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Sermon Notes: 8/14/22


 

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📝 = Fill in the Blank on Bulletin

 

“Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:19‬ ‭

“Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:20‬

“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:23‬ ‭

“He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:24‬ ‭

“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:25-26‬

Hatred. Division. Strife. Racism. Negativity. You name it, and our world is full of it. But in the midst of every emotion that’s plaguing our world, Jesus’s purpose for His disciples hasn’t changed.

Before going to the cross, Jesus prayed for you.

Before going to the cross, Jesus prayed for us one of the most earnest prayers of all time. We’ll pick up His prayer in John 17:14 where He says,

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, just as I am not of the world.”

‭‭John‬ ‭17:14‬ ‭

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

‭‭John‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭

THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

‭‭John‬ ‭17:16-17

Jesus said it twice. They are not of this world. They are not of this world. Paul tapped into this teaching and penned Romans 12:2 by saying….

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭

We are in this world, but not of this world. This world is full of envy. This world is full of jealousy. This world is full of hatred and strife. We’re called not to respond like the world. We’re called not to think like the world, or react like the world. WHY?

We don’t win when we conform.

We don’t shine when we conform.

We don’t stand out when we conform.

That’s why this morning’s message is a crucial one. It’s titled,

WHAT IT’S GOING TO TAKE

WHAT IT’S GOING TO TAKE

Out of all the quotes, this quote came to mind while preparing for this sermon by Dr. Seuss,

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Enter Barnabas. By all definitions, in every account we see of Barnabas, he’s depicted as one who cares a whole awful lot for God’s people. We were first introduced to Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37 where it reads,

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “SON OF ENCOURAGEMENT”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:36-37‬ ‭

📝 IT’S GOING TO TAKE ENCOURAGEMENT.

In times such as these that we’re in where so many are divided, where tempers are flaring, where negativity and tension are denominating the airwaves, can God count on you to be a Barnabas?

Can God count on you to be a son of encouragement? Can God count on you to be a daughter of encouragement? Because That’s What It’s Going To Take. After all, we are in this world, but not of it. We have been sanctified, set apart, transformed by the Word of God to think different, to talk different, to respond different. It’s ok if you don’t know this, it’s ok if you don’t know that, collectively let’s start here. Let’s start with ENCOURAGEMENT. That’s What It’s Going To Take. Hebrews 10:24-25 says it best,

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, BUT ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER—and all the more AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭

As you see the day approaching. As you see that things are getting darker. As you see that things are becoming more divided. As you see that hatred is on the rise. What it’s going to take is sons and daughters of encouragement, to be in this world but not of this world. After all…

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

I mentioned it a few Sunday’s back, but when Saul started preaching all of the disciples were terrified of him. Acts 9:26 says,

“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:26‬ ‭‬‬

Stop right there for a moment. They were all afraid, except one. Verse 27 says,

BUT BARNABAS took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭‬‬

When everyone else said no thank you. When everyone else passed on him, Barnabas had compassion on Saul and brought him into the fold. That’s what it’s going to take.

📝 IT’S GOING TO TAKE COMPASSION.

Ephesians 4:32 says,

“Be kind and COMPASSIONATE to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭‬‬

I wonder if Barnabas REFLECTED on how the Lord was compassionate to him, in spite of him. I wonder if Barnabas REMEMBERED the Lord’s compassion towards him, that fanned his compassion towards Saul.

A couple of chapters later, after a great number of new people began to believe in the Lord, Acts 11:22 says,

“News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:22‬ ‭‬‬

“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and ENCOURAGED THEM ALL to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:23‬

📝 IT’S GOING TO TAKE A BUILDING UP OF ONE ANOTHER.

Barnabas saw all that the Lord had done and immediately he began to encourage God’s people that they could do this. Immediately he began to encourage them that they are who God says they are. He began to build them up to stick with it through it all. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,

“Therefore ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER and BUILD EACH OTHER UP, just as in fact you are doing.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭‬‬

Rut oh. Paul said,

"…Just as in fact YOU ARE DOING.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:11‬

The tough question that we can’t ignore is, but am I? Am I in fact building up those around me? The tough question that we must ask ourselves is…

📝 Am I a BUILDER or DESTROYER of God’s people?

This question is everything because…

📝 What you don’t EXAMINE you will continue to EXCUSE.

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or YOU WILL BE DESTROYED BY EACH OTHER.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:14-15‬

Proverbs 14:1 says…

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭‬‬

There’s a principal in this. Let’s not be foolish. Let’s not tear down our own homes. Let’s not tear down our spouses. Let’s not tear down our children. Let’s not tear down our brother or sister in the house of God that we don’t agree with. Get this—let’s not tear down the stranger that we don’t even know.

We’re called to PRAY, not tear down. We’re called to talk through it, not tear each other down. We’re called to reason together, to reconcile, to forgive one another, not to tear each other down.

I believe verse 24 is the key ingredient to it all.

“He was a good man, FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRITand faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:24‬ ‭‬‬

📝 IT’S GOING TO TAKE THE HOLY SPIRIT.

"But THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THIS KIND OF FRUIT IN OUR LIVES… Galatians 5:22-24

📝 You CAN’T, but the Holy Spirit IN YOU CAN.

"But THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THIS KIND OF FRUIT IN OUR LIVES: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬

He was a good man and because he was full of encouragement, THE HOLY SPIRIT and faith, a great number of people were brought to the Lord. That’s what it’s going to take in these last days. That’s what it’s going to take AS WE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1,

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭‬

“For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. THEY WILL CONSIDER NOTHING SACRED.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭‬‬

“They will be UNLOVING and UNFORGIVING; THEY WILL SLANDER OTHERS and have no self-control. They will be CRUEL and hate what is good.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:3‬ ‭‬‬

“They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭‬‬

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭‬‬

Verse 3 again,

“They will be UNLOVING and UNFORGIVING; THEY WILL SLANDER OTHERS and have no self-control. They will be CRUEL...” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:3

As the Bible is being fulfilled right before our very eyes, we must fulfill our part with encouragement. We must fulfill our part with KINDNESS.

📝 LIGHT is seen the easiest at the DARKEST of times.

This is why Jesus said in Matthew 5:16

“LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

📝 In this dark time, kindness and encouragement is the MISSING LINK.

In this dark time, God wants to know…

WILL YOU BE THE LINK?

📝 Your link of kindness and encouragement just might be THE MISSING LINK that somebody needs TO JESUS.

Therefore…

📝 Don’t allow RUDENESS to take the place of KINDNESS.

📝 KEEPING IT REAL doesn’t give us a license to KEEP BEING RUDE.

Colossians 4:6 tells us,

“Let your conversation be GRACIOUS and ATTRACTIVE so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:6‬

Our conversations should ATTRACT people to say there’s something different about you. Jesus desires for our lives to attract people to Him.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

‭‭John‬ ‭13:34‬ ‭

‬‬ “BY THIS ALL WILL KNOW that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””

‭‭John‬ ‭13:35‬ ‭

By this people will be ATTRACTED to me. By what?

📝 IT’S GOING TO TAKE LOVE.

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32

This morning Jesus is challenging us to…

📝 LOVE OUTSIDE THE LINES.

It’s easy to love those inside of your circle. It’s easy to love the people that you get, and the people that get you. But how well do you love outside the lines? How well do you love those who come off difficult to love? How well do you love the people that you don’t get?

Because that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take love. Not just selective love, but loving outside the lines. 1 Peter 4:8 says,

Most important of all, continue to SHOW DEEP LOVE FOR EACH OTHER, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

In the midst of every emotion that’s plaguing our world, Jesus’s purpose for His disciples hasn’t changed. We are in this world, but not of this world. When Jesus said, “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” in it’s simplest form Jesus was saying to us…

📝 WIN YOUR WORLD.

Win your world.

Win your sphere of influence.

Win those that God has placed around you.

Win those that God has entrusted you with.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

It’s going to take ENCOURAGEMENT.

It’s going to take COMPASSION.

It’s going to take BUILDING ONE ANOTHER UP.

It’s going to take THE HOLY SPIRIT.

It’s going to take LOVE.

Win your world.

“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

‭‭John‬ ‭17:18‬ ‭

CAN GOD COUNT ON YOU TO BE A BARNABAS?

“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

‭‭John‬ ‭17:18‬ ‭

CAN GOD COUNT ON YOU TO BE SENT?

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