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Part of the series: SOWING THE SEED
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CHURCH GROWTH through DEDICATION

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   In our previous lesson, we learned that conviction is essential to church growth.  Conviction involves our beliefs.

 

B.   We believe that sin enslaves mankind and that only the truth will set men free (John 8:32).  God’s children, are the ones responsible for taking that truth to the world (Mark 16:15-16).

 

C.   If we are going to accomplish this task, we must have dedication.

 

I.          DEDICATION DEFINED

 

A.   The complete giving of one’s self to some purpose or cause.

 

B.   Three points emphasized:

1.     Complete

a.    Fully, wholly, nothing left out

b.    Mark 12:29-30

 

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord:  and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment.

 

2.    The sacrifice (giving) of one’s self

a.    Self involves all we have:  time, talents, money, assets, family (Matt. 19:27).

b.    Luke 9:23-24

 

And he said unto them all, If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

 

3.     Purpose or cause

a.    The cause is the saving of lost souls.

b.    This is more important than self.

c.    Romans 1:14-15

 

I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise.  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

 

II.        DEDICATION DECIDED

 

A.   Dedication involves a decision, or, counting of the cost (Luke 14:26-30).

 

If any man come after me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him.

 

B.   As you make your decision, you need to count the cost both ways.

1.     If I dedicate myself to the task what will the cost be?

2.    If I don’t dedicate myself to the task what will the cost be?

 

III.      DEDICATION DISCIPLINED

 

A.   To be soul-winners there are certain things that one must be proficient in.

1.     Bible study

2.    Making contacts

3.     Conducting a study

4.    Answering questions

5.    Countering objections

6.    Accepting rejection

7.    Scheduling your time with another’s time

 

B.   In II Timothy 2:1-6, Paul stresses to Timothy the need for discipline.  He does so with three figures.

 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.  And if a man also strive for the masteries, yet he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.  The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

 

1.     The soldier

a.    Endures hardness

b.    Does not entangle himself in the affairs of this life

2.    The Olympian – strives for the crown lawfully

3.     The farmer – must labor

 

IV.       DEDICATION DEDICATED

 

A.   Dedication should not be something we possess for only a period of time.

 

B.   We have to be dedicated to the cause and work of Christ all of our lives.

1.     Mark 13:13

 

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:  but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

2.    Romans 2:7

 

To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.

 

3.     Colossians 1:21-23

 

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblame-able and unreproveable in his sight:  if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard…

 

4.    Hebrews 3:14

 

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

 

5.    Hebrews 10:38-39

 

Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

 

6.    James 1:12

 

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:  for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

 

7.    Revelation 2:10b

 

…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   When the Lord sees your life, does He see someone who is dedicated to His cause?

 

B.   Or, does He see something else.

1.     Part-time dedication?

2.    Lukewarm dedication?

3.     One-time-per-week dedication?

4.    Conveniently dedicated?

 

C.   I Timothy 4:15

 

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that they profiting may appear unto all.