Preacher: Josh White
And I’m not going to do that today because we’re done with James and just as you know as I’ve already made mention to next week we’re now frosting Kathy Hanson here and they’re going to share with us their ministry and then the following we’re going to begin a new series would you like to know what the series is well I’m not going to tell you I’m going to give you in suspense but it’s going to be from the Old Testament I like to try to have a little bit about Winston and the preaching and so we’re going to look at a Bible from a book from the Old Testament but I’m really grateful I’m personally excited that the Hansens are going to be here next Sunday I’ve known them for many years in fact I first met frosting Kathy back in March or April of two thousand so that’s that’s actually quite a long time ago on my church back in Michigan we did a mission trip to Santa Cruz Bolivia and so we met them we spent a week with them and I’ve got to know them pretty well over the years and in about I think I don’t know if I have these dates correct but around two thousand and five frosty and Kathy left of the mission field in Bolivia and they moved back to the United States where frosty accepted the position of the president of the greatest possible fellowship we as a church we’re an independent Bible Church but we are part of a fellowship of churches and so we’re part of the Grace gospel fellowship and Frosty was the president for a good old thirteen fourteen years I believe and now that he’s he’s resigned and retired from that position but he still feels like he has more work to do and so this is interesting I don’t know how often things like this happen but frosting cats are going to go back to Bolivia where they spent all these years minister into and building up churches and training pastors and so I’m excited for them I bet they’re just anxious to see after some thirteen fourteen fifteen years being away from these people see the progress in their lives it’s sort of like. I think that they probably feel about the Bolivians as a parent does for his children and they are able to see the. Aggressive hopefully be able to really invest in a new generation. You know I think one of the biggest changes and one of the most positive changes that a person can go through and their life if the Lord allows them to experience this is for them to become a parent it’s hard to tell a brand new mother that’s a good thing because usually they’re absolutely exhausted and this is really a good thing no actually it really is but soon as you become a parent your life is just it’s just different before you’re a parent life is all about you you’re selfish and that’s OK I don’t mean that in a bad way you just how does the world affect me and then soon as you’re a parent all of a sudden all wait a second now I need to concern myself with another life and up until you have children you’re thinking Well these are all my hopes in my dreams and this is what I want to call Bush in life and and then you have a child and hopefully you don’t take all of those and you’re dump them on the child but but you you start to want and desire good positive things for your child and the saying is that as you’re growing up and you’re single and you don’t have any kids you know you start thinking that some things are just they’re just no big deal you kind of taken for granted like especially on issues of safety how many of you like to run around the house with scissors in your hand you know you know it doesn’t matter and so it’s OK Well you see a child with scissors in their hand you know the world coming to an end and you’ve got to grab it out of their hands and and soon as you’re a parent you’re more responsible you’re more aware of what’s going on around you you’re definitely more protective and as a parent you realize that to some degree. We don’t have complete control over a child’s life but we have a burden of responsibility if you’re the parent to put a child on the right path and if you take that child you put them on the right path hopefully they will become mature and effective and responsible in their life down the road and that’s that’s a big burden and that’s should be a passion of every parent. Being a parent helps us to understand.
How God feels about us is one of the best ways for us to understand how God feels about us God desires to help us and our set our lives on the right path because people can get on the wrong path and it will lead to a lot of frustration and heartache and destruction in their life and one of the ways that God helps to get us on the right track as we know he’s given us His Word but he also asks us and calls us to come to Him in prayer because when we pray what happens is when we’re spending time in prayer with God It helps us to sort of get inside the head in the heart of God so that we can understand the direction he desires for our life to go. Well we just finished up James and the last few verses we were talking about prayer and when I started looking at this last section and James I thought well I was going to do all four of those prayer requests and one Sunday and then I started studying I don’t know I need to break this up I can do in two weeks and I looked a little more although I got to do it in three weeks and what I first thought is I’m going to look at this and I want to do is I want to compare these these four per request that we see in the end of James to maybe some other prayer requests that we see throughout Scripture and so I started started looking at that and I started seeing you know what exactly are we supposed to be praying for because James only last for things he talks about praying for the suffering praying for the sick praying for our nation and praying for the Wanderers those who are believers who are one are away from the Lord and so what I did I was I was took a look at all the different verses in the Bible to talk about prayer and I said well there’s a lot here so I I limited them to Paul OK what does Paul say about prayer and I was hoping that a pattern would emerge that Paul repeatedly says pray about this pray about this and lo and behold he does and so what I’m going to do this morning on our last sermon on for. Prayer is just highlight to reoccurring prayers the Pauli there prays for her he asks us to pray for and as we look at these two I guess it helps us to to look at our life and in the life of others similar to that of a parent and a parent Their desire is that the child will grow up in their house and they will learn things important useful things and that eventually they will leave the house right and get out there and put those things in action sometimes the leaving is difficult maybe they don’t want only but I know that’s what I’m hoping for my kids Jackie can stay home forever I don’t care about that but the boys you know get get them out of the house you know have them earn a living and but we want the kids to learn and then go and we see this prayer repeated over and over in Paul’s Epistles he is praying for us to know certain things and then go and put it into practice and so we’re going to look at those two today in fact if you look in your sermon notes you’ll see that those are the two words for a main points to know and to go so now let’s take a look at these prayer so that we can make these prayers our own prayers and for those that we love so the first prayer that we see repeated is prayer is that we will know that we will increase in knowledge and understanding of God’s will and if you think about it from a practical standpoint we can’t go out there and be effective for God in our relationship with God and tell we no knowledge should come before action right unless you live by the mantra ready shoe game you heard that before a lot of people live that way right there on T.V. all the time and so let’s take a look at a few passages where Paul prays for our knowledge of God in our face to grow the first one is in a fish and Chapter three.
So your bible sufficiency chapter three.
And will begin in verse fourteen.
Visions chapter three it’s kind of hard to know exactly when to start Paul is a little long winded in the fusions.
And so we just come in this has a couple run ons and one of this is this is one of the run on sufficient Chapter Three beginning in verse fourteen this is what Paul is praying for those in F. as. Paul says verse fourteen chapter three. For this reason I bow my knees before the father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through face that you being rooted and grounded in love and this is our main verse or verse eighteen may have strength to comprehend with all the saints What is the breadth and length and height in depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God And so Paul prays that those an episode is that they will know the love of Christ and all just all be honest and maybe you can kind of relate to this for me that knowledge of God’s love personally it’s sort of it’s like it comes in waves there are times when we talk about God’s love and I realize OK God loves me and that’s sort of kind of acknowledging that yeah I understand God loves me it’s like when a parent tells their child I love you and they say yeah yeah yeah I know you love me and then there are some times when you read about God’s love for us or for me and I go. Oh.
I. Am so unworthy of his love and yet he loves me.
In some. One day when we stand before God and His presence for eternity we will understand when it talks about the love that God has for us in fact the entire world will understand what God’s love is for some people it’s going to be too late but for those who’ve accepted that love we will fully understand and then Paul says something I think that is worth looking at look at verse seventeen he says this to them he says that you being rooted and grounded in love and then he says this in verse eighteen may have strength to comprehend with all the saints now that word for comprehend is the Greek word Catalan Bano which means to lay a hold of or to make something one’s own when you comprehend something you have made something your own you have taken ownership of this and so Paul is praying that we won’t just know about God’s love but that we will own it and this will be our knowledge that this is his relationship with us this is the prayer of the Polish praying that these people will say when we talk about God’s love We’re not talking about how God feels about other people I mean that obviously applies we’re talking about how God feels about you. And you will only listen saying this is what God is talking about with me you know how much more interested are we in things when it’s all about us you know obviously we are you know like for instance a job description Have you ever have somebody what that what they do for a living and they’ll start telling you and you’re paying attention you’re all that’s really interesting and but your heart doesn’t really ever get into it because it’s not about you what if you were to walk into the office tomorrow of the supplies doing your in your boss as we are we are reassigning you were changing your job description as he’s describing your new job how how much are you going to listen to that you’re really going to listen to that because this is about you in your life I remember I. We talked about this with our kids Kyle and Kilgore pretty good at math better than I am and I remember I think I was like a junior senior in high school and because my last name is white you can figure out where I sat in the classroom those are the very far and on the right hand side towards the very back and it just so happened that there was this charge or this this poster on the wall and you know when you ever you always say in math class when are we going to ever need to use this stuff well there is this this this chart on the wall and said when we’re going to use this stuff and I had these two things that had different professions different jobs and they had different math equations math problems and at that time I was thinking I’m probably going to go to Grace Bible College and I’m really thinking about becoming a pastor and guess what Pastor was in on there so I thought I would ever have to do you learn any of this stuff and so it was hard for me sometimes to really pay attention because you besides the test that we’re going to take next Friday I might not ever use this well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it you know parents aren’t you just longing for the day when your child is going to make something their own or something is going to click and they’re going to say this is this is for me this is this is mine and when that happens then you see you start to see a person really become mature God is wanting us to know about his love not just know he died on the cross in rose from the grave but to comprehend this that this is about you this is the prayer that Paul prays for those in FS this and how we should pray for ourselves God help me understand and comprehend you’re talking about you and me this is about us not about other people that doesn’t apply but about us you know when it comes to church when we come to church and when you read your bible how often do you sit there and you realize you know this is this is about me that’s what God is. That’s how we should pray that we will grow in this knowledge another verse in Philippians turn over in our Bibles to Philippians.
Relations effusions Philippines just over a couple pages in the Bible. Philippians one.
Beginning in verse nine.
Libyan’s one nine.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment so that you may improve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. We are first to pray that we will comprehend God’s love for us then we are to pray that our love will be based on knowledge and discernment you know it’s interesting thing about these two words you know sometimes we look at all the craziness in the world that’s going on around us and and we see a lot of people who are passionate and is very zealous about whatever their opinions are on at that given moment but if that passion and love and if that zeal isn’t based on truth this is important for us to realize then people are living in deception and so the word for knowledge usually when you see the word knowledge in the New Testament is just the word you know so which means to become aware of something to learn something to be to have an awareness of something this world is epic you know it’s this which means to have the correct knowledge there is a difference between knowing about something and having the correct knowledge and so Paul is praying that your love will abound in the correct truth not just any truth but the correct truth and you will have just sermons the sermon is when we’re able to perceive something not only by our senses but also with our intellect. Sermon is being able to take what we know is true and make observations so that we put into practice so love it’s an emotion and it goes beyond just emotion it should be based on truth and facts and we will be wise enough to discern that and then he says that he hopes that their love will abound and that means to exceed to go beyond a certain measure Well what does that look like you think about what would it look like a person has true knowledge and discernment and they are abounding in love that’s really hard to understand and hard to comprehend isn’t it but if you have a person who is abounding in true knowledge and the sermon and love you have a really useful tool in the hand of God And so that’s why God is praying for us to be just like that while there are more verses but I want to look at just one more about prayer about us growing in knowledge now it’s kolache in this chapter for cautions chapter four.
Cautions chapter four just over your bible just a few more pages cautions for verse twelve Paul says this. Past first who is one of you a servant of Christ Jesus greets you always struggling on your behalf in his prayers that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in higher obligates.
This word for fully assured you know it I think that’s an important phrase when a person is fully assured of God’s will then they’re going to make the right decision I mean how many times do we we were tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea because we’re not quite sure what we’re supposed to do in any given situation what a person who is fully assured in the will of God their life they’re going to be able to enjoy a harvest of righteousness they should. Expect hardship and suffering if you’re fully assured of the will of God It doesn’t mean that you got everything figured out you will experience hardships and sufferings but you will know that you can get through those things because you know what God’s will is because your mind is going to be clear and stable Well when you pray for things you look at just this first word to know we pray that we know do you pray this for yourself how often do you pray that you will grow in your knowledge of God and not just your familiarity but in your comprehension of his love for you well that’s what we should be praying for and we should be praying this for others as well and hopefully all of us will grow up in the face and we will know God more and be able to discern God’s way from the world’s way and that’s the foundation upon which we become a chore However having a whole bunch of knowledge without action leads to immaturity and so that’s why we also see Paul’s praying many times now we will take that knowledge and we will go and we will do something with it so now let’s look at the prayers that tell us to go you know James said someone will say to me you have faith and I have work so show me your face apart from your works and I will show you my face by my works Paul says something very similar in Romans one he says through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of face for the sake of his name among the nations so Paul and James are saying the same thing you have to face great put it into practice put it into action and there are many places where we see this encourage men to put our face into practice but the first one I want to look at this morning is in filing and so turning your Bibles to file a month.
And having you turn to the right all morning long have you turned back here in just a minute but finally meant if you never read the book of filing when you should it’s a book that I actually find it humorous.
There’s lots of different genre of Scripture you we have apocalyptic literature that’s worth. God is describing to us future events we have narrative we have. Been here finally human is sarcastic. Paul I think is a very sarcastic in the way that he’s talking if I leave it maybe using a little reverse psychology but Paul wrote to find the man who was a very wealthy man and he had a slave named Onassis and so Paul centeredness of us back to fire Lehman and he sort of we’re not going to read this but he sort of telling him If you’re going to if you’re truly mature in your face you’re going to release Onassis and so you can redesign your own but here in the first few verses Paul says this to finally men are laymen verse five. Only one chapter here funnymen verse five Paul writes to him it says. Because I hear of your love and of the face that you have towards the Lord Jesus and for all the saints and I pray that the sharing of your face may become affective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. And so Paul’s concern for Filey men was that he might potentially not put his faith into practice so he prays that he does practice or share his face and that when he does that it will work it will become affective and local universe five. Again he says because I think I hear of your love and of the faith that you have towards the Lord Jesus and for all the saints you know for him and whether this is true or not and I think for all of us this love that he has just like the love that we have for the family believers might just be limited to just the signal of humans I know that I’m family members with these people for eternity and I’m supposed to love them and we just kind of let it just sit right there the trouble is if that love doesn’t make its way into action then that now that knowledge. We’ll never mature you know we all might tend to do this just going to be satisfied with having the right opinion in the right position on some different subject how many of us when we study the Bible were really concerned about having the right doctrinal position about whatever topic it is and we’re just fine with just sitting there having the right opinion God doesn’t give us this information just so that we can know certain things he wants us to actually put them into practice and so far Lehman has a specific opportunity here well Paul is writing to file Lehman and that is to free own essence and the thing is that all of us have opportunities we have opportunities all around us some opportunities last for just a moment it’s like one opportunity to serve it’s maybe sharing your faith with another person and some of our opportunities last literally they can last a lifetime like being a parent is an opportunity marriage is even one of these opportunities and so we should pray for ourselves and each other that we will put our face into practice in every opportunity that we face and that will that will have the wisdom really to recognize those opportunities when they come another one our last verse for this morning’s in Colossians four. So turn back in your Bible to collage in chapter four.
And this prayer is not just to take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of you but to pray for opportunities to be opened up to you cautions for verse two it says.
Continue steadfastly in prayer being watchful and it with Thanksgiving at the same time for a Also for us that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mystery of Christ on account of which I am in prison you know one Paul wrote this he was in prison and you know your repose of puzzles and I think we know a little bit enough about Paul I get this image of Paul being I’ve used this. Example before I picture him kind of being like a D.N.A. divied Oh well you know a little shorter in stature and and but just really feisty and having so much energy that he probably annoys the people that he’s around because he has too much energy you know anyone like god like they never stop they never and so here poles in prison and he has all this knowledge Well what do you what does a person like that do they pray for opportunities to share that and so that’s what he’s asking people pray for me that I will I have opportunities to share this knowledge and if you’re here and you’re responded the right way to every opportunity that God has ever given to you go ahead and pray that God will give you more opportunities usually we don’t have to pray that we have to say will help me do that opportunities are in front of us but I see this prayer. Specifically for someone like Paul and it fits perfectly with people that are like missionaries or even organizations or churches this is the kind of her that we should pray for them people who have or organizations who have devoted full time energy and effort to sharing the message of Christ that we pray that opportunities will be open to them I’m really glad that we’re having our missions conference next Sunday and that we that frosty and Kathy will be able to share with us their ministry their ministry is difficult they are out there trying to get into a new culture and share the love of Jesus Christ and so what we should be doing is praying that God will open up doors and opportunities for them Nathan and Jessica Killian have not been here for a couple of years but I remember when he was talking about how they’re going to go to a country that is predominantly Hindu and they’re trying to explain that there is one God and that God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins that country has no foundation upon which they can comprehend the love of Christ and so we need to pray that God will open up doors for people like them that people will understand the God will open up. For them they need our prayers and so do we need our prayers for ourselves especially that they won’t get discouraged Well one last time I want to do this one last time and I want to just spend a few moments praying these prayers pray that we will know and pray that we will go and so I invite you just right now it’s about your heading to close your eyes and just spend a few moments and all lead us and just a couple minute time of prayer and that we will pray these things and so first I encourage you first and foremost to pray for yourself pray that you will understand God’s truth that you can that you can comprehend it and make it your own Spend just a few moments just praying for yourself right now
and also pray that as you learn more about God that He will help you clearly be able to discern his will and every situation pray that God will give you wisdom to accompany your knowledge
and now pray that you will go. Pray that you will respond to the opportunities around you that God will make clear how you can serve him and that he will give you the strength and the desire to do it as well
and finally pray for our missionaries who have dedicated their time to spreading the gospel of Christ ask that God will open doors for effective ministry open to them and for us as well as the church.
I meant to do this before the sermon I realized halfway through the sermon that we have a video from the cool arts and maybe this is very appropriate so we are we just prayed for them hopefully prayed for them and now we’re going to have an update from Delta and Alex Goulart So let’s go ahead to the right now.
So now we have a little bit more of a space Hello Bible and church.
Eleven thirty five life sadly to be late I know that you would not believe that but the kids we have. Now.
But it’s not normal this is not every night that we came from an activity but we want to say hi yes special church that we remember you but we remember the people that are out of time there and how you much and how much you bless I tell you that it’s late here so.
Now we want to share with you that.
Yes I have though we have a little notes because we don’t want to forget what we want to say to you.
Last year was wonderful we had a fan feel to God he’s grazing his mercy in our life it’s amazing we don’t deserve to be part of what he’s doing here but we are part and. You are part of so well and so we say things to the lower.
Today we have to Bible studies.
Here in faraway you know House one on one is days and one on Sundays and Sundays like a Sunday school stories Sunday service. Yeah.
Like a Bible study for months and we have a lot of people that came through the air not everybody that came to be with us but this is normal but we have a lot of people tell that came through and.
Yeah and that and excited by trying to listen. That’s yeah that’s the most important thing and.
Giving me this year was really. I had. To spend she listens to different day.
Was English lesson the lyrics you know.
I tell you that is the grace of.
God so this year we’re speaking to you to many new people because I think the man’s are coming to Spanish lessons and this is the first time that I’m teaching men so.
Mad and you go from leave and then she asked me to help him spend.
With the Syrians two girls from Syria. And this year will be busy again and listen. I’m really excited because you know people come into my house you know for sure to share with them their friendship with. And it’s not easy because we don’t the speak really good to spend.
Like the. Possibility to share with them about the Gospel or to talk to my relief.
We start with this with the friendship and this is the beginning and yeah it’s a very important yeah and for these C.R. that is just started we have the boomers with us another family that came to help us and this is a blessing.
Sure we do that we have what we are brain and we going to start searching for a place for a probe or two for a church we don’t have even one dollar to buy a piece of land now we don’t know if we how long it’s going to take to raise the money off we’re going to Iran’s But we’re going to start searching for places and brain because we understand that is time that this is a year to maybe to just set up the church besides the bible studies in our house then next week the team. From.
The German community here in Paraguay.
They will have I like a mission experience and then we can come to help us for one week but the out of twenty two people and the boomers and we’re going to host them so you can pray for us and pray for all the T.V.’s We have a contact from at D.C.M. church in the breasts even inside and there is no church in I don’t know ten hours you have to drive ten hours to get up church invested so she said good contact that we can maybe start something in her house by the study or something and she would start a meeting with us to morrow so you can pray for her and pray for these new contact that maybe we can start something in Brazil.
And then some prayer request please pray for wisdom that we can have.
You know we’re going to take good decisions especially how we ministry our time because we have a lot of activities you know Bible studies and I’m teaching in a school that it’s a great opportunity to meet people and she’s.
Yeah and all the people that come to B.C. that some people that we’re going to be there then all the food that we. Yeah we’re going to go and eat. And last but not least. Break for our I became language course bus is really difficult and we really want to learn the language to communicate the gospel to them and when I was in the future maybe we can translate you know race materials seem to be.
So much faith Yeah but yeah this is why we ask you to pray because if you don’t and we have one more year to go and we hope that we can get a good level. So we can come together yeah.
Yeah so Grace what Church thank you so much for all your support and your love we always feel love. Loved by you so thank you so much we hope to see you very soon so you’re welcome to come and when we go to the States again for so we’re going to beseech you WE LOVE YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU.
Thank you I want to I want to great couple hopefully they’ll come back here soon and we can see them again in person but I let’s just pause in prayer and let’s pray for the Who are they have a lot of opportunities so let’s pray Dear Lord thank you for today and just as we look at the different passages talking about prayer we are talking we are told to pray for what we know and also to go Sure so Lord even in this moment we pray for our signal to grew our with so many opportunities open before them Lord we believe that you will continue to open those doors for effective ministry for them and also we pray that for our self that we will be aware of the opportunities around us each and every day and for us as a church here in Phoenix so Lord we come to you in prayer we ask that you help us. Become better with prayer now the way that we pray that it will be powerful and effective the Lord thank you for being a God listens to each and every request we love you Lord and we pray this in Christ’s name you men and I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the law of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with you all meant.