Thursday, March 8, 2012

Closer to Change


The work of God is not accomplished at a distance.

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Exodus 3

7 And the LORD said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

8 "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians,…

10 "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?"

Esther 4:16 "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Mark 5

27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.

28 For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."

29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Mark 3:14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.

The work of God is not accomplished at a distance, not in your life, not in your family, not in your ministry and not in the world.

In order for Jesus to change the world, He first needed to move Himself closer.

It was the same for the every conversion, each miracle and every work of the Gospel, from the little woman who pressed in to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment to the demoniac of Gederah, close counts and close changes!

Cornelius did not receive salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit until Peter arrived at Cornelius’ house.

Over and over again, from Genesis to Revelation, things don’t get better, lives are not changed, people are not saved until somebody cares enough to get closer.

The only marching orders God ever gave the Church, or any Believer for that matter, is to “Go into all the world and make disciples …” (Matthew 28:18-20 – The Great Commission).

The pattern principle of New Testament Discipleship teaches that each person needs a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas in our life to compete us.

· Paul represents a mentor – someone close enough to change us

· Timothy represents a disciple – someone close enough to change them

· Barnabas represents a peer – someone close enough to change us both

Someone to:

· Follow

· Lead

· Walk Alongside

Life gets out of order and problems occur when:

· We follow those we should be leading

· We attempt to lead those whom we should be following

· We distance ourselves from those with whom we should be walking alongside.

This is what happened in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve drew close to the wrong one and distanced themselves from the right one.

Many times we even get aggravated at people who will not go to the doctor or dentists when they need one. Often this is done to avoid the temporary unpleasantness and discomforts of the moment.

However, distancing ourselves from those who are there to help us, leading when we should be following and following when we should be leading, all go towards our lives being out of order. It happens in marriages, families, businesses and life.

Tonight I want us to begin a new day of personal discipleship. It begins with your willingness to:

1. Find at least one person you should presently be leading.

2. Identify at least one person you should presently be following.

3. Recognize at least one person you should presently be walking alongside

… and begin doing it!

Get closer to change!