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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mission’s Convention – 2019

Mission’s Convention – 2019
Faith Promise Challenge
by Rick Welborne

Romans 10:13-15 (NKJV)
13  For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
14  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" 

First, do you believe Jesus has told us to go into the whole world and to preach the gospel, making disciples of all nations?

Second, do you believe the message or the heart of your pastor when he tells you that God sent him here to build a great missions church? Did God really speak that to me? Can you trust the man of God He has sent to you?

Third, would there be power in unity if we all came on board with this vision and this dream?



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Fruit of the Spirit – 6

The Fruit of the Spirit – 6
Subject: Learning to Walk in the Fruit of the Spirit
by Rick Welborne

Galatians 5:22-26 (NKJV)
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

--We have already looked at the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and kindness…tonight we will be looking at goodness. 

6. The Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness

Goodness – the state or quality of being good. Moral excellence, virtue. Kindness, generosity. Excellence of quality. The best part of anything. Essence or strength.

Biblical goodness - in man, goodness is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.

--From this Biblical definition of goodness I see three things I want us to look at. A Deliberate Preference of Right, A Persistent Resistance of all Moral Evil, and The Choosing and Following of that which is Good. 

A. A Deliberate Preference of Right. 

--It sounds like God expects us to make a willful choice to do what is right and what is virtuous in His sight…really what is in His Word. Paul says it like this. Look at the different translations.

Ephesians 5:7 (NKJV)
7  Therefore do not be partakers with them. 

Ephesians 5:7 (NCV)
7  So have nothing to do with them.

Ephesians 5:7 (NIV)
7  Therefore do not be partners with them. 

Ephesians 5:7 (NLT2)
7  Don’t participate in the things these people do.

--If we will walk in righteousness and if we will have the fruit of the Spirit ‘goodness’ we will have to be deliberate in all of our ways and all of our choices. 

--As far as people who are choosing to do evil and to live contrary to God’s will and Word, we must not partake with them, we must have nothing to do with them, we must not be partners with them, we must not participate with them. 

--Probably the thing that has been most difficult to understand as a pastor is seeing people who know better, partake, fellowship with, become partners with, participate with people walking in darkness. 

--If that is not enough, they try to convince me that God is okay with what they are doing because now is their time to be happy and to enjoy life. 

--Please show me in the Bible where God gives any of us a pass to live anyway we want to and have the audacity to think or believe God is okay with that. Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord! Remember:

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT2)
19  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,
20  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,
21  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

--Maybe we should pause and ask this very important question…why or what would be our motivation to make a deliberate choice or to have a deliberate preference to do what is right?

Ephesians 5:7-8 (NKJV)
7  Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…

--As a believer, do I really have to ask why I need to be deliberate about living for God and doing what is right. Paul says here…You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord!

--Well, Pastor Rick, I did not go down a rebellious road, I didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs…I didn’t mess around and I was raised in church all my life. Congratulations! I am truly happy for you.

--Please understand that all of us are still in darkness until Jesus comes into our lives whether raised in church or out in the world raising hell!

 Psalm 18:28 (NIV)
28  You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. 

--So because I was once darkness and because God has turned my darkness into light, I should make a deliberate choice or have a preference to do what is right.

--God deserves all the glory and deserves for me to want to or prefer to follow Him instead of the things of this world. One brought me liberty and freedom while the other held me in chains of darkness. 

Psalm 37:1-7 (NKJV)
1  Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5  Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
6  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;  

B. A Persistent Resistance of all Moral Evil

Ephesians 5:11-14 (NLT2)
11  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.
12  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
13  But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,
14  for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

--I looked up the word ‘Resistance’ and I think it is applicable to what we are saying tonight:

Resistance - the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. Synonyms: opposition to · hostility to · aversion to · refusal to accept. The ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely.

--Verse 11 says take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. In other words, we refuse to accept them or comply with them. We oppose them…we refuse to accept them.

--I am so afraid that the Church has bought into this idea of tolerance and hate speech. We are not to confront anyone with their evil ways, and if we do, it is hate speech. Ridiculous! The Bible says to expose them.

--Resistance to evil is not just doing the evil but also talking about evil and sin with great affection…12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
--We have all heard people talk about their past with such longing that they sound like Israel when God brought them out of Egypt…they complained so much that God killed some with fire. They continued.

Numbers 11:4-6 (NKJV)
4  Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat?
5  We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
6  but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!"

--Careful, Christians, when you say that Jesus, the Bread of Life is not enough to satisfy the desires of your heart and you start looking back at the world desiring to go back. 

--It takes tenacity and fortitude to resist the evil of our day. We and our children, our grandchildren are being attacked from so many directions. Our advancement is technology has made us vulnerable. 

 James 4:4-10 (NLT2)
4  You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 
5  What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?
6  But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7  So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 
9  Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. 

--Many seem not to understand this principle of God but nevertheless it is true…God will help us through whatever we are facing but we have to work with Him…we have to do our part. He will if you will! Absolute!

--It takes us humbling ourselves, it takes us resisting the devil, it takes us drawing near to God, it takes us having clean hands, it takes us having pure hearts, it takes us being broken and repenting…this is our part!

--God’s part…to give favor to the humble, to come close to you, and to lift you up! See how we work with God at resisting evil and drawing near to Him. As we do, He comes running!

C. The Choosing and Following of that which is Good. 

--The choosing and following of that which is good leads us to a place where we need to just Stop It! Video

--If you have been noticing we have referred back to the Apostle Paul in Eph. 5 again and again. Paul is showing us in these verses how to have the fruit of the Spirit…goodness!

--Goodness as a fruit of the Spirit is A Deliberate Preference of Right, A Persistent Resistance of all Moral Evil, and The Choosing and Following of that which is Good. 

Ephesians 5:14-20 (NLT2)
14  for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
15  So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.
16  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
17  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
18  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,
19  singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
20  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

--Paul is saying ‘Wake up!’ What a great message for the church! Christ will give you light that will lead you to goodness. Be careful how you live…don’t live like fools…the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.

--Give thought to the will of God for you. Don’t be intoxicated by this world but be filled with Holy Spirit! Be a worshiper, Give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Find goodness!

--Choose to be filled with Holy Spirit and to walk in the fruit of the Spirit – goodness!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Fruit of the Spirit – 5

The Fruit of the Spirit – 5
Subject: Learning to Walk in the Fruit of the Spirit
by Rick Welborne

Galatians 5:22-26 (NKJV)
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Kindness -  the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Synonyms: kindliness · kind-heartedness · warm-heartedness · tender-heartedness · goodwill ·

Baker’s Evangelical DictionaryKindness - An attribute of God and quality desirable but not consistently found in humans. Yet human imitation of God's kindness does not come naturally. In fact, ultimately no one is kind. It is only as the fruit of God's Spirit that kindness can be a consistent part of the believer's experience (Gal 5:22).
Romans 3:10-12 (NKJV)
10  As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;
11  There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
12  They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 
Ephesians 4:30-32 (NLT2)
30  And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
32  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT2)
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
32  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 
Vine’s Biblical Dictionary – Kindness – willingness to serve someone – to be good – to be gracious – to be kind. 
Luke 6:31-36 (NKJV)
31  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32  But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.
35  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36  Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
A. Kindness can be as simple as the golden rule.
Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do you.
Luke 23:32-35 (NKJV)
32  There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
33  And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
34  Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.
35  And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God."
B. Kindness is not about saving ourselves.
Matthew 27:41-43 (NKJV)
41  Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,
42  "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.
43  He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' " 
Matthew 26:51-53 (NKJV)
51  And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52  But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
53  Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
C. Kindness is following Jesus’ model.
Philippians 2:1-11 (NKJV)
1  Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
1. To show kindness, let nothing you do be done out of selfish ambition or by being conceded. 3
2. To show kindness, humble yourself and esteem others better than yourselves. 3
3. To show kindness, don’t only look out for what you are interested but the interests of others. 4
4. To show kindness, have the same mind that Jesus had. 5
5, To show kindness, stop worrying about your reputation and become a bond servant. 7
6. To show kindness, humble yourselves, take up your cross, and die to yourselves. 8
7. Showing the fruit of kindness is allowing God to exalt you and Him taking care of your name. 9



Sunday, February 3, 2019

Mission's Conference Week 1

Make Disciples – 2019 - 5
Subject – Celebrating God’s Faithfulness thru Our People
by Rick Welborne

Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT2)
16  Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
18  Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
--As we approached this day I began to pray about how I would be able to share a message about “Make Disciples” and making that tie to Missions.
--Sometimes I feel God has to deal with me like that child that is very much loved but is not the brightest kid that He has. Thank God for His patience with us. Lord, how can I share this with our people?
--I kind of felt like He said, “Really, Ricky!” Of course, I said yes, Lord, please help me! He spoke to me and said, “Read the verse you have been using for your title real slow and pay attention!” Yes, Lord!
Matthew 28:19 (NLT2)
19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…
--The Lord said, “Stop! Read that again!” I read it again and went real slow. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…Have you ever felt really silly talking with God…it’s right there in front of me. 
--God the Son, Jesus is saying to us…Go and make disciples of all nations. That’s the message and that is what I will be communicating to you today with Holy Spirit’s help. How can they go if they are not sent?
--If my pastoral staff and myself will help to make you into the disciple Jesus wants you to be…you must catch the vision of missions. After Jesus’ resurrection it was His primary message. Go and Make Disciples!
--Today we will be celebrating God’s faithfulness through His people…through you…through Life Church! Get ready to give all the glory to God…to celebrate His awesome faithfulness. 
1. Though our wonderful House of Hope and all their incredible volunteers, in 2018 we gave to our community 315,060 pounds or 158 tons of food. An increase of almost 54,000 lbs. 27 tons more of food.
--The House of Hope is led by Everett Bass and his awesome team…thanks so much! Please stand!

--Life Church spent only $13,842 in purchasing food (Second Harvest) and the rest was given by you, by First Baptist Church of Leesburg, Operation Blessings, and by Harbor Oaks Community. 

--They averaged about 367 families a month…4,400 families annually. Up 354 from last year. 

--Brother Bass’s report said that they ministered to or impacted about 1,200 individuals a month! Volunteer hours were 4800 hours. 92 a week! Up 900 hours from last year.

2. Through Joseph’s Storehouse (our benevolence ministry) we gave over $28,000 to help the poor and needy in our community, to help teachers in two schools, and to help those needing counseling.

Back to School Teachers      $5,900
Dr. Duke - 289 visits             $7,225
Christmas Blessing               $4,700
Community Benevolence    $10,193 - includes Utility & Rental Assistance as well as any monies spent on Funeral/Memorial Services

--We have cultivated an atmosphere of generosity at Life Church and I commend you for catching the vision of what God is doing and desires to do.  

--I figured that we gave close to $540 a week (an average) to help the poor and needy in our community. God bless you, Life Church, for your amazing generosity. 

Proverbs 19:17 (NLT)
17  If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD— and he will repay you! 

--I don’t believe there is a lack of funds for ministry but I do believe there is a lack of vision…people will put their money where there is vision.

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
18  Where there is no vision, the people perish…

--Leadership is here to bring vision and revelation about what our responsibilities are…the poor and missions!

3. Through our Life Church Mission’s Program in 2018 we were able to do amazing things!

--Life Church Missions is led by Dan and Peggy Duvall and Joel and Carrie Rosario and a wonderful mission’s board. Please stand!

--We started the year with 170 missionaries and because of your generosity we ended the year with 180…48 US and 132 World…do you understand how incredible that is? Thank you for being so faithful!

--I always want people to know how we support US Missions because many will try to say, “Why do we send so much money around the world when the US needs help?” We get it. We support 48 here and could do more!

--Because we had 82 new Faith Promises to Missions last year, for the first time we had over 250…actually 252. It is so important for everyone to give to the General Missions so that we can increase our numbers.

Our Faith Promises totaled    $272,916…our total giving was much higher than that…watch this: We gave to:

Speed the Light                      $  1,221 
BGMC                                    $14,844
Local Missions                       $     576 - Evangelism tracks & support for local benevolence ministry
Puerto Rico Missions Trip     $ 23,159
Sunday School                       $   3,674 - Sunday School Materials, Breakfast foods, and percent to Pen-FL)
LaVida                                   $   4,173 - outreach for Spanish Ministry
Light for the Lost                  $    2,450 
Hallowed King Family Fest. $    2,385 - outreach in our community
Disaster Relief                       $    1,465 - monies spent for North Carolina and North Florida relief. 
Missions To Assemblies       $ 10,685 Missions sent by people directly to AG
                                               $ 38,006 Non-AG - represents 26 different ministries
                                               $327,870 A/G 

Total for the above     $430,508

--Just think what we could do if we had 100% participation? Make a FP of $1 a week…can’t pay it…I will!

--Out of 13000 churches in the A/G…we have been in the top 100 (75 last year) for several years…how crazy is it that a relatively small A/G Church can accomplish that…your generosity! God’s faithfulness!

--I expect my pastoral leadership, my Board of Deacons, department heads, and all who lead to be an example of faithful and generosity to Missions…General Missions! It is our life blood and why we are so blessed!

--I have had people ask me thru the years does Life Church tithe (give 10%) of the money that comes in back into ministry and missions? I say “no” because we give about one-third of our funds into these areas.

--That being said, we had been taking 3% of our GF and putting it into all the other Mission’s giving of our church. This 

4. Life Church is celebrating God’s favor in an incredible way in La Vida, our Spanish Ministry.

  • 21 members received.
  • 1st baby dedication (Jeremiah)
  • 6 baptisms
  • An average of 20 people serving each week.
  • Vida Kidz – 2 kids to an average of 6.
  • Under 15 people in average attendance in 2017 and an average of 35 in 2018.
  • Our 3-member band in 2017 is now a 7-member band. That’s a big deal for this ministry!
  • Gave under $500 to missions in 2017. Gave a little over $3,000 to missions in 2018. That’s about 12% of total ministry income!
  • Total giving in 2017 was $7,000. In 2018 it was $26,000! Which means more resources to reach more people for the kingdom of God!
  • Pastor Juan - Look at all that God did in just one year. Imagine what He’ll do this year!

5. Life Church is celebrating all the ministries and giving God the glory!

--Our Men’s Ministry under Bill Bibler is growing and thriving! Our WMs Ministry is flourishing under Donna Brooker.

--The Life Church Music Department under Pastor Aaron and his team is growing so much! Bible Quiz has exploded with growth and success under Pastor Mark and Christie Anne.

--BYF under Pastor Marty and Faye just had one of its largest attendances ever with their kick-off for this year.  Connect Groups are growing under Pastor Joseph. 

--We could go on and on but time will not permit. Thanks to all the other ministries that are also growing and making disciples on a regular basis.

--Yes, we are here to celebrate God’s faithfulness but we are here at the beginning of this Missions Month to boast in the Lord, to celebrate you and your faithfulness, and to challenge you again to commit to FPs.

--When we take on a missionary we do it basically for life or at least until they come off the field. We challenge you to be here these first three Sundays of February to hear our hearts and our speaker’s hearts for Missions.

--These speakers are great speakers and will challenge you! By the way, when we have guest missionaries, please do not decide to stay home…they need your encouragement and support. It’s not all about you!

--Be willing to give up something to do a FP for the first time or to increase your FP. God will bless you for it. Our family and our church has experienced those blessings for years.

2 Corinthians 9:12-15 (NKJV)
12  For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,
13  while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
14  and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.
15  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Our faithfulness to giving and our faithfulness to Missions:

1. Meets the needs of the missionaries.

2. It causes thanksgiving to God.

3. It shows your confession of Christ is sincere.

4. It causes the recipients (the missionaries) to pray for you.

5. It magnifies God’s indescribable gift…Jesus!  

--I challenge to fill out your Faith Promise Card and trust God to provide all that you need and more.



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fruit of the Spirit – 4

Fruit of the Spirit – 4 
Subject: Learning to Walk in the Fruit of the Spirit
by Rick Welborne

Galatians 5:22-26 (NKJV)
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

--We have already looked at the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, and peace. Tonight we will be looking at longsuffering which will not necessarily be one of our favorites. 

4. The fruit of the Spirit – Longsuffering.

Longsuffering - having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people. Patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship. Suffering for a long time without complaining. Very patient during difficult times.
Biblical Longsuffering - It has been said that longsuffering means “suffering long.” That is a good answer, but a better definition is needed. The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” To be longsuffering, then, is to have self-restraint when one is stirred to anger. A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate or punish; rather, he has a “long fuse” and patiently forbears. 
--In regard to God’s longsuffering is that it associated with mercy (1 Pet. 3:20) and hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3). God was longsuffering as he waited for Noah to build the ark. Eight people were saved by His patience.
--Thank God that He did not surrender to circumstances like we do or succumb to trials. Many translations of the Bible replace the word longsuffering with the word ‘patience’. One of our favorite words.

--God is the source of longsuffering or patience because it is part of His character. He is patient with sinners. 
Romans 2:4-6 (NLT2)
4  Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5  But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6  He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 
--At the same time, God’s longsuffering can come to an end, as seen in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the sending of Israel into captivity.

--The believer in Jesus Christ receives the very life of God, His divine nature. We receive certain promises when we receive Jesus and we are filled with His Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:3-8 (NIV)
3  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 
4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
6  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
7  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
--That life produces certain characteristics (fruit) that are displayed in the believer as he obeys the Holy Spirit who lives within him. One of those godly characteristics from Galatians 5:22 is “longsuffering.” 
--The word is translated “patience” in the New American Standard Bible. Longsuffering is to be exhibited by all believers:
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV)
1  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
2  with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
Colossians 1:9-14 (NKJV)
9  For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10  that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11  strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
12  giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)
12  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
--Think how our lives would be affected if longsuffering were exhibited in individual relationships, family relationships, church relationships, and workplace relationships. 
--The old nature can be very short-fused at times, and we tend to strike back against offenses with unkind words and unforgiving spirits. 
--By obeying the Holy Spirit, the believer in Christ can say “no” to retaliation and exhibit a forgiving and longsuffering attitude. As God is longsuffering with us, we can and must be longsuffering with others.
Ephesians 4:30-32 (NLT2)
30  And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
32  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 
--The ultimate example of God’s longsuffering is His waiting for individuals to respond in faith to Jesus Christ. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 
2 Peter 3:9-11 (NKJV)
9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 
--When I first became pastor here at Life Church we had a guest to come and speak to us by the name of Roger Heligas. He was not your typical Pentecostal evangelist but he was a great teacher. 
--He told us a story of a lady who knew what it meant to be have endurance, to have patience, and to definitely fit in the category of longsuffering. 
--This lady was not a Christian when she got married but soon after someone shared Christ with her and she became a believer…a follower of Christ.
--She wanted so much for her husband to be saved but he wanted nothing to do with her Jesus or her church. God spoke to her and told her that her husband was her mission field. 
--She did not harass him or talk down to him as an unbeliever but she loved and honored him as her husband. She thought surely he would give his heart to Christ quickly. He didn’t.
--He did not forbid her to go to church or to read the Bible at home but he did tell her that he did not want to be constantly preached to. He was okay with where he was in life.
--At times, when the church had something special, she would invite him but he always said “No, but you go ahead!” She would faithfully go still believing God would save him.
--How long did she wait? 10 years? 20? 30? 40? 50years? Nope still not saved! The devil would tell her he was never going to be saved…just give up! She refused! He is my mission field!
--Shortly after their 55th Anniversary her husband gave his heart to the Lord! The lady was ecstatic and was so thankful to God for saving him. The next 6 months were like heaven on earth!
--They went to church together, they prayed together, they read God’s Word together…it was truly everything she dreamed it would be!
--Six months after his salvation he had a heart attack and died. Many of her friends and family asked her what kind of God did she serve to do that to her.
--She told them He is a faithful God who saved my husband…He gave a ministry to me 55 years ago and was faithful to see her accomplish what He sent her to do. Thank God he got saved! I will see him again!
Philippians 1:6 (NLT2)
6  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 
--This was what it meant to go through longsuffering…to persevere…to wait in patience for God to complete His work. Could she have given up? Of course! But her husband would probably have been lost forever.
--When I think of this kind of longsuffering…I always think about what Joseph went through…His story was similar to this lady…how so?
A. Joseph was given a dream and a promise.
Genesis 37:5-7 (NKJV)
5  Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
6  So he said to them, "Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:
7  There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf."
--We all have dreams and we receive certain promises from God. Our job is to be faithful until those dreams are fulfilled like the lady we spoke of. 
--Joseph started a journey that would test whether he had longsuffering in him or not.
B. Joseph faced adversity that would test his patience and perseverance. 
--He found himself in a pit! By the way, the other choice was to kill him. The pit was his refuge.
--He was sold into slavery and taken to a foreign country where nothing good could come out of this. Unless God got involved and had His hands on the situation.
Genesis 37:36 (NKJV)
36  Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
C. Joseph was falsely accused…another test.
Longsuffering, then, is to have self-restraint when one is stirred to anger. A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate or punish; rather, he has a “long fuse” and patiently forbears.
--Joseph is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of rape and now it is not a pit but a prison he finds himself in. Just like the pit was a refuge…the prison was another refuge. He could have lost his life for being accused of rape. 
--Because of his praying, I believe Joseph is receiving supernatural strength and longsuffering. How else could a man walk through all this with supernatural intervention. He is patiently waiting for God’s promise.
D. Joseph is forgotten in prison. Longsuffering.
--The years are starting to add up and the dreams seem like a distant memory. A baker and a butler have dreams and Joseph interprets them. The baker restored but the butler is executed. 
--Joseph encourages the butler to remember him when he is again with the king. For two years he forgets until the king has dreams that cannot be interpreted. Joseph is suffering long with supernatural patience. Tough!
E. Joseph’s dreams finally come true. Patience pays off big-time!
--Joseph is put in charge of everything in Egypt only answering to Pharaoh. God uses him to save the then known world from starvation. His brothers come and bow before him not knowing who he was. His dream!
--The only way longsuffering, patience, and perseverance pays off is when God’s supernatural fruit leads to salvation and restoration. 
Genesis 45:7-8 (NLT2)
7  God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.
8  So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

--The fruit of Holy Spirit – longsuffering helps us see the whole picture and helps us to save others and to restore families. From the promise to the prize was about 22 years. Wow!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Make Disciples – 2019 - 4

Make Disciples – 2019 - 4
Subject – Teaching Believers to Obey Christ’s Teaching
by Rick Welborne

Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT2)
16  Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
18  Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
--‘Make Disciples’ – I truly believe that is what God is calling the Leadership here at Life Church to do with our church body…Our calling is to teach our congregation to obey all of Jesus’ commands. It’s biblical:
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NIV)
11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12  to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 
--God has given you pastors and other leaders to do what? To prepare God’s people (are you God’s people?) for works of service…to prepare you to serve the body of Christ…to become servants in God’s Kingdom.
1. Paul was saying that God’s people should be developed into disciples who work and serve.
--So why is this necessary? Question of the year…these verses that we just read gives us several reasons why it is so important for people in the local body to work and serve. 
A. They work and serve so the body of Christ will be built up.
--What does they say? God expects His church (our local church) to grow…numerically, spiritually, and financially. You are here to help this body to grow in all those areas.
--So how can you help us grow numerically if you are not reaching out to others. How can you help us grow spiritually if you are not praying and investing, and how can you help us grow financially if you are not giving? 
--How can Life Church be built up if you are not building up the leadership and all that God is doing with what you tell others…what you tell the community. 
--The Word tells us, in regard to the local church, to let everything be done for the edification (the building up) of the body. The Book of Jude tells us to build ourselves up in our most holy faith praying in the Spirit.
B. They work and serve so the body of Christ will come into the unity of the faith. 
--Nothing of significance will happen in the body of Christ (in Life Church) unless we are all working toward that unity. When we are of one mind, one spirit, and one purpose we have unlimited potential.
C. They work and serve so the body will grow in its knowledge of the Son of God. 
--Young believers and maturing saints require effort. It takes people who are willing to teach, to mentor, to coach, to model what it is to be disciples. This is what it takes to ‘Make Disciples.’
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NLT2)
11  There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen.
12  You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
13  For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.
14  Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. 
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT2)
15  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
D. They work and serve the body of Christ and are successful as each one does his part.
--Start the rotation of the ministries that are working well. See all these ministries that are doing well.
--Take the list out of your bulletin and start now praying over it…fill it out. Do not mark a ministry you are already involved in…Just new ones you may be interested in. 
--In a little while you will be able to sign up with these ministries…please just sign up and the department heads will call you and follow up. We are meeting with the Department Heads to make sure. 
Ephesians 4:16 (NLT2)
16  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
2. Paul was saying that Christians serving in the body of Christ is simply reasonable service. 
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
--Paul was saying, because you have experienced the mercy of God we should be willing to serve and to give back to the One who gave His body as a sacrifice for us. How many of you have received mercy?
--In other words, if Jesus saved you, liberated you, broke chains, or just came and recued you, it is reasonable to think that you should be willing to serve Him and others. 
--Christianity is not a spectator sport…it is all hands on deck. Do not just show up and not serve. Don’t get so conformed to this world that you feel like church is only there to serve you.
--Myth – Life Church has so many volunteers that all the positions are filled…not true. These areas really need your help! Pastor, I will help wherever I am needed! OK! We need you in these ministries. 
Bereavement Ministry – Peggy Icker 
Connect Groups – Pastor Joseph Diaz
Greeter Ministry – Nancy Lipps
House of Hope – Everett Bass
Toddler and Nursery Ministry – Christie Ann LoGuidice
Church Maintenance – Joe Vilar
Special Events Ministry – Bruce and Patti Everhart
--Paul is telling us to find what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, requires we thank God for His mercy, we offer ourselves in reasonable service, and that we do not conform to the world. 
Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV)
7  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 
8  because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 

3. Get in the River!
2 Kings 5:1 & 9-14 (NKJV)
1  Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.
9  Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house.
10  And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean."
11  But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.'
12  Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.
13  And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"
14  So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 
--Okay, Pastor Rick, how can you tie this to ‘Make Disciples’? So glad you asked. To me, Naaman represents many in the body of Christ. How so?
A. Naaman was a man with a good reputation and a man with a good resume. But he had leprosy.
--How many of us come into the Kingdom of God and we have gifts to share but we have leprosy? We have issues. That would pretty much be all of us, we all have our junk! It’s a miracle that church works at all. 
B. Naaman knew his answer was in Elisha’s house and we know our answer is in God’s house.
--Naaman has heard testimonies of Elisha’s miracles so he shows up to get one. His problem is that he already figured out what the miracle looked like.
--We come to church and we don’t serve or use our gifts because we have already figured out what we should be doing. Any variation is unacceptable. No bending.
C. Naaman wanted personal attention from Elisha, from the leader. Anything less was demeaning.
--I know there is no one like this here. I will sing in the choir but I have to be asked by Pastor Aaron. Didn’t you see the invitation on the video announcements. 
--I will serve and help if Pastor Rick will contact me and ask me personally, and yes, I have to have a title. I must have authority and recognition. Yes, I am here to be your humble servant!
--I had a man tell me one time…If you do not make me an Elder of Heart my family and I will leave the church. I told him I would really miss his wife and daughter.
--Naaman wanted a show and he wanted to be the star. This is not a production with actors, this is a church in search of servants. Servant leadership…everyone serving…everyone like Jesus.
D. Naaman was into comparing…the rivers of Damascus are better than the rivers of Israel.
--At my old church…I was this…I did this…I decided this…I gave this. That church was better, cooler, more in touch, and they did nothing without my advice. All this available for you. Don’t you want me now?
E. Naaman was surrounded by great servants. Sometimes we need to listen to them.
--If the pastor would have asked you to be a deacon, you would have done it but since you were asked to be a greeter, you are insulted. Why not just serve where you are asked to serve and let God promote you?
Bill Wilson – Everyone is waiting on God to give them a personal invitation or a call from Him. The need is the call! The need is the call! Get up and serve where you see the need and God will promote you as He chooses!
--Make no mistake…God is keeping records of how we serve and work in His Kingdom.
Revelation 2:18-19 (NKJV)
18  "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19  I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience;
--Altar service…Deny yourself, take up your cross (serve), and follow Jesus! “Make Disciples!”