Preacher: Josh White
Witness is almost like what teachers need in their classroom. They need to know what all the students are doing on on at all times it’s the whole having eyes in the back your head that’s what witnesses and my wife when we were dating I think we were dating at the time you told me what witnesses and men would you agree that women have better with it than men do yes they do men were kind of very simple creatures we can do one thing at a time we’re usually not aware of our surroundings but that’s a witness is being aware of your surroundings moms have witnessed in fact not only moms but parents have within this the first time in my life that I felt like I had with him this was when Caleb was born because all of a sudden I was aware of all the potential dangers that were in his environment right parents you know what that’s like grandparent your kids around and you’re worried not only about them but you know what’s going on within twenty feet of them at any given time. Today as the men go out to the desert they better have with it miss out there with bullets flying everywhere right they need you know what’s going on around them well today we’re going to be talking a little bit about within this but specially from a biblical perspective and that is this idea that we know what is going on in the world around us and we’re able to be actively engaged in that while this is Man Month and we are talking about what it means to be a real man and the word a real is an acronym and so last week we looked at what the letter R. stands for which is responsible a real man is responsible he will do the things that God has given him to do and we looked at the parable of the unfaithful steward in Luke Chapter sixteen and for those of you who were here last week and you remember that story the unfaithful steward he was employed by his master but he wasn’t actually doing what his master wanted him to do and so his master came back and said you need to give an account of your dealings with all my possessions. Because basically you’re getting fired Fortunately he became wise after that and he was able to do what he was supposed to do but what I wanted you guys to do last week and especially this week in this whole month man this is specifically for you but this is obviously for everyone but what are your responsibilities that God has given you and when we talked about that I listed three different areas or realms that we’re supposed to be focusing on the responsibilities that God has given to us and those are our relationships our relationship with society and then also our role within the Body of Christ and so men and everyone here what are the relationships that you have in your life today that are the most important. That God wants you be putting extra effort into those and if you’re married obviously it’s your spouse it would obviously be maybe your parents or your children some of the family and friends that are closest to you so what are the responsibilities that you have in terms of the relationships the people that God is in trusted you to look after and to nurture and to build up and then also what is your role in society most everyone here I’m looking around most of you probably have a job and so when you go to your job what is your responsibility as a child of God with your boss and with your fellow employees or if you’re a student what is your responsibility with your teacher and your classmates so all of us have a role in society and hopefully people will be able to look at us and how we’re living our lives and say now that this person they are a believer in Jesus Christ and they live differently than me that is a responsibility that God has given to us and then also within the Body of Christ if you’ve placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior he’s gifted you to serve within the body of believers and that’s a responsibility God has given to you and so throughout this month as we’re talking about being a real may or woman. Being real means you are first and foremost you are responsible with what God has given to you Well today we’re going to talk about the next two letters in our acronym the letters each day. And today we’re going to look at another parable actually come in parables Well let me give you what the letter in a stands for and we’re going to do both of those today because I’m only preaching for three weeks and so I need to do two and one and these are actually very very much they go hand in hand but the letter Estampes for in gauge and A stands for aware and by that what I mean is this a real man is responsible. Specifically it means that he is constantly aware. Of his responsibilities and using gaged in that he’s actively doing what God has given him to do and so today as we’re going through this sermon and this entire month guys I hope that you’re really thinking about what is God intrusted to you into your life he’s given you some kind of responsibility are you always aware of those things and are you actively engaged in them or have you sort of kind of checked off checked out and you’re kind of doing your own thing looking for your own pleasure Well let’s look at one of our first parables today and we’re going to go back to the book of Luke but we’re going to go to Luke Chapter twelve.
So Luke Chapter twelve.
Luke Chapter twelve and we’ll begin verse thirty five. And we’re going to look at several passages of scripture today and hopefully what you’re going to do Assia a reoccurring pattern.
Throughout the parables we’re seeing something talked about time and time and time again so Luke Chapter twelve versus beginning in verse thirty five and see if you can notice this idea of being aware and actively engaged in your responsibilities being taught to us Luke twelve thirty five it says.
Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men. Who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks less are those servants who the master finds awake when he comes Truly I say to you he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table and he will come and serve them if he comes in the second watch or in the third and finds them awake Blessed are those servants but know this that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming he would not have left his house to be broken into you also must be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect so we go through this parable and we think OK this is talking about the Second Coming of Christ and we’re not looking forward to that specifically there’s something in front of that that’s going to happen it’s called the Rapture we’re Christ will come back and everyone within the Body of Christ will be caught up and we will be with the Lord forever and so you think well maybe that’s not applying to me well the application definitely applies to all of us because there is a time in which Jesus will come back and our opportunity to be faithful with the responsibilities that God has given to us will be done and we will be judged and so this applies directly to us as well the application does and it’s interesting is Jesus talking about this Peter asked the question that everyone is probably thinking about how many of you I have we have three kids and one will like to ask this question if we’re giving instruction they’re saying my spouse me paying attention to this or not is this for me or is this for somebody else well Jesus speaking of Peter is I am I supposed to be paying attention this who are you talking to and so this is this is the question that Peter asked verse forty one. Peter said Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all I want to know him so as to be paying attention to this verse forty two in the Lord said Who then is the faithful and wise manager who his master will set over his household to give them their portion of food at the proper time lesson. Servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes Truly I say to you he will send him over all of us possessions but if that servant says to himself My master is delayed in coming and begins to beat the male and female servants and to eat and to drink and get drunk the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and in an hour he does not know and he will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful and that servant who knew his master’s well but did not get ready or act according to His will will receive a severe beating but the one who did not know and did what was deserving a beating or receive a light beating everyone to whom much was given of him much will be required in from Him to whom they entrusted much they will demand the more you know that last phrase that last sentence is probably one of the most quoted Bible passages in the world and many people when they’re quoting that they don’t even know they are quoting the words of Christ to whom much is given much is expected and this is what Jesus teaching us this is a fact about our life now in these parables Hopefully you’re seeing this pattern and in the couple passages we’re going to read from Paul but there are three words or or concepts and phrases that we see happening over and over and over again let me give you those three words are these these three concepts The first is that you and I are stewards or managers and one God is given to us the Greek word in all of these passages is O’Connell minus our economy us now means that God doesn’t trust to do us certain things and we’re supposed to handle them and deal with them in the way that God wants us to the second is that there’s going to be judgment Christ will come back and he will demand an accounting for our responsibility of the steward that the possessions that he’s given to us and the third thing is what we’re going to be based the judgment is going to based on our faith fullness in doing it. And so in this parable and the other parables we see over and over and over again there is a steward there’s a judgment and the judgment is based on that person’s faithfulness. The very first sermon ever preached in college when I was going through homiletics class was on first Corinthians four two it’s on your sermon on the front cover of your bulletin and I’m very grateful that this this verse says what it does because it says moreover it is required of a steward that they be found faithful.
I’m so very glad and you should be too that it doesn’t say that is required of stewards which is all of us that we be found successful. How many of you are afraid of doing something because you figure that you can’t be successful at it and most of us are right off I can’t do a good job with this I’m not even going to try but that’s not what God is going to judge and base his judgment on us for it’s on our faithful list and so all God is wanting us to do is to be faithful with the responsibilities that he’s given to us and it’s interesting that in so many of Jesus’ parables they deal with this master returning and finding either his servants being one of two things faithful and consistent in a responsible way God is given to them or they’re not you know men for those of you who are going to go to work tomorrow morning looks like most of you probably well if your boss said to you in three months you’re going to a performance evaluation and at the end of those three months you’re either going to get a promotion and a big raise or I’m going to fire you. With the next three months of your employment look a little differently probably still right because you knew something was going to take place why how much different what our lives to be if we knew when Jesus was going to come back and we have the opportunity for rewards when we stand we meet him there’s another. Airable I want you to look at our other passage notes and Matthew twenty four.
Matthew twenty four beginning in verse thirty six.
Matthew twenty four.
Beginning in verse thirty six and as we read this first portion especially. Try to determine whether people were being aware and engaged in what God wanted them to do or not. Matthew twenty four beginning verse thirty six it says but concerning that day and hour no one knows not even the angels of heaven nor the Son but only the father this is this is dealing with Christ returning for sort of something for as were the days of Noah so will be the coming of the Son of man for as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking marrying and given in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away so will be the coming of the son of mayor.
During that generation of men on earth were they aware and engaged or were they unaware only one person had with it Mr now was no one he was aware of what God was calling him to do what I want to do is I want us to look at a few different passages and I want us to look at the two main reasons why it is critical for us as guys to be aware and engage in our responsibilities and I’m going to relate this to you by using an illustration from softball OK so is man month thoughtful might not be the manliest of sports but you know that’s something that we play and our Church in and I’m one of the pictures on our softball team and I enjoy pitching and for those of you who you know honestly I’ll be completely honest if a lot more fun to play softball than it is to watch it because when you’re watching action you know there’s a lot of activity a lot of an activity and then maybe there is activity and then maybe the short activity so there’s a lot of waiting in the certain amount of time where there’s something that could happen now so I like to pitch because I’m I’m always involved now. As a pitcher I have one main responsibility right. Rick’s laughing at me because he’s a pitcher too and the main thing you’re supposed to do as a pitcher is take the ball and just chuck it you know just just throw it and hopefully throw it somewhere it’s going to be a strike it’s going to land on the mat and whether the person hits it or not you know that’s I guess up to them now would it be OK for me as a pitcher if I get out there on the mound and I’m doing my responsibility I take the ball and as soon as it leaves my fingers in my done. Could I you know the ball is my fingers can I grab my phone out of my pocket and check my email and check Twitter accounts or could I do that I mean technically I probably could but I would not be wise to do that you know why because the ball might come right back out me in a real hurry and that’s happened from time to time I need to be aware and engage in what’s going to take place because two things can possibly happen one is the ball might come right back at me and the older I get there’s this disconnect between what I’m seeing and what my limbs are able to do. Because he knows that the ball starts coming actually and you’re thinking oh here it comes here it comes with OK you arms move do something and so there’s two things two reasons why I need to be paying attention to what’s going on one is the obvious so I don’t get hit it’s not fun to be hit with a softball coming actually what a high so high rate of speed it’s also not fun to get hit by your teammates either. That’s another story but the second reason is because of the ball comes out me not only do I not want to get hurt but I might have an opportunity to make a play and so when I pitch the ball I’m supposed to be thinking OK is there a runner on first second third where are they if I get the ball where am I going to throw it and so that’s why I’m supposed to be aware and engaged so using that kind of as an example why is it so important to God that you and. I stay aware and engaged in our responsibilities and I think one of the reasons is because guys in particular I think guys tend to do this. All of us can but guys in particular they can fall into this minimum requirement mentality where we ask ourselves what is the minimum thing that I can do to avoid getting in trouble. What is the least that I’m supposed to do what is the least expected of me so that my boss isn’t fiery or what is the least that I can do so that my wife that isn’t upset with me or what is the least that I can do so that I’m staying on God’s good side we can really fall into that mindset were all we’re trying to do is the bare minimum so we’re like not in the doghouse with other people and with God you know the unfaithful servant in Luke sixteen he couldn’t even do that he was unfaithful not just doing the minimum and this is a problem with many believers we view life this way what is the least that I can do so that I’m kind of on the bell curve I’m on the right side and I’m doing better than least half the people on earth why I want to look at a few passages where we are told to be aware and engaged and I want you to do a little audience participation OK I want you to look at these passages and I want you to tell me what reason is given for us to stay aware and engage is that more of an often savories and or a defense of reason and by that I mean are we told to be aware and engage because there is the potential for danger or the possibility of an opportunity for us to get involved OK so let’s go through these four passages and I have them written in your sermon notes so you kind of anticipate those acts Chapter twenty is the first one first passage Acts twenty beginning in verse thirty.
So as this is a an encouragement to us because there is the possibility of danger or an opportunity.
Acts twenty beginning in verse thirty so verses thirty and thirty one. Paul is writing to the elders in the church of F.S.S. and he says to them.
X. twenty thirty and from your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them therefore be alert remembering that for three years I did not see Snyder day to admonish everyone with tears because this more about often thirty Francis more about the dangers that are out there opportunities it’s more about the dangers right we’re supposed to be aware Now if someone were to come and tell me or the elders of our church in October of two thousand and seventeen someone is going to come into the church and they’re going to spread a heresy that is going to divide the church cut it in half and leave a lot of people into deception do you think the elders of this church would be very aware and diligent and alert come October of two thousand and seventy and it’s not going to happen you know like what’s going to be what’s going to take place we will be very aware of what’s going on right but the truth is that any time a thought can come into our minds someone can make a comment and we can be carried away by some thought or deceptive thinking and that’s where we’re supposed to be aware and alert in what’s going on around us right second second examples and first Peter five.
So turn over to first Peter chapter five.
First Peter chapter five says.
Be sober minded Be watchful your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour Now this was pretty obvious is this more about opportunities or the potential of danger this is obviously about danger if you and I were told that in a specific time in the future a temptation is going to cross our paths and if we fall into that temptation it could really destroy our life would you be very aware of that temptation. Probably so. But the thing is we don’t know when those things are going to happen and the one who is aware and engaged in what’s going on in the world is our adversary of the devil and so if we are going to be prepared for whatever he presents to us is temptation we need to be aware and engage write another one first Peter let’s stay in first Peter chapter one vs thirteen.
Read a couple verses there first Peter chapter one beginning in verse thirteen. It says therefore preparing your minds for action and being sober minded set your hope fully on the grace that we brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ as a radiant children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance but as he who called you is holy you also be holy in all your conduct since it is written you shall be holy for I am holy So which one you think it is this kind of a trick question I think maybe in some way it’s kind of both if you look at the first portion of their IT SAYS therefore preparing your minds for action. This is telling us that there are things that are out there for us to getting gaijin that’s what we’re supposed to be aware and engage in last one is over anything chapter six.
It’s your turn over to chapter six.
Beginning in verse seventeen. And this is the passage which is teaching us about the armor of God and the armor of God is something that we’re supposed to put on for both often seven defensive purposes so that we can defend ourselves and defend our faith but then also make use of the opportunities God has given us if he’s in chapter six beginning of or seventeen it says.
And take the helmet of salvation in the sort of the Spirit which is the Word of God praying at all times in the spear. With all prayer and supplication to that and keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints and also for me that my that were the words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel I think in this passage Paul is warning them to stay alerting Gage because Paul has all these ministry opportunities and he’s wanting them to be aware of them as well you know you’ve probably heard the saying you will find what you’re looking for if that’s very true isn’t it you know anyone who is an entrepreneur that they can think they can make money in any given opportunity and look at you Mike if you had an.
Entrepreneur is they can find some way to make money out of something they see what they’re looking for and God is telling us if you are active aware and engage in your faith you will find opportunities. To put your faith into practice and so as we’re looking at these passages you see these two reasons being presented to us these are the reasons why response to say aware and engaged because there’s danger out there and because there’s opportunities Well I want to look at one last passage and it’s in first Chronicles chapter twelve.
It’s not very often that we go to Chronicles not Corinthians Chronicle solicitor the Old Testament first Chronicles chapter twelve.
And I’m going to tell you why we’re looking at this passage.
This week as I was preparing for this message sometimes I’ll do word searches in the Bible and sometimes a passage might stand out and I think while this really pertains to what I’m going to be preaching about and they came across this passage I had seen it before but this week for some reason it really sort out to me and what I want to do is I want to read this because this is one of those passages if we just kind of understand the significance of what is being said about these individuals this is this is one of those passages that should inspire us and say I want to live my life in such a way. That this could be said about me. Maybe some of you think those thoughts and you think you know what what I want people to say about me at my funeral and maybe live your life in that way will this is something that all of us should really long to have people say about us so here in first Chronicles Chapter twelve what is happening is this back in chapter ten King Saul had died he died in battle and so Chronicles its Chronicle ng the passing of the kingdom from solve to King David and so in chapter ten we learn King Saul died in Chapter eleven it’s talking about the transition period but then we get into chapter twelve and it kind of goes back in time and it talks about some of the men of Israel who are seeing what’s going on and they leave Saul and they join David because they had with fitness so they were aware and engage in what God was doing and so that’s what Chapter twelve is about so we’re going to read a couple of these verses so you kind of see what Chapter twelve is about they will get to the one I want you to look at. What verse one of chapter twelve so these are the men who came to David at Zouk leg while he was banished from the presence of Sol son of Kish they were among the warriors who had helped him battle and then it talks about all these people that left Saul and went over to David in the Go down to verse eight this is this is the one I want to look at but I like this one verse eight says some of Gad I defected to David had a stronghold in the wilderness they were brave warriors reading for battle unable to handle the shield and spear their faces were the faces of lions and they were a swift is because the elves in the mountains and then you go down to verse twenty three. And it talks about even more people who join David verse twenty three it says these are the number of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn sols Kingdom over to him as the Lord said understand the Lord had said the kingdom is going to date. Even It’s leaving solved and then in verse thirty two we read of this of skewer group of people only two hundred of them will listen to what it says about these men were thirty two. From Issachar men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do two hundred chiefs with all their relatives under their command.
Is there anything better that could be said about a person there’s a lot of good things that could be said about a person but look at this as men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do they were actively aware and engaged in what God was doing in the nation of Israel and they said we know what’s going on here and because we know what God is doing we know what we’re supposed to do and so they joined King David and I look at that I think what an amazing testimony this is for the men of Issachar this is how we should live so that people would say something about us like that the people in your life when they say that you have an awareness of what God is doing in the world or are you so wrapped up in your own interests and your own hobbies that you’re kind of clueless to what’s going on around you this is what it means to be a real man. That you know the responsibilities that God has given you and that you are actively aware and engaged in them.
How many of you truly believe.
That. God’s word is accurate and true anyone here believe that you believe this I do too and if this is true.
Jesus Christ is coming back.
And he will judge us not our sins because he paid for those but he will judges have to be received in he will reward us for Arthur. A fullness. And a real man and a real true child of God they are actively aware and engage in those responsibilities that God has given to us and so are you doing that you know this month this is kind of your focusing on and what I’d like to encourage anyone here if you’re here this morning you’re thinking you know what I’m just not I’m just wrapped up in these things that probably don’t matter if there’s something in your life that is taking up time in precious resources and energy away from your true responsibilities what are you going to do about that.
Maybe you need to stop doing certain things and I’m not even talking about things that are sinful things that are preventing you from paying attention to your responsibilities in Hebrews twelve one of my fair passages it says in verse one therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight in the sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is marked before us we’re in a race or in a battle God is clearly told us what to do and so if there’s something in your life that’s weighing you down lay it aside. That it’s what real men do. So let’s turn to the Lord and ask that he give us the wisdom and the strength to do just that spring.
Dear Lord we we see your wisdom in your word and we thank you so much Lord you have given us the test that’s going to happen to the end of time we will stand before you and not only will are facing you be judged by that if we have placed our face in you it your death and resurrection we know that your sin our sins are forgiven and the death of Jesus the blood covers us and so we will be in your presence forever but there’s more to the Christian life and more to our eternal existence than just that and over and over and over again Lord in your word you tell us this time and time again. That we have an opportunity in this life to be faithful to live out our faith and be responsible with things that you have given to us so Lord It’s my prayer for all of us not just the men here but that all of us will spend some time seriously considering the responsibilities that you have been trusted to us as your stewards during this life. Some of those responsibilities that go with us from birth to the grave some of them come into our lives for just a short amount of time but Lord I pray that our minds will be focused intently on those responsibilities and that we will be aware of them and actively engaged in them so that we can take take advantage of these opportunities and avoid the dangers that come with them so Lord our desire a grace by which are to Phoenix’s to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ and Lord that’s why we’re looking at these passages so Lord give us the wisdom in the strength and the courage to do whatever is necessary to get our attention to where it should be we previously in Christ name Amen.