Past week was largely unaware of media coverage. Returned to hear:
– Flight delayed 4 hours (2 of which included on the plane stuck at the gate)
– Donald Trump was leading polls for Republican nominee
– USA was signing an nuclear agreement with Iran
Not to mention later in week
– 4 marines would be murdered by domestic terrorism
– video of PP staff casually & coldly discuss dismemberment of a child in the womb and selling his/her body parts.
Proverbs 3:27-28 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, – ‘Go and come again, tomorrow I will give it, when you have it with you.’”
Christians have good because we have the gospel.
Proverbs references “good” in terms of a righteousness and blessing before God. Some times it will refer to life choices, heart desires, good sense, spoken words, or a simple overall pathway in walking with God. The writer exhorts us to not withhold good to others. Before we can understand this basic application we must first understand how the Bible describes good.
- Jesus noted good only comes from God (Matthew 19:17).
- Gospel means “good news”.
- The gospel is a gift; a gift means something.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
- Giving a shirt or dress to children in Nicaragua was a gift. Many said “gracias” and some even spoke English to say “thank you”. It meant something.
- Giving balloons, face paint, bracelet even to an adult brought a smile where previously there was a face of despondency. A gift means something.
- Bringing gifts to my children – simple headband & stuffed animal – gave tremendous smiles and desire to extend greater hugs to me. A gift means something.
- At conclusion of many villages we were able to speak with leaders of churches in the villages and share a small gift with them. What they thanked us most for was our preaching the gospel, not just to their village but to their country. In fact, some individuals I keep in contact with through social media do not cease their appreciation to our churches for speaking the hope of the gospel and love of God to the people of Nicaragua.
- – The gift of the gospel has immeasurable meaning and mark on the lives of others.
à Has the gospel stopped being good news to you?
- Jesus saved us not because of but in spite of ourselves.
Titus 3:5, 7 “he saved us, not because of words done by us in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit… justified by his grace”
- Jesus saved us at our worst
Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Jesus saved us from all sin: past, present, future.
Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- Jesus sustains our life and salvation, even in the midst of suffering.
1Peter 5:7 “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
- Gospel is not just good news, it is the only news for salvation.
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Too often Christians live like practical atheists – lip service to God without their life telling others of the only good news.
Christians have obligation because we have the gospel.
The Proverbs writer exhorts us not to withhold good when it is in our power to give. This can be anything from giving a good encouragement with words, with tangible gifts, or even financial generosity. The writer goes further to point out that our neighbors are near so that we can bless each other and live in community with one another.
- our homes are significant & strategic places for service to God and spread of the gospel
- Ultimately, blessings from God are so we can be a blessing to others.
Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
James 2:8, 14-17 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well… What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
We have an obligation because we have a Lord.
- Do you believe in Jesus and follow Him as Lord? Then we must obey His commands.
John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word”
Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- We cannot spell GOSPEL without GO
- Jesus did not die & rise as Savior & Lord so we can tour earth but that we can tell others the good news.
- Jesus’ life and ministry had a “must”; Every Christian has a must to live as a missionary.
- Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations”
- Luke 4:43 “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God”
- John 10:16 “I must bring them also”
- – – – MPNICA churches cannot have more inward services than outward
We have an obligation because we have a Spirit who gives us words to speak.
- Matthew 10:19-20 “do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
- John 14:26 “the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
- Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses”
We have an obligation because we have people praying for us and waiting for us to share the gospel.
- Churches & Christians praying for you
- Unbelievers are waiting…
- Acts 8:29 “And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot”
- Acts 10:33 “we are here to hear what all God commanded”
Bill Swartz, Connie Myers, Giovanna Delacruz,
Marty Bennett, Demetra, Luke, Rachel, Jorge Pagan, Sonia Vega, Nika Vega
- Why did you go?
- How did it go? (High/Low/God-Sightings/Lessons Learned)
- ministry will always have adversity:
- sacrifice time
- comfort zones (smells, dirty, people, language)
- weather & mud (but never thought to cancel event/service)
- to have impact there must be contact with unbelievers
- cooperation leads to accomplishment (teamwork & unity; Psalm 133:1, 3)
- tangible love goes a long way
- Luke 14: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
- Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
- poverty is a matter of perspective (Proverbs 30:7-8). we all have it in one form or another… may we see God as our source of hope and wealth.
- Why should others go?
à Nicaragua or Neighbors… be Jesus
à Nicaragua Impact
- 1 single rice bag costs $1.32 and feeds 6-12 children (< $0.22 person)
- MPNICA obtains containers that have 1260 boxes with each box serving 216 meals = 272160 meals per container)
- MPNICA serves 15-20 containers annually (5,443,200 meals)
- Each container costs ~$5k… What if SPBC sponsored 1+ container next year?