Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Proclaiming the Gospel

February 09, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 9
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Proclaiming the Gospel
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Proclaiming the Gospel
Feb 09, 2021 Season 5 Episode 9
Pastor Dave Tucker

"On this Denomination Day Sunday, I believe our forerunners have something they would want for us to remember. I believe that more than anything, those who have come before us would implore us to proclaim the gospel with everyone we come in contact with." 

Show Notes Transcript

"On this Denomination Day Sunday, I believe our forerunners have something they would want for us to remember. I believe that more than anything, those who have come before us would implore us to proclaim the gospel with everyone we come in contact with." 

PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
Mark 1:29-39; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

On this Denomination Day Sunday… a day where we look at where we came from as Cumberland Presbyterians, I believe our forerunners… our cloud of witnesses have something they would want for us to remember. I believe that more than anything, those who have come before us would implore us to proclaim the gospel with everyone we come in contact with. Now, I don’t pretend to know the minds of the pioneers of our faith, Eliza Woolsey, Finis Euing, Samuel King and others… I did study their lives enough to know their heart. Our forbearers had a passion for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to a wild frontier where people, so desperately needed to hear good news. To them it was not an option… They considered it a mandate from God. So, I think they would want us to do the same. Our lectionary lessons today, confirm that message of proclaiming the gospel. Before we open God’s word this morning, let us invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate the passages for us today.

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READINGS

As we trek through our readings today, based on my understanding of the hearts of the forerunners of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, These are the things I believe they are wanting us to know today, February 7, 2021. 

First, our forebears would want us to know that sharing the gospel is not optional, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! The Cumberland Presbyterian understanding that all members are ministers is reinforced by this one passage. However, I don’t want you to become too overwhelmed, because sharing the gospel takes on many different forms, which leads us to the second thing our forbearers would want us to know.

The second thing our forebears want us to know is that no ministry is insignificant. In Mark 1:30-31, we read that when Jesus took Simon’s mother-in-law by the hand and cured her of her fever, she got up, and started serving Jesus and the disciples. Throughout the Bible, we see that hospitality is something the Hebrew people knew how to do… and they did it well. Simon’s Mother in Law, whatever her name was, ministered to those in her home by inviting them to sit back, prop up their weary feet, and by serving them a hot meal. (Journal Prompt 1) What is your talent, What are you good at? How can your skills and passions be utilized to spread the gospel?

Third, our forebears would want us to know is that we need to provide healing to a broken and hurting world, which often comes in the form of reaching one person at a time. Mark 1:32-34 tells us that Jesus spent a lot of time healing. As a matter of fact, a survey of the gospels will show us that Jesus spent more time healing than preaching! I know there are some nurses here… and there are some nutritionists here as well. Perhaps there are some doctors and paramedics watching us right now online. You embody that ministry of healing. However, there are those of us who do not possess that type of knowledge required to provide healing acts. Personally, I’m not a doctor, I don’t even play one on TV. If I did play one on TV, I want to be Dr. House. THAT GUY was brilliant! He was able to solve some of the most difficult medical cases… and he did it all in less than an hour! I wonder, however, if perhaps this is a call to provide spiritual healing as well. Almost everyone here can provide that spiritual healing… It can be as simple as asking others, “Tell me your story.” All that requires is a curious mind and a willingness to be a story companion with someone else. We stand on holy ground when our story intersects the story of another. Our second sermon prompt is to think about the interactions you have had with others in the past week. How could you have provided spiritual healing in a life or two?

The fourth thing our forebears would like us to know is that it is vitally important to intentionally create time for prayer. Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus got up very early in the morning, before the sun came up to spend time with His Father in prayer. Prayer is our lifeline to the throne of God. If we are not praying, we are not connected to God. If we are not connected to God, we are serving from empty. Serving from empty is an impossible task! Put another way, If we are not spending time with God, sooner or later this task of serving others, becomes overwhelming… It’s too much… Eventually we drop out because the cost is just too high. Our next journal prompt is, what are some practical things you can do to stay in an attitude of prayer? What needs to happen for you to make prayer a deliberate action in your life? Does it mean you need to wake up a little earlier? Perhaps a little less time with Netflix?

The fifth thing our forebears would want for us to know is to spread the gospel, we must become a servant to others. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul says that we need to be all things to all people. What Paul is NOT saying is that we need to compromise our beliefs and values in order to share the gospel. What he is saying instead, is, we must humble ourselves, become a servant in order that others may see the beauty of the gospel. We don’t win hearts by beating people over the head with all the things they need to straighten out before they can come to Christ. We don’t win hearts by arguing theology or starting an argument of social media. We win hearts by putting ourselves in their shoes, listening to them… I mean really listen! And simply invite others to discover God in their lives. It also involves doing things for others that can never pay you back. This is what Paul is saying when he stated that he has become all things to all people. It is an attitude of servitude. The journal prompt for this is, what needs to change in your life, to become a servant to others?

The sixth thing our forebears would want us to know is that the task of proclaiming the gospel is a lifelong task… the need is great and the workers are few, to paraphrase Jesus in Matthew 9:37, and Luke 10:2. Jesus invited His disciples in Mark 1:38 to join Him in the neighboring towns to proclaim the good news. There is always work that needs to be done. There are always people who need to hear the good news of Jesus’ salvific work on our behalf. There are always hurting people that need someone to come alongside them, not to judge, but to become a story companion with them. 

Even though the landscape may look a little different than it did in the days of our church founders, it is still a wild frontier out there. Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living people still desperately needed to hear good news. For us, proclaiming the gospel is not an option. It is a mandate from God.