Faithlife Sermons

A Faith that Vindicates

Living Away From Home  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Story

a familiar story about a faithful man of God who did not compromise his witness, paid a high price for it, but that didn’t stop his witness - in fact his witness was stronger because of the high price he paid;
Title:
John 15:8 NIV
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Series Review - being a witness wherever we are
e.g. shout in worship AND in workplace
bad:
being a public witness in places where it will be unpopular; it can start in a small group - but our witness is to the world;
being a public witness in places where it will be unpopular; it can start in a small group - but our witness is to the world;
e.g. disgruntled husband, forced into church; detailed complaints; clergy robes, pulpit; meant to communicate authority of word, servanthood; instead “better than me”
clergy robes, pulpit
communicate (intentional or not) / v. what is actually being communicated
what are we communicating? mission? I prefer witness
what is our mission? we’ve decided what we want to do; witness: what do we want people to know about Jesus
HUMC: people drive by, HUMC is the church that....believes? does? contributes? negative?
what do we want our witness to be what do we want our message to be
we can do good things, but do our good things point to Jesus? serve needs?
Sermon Intro - A Faith that Vindicates - A clear witness is a costly witness
Daniel 6:26 NIV
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.
- not winning an argument (e.g. baptism, immersion; prophecy (bc you are called to do something, witness); writing - me v. holy spirit winning the argument - facebook)
we do not prove ourselves to be right ; holy spirit makes the argument on our behalf;
us? ministry without sacrifice? ministry with inconvenience? no risk
What is our message? What message is being received? secret ministry? invisible?
John 15:8 NIV
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:5 NIV
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
What is our witness. If someone was to ask one of your neighbors or coworkers (what do you think they believe?) what might they say
If we were to poll the neighborhood and ask, what is the church’s message to the world, or maybe another way: what are we known for, or even better, “If we ceased to exist, what would the neighborhood miss?”
People Pleasing is the First Way to Undermine Our Witness - bold
People Pleasing is the First Way to Undermine Our Witness
Daniel
Daniel 6:5 NIV
Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
Daniel 6:4 NIV
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
Daniel will not compromise his witness by pleasing others; intimidation; shame; avoiding rejection; distance
Bad kind of people pleasing
you don’t make a profit by selling what people don’t want or like or covet (not all desires are good ones)
If you thrive off of approval; avoid conflict at all costs; your witness is hampered
Daniel realizes his unpopularity, doesn’t compromise.
not just hiding your faith; being a hyprocrite
A “good” kind of people pleasing in the church
doing only the ministries that are liked or wanted. important considerations, but not the final decision
doing what people like; just because people like what we are doing it does not mean we should be going it; maybe we need to replace the popular with the unpopular
bold
a witness without cost is not really a witness at all; e.g. healing and prison; growing churches in a hostile neighborhood;
us? ministry without sacrifice? ministry with inconvenience? no risk
Consistency is the Best Way to Witness - public
Daniel 6:10 NIV
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
His witness was not a protest, godly defiance; he just did what he had always done; and he did it publicly
didn’t Jesus say: works of righteousness to be seen by others?
let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
workplace that bans religious conversation is not a problem to someone who has no intention to be open about their faith in the first place
workplace that bans religious conversation is not a problem to someone who has no intention to be open about their faith in the first place
a neighbor that says, I don’t need to hear that at least needs to see it consistently;
a church that wants to be a witness for Christ needs to do it consistently;
doesn’t mean that once we start a ministry we need to do it permanently; but being consistent in our witness (feed and build)
burnout? what sustains us? me? prayer walk; fellowship with a few here, colleagues
Our Greatest Witness Comes When We Pay the Price
Daniel 6:16 NIV
So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
Daniel 6:
our greatest witness doesn’t come when the populace accepts it and applauds it, our strongest witness comes when we say, “My faith in Jesus is totally worth the price that I’m paying for it.
our greatest witness doesn’t come when people say, “I like what you are doing.” Our greatest witness happens when people find it weird at the beginning; doing the uncomfortable work (homeless, teaching - some of you are called to that)
unpopular, critics
people
street preacher: people knew his message; saw the price he paid and he kept doing it;
people see you mocked at your faith, but you continue to share, that will catch their attention
reaching people that need us but are overlooked - going where we are needed, not places where we like - that will get people’s attention
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