WHAT CAN I DO?
Last week I preached a lesson titled ďWhen Good men do nothingĒ. In that lesson I stressed how important it is for us to be bold and courageous when it comes to standing on Godís truth and how important it is for us to be profitable servants for the Lord. I mentioned how we need to look for opportunities to serve our Lord in any way that we can.
I want to build on that last weekís lesson and get specific on what you can do for the Lord. Now nothing I am going to say today is going to be profound. Instead, it is just going to be reminder of the things that you already know. As Peter said his letter,
2 Peter 1:12 †For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
The first thing I want to point out is that all of us have been blessed with abilities from God and all of us have the ability to learn how to do new things. We do not all have the same abilities, but we all have something we can offer that will help Godís kingdom grow.
The first thing we need to do is to set a goal for ourself because this will give us something to work toward, but it is important that we do not set our goal to high so that we can never achieve it or set it so low that we are not challenged to grow.
One of the problems some people have is when they get on fire for God is they want to do it all, but just as quick as they caught on fire, their fire will go out because the overwhelmed themselves. As we learn from the fable of the tortes and the hare slow and steady wins the race.
We need to understand that God doesnít expect us to do more than we are able, He simply wants to do what we can. This point is beautifully illustrated in,
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.† 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted?† 5 "For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply.† 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.† 7 "For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.† 8 "She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.† 9 "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."†
Even though the rest of His disciples thought this was a wasted act, Jesus said she did what she could and because of her actions that day Jesus said what she did that day would preached to the whole world. So, donít ever think that you have to more than you are able because God will be pleased with what you capable of doing. Please understand that this does not mean that you should do the least you can do, but that you should do what you can do.
For our time this morning we are going to focus on 4 main areas of where we can do specific things that will help Godís kingdom grow and keep up busy serving the Lord.
1. The assembling of the saints for worship and our Bible classes.
More and more Christians are starting to have the attitude that worshipping God in church or attending Bible class in not that important. In fact, a survey I looked at said that 40% of Christians in the Lordís church only attend the Sunday morning worship service. That means we have 40% that are not attending Bible class or Sunday night worship.
To me it is sad that more and more Christians are developing the attitude that Sunday morning worship is enough for them because I have seen where there attitude leads to. Many of those who stop attending the other services will eventually start thinking that every other Sunday is enough, then it progresses to once a month to a few times a year.
Now I could certainly read Heb. 10 25, which tells us not to forsake the assembly or I could read Heb. 13:17, which tells to obey those who rule over us, which refers to the eldership, but none of these commands will do you any good unless you are willing love God enough to obey them. One the greatest things you can do to stay active for the Lord and help grow His church is to love God enough to obey His commands and love Him enough to assemble with the saints in His church that God purchased with His own blood.
Everything we do in the name of Lord must be motivated by love as Paul said,
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.† 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.† 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.†
We cannot be like the Pharisees of the first century and just do everything for show. A person could go to church every time the doors are open, but if they only come for show or to please someone else, then they are here for the wrong reasons. A faithful Christian who loves the Lord will say ďI get to go to churchĒ instead of ďI have to go to churchĒ.
When we do go to church, we need to prepare our minds before we go, so that we can be ready to think on righteous things and be prepared to participate. What is the point of assembling with the saints if you are not going to get involved? When the prayers are being said, we need to listen. When we sing our songs, we need to pay attention to what the words are saying and we need to sing as if we are standing before God Almighty because we are.
When we come unprepared for worship our minds will wander when we sing and they wander when we pray, but this should not be because we are supposed to be focused on serving God. We should want to give Him our best and we should want to do that more than on Sunday morning.
When the preacher gives His lesson or the Bible teacher presents what they have studied, we should pay attention. We have plenty of time groom ourselves, read the newspaper or bulletin, or talk to each other or play games when the services are over. Most people get real serious when it comes to partaking of the Lordís Supper and they should, but the Lordís Supper is just one part of worship service and we should maintain that same reference for God throughout the service.
If you have the ability to lead prayer, make announcements, or teach a Bible class donít be lazy use your God given talent and serve God in these areas.
While our primary focus for coming to together is to worship God and be pleasing to Him, assembling together gives us the opportunity to visit with one another and we should use our free time together to encourage one another because I can promise you, we could all use encouragement from time to time. If you see someone that is missing from the service call them and find out if anything is wrong and encouraging them.
Other things you can do is help maintain this building by helping with cleaning and yard work. For instance, we need some of the class rooms repainted, so this might be a job you can help with. All you have to do is look around and can find things to do that will help with our worship to God and with our Bible classes.†
†2. Family & Friends
When it comes to the home it is imperative that we have a Christian home because we cannot be Christians at church and then go home and be worldly because this can destroy marriages and ruin our children. So, a great work we can do for the Lord is to follow His guidelines for the home. While the Bible has a lot say about marriage and how marriages should never be broken, one of my favorite passages about the husband and wife comes from:
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.† 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.† 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.† 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,† 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,† 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.† 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.† 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.† 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.† 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."† 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.† 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.† 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
Paul is teaching us that the husband and wife are one and we are to respect one another for our difference and we are to love one another. The man is the head of the household and he should be the spiritual leader of the family. We must learn to communicate in our marriages and work out our problem so that we do not end up divorcing. It takes two people to make a marriage work, and if both man and woman follow Godís plan for the marriage it will last until the day you die.
When you get married, you must be ready to work at keeping your marriage together, but if only one person is willing, most likely it will end in divorce or heartache. When you have children in the home, the children need to see what a Christian marriage is all about because much of what they learn about married life comes from you. I have known some kids who grew up and would not get married because they didnít like what saw at home with mom and dad.
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Not only should your marriage be based on the Bible, your family life should be as well. The same principles that you go by in the church should be found in your home especial as you train your children in the Lord. Your children are blessing from God even though you might feel like strangling them from time to time. So, donít put on your worldly hat at home and leave God out of your family life.
If your children see you do this, they are going to grow up thinking they should act one way at church, but another way at home and elsewhere. So, donít speak foul language at home or watch inappropriate material on the Television, or guzzle down your favorite alcohol and think for one minute that you are not gong to influence your children in a bad way. Instead, take opportunities to teach your children why certain things are wrong, pray together at the dinner table, and have devotionals together because if you are not training your kids in the admonish of the Lord, then they are not going be prepared to face the temptations of the world and chances are much greater they will leave the church when they leave home.
So, encourage your family to be faithful to God and to read His Word. Do your best to be a good example. The same thing is true when it comes to your friends. Donít compromise Godís truth because of your friend and donít act like a worldly person. While your friend might disagree with you, they will respect you for holding to what you believe in, and it might even influence them to become a Christian.
3. The work place
Back when I was working on copiers I met a Baptist preacher who drew a line when it came to business and the church. He wanted our company to say that his computer was worth 3 times the amount it was, so that the insurance company would give him more money, which he intended to keep. Even though he knew this wrong, he justified his sinful behavior by saying, ďbusiness is businessĒ and the ďLordís work is the Lordís work.
This preacher couldnít be more wrong because we are to be Christian examples whether we are at church or at work. So, if you want to make a difference for God, then be that shining light to your boss and coworkers and do what it is right. Donít cheat, steel or lie and donít ever let your boss force you to do something unethical to make a profit or get out of trouble.
Instead be a good worker and give your company your best as,
Ecclesiastes 9:10 †Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
When you allow yourself to be a shining light of Christ in the work place, you are doing a good work for the Lord as Jesus said in,
Matthew 5:16 †"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The last area I want to look at this morning is how you can evangelize. Most of you can do all the things I am about to tell you, and you have heard them before, but hopeful they will serve as reminder to you of some of the things you can do that can make a difference. When it comes to evangelizing, we need to remember what Paul said,
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.† 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
When it comes to reaching out to the lost and to wayward we need to focus or efforts on watering and planting Godís Word and allow Him to give the increase because His word will not return to him void. Even if you never see any results from the efforts you have made, you need to realize that you have done what God has asked you do.
With this in mind, letís consider some of the things we can do in the area of evangelism.
1. Teach your own children or grandkids about God. Some think evangelizing means knocking doors in your city or going to foreign lands and that is part of evangelizing, but one the greatest places you can begin is in the home. You should be a walking epistle for your children and as I said earlier, you should be praying together and training your children in Godís Word. You cannot assume that your children are getting proper training in their Bible classes because in some churches they are not. However, I pleased to say that our Bible class teachers excel in this area because they are focused on teaching our children the word of God. They do have some games in the class from time to time, but they are always Bible games.
When our children are taught that Godís Word comes first, then they will have the right attitude about worshipping God when they get old, but unfortunately this is not the case in ever church because some churches hire a youth minister based on his energy level instead of his Bible knowledge. When this happens, the young man will not teach our children much Bible. Instead, he will focus on he can entertain our kids and focus on social interaction and Bible be last on the agenda.
This is an area in the churches that flies under the radar because the parents think everything is going good because their children are happy, but what happens is that these children start making activities and being social their primary purpose for attending their Bible class and Godís Word comes in last place. Guess what happens to these children when they become adults? They will expect to have activities and social events in the adult Bible class and when they find these things are not primary thrust of an adult class, they leave the church and find some place that will satisfy what they have become accustomed to in their Bible classes. This is one contributing factors of why our children are leaving the church when they leave the home.
So, we need to make sure that we are teaching† our children that we come to worship God and that He is our main focus and primary reason we assembly with the saints and have Bible class. Any activities we do or good fellowship we have is secondary.
2. Give appropriate tracts or audio Cds to friends, family members, coworkers, and others. For instance if you hear them talking about the rapture give them my 6 part sermon on the rapture. If they want to know more about the Lordís Supper give them a tract on that topic.
3. Lay tracts out on the tables in hospital waiting rooms, at nursing homes, or at other facilities where the authorities are not opposed to such.
4.††† Be a good example before others, which might cause them to have interest in the gospel and could eventually lead to a Bible study and their obedience to the gospel (Matthew 5:16).
5.††† Pray for those who teach and preach. Pray for their courage, as well as for open doors to teach (Colossians 4:3).
6.††† Encourage friends, co‑workers, and family members to have a Bible study.
7.††† Invite people to attend our Bible classes, worship services, gospel meetings, etc.
8. Ask people if they would like to watch Bible videos, such as the Searching for the Truth series, in the privacy of their home.
10. Volunteer to baby‑sit for those parents that have younger children so they can go out to teach or make visits.
11. Visit those non‑Christians who have attended our services. This is a great way to get to know them better, to help them feel more comfortable with us, and to find out how interested they are in the gospel. If people show enough interest to come to our services, then surely we ought to be wise enough to show interest in them by following up and visiting them!
12. Write a brief note or send a card to non‑Christians who have attended our services. This personal touch is a great way of letting them know that we are interested in them.
13. Visit, write, or call erring members of the church. Remember, if they are unfaithful, they are just as lost as those who are outside of the Christ.
14. Visit those that are sick or call them on the phone.
Most of the things I have just mentioned all us can do and though some of them may seem simple they can make difference in Godís kingdom and anything we can do in His name is better than doing nothing at all.
While I certainly did not cover everything you can do as a faithful Christian, I have given you plenty of ideas on how you can serve our God and make His kingdom stronger, but now it is up to you to do these good works for the Lord, and I hope that you will because you can and will make a difference.