July 18, 2011
Sunday July 17th Sermon 2011
“SHORTEN THE DISTANCE”
Acts 16:6-10, NLT
“6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.”
Mike Slaughter (After watching on TV the tragedy happening in Sudan)
Lord, shorten the distance between my heart and another’s calamity. Remind me that I truly am part of a global village dear to God. Compel me to groan with all of creation, awaiting God’s ultimate redemption and restoration. Move me from satisfied spectator drowsy from the complacent presumption that God will ultimately right all wrongs and restore all that has been corrupted. Move me to [be an] avid participator in God’s great plan of redemption [who asks]What can I do to help? How can I serve? Whom shall I comfort?
Who is willing to pray, “God shorten the distance” today?
Be. Attentive to God’s voice to God working in your life.
9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”
Paul and his companions were convinced God called them to help the people of Macedonia.
Sometimes it is hard to explain but God speaks to His people. There have been times when God has spoken to me and it has been unmistakable.
Every time there has been a peace that passes all understanding. Not to say that I wasn’t scared or nervous.
Leaving a secular job for full time ministry.
Doing my masters in seminary rather than counseling.
Leaving the full time ministry position to be a pastor.
Being in the United Methodist Church – voice louder than audible
Adopting Michael – through God’s Spirit to my spirit
Marrying Misty – through God’s Spirit to my spirit
How does God speak to you?
In dreams and visions?
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
4 years ago several of us had a vision for Out of the Box Youth
1year ago in February I had a vision that I was baptizing my dad.
Several years ago God placed a dream in my heart and I have had dream after dream of a worship center like OOTBWC and look what God has done.
By the way according to that dream, this place is going to grow!
Life Groups – it is so important – get involved in one…
Study the Bible together…
When you have an important decision to make talk to Godly friends…
Hold each other accountable…
This is the greatest place to get your direction from God. It has been said of John Wesley that hespoke scripture as a 2nd language and I want that to be true of me but not only me, you as well.
GPS –(Bible) God’s positioning system
(Some unmistakable things God tells us to do)
To love God with all your heart mind soul and strength
God tells us to feed the hungry…
Give a drink to those who are thirsty…
Give clothing to those who need them…
Help those who are in trouble…
Give to those who ask…
Love your enemies…
Forgive people who sin against you…
Love your neighbor as yourself…
Visit those who are needy…help, minister to, take care of…
4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
(you wouldn’t need any other way than the truth)
God often speaks through circumstances but not always.
I John 4:1
test the spirits to see if they are from God.
(test them through scripture)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Go. The life of the Christian is one of God guiding us to different places.
What Macedonia cry do you hear in your local community?
There really are needs all around us. Pray that God will open your eyes to the need.
Do. Go Get Involved
This is the hardest part.
It is like running, getting your running shoes on and out the door is the hardest part. When you take that 1st step you’re awesome.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSgp5HPSDrc Renesting Ministry
Live more simply so that more people may simply live.
Where is God speaking to you about being involved?