Pastor Dan Borgelt
4.17.2016 Actions and Words
“Actions and Words”
“Thank you choir for setting up our time in God’s word together so well.
You know, if you’ve been around a Kirkmont at all in the last couple months, you know we’re going through a Book of the New Testament–the fifth book of the New Testament, the book of Acts.
Acts is the story of the early church, and we’re doing one chapter at a time, and normally our progress would have brought us up to Acts, Chapter Fourteen… that’s what we were scheduled to do this morning, it’s what’s in your bulletin; but we’re going to take a little deviation this morning and the reason why, is because… well it’s actually my mom who’s visiting here, it’s really kind of her fault.
She said, I don’t want to listen to Acts fourteen. (LAUGHTER)
No, in all seriousness, ever since she got into town, visiting us from Toledo a few days ago, she and my wife Amanda have been talking about health. They’ve been talking about health like crazy. Talking about how important it is for us to make sure, with the stuff we’re putting into our body, whether by eating it or drinking it is good for us and all that type of stuff; and you know the basic rationale is, the physical us is connected to the Spiritual us.
And so she said to me yesterday, as I’m on my way out the door to finalize my planned message for today, she said, “You know I think more pastors need to preach about, not just the Spiritual, but the physical us, and the importance of taking care of our bodies.
At first I kind of blew it off, but then when I got here to the church, I just felt convicted, that that’s indeed what I should talk to you about.
So, that’s what we’re going to talk about you know the importance of making sure that what we put into our bodies is really honoring to God–the body that he’s given us. But if you don’t mind, I’m going to do something unprecedented, I’m going to finish my breakfast right now, because what happened is, I was in a total chaos, trying to plan my message, my last minute message, and so I drove through the drive through. And so…
(He pull out a McDonald’s Breakfast bag)
I haven’t had an opportunity eat breakfast at this morning, it’s a long morning, I’m feeling my blood sugar getting low… and so, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a Sausage Egg McMuffin from McDonalds? (He takes a bite)
Chewing, he says… “Umm… that is really good stuff. And I don’t know if you know, but they are only a buck right now at McDonald’s, at the Drive Through… so.. where we?
Oh, we were talking about the importance of the physical us, and connecting that, because you know after all, your body church, is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. So we need to make sure that what we’re putting into our body actually, honors God.
So with the idea, that your body is the Temple the Holy Spirit, I want you just to sort of meditate on that, think about that for a while, because I got to wash this sandwich down and (he pulls out a McDonald’s beverage cup to LAUGHTER)… I’m really thirsty (continues drinking and eating).
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Now, in all seriousness of course it would be quite ridiculous for me to preach about the importance of what we put into our body. While eating a sausage McMuffin by the way. When I said that was good that was that was there was a line. I was I to you or acting we’ll call it because I bought that at seven thirty this morning. And so I think it’s really gross actually that anyways. It would be totally hypocritical of me because my words and be saying one thing my actions would be doing something completely different you see on the screen behind me when your actions contradict your words don’t mean anything. We actually are going to continue in the book of acts do you think and preach a whole sermon about caring for my body. I mean it’s like a. It’s like a standing. Object of hypocrisy right. So anyway. Case. We’re going to go in acts fourteen and what we’re going to skive an x. fourteen. Church we’re coming back to. Repeated the here in the book of acts to the subject of the idea of us sharing our faith. Now some of you are here this morning and you don’t have faith in Jesus Christ you don’t even claim to have that faith and it might seem weird for us to talk about sharing our faith. I want you to know just as you hear this message this morning that. You know God places incredible emphasis on our show on our faith with the world around us. Not so that we can get bonus points or kudo’s or earn our way into heaven. Because he really cares and loves you. About you and wants to have a relationship with you. And that’s why he wants the rest of us to show faith. We come back to that subject and what we see is the importance in Scripture. Of our actions. And our words. Lining up working together cohesively so that when we share our faith we’re actually doing it in an effective. Wing. Want to buy into a passage of Scripture of the passages is. As I said. Acts. The fifth book in the new testament would love to have you turn your bibles or one of our pew bibles there to the book of acts chapter fourteen. If not, we’ll have it on the Scripture behind us. On the screen behind us and the Scripture says this and acts fourteen versus one to two verses starting in verse one. The Scripture says. At. I comb him. Now let’s pause there when to stop with those two words we got two words before we need to stop for a second all right at this pace we’re going to be here all day long but. I comb. Ok and the reason we’re stopped there because there’s some. Geography and history that happens in these few verses. That for most of us makes absolutely no sense at all even if you’ve been here with us in acts we’ve talked about this a little bit but most of it kind of comes in one year we forget about so we’re going to we’re going to keep rediscovering the setting the context of this passage. I can even now. What’s happening is Paul. Paul is one of the early leaders in the church he was being sent by God to go tell people about Jesus Christ. Now. The reason that’s happening is because this is the history of early church. When Jesus showed up his life is death his resurrection was actually only naturally. Immediately understood by a room of relatively small group of people and. So there’s a whole bunch of people the world to yet to hear about him at this point in time. And so he’s sending the early church. Out and Paul sent to go to places he’d never been before. To talk to people, he’s never met before. And to tell them about his faith in Jesus Christ. And he sent from the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea where the Holy land is and a northern city in the northeast city. Called. Where did the order to get sent for sent from? Charlie your number from. There’s two of them from. Antioch or I actually forgot I just knew Charlie would remember. And so. He was sent from. Antioch a northeast city. On the Mediterranean Sea he sailed to the island of Cyprus. Which is still there today. And still called Cyprus. And then sales north to modern day turkey. Or a region called glacier. Some of you know that there’s a book in the bible called. Galatians. That covers this whole region. And he’s moving from city to city in the region of Galatians and I coney him is one of those cities. So Paul and Barnabas the Scripture say he wasn’t alone he was with a friend named Barnabas went. As usual when they arrived in this city. They went. As usual into the Jewish synagogue. So their normal practice. When they got somewhere. How where are they going to start telling people about their faith in Jesus Christ was to go to the Jewish synagogue. Why would they do that but this reminds us of the reality that the message about Jesus Christ. Doesn’t just show up out of thin air well in the new testament. It is the fulfillment of. All that is in the old testament. The thirty-nine books of the old testament. Every single story. Every bible character as that one author has said. Whispered the name of Jesus Christ. They’re all pointing to him. He is the fulfillment of it so. The Jewish synagogue. Is a place where they could show up in start and have some common knowledge with these people some common beliefs with these folks. They were supposed to understand that the messiah was coming. And so that makes them. It was most natural for them to start. In the Jewish synagogue because Jesus is full of. The filament. Of their old testament Scriptures. And what we discover. Not only in this section but all throughout acts. Is that the Jewish response to the message of Jesus Christ is extreme on one hand. They are the quickest people to receive the gospel and jump on board and get all excited about it. But on the other hand. There are also the most resistant to the gospel. The Jewish. Responses by and large an extreme response. Where the gentile or the non-Jewish response is much more moderate. Some people embrace it some people don’t embrace it but they don’t seem to be as passionate as heated as the Jewish response. So they show up in the synagogue in the Scripture tells us this and here’s where we get to the whole component of actions and words working together. In fact, the Scripture deals with their words before their actions so that’s how we’ll address the topic. It says. There. They spoke. So effectively. That a great number of Jews and Gentiles. Believed. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. A church I don’t mean. Or want us to put the entire weight. A whether someone receives our message about Jesus Christ. Upon your shoulders and chalk it all up as being about whether or not you give an effective presentation. We must remember. God to soften right. We cannot usurp his sovereignty in this hold conversation. And as the Scripture clearly tells us in the book of john chapter six first forty-four it will pull that up on the screen for you I believe the Scripture tells us that Jesus says that no one can come. To the Father unless he drawls them no one can come to him unless he’s drawn right. Do we have that passage? Either way out there the instant you have to just trust me it’s in john chapter six verse forty-four. Right. And you’ve got bibles you can look it up in john six forty-four Jesus says no one can come to me. Unless the Father draw all soon. So we’re not usurping God’s sovereignty or. Sovereignty here but we have to recognize the reality that loop does take the time to address. How effectively Paul communicated the gospel. And he said they did it so effectively. That a large number of Jews and Gentiles. Received the message and. We need to pause and ask ourselves. Could the same be written of us. Could someone write that about you and I. They commuted the kid the gospel of Jesus Christ so effectively. Isn’t that a prayer of ours isn’t that a desire of ours don’t we want to be. Have that said about us that we can. We’re able to communicate. Our faith in Jesus Christ. So effectively. Now some of you might be thinking to me well you know I really have a hard time relating to Paul. Because Paul gets up and he speaks to large crowds of people I never have any intention of putting a microphone on and sharing my faith about Jesus Christ to a large group of people so. How can this. Relate to me. Well. Church I believe that the most common way the most effective way for you and I to share our faith in Jesus Christ is through our personal life story is through our personal faith. Story. Some people call a testimony. Your testimony is where your life and all of your life’s experiences and your faith in Jesus Christ is where they intersect. Together. Is where they come together. In this where you have the greatest I believe. Opportunity to share your faith in Jesus Christ with other people. Think about the power of a testimony. When you’re just simply communicating to people. This is what Christ has done for me. I believe it is the best way to communicate our faith. Without. Entering into an argument with someone. There’s nothing to argue with about that. I’m just saying this is who Jesus is to me without entering into some deep theological debate that almost never produces any Spiritual fruit. All we’re saying is this is who Jesus Christ is for me this is what he did for me this is how he impacted my life. I believe our Testimony, our life story. our faith story. Is the most effective way that we can communicate. Our faith in Jesus Christ so I want to ask you a question. If I was to ask you to come up here and take three or four minutes to share your life story about Jesus Christ. How confident are come for would you be in doing that so you most people I believe are completely unprepared to do that and I want to challenge you this morning. No one ever said following Jesus Christ was going to be easy. No one ever said that making Jesus your lord. Was never going to make you uncomfortable or that it wouldn’t require work. Or homework or preparation. So I want to challenge you with this idea. I want to invite you to work at getting more comfortable with your version of your life story. And by that I mean taking your life story. And how crisis impacted your life. And bring it to obama three or four-minute presentation. And you know a church I would love to spend my time. Hearing your life stories. Or reading them. I would encourage you. How come by the office. Take me out to lunch. Send them to me via email or whatever you need to do I would love to read them and I’ll give you some honest feedback or if you’re not come full sharing with me then maybe there’s another brother or sister in Christ who you’d be willing to share with. If your feeling convicted by God about. Getting serious about lining your life up with the Spirit of Christ. I believe this is the greatest step in homework that you could do is to start to get more comfortable with your testimony. To write it down to put it in outline form and to share it with someone who’s a brother and sister in Christ. That you trust. I mean how many times. How many times have we had the opportunity to share our faith or to interject our faith. But we didn’t. And oftentimes is because we felt. Unprepared or at least under prepared for the occasion. It doesn’t mean that every single time we have the opportunity to speak of your faith it’s going to be a whole three or four-minute spiel and you have to give the whole part. Beginning middle and end. But what it does mean is that if you have a component of your testimony if you have it ready to go. You’ll be able to share a portion of it. In that moment. In that time. But how often have we not said anything I know that’s been me because I felt. Unprepared to share and to speak about my faith in Jesus Christ and you know what x. is doing to me is saying that shouldn’t be the case. God is calling us to get comfort with the idea of sharing our faith so that it might be said about us. They spoke so effectively. You know. I know some of you of course are afraid of failure if you were to actually step out and to show your faith and to try to present your testimony to someone. Some of you have heard this quote from Wayne Gretzky I think we have this one on this route for you this quote from raincoats writes. Gretzky he’s a famous hockey player if you don’t know. I don’t know anything about hockey so it’s sort of ironic that I’m quoting him here but. He says you missed one hundred percent of the shots. That you don’t take without over analyzing and I think the same could be said. True of our sharing our faith. If you don’t attempt to share your faith. It will be unsuccessful. One hundred percent of the time. But we want to set about as they were so effective. Communicating their faith and Scripture goes on and tells us this and says. Not only are they effective so effective that a great number we don’t know how many but a great number of Jews and Gentiles bullied. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles. And poison their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent a considerable time. There. All right so. The scene is this not not only do. Some of the Jews and Gentiles believe their message. But as we’ve been talking about if we’re sharing our faith we’re always going to also receive resistance as well. There’s a group of people who not only do they not believe. But they’re trying to resist. Their efforts. So what you have is a bunch of. Early people who have just given their faith to Jesus Christ. Who are being scrutinized by all of their peers around them. These people who said yes to Paul’s message are now receiving scrutiny from the people around them. And you have this tension that’s going on and then the Scripture says that Paul didn’t just leave them there on loan. But as a result of the tension that they were these early Christians were experiences. He spent a considerable time there speaking. Boldly for the lord he stood up on their behalf if you will. Now it says. Who that is the lord. Confirmed the message. Of his grace. By enabling them to do. More rack of the signs and wonders. And here’s churches where we see that their actions. Were able to support. They were able to complement the message that they were speaking. He enabled them to do miraculous. Signs so the. The scene is this Paul has shared his faith in Jesus Christ. Some people have said yes. Some people are adamantly no. But there’s probably a whole bunch of people who are sort of. On the fence. If you will. And there’s this tension there being argued over. To win their allegiance and the Scripture says that God gave Paul the ability to do miraculous things to move the. People who are on the fence. To a place of faith in Jesus Christ so that those who are on the fence would know that Paul’s message was true. So now all a sudden. They’re not just speaking about Jesus but their behavior is affirming the message they have. About Jesus Christ. And again this is where we get to the point where we ask ourselves. Does our behavior. Reinforce our message about Jesus Christ. Does our behavior reinforce our message? About Jesus Christ now I know some of you are thinking. Once again this is hard to relate to because Paul and Barnabas did miraculous things it doesn’t say exactly what we know they were. Miraculous. And if you’re like me you don’t feel like you’ve ever done anything. Miraculous. And you’re thinking to yourself you know what. If one of my neighbor’s car. Couldn’t start because it needed a jump. If I had the ability to walk over there put my hand on the hood and say be healed. And the engine just fired up. Then I probably would have the boldness to tell my neighbor a little bit about my face. And I. So. But until then don’t tell me about Paul and Barnabas because they had miraculous things to support them with. But I want to ask you this morning. Are you seriously considering entertaining the idea that God has not done a miracle in your life? The Scripture says that when you become a follower of Jesus Christ when you place your trust in him. The third person of the trinity the Holy Spirit dwells. Inside of you. As a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance. And it doesn’t just go to sleep. It starts working. Working like crazy to kill off the acts of the sinful nature and to rise up in you. Fruits of the Spirit. Has God not done. A miraculous work in you. The Holy Spirit is inside of you making you more and more like you are. His son Jesus. About like Jesus Christ. Is that not a miraculous work that. God could use. To affirm your message. About Jesus. I mean church some of you. Some of you have had. Sinful lifestyles. Addiction that you’ve been completely freed from through the power of the Holy Spirit in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Is that not a miracle that God has done in your life that he could use to affirm your message in Jesus Christ. So many of you have had your marriages or other relationships completely rescued in st redeemed by the power of the Holy Spirit and your relationship with Jesus Christ. Is that not a miracle of God that he has done. In your life. That he could be used to make your message. About him. More affective. Some of you have had actually buttes and characteristics about yourself that you hated you were. You were angry you were jealous you were you were conceited you whatever it might be hot tempered. You know you name it. And people noticed that. But God has changed that in you because of the power of the Holy Spirit working through you. Is that not a miracle that God has done. In your life. That other people can notice and God can use to make your message more effective. The sad thing is you know that if you’re like me. You can relate to the reality that you have had times where God has given you the opportunity to share your faith in Jesus Christ. And you have purposely decided not to do that because you knew that your life. Was not lining up with what it is that you were about to say you knew that your recent behavior even around that very person. Was not lining up with what you were about to say to them. And so you didn’t say anything. And so we see the importance of having our actions. Line up with our work. It’s the importance of seeing the two of them. Work together. To complement each other so that God might use them to make our message more effective. Our actions. And are our words. Is there something that you’ve done in your life recently that would contradict the message that you might share. About Jesus Christ as their behavior of yours that you have that might contradict your message. About Jesus Christ. God has done a miracle in our life we have the Holy Spirit we can overcome those things. To have our message about Christ. Affirmed. And it’s not just about getting rid of the negative things is that we tend to focus on the idea that if I could just get rid of all the negative stuff. Then I’ll be able to talk about Christ. Then my message will be compromised but it’s also about having the positive stuff as well. It’s not just about not being rude to your server before you invite them to church it’s about. Also giving them a generous tip. Before you invite them to church you get the idea. Right it’s not just about killing off the negative things. It’s about the church of Jesus Christ. Achieving a level of generosity kindness and compassion and gratitude for the world around it. That surpasses everyone else around us. So that when we share our faith in Jesus Christ. Our message about his. Him has been affirmed by. Our behavior. Let me ask you why does it seem. Why does it seem like. So many of the people who have the boldness. And the confidence. To talk about Jesus Christ. Are often the people who are living a life that is completely contradictory to the Gospel? And so often the people who are living a life and they’re walking. Humbly with their lord that honors the gospel or the people who tend to be too shy or fearful or scared to talk about Christ. But what the Scriptures calling us to hear is what we see in Paul’s life. Is that he not only spoke with boldness and effectiveness. But his life was lined up in accordance and that’s what God I believe is calling the church to do. The power of the Holy Spirit to align our actions with our words. Not to have actions without words not to have words without the actions but to live them together so that God might work through us. To draw all people. To himself. The passage of Scripture ends. And we won’t come on a very long but it ends with this it says the people of the city were divided. Some sided with the Jews others with the apostles. There a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews together with their leaders to mistreat them. And stone them. But they found out about it and fled to the county and cities of Lystra. And derby. And to the surrounding country where they continued to preach the good news. Church I know that for some of you the subject of sharing our faith and eventually. Them. It seems just. Redone tint and repetitive as we walk through x.. Hope that one of the benefits of going through a book of a viable is that you can see this is not my personal agenda that I am interjecting into our preaching but you see it’s the heart of God who’s repeatedly returning to the subject time and time again. I was reading one commentaries as. I have to unapologetically talk to you about evangelism again because it’s there in the book of acts. We see. The heart of God. If you hear this morning. And you don’t have a relationship with Christ. Will you see the heart of God. As he is calling his church. To faithfully. Proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. To. Looks just like you when invited our praise team to come for. So we have the opportunity to respond. To God’s word through song will you join me in prayer as their transition. Father God we thank you for your word as always and. We come before you and we acknowledge to you. The many ways in which all lives have not lived up. And been in accordance with the gospel. The times or maybe we have to share our faith in Christ but what we have done has been. Contradictory to that. And we confess that to you and apologize for that and ask that your Holy Spirit help us to walk. Closely with you. And we also confess and acknowledge to you the times in which you have opened up the door for us to talk about our faith. And yet we have been afraid to do so or unwilling to do so and we ask that you might give us the boldness and the confidence to do that to prepare and such a way that it might be said about us that we have communicated our faith in Jesus Christ with effectiveness. And for that we seek your help when we seek your guidance. Bubble and he type of knowledge. It really requires your Holy Spirit to do the work in our heart. And we ask for that word. We ask these things now. Christ’s name. He meant.
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