May 12, 2019 | Lee Becknell

Everyone has a task in Missions

Romans 12:3-8

Title: “Everyone has a task in Missions.”

* Jake, a game warden, was always amazed that Sam, a fisherman, showed up at the end of the day with two or three stringers full of fish. The curiosity of the game warden finally got the best of him. So on one occasion he said to Sam, "I'd like to know your secret." Sam, a man of not too many words, said, "Show up tomorrow morning."

The next morning, Jake decided to sit back, fold his arms, and watch Sam do his thing. Sam reached down in his tackle box, pulled out a slender stick of dynamite, lit it, and tossed it in the air. When it hit the level of the lake, there was an enormous explosion. In a matter of seconds, fish of all sizes began to float up to the top of the lake. Without a word Sam just began to row his way over and with his net pick up the largest fish and string them. Jake screamed. "Wait! Your breaking every rule in the book. I'm gonna throw the book at you. You'll be paying fines. I'm gonna throw you in jail." About that time Sam reached in his box and pulled out another stick of dynamite. He lit it and tossed it in Jake's lap and said, "Are you gonna sit there watchin' all day or are you gonna fish?" 

Theme: “We live in a world that produces Christian superstars. They have booking agents and demand huge fees for appearances. To be a Christian means to serve like Jesus served. He was willing to wash the feet of His disciples. Though He created all things, He was willing to be nailed to a cross. All God wants you to be is what He's called you to be.”

* Today, we are celebrating our second Sunday in Missions month. This morning I would like to share with you the following lessons.

1. The mindset of Missions.

Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

* Beloved, did you note that Paul is speaking to everyone?  He is saying don’t be high-minded.  Pride has no place in missions.

* We must have a spirit of humility. Notice that before we can do something for God, we must become what God wants us to become. That is to say, before we can do anything for Him, we must allowed Him to do something for us: namely, to change us. Before he addresses our actions, he addresses our attitudes.

* Humility – neither boasts of our own gifts nor is jealous of another.

* When we have a proper opinion of ourselves, and only then, can we be satisfied to be all God wants us to be, nothing more, nothing less.

* The issue here is that within the kingdom of God there are those who want to be more than God wants them to be and there are those who are satisfied to be less than God wants them to be.

* Pride will destroy a Christians effectiveness.  This is what happened to Eve in the garden of Eden. She was not satisfied to be the wife of Adam and the special creation of God, Satan tempted her by telling her that if she ate of the fruit she could become like God.

2. The team of Missions.

Romans 12:4, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function.”

*Beloved, did you notice the phrases: ‘one body’, many members, and do not all have the same functions’? These are the lessons that Paul is trying to get across to us.

* Every person within the body of Christ is called to do ministry. Most of us are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-9, which tells us how we are saved. But many do not know verse 10 which tells us why we are saved. 

Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which god prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them."

* We all have different gifts. It takes everyone working together if the body is to function properly.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”

3. The power of faith in Missions.

Romans 12:3b, 6-8, “…each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

* In verse 3 and verse 6 the issue of our faith is mentioned.  Many theologians explain this is only for prophecy.  But I want to point out to you they are missing the statement about faith also found in verse 3.

* There is something going on here with the issue of faith.  

* Now I understand a high level of faith is required for the office of prophet. Not everyone is called to operate at that level in the prophetic realm.

* But there is one thing I can say.  I want as much faith as I can get!  How about you?

* The big question is can you grow your faith?

* Like a muscle, faith grows when it is exercised. If your faith is weak, you need to use it more. The more you use it the stronger it gets, and the stronger it gets the more you will accomplish within the kingdom of God. 

* Many Christians have lost faith in God.  They don’t think He is working in our world like He did in the past.  

Acts 2:17-21, “But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above. and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

* God is not done He is just getting started.

During the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often found refuge at a Presbyterian church in Washington, D.C. He would go with an aide, sit with his stovepipe hat in his lap, and never interrupt the meeting because the congregation would all be in a dither if they knew the president had come to sit in that midweek meeting. He sat off to the side, near the pastor's study, as the minister would open the Scriptures and teach God's Word and would lead the congregation in worship. The war was tearing the nation apart and tearing his soul. Having just lost his own son, Lincoln was on the bottom, and he needed solace and sustenance. As the pastor finished his message and the people began to leave, the president stood quietly and straightened his coat and took his hat in hand and began to leave. The aide stopped him and said, "What did you think of the sermon, Mr. President?" He said, "I thought the sermon was carefully thought through, eloquently delivered." The aide said, "You thought it was a great sermon?" He said, "No, I thought he failed." "He failed? Well, how? Why?" To which the president replied, "Because he did not ask of us something great." 

* Friends, God wants us to do something. He wants us to get our hands dirty, to get involved, to give it all we have. Have you come to sit there and watch, or are you gonna fish?

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"Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation." - Mark 16:15