MINISTERING FOR THE MASTER IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM or DREAM WITH THE PREACHER FOR 2000
Below are notes to a sermon preached Thursday afternoon, Dec. 2, 1999, at the Georgia Baptist Bible Fellowship, Bible Baptist Church, Duluth, Georgia; Sunday morning, Dec. 5, 1999, at Fernwood Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida; and Sunday evening, Dec. 5, 199, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
MINISTERING FOR THE MASTER IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM – or -DREAM WITH THE PREACHER FOR 2000
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 4:1-10
Text: 1 Chronicles 4:10
1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
Introduction: Some parts of the Bible are harder than others to read. Some parts of the Bible are harder to understand than others. Anyone who doesn’t read the difficult parts of the Bible is missing a blessing.
Jabez means “sorrowful.” I almost titled this message, “Even a sorry man can get a blessing!” 🙂
Jabez asked for
* Heavenly pleasure – “bless me indeed”
* Heavenly prosperity – “enlarge my coast”
* Heavenly presence – “thine hand might be with me”
* Heavenly protection – “thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!”
and GOT it! – And God granted him that which he requested.
As we go into the new millennium, it is easy to observe that these are the DARKEST times ever! Children are taking guns to school and shooting one another. Sodomites are in Washington helping govern the country, helping make laws.
And yet, I believe God is still able to do great things! I believe God is STILL able to build great churches! I believe God is STILL able to grant big requests!
I’ve never preached this message before, but I did use these notes to talk to our church leaders at our Thanksgiving staff retreat in Panama City this Thanksgiving weekend. I spoke to them at that session for two hours. I’ll try to make this a little shorter than that. 🙂
Dream me with, brethren, about what God can do with us as we enter the new millennium:
I. LET’S OBSERVE THE OPPORTUNITIES POSSIBLE
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
We need a vision of the opportunities possible:
A. For getting out the gospel of Christ
* Every problem people have gives us an opportunity to show that Christ is STILL the answer!
* We can still knock on doors! Let’s do it!
* We can still run buses!
* We can print tracts!
* We can buy advertising!
* We can get on television and radio stations!
* We can have a presence on the World Wide Web!
* We can write “letters to the editor”!
* We can still send out missionaries and support them!
* There are MANY opportunities for evangelizing the world!
B. For growing in grace as Christians
* We can grow in our Bible reading, study, and memorization.
* We can grow in our prayer lives, in concentration, fervency, faithfulness (making lists), faith, specific requests.
* We can grow in soul-winning, setting goals for confronting individuals and seeing them saved.
* We can grow in sanctification.
* We can grow in stewardship – management of time, talent, and treasure.
* I don’t care HOW old you are, or HOW mature you are, you need to see that there are wonderful opportunities for growth as a Christian! Eighty three year old evangelist Hugh Pyle blesses my heart. We took him and his wife out for lunch when we were in Panama City recently. Then two of my preachers took him shopping for a computer. At his age he wants to buy a computer, learn how to use it, and put up a website to sell his books!
C. For gaining ground as a church
* Let’s do more than hold our own!
* Let’s go for more conversions!
* Let’s go after more baptisms!
* Let’s go after more adult prospects!
* Let’s go after more adult members!
II. LET’S OVERCOME THE OPPOSING PROBLEMS
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Written from PRISON:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Written from PRISON:
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
A. Conquer the devil
B. Conquer division
C. Conquer distraction
* Hobbies, sports
D. Conquer defilement
E. Conquer discouragement
* Ponder on the right things.
* Pray the right way.
* Persevere with the right power.
III. LET’S OBTAIN THE OLD PATHS
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
A. Let’s pursue the OLD message
B. Let’s pursue the OLD methods
* The new methods – attract the lost by becoming like them; hide our beliefs by removing the name “Baptist” from our churches (Rick Blue in TX changing church name to “Family Fellowship of Greenville” Jan. 1.);
* I’m not against TV, radio, printing presses, advertising, and the Internet. I use them all!
* However, I still believe God can build churches through old-fashioned preaching and teaching of the word of God, personal work one on one with lost people in public and in their homes, fasting, and praying!
C. Let’s pursue the OLD music
* Music is NOT neutral! If it were neutral, it would not be a part of worship! It is SPIRITUAL!
* Music (without words) was used to drive unclean spirits out of Saul, so it has an effect on the spirit world!
* Nebuchadnezzar used music as his call to worship of the golden image.
* The Israelites had music that matched the sounds of war, according to Joshua, while they were worshiping the golden calf.
D. Let’s pursue the OLD morals
IV. LET’S OVERSEE OUR OWN PROJECT
Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
A. Major on YOUR purpose (write it down) (you may want to convey this to a friend for accountability or encouragement)
* God’s will for your life in His work
* General goals
* Specific goals
B. Map your plan
* How you will achieve your goals
C. Measure your progress
* Set small checkpoints or goals.
* Evaluate what you have done at these checkpoints.
* Change your goals or plans as necessary.
GO FOR IT!
LET’S PRAY AND EXPECT AN ANSWER!
LET’S PREACH AND EXPECT RESULTS!
LET’S PRESS ON AND EXPECT TO FINISH!
KEEP ON KEEPING ON
I’ve dreamed many a dream that never came true
And I’ve seen them vanish at dawn,
But enough of my dreams HAVE come true
To make me keep dreaming on.
I’ve trusted many a friend that has failed me
And left me to weep alone,
But enough of my friends have been true to me
To make me keep trusting on.
I’ve sown many a seed that fell by the wayside
For the birds to feed upon,
But I’ve held enough golden sheaves in my hand
To keep me sowing on.
I’ve drained the cup of disappointment and pain,
And I’ve gone many days without a song,
But I’ve sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to live on.