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Do Something Pt 1: The Plan

Pastor Terry Inman

06-23-13

 

I was speaking at a Spiritual Leadership conference at Mount Herman in the late eighties. I was up early praying in the crisp cool morning mountain air. After hiking for a bit I came to a vista overlooking a bright green meadow. The fog was just lifting its ethereal covering as if it was ready to unveil something under its cover.

I envisioned a large imaginary exclamation mark embossed across the horizon. I knew it was some kind of symbol. So I asked the Lord for insight. Why am I visualizing this dramatic punctuation mark?

The prophetic impression that came to my mind was this. “I am going to accelerate the harvest in these last days though acts of compassion.   

Not just saying but doing the good news makes our proclamation an exclamation! In John 14.12 Jesus makes a promise “whoever believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and even greater.”  Jesus backed up his words with his works. He is a “Do Something” savior!

This is not a new theme for us. I preached a series of messages based on Matthew 25 called Harvest the Hurting. It outlined the six ways Jesus told us to demonstrate his compassion to the least of the brothers.   

At the judgment Jesus separates sheep from goats. The kingdom is given to the sheep that are satisfying the hungry and thirsty. Opening their homes and hearts to outsiders. Covering the shamed and disgraced. Caring for the infirmed and disabled. Going to the captives. Jesus said, “when you do something for the least of these my brothers you do it to me.” Matt. 25:40 (NLT)

Recently I came across this great resource by a San Diego Pastor named Miles McPherson. “Do Something…make your life count.” I don’t like preaching someone else’s messages so we are just going to get some inspiration from these tools.

This book and a participant’s guide shares great stories and ideas. Several groups will be meeting the next six weeks to talk, pray and encourage each other to “Do Something”. Let me introduce you to our leaders.

There is still some room in a few of the groups. You can sign up at the table in the foyer. Now let me tell you just a little bit about Miles and his 12 thousand-member “Do Something” church. 

Two years into his pro football career, as a defensive back with the San Diego Chargers Miles was battling a drug problem and living an immoral lifestyle. That’s when he gave his life to Jesus Christ, and never looked back. He began to work as a Bible teacher, youth pastor and speaker, developing a track record of appealing to diverse audiences.

McPherson founded “The Rock Church” in 2000 with more than 3000 in the first service! He motivates people to reach out to the community. In 2011, they provided over 700,000 volunteer service hours to the City of San Diego. The Mayor said it saved the city more than 2 million dollars!

Here’s a creative look at Pastor’s Miles and his five part simple plan to “Do Something”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVyHyxj_w4 

God has a plan for each of us to “Do Something”…to make our life count. Today we are going to look at that plan. In the next five weeks we will talk about the 5 P's Pastor Miles mentioned that make our life count: preparation, purpose, pain, power, and passion.

Now let’s talk about God’s Plan. First You have been completely prepared to Do Something great. Ephesians 2tells us that we are workers created to do good work. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Eph. 2.10 (NIV)

The ancient Greek word poiema translated here, as “workmanship”is something artfully fashioned, like fabrics, sculptures or paintings. We are his work of art, uniquely shaped to do something significant. He planned way in advance that we would be created for a specific purpose.

If we are going to do some significant and fulfilling we need to prepare. Network meets on Sunday mornings and helps us discover our spiritual gifts, personal style, and God given passion for serving.   

We want everyone at Harbor Light to be the right person, in the right place, doing the right “something” in the church or the community. It takes some preparation.  

Some of us are pretty spontaneous but God is a planner. He has prepared us to “do something”. He has given each of us a signature design, there are things we can do that no one else can do as well.

God made it that way so we would all need each other in the body of Christ. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 1Cor. 12:4 (NIV) 

There is a simple purpose behind everything we do. The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. 1John 5:3 (MSG) 

Sometimes we think God wants us to do something really hard or way out of our comfort zone. Doing something maybe challenging but it will always be rewarding. Serving Jesus should be a great adventure. 

There are clearly two purposes for all of us. One is called the greatest commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strengthand with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27 (NIV) 

The other purpose is called the great commission. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. We are never asked to “Do Something” alone…

Jesus added, And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20 (NIV) 

Sometime in our journey to “Do Something” for God we will experience pain. “There is no gain without pain.” 

Nobody enjoys pain but it can be productive. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Heb. 12:11(NIV) 

We are always trying to escape pain but we don't really learn from pleasure. Pain teaches us what to do or not to do. Pain is actually a blessing. Without pain we wouldn’t know there was something wrong. 

Five years ago the pain in my chest started increasing when I walked in the mornings. I wasn’t really paying attention until I noticed the same sensation was happening even in bed. That’s when I checked myself into to the hospital. Now I have four new and working arties. I also have a lot of new healthy disciplines. 

Jesus experienced excruciating physical pain and humiliating emotional pain to accomplish his purpose but the pain brought great fulfillment. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Heb. 12:2-3 (NIV) 

Doing something is not always pain-free or easy-going but it is rewarding. The happiest people I know are the people that are using their God given time, talent and treasure to get something accomplished for the kingdom.   

God has also provided power to Do Something. We don’t have to launch out on our own limited resources. One of the things that keeps us from reaching out to serve others, is our perceived weaknesses. 

The apostle Paul acknowledged his weakness and God’s power. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Cor. 12:9 (NIV) 

So many people in the church are immobilized by fear and intimidation. Paul coached his apprentice to reignite the gifts he had been given.  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Tim. 1:6 (NIV) 

If you’re going anywhere in your car you have to have power. God has given us an "engine" for ministry as well: our minds, our bodies and His spirit. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)  

He has also given us fuel: the Bible, church, fellowship, worship, and prayer. He has given us all the power we need to Do Something.  

Paul said, “We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” 2 Th. 1:11 (NIV)

When we risk and reach out to Do Something, God’s power is available!   

Doing something significant will require a passion that constantly screams, "Don't quit!" Jesus said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit or the Kingdom of God."  Luke 9:62 

This statement actually has a double meaning. First, it means not to get distracted doing God's work. As you "plow," don't look around or get off course; stay focused as you plow and harvest for God. 

Second, it means not to look back, evaluating the past to see what the fruits of our spiritual labors are. That is for God to do. Our job is simply to Do Something! 

In the next few weeks we will look with a little more detail into these five parts of God’s plan for us to DO SOMETHING. What I like about the follow up suggestions in the group participants guide is that there are three levels of things to do. 

Crawling is like thinking and praying. It’s the first step for beginners who have are a little nervous about getting out there and doing something.

Walking is actually taking some initiative and making some kind of connection with people and their needs. 

Running is getting into the thick of ministry opportunity. Before we go today I want to talk with someone in our congregation that took some steps and is very happy “Doing Something”.