Well, today is the big day…today is game-day! Multitudes of people around the world have been preparing for this day. Department stores have been running sales on big screen TV's, pizza delivery places have added extra drivers, menus have been printed, the media has done an effective job with their normal hype…because today is game-day! There is an excitement that builds to a near frenzy level surrounding today. But this is all about the spectators…these folks will not be 'in the game' they will just be watching. I found out a long time ago that there is a big difference between participation and observation. The teams are the ones who will actually be putting forth the effort and doing whatever they must in order to win. A 'team' is a band of individuals that work together to accomplish a goal. I recently saw an acrostic for the word team that illustrates its true meaning.
T = Together E = Everyone A = Accomplishes M = More
This is true for all sports, but it doesn't just end there. It is also true in other areas of life whether it is in the workplace or in the home. Together we can accomplish more than we could alone. This is especially applicable to the ministry. Yesterday we took some time to appreciate the members of the GBT ministry team.
I believe we have a great team of ministry workers here at Grace. I am thankful for every individual who is a part of this ministry team. But let me take a few moments today and broaden our view of the team concept. Every believer is a part of a 'team'. It is God's team…and God has a game plan. His 'game plan' is found in the Scriptures in a number of places, but perhaps the simplest is in Mark's gospel.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Pretty basic plan isn't it? I have watched as cameras focused in on the coach as he outlined the next play he wanted his team to execute. I saw the X's, O's, and arrows but it didn't make a lot of sense to me…it was pretty complicated. But God's game plan isn't complicated at all. Remember the acrostic? Together Everyone Accomplishes More! Another interesting thought about God's game plan is that He wants everyone in the game all the time! Watching the IU game the other day, and the camera would now and then pan the bench. I saw the faces of players I had never seen nor heard of before. That is because in basketball only five players can be on the floor at one time. As a matter of fact, in most sports there are limitations on how many participants there can be at any one time. But not with God…He wants all of us in the game!
Read Text: Mt. 9:36-38
Here is an appeal for more of us to get into the game! Jesus looked upon the multitudes and recognized the great need. He asked His disciples to pray for more workers! More active participants! Let me give you a few areas where we can become active participants in the Lord's game plan.
I. Demonstrate His Love.
Mt 22:36-39 "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
A. We are to love God.
1. The Lord said we should love God with everything we have within us.
2. With all our heart, soul, and mind.
3. He is alone is worthy of our devotion.
4. But it doesn't stop there…that is only the beginning.
B. We are to love others.
1. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
2. That is the game plan.
3. We must demonstrate our love for God by how we love others.
Joh 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
C. Why is this important?
1. It important that others know that we are Christ's disciples.
2. Because only Jesus Christ can truly change a person.
3. Man may be able to bring about a change in behavior, but a change of heart can only occur through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
2Co 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
4. We need to get into the game and demonstrate the love of God to a world that is hurting and longs to know the simple truth that God loves them so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for them on Calvary.
5. And that they can have eternal life if they will place their faith in His finished work on the cross.
II. Communicate His Word.
Ro 10:13-14 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
A. The Word of God is what people need to hear.
1. What I say or what you say isn't what wins people to Christ.
2. We may be persuasive, we may be witty, and we may be articulate…but it is the Word of God that cuts through the thoughts and intents of the heart.
3. Without the Word, people will not be saved!
B. They will not hear the Word without us.
1. Remember the game plan?
2. We are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
3. The responsibility rests upon us to communicate the Word of God to those who need to hear!
4. To help us understand the importance of this, consider how it was that we came to know the Lord.
5. It took place only because someone was faithful to communicate the Word of God to us.
6. As they did, the Holy Spirit of God convicted us of our need to be saved, and by faith we came to Christ.
III. Incorporate God's People
Eph 2:19-22 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
A. Too many remain on the bench.
1. God has not just called us to believe but also to belong. (To get in the Game)
2. There too many who are just watching?
3. We need to do all we can to incorporate believers into our church and ministries.
4. Why do we struggle to staff the nursery?
5. Why must we limit new ministries?
6. The same reason the Lord mentioned in Mt. 9 … we need more workers.
B. Too many have quit!
1. People get tired, discouraged, and frustrated.
2. That is not a sin! At times every worker gets weary…every worker has times of discouragement…every worker finds themselves frustrated!
3. But don't quit! Don't give up!
4. The consequences are too great…the souls of men and women…boys and girls are certainly worth our efforts!
5. God promises a special blessing for those who refuse to quit!
Ga 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
C. Together Everyone Accomplishes More
1. Let's determine to get into the game.
2. As we work together we can accomplish so much more than we could individually.
3. God deserves our best! How can we be satisfied to give Him any less?
This morning, the challenge has been to get into the game! Perhaps you have never accepted Christ as your Savior…it is time to come now and allow us to show you from His Word how to be born again. Maybe you are a Christian, but you are not a part of this local church. Come join with us as we seek to honor God through this ministry. If you are a member, isn't it time to get off the bench and get into the game? Come now without delay.