Notes from the planned message at Rock, canceled due to weather
This month’s theme is Be Proactive (Set Goals-Make a Plan)
Last week among other things Matt shared that we should begin with the end in mind.
If we don’t know where we are going we can not know if we are going in the right direction?
When you put a destination in a navigation system at the end of the trip it says, you have arrived at your destination.
If we don’t know where we are going, we won’t even know if we make it to our destination.
If we don’t have an end in mind how will we know if we have gotten there?
When Ted contacted me last night around 6 and asked if I could fill in for him today, I felt fairly quickly that I knew what I would share regarding having a plan.
In 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul exhorts Timothy saying: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says:
I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Part of having a plan; part of walking in the fullness of God’s plan for good is to be ready in season and out of season.
If we want to follow and fulfill God’s plan for our lives we need to be prepared to do what He asks whenever He asks.
When we begin to follow Jesus, God doesn’t reveal all that we will do or all that we will have to walk through. If He did many of us would probably quit before we started.
When I shared a couple of weeks ago we looked at the many and varied gifts that God has given to and for the church.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
Romans 12:6-8 says:
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
I don’t know what all of your gifts are, but God knows them all because He is the one that gives them.
James 1:5-6 says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
If you don’t know for sure what your gifts are, ask God, but ask in faith without doubting.
That means that we need to believe what God says even if we can’t see it or the evidence of it.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says:
We walk by faith, not by sight.
Returning to what Paul said to Timothy: be ready in season and out of season
For me, preaching the word is one of the things I am called to do.
So what must I do to be ready in season and out of season?
When I first started preaching, I felt like I needed at least several weeks to prepare. So in that respect, I was only really ready in season.
To truly be ready to preach the word, I need to be in the word.
I also need to be aware of what is happeng in the world and also in the kingdom of God.
Many of you know Noel Santiago. He has shared here a number of times. There was a time that I had occasion to meet with Noel regularly. I once commented to him that I was amazed by how often what I would hear others share in messages, was the same things God was speaking to me. Noel’s response was, why would you be surprised, you are in the same throne room.
So to be prepared to speak the word of God, I need to know the written word, what He has spoken and I also need to hear His living word, what He is speaking.
We often have people come here who are gifted in prophetic messages. They hear what God is saying not only to and for the church, but also for individuals.
They can’t really prepare to go to a place and speak prophetically to people, But they still must both prepare and practice listening to God and speaking what He is saying.
In Luke 16:10 Jesus says: "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much”
To be ready in season and out of season; to walk in the fulfillment of God’s plans for our lives, we need to be faithful in little things.
If God has put it in your heart to write a book, start by writing a blog.
If God has put it in your heart to see sick people miraculously healed start by praying for headaches so that you will be ready to raise the dead.
Whatever great thing He has called you to; faithfully do the little things each day.
In John 14:12-14 Jesus says:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
Do you see how much pressure that takes off of us?
The results are not our responsibility. It is Jesus that will do it.
We just need to be ready and to be ready we need to prepare and practice; we need to believe what He tells us.
Most of all we need to respond to what God asks each day.
Having a plan and making long term goals; beginning with the end in mind is a good thing.
May we also though keep as a goal to walk according to God’s plan today and every day; to faithfully do even the little things He asks.