Sunday, November 25, 2018

For and To the Glory of God

Review of lessons in the series.
     1.  It is for and to the glory of God.
     2.  It is His mission.
     3.  We are commissioned to "go," to connect people with Jesus.
     4.  This congregation is to send people out with the Good News.
     5,  The promise: "I will be with you."

Is this overwhelming?  It is a BIG deal.

The scripture reading is Acts 1:3-8

We are commissioned to go, but first we are directed to wait for the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who equips us and empowers us for the mission.  If we do not have the authority of the Holy Spirit none of the goals of ministry will be accomplished.

We need revival.  How?
     1.  Mature in our faith.
           For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. --2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)

     2.  Mobilize our efforts.
          Jesus' call is a call to go.  Everyone of us is being sent to someone.

     3.  Make and multiply disciples.
          Disciples make disciples.  Every true and faithful disciple will pour his life into the life of others.  We have tried to professionalize discipleship, expecting our leaders to do the job.  This approach has always failed and always will.

Each Christian will give an account of how he has made disciples.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Here am I. Send me.

As an introduction to this continuation of the message series, "Witness," Pastor read Isaiah 6:1-8.  Isaiah confesses he is a man of unclean lips, the angel lays the coals on his lips, the question is asked by the Lord, "Who will go for me?" and Isaiah responds, "Here am I. Send me."
Why do we witness?
     1. It is to and for the glory of God.
     2. It is God's mission.
     3. It is to build and expand the Kingdom of God.
He has commanded us to go.  We are to spread the Gospel message, connecting people with Jesus Christ; we are to grow in our relationship with Jesus, sending people out with the Good News!
The promise:  "I will be with you."
Acts 1 relates the giving of the Great Commission and the Ascension of the Lord.  This is the turning point of the Scriptures. We are responsible for bearing the message to those closest to us. 
What are we doing about it?
We are responsible for bearing the message not only to those closest to us, but to those who are "not like us."  What are we doing about that?  Who are the "Samaritans" in your life? They are your neighbors.  Within a radius of 25 miles from Tipton there are more than 80,000 people who do not know Jesus.
"A hurting world need the love of Christ, and what are we doing about it?" --JB

Luke 4:18,19:  Jesus reads from the Scriptures:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,      
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Again, The Great Commission, Acts 1:8
What's your excuse?
 Too old?  Abraham and Sarah; too young?  David and Samuel; baggage too heavy? Paul; cat got your tongue? Moses; not "educated" enough? too scary?  Which excuse is a good excuse?
 John Wesley said, "It is my duty to declare to all who are willing to hear, the message of salvation."
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Great Commission

The lesson is taken from Matthew 28:16-20.  16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (NIV)

The level of engagement

When the disciples saw Him they worshiped Him  (v.17a)  This is the point at which the disciples were "all in."  They are fully engaged.  Recognition and acknowledgement of who Jesus is; but also the recognition of who they themselves are.

"But some doubted. . ." (v. 17b) The disciples were all in but some followers on the fringes had doubts.  A true disciple is all in, will do anything to follow Jesus.

How engaged are you to the call of Christ to His mission? 

Jesus recognized that the disciples were ready; He gave them the Great Commission. (vv. 19,20)

What does it mean to be fully engaged in Christ's mission?

1.  Connect people with Jesus (v.19)  People are hungry for a relationship with Jesus.

2.  Growing in our relationship with Jesus. (v20)  Christ accepts us but wants us to become more like Him.  
We are called to live Holy lives.

Each person is responsible for his own spiritual development.  Make self available to the means of grace provide by Jesus Christ.  Spiritual growth is best nurtured in community.  The scriptural imperative beginning "you" could best be interpreted "y'all."  We are in this together.

3.  Sending people out with the Good News.  The imperative "Go." (v19)  We are sent. Every disciple is called to be a missionary.  The Holy Spirit will equip every disciple to actively share his faith.

Pastor Johnnie Blair 
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 4, 2018


We are to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.  That  is the crux of the matter.

Some things are perplexing, baffling, and at the same time amazing.  Pastor enumerated some things which fill the bill for him, among them ventriloquism, acrobatics, and the persistence to persevere in the face of defeat, to grasp victory from its jaws, so to speak.

How much more should the moving of God amaze and perplex us!

"The church is God's primary vehicle for bringing His message of salvation to the world."  Amazing (and perplexing)!

Man has tried to eradicate, defame, and persecute Christianity.  Even so the message thrives and proliferates.  Amazing--  and baffling!   Yet He has entrusted the message to us.  Now is that not amazing and perplexing?

It is amazing that God would send His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save us from our fallen and sinful state.  How amazing that a Holy God would do such a thing.

The message still brings hope in the most hopeless of situations.

Read Ezekiel 38:23, 39:21  "I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in many nations, then they will know that I am the Lord."

The Earth is groaning to be redeemed, even in the shadow of the end times.  God is our hope.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  --Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
This is the Great Commission.

"I believe God wants to show His greatness again. That will amaze and baffle us.  We are in a very pivotal moment in Christianity.  I believe we are set up for another Great Awakening.  God wants to truly transform lives.  Chains will be broken, we will see people released from bondage and set free in Christ.
"If this is to be, let it begin in me."

May our desire be to witness His greatness. 

We may be tempted to pursue our own fame, our own agenda; we may be tempted to pursue earthly pleasures, seeking to build our own kingdom. 

God forbid.  These do not fit in with what God wants to do.

1.  to and for the glory of God.
     The purpose of the church is to bring Him honor and glory.  Ephesians 1:6, 1:12,14, 3:10.
     Worship will last forever.  Adoration and praise to God is the point.  Hebrews 2:14
2.  God's mission.
     The calling is owned and appointed by God.  All we do is for Him.  It is His mission.  We receive power (Acts 1:8) to do His mission.
     God has a mission.  He gives the vision and the plan.  He .reveal the next step at the right time.  God supplies every provision.
3. to expand God's Kingdom.
    Whether we are known is of no consequence so long as we make Jesus known!

We shine not for our own sake but for the sake of Christ and to connect people with Jesus!

 Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
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