- Serve With Humility. (v.19a)
- Expect Opposition. (v.19b,23)
- Be Sure My Walk Matches My Talk. (v.20)
- Focus On Soul Winning. (v.20b)
- Do Not Compromise God’s Message. (v.20a,21-23)
- Be Dedicated To Christ. (v.24)
- Be Joyful. (v.24b)
- Don’t Quit. (v.24b-c)
- Fulfill My Responsibilities. (v.25-27)
- Warn God’s People of Spiritual Dangers. (v.28-31)
- Understand That It Is God That Gives Growth. (v.32)
- Be Content. (v.33-34)
- Be Generous, Hospitable, and Kind. (v.35)
- Saturate My Life and Ministry with Prayer. (v.36)
- Expect Opposition. (v.19b,23)
- Do Not Allow Others To Influence Me Out Of God’s Will. (v.37-38)
- Worry Is Distracting.
Six times in this passage “taking thought” is addressed. This does not mean that we should not think about or address these needs, but it does mean that we are not to be anxious or worry about them. Another aspect of the phrase “taking thought” has the idea of “being distracted by.” The Lord is warning us to not allow ourselves to be distracted by the temporal things of this world and life. Worry is distracting.
- Worry Is Demonic.
That is a strong statement. Worldliness can take many forms, a few of which are addressed in our Lord’s sermon here are: hypocrisy, materialism, and worry. Satan tempts the Christian to worry. God never instructs His children to worry. Anything that draws away my focus on, service to, commitment to, and faith in the Lord is of the Devil! Worry is demonic.
- Worry Is Disobedience.
“…I say unto you, take no thought…” This is not a suggestion, it is a clear command. Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing…” The Lord is not suggesting that we simply ignore what we eat, wear, live in, etc., but He clearly commands us not to worry about these things. We cannot allow them to distract us from our faith in God, our service for God, and our focus on the Lord. Worry is disobedience.
A man was shoveling snow in his driveway when 2 boys came along w/ shovels and said, “Hey Mister, can we shovel your driveway…only $2!?” He said, “can’t you see I’m doing that?” “Yes sir, that’s why we asked…we get most of our business from people who are halfway thru and feel like quitting!” (copied)
That’s where the Devil gets much of his business, from Christians and preachers who are only “halfway” committed to Christ and the gospel.
- My Own Spiritual Condition.
My own salvation needs to be settled and certain. I need to die to self and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The love of God for lost sinners needs to be shed abroad in my heart. My prayer life must be earnest and effective. There should be as much time put into my own spiritual condition as there is in my Gospel presentation
- Transitioning the Conversation From “Chit-Chat” to Spiritual Matters and the Gospel.
If we are not careful, we can spend our entire visit making “small talk” and neglect to transition to their need of Christ and our presentation of the Gospel. I am convinced most people are willing to discuss spiritual things and their spiritual condition if we will approach the subject with tact, respect, wisdom, and compassion.
- Thoroughly Explaining The Gospel.
Under no circumstances should we “sugar coat,” or water down the Gospel message. Our presentation of the Gospel must be thorough, clear, yet simple. Dr. Shelton Smith warns of “sloppy soul winning,” and I strongly agree. The “Roman’s Road” is a good plan, but must be presented thoroughly and compassionately.
- Making the Decision To Trust Christ.
After presenting the Gospel, do not leave the prospect hanging. Help them, and many times it is good to urge them, to make the decision to trust Christ then and there. It is good to help them call upon the Name of the Lord.
- Give the New Believer Assurance.
We want to give them Bible based assurance that when we do what God tells us to do, (call on the Lord) that He will do what He has promised to do (save us). I must not allow them to simply take my word for it, they must be assured from the Word of God.
- Making Follow Up Efforts.
Again, we must not leave them hanging. Salvation is simply the beginning of eternal life and they must be loved and nurtured in their new faith and introduced to the body of Christ. Follow up is much more than a simple Bible study, it is establishing new relationships with the family of God.
- Read It Daily.
Every Christian should spend some time every day reading the Bible. The best time for Bible reading is first thing in the morning. A new believer may want to read the Gospel of John or Psalms to begin with, but at some point, we should start reading our Bibles through, cover to cover. I like to read my Bible through each year.
- Meditate On It Deeply.
Joshua 1:8-9 & Psalm 1:1-3 give very clear and precious promises to those who meditate in God’s Word on a daily basis. This is more that just reading through a passage, but giving careful thought and consideration to what is being said, and then considering all the ways it applies to my life and circumstances.
- Claim It’s Promises Delightfully.
The Bible is filled with wonderful promises for the child of God. I cannot claim promises I do not know exist, so take God at His Word and claim the promises He has given us. Note: be careful that the promise applies to the believer. Some promises are to the nation of Israel specifically and not necessarily for the New Testament believer.
- Heed It’s Warnings Diligently.
God is all-wise, knows the future outcome of all our actions. When He gives warnings in His Word, it is wise for us to heed those warnings and take them very seriously.
- Follow It’s Instructions Decisively.
When we do exactly what God’s Word tells us to do, we’ll get the results it says we will get. God knows what He is doing and knows what is best for us, thus it is a good idea to do exactly what He instructs us to do.
- Memorize It Deliberately.
One of our greatest weapons against sin and temptation is hiding God’s Word in our hearts and minds (Psalm 119:11). Memorize reference and the exact wording of the passage and not just the “thought” of the passage.
- Share It Dutifully..
Our entire world needs the Word of God. It needs to be translated into every language of the world, printed by Bible believing, local church publishers, and then preached and distributed throughout the world by God’s people.
O troubled soul, beneath the rod,
Thy Father speaks, be still, be still;
Learn to be silent unto God,
And let Him mould thee to His will.
O praying soul, be still, be still,
He cannot break His plighted Word;
Sink down into His blessed will,
And wait in patience on the Lord.
O waiting soul, be still, be strong,
And though He tarry, trust and wait;
Doubt not, He will not wait too long,
Fear not, He will not come too late.
“God meant it unto good”—O blest assurance,
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with Heaven’s gold earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
’Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance which, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch’s throne to stand.
One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And through the weary days of prison bondage
Was working towards the great and glorious goal.
As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul;
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.
Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was recompensed at last,
The moment came when God led forth his servant
To succour many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you but God, that sent me hither,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days;
“God meant it unto good,” no “second causes”
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for thee, beloved,
The God of Joseph is the same today;
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter,
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
Thy Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Hath purposes for thee of love untold.
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold.
There, when thou standest in the Home of Glory,
And all life’s path ties open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which now thou trustest,
And magnify His love through endless days.
—Freda Hanbury Allen