Faithlife Sermons

OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE

The Church Moving Forward  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION
Our theme for this series is “The Church Moving Forward
1. © Philippians 3:12-14
2. Paul believed in moving ahead - not falling back
B. A few weeks ago we began talking about the church moving forward into the future, and things we must consider so we can effectively do God's will.
We have considered: ©
a. Challenges to accept ©
b. Enemies to defeat ©
c. Dangers to avoid ©
2. Today I want us to realize that if the Church is going to move forward there are OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE
C. Now that we are in the 21st century, the church should take note of what Marketing Firms are now saying: “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”
D. OPPORTUNITIES MISSED
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried
He never sang or prayed
And he one day passed away
His insurance was denied
For since he never really lived
They claimed he never died.
E. The fact of the matter is that the church has many, many opportunities before us - we must take advantage of them and make something of them ©
1. Ephesians 5:15-16 ©
2. Revelation 3:7-8
3. In this lesson I want to look at what the Bible tells us about opportunity
4. I want us to think together about the opportunities before us ©
DISCUSSION
A. THE ABILITY TO SEE OPPORTUNITIES IS A KEY TO ANY SUCCESS ©
1. Mark 1:16-18
a. Jesus saw an opportunity to encourage others to be soul winners
b. Some might say, They are busy - I’ll not bother them now” - but Jesus say opportunity ©
2. Mark 6:2-3
a. Jesus took the opportunity to teach
b. Are we taking advantage of the opportunities we are confronted with - friends, co-workers, family? ©
3. Mark 6:41-44
a. Jesus saw an opportunity to help those in need
b. They had been following Jesus for many days… ©
4. Mark 10:46-52
a. Jesus took opportunity to help the infirmed
b. Jesus was a very busy man, but… ©
5. Mark 12:42-44
a. Jesus saw an opportunity to teach about giving
b. Do we take the opportunity to teach as various situations arise ©
6. John 4:35 _ Jesus taught his disciples to open their eyes and look at the opportunities surrounding them ©
B. PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN TAKING OPPORTUNITIES ©
1. We need the ability to see possibilities
a. We must be looking
b. Many can’t see opportunity because it goes around disguised as hard work ©
2. We must eliminate negative thinking and attitudes
a. Some say, "I can't do it"
b. Others say, "It won't work" ©
3. We need to be willing to risk failure
a. Some are afraid to try
b. My dad always said, "Can't never could do nothing" ©
4. We must develop the ability to make our effort with zeal and determination
a. We must work on our "want to" ©
b. 1 Corinthians 15:58 © ©
5. We must be willing to sacrifice for something greater
a. We may have to sacrifice money, time, sleep ©
b. Romans 12:1 ©
C. OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE US
1. One preacher has said, ©
"The Evangelistic Harvest is always urgent. The destiny of men and of nations is always being decided. Every generation is strategic. We are not responsible for the past generation, and we cannot bear full responsibility for the next one; but we do have our generation. God will hold us responsible as to how we fulfill our responsibilities to this age and take advantage of our opportunities."
2. An article in the Harvard Business Review called "Market Myopia" talked about how some people didn't understand what business they were in.
a. For example: ©
The railroad people didn’t realize that they were in the transportation business; they thought they were in the railroad business. Had they realized they were in the transportation business they would have invested in airplanes ©The telegraph people thought they were in the telegraph business instead of the communication business. In 1886 they could have bought all the telephone patents for $40,000. So obviously these people didn’t know what business they were in.
b. I use to think that these guys were really dumb because they didn't know what business they were in. Then I asked my self, "What business am I in?" ©
1) We need to ask the same questions concerning the church - what business are we in?
2) That question should get us to the core of our purpose for existence
3) It should help us focus on what we are to accomplish
3. What business are we in? Are we in the entertaining business? NO! ©
4. We are in the business of building the kingdom of God
a. That involves numerous things: ©
1) Evangelism _ Mark 16:15-15 ©
2) Developing spiritual maturity _ Ephesians 4:11-15©
3) Developing faith in God among all people _ Romans 10:17 ©
4) Teaching God's word
a) 2 Timothy 2:2
b) Hebrews 5:12-14 ©
5) Infusing spirituality into all phases of life _ Colossians 3:17 ©
6) Letting our light shine through good works _ Matthew 5:13-16
b. To really take the opportunities before us, we must know what we are trying to accomplish
1) We need to keep a list of what we are trying to accomplish
2) Then we need an action list as to how we are trying to accomplish these items ©
5. Consider some opportunities before us
a. Communication ©
b. Because of the failure of government and social programs to provide a truly better life, the church has an opportunity to become more active in the community ©
c. People
1) This should be our #1 concern
2) We must revive the ability of individual members to reach the people around them and those of our own congregation
CONCLUSION
"Carpe Diem!" © (Latin for seize the day) ©
B. If the secular world can understand this message, how much more should we understand it and seize the day for the Lord? ©
1. We need to think, dream and act bigger than we have in the past ©
2. The opportunities will amaze us if we will but look for them and take them. ©
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