Month of Mission 2022

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As we have for many years, we will be running our Month of Mission Daily Devotions during October. This year they will only come out during the week and not on weekends. You can sign up on email, catch them on the UPCSA’s FB page or on the blog https://emmdev.blogspot.com/

The devotions are written by Presbyterian Ministers from the DRC, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa and I’m always blessed by the insights and wisdom in the devotions they write.

The theme of this year’s Month of Mission is taken from our Going For Growth Project and will explore the three initiatives: Sowing New Congregations, Growing Existing Congregations and Reaping the Harvest through Personal Evangelism.

There’s also a preaching plan for ministers who’d like to pick up the theme, and a list of weekday readings for those who would like to follow those. See below

If you’d like to subscribe receive the devotions by email, you can go to http://eepurl.com/hNG9aj .
We hope you will be plugging in!

You can help us!
Please share the this information as widely as possible.
In these challenging times we pray that these messages will be inspirational and a great blessing to many in the UPCSA.

Soli Deo Gloria

God bless,
Theo

Sermon Outlines

Sunday 2nd: Our Missional God: The Call and the Promise

Texts: Isaiah 42:5-7

This is one of Isaiah’s “Servant Songs”:
The Servant can be identified as:
Isaiah
– Israel
– Jesus
– The Church.

As we consider these challenging times, God offers us a Call, a Promise and a Mission.

      • The God who Calls and Promises
        – God the Lord
        – Creator and Sustainer
        – Calls and takes our hand

      • The Call:
        Called you in righteousness (but we are not righteous so He provides it)

      • The Promise:
        – I have called you (you are not here by accident)
        – I will take hold of your hand
        – I will keep and make you a Covenant People

      • The Mission:
        – To be a covenant (the gospel lived out)
        – Light for Gentiles (Open eyes + free captives + liberate those in the dark)

Sunday 9th: Sowing:A Church Planted by Good Doctrine and Stable Teaching

Text: Acts 19:1-20

Was Ephesus a church or a church plant? (Actually a church plant)

  • Ephesus had received John the Baptist’s baptism – an act of repentance – but still works-based.

  • Paul explained Christ to them. They believed and the Holy Spirit was poured out on them.

  • Started with 12 men (12 = tribes, apostles, the number of the people of God)

  • Paul tried in the Synagogue, but moved on when resistance mounted.
    Used a neutral venue and evangelised daily

  • God’s power was revealed through miracles.

  • The danger of second-hand faith

  • Dealt decisively with “stuff” (in their case sorcery)

Sunday 16th: Growing: A Body Building Exercise…

Texts: Eph 4:11-16

We looked at Ephesus church last week… What were their next steps?

  • Recognise the people God gives to enable (not do all the work but enable) the church

    • Apostles: Pioneers, Initiators, Church Planters, Innovators, Start new things

    • Prophets: “Bring God’s comment on Current Affairs”

    • Evangelists: All Christians are witnesses, but evangelists have the amazing ability to attract people (crowds and/or one-to-one) to Christ.

    • Pastor-Teachers: The Greek is clear – this is one role – you can’t separate pastoring from teaching.
      Who were your favourite teachers at school? The ones who cared about you…
      If you care about people, you will teach them when they’re going wrong.

  • Their task to “equip God’s people for works of service.”

    • This builds the Body of Christ

    • which leads to unity, knowledge of Christ and maturity

      • the churches that fight have the pastor doing all the work and the congregation being the critical spectators!

      • The knowledge is not only head knowledge, but experiential – we learn by doing.

      • When we are serving we learn what really matters = maturity

    • Active Service in Community keeps us from being “blown and tossed”

    • As we deal with one another we grow up into Christ

    • We grow more in community than alone because we “builds up in love, as each part does its work”

  • Conclusion

    • Appreciate the People God has given us to grow

    • But don’t sit back like spectators

    • Recognise the power of Communal Service

Sunday 23rd: Reaping: Outreach Lessons from Jude

Background: Jude, one of Jesus’ half-brothers. Writing to a church threatened by false doctrine. This letter is written to: those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ:

Written between 65-80AD. Church was threatened by a form of false teaching (Gnosticism) that said that because you had been forgiven, you could do whatever you liked with your body because your soul was going to heaven. They men who took pride in their intellect and argued that the rules didn’t apply to them.

  • It was a time of great uncertainty and upheaval.
    – Nero burned Rome in 64AD
    – Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD
    – Apostles were being martyred and imprisoned
    – The Church was being persecuted and false teaching abounded.

  • The Advice: 1. Devotion 2. Perseverance 3. Outreach = logical building blocks of a healthy faith.

    • Devotion
      “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”
      If faith is a like muscle, how do we build ourselves up?
      – Bible Study;
      – Fellowship;
      – Action – Take risks of trust.
      – Prayer: Regular & Disciplined prayer. Pray in the Spirit: Being quiet – being prompted…

    • Perseverance
      ” Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

        • Keeping in God’s Love
          Jude doesn’t say “keep loving” but “keep yourself in God’s love.”
          What does this mean?
          – We doubt God’s love for us.
          – We have to remind ourselves of God’s love.
          – Often and Relentlessly.
          – We should live with full tanks because His love transforms us

        • Waiting: We don’t wait well. We’re impatient with the world and ourselves.
          But we wait for God’s mercy and His Promise of Eternity.
          Learn to live in HOPE. See life as a PROCESS. Preparing for Heaven.

    • Outreach
      Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

          • Radical other-centredness.

          • 1. Doubters 2. Those in the fire 3.Those who got it wrong

          • All the time avoiding getting sucked in.

  • The PROMISE.
    There is a God who will help us.

      • He can keep us from falling

      • He plans to parade us before the Father and say
        “See – they are forgiven” and “Well done Good and Faithful servant”

      • He’s:
        – the only one who can save us
        – And He deserves glory, majesty, power and authority.
        – His name is Jesus Christ and He is our Lord!

    • And so we devote ourselves to Him, persevere through Him and reach others with His love.

Sunday 30th: The Gospel in Ten Verses

Texts: Eph 2:1-10

If you had only 10 minutes to share your faith with someone – use Ephesians

  • The Human Condition: We were dead in Sin. Gratifying our cravings.

  • The Reality of a Broken World: “The Ruler of the Kingdom”

  • Objects of Wrath – There is a comfort in God’s Justice – He is not corrupt.

  • Turning Point: God, in great Love, gave His Son who Died to make us alive. God satisfies His own Justice

  • We can’t boast – We are saved by Grace – He sees us a workmanship, handiwork and masterpieces

  • He prepares a life of good works for us – Not to earn salvation but to showcase it.

The Daily Readings

Week 1: Being Missional

Mon

3

Mat28:18-20

The Great Commission

Tue

4

Isa42:5-7

Our Missional God: The Call and the Promise

Wed

5

Isa58:9b-12

Repairer of Walls

Thu

6

Gen1:27-30

Created for Harmonius Stewardship

Fri

7

Eph 2:8-10

God’s plan: To save us and for us to do good.

Week 2: Sowing

Mon

10

1Co3:6–15

Sower, Waterer and Reaper – the roles we might play…

Tue

11

Act11:19-24

Factors in a successful Church Plant

Wed

12

Act16:6-10

The Spirit’s guidance leads to planting new churches.

Thu

13

Act16:13-15

Start with prayerful seekers

Fri

14

Act19:1-7

The importance of good doctrine

Week 3: Growing

Mon

17

Act2:42-47

Qualities of Healthy Churches

Tue

18

Eph4:11-13

What is the task of church leaders?

Wed

19

Rev 2:1-7

A church with good doctrine and deeds, but with “heart trouble”

Thu

20

Rev 3:14-22

A lukewarm church

Fri

21

1Th 1:2-10

The strengths of the Thessalonian church

Week 4: Reaping

Mon

24

1Pet3:15

Our approach to Personal Evangelism

Tue

25

Act 1:6-8

What do we need before we can become witnesses?

Wed

26

Act 8:26-40

Evangelism Lessons from Philip…

Thu

27

Luk19:1-10

How did Jesus reach Zacchaeus?

Fri

28

Jude1:20-25

Instructions for Evangelism from Jude

Week 5: Conclusion

Mon

31

Act17:24-28

Our Missional God.

Soli Deo Gloria

 

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