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You Have the Heart

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Imagine If It Happened

Introduction: As your turning to - listen to the following horrendous news story and imagine if - September 29, 2010, In Rural Tenn. a 911 call comes into volunteer fire station about a trash fire about to engulf a house nearby.
Introduction: As your turning to - listen to the following horrendous news story and imagine if - September 29, 2010, In Rural Tenn. a 911 call comes into volunteer fire station about a trash fire about to engulf a house nearby.
The firefighters on duty remain in the station, polish their boots and hats, cook big elaborate meals and sit down to eat, brag about time of service to see who has seniority, check the thermostat to ensure comfort, entertain themselves, talk about how bad the homeowner in distress is because they didn’t pay $75 fee, listen to the homeowner beg to have them come, tell the homeowner it was his own fault, and finally come only to watch the house burn down.
Only the parts about the polishing, eating and entertaining were embellished, the last part about the fee and the firefighters saying he should have paid is true story. If you imagine that as bad, then consider similar true story in rural Canada except instead of dogs and cats dying two infants died.
President of Firefighters Association: “Professional, Career firefighters shouldn’t check a list before leaving the station. They just get in a firetruck and go.”
We hear those stories and shutter, yet many Christians bristle (or take on an aggressively defensive attitude) over text like the one we are about to read.
Read Text –
Colossians 4:2–6 NKJV
2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
-
Prayer -
and Prayer -
Paul insists that, to be Committed Christ Followers, Christians must stay in constant contact with the Savior about others and in constant contact with others about the Savior.
Last Sunday Night we discussed how to have a conversation with Jesus about people who need his salvation. Which if we spend time praying for lost people the way we discussed then we will live out v.2 easily.
Paul tells us to not only pray for lost people. V. 3 is almost like praying . Paul says pray for a door opens to speak…
Tonight, I want to help you see how to have a conversation about Jesus with people who need his salvation
These are called: Evangelical Conversations
Evangelical – coming from the Greek Word evangelion meaning “the good news” or “the gospel.” Evangelical has the connotation that everything is done or said according to the teaching of the gospel and the Christian religion based on the belief of Biblical authority , belief that a Christian is one transformed or “born again” through faith in the sacrificial atonement of Christ but also lives committed to following Him for life.
So I like what others have called these:

Gospel Conversations

V. 5 simply reiterates this command from and
Colossians 1:9–10 CSB
9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God,
For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
HCSB
Colossians 2:6–7 CSB
6 So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.
HCSB
Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
V. 4 simply reiterates the purpose of Paul’s life from
V. 4 simply reiterates the purpose of Paul’s life from
Colossians 1:28–29 NASB95
28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
NASB95
Paul declares often that this should be every Christian’s purpose
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
Paul declares often that this should be every Christian’s purpose
So, let’s break these verses down:
“Walk” - RSV translates this verse to say, “conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.”
The entirety of Paul’s writing to the Colossians has been leading in this direction.
Everything he has written up until this point has been to direct the reader to this understanding. Specifically seen in Ch. 3, and now with laser like focus Paul finishes with the most important emphasis of the letter. Christ is meant to be before all else in the life of the Christian, so for the one proclaiming that He is, Paul declares then Don’t just talk the talk, but first walk the walk. The walk is a biblical and ethical walk.
“Wisdom” - Having this type of wisdom means having the right kind of perceptions so as to know the will of God and how to fulfill His will faithfully. Having the wisdom to see the doors of opportunity God opens before you.
Colossians 3:16 NKJV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
NKJV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Paul stressed that wisdom in, of and from Christ should be evident in the life of a Committed Christ follower. He warned them that many self-proclaimed Christians think they are wise but only have the appearance of wisdom.
Paul stressed that wisdom in, of and from Christ should be evident in the life of a Committed Christ follower. He warned them that many self-proclaimed Christians think they are wise but only have the appearance of wisdom.
Look at
Colossians 2:23 NKJV
23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Illustration: I have heard a pastor friend of mine and many others describe the church as a car. What happens to cars over time after driving down bumpy and rough roads. They get out of alignment. A church out of alignment always turns inward focused.
These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Illustration: I have heard a pastor friend of mine and many others describe the church as a car. What happens to cars over time after driving down bumpy and rough roads. They get out of alignment. A church out of alignment always turns inward focused.
Churches like this have the appearance of wisdom. Instead of being outward focused these churches go about their programs and worship services, thinking that everything should be done for the people inside the building forgetting that the church is not the building but the people inside the building.
Illustration: In a recent survey of 1,000 church attenders, respondents were asked, "Why does the church exist?" According to 89 percent of these church members, the church's purpose was "to take care of my family's and my spiritual needs." Only 11 percent said the purpose of the church is "to win the world, lost souls for Jesus Christ."
Which leads to Paul’s next phrase in v.5 - Paul is saying we live and talk for“those who are outside” or non-Christians. Outside is the Greek word "exo" meaning without. KJV - “them who are without”
What are non-Christians without?
• First obviously they are without Christ
• If so, then they are without Hope
• Without Peace with God
• Without Forgiveness
• Without Salvation and Eternal Life
The literal meaning of “time” - every opportunity. Paul urges us to make the most of every opportunity. Paul is urging us to make the most of our relationships with non-Christian neighbors and friends at work and people we meet in the market place. Paul’s primary concern is that every Christian see it as their purpose to go through each day seeking ways to have gospel conversations with people.
The reason - Paul’s mindset was - Jesus will return any minute now and every Christian ought to be living well so non-Christians will give them an open door to have these conversations.
Grace - Paul means that a Christian should have a winsome conversation. The speech should be pleasant and not like that of non-Christians, which is Paul’s point in and
Many Christians, myself included have no problem speaking the truth of God’s Word or about a situation. The problem we do have is speaking it with grace, love and compassion. These things should fill our conversations with lost people.
The wisdom Paul speaks of gives us boldness but also gives us tact.
“seasoned with salt” - There is nothing more unappealing or disappointing than a big juicy ribeye with no seasoning. Who likes bland food. That wisdom is also seen in the ability to choose the right words at the appropriate time and to make the conversation an interesting one.
Conclusion: Paul’s vision here and my vision is one of a church - group of Committed Christ followers - who are actively talking with and caring for its community with positive relationships.
My goal is to equip you to have gospel conversations. You goal needs to be to fill them with love and compassion and let them flow naturally from your relationships and interactions with people you meet.
How then must you apply these 2 verses? How must you be in this community?
• Assume that every person you encounter is a non-Christian until proven otherwise
• Always look for a chance to have a gospel conversation.
• Build relationships with people who don’t act like you, live like you or talk like you in order to have those conversations
• Be Christ like in the places that you should be Christ like. Not just at home but also where non-Christians are watching and listening.
Where do we most encounter Non-Christians? Is it at church? Is it in our home?
• At your place of work
• At the grocery store
• In the Restaurant
• In the coffeehouses
• At the auctions and flea markets
• Many other places where the paths of non-Christians best cross ours
Make sure you are out there in the white unto harvest fields.
• Have a plan and prepare your mind to have these conversations
One plan I want to show you tonight is called The 3 Circles.
Go through power point.
If the Holy Spirit has convicted you of an un-Christlike behavior or speech not becoming a Christian called to represent Him then repent.
If you have a desire to do better in making the most of the time and winning souls for Christ, then make that commitment. Use the tracts I am about to give you or you can draw it on whatever is around you during the conversation.
If you are not comfortable with this one, let me know and I will equip you to do something different.
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