Carol City church of Christ
Charles Knight who preaches for the Central church of Christ in New Smyrna Beach, Florida was with the Carol City church and presented to us a wonderful series of lessons on "STIRRING UP ZEAL" Here are some of the lessons.
FINDING YOUR STARTING POINT
Snapshots Of A Lukewarm Christian
1) Love God but not first. Lukewarm Christians assume only “extreme” Christians seek God first in 100 percent of their choices. Logically, they know God comes first, but practically speaking, they don’t consistently place Him there (Matt. 6:24, 33, 22:37-38).
2) Believe religion is a good and important thing to have in life but think it should not consume them. Just enough religion to ease their consciences and stay out of trouble suits them fine (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
3) Loves others in theory but in practice, do very little for strangers or outcasts.
a) Doing good for others is confined to their friends or a few convenient opportunities that requires little sacrifice.
b) Sometimes they even do good deeds to improve their reputation—not God’s.
c) They do not love their neighbors to the extent they love themselves (Matt. 22:39-40).
4) Have good intentions to participate in good deeds someday, but they don’t redeem their time or resources and take action (Eph. 5:15-16).
5) Enjoy hearing stories about people who live zealously for God, but the stories never inspire real change and greater zeal in their own lives. The stories meant to inspire action are treated like pleasant entertainment (Jas. 1:21-27, Heb. 12:1-6).
6) Are often silent about their faith. They set a reasonably good example but rarely share the good news in direct and meaningful conversations. They've become somewhat ashamed to do so (Rom. 1:16).
7) Settle into a one-sided religion. They define Christianity in either very personal terms or very doctrinal terms, but they don’t integrate personal faith with sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3-4, Phil. 1:9-10).
8) Lean on their own strength instead of putting their full faith in God. They arrange their lives so they can stay comfortable and avoid risk. They believe God exists but not enough to walk with bold faith (Luke 12:16-21).
Establishing Your Starting Point
20--30 = Rarely
40--50 = Sometimes
51--60 = Usually
75--80 = Often
90--100 = Always
Zealous for evil Lukewarm Warm Zealous
ENCOURAGING YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY
Growing Stronger Together
1)Start with family and friends first.
a. A stronger bond is developed:
b. Become a source of encouragement and accountability (Gen. 4:9).
Build your house like an ark!
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world…” -Hebrews 11:7, ESV.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1a, ESV.
Just like Noah’s Ark, our homes must be built based upon God’s blueprints (Gen. 6:14-22), filling it with God’s precious cargo, and depending on God’s promises.
God’s Blueprints: Follow God’s commands & instructions.
God’s Precious Cargo: Fruits of the Spirit.
God’s Promises: Completely trust in God! Take on challenges to enlighten the world!
Forge New Friendships That Challenge You:
For Zeal to last, you must forge friendships with fellow zealous Christians:
Be involved with fellow Christians regularly:
•Worship services •Get-together’s •Seminars •Gospel meetings •VBS
Take A Solid Stand
Everyone should be able to clearly see and understand what you believe and stand for! There should be no ambiguity or confusion regarding your convictions and spiritual determination!
•Noah (family, community & world) (2 Pet. 2:5).
•Joshua (family, & nation) (Joshua 24).
•Daniel & friends (friends, & king) (Daniel 1 & 3).
•Jesus (family, community, & world) (Jn. 12:46).
REQUIRE HIGH MORAL STANDARDS
IN YOUR HOME!!!
Raise Children To Move Mountains:
Don’t raise your children to be lukewarm!!!
Remember, lukewarm Christians cannot make the kind of difference in the world around them that God desires.
Parents Who Raised Strong Zealous Children!
•Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:7-8).
•Timothy’s mother and Grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5-6).
Show them that real success isn't found in social or financial achievements, but in becoming a living sacrifice for God! (Rom. 12).
Plan To Participate In Good Deeds Together Incorporate zeal into your existing activities:
1. Aquilla & Pricilla (tentmakers, teachers, etc).
b. Vacation time, family outing’s, etc.
2) Make a financial investment together.
a. Planned & unplanned acts of kindness. The good Samaritan.
3) Spend time together at home.
a. Breed zeal!
b. Share zeal (Acts 2:46).
EMBRACING LOVING SERVICE
Service based on love, is powerful & Effective!
"I love God so much, I'll do & be whatever He needs me to do or be, whenever He needs me to do it"
A)Powerful because It: is constant, & constantly grows: (love can be like a fire that burns hotter and spreads rapidly!)
1. stronger: As we learn and experience God!
2. wider: Love for God expands our hearts!
3. higher: Love for God rises above other things!
4. deeper: Penetrates to the core of our being!
IT DEFIES ANY AND ALL OPPOSITION!
B) Effective because:
1) It keeps one dedicated to his relationship with the Lord.
2) Makes us more available to get involved in the Lord's kingdom.
3) It keeps the inner struggle away.
4) It keeps us humble and open to change, & availability.
5) Keeps us focused and thinking with proper perspective.
C) Seeing Sin
Divisions (factions), Drunkenness Enmity, Envy Falsehood, Fits of anger Hatred, Impurity Jealousy, Lust, Malice, Orgies Sensuality, Malice, Orgies, Sensuality Strife, Theft, Ungodliness,Vanity, Worldliness
D) Seeing righteousness (What's important to God?)
1) Spiritual education Isa. 2:2-3; Phil. 4:9
2) Walking in love (prepared to suffer to save souls). John. 13:34; Romans 14:15; Ephesians 5:1-2.
3) Fully embracing Christ-like Character & Behavior 1 John.2:6.
4) Fully Embracing The Gospel Message & Mission, mentally, emotionally, & practically: Romans 16:25-26
STIRRING UP YOUR LOCAL CHURCH
A Matter Of Love
Every effort to stir up the zeal of a local church
Must Begin With LOVE!
1) 1 John 3:23: Commanded to love each other!
2) 1 Corinthians 16:14: Everything be done in love!
3) Colossians 3:14: The perfect bond of unity!
Let Him In
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in
to him and eat with him, and he with me.” –Rev. 3:20.
1) If Jesus preached for us on Sunday, what would He address about us?
2) If Jesus spent 3 months in our church, what would He change?
3) When you know the answers to these questions, it is time to get to work!
4) When a church devotes itself to following after Jesus’ will and purpose, He will not lead it down a lukewarm path.
Feed The Fires Already Burning
In every local church, there are members just waiting to be better equipped for living with zeal!
Raise Awareness Of Good Deeds
A) Hebrews 10:24-25 doesn’t just call saints to assemble for worship, but to stir each other up to “love and good deeds.”
B) A zealous church will stir up its membership by communicating about opportunities for engaging in good deeds to meet pressing needs.
1)Internet, Calendar, Bulletin board, etc..
a. Advertisement. b. Strengthening. c. Volunteer work. d. Study & reflection.
Jump-start Momentum With Something New
1) Discover new ways to keep the momentum going within a congregation, without compromising the authority of God’s word.
2) Avoid change for the sake of change. Rather, focus on change with a key beneficial purpose.
3) Once one has been settled over time, it is difficult to change. Offer a clear and beneficial purpose, and it becomes much easier to desire change.
a. Worship. b. Congregational approach. c. Educational approach. d. Visitors.
OUR CONGREGATIONAL MISSION
1) GLORIFY GOD
By fulfilling His will individually, collectively, and through holy worship.
Rom. 16:27; 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17; 2 Cor. 4:13-15; Gal. 1:3-5; Eph. 1:11-14; Phil. 1:9-11; Phil. 4:20; Jude 25; Rev. 4:9-11; 5:11-13; Rev. 14:6-7; Rev. 19:1.
2) WIN SOULS FOR GOD
Through life example and urgent evangelism.
Matt. 9:35-38; Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; John 4:31-35; Acts 11:19-26; Rom. 1:1-6, 14-17; Rom. 16:25-27; 1 Cor. 9:16, 19-22; 1 Tim. 2:1-4.
3) BUILD UP & STRENGTHEN GOD’S FAMILY
By spending more time together, taking care of each other, and through spiritual fellowship. Acts 2:42-47
4) MATURE GOD’S FAMILY
By developing a targeted learning system, and devoting ourselves to being deeper Bible students. Acts 19:8-10; Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:15.
5) SACRIFICIALLY LOVE GOD’S FAMILY
Through sincere affection, selfless acts of kindness, & devotion to others. Phil. 2:1-8; Heb. 10:23-25; 1 Jn. 3:16-18.
Emphasize One New Testament Church To
Zig Ziglar (Author/ Motivational Speaker) once said, “If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.”
This popular quote describes plenty of lukewarm churches. Over time they’ve lost sight of their purpose and target. Now they are just going through the motions.
A wonderful way to refocus the congregation is to select a church from the New Testament and aim
to imitate its greatest qualities!
Congregations of the New Testament
1)Jerusalem (Acts 2:41f.) 2)Antioch (Acts 13:1-3; Acts 14:24-28).
3)Thessalonica (1 Thes.1:2-3, 6-8). a. work of faith. b. labor of love. c. steadfast in hope.
4) Rome (Rom. 1:8). 5) Ephesus (Eph. 1:15,17). 6) Philippi (Phil. 4:14-20). 7) Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11).
ARE YOU FAITHFUL
1 CORINTHIANS 4:1-4
Being Faithful is a:
REQUIREMENT & COMMAND
Rev. 2:10; Eph. 1:1; Rev. 17:14; Mat. 25:21&23
I. IN BIBLE STUDY
2 Tim 2:15; Acts 17:11; John 5:39
II. IN ATTENDANCE
Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:24-25
III. IN GIVING
1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
IV. IN PRAYER
James 5:13-16; Acts 2:42
V. IN SOUL WINNING
Matthew 28:18-20; Proverbs 11:30
VI. IN TELLING ABOUT THE CHURCH
a. CHRIST BUILT
b. CHRIST PURCHASED
c. CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF
d. CHRIST ADDS TO
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Ask yourself: Are you serving God as faithfully as you ought, as you know He expects, and as you know you COULD if you decided to?
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 PETER 5:1-11
I. GOD CARED ENOUGH TO:
A. WILL THAT ALL BE SAVED
Romans 10:12 2Peter 3:8-9 1Timothy 2:1-4
B. ASK FOR OUR CARES
C. GRANT US HOPE
1John 2:25 Romans 2:7
D. PROTECT US
Hebrews 13:5-6 Psalms 27:14 Psalms 37:5
II. CHRIST CARED ENOUGH TO
A. BUILD HIS CHURCH
B. ADD TO HIS CHURCH
Acts 2:47 Acts 5:14
C. BE THE HEAD OF HIS CHURCH
Ephesians 1:22 Colossians 1:18
D. GIVE the plan of SALVATION
HEAR: John 6:45
BELIEVE: John 8:24
REPENT: Acts 17:30
CONFESS: Matt 10:32
BAPTIZED: Mark 16:16
DO YOU CARE ENOUGH TO REMAIN FAITHFUL?
Romans 2:7 Revelation 2:10
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