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Built to Sail

Discipleship Servanthood Great Commission

Source: Sermon

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Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-09-22

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10 ; Matthew 28:18

Author: James Miller
4

ILLUSTRATION

A little boy built a model ship, glued all the pieces together, and worked on it for hours.  It was perfect.  Every detail was correct, down to tiny sailors standing on the deck.  He put it in a glass case.  He wouldn't let his brother play with it in the bathtub.  He was going to keep it perfect by keeping it safe.

His parents bought a real boat so they could spend the weekends sailing out on the harbor.  They loved it.  At first.  It was a lot of work to maintain.  Boat owners will tell you that the day you bought your boat was the happiest day of your life, and the day you sold it was the second happiest.  At first, they used it a lot.  But then they used it less.  It was expensive.  After a few months, they went to spend a day sailing and found barnacles growing on the side, algae all over it, and a dead motor.  A real boat is only kept in shape by being used.

The two boats worked in opposite ways.  The model was preserved by being kept safe.  The real boat was preserved by being used.

APPLICATION

Churches are like the real boat; they are only kept in shape by being used. Churches that are preserved and spared use will eventually fall into disrepair.  But churches that pour themselves into serving their communities will find energy, calling, passion, and love.  

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Peter 4:10). 

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20). 

Joy Ride

Great Commission Priorities Church Health/Growth

Source: “4 firefighters charged with submitting false reports to 911,” By Lauren Hensley, WJAC, May 16, 2016

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-06

Scripture: Matthew 28:19 ; 1 Corinthians 9:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Lauren Hensley reports: 

LOGAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WJAC) - Four volunteer firefighters are facing charges after police say they called to report fake emergencies.

Logan Township police said Dustin Beckwith, Aric Beckwith, Daniel Johnson, and Edward Perino are charged with calling 911 to report false fires for the thrill of riding in a fire truck.

... Police said on January 10, Dustin used Johnson's phone to call 911 and report wires on fire on Veteran's Memorial Highway and Boxcar Lane. Six first responders showed up.

Police said on January 16, Dustin used Johnson's phone to call 911 and report sparks from a chimney on Poland Ave. Twenty first responders responded, including Beckwith.

On March 4, police said Dustin used Johnson's phone to report a mud slide. Three first responders including, Beckith responded.

... Finally, on March 15, all four men were leaving firefighter training and convinced Aric to call 911 to report a bank was on fire. Almost 60 first responders showed up to fight a fire that wasn't there.

All four have been suspended.

APPLICATION

Local fire departments and first responders have to work with limited resources as they seek to do their important work. Diverting those resources to frivolous joy rides puts those who have real need of their services at risk, the exact opposite of what a fire fighter is supposed to be doing. It takes the commitment of every member of the team to ensure resources are used wisely.

Likewise, it takes the commitment of every member of the Body of Christ to fulfill "The Great Commission." What we can’t afford--what must not happen--is for individual members to allow themselves to be diverted by the frivolous joy ride of "playing" church.  To be consistent with the priorities of the Kingdom of God, we must take the imperative to preach and disciple the nations seriously. 

Diverting limited resources to frivolous, vain activity puts those who have real need of our service at risk, the exact opposite of what the Church is supposed to be doing.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” (1 Corinthians 9:2, NLT). 

The Happiness Police

Happiness Great Commission Witness

Source: "Think you're unhappy in Dubai? Police may call to ask why," AP, By JON GAMBRELL

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-15

Scripture: John 15:11

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

The United Arab Emirates is ranked No. 20 out of 158 countries surveyed in the United Nations' 2015 World Happiness Report, and they are not satisfied with that. Though coming in first in the Arab world, they hope to break into the top 10 by 2021, the 50th anniversary of the nation's founding.

According to the AP, they’re taking an interesting approach:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — If you say you're unhappy in Dubai, the police may call to ask you why as part of a new survey.

The online poll, unveiled in recent days, comes as Dubai tries to break into the top 10 rankings of world's happiest cities by 2021, an effort in league with other lofty aspirations in this emirate, home to the world's tallest building.

The simple survey has users choose between a frown, a smile and an unimpressed straight line.

Dubai's police chief told local media that his officers randomly call a selection of those who are unhappy to ask what is upsetting them … He stressed police could not help with personal issues.

William Davies, a senior lecturer at the University of London and author of the recently published the book The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being, is puzzled by this approach:

This looks like to me an attempt to try to slightly frighten people into A) replying to the survey question and B) replying to say they're happy because people really don't want to be rung up by the police with the question:  "Well, what's your problem?" ...  But I don't know. Maybe there's something sincere about it.

 

APPLICATION

Here in America we call on the police for many things, but investigating the cause of our unhappiness isn’t one of them. That’s the mission of the Church. Believers in Christ have been commissioned to seek out those who are in despair, not just to determine the reason, but to offer a solution. We are here to bring the joy of Jesus to the world.

When was the last time you investigated a neighbor's or friend’s unhappiness?

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

Blind Faith

Faith Obedience Great Commission

Contributed By: VERNON HAMMETT | Date Posted: 2013-09-17

Scripture: Matthew 28:17

Author: VERNON HAMMETT
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Gandhi Shunned By Christians

Prejudice Evangelism Great Commission

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-21

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; Colossians 3:11

Author: E. Stanley Jones
3

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Prairie Schooners

Missions Compassion Servanthood

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-10-06

Scripture: Matthew 25:29 ; Matthew 28:18

Author: James Miller
5

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Make Your Meter Run Backwards

Reward Stewardship Witness

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2018-08-13

Scripture: Daniel 12:3 ; John 8:12

Author: Thomas Bevers / Illustration Exchange
3

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The Butterfly Effect

Ministry Faithfulness Influence

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-05-15

Scripture: Matthew 13:32

Author: James Miller
5

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The Hidden Door

Witness Salvation Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-21

Scripture: John 10:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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A Passion for Barney

Passion Influence Evangelism

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2018-02-20

Scripture: John 1:45 ; John 4:29

Author: Rob Tucker
5

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