Persisting in Evangelism, part 2 - 'Samaria'
Persisting in Evangelism, part 2 - 'Samaria' [draft sermon notes]
Published June 21st, 2017
Persisting in Evangelism, part 2 - Samaria Introduction Recap last week. Don't lose heart. Don't change the message or the method. God does the miracle work through us. Samaria - people whom we have some connection with, but also a lot of difference. People we aren't already very comfortable with. How do we do this? Colossians 4 a great passage to go to. 1. Continue in prayer Steadfastly - ie persistingly. Like a night watchman; being vigilant, seeing and spotting things. One of today's most neglected aspects of prayer - we find it enormously hard to be attentively watchful. Prayer diaries and journals a help - you can review back. With thanksgiving. This will flow when you are watchful. Pray for others doing evangelism; God works an inter-connected web of 'means'. One way we die to self is to pray for others to see the evangelistic fruit that we ourselves long to see. Pray for open doors for the word. Application We fall asleep, like his disciples. But in him - his life in us by the Spirit - we are alert, vigilant, vital, vigorous. Remember the context: Christ our life! Questions What's your plan for prayer? Do you have a prayer diary, or the PrayerMate app? Do you use the weekly PrayerGram? Do you pray for evangelism in CG each week, in some way or other? Do you routinely pray for open doors to share the gospel, for yourself and others? 2. Declare the mystery of Christ Declare - tell plainly and unashamedly. Mystery - not in some obscure and mystical unknowable sense. But in the greek sense of a secret that's now revealed. An announcement of a King and his Kingdom that's finally here. Paul's phrase here is like a shorthand for 'talking about Jesus'. Make it clear - a duty. Application We feel ashamed and feeble and not sufficient if we live by our autonomous self. But in Christ we are enabled and made sufficient. As we live out our lives in Christ we find fresh courage which is enough for each day. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are ours in Christ. Questions Are you in the habit of plainly talking about Jesus? Is he the great ocean towards which all the rivers of speech head? When your children ask you a question? 3. Live on mission To live wisely is to make best use of the time (lit. 'redeem the time') Speech gracious, kind, full of favour Seasoned with salt. I.e., prophetic truth that challenges and redeems. Knowing how to answer everyone. This comes from being 'salted'. Application On our own devices, by our autonomous self, our time is spent on our own passions, however good they appear. And not really calibrated by eternal realities. In Christ we see all our time as his, and ourselves as stewards of it for his glory. This makes rest and sabbath etc joyful duties. But it also makes missional living a stewardship question. [To get fit, you not only need a plan for the training but a plan for the time to train] Questions Is your time being wisely used for the glory and fame of Jesus? Are there things you regularly do in the week to be in contact with unbelievers? Do you model this way of thinking and deciding to your children? Will they grow up thinking of Christian mission and evangelism as something integrated into life as disciples, or as an awkward bolt-on? Closing next steps: -Those in Bensham. Jewish mission steps or Coatsworth road diversity. E.g. Saltwell park on a Sunday afternoon. -Those who play squash, a squash ladder. -Park run -Cycle with others - start a group if there isn't one Create contexts; eg a bbq with neighbours. Be a unifying dynamic on your street even if no one else is. -Go to places at the same time each week and develop consistency, eg the gym. 'Cast your bread upon the waters' - the key is, if the whole community does this, things surely happen. -Pray!
4 1 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Further Instructions 2 c Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it d with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may e open to us a door for the word, f to declare the mystery of Christ, g on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5 h Walk in wisdom toward i outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always j be gracious, k seasoned with salt, l so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
4 1 Οἱ κύριοι, τὸ δίκαιον καὶ τὴν ἰσότητα τοῖς δούλοις παρέχεσθε, εἰδότες ὅτι καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔχετε κύριον ἐν οὐρανῷ. 2 Τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτερεῖτε, γρηγοροῦντες ἐν αὐτῇ ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ, 3 προσευχόμενοι ἅμα καὶ περὶ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ὁ θεὸς ἀνοίξῃ ἡμῖν θύραν τοῦ λόγου λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ, διʼ ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι, 4 ἵνα φανερώσω αὐτὸ ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι. 5 Ἐν σοφίᾳ περιπατεῖτε πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω τὸν καιρὸν ἐξαγοραζόμενοι. 6 ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν πάντοτε ἐν χάριτι, ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος, εἰδέναι πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἀποκρίνεσθαι.