Monday, August 14, 2017

A Beautiful Tongue is a Truthful Tongue


            The Beautiful Tongue Series:  Sermon Eight

Introduction:
A.   Who can we trust today?  Truthfulness is really
suffering today!  There are very few people whom we
really feel that we can trust what they say!

B.   Why?  Because in our world today truthfulness has a different meaning than it once had.  Today it means telling the honest facts at all cost "except" when it stands a chance of having negative consequences for someone, especially the one speaking.

C.   So today we not only have untruth & truth, but we also have various degrees of truth in the middle!  We hear some statements that are so close to truth that it is really hard to tell if someone is telling us the truth or not!

Trans.
Today, let's look at "The Truthful Tongue" and some
of these various degrees of truth in the middle and
see what we can learn to help us be better Christians.

                            Prayer

I.   First, let's look at our new definition a little.
A.   "Telling the honest facts at all cost "except" when it stands a chance of having negative consequences for  someone, especially the one speaking."

B.   That one little word "except" has really made room for
a lot of degrees of truth.  Each person now has the
choice of when it is alright to tell the truth or not!

1.   If I tell her that I don't like her dress, it will probably hurt her feelings, so it will be alright to tell her I like it when I do not.

2.   If I tell them the real reason that I can't come over today, they will think it isn't very important to me to come over, so I'll just tell them I'm not feeling well.  I do not want to hurt them.

3.   If I tell the honest truth of what I think of this product, I won't be able to sell any of them.  If I don't sell any, I will be hurting my family who depends on me to make a good living, so in this case, surely it will be alright to bend the truth a little.

4.   If I tell the truth about what I really think and plan to do, I won't get elected.  Surely, the end justifies the means!



C.   If I told you one of these pardonable untruths, and you caught me in it: the truth of what I really thought got back to you.  What would you think of my word next time?
(Pause)       Our word should mean something!

II.  Now, let's look at some of these degrees of truth in the middle.

A.   The Half-truth and the Part-truth.
1.   Half-truth.
This is telling someone truth mixed with
Something that may or may not be true, leaving the impression that they are both true to the hearer.

Example - They haven't been to church for several weeks (truth); they must be mad at  someone! (don't really know this; it is  opinion; may be false)

2.   Part-truth.
Not telling the whole story thus making it appear  different than it is.

Example - Oh, on the way home, this gray hot rod crashed into me at the intersection of  Park and Elm.  He really tore up my car!

This is all true; I've just forgotten
to tell you that I ran a red light!

B.   Silence at the wrong time.
1.   Sometimes we can lie by simply being silent!

2.   We may know for a fact that what is being said
about someone is untrue, but by our being silent,
we show that we agree that it is true!

C.   Failure to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Let's look at our example again we used above:

They haven't been to church for several weeks (fact); they must be mad at someone (opinion).

Failure to distinguish between the two makes them both look like fact!

D.   Using "absolute statements" too loosely.
Examples:
1.   You never talk to me anymore.
2.   You're just like your mother.
3.   We never go out any more.
4.   I don't have anything to wear.
5.   This car always starts right. no matter how cold  it is!


6.   These statements being untrue as stated mar our  reputation for being truthful.

E.   Failure to be "truthful about ourselves."
1.   By justifying our prejudices, by excusing our  mistakes, by trying to explain and justify why we have failed, and by using half-truth, part-truth,  and all the above to do it, we make ourselves look good.  We just can't accept that we have failed, and it comes out in the fact that we aren't truthful about ourselves.

2.              We can also fail to be truthful about ourselves
by denying the God-given talents that God has given us!

III. I think a discussion about being truthful must also include
the acknowledgement there are folks like Corrie Ten Boom.

A.              Corrie Ten Boom felt it was the Christian thing to do
to lie to protect the Jews of her day.

B.              She is thought of as a hero by many.

C.              So perhaps there are times when there are ethical gray

areas, but what can we say about Corrie’s situation?
1.              She wasn’t doing it to protect herself!
2.              She wasn’t doing it for personal gain!
3.              There was a real justice issue at stake in her situation.  This was a life and death situation!

D.              We need to be careful not to use the fact that there
are gray areas (such as with Corrie Ten Boom) to give us the license to be untruthful in lesser issues!

IV.  Now, let's look at what the Bible says about being truthful:

Psalm 51:6    "You desire truth in the inward being;  therefore teach me wisdom in my secret
heart."

Prov. 12:22   "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his
 delight."

Exo. 20:16    "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

Eph. 4:15      "But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,"

John 8:44     "You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father's desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Rev. 21:8     "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Does it sound like God sees different degrees of truth?  Can we agree that we get too slack with the truth today?  If Christians are too slack with the truth, who can we trust?




Conclusion:
     A.   Again, there is a lot at stake here.
          1.   Our witness!
          2.   Our reputation!
          3.   What people think of our church!

     B.   Let’s call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to help
          us with this one!

C.   As we have a time of commitment today, let's examine  ourselves to see if we have been guilty of any of the  different middle degrees of truth of which we have talked about today.  Let's ask also, have we been outright untruthful?

D.   Let's ask God to help us to be truthful at all times
and to bring it to our attention when we are about to
tell an untruth so that we can correct it.

E.   If we will, we will be known as people of truth and
will be able to make a positive difference for God.

Time of Commitment and Prayer


Closing Hymn

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Beautiful Tongue Is a Tongue That Does Not Gossip!

     
Beautiful Tongue Series: Sermon Seven.

Introduction:
A.   We are continuing the series on the tongue this morning.  Most of the subjects we’ve covered thus far have had a positive aspect about them: silent, appreciative, witnessing, clean, and kind.  I want to talk to you about a subject around the tongue that the only way to be positive about it is to not do it.

B.   It is usually preceded by phrases such as:
1.   "I don't mean to talk about her but . . . ."
2.   "Don't tell anyone else about this . . . ."
3.   "Have you heard about . . . ?"

C.   We might say, "We don't gossip; we don't tell anything that isn't true!  If it is true, we haven't gossiped.
We haven't hurt them; they have hurt themselves!"

D.   But is this true?  Is gossip only gossip if it is
untrue? A lot of people think so!

Trans.
Let's look at "A Beautiful Tongue is a Tongue That
Does Not Gossip" this morning and see what we can learn about gossip.
                            Prayer

I.   Webster Def.  Gossip:   Idle talk about other people's affairs; one who discusses the private affairs of others.  To tell idle tales about others.

                          Prov. 11:13

A.   This sounds like it is talking about things that are true!

B.   Maybe we could define it as:  Idle talk about someone that doesn't serve to help them or build them up!
1.   Idle in that it doesn't serve any useful purpose.
2.   Doesn't seem to help; it isn't gossip if we are telling someone who can help the situation and for that purpose!
3.   Build them up; it isn't gossip if we are telling good things on people!

C.   Maybe it would be good to put what we are about to say
to the test of Philippians 4:8.
1.   Is it true?
2.   Is it honorable?
3.   Is it just?
4.   Is it pure?
5.   Is it lovely?
6.   Is it of good report?

II.  Gossip is irretrievable.


A.   Once we start Gossip, it is almost impossible to stop
and the damage is hard to repair.

B.   We may be sorry about it; we may be forgiven by God,
but we can't undo the consequences of our gossip.

C.   It will usually always eventually get back to the one we've talked about!

Ecc. 10:20    The writer here has an odd way of putting it but is saying it always seems to mysteriously get back to the person we've talked about!

D.   And it can destroy a friendship.

Prov. 17:9 NIV
"He who covers over an offense promotes love, but
whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."

III. Gossip is unloving.
A.   We can't Love someone and spread Gossip about them at
the same time!

B.   I Cor. 13:6 NIV    "Love does not delight in evil
 ...."
C.   So if we are delighting in telling evil on them, we aren't loving them.

D.   Gal. 6:1 NRSV gives us some instruction here.
"My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit  should restore such a one in a spirit of  gentleness."

E.   We are to go to that person and show them gentle love! If we can't do this, by all means, we aren't to go and spread it all over town."

IV.  Four reasons why we Gossip.
A.   We gossip because we lack self-confidence and self- respect.
1.   Somehow, we self-consciously feel that if we can
bring others down it raises us up.
2.   We are special to God.
a.   God sent Christ to die for us.
b.   God has prepared a special place for us to
live in eternally.
3.   We need to love ourselves.
Matt. 22:39 says, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Jesus assumes we
   will have a healthy love of self!

B.   We gossip because we haven't filled our minds with more important things!



Quote:    Charles Allen in God's Psychiatry.
"Those of great minds discuss ideas, people of mediocre minds discuss events, and those of small minds discuss other people."

1.   Study the truths of the Bible.
2.   Read good thought provoking books.
3.   Watch talk shows (at least some talk shows),
documentaries, and news on T.V.

C.   We gossip because we are idle.
1.   We often gossip because we have run out of
anything constructive to do!
2.   Visiting is important, but let's not make our
visits into times to talk about other people.

D.   We gossip because we are in the habit of gossiping.  Let's ask God to help us become more aware and to be able to stop this destructive habit.

V.   Gossip destroys!
A.   It destroys our reputation as well as the one whom we
are gossiping about.  We will be known as the gossip!

B.   It drives people away from the church.

Conclusion:
A.   Let's look again at Phil. 4:8.
1.   This is what our speech needs to be.
2.   Motivated by love.

B.   Prov. 26:20   "For lack of wood the fire goes out; and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases."

C.   There is no room in God's work for a gossip!

D.   Do we need to yield to the Spirit of God in this area
of our lives as we (encounter Christ at the table this
morning)have a time of commitment?

Time of Commitment and Prayer of Confession

Service of Communion

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Beautiful Tongue is a Kind Tongue!


              The Beautiful Tongue: Sermon Six.

Introduction:
A.   What would you think of a person who wasn't kind?  As
a matter of fact, they were rather harsh!  Would you
think they were a Christian?

B.   What would you think of someone who was kind?  Would
you consider them loving?

C.   Kindness and Love go hand in hand!  We might say
Kindness is speaking Lovingly!

D.   Let's look at what the Bible says about speaking
lovingly:

I Cor. 13:1 NIV    "If I speak in the tongues of men
 and of angels, but have not love,
 I am only a resounding gong or a
 clanging cymbal."

Trans.
The Bible puts great emphasis on it, so let's look
today at:  "A Beautiful Tongue is a Kind Tongue."

                            Prayer

I.   A Kind Tongue Helps to Make a House a Home. 
(read Prov. 31:26)
A.   Here we are once again looking at this virtuous woman  described in Proverbs.

B.   This is probably a good picture of a Home also!

C.   And in this verse we see that she had a kind tongue!

D.   As with most things, the place for kindness to start
is in the home!

E.   A lot of family problems could be solved by a little  understanding kindness.
1.   When a spouse comes in irritable from a bad day at work, a little kindness will help reverse the situation, but jump down their throat about     
something and it's World War III!
2.   When one of the kids comes in from school crying because they feel that they are ugly and no one likes them, a little kindness goes a long way.
3.   When a spouse is feeling useless and like they aren't getting anywhere, even perhaps in tears, a little kindness will help them feel special again!

F.   Kindness brings a family together!  But a Hateful
tongue can destroy it!

II.  A Kind Tongue complements a Truthful Tongue!

A.   We would all probably agree that we need to be
Truthful, but in Eph. 4:15, we find that this isn't
enough!  We are to "speak the truth in Love."



B.   We may not like the way someone does something, or we
may think they are wrong.
1.   We could tell them what we think real judgingly
and hateful, straightening them out!  They'd
probably get real mad and keep right on doing it!
2.   Or we could tell them Lovingly and kind, and they might listen to us, giving us a chance to change someone's life for the better, or they might change our life for the better!

C.   Some examples:
1.   Husband or wife has a habit that really bothers
us!
2.   Someone has a belief that we don=t think is right!
Maybe they even come to our door! 
a.              Ex. Jehovah’s Witness visits.
b.              Could be hateful to them so they don’t come back. I’ve seen some who boasted this method.
c.              The more Christian way might be to practice a kind tongue!

III. A Kind Tongue Promotes Peace!

A.   It promotes peace in that, if we are kind spoken,
people who disagree with us won't be even more provoked by our unkindness, even to the point of wrath!
1.  A kind tongue would go a long way in promoting peace in our polarized political world!

2.  A kind tongue would go a long way in promoting peace if we applied it to what we write on facebook!
    
B.   It is easy to be kind when someone is kind to us!  The real test is if we can be kind when they are hateful to us!

C.   Our ultimate example of this is Christ:

Luke 23:34 NIV "Father, forgive them; for they know
 Not what they do."

IV.  A Kind Tongue is a Positive Witness for Christ.

Col. 4:5&6 NIV

"Be Wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.                              Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may                                 know how to answer everyone."

A.              We may come to church and take an active part, but if
through the week we are not kind, our witness is
suffering!

B.              If we come to church and take an active part, adding
to that loving-kindness, people will be able to see a  difference in our lives.  They will want what we have,    and they will ask, giving us a chance to share our       witness!

Conclusion:
A.   Do we have kind tongues?

B.   Or do we need to ask God to help us with this one while we have a time of commitment?

     Closing Hymn

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Note from the pastor from Aug. Newsletter

Friends,

Happy Summer!  As you receive this Newsletter, Summer continues and all that comes with it here in Marble Hill.  Some are enjoying the heat and others wish it were cooler. Some are wishing it would rain; others have had enough rain.  Our second annual VBS/Summer Picnic was a huge success again this year.  Having parts of it inside worked out well this year.  This has turned out to be a very good event!  Thanks to all who helped make it happen!  The youth are looking into mission projects that they can do here at home this year!  We have such a great group of kids!  God is good all the time! We are getting ready for our annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the United Methodist Men on August 13th at 6:30 p.m.  That should be a great event as well!  It is always a pleasure to taste everyone’s special homemade ice cream recipes.  We just had a baptism and a reaffirmation of baptism with two joining the church in July; that makes a total of 6 professions of faith that have joined the church so far this year!  God is doing some great things here at Marble Hill UMC!  Again I say, God is good all the time! 

Sue Brewer and Sue Binnie are getting ready to start a 6-week Bible Study on the Parables of Christ that will start August 20th at 6:30 p.m. and run through September.  If you are wanting to get involved in a small group study, this would be a good place to start!  Small groups (which includes Sunday School but is not limited to Sunday School) are a good way for individuals to grow in their faith and they are a good way to help grow the church.  I envision having several of these small group offerings throughout the year.  Small groups work best when they are offered for a set length of time; in our busy society, people are hesitant to commit to coming to something indefinitely, but they will commit to coming for short periods of time.  That isn’t really bad; it is just the reality in which we live.  Maybe the small group will be to look at and study a book together?  Maybe it will be for a Bible Study?   Maybe it will be to gather and exercise together?  Maybe it will be for Choir practice?  Small groups come in many forms.  As you grow in your faith, if you would be interested in leading a small group, please let me know. 

Well, here is hoping you have a great August!  Since it is the growing season in the Christian year, I am doing a series on the use of our tongues to challenge us to live more Godly Christian lives.  I hope you will plan to be in worship and will take all the opportunities you can to grow in your faith this month, and I hope you will invite someone that you know to join you on the journey and to come to church with you!  You have been doing great at this, this is one key to a growing church!  We have been experiencing new people quite frequently, and I commend you for that.  Invitation is the first step toward disciple making, and it happens one person at a time, one on one! 

                                                                                                            God Bless you!

                                                                                                            Pastor Mike

A Beautiful Tongue Is a Clean Tongue!


Series: The Beautiful Tongue, Sermon Five.

Introduction:
A.   There's a lot of talk these days about pollution.  We hear a lot about Earth pollution: landfills and recycling.  Marble Hill and many communities around have recycling available.  We hear about water pollution and air pollution too!

B.   But we don't hear much talk about pollution of the
sound waves.

C.   Jesus said in Matt. 15:11, "it is not what goes into
the mouth that defiles [maketh unclean or pollutes] a
person; but it is what comes out of the mouth that
defiles." NRSV

Trans:  Jesus taught that we are to have a clean tongue and in America today there seems to be less and less emphasis
put on this!  I want to talk about this today, "A Beautiful
Tongue is a Clean Tongue."

                            Prayer

I.   Our society accepts a lot of usages of our tongue that James wouldn't have considered clean!

A.   It is about common place to use a little bad language
1.   T.V.
2.   Everyday language.

B.   People talk behind others backs not thinking of how
they are hurting the other person, and in the case of
Christians, the church and God!

C.   Our society accepts and thrives on unclean usage of our tongues!

  *  It doesn=t matter what is common place or accepted by
society, Jesus said, It is what comes out of a persons
mouth that defiles!

II.  A Clean Tongue Shows Reverence for God!
Def. Reverence = Deep respect with awe and affection!

A.   Exo. 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." KJV

B.   Society may think it's cute, and we may fit in real well, but the Bible says God will not hold us  "guiltless!"



C.   Pretty serious, I want to be held guiltless before God, don't you?

D.   Listen to this; this is a problem today!
1.   Do we know what it means to take God's name in vain?
2.   Webster's def.  Vain = Without value.

It is using God's name without value
(without there being a valuable reason why we are using it).

Ex.  "My God", "Good Lord", "Jesus Christ", "Lordie, Lordie, Lordie"

3.   When we use the Lord's name, it should mean    
something to us and our listeners, or according
to this scripture, we are in trouble!
5.   When we use God's name (without value), we are making God less important to our listeners.
a.   They won't reverence God.
b.   God won't seem important to them!
c.   God's a joke, a by-word!

III. A Clean Tongue Displays Reverence For All Things Holy,  Personal, Private, and Important.

A.   A Clean tongue is a beautiful tongue because it shows reverence for life, and the way God has made us and for God's creation!

B.   When we speak with a clean tongue, it expresses     
sensitivity to the spiritual.  It is a witness to the
world that we reverence and respect spiritual things!

C.   When we refuse to use four-letter words to refer to sexual things, it shows that we hold very highly the way God has created us, and we want that to be something special!  On the other hand, when we use them, it shows that the sanctity of the act is not there, only the animalistic desire!  It isn't special to us!!

D.   When we use words like "heaven","hell", or "damn" loosely it means these words don't mean much to us!  We don't even know if these places exist; it is just a
good by-word!  On the other hand, when we don't use
them loosely, it means we hold these words to refer to
things of value: Real places and Real things!

E.   We need to teach our children to use good language.
1.   By example.
2.   By disciplining when necessary.

IV.  A Clean Tongue Displays Good Stewardship of God's Gift of     Speech!



A.   God has given us all the gift of speech!  How we use it reflects our stewardship of it!

B.   Anybody can swear.  It takes no special talent to use curse words!  A parrot can repeat swear words and do it very well!

C.   But it takes stewardship and work to learn to
communicate clearly and to make full use of God's gift
of speech!

V.   A Clean Tongue is a Witnessing Tongue! (we talked about having a witnessing tongue last week; we talked about living lives such that people would ask why we lived as we do)

A.   Profanity is so common place today; people will notice
if we have a clean tongue!

B.   People will probably ask, and they will certainly label us as a person with strong convictions.

C.   When they ask, it gives us an opportunity to share Jesus!

D.   Our witness is really what's at stake here; if we are genuinely trusting in God's grace, God's grace will cover those slips.  But people who are looking to us as representatives of God will loose their respect for our testimony or witness.

Story:  Before I went into the ministry, I knew a pastor of
one of the sister churches in our community.  He was a very good speaker; I really liked to hear him preach.  He was very enthusiastic and had a very likeable personality.  I really liked him.  I don't doubt his commitment to God and the church!  As a community, we were preparing for one of our community services, and he was to be the speaker.  I was inviting people to the community service and talking about it one day.  I asked an older gentleman in our community if he were going.  He said he didn't believe he would go.  I    proceeded to share how I really liked to hear him speak and encouraged him to go.  He said, "When I go to the coffee shop and hear him tell dirty jokes and swear, it is just a little hard for me to put much faith in what he has to say!" What was at stake was his witness!

Maybe he thought he was trying to fit in and be personable, but what was at stake was his witness!

Conclusion:
A.   Do we need to ask God to help us clean up our tongues?

B.   Perhaps, in our world today, it is so common place to
not have a clean tongue that we didn't even realize
what we were doing!

C.   There really is a lot at stake here; do we need to grow in this area of our lives?

"Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but
 only what is useful for building up, as there is
 need, so that your words may give grace to those
 who hear"  (Eph. 4:29). NRSV

     Time of Commitment & Prayer

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Beautiful Tongue is a Witnessing Tongue!


Series: The Beautiful Tongue, Sermon four.

Introduction:
A.   When we think of witnessing, there are two extremes we think about.
1.   There are those who can't carry on a normal    
conversation without making a strong sales-pitch
for someone to be saved or repent of their
wrongs! People begin to avoid them because they know they are in for a beating!  This isn't good! 

Most of us aren't at this extreme!

2.   The other extreme that comes to mind is someone
who you could work with and talk to for twenty
years and never know that they were a Christian!
If someone asked them how to become a Christian,
they wouldn't have the foggiest idea what to tell
them!  This isn't good either!

I Hope none of us are at this extreme.  I doubt we are!

B.   Most of us probably fall somewhere between these, and
we need to, but chances are most of us at times, if we
are honest, come closer to the second extreme than we'd like to and pass up good times to witness!

Trans:
So, this morning I would like to talk about, "A     
Beautiful Tongue is a Witnessing Tongue."

                            Prayer

I.   We cannot have a private faith!

A.   Rom. 10:9 "because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

B.   Matt. 10:32&33 "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I will also            deny before my Father in heaven."

C.   It goes hand in hand; someone with a true Faith will
want to share some way!



II.  We should always be ready to speak for Christ!

A.   I Peter 3:15  "but in your hearts sanctify Christ as  Lord.  Always be ready to make your                            defense to anyone who demands from you an account for the hope that is in you;                       yet do it with gentleness and reverence."

B.   Notice this verse assumes people will ask!  We are to live our lives in a way that people will see us and want what we've got!  They will be impressed, and they will ask how do we do that!
1.   When they ask, we should be ready to give them the reason!  Christ!
2.   This is the most effective way to witness!  Get them to where they will ask us!!

C.   This verse brings out 3 important things about a    
witnessing tongue!

1.   It must be willing! Ready!
If we aren't willing, we will let the
opportunities go by, and the door will be shut!

2.   A witnessing tongue must be gentle!
a.   This means we must be gentle with the lost.
b.   We must show them the compassionate love of  Christ.
c.   They may have committed a sin that to us is  terrible, but if they are coming to us for help, we have no right to judge them and slam the door on the opportunity to tell
them about Christ.  We need to show them the way to a forgiving Savior and start them on a new life in Christ, teaching them how to live.

3.   A witnessing tongue must show respect.   "Reverence!"
a.   Respect for God's word.
b.   Respect for people created by God!   
            1)   People shouldn't get the feeling that
 we are looking down our noses at them
 but that we view them on the same
 level as ourselves. 
2)              In God's eyes, their sin is no worse
than ours; the only difference being
that we have found Christ.

III. A witnessing tongue can be trained!

A.   It should be trained!  Too many times the Christian   Church has been rather cruel to new converts; we win  someone, and we tell them what is expected of them and throw them out there to either sink or float: most sink.



1.              First, we need to teach people character
     development!  They need to grow as Christians
themselves!
a.   When they do, this will give them
opportunities to witness!
b.   They will be ready.
2.   Next, we need to teach people about faith, grace,  and salvation so they are ready when given the  opportunity to lead someone to Christ!
    
B.   Our church is better at this than most!  We offer a lot to help Christian growth.
1.   S.S. classes.
2.   Children's Sermons/Church.
3.   Confirmation classes.
4.   Membership classes.
5.   Bible Studies.
6.   Preaching growth, especially during the season of growth!  (I don’t just preach to the lost every Sunday like some churches do.)

IV.  A witnessing tongue needs to trust in the guidance of the Spirit!

A.   Without the Spirit, we are helpless:  training or no-training!

B.   All the training in the world can't prepare us for
every situation, but the Spirit can supply the need.

"When they hand you over, do not worry about how you
are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are
to say will be given to you at that time;" (Matt.
10:19).

Conclusion:
A.   Have we failed in this area?  Do we feel like at times we have came too close to the second extreme that we talked about at the beginning?

B.   Sometimes it is because we have been scared!
Sometimes well meaning men/women have painted the
picture of witnessing that scares most of us to death, and we back off!
1.   That picture looks something like this:
a.   Knock on door!
b.   Stick foot in the door!
c.   Are you a Christian?
d.   You have sinned!!
2.   You say, "I can't do that!"
3.   God probably isn't asking us to do that!
4.   By being too pushy, we can sometimes do more
damage than good.

C.   But that doesn't mean we shouldn't visit and get to
know people and rely on the Lord to give us an
opportunity.

D.   And there are other ways of witnessing!

E.   What God is asking is that we be ready and willing!


Are we ready and willing today?
Don't be afraid of the Lord!  God won't ask anything
of us that we can't do!  God won't put us in any
situation that God can't bring us through!

If we will say, " Yes Lord, I want to be a better witness."  God will give us the opportunities!

                     Prayer of commitment


Service of Baptism and Reaffirmation