OceanSide church of Christ




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WHAT I (GOD) DESIRE FROM EACH MEMBER

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   When a preacher moves to a new congregation, he will often use his first sermon to talk about what he desires from the church as a whole.

 

B.   This morning, I want to deviate from this just a little.  I want to speak about the subject:  “What I Desire from Each Member.”

1.     The focus is not on the group.

2.    The focus is upon each person, you and you and you and you.

 

I.          FAITHFULNESS

 

A.   This quality ought to be a given for every Christian.

1.     In times past, the gospel produced faith within us (Rom. 10:17).

2.    This faith moved us to obey the gospel (Rom. 6:17-18).

3.     This move told the Lord that we desired to hear Him, follow Him, and live for Him all of our lives.

 

B.   Faithfulness is commanded.

1.     I Corinthians 4:2

 

Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

 

2.    Revelation 2:10b

 

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

 

C.   What is faithfulness?

1.     One defined it as:  “to be full of faith.”

2.    It is a faith that responds to three things found in God’s Word.

a.    Believes facts:  death, burial, and resurrection.

b.    Embraces promises (John 14:1-3)

c.    Obeys commands.

1)     All the commands of God are equally important.

2)    Is worship part of our faithfulness?  Yes

a)    Hebrews 10:25

 

Nor forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

b)    The example of the early church (Acts 2:42)

 

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 

c)    NOTE:  Worship is only a small fraction of the commands of God.  Listen, however, to Jesus’ words (Luke 16:10).

 

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…

 

II.        HONESTY

 

A.   For a person to obey the gospel, he must manifest the quality of honesty (Luke 8:15).

 

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 

B.   This trait needs to continue to present itself in each of our lives.

1.     Romans 12:17

 

…Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

 

2.    II Corinthians 8:21

 

Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight or men.

 

C.   There are four places where honesty must be practiced in our lives.

1.     Honest with God’s Word

a.    God’s Word will teach us things that may go contrary to our belief system.

b.    God’s Word will make demands on us that are difficult.

2.    Honest with ourselves

a.    Some see their lives through “rose-colored” glasses.

b.    Some see themselves properly, but refuse to make changes.

3.     Honest with one another

4.    Honest with those without

 

D.   Deceit, dishonesty, and lies are all associated with Satan (John 8:44).  Surely, we do not want to be aligned with our adversary.

 

III.      A SERVANT’S HEART

 

A.   Servants were common in the days of Jesus Christ.

 

B.   Several qualities of servants resemble the servanthood of the child of God.

1.     Servants were bought by their masters.  We have been bought with a price (I Cor. 6:10).

 

For ye are bought with a price…

 

2.    A servant’s will was lost to the will of his master.  We, too, render our will to the will of our Lord, Jesus Christ (e.g., Jesus, Luke 22:42).

 

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

 

3.     A servant did not pick and choose what he would or would not do.  A servant did what was commanded of him (Matt. 8:9).  We, too, are to do all that is commanded (Luke 17:10).

 

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.

 

4.    Servants work hard.

a.    One of the words for deacon in the Greek language is “diakoneo.”  The definition of this word is:  “to kick up the dust.”

b.    When Paul counseled servants in Colossae, he exhorted them to work hard (Col. 3:23).

 

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

 

c.    We, too, should be diligent workers for our Master (Rom. 12:11).

 

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit serving the Lord.

 

d.    One area wherein we need to work more diligently is evangelism.

IV.       TEAM PLAYER

 

A.   Christianity is not a solo sport.  It is a team activity.

 

B.   This is evident from Paul’s discussion in I Corinthians 12 when he compared the church to a physical body.

1.     Paul referred to the church at Corinth as “the body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:27).

 

Now ye are the body of Christ…

 

2.    The body must work together (I Cor. 12:21-22).

 

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary.

 

3.     Paul’s application (I Cor. 1:25-26)

 

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

 

C.   What do team players do?

1.     They show up.

2.    They do their part.

3.     They assist other team members when needed.

4.    They realize that is about the team and not them.

5.    They see the goal that the entire team is trying to accomplish.

 

V.        LOVE

 

A.   It was Jesus who exhorted His disciples to love one another (John 13:34-35).

 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

B.   Love has fallen on tough times.

1.     I will love you as long as I like you.

2.    Love is based solely on feelings.

3.     We think that love is something you fall into and out of.

4.    Love is thought to be sweet and easy, not tough and demanding.

 

C.   The best place to start in understanding love is I Corinthians 13:4-8a.

1.     Paul lists 16 qualities of love.

a.    Each one needs to be defined.

b.    Each one needs to be illustrated.

c.    Each one needs to be applied.

2.    NOTE:  There are positive and negative attributes of love.

 

D.   Two verses:

1.     I Corinthians 13:13

 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

2.    Colossians 3:14

 

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   What is my desire for each member at OceanSide?  Faithfulness, honesty, a servant’s heart, a team player, and love.

 

B.   However noticed that I have said:  “I want these for every member”?  The reality is that God wants these for every member.