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I Can Carry You (Epaphras)

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I Can Carry You                                  HOPE Christian Fellowship

                                                               January 25, 2009

Colossians 4:12-13 (Epaphras)                                    Pastor Jeff Bassette

Crossroads and _____________

 

Acts 19:8-12 --Paul plants in Ephesus, 53-55 AD, region evangelized

·    Epaphras helps Paul, plants church in Colosse, in outer regions

·    Paul helps Epaphras, leads Philemon to Christ, leader in Colosse

Perils  and  Partners.

Acts 28:16-31—Paul in Rome, 59-61 AD, a prisoner under house-arrest

·    Philemon 23              Epaphras: Partners _____________ together.

·    Colossians 1:6-7                    Epaphras: Partners ___________ together.

·     Philippians 1:12-14    Partners __________ each other to keep at it.

Burdens and ___________.

Colossians 4:12-13—Epaphras in Rome, carries Paul’s heart/values

·     Friends with shared burdens     Jesus—Paul—Epaphras—Us

 

 

Where are you saying to others or hearing from others?

 “I can carry you.”

Bible Passages needed on screen are:

 

Acts 19:8-12

Acts 28:16, & 30-31 on one slide

Philemon 23

Colossians 1:6-7

Philippians 1:12-14  (may not use, but have it)

Colossians 4:12-13

 

Blanks are:

 

Crossroads and Intersections

 

Perils and Partners

(NOTE:  on outline for ease I’ve already typed in the word “partners” and underlined it)

 

For bullets in this section you can create slide showing whole line that I’ve typed out, but blanks you’ll need filled in are:

 

Philemon 23….   Partners  sacrifice

Colossians 1… Partners serve

Philippians 1…Partners encourage

 

Burdens and Friends

 

After     * Friends with shared burdens…

I’d like a slide ready that names HOPE’s vision for cell life typed on three lines, with this content on each line, as typed below

Empowered by the Spirit through prayer,

their purpose is to transform lives

through community, discipleship, evangelism, and multiplication.

 

After this I’ll show video clip from Lord of Rings

I want closing question on bottom 2 lines to be a slide  too.

“Where are you saying….carry you”

Joan will also send you visual of Connection Card we’ve adapted for Sunday.  That will be final slide, put on light blue background, with black text, to match look and feel of Sunday’s Connectn Card


I Can Carry You,  You Have My Axe-Part 4,  Colos, 4:12-13 (Epaphras),  January 25, 2009

INTRO:     I’ll never forget one of my high school classmates.  Alan Grover.

He was a complete non-athlete:  very overweight, in level B or C social crowd, shy, but a sweet spirit with a big, friendly smile.  Never played football, but camera-man who filmed all games my sr. year.  Behind the scenes kind of guy, almost invisible (like so many h.s. students feel).

        But when I applied to colleges as f-ball recruit, was Alan’s films that got sent to coaches.

        I owe big debt to Alan Grover, my teammate who never played single game, camera-man.

I’d guess that Alan, if we had chance to talk, would say he felt certain debt of gratitude to f-ball

team, who cheered him on, helped him come out of his shell, b/c every player on that

team valued the quiet, but important role he played for our whole team.

One special bit of filming he did endeared him forever in hearts of our team. Solidified his place

He was shooting play, then camera sort of lost track, forgot all of us, and zeroed in on…   

cheerleaders, started zoom in for a close up, happened be of cheerleaders backside. 

At that point, all guys watching the film started hooting & hollering,

then began laughing and chanting:  Grover, Grover, Grover.  

It was an iconic moment. 

So at end of season, at awards banquet, when Alan got his varsity FB letter along with

rest of us, we all cheered for him.  Alan had found his place on the team.

He was important, needed, valued.  Even though he never set foot on field of play.

As Alan served us, our appreciation served him—and he blossomed under team’s encouragment

TRANS:     All of us could tell stories like this.  Where our lives intersect with others. 

We band together with others in pursuit of a common dream or task: 

in high school musicals, or college study groups, & task-forces at work.

Some have major, visible roles.  Others play smaller, supportive roles.   But all are needed.

          And over time, each serves, perhaps even carries the others thru the times when hope grows dim, or exhaustion/frustration begin settle in.  In ways we often miss, we need each other

Intersection of two lives, Paul (up front, clear leader) and Epaphras (behind scenes, ldr, upheld).

Both important, needed each other.  God used each their contributions for k-dom.

Crossroads and _Intersections__.

 

Read Acts 19:8-12 --Paul plants in Ephesus, 53-55 AD, whole region evangelized

·   Epaphras helps Paul, plants church in Colosse, in outer regions.  Paul not plant here.

·   Paul helps Epaphras, leads Philemon to Christ, who becomes a leader in Colosse church

·  Though don’t know if Epaphras and Paul yet met each other, their lives serving/influencing one another.  Thru common friends, like Philemon.

TRANS:  Over time, as pursue common mission, not only do lives intersect,

but begin face difficulties/pressures/even perils together that threaten to unravel the mission, and it’s through those times, most pressure-filled times, that ppl can grow into true partners.

Relationship deepens, commitment to each other solidifies a/r common task.  Shared sacrifice.

Perils and Partners.

Read Acts 28:16,30-31—Paul in Rome, 59-61 AD, a prisoner under house-arrest

·   Read Philemon 23          Epaphras: Partners _sacrifice_ together. 

o   (Fellow prisoner, now serves Paul in Rome.  Partner, taking on mission of Paul.

o   This is one of only three places bible mentions Epaphras.  Capable leader in his own right, but behind-the-scenes, content to support Paul, at times carry load w/him.

·   Read Colossians 1:6-7    Epaphras: Partners _serve____ together.

o   Epaphras brought gospel to Colossae years earlier, just as Paul had to Ephesus

o   Both were church planters.  They understood each other.  No one needed explain.

o   Like cell leaders who understand other cell leaders. 

o   So now Paul supports Epaphras, who’s supporting him.  Paul writes letter to Colos.  Here is Paul now taking a behind-scenes role to support/undergird Epaphras’ min.

·    (IF TIME, read Philippians 1:12-14)    Partners _encourage_ each other to keep at it.

o   Though they are in prison, in chains, God is not chained, nor is gospel. (Acts 28)

o   Paul writes letters (legacy) from prison, Philemon, Colossns, Philip., Ephes (60AD)

o   Call each other to hope, to faith, stir up each other’s confidence in God!!!

o   We in time of pressure as church, nat’l economy, will we respond this way (encour.)

TRANS:  In time, partners become friends.  Relationship deepens.  Many people think about small group as gotta protect our fellowship/commty, but way to deepen it is partner in mission t/g

Burdens and _Friends_.

Colossians 4:12-13—Epaphras in Rome, carries Paul’s heart/values

·        “Fellow”--fellow-prisoner….fellow-minister   “shared burdens/values & carrying it t/g

·        A/r seen evangelism, here Discipleship (maturity/growth), prayer, fellowship, sacrifice

·        HCF values, heart for cell life rooted in this apostolic lifestyle:  (show HCF cell definit’n)

TRANS:    One of you—Epaphras a Gentile not a Jew, unlikely friendship given where Paul started his journey, as devout Jew racial hatred against Gentiles.  Yet here they are with their hearts & lifestyles so fully in sync around same set of values for k-dom.  Ironic that Paul discovers his place in God’s story is to bring gospel to gentile world, very ppl he held such hostility and prejudice toward before following Christ.  (Reminds me of Gimli and Legolas in LOTR, who became unlikely friends given their racial animosity & mistrust at begin of mission.

Video:   LOTR:  Return of the King, Scene

Where are you saying to others or hearing from others?

 “I can carry you.”

Response Time to Series:  orient to Connection Card—Options, Fill out in pew,  write/reflectn

Pastoral PrayeràAlabaster Jar/Le My Words be Fewà(Mike Gab—Dismissal)

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