FROM GOOD TO GREAT

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

I’m eternally grateful for missions and missionary work.   I continually stand in awe at the love, the selflessness, the sacrifices, the commitment demonstrated by the fruit that remains.

Many times as we start  in the rural areas I cannot escape the feeling literally that we were standing on the shoulders of giants.  I’ve wept as I hear people I’ve never met singing tunes that connect us so deeply.

In Africa we haven’t gone too far from the hymn book experience.  Even our most celebrated Gospel artists have just been re-mixing the old.
The impact is huge.

From churches planted, schools established.  Bibles and hymnals translated.
To denominations and movements taking territories and regions.  Their labor continues to bear testimony to a driving force larger that mammon considerations.

Monday night slides and history were a great Blessing to me:

That bicycle journey by Bro Austin Chaunner had an enduring impact on an orphaned young teenager  who became a disciple a life time minister of the Gospel,   and that’s my Grandfather Joseph Khoza.

I grew up with the privilege of the likes of Vovo Mulungu speaking into our lives passionately.
So excited to be in the company of the likes of Vovo Inguana and the Mozambique delegation.

Intro:   One of the greatest challenges of the church is we get inspired

HELPING  THE NEXT GENERATION CONNECT TO ENABLING GRACE

THE CALL
THE EQUIPPING
THE GRACE …..Don’t go without it!!!

THE RIGHT COMBINATION IS KEY:    THE POWER OF THE KEY

ILLUSTRATIONS:

1.         Where everything is available – but nothing is accessible!  THE ROOM

2.         The executive case with passport and tickets – but one number in the combination forgotten.

3.          In gadgetry: Your bank code is a Key.  You miss it once, it gives you another chance,  twice  three times…. It locks you out – the

inconvenience of having to go into your branch….. When you are oversees

Many people with a genuine call of GOD, have benefited from equipping efforts but couldn’t quite crack it in fulfilling their GOD given Mandate.

They fast
They pray
They give
They evangelize
They do follow ups
They do small groups

But no growth!!!!!

We are told  95% of our seminary graduates don’t do much worth writing home about!

Why?
Is GOD rejecting their efforts
Is there a curse over their lives
Is it their style of ministry …. Maybe they should try Aussie music and stop tucking in their shirts

There is a GRACE that releases an effectiveness that goes beyond works – necessary as they always are!

It’s not something you do while in ministry – but rather before you start!

Not even evangelism as we’ve put it …

EVANGELISM

It is way much more than a tool for church growth.  To be true your evangelism efforts are hardly ever any where close to congruent with the harvest that remains in the local church
Only between 3 – 7% of the converts from crusades and outreaches end up in the church pews and church life.

Fact:    We win more people to Christ than the ministers who teach us how to win souls
The high end churches that have new converts at the altar each week struggle to get 10% of them assimilated into local church life …. And yet they are still growing

Truth is:    The LORD ADDED to their number daily such as should be saved.

If GOD’S not adding, your efforts are frustration!

Some plant, some water but GOD gives the increase!

Question is:   HOW DOES ONE GET GOD TO GIVE THE INCREASE!

SO WHY SHOULD WE EVANGELIZE?:

We evangelize for much higher reasons:

1.       Because the LORD said so:  That’s reason enough!
Whatever he tells you to do, that you do! – Mary sermon!
Go ye into all the world and Preach the Gospel to all creation ….
Not only people – GOD did not loose only people
Christ did not come for people only..

2.       Because it deals with all that was lost
He came to seek and to save that … Only those…..
Kingdoms …..

3.       Because it dethrones the power of witchcraft
At least three times in the book of acts Evangelism and witchcraft are in direct competition
Simon the sorcerer vs Phillip the Evangelist
The girl with the fortune telling spirit vs Paul and Barnabas
The witchcraft literature worth 50 000 drachmas

…And in all cases, once the witchcraft is broken the Gospel progresses

…in this way the Word grew in power and prevailed.
Up to this point they were preaching but not prevailing

DON’T IGNORE WITCHCRAFT!!!

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

Balaam failed on the first attempt to bewitch Isreal

BUT HIS PLAN B IS LAMENTED THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE RIGHT UP TILL THE BOOK OF REVELATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PROCLAMATION IS KEY:

That’s why you have the likes of Evangelist Rheinhard Bonnke staging mass crusades and months and few years later, the region has mega churches of thousands and tens of thousands rising.

Evangelism lifts up the overall blanket over an area

CONNECTING POINTS

1.  CONNECTING THROUGH THE HOSPITALITY CULTURE.

Hospitality is more than houses / accommodation,  food and drink.
It is a spirit an attitude a culture
An ability to not only be others conscious
But more importantly the art and skill of making others comfortable  in your presence.

SOME THINGS ARE TAUGHT, SOME ARE CAUGHT!

Hospitality is a backbone of every move of GOD that ever impacted the world.  GOD chose so!  It is His Model.

1.1.  Abraham got confirmation of the birth of Isaac through a hospitality experience

Genesis 18:1-
The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.

1.2   GOD confirmed Abrahams future greatness after a hospitality experience

Genesis 18:16-19
When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

In simple terms GOD was saying I like the set up and culture of this home.   Greatness is surely coming their way.

1.3.  LOT CONNECTED TO THE ABRAHAMIC COVERING THROUGH HOSPITALITY.

He was saved from the wrath incurred by Sodom, Gomorrah  and the surrounding cities

Genesis 19:1-3
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”
And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
But HE INSISTED STRONGLY;   so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

1.4. JESUS SPEAKS OF THE WOMAN  FROM ZERAPHETH  WHO CONNECTED TO THE ANOINTING UPON ELIJAH.

HOW? THROUGH HOSPITALITY

Her lack was broken
Her son was raised from the dead

Luke 4:25-26
But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah SENT except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

1.5.   INFACT THE WOMAN IN SHUNEM CONNECTED TO A DOUBLE PORTION OF THAT ANOINTING THROUGH HOSPITALITY.

2 Kings 4:8-1
Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”

AND THE REST IS HISTORY…

Her barrenness was broken
Her son was brought back to life
She was warned in time of the impending drought
Her land was restored after some squatters had invaded it
Her lost income of seven years was restored as well!!!

1.6.   MARY MARTHA LAZARUS.

Not everyone who died in Jesus days got raised. Lazarus had a glorious one JESUS was connected to that family through hospitality

 1.7.  HOW DID ZACCHEUS  FAMILY CONNECT TO JESUS….?

Luke 19:1-6
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

Luke 19:7-10
But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

1.8.  The Last supper was hosted by a man who was ready and mentally capacitated for it.

Such a momentous occasion, you would have thought the LORD would have said, let’s go to the temple and there brake bread together

1.9.   Simon Peter the backslider, was brought back to fellowship and ministry through a hospitality moment.

And we know Peter was on his way to hell having denied Jesus three times.  His opportunity to confess Jesus three times and cancel

1.10.  HOW DID JESUS PROVE HIS RESURRECTION TO HIS DISCIPLES.

… Do you have something to eat?

1.11.   EMAUS DISCIPLES AFTER OVER 10km TEACHING AND REVISION…

Luke 24:32-35
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and HOW JESUS WAS RECOGNIZED BY THEM WHEN HE BROKE BREAD. 

1.12. HOW DID THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH SUSTAIN THE REVIVAL THAT BEGAN WITH THAT INITIAL OUTPOURING?

Acts 2:46-47
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread IN THEIR HOMES AND ATE TOGETHER with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

HA-HA-HA!

NB:  Some of you have good houses but GOD wouldn’t dare send you Angels and visitors that would stay past dinner time –

And yet Biblical MODEL OF DISCIPLESHIP doesn’t even begin until someone’s ready to learn and catch your way of life’

Discipleship’s not a course on academics

Mark 3:14
He appointed twelve THAT THEY MIGHT BE WITH HIM and that he might send them out to preach.

The crowning moment for that MODEL was when the opposition to the Gospel said:

Acts 4:13
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they TOOK NOTE THAT THESE MEN HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.

NB:   When the first disciples came to Jesus, the first question was not about doctrinal matters:

John 1:35-39
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

No appointment
No worries about logistics

HELP OUR GENERATION CONNECT TO THE HIGH ANOINTING THROUGH THE HOSPITALITY CULTURE!

2.  CONNECTING TO GRACE THROUGH SERVING IN THE PLACE OF GRACE UNDER THOSE WHO HAVE IT.

THE 95% CHALLENGE:

5%.   ELIJAH.        MOSES.        PAUL

95%.      ELISHA.      JOSHUA.       TIMOTHY,    TITUS

THE ANTIOCH MODEL:

Acts 11:19-26
Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS:

1.   Many went out to preach but  Not everyone went had THE HAND OF THE LORD with them – and numbers followed the HAND OF GOD

2.   The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas (the Son of Consolation)

3.   Saul of Tarsus was Called, Equipped – He new his Ministry Mandate from Day One… But when he went to preach… Not much happens until the ACTS 13

THEY WERE SENT OUT FROM A PLACE OF GRACE
CHURCHES WERE PLANTED

4.  PLACE OF GRACE AGAIN

Acts 15:38-41
But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

4.1. Barnabas was right, Paul was wrong! Mark did not have to go with them all the way – the call was clear.  Separate me Barnabas and Paul.  Volunteers go as far as they can. The Mandated must go all the way.

By order of mention, and that’s important,  the call was to Barnabas first and Paul second. Paul was a Jew and understood this principle.

Barnabas took Mark and left. You don’t hear about them again on the canon of scripture.

Paul, the wrong one took Silas. BEING COMMENDED BY THE BRETHREN TO THE GRACE OF GOD…and the rest is a multi-generational impact second only to the resurrected LORD this side of history.

BEST MODEL:

SONS VS SLAVES

Galatians 4:1-2
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.

John 8:35
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

RAISE SONS RELEASE SLAVES!

No Comments

Post a Comment