world says labor is demeaning. Christianity says no labor is actually a polling the Hon. to go the extra our world says children are a burden. Those who are aging and disease burden. The Christian says children and live any kind is a blessing from the Lord. The world says a climbing over people you know on my race to the top is what it's all about Christianity's is no serving everybody, even those at the bottom rung or what it's all about the world says I have never seen God in the Christian says let me show you what he looks like.
Then he engages in good deeds that Paul writes are excellent and beneficial, profitable to all mankind. The world takes note of our good deeds.
Some of them say, how did you come by that. Let me tell you about the father and they join you in worshiping, giving glory to your father in heaven. I close with this Christian Journal ran an online article about a Saturday morning effort by one church to come revitalize a street downtown Compton, California. They just people were poor so they brought the paint in the nails in the lumbering just begin working one house at a time. All the volunteers would wear their bright yellow shirts. He says one occasion nearly 50 of us streamed out of the site getting ready to head out for lunch. Finishing one project on an old house in one guy writes I was six or eight houses away.
When I passed a married couple working in their own yard. He writes I pause to complement the woman on rosebushes and she noticed my yellow shirt.
She asked me what we were doing up the street. I told her during my conversation with this woman, her husband been weed whacking on the outside of the front yard when he saw me sobbing turned office machine center then walked over to me. I will never forget his words. He nodded approvingly. Toward that renovated house down the street.
They look me in the eyes and he said I love your heart, where can I get a heart like yours. That's it.
This man was then able to communicate that he was simply reflecting the heart of his God who was truly alive. This is not original with me, but it's a quote I've often thought of them have said before, the greatest obstacle to Christianity is a Christian who will not live at his fate.
The greatest advertisement for Christianity is a Christian who brings his faith to life. She to a world it's convinced the jobs are real sicknesses, real houses, real money is real heart aches real even even chickens are real men to get eggs from them that there's a tangible benefit that's that's a real, then a remarkable Christian comes along and advertises the gospel with reliable because he surrendered to God. It was personal and by virtue of that foundation initiates a lifestyle that is beneficial and brings God to life in the eyes of his culture and they spotted those who are careful to engage in good deeds those things that are good and profitable for all. So when we can worry serving what role do what you giving is something holding you back. Maybe the moment as we pray. You can commit to start something this week and asked the Lord to help you as you with intention, creativity and initiative. Look around for ways to serve not only your family.
This local house faith that only the broader larger households faith but even engage benefiting mankind a peer unwisdom. This is the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stephen is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina during the month of March. We have a free resource that were making available to you.
Stephen has a booklet called the coming tribulation.
In it he explores the future. Of time known as the great tribulation.
It's a topic that is confused and divided Christians for many years.
This is a free e-book that you can download from our website go to wisdom online.org for information. We do have a print version of this booklet as well, but the e-book is free today and is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a comments a question or would like more information you can send us an email simply address it to email@example.com we have a special place in our website where Stephen answers questions that have come in from listeners like you might enjoy going online and looking at what other people have asked, but anytime you have a question regarding the Bible or the Christian faith send that question to firstname.lastname@example.org will. Thanks again for joining us today for so glad you were with us and I hope you be with us for our next Bible lesson tomorrow right here unwisdom