There has been a little while since I have posted a manuscript. A sermon is part preparation, but is also a conversation with the Holy Spirit, and the Congregation in that moment. With that said and the available technology. Sermons are now made available online through our church’s You Tube channel. Just search Antioch Baptist Church, Sandston, VA
The first seven were chosen to handle practical ministry of the body, freeing the disciples up for prayer and the ministry of the word.
They were chosen by the people from among the people to serve the people.
A Deacon is a position of service through which they lead the members as ministry in the body in serving in the body and in the community around.
They laid hands on them, setting them aside for this ministry.
The word of God spread, and the number of the disciples increased rapidly. This only happens when we all are doing our part for the Kingdom of God.
A Charge to Deacon Candidates:
- Be assistants to the pastor
- Be servants to the church
- Be witnesses to the world
A Charge to the Church:
- To pray for them
- To encourage them
- To follow them
“Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
These verses are sandwiched right in the middles of a call to be imitators of Christ and the relationship of Christ to the church. In imitating Christ, we do so in our relationships with others in the world and through our relationship with one another in Christ. The earlier part of the chapter shares about how we were once far from Christ and now after giving our lives to follow him, will we follow him anywhere?
Will we follow Christ out of the church and into the world? Often we might believe that everyone has heard about Jesus, or have they heard me talk about Jesus, so they will ask me if they want to know. This just doesn’t really meet reality. So what are we to do? What is Christ’s charge to us?
First, and thankfully, Christ doesn’t just teach us, he shows us and Paul reminds us we are to be imitators of Christ. So then we have the best example possible in Christ, what then was the ministry and mission, and patterns and rhythms of Jesus’ life? He lived in a way that honored God, he walked in love, and gave himself as an offering and sacrifice for all mankind. Jesus did not sin but yet dwelt among the people of the day, not the religious peace of the day. Jesus’ greatest mission was not in the church but to those outside the church. The majority of the time he spent was being among everyday people and sometimes people of questionable character. Jesus was fussed at for “eating with sinners and tax collectors.” The question for us is where do we spend our time? How can it have the greatest impact? With who and where do we spend our time?
As Children of light; walk in the light of the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Fruit does not grow without light. Darkness doesn’t go away by ignoring it. Darkness is overcome by the presence of light.
Wake up! Wake up sleepers, rise up from the dead and Christ shall give thee light. When we get woken up in the morning sometimes it is abrupt, like turning on of a light. Waking us up and calling us to live as light.
Be careful how you “live” not just how you “believe.” Our be-living should represent our believing.
Make the most of every opportunity…redeeming the time for the days are “evil.”
Missions like a ministry is not just about dollars that support a cause, but is about lifestyle stewardship. Money, time, and life.
In the stewardship of our lives (all parts) we are called to manage wisely freeing up more of those resources, money, and time, and life to help others in service to God when and where he calls.
We sleep in the darkness but when light has dawned it is time to get up, go, and make the most of the time, for our time on this earth and the world’s time is limited.
How then do we take our time shared, to eternity? That is more than redeeming the time, the days they may be or seem evil but nothing is beyond God.
How do you live out your identity and have influence, not just in your personal life but in your public life?
We all have the ability to talk to someone. How will you live out that calling?
Pray: “You call us, God. How do we make our time here count? How do we use our influence?”
– Aaron Graham
What are you doing to make your life count in your home, in your town, in your city, in your state, in this world for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom?
What influences and opportunities are we missing out on?
You have one life, make it count for the Kingdom.