Greater #7 – Greater Response

> We’ve been challenged to have a Greater:
Perspective, Passion, Spirit, Faith, Courage, & Generosity

> How has God spoken to you during this series?

> What step(s) of obedience has He asked you to take?

Mark 1:16-18
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Deute – “Come here! Come now!”

Mark 1:19-20
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Opisō – to come in behind

Mark 2:14
14 As [Jesus] walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Akoloutheō – “Join us!”

When God calls us, what should our response be?
 1) We follow His leading
   > How do you know where God is leading you?
A) Talk to Him
B) Read His Word
C) Talk with people who challenge you
D) Listen

 2) We follow His leading together

 3) We follow His leading immediately

Luke 9:57-62
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Greater #6 – Greater Generosity

1 Corinthians 16:1-3 (NIV)
1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 8:1-5
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

2 Corinthians 8:7
7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Charis – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight

> Guidelines for giving:
1) Our giving is a test of our genuineness
2 Corinthians 8:8
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

1 John 3:17-18
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

2) We give generously because Christ gave generously
2 Corinthians 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

3) We give according to what we have, not what we don’t have
2 Corinthians 8:12
12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

Can you do better with what you do have?

4) We give faithfully, not grudgingly

2 Corinthians 9:5-7
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

5) The Lord blesses our giving
2 Corinthians 9:8-9
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

a) He blesses us abundantly
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly…

Malachi 3:10
10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

b) He blesses us by meeting our needs
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 …so that in all things at all times, having all that you need…

Matthew 6:31-34
31 [Jesus said,] “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

c) He blesses us so we will bless others.
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 …having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

> Our challenge to give:
1) Courageously
2) Creatively
3) Consistently

Greater #5 – Greater Courage

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or imagine.

Numbers 13:1-2

The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

Numbers 13:17-21, 23

17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)  21 So they went up and explored the land…

23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.

Numbers 13:25, 27, 28, 30-33

25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land… 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.”

28 “But…”

28 “But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large…”

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 …We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

> When you are struggling with courage to obey God completely:

1) Don’t depend on how you feel

Jeremiah 17:9

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

2) Focus on what you know to be true

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

3) Take your eyes off yourself

4) Fix your eyes on Christ

Hebrews 12:2

We fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

5) Know that He sees you and hears you

1 Peter 3:12

12 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer.

Numbers 14:1-12

1 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.

Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.

[Joshua and Caleb] said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tabernacle to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

Numbers 14:20

20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.”

Numbers 14:34

34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.”

Numbers 14:39-42, 44-45

39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”

41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies…”

44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

> When God says, “Go!” don’t delay. Obey immediately.

Deuteronomy 34:1, 4-5

1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—

Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said.

Deuteronomy 34:7, 10-12

Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.

10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Josh 1:1-9

1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses: “Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites… No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

> Be strong and courageous.

Greater #4 – Greater Faith

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or imagine.

John 14:12

12 [Jesus said,] “Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”

> What did Jesus mean by greater things?

1) The scope of ministry

2) The extent of ministry

3) The impact of ministry

Matthew 16:13-18

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven.”

18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 

Ekklēsia – a calling out to a group

4) The personal call of ministry

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