Synopsis of Sermon 11/28/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:58 says 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
It is important to understand that what God does for us in our lives is for his glory. God never moves without glory being attached. God does not engage in relationship without the resources to back it up. When God bring us into relationship with him, there is no deficit of joy, peace, or goodness. There simply is no deficit, because God has to the resources to back it up. He has the resources to give us that will allow us to fulfill the vision that he has for our lives. The enemy specializes in bringing in frustration and fatigue in our lives. The enemy wants to prevent God will from happening in our lives. The ultimate goal for him is to make God’s promise unattainable. He can’t take it, so he tries to make life so difficult that we will just give it up ourselves.
Some of the attacks you go through make you wonder if it is worth dealing with it. You know God has something great in store for your life, but you find that you have to go through this amazing journey to get it. Because of this, you contemplate walking away from it. Have you been there before? When Paul gives this word, it is a revelation of staying where God plants you. It is about being in position, because the blessings of the Lord don’t come in a place of comfort. Instead they come in places of stress and strain. It is about building character. It is in these places where maturity is established. Somebody reading this today may be contemplating moving from the place God planted you, but the word from God today is “Stay there!” God would not send this word if it were not true that he is about to do something awesome in your life. You have to recognize the power of being grounded. If you haven’t lost your mind by now, you need to stay there. With tears in your eyes and your faith being stretched like never before, just stay there! Even not knowing what’s going to be around the corner, just stay there!
In the text today, Paul talks to the Corinthian Church. He speaks in defense of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact the entire 15th chapter is about what Christ did on Calvary. Paul shares how that reality impacts the reality of a believer. The context of this begins in 1 Corinthians 15:51- 57. When Paul talks about those who are dead in Christ. He goes on talking about how those in Christ left would be caught up to meet them in the air together. He declares that death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. What Paul is trying to share is we have to understand that this is to help us understand the victory and lifestyle that we are supposed to have in Jesus Christ. Knowing this we are able to be steadfast and unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord. Why is this? It is because we recognize that what we do in the Lord is never in vain, so we must stay there.
I. Planted with purpose
- God always plants us in purpose. This is not about just staying there; it is about staying in the will of God. Ex –This doesn’t mean if you are getting beat over head, you have to stay there. This is not the will of God. What we are saying is when you have been planted by God, know that he has a purpose for your life and it can’t be made manifest if you are not where he planted you.
- Paul stresses the importance of relationship. The word Brethren mentioned in the text is talking about a unique group of people that had been called out. It is the same verbiage that James used when he says my brethren count it all joy when you fall into diver’s temptation. These were a certain saved group of people that were filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. These are post Pentecostal believers who have the power of the Holy Ghost and sure of their salvation. 1 Corinthians 15:58a says 58Therefore, my beloved brethren … They are post Pentecostal people.
- When you are sure of salvation it is evidenced by:
- Great Convictions– You have a moral compass now. Before relationship, you did whatever you wanted. Now you have a set of convictions that guides your actions.
- Character– This is behavior on display. It answers the question, how do you live in the world?
- Commitment– In other words, we don’t start something that we don’t finish. Ex- Your husband opened the door when he met you and he continues to do it after you are married. There ought to be commitment in your relationship. God wants us to be rooted in our relationship with him.
- Unmovable– 1 Corinthians 15:58b says … be ye stedfast, unmoveable… The Devil will try to uproot you. Many people have allowed the devil run you from where God planted you. Don’t let your instability be a liability. When your instability is a liability, it is evidence that you allowed vulnerability lead to gullibility.
- David says And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. When understanding the growth of a tree you understand that a tree is rooted and it grows upward. Lots of people, like a tree, place value on how high your grow. They base your worth on your education and economy (height), but you know the difference. You know it is your roots that have your worth. Though we have achieved worldly heights, underneath the ground is our roots or our fight. It doesn’t matter what happens, whether we get cut down or we go through a storm, we will keep growing. You can put ornament on tree to make the tree look better, but you need faith in earth. The real essence of a tree is in its roots.
- My fight– We are planted with purpose. When a tree grows, it grows down. The roots don’t just go down but they also go wide. They grab onto rocks and other material. When storms come, they stay firm, because they are attached to rock. We might have a bend and we might have lost some bark, but we are still here.
- Still standing– Where God plants us, we have to stay there. Be steadfast and unmovable. Don’t’ be easily shaken.
II. Productive under pressure
- To abound means to move towards the fulfillment of destiny. 1 Corinthians 15:58c says … always abounding … It means if conditions are not conducive or it is over whelming, we still move towards the fulfillment of destiny. Nothing will stop us from moving towards our destination. Paul says” I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” and “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” One of the greatest testimonies is to be productive during trying times. Pressure brings out the best in us. Pressing lemons is how we get lemonade. Pressing grapes is how we get wine. Ex- You can take a child of God and give them some bologna and bread and they will make it. They know how to be resourceful and creative. How you think we got chitterlings and pig feet.
- Always abound means I will show up and still give God glory because we are producing. God is producing always, so we can’t be attached to God and not produce. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. He didn’t say be fruitful and multiply unless… Regardless to how situations look, we still ought to be able to produce.
III. Represent the word
- Produce – When you produce, then if it says we can do all things to Christ, we ought to be advertisement for this word. We ought to be words walking. If the world asks how we accomplished this, we ought to be able to say because the word told us we could.
- Reliable witness-Throw in anything you want at a child of God and they will still praise God. It is not if we can count on God, the question is can he count on us? Can God count on you no matter what happens?
- Real worship– When you do what God wants you do, this has to be seen as worship. Worship is not only audible adoration for who God is. Worship in its truest sense is not what we do, but who we are. This is why God says how can you say you love him whom you have not seen and hate men who you see every day. Ex- When you go to your job, it is an act of worship. We see everything we do as an opportunity to give God the glory. Everything we do is an act of worship and it is part of who we are while giving God the glory. Does God get the glory when you are complaining or when you are sitting and refusing to do anything? Some people were crucified for being in God’s will and we get mad we didn’t get a parking space or an usher seats us somewhere we didn’t want to sit.
IV. Praise him for his promise
- Work– A lot of us are laboring, but it might not be in the Lord. Your labor has to be in his will. 1 Corinthians 15:58d … in the work of the Lord… God honors faithfulness. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; …There is a dualistic award here.
- Here Paul is talking about heaven. We have a reward in heaven. When you are faithful to God and you are doing what he wants you to do, know that you will make it to heaven. You are going to complete your assignment and when it is all over, you will to the place where the wicked shall cease from troubling and the weary shall be at rest. You are going to the place where the streets are paved with gold. It is this same Paul who would one day write, “My time of departure has come. I fought a good fight, I kept the faith, and I am ready to go.” In other words, I completed my assignment and there is laid up a crown of righteousness which the Lord will give to me in that day (not only to me, but those who were loyal to the Lord also).
- God also wants to reward us down here. Sometimes we wonder though. We measure our effectiveness by other people. Recognize that you don’t do what you do for people. If you get your reward that way, you already have gotten your reward. Realize that God has a greater reward for you in heaven. Some people labor and wonder if they are appreciated. Know that God appreciates you. This is why the race is not given to the swift; it is given to those that endure to the end. Tell somebody, “God’s going to make it up to!”
- There is a reward for the righteousness. 1 Corinthians 15:58e … forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. -Learn to rejoice, because everything you went through is not in vain. When you were suffering, our spirit said stay there. We can’t reign with him, if we don’t suffer with him. God said for those that wait on the Lord, will have renewed strength. God promises if we are faithful over few things, he will make us ruler over much. Stay there when they don’t like you! Stay there when they don’t want you to be there. God will never ask you to do something that he has never done himself. Jesus stayed there on the cross, though he could have gotten off, because he was moving towards the fulfillment of destiny. He came here to die on the cross. He could have come down, but they stayed there! He stayed there until from the 6th to the 9th hr. He stayed there until the sun dripped away! He stayed there until the moon dripped away in blood! He stayed there until history rolled back like a scroll! He stayed there until the veil of the temple was rent into! He stayed there until the centurion solider said we killed the wrong man; surely this was the son of God! He stayed there until the thief on the cross got a second chance! He stayed there so the pimp could become a preacher, so the crack head could become a choir member, so the unkind person could become an usher, and the drug-dealer could become a deacon! I am glad that he stayed there! He didn’t stay there, but he went down into the grave and stayed there long enough to allow those who didn’t know him, came and got saved! He said he would leave us a comforter that would give us staying power. The next time you think about giving up, tell them to remember how Jesus stayed there for us. If Jesus stayed there for us, we should be able to stay there for him. When we were weak his strength was there! When we were rebellious, his mercy was there. When we were in lack his provision was there! When we didn’t deserve it, his provisions were there! You better stay there! Be not weary in well doing. You will reap if you faint not!