Monday, March 23, 2009

The Church Should Be Like the Month of March

The old saying about March is that it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. If we drop the lion and the lamb parts it seems to me that the church should be like the month of March. We are to both come in (for worship) and go out (for witness). Missional churches understand this concept.

The first word of what we call the Great Commission is “go”. Some commentators state that if we were to literally translate what Jesus said it would be expressed “as you are going”. Yesterday my sermon focus was divine appointments. As the people of God are going about their daily lives and understand themselves to be on mission for God they will frequently have meetings or events that have been arranged and orchestrated by God.

My basic premise is that God works through ordinary people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the ordinary moments of life. The story of the healing of the crippled man beside the temple gate called Beautiful is a classic example.

My sermon points on how to keep divine appointments are:

1) Do the things you are suppose to do.

Peter and John were just doing what good Jewish men did any day at 3 pm. They could just as easily been going to the grocery store. Are we doing the things we are supposed to be doing?

2) Pay attention to those around you.

Peter and John had probably passed by this man on other days (he had been there), but today they noticed him. He caught their attention on this day. Do we pay attention to the people around us?

3) Be ready for interruptions.

Peter and John had a schedule to keep but it was not as important as a need to meet. Like Jesus they were not so busy that they couldn’t be interrupted. What do you do when you are interrupted?

4) Be willing to share what you have.

Peter and John didn’t have any money but they had a miracle to share. You can’t give away what you don’t have. But you can’t keep what you have unless you give it away. Are you a river or a reservoir?

5) Risk involvement in the lives of others.

Peter and John didn’t just tell about Jesus, they helped a man to Jesus. Peter risked making himself “unclean” by touching this crippled man. Are we willing to get “dirty” in order to help people to Jesus?

6) Seize the moments of opportunity to talk about Jesus.

Once Peter and John had the attention of the people they turned the spotlight on Jesus. We must make sure people know who the One is that gets the glory and honor by turning conversations toward spiritual things. How often do we work Jesus into our conversations?

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to keep my divine appointments this week and be your instrument of peace.

Will you join me in praying this prayer?

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