This is the audio of session three from the September 7, 2019 Praying For the Church Prayer Event held at Michiana Christian Camp.
This third session focused on praying for the church in worship as we considered how our personal worship of God each day ought to impact the worship that is expressed when we gather with other believers.
This is the audio from the September 1, 2019 sermon, “WORK That Matters!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: John 6:28-29
Here are the main points from the sermon:
When it comes to having work that matters, make sure these elements matter in your work:
Worship that matters:
Romans 12:1 — When you present your body to God as a living sacrifice, your work — the things you do with your body — ought to become a big part of the worship you offer God. Seeing the work that you do as an element of worshiping God helps you to see your work as something that matters to God. Learning to have worship that matters within all of your daily activities will go a long way toward helping others see Jesus in the midst of your daily work. In seeking to have work that matters, find ways in all circumstances to have worship that matters.
Occupation that matters:
Colossians 3:23-24 — “Whatever you do.” While there are some tasks done by mankind that I believe are sinful and therefore should not be done by Christians (or anyone else for that matter), God’s desire is that whatever you do would be done for Him. In the Kingdom workforce, there is work “created in advance” for each one of us to do. Just as we have been created uniquely, the work God has for us to do will rarely be identical to the work He has for someone else. Having work that matters isn’t nearly as dependent on finding the right occupation as it is in working our occupation with the proper attitude.
Rest that matters:
Hebrews 4:9-11 — Having work that matters will require us to have rest that matters. When God chose to rest after the six days of creation, it wasn’t so much that He was worn out and needed it but rather it was to serve as an example of our need for rest. While there are times we must press on even when we’ve become weary, being able to stop and rest at appropriate intervals will generally improve our ability to work in such a way that we believe our work matters. In our culture today, we often have a tendency to fill our “non-work” hours with so much activity that real rest is rather elusive. When we learn to have rest that matters, I believe we will grow in having work that matters.
Knowledge that matters:
2 Timothy 2:15 — We live in a time that I think could well be described as information overload. It seems we are constantly being bombarded with sound bites and headlines that contain talking points of information but very little actual knowledge. When Paul instructs Timothy to “study to show yourself approved”, it is in the context of being a worker who won’t be ashamed. While our culture prides itself on having an ever-increasing base of knowledge, any knowledge that does not have the Word of God as its foundation tend to make a prideful people rather than a humble worker. When we spend time fully digesting and putting into practice the Word of God, we set our self up to have work that matters because we have knowledge that matters.
Having WORK that matters isn’t really so much about what you do as it is about how you do it and who you do it for. I believe you will find that as you fill your life with worship, occupation, rest, and knowledge that matters, you will discover great growth in your understanding and practice of work that matters.
This is the audio from theAugust 4, 2019 sermon, “Count the COST!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Luke 14:25-35
Here are the main points from the sermon:
When it comes to living life and being a disciple of Jesus, He want us to count the . . .
Luke 14:28-30 — Asking what something will cost before you commit to it is not just a wise action, it is a biblical action. Much of the current debt crisis in America is the result of committing to a course of action without considering what it will actually cost. When you are living as a disciple of Jesus, your cash belongs to Him and He ought to have the only say in how you use it. Living that way will cost you greatly, but He promises to increase what you have in accordance to your faithfulness with the small things He gives you.
Luke 14:31-32 — Living as a disciple of Jesus will come with its share of opposition. But worse than the opposition of people who reject Christianity is the opposition of God against those who are filled with pride and reject Him. Counting the opposition means that you consider the ridicule of men to be of no regard in your decisions compared to the praise of the Father saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Luke 14:33 — There is no greater example of sacrifice than Jesus leaving heaven to live on earth for the purpose of being crucified for my sins. Being a disciple of Jesus means that I will not only learn from Him, but I will learn to be like Him. By His own words, doing so will require that I unconditionally surrender all of me to Him and live a life that shows His sacrifice to the world. This isn’t a matter of choosing what I’m willing to give up and then calling it a sacrifice for doing so. No, this is a full surrender so that my life becomes a living sacrifice devoted fully to Him.
Luke 14:34-35 — Most of us are pretty good at surrounding ourselves with the things and people that we know we can put our trust in. As Jesus calls us to give up everything to become the salt of the earth, often time the things we trust the most will have to be put aside so that we can learn complete trust in Him. He is the master at using the most unlikely people to do things they are unequipped for in order to bring praise and glory to Him rather than to mankind.
Counting the COST isn’t really the end to anything, rather it is the beginning point of a decision each of us must make — Is it worth it, and am I willing to pay everything I have in order to become a child of God? I pray that the answer to those questions is a resounding, “Absolutely Yes!”
This is the audio from the June 2, 2019 sermon, “Building On the Past!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Ephesians 2:11-22
“. . . built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
We tend to approach the past in one of two ways.
One, we try to ignore it and thus learn nothing from it. In this mode, we tend to remove/replace/destroy anything that we feel doesn’t have meaning regardless of the history and/or functionality to someone else.
Two, we worship the past and still learn nothing from it. In this approach, our “rose-colored glasses” keeps us from seeing things as they really were. We hang on to things that represent who we once were regardless of whether we, or anyone else, are still being served by those things.
God’s approach in scripture seems to be that we would learn from the past so that we can be built up into the body He desires.
Here are the main points from the sermon:
As we look back, we must make plans to build on . . .
Building on promises requires that we are people of our word. When we build on the promises of God, we find a foundation that will never crumble, no matter how much it is shaken, because God always keeps His promises.
Building on actions requires that we acknowledge work that has already been done. We are where we are because of the work done by those who have gone before us. As Christians, we not only build on the work of the people in our immediate history, we build our life on the work done by God since the beginning of creation.
Building on sacrifices requires that we acknowledge and honor those who have given up things of value to them so that we can be where we are today. There is no greater sacrifice that we can build our life upon than the sacrifice of Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin.
Building on triumphs may sound like the best part, yet many of us struggle to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” When we build on the victories we have experienced, we celebrate what has been accomplished while keeping our gaze fixed ahead on what is yet to be done. Building a life that endures will require that we build it around the triumph that Jesus claimed over death.
Building on the PAST is how we are able to celebrate the work of God without becoming complacent to the extent that we no longer expect Him to work. God wants us to take all of the lessons He will teach and use them to help others desire, seek, and have a relationship with His Son, Jesus.