OceanSide church of Christ
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MY DESIRES FOR OCEANSIDE
Victor M. Eskew
A. Last week, we began a renewed journey with the OceanSide church of Christ.
B. As we begin our new walk together, I have many desires for this congregation.
1. When the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, he had longings that he expressed for them (Col. 1:9-12).
For this cause also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
2. For the next few minutes, I want to speak to you about some of my desires for the OceanSiide congregation.
I. ADVANCE MARKEDLY IN YOUR BIBLE KNOWLEDGE
A. Knowledge is one of the foundational elements of Christianity.
1. This is not the knowledge of man’s wisdom.
2. It is the knowledge of God’s wisdom.
B. God’s wisdom is found in the revealed truth of the gospel (I Cor. 2:12-13).
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1. The Bible says that God’s foolishness is wiser than man (I Cor. 1:25).
2. Can you imagine how rich His wisdom is?
C. I will spend much time exhorting and encouraging you to be better Bible stu-dents.
1. Hopefully, many of you will.
2. We must never stop studying. We must: Keep reading. Keep studying. Keep memorizing. Keep meditating. Keep applying.
a. We are commanded to study (II Tim. 2:15).
b. We are commanded to grow (II Pet. 3:18).
D. Ephesians 5:17
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
II. ABOUND MULTIFARIOUSLY IN LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
A. When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, he said: But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you… (I Thess. 4:9).
1. That statement is a preacher’s dream.
2. Would that it could be said of every church.
B. Note, however, what Paul exhorts them to do in I Thessalonians 4:10b. …but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.
1. Paul wanted them to increase in their love.
2. He had said this previously in I Thessalonians 3:12.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another…
C. This love, and the development thereof, was not a “have it” or “not have it” love. It was a love that was chosen and cultivated.
1. How do we nurture and practice our love for our brethren?
2. One of the best places to begin is by implementing the sixteen elements of love found in I Corinthians 13:4-8a.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is no easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…
3. Pick out someone in this congregation that you do not know well, or, that is hard to love, and practice loving them in the ways mentioned by Paul.
D. Hebrews 13:1
Let brotherly love continue.
III. ATTEND METICULOUSLY TO UNITY
A. Ephesians 4:3
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
1. Paul says to “endeavor” to keep unity.
a. The word means “to make effort,” or, “to exert one’s self.”
b. Unity is something we must work at.
1) It is easy to be selfish and divisive.
2) It takes effort to be selfless and to strive for unity.
2. The work “keep” is also interesting in this text.
a. It is a military word meaning “to guard” or “to keep the eye upon.”
b. It implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus.
c. Not only must we work at unity, we must also put a guard around it.
B. In our title to this section, we say that we desire to you to meticulously attend to unity.
1. Meticulously means “taking or showing extreme care about minute details.”
2. The song: “Angry Words,” the last stanza.
Angry words are lightly spoken
Bitt’rest thoughts are rashly stirred
Brightest links of life are broken
By a single angry word.
a. “A single angry word” can cause division.
b. A single sin, a single attitude, a single slight can all harm unity.
C. Psalm 133:1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
IV. AIM MERCILESSLY
A. Jesus’ mission was to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
B. This was the mission that He left for His disciples before ascending to heaven (Mark 16:15-16).
C. It needs to be our mission today.
1. If there are 3 million true Christians in the world. And, if there are 7 billion inhabitants in the world, we make up only 4/10,000ths percent of the world’s population.
2. The majority of the world is lost.
D. Every person we come in contact with needs the gospel.
1. We need to take aim and seek to save them.
2. We need to go from one person to the next to the next to the next in an attempt to teach them the gospel.
E. God’s desire must become our desire (I Tim. 2:4).
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
V. AVOID MADLY A LANGUID INDIFFERENCE
A. All of have to fight the tendency to give up, quit, be lazy, or to drag in our Christian responsibilities.
B. The Lord wants us to be energetic, enthusiastic, and fervent in our service to Him.
1. Romans 12:11
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
2. I Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
C. How do we keep the drive and the energy level high?
1. If your circumstances are the determining factors, you will be up and down.
2. If your zeal is based upon another human being, you will experience peaks and valleys.
3. Zeal and fervor are sustained when we truly comprehend the grace of God in our lives (I Cor. 15:10).
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
A. I have expressed my five desires for the OceanSide church of Christ.
1. Advance markedly in you Bible knowledge.
2. Abound multifariously in your love for one another.
3. Attend meticulously to unity.
4. Aim mercilessly for lost souls.
5. Avoid madly languid indifference.
B. There are many more that I could enumerate. How about this one? Let each of live in such a way that heaven will be our ultimate home.