Time For A Reality Check – Bruce Claridge [29/07/2018 AM]
"Mission Drift" - What in Heaven's name are we doing?
I Chronicles 12:32 (NIV)
32 from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
The Sons of Issachar were loyal to King David and the whole nation depended on them.
We need to move forward in praise and understand the times and seasons and speak into them.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Theme of Message
- It’s time for a reality check.
- We can sometimes find ourselves in a “Mission Drift” – a move away from what was the initial focus.
Bruce takes groups of Bendigo footballers and others to Kolkata India every year. The focus in the first place was bringing the gospel to the slums of India with an AFL flavour.
Now the focus is becoming more on football with AFL India being formed and therefore it now has a drift towards AFL football.
- We need to take a reality check and come back to the Great Commission to see souls saved.
- There is a need to focus on God’s Word.
- We are here to make a difference.
- Society is blatantly encouraging deviation from God’s Word and also encourages confusion, eg. Gender transitioning.
- God created male and female (X and Y chromosomes).
- The question is do we really believe in God’s Word? Are we people of the Word?
In Bible College Bruce is teaching on Tabernacle Truths.
The Tabernacle shows how God has revealed His plan for salvation in Christ through the dimensions, materials and structures of the Tabernacle which took God’s presence along with the Israelites as they moved in the wilderness. Exodus
- Every little outline in the Word has come to pass.
- God has shown us what He is going to do.
Be careful not to listen to the secular world.
- Ask yourself “Am I drifting away from God’s Word?”
- “Am I excited about prayers coming true?”
- We need perseverance and hope and we also need to take a check on our “Mission Drift”.
- The great Commission of Matthew 28: 19-20 is always to be our focus.
There are 4 aspects to our “Reality Check’’
- Society and the Church Now
- Commitment to Prayer
- Our Responsibility to Future Generations
- How am I being an ambassador?
1. Society and the Church Now
2 Tim 3:1-5 (NIV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
- Society has become abusive, proud and full of persecution of Christians.
- The Light of God should shine brighter than the Rise of Islam and the erosion of Christian values.
- The Church is succumbing to the world. It is deemed to be irrelevant.
- It’s time for us to arise.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
- Understand the battle that is going on in the Heavenlies.
2. Commitment to Prayer
There is power in the name of Jesus. Come together to pray and declare the victory. Keep walking around the wall. Persevere.
- The real battle is in the heavenly realm
- How committed are we to prayer?
- Lack of prayer warfare says “God we are fine to sort this out down here”
- The enemy hates it when God’s people pray ….let alone fast and pray.
- Often we try to act in our own strength before doing the prayer battle in the heavenly realm and declaring God’s promises over our trials and challenges.
3. Our Responsibility to Future Generations
Psalm 112, Nem 4:13-14
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
- Fight for the generations to come.
- Create a culture of generosity.
- Show them how to live.
- Create an environment in which our future generations can flourish.
4. How am I being an ambassador?
Who would follow me as I follow Christ?
- Understand the imminent arrival of Jesus Christ – understand the urgency of looking to the return of Jesus. Understand that He is coming back.
Mat 24:36-42, Mat 24:4-8, 1 Thess 4:13-18
- The most important thing is salvation.
- Bruce played cricket with Marantha Cricket Club. Maranatha were mostly Christians and saw this as a window of opportunity to share the gospel with other players.
- Look on the global scene and what has been happening:
- Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US and Russia, tension in the Middle East, technology.
- All this provokes and motivates us to live with expectation and purpose to share the gospel
- Turn to God. Understand He has it all under control.
- Jesus is coming back for His Church sooner rather than later.
- The important thing is the Great Commission.
- Lead people to Christ.
- Everything we do must fulfil that purpose.
- We need a “REALITY CHECK”.
- It has to start with us.
- It’s always us the HOLY SPIRIT targets to bring us into conformity to Christ.
- The person of the Holy Spirit is here to lead you into truth.
- PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- Do we understand the season we are in?
- Do we experience “Mission Drift” away from God’s purpose for us and our Church?
- How fervent is our prayer life?
- What are we doing to prepare the way for future generations?
- Do we live in the urgency of Jesus’ soon return?
- Today are we in right relationship with God?