Dave Williams speaking about his coming absence and the obligation, eagerness, and prayer he has for the group. Looking at Romans, Dave focuses on Paul’s ministry and the obligation he had to sharing the Gospel and the eagerness that came fro his obedience. Dave uses Paul as an example of how we can and should approach our ministry. Encouraging our youth to respond to what God is calling them to do and add to their job descriptions.
- It is good to be here. I haven’t preached in awhile yet the cool thing is that I don’t need to. I have an unbelievable team. And before I go much further I want to say thank you to our leaders.
- I have been so blessed by all of you.
- And to the rest of you. I too say thank you. I just didn’t think I would ever get an opportunity to be used by God in this way. Five years ago when I moved here I just assumed that I didn’t really have anything to offer anyone.
- Yet God used you to show me otherwise. And through that I have felt God’s love for me in such a major way. So thank you.
- I am saying all of this because I am leaving next Tuesday to undergo a Transplant that will keep me away from ministry for the next two months.
- The treatment is somewhat intense and there is that slight chance that I won’t recover. So on days like this you want to make sure that you say all that you want to say. And tonight the first thing for me is to say thank you.
Where do we go from here.
- But I also want to address where we go from here.
- With me leaving for awhile it does force us to ask the same question I asked myself when I first came to UFC: What do we look like?
- Is this really a ministry built around Dave Williams or is it structured around Christ and the Gospel?
- Is this really a ministry that equips you to do ministry and what is the ministry that you are doing?
- I want to answer those questions tonight.
14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
I am under obligation
- Now anyone who has studied Paul knows that he had a drive that was hard to match. He walked literally thousands of miles to share the Gospel. He was beaten, stoned, whipped, and thrown in prison. All for the sake of the Gospel.
- How does one do that? The key is found in verse 14: He was under obligation.
- See when he met God on that road to Damascus God explicitly told Ananias who led Paul to Christ that Paul’s job description would be the following: Carry the name of Christ to the Gentiles and kinds and to the children of Israel.
- That was his job and he was under an obligation to do it.
- Now let’s breakdown that word.
- Obligation means to be indebted to.
- There are two things here. What Paul is saying is that I am indebted to God for what He did on the cross for my sins. You can call it a Gospel-debt.
- However, here is the catch, we don’t pay that directly to Christ, we pay it to his people.
- Now, we are not paying for salvation. Christ payed that debt with his life. What Paul is saying is that because of that we should have a sense of wanting to pay it forward to others.
- Now some of you may not know your entire job description but what you at least know to be true is the great commission found in
Matthew 28: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
- Start there. Share the Gospel, make disciples, and teach others.
- Know that you too are obligated to do so. He has entrusted you with that task.
I am eager
- Paul goes on to say that he is eager to share the Gospel.
- I love that, I have found that in my own life that the more I understand and appreciate the Gospel the more eager I am to share it.
- See the more you know that it saved your life, sustains your life, and secures eternal life you want to share it.
- When I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to re-share the Gospel with a nurse, pray with another, and share the Gospel with another.
- Why, in moments of extreme suffering is the Gospel more prevalent in my life? Because the more I realize that the Gospel saved, sustains and secures my life the more eager I am.
- Guys, this is why I constantly pray for persecution to hit your lives. I know what it will do. It provides clarity to what is truly important and what it is that God has called you to do.
- Let the obligation turn to eagerness. That excitement for the Gospel comes out of knowing your obligations to Christ.
This is your group
- Guys, I am putting something on your job description right now: We have said it before but it is still true. This is your group. This is not mine, not the leaders, it’s yours.
- What are you doing with it? Do you feel that? If not why?
- There was a battle that was fought in the Civil War called Gettysburg. It was a time in the war when the South was winning and the North’s commitment to the war was waning. The two armies collided at the small town of Gettysburg. The North held the precious high ground but there was one weak spot and it was the right side of the battlefield. A small contingent of soldiers led by a Colonel called Joseph Chamberlain, held the right side of the flank. If they were pushed off the battlefield the rest of the North would have to retreat and could even lose.
- The South charged divisions of men up that hill but could not force Chamberlain’s men off. Why, because they knew there wasn’t someone else for that job.
- Commitment. I know there are things that God has asked of you to add to your job description. Some of them personal goals, some school goals, some perhaps were family ones. Where are you with that?
What should this look like
- My desire is that when I come back this group is closer to God than where it is today. That this group is more connected to each other than it is today. And that obligations are being met.
- And here is the last thing. Paul said he wasn’t ashamed of the Gospel. That comes through being obligated and eager.
- Some of you today perhaps are ashamed, embarrassed, or apathetic to sharing the Gospel. To those I want you to think of something: How is it that we can be that way towards God but he isn’t that way towards us?
- He allows us to use his name when it’s convenient for us and to hide it when it’s not. Yet he still stood up for us.
- See that is where that obligation comes from. I want to encourage you tonight to think about that. Are you ashamed? Embarrassed or apathetic? Readdress your obligation, your eagerness, and your job description.
- Guys, it sucks that I am leaving. But at the same time it’s perfect because you will have to step up. You will have to lead. Carry this in my absence.