Faithlife Sermons

Our Indifference to Making a Difference

Local Church Missions  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:45
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It is important to be reminded of vision.
Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Part of shepherding is keeping us laser focused.
We easily forget and get distracted.
We gain new people that don’t understand.
So we will kick off 2023 with a couple sermons that help us understand our “WHY”.
We will talk about things you have heard several times.
We will use things we learned from sermons last year.
Matthew 9:35–38 ESV
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Heading into 2023, do you want to be in maintenance mode or mission mode?
Maintenance mode - doing fine, but just getting by.
Mission mode - relentlessly pursuing the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
Both personally and corporately.

1. We must be committed to the harvest.

Matthew 9:35 ESV
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

1. We must be committed to the harvest.

Jesus lived with purpose.
He went.
When Jesus said “Go make disciples”, He was expecting us to do what He did.
Jesus went into all the cities and villages.
We have a responsibility to put ourselves where unsaved people are.
Sometimes I hear people say: “I don’t know any unsaved people.”
You probably do,
but if you don’t GO and keep going.
Jesus was on a mission.
He got involved. He invested in lives.
He taught in the synagogues.
He preached the gospel.
He healed people.
He met physical needs to prove to them who He was.
Shouldn’t we do the same thing?
The gospel requires engagement.
How will they hear with out a preacher?
Do you understand the mission?
What is your level of interest in “going”?
How committed are you?
What kind of time and effort do you put in to going?
We need to GO personally and corporately.
We need to GO into our community as individuals.
God find a fishing hole. (Michael Dunlop)
We need to GO into our community as a church.
What are some meaningful ways we can be a part of the community?
We need to live Acts and GO plant a church.
Acts 1:8 ESV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1. We must be committed to the harvest.

We will talk more about this throughout the year.
It will be come a greater area of prayer focus.
Some are in the leadership class with hopes of going to BR just to help a church planter.
Question:
Are you on a mission or just going through the motions?
Are we on a mission or just going through the motions?

2. We must concentrate on the harvest.

“When He saw the crowds.”
Jesus didn’t ignore the harvest.
Look at the harvest.
He concentrated on it.
Jesus did more than look.
He interacted with them.
He studied them.
He understood them.
He focused on them.
Here is what He saw.
“The were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.”
Harassed.
weary and troubled from continual harassment by the enemy.
Chased by wolves.
Skin torn and bleeding from running through the thorns.
Scattered, scared
Helpless.
Cast: on it’s back with legs flailing unable to get up.
Beaten, bloodied, scattered around in destruction.
Without a shepherd.
No direction in life.
No one to care for them.
No one to protect them.
No one to pick them up and put them back on their feet.
Paul describes them in Ephesians as “Having no hope.”
Strangers and aliens.
This is not always the way we see the world around us.
We tend to see them in one of three ways:
1. We are envious of them.
2. We are mad at them.
3. We don’t care about them. (we ignore them)
John 4:35 ESV
35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

2. We must concentrate on the harvest.

We say we have time, but we don’t.
We say we will get to it eventually, but we won’t if we keep doing what we are doing.
Lift up your eyes. Open your eyes.
Jesus says: see what I see.
Jesus saw crowds.
He saw the harvest was ready.
Farmers do nothing else until harvest is complete.
He saw the harvest was large.
Farmers get more help the bigger their harvest is.
They do all this because the harvest is time sensitive.
It is an urgent task.
They purchase the best equipment they can afford.
We have a couple of problems.
1. We don’t see because we don’t go.
2. We see but we don’t know.
We don’t live on mission because we are unconcerned.
We are unconcerned because we don’t know them.
The gospel requires our engagement.

3. We must be concerned about the harvest.

Matthew 9:36 ESV
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

3. We must be concerned about the harvest.

When Jesus sees the vastness of the destruction.
When He saw this massive need...
He had compassion on them.
Compassion: pity that impacts your inward parts.
Being sick to you stomach.
This why the KJV and NKJV says He was MOVED with compassion.
What He saw impacted His life.
He was sick in His gut, His heart ached.
It caused Him to do something.
What do you see when you see lost people?
Do you see a neighbor that is constantly doing things that frustrate you?
What about that coworker that seems to be constantly getting under your skin?
What do you see when you look at our community?
Do you see such need that it burdens you to the point of being sick to your stomach?
This is an interesting look into Christ’s humanity.
God is fully aware of the brokenness of the human race.
God does not change.
He is not impacted by outside sources or circumstances.
Yet what Jesus was seeing was causing Him to react to the situation.
As if he were learning it and seeing it for the first time.
This should cause us to pay close attention to this example.
What did Jesus tell us to do?
What action did this cause?
Jesus said pray earnestly that the Lord of the Harvest would send laborers.
James 5:16 ESV
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

3. We must be concerned about the harvest.

He didn’t say to pray for the lost (Not here).
Pray for God to raise up laborers through growth and conversion to go into the harvest.
Barna: 95% of evangelical Christians have never led someone to Christ outside of the local church.
Yet our mission is to GO.
He told us to pray to the Lord of the Harvest.
We see the sovereignty of God here.
Pray to the one with a position of power and authority over the harvest and the laborers.
This guarantees success!
“When we pray as He commanded, we will see what He saw, feel what He felt, and do what He did. God will multiply our lives as we share in the great harvest that is already ripe.” - Warren Wiersbe
We will be putting an intentional focus on this in 2023.
Concluding thoughts:
Let me ask you again.

Do you want to be in maintenance mode or mission mode?

I have no desire to be in maintenance mode.
Jesus promised to build His church.
I want to see Him do that here.
God raises up laborers through growth and conversion.
Find potential laborers who are struggling.
Encourage them.
Disciple them.
Pray earnestly for new birth this year.
This means each us us has a role.
We all need to go in some capacity.
We all need to pray for God to send more to go.
We all need to be looking at the potential of laborers in our church.
Help them grow: disciple them.
Questions for the week:
What is my level of compassion for the lost? How do I see those around me who are lost?
What is my level of commitment to “going”?
How can I be a better laborer in the harvest?
How much time do I spend praying for God to send laborers?
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