Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Brothers and sisters, if you have learned the truth of God, manifest it and make it plain to others! Proclaim the gospel, not your own thoughts, for it is Christ whom you are to make manifest! Teach not your own judgments, conclusions, and opinions, but the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!Let Jesus manifest Himself in His own light. Do not cast a light on Him or attempt to show the sun with a candle. Do not aim at converting people to your views, but let the light shine for itself and work its own way. Do not color it by being like a painted window to it, but let the clear white light shine through you that others may behold your Lord.Scatter your light in all unselfishness. Wish to shine, not that others may say, “How bright he is,” but that they, getting the light, may rejoice in the Source form which it came to you and to them.Be willing to to make every sacrifice to spread this light that you have received! Consecrate your entire being to making known among the sons of men the glory of Christ. CHARLES SPURGEON
Have we too often made to mistake of programming the church to do good things… like Exalting Christ through worship, Equipping Believers through discipleship, and Engaging the world with the Gospel… and by programming and building ministries, we then hope and pray that God will bless our efforts. I submit that God wants us to EXPECT Him to do greater things than we could ever imagine as He makes us into His people to proclaim the excellencies of His Name. Programs are good and often necessary… but we need to START with EXPECTATION… that God WILL accomplish His purposes… and give His people wisdom to be a part of the plan. Our strategy at OPBC now must be to
1.PRAY… expecting God to accomplish what only He can accomplish. Pray that He will give wisdom, leadership. Pray that He will produce humility, obedience and passion in His people to proclaim His excellencies. Pray that He will bring to salvation our friends, family and neighbors… and EXPECT Him to work and move and do it. Pray that He will move in us and others to reach unreached peoples around the world. And EXPECT Him to do it. Don’t just come up with good ideas… PRAY that His BEST plans would be our joy as a church to obediently work out.
2. SPEAK TRUTH… not preferences… personal agendas… opinions. Confront sinning brothers and sisters in love. Defer to one another in love. Regard one another more important than ourselves. And speak the Gospel. Remember… defending the RIGHT to worship freely and proclaim the truth of the Gospel is NOT the same as ACTUALLY worshiping and proclaiming the truth of the Gospel.
Expect that God will accomplish His purposes… PRAY that God will use us as He sees fit. We are children of the promise. Not seen in the video above is the song I quoted as the benediction. Below is the song. May it be a prayer for us and an anthem to live by faith and not by sight (or fear).