This is a request for advice that I have sent to a number of people, perhaps you can also help. Herb's Time to Reap post is encouraging me to ask for more help.
I have only been here a short while. I have found the advice and insight of the people here to be profitable, especially for myself.
I believe that the Lord wants me to help to prepare for a harvest. That He has gifted me to give a message for believers to get ready and busy about His work. That there will be a revival, or as I like to put it, a closing of a number of 'deals' (souls), prior to the rapture.
If that being the case, the body needs to be ready, willing and able to do so. That is where I come in. I believe I am to be part of getting the church off the couch and into the fields.
My message is intended to invigorate, convict and inspire the body and to direct them to their own church leaders to enable their church to have the manpower and resources to accomplish what their leadership is led to do. I have no agenda, other than get off the couch (myself included) and bare fruit for the Lord. The fruit should be in their local church. My part is to spread small brush fires in the body, that their own leaders can direct and employ. Nothing else.
I have included my speaking notes (below), of the message I have for the body. The notes are cryptic, but I think you can follow my train of thought and scripture references. Please ask me to clarify anything that you have a question on.
This message is not a salvation message, it is for the body. I have given this message publicly 3 times and each time it has been well received. It is about 45 minutes in length.
I would like your feedback and any other assistance you can offer. I am NOT looking for money or prestige, I am simply looking to do what I have been led to do. I need help to do that. I live in southern California, so I could be available to churches that are within driving distance and neighboring states.
For more background on me, I have included links (below) of posts I have placed that gives some background and insight to who I am. You might have already seen these. If not, I will apologize in advance, because they are long. Read them if you find the time and I would appreciate any feedback you might be willing to offer.
Ultimately I am looking for direction from the Lord. I believe you can play a part to confirm and / or direct me, as the Lord leads you. Water has been very encouraging, so this is the next step we came up with.
Here is all of it in order. Just click on the links below.
Why am I doing this?
How I got here.
The second vision
What I am pointing to?
You are welcome to share this with your own church leaders and they can use what ever I have here for their own purposes, if they want to. You can PM me, if you want to speak with me directly.
What next? Maybe nothing, but I am hoping to be found useful in His hands. Thank you for your time.
Intro – What is your purpose
1. What is your purpose?
a. How would you answer that question?
b. What is the meaning of life?
c. But to personalize it, What is the meaning of your life?
2. Opening prayer.
3. This will be a little different. I am not normally a public speaker and I need your feedback
a. Audience participation, keep you awake.
b. I might ask you to write things down, raise your hand, stand up or even say amen if I happen to say something that impacts you.
c. Amen practice. Say amen if you thank God for your mother.
James 4:17 – do it
17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
4. Why am I here?
a. I believe I have something that you need to hear and respond to.
b. A call to service.
c. Why me? Good question.
d. I recognize that I owe a debt for what Christ has done for me.
e. If I believe God is calling me to do something and I refuse, I can not stomach that lack of gratitude in my life. My lack of gratitude does have it’s limits.
Luke 10:2 - Harvest
2 And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
5. What is so important to cause me to be standing here in front of you?
a. I believe there is a revival on the horizon and it requires God’s chosen to get about doing God’s work. God expects us to be ready and now is the time.
b. So much uncertainty in the world today.
c. We need to be ready when they turn to the Church for answers.
6. Much of what I will be saying to you is a result of my seeing The Passion.
a. I remember seeing those that came out and what I felt.
b. I could not stop thinking about this topic.
c. I said yes, and now I am here in front of you trying to encourage you to serve your Lord.
7. So, what is your purpose?
a. The one thing I hope to accomplish is that I want you to hunger for the answer to that question. I want you to not be satisfied until you get your answer.
8. Amen check. If you are grateful for your husband or wife. You are now on your own.
You were chosen and created for a purpose
1. If I asked you “What is your purpose?” how would you answer it?
a. Husband, father, wife, mother or talk about your work or maybe Christian
b. That is like saying a car is created to drive to In & Out. It might be true, but it is incomplete.
c. Perhaps you might even say to Glorify God. But what does that mean? How are you to glorify God?
Psalm 139:13-14 - formed by God
13For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
2. Every believer was designed, created, gifted and added to the Kingdom for a purpose.
a. No mistakes.
b. No exceptions.
c. No more need for case studies of God’s grace
Ephesians 2:10 – good works for us to do, prepared in advance
10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
3. Let us meditate on that.
a. As a believer these scripture tell us that we were designed, gifted and created by the God of all creation. Just as our world is designed to work in balance and in harmony. The rain falls, nourishes the earth and that process repeats itself over and over again. It is all around us.
b. Our creation and placement into the Kingdom has the same design and purpose.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 – each given a gift from the Holy Spirit
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills
4. Perception of God in Heaven verses the Body of Christ
a. God in Heaven – separate and not involved, Captains of our own destiny
1. Our theology comes from the Bette Midler song “From a Distance” .. God is watching us from a distance.
b. Body of Christ – Chosen and equipped to perform good works and when we don’t do what we can / should in service to God, the whole body suffers.
c. So what are you doing in the body?
d. What best describes your condition? The choice is ours.
1. Atrophied, not quite dead, but pretty much a couch potato.
2. Just a little out of shape
4. World class athlete
1 Peter 4:10 – ministering of gifts to one another
10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
5. Worship verses service – probably the single most misunderstood word in the Church
a. Worship Sunday morning is just a start.
b. For a select few, singing is one of their most effective forms of service. They practice mid week and stay in multiple services.
c. The word worship means service.
d. We are all called to serve. If one of your gifts is music, then by all means serve God with your gifts, but for the rest of us our service is obviously in different areas.
e. No exceptions, we are all called to serve.
6. So now, What is your purpose?
a. It should be clear now. It is to use your gifts, talents, experiences and resources to perform the good works that God puts in your path to do.
The significance of your purpose
1. Why is this significant?
a. When we talk about service, a common attitude is “Not me, that is for the truly religious and full time ministry people.”
b. I can’t. You don’t know what I have been through. Really tragic experiences.
i. Dysfunctional family
ii. Marriage problems or divorce
iii. Loss of a job
2. God can use your hardship to help someone else.
a. When I have concerns about my business, I consult with other business owners. My wife is concerned, but her perspective is not the same as mine.
b. Your hardships are unique and grant you a more creditable perspective then someone that has not suffered in the same manner.
c. Our lives should not be characterized by our tragedies, but by the grace of God.
d. You are uniquely gifted to reach hurting people and God will use you to help them, if you let Him.
e. You don’t know how and when. Upset cowboy story.
Mark 12:30 – to serve God
30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'
3. So what are we doing with our gifts and blessings that God has given us? Raise your hand if these remind you of someone. No finger pointing.
a. Giving and success – Heart - Spending on your self or others and pursue happiness through the stuff of this world. Will you ever be content?
b. Encouragement and charisma – Soul - Making that next sale and pursue happiness through the praises of man. Does anyone really know the real you?
c. Leadership and drive – Mind - Working for that next promotion and pursue happiness in power and prestige. Just a few more hours away from the family.
d. Serving and energy level – Strength - Working to many hours and overly involved in sports and other recreation. You pursue happiness through accomplishments. Busy, busy, busy but no quiet time for God.
e. Is this your purpose? Is this what you were created for?
4. Surely there is more to our Christian lives then using God’s gifts solely for our own benefit.
a. If Christianity became a crime tomorrow. Is there enough evidence in your life today, to convict you of being a Christian?
5. We spend to much of our wasted lives in the pursuit of those things that we think will make us happy.
Ephesians 2:1-2 – prince of this world
1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
6. Happiness is fleeting and unreliable. It is dependent on the circumstances of life.
a. Your marriage is going well, but your kids are in junior high and you don’t know who they have become.
b. You have lots of toys (RV, boat), but you are barely able to pay your bills.
c. Your health is good, but your new boss is an idiot
d. Life’s circumstances work against sustained happiness.
e. Who is the Prince of this world? How can you expect to have sustained happiness in his world?
7. We should know better. By pursuing God’s design for our life, we get to experience the Joy of Lord, here on earth.
a. Do you remember those feelings you felt when you first met the person that God chose you to marry. That is joy.
b. Do you remember when your child was born? Even though your wife experienced great pain. That was soon forgotten when they placed that healthy baby in her arms. That is joy.
c. Can you recall the times that you did what you knew God wanted you to do and God blessed you, or more importantly, someone else through you. That is Joy.
d. Joy is a gift from the Lord. Given to those that are doing what God would have them do.
e. Joy is from God and is not dependent on the circumstances of life.
f. Joy does not go away, it continues to bless you years after the initial event.
8. We are seeking the wrong things. We should be seeking joy, instead of happiness.
a. No accomplishment at work, on the sporting field, no manner of wealth has ever given me as much happiness as the joy I am receiving for;
i. Marrying the women that God chose for me.
ii. The birth of my children.
iii. Being used by God for His good works.
Pursuing your purpose
1. How do we pursue God’s purposes in our life? Explain these better.
a. Start by saying yes when God asks you to serve. It can be that simple. You say yes and God blesses you, or someone through you.
b. We need to say yes when we feel the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts.
c. Get to know your God through study of the Bible and prayer.
d. Discover what spiritual gifts you have. Through others that are discerning, by trying and seeing were you are strong and through spiritual gifts test.
e. You have a gift. If you do not know what it is, ask someone to help you figure it out.
f. What do you do well? What kind of job do you have?
g. Are you good with children, good listener or blessed with charisma?
2. Here is an interesting exercise.
a. Write down a list of items, in a column, of things that could be better at church.
b. Don’t let anyone see it and you do not have to turn it in. Write it down.
c. Now, in a column right next to it, write down what you are going to do about it.
d. God has put it on your heart, use your gifts to accomplish His will.
3. Regarding leadership.
a. The leaders job is to set a Godly course and to keep the goal in sight.
b. It is not to do all of the work by themselves.
c. Good leadership is a reflection of the tools at their disposal.
d. If things are not getting done or improving, then ask yourself, what can I do about it?
Colossians 3:17 – do in the name of the Lord
17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
4. What is expected of me?
a. One of the touchiest subjects in the church is money. Nobody wants to hear about it, but we expect things to be paid for and available for us.
b. Describe tithing. Gross vs Net.
c. Our reservations and hesitations about giving, reveal our true heart.
d. More stingy with our time, then even with our money.
e. Challenge you to work towards tithing your time. It’s about 18 hours a week.
f. This not easy. I am struggling with this.
g. If we don’t, then what does it mean to Love God with All that we possess?
h. Not to create another form of legalism, but to give you a standard to measure yourself against. A daily means of being aware whom you are serving.
i. Include your study time, prayer time, time at church and the time you spend serving God where you are.
j. You are at your job for God’s purposes. If that is your attitude through out the week, then 18 hours will be easy.
i. Be patient with someone that is difficult.
ii. Refuse to condone gossip.
iii. Encourage someone.
iv. Do what you believe Christ would have you do.
Matthew 13:3-9 – sower of seed
3And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5"Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6"But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7"Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8"And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9"He who has ears, let him hear."
5. Did you see the movie The Passion? Raise your hands.
a. What were your feelings after seeing the movie?
b. Those were seeds that were sown. What size crop did those seeds yield in your life?
6. Mary’s eyes.
a. He did this for you.
b. Does it really make a difference to you?
c. What are you going to do about it?
7. Have you seen the Passion recently?
a. Go buy the DVD and watch it. Remind yourself what your salvation cost Him?
b. Examine your own life. Is what you are living for, what He suffered and died for?
c. What kind of soil have you become?
2 Corinthians 5:15 – he died for us, we live for him
15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
8. I am not here to tell you what your purpose is. But everyone has a job.
9. No small jobs in the Kingdom.
a. Get to know your God, through study and prayer.
b. Be faithful with the little things like tithing, attendance and study.
c. Perhaps you are destined to do bigger things.
d. God will trust you with bigger things when you are ready for them.
1 Samuel 3:10 – servant is listening
10Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."
1. God only has one prerequisite. A willing heart.
2. Story about a willing heart and God’s 4:00 am wake up call
a. Lady that took him in when he was trying to get away from his drug friends.
b. Committed suicide, rock people in the audience, nearly all non-believers.
c. 40 copies of a 12 page pamphlet of testimonies. Testimonies that Dean had heard over the years, many he had forgotten.
d. Little lady asked him is there anything I can help you with. She collated and put together all 40 copies of pamphlet. Friend, that was still sick, got to eat.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 – God gives to accomplish His work
10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
3. Nothing should hold you back.
a. Not smart enough
b. Not trained.
c. We need to trade in our excuses for God’s promises.
d. We do not need to be perfect to serve.
e. God can overcome any short comings we might have.
f. We just need to be willing.
4. It is our choice to be a couch potato or a world class athlete in the Body of Christ
a. If right leg is injured, it causes stress on the left leg.
b. We are doing that to our brothers and sisters in the Body.
c. We are intimately connected and dependent on one another.
d. Your ultimate contentment will only be found when you are that tool, being used by the hand of God, in His service
1 Peter 4:8-10 – be active, end is near
8Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
5. My gifts in concert with God’s plan gives me purpose. Compare this to the aimlessness of many Christian lives.
a. I encourage yout to go and be fruitful. Not necessarily in Mongolia, but where you work and play.
Isaiah 6:8 – send me
8Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
6. Our world has not yet seen what a generation of Christians, dedicated to fulfilling God’s purposes, can accomplish.
Matthew 25:21 – well done faithful servent
21"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
7. Our only ambition should be to hear well done good and faithful servant
a. There is more to life then seeking worldly pleasures.
b. That is all that non-believers have.
c. Stop living like non-believers.
d. You were designed, gifted and created by the Lord of the Universe.
e. He has a purpose for choosing you.
f. All He needs is a willing heart.
g. Are you willing?
Matthew 9:37-38 – called to the harvest
37Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38"Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
8. I have been called to speak to you.
a. I want you to discover your spiritual gifts and to cheerfully and heartily pursue your spiritual service.
b. There is work for you to do.
c. I am standing in front of you, calling you to your Masters field.
d. Calling you to fulfill your God given purpose.
e. For you to receive the Joy of your Lord.
f. I am choosing to pursue Joy in my life.
g. I am seeking Joy today from you and for you.
h. By asking you one simple question. What is your purpose?
9. If what you have heard has caused you to think and has stirred your heart to service, then lend me a hand by opening other doors for me to deliver this message.
10. If you have appreciated the message and want to express it to me, then let me know what you intend to do for God. Your responsiveness in service would be tremendously encouraging.
a. There are ministries wanting for your gifts today.
b. There are ministry leaders waiting for the encouragement that your attendance would bring them.
11. End in prayer.[/b]