Well Good Monday Morning to you. I trust your last week was tremendous. For me it sure was! Nothing really special happened, it just was good. I am feeling really good. I thought I was sleeping well at night, but apparently that was not the case. The surgeon who had taken out my gall bladder a few years ago said I had sleep apnea. Finally I was tested, and it was confirmed. Now I go to bed every night dressed like a jet pilot. At bedtime I say that it is time for me to go fly my mission. It took about three weeks to get used to, but now I am sleeping very well. I feel rested and more energized. I’ve learned to ignore the mask --- it’s like it isn’t there. My mask does not really fit well. I’m in between a small and a medium, but I’m used to it. Today I have an appointment to see the lung doctor. He is the one that is following me for the apnea. Sleep is really important for us. God designed it that way. It is during deep sleep that the body rejuvenates itself. If you suffer from O.S.A. obstructive sleep apnea, you do not get into the deep, restorative sleep. That in turn leads to other health problems. If you snore, or if you are tired during the day, why not mention it to your doctor. It is a fixable problem and once under control, you’ll feel better than you have in a long time. I’m not a medical doctor, but I imagine that “feeling better” is because the body is healing itself --- exactly as God designed it to.
Yesterday at Friendship Harmony I preached “An Intentional Church.” Friendship Harmony is an intentional church. Being intentional is not automatic just because a church meets every Sunday and has a service. My guess is that more churches are not intentional than those that are. What do we mean by the phrase intentional church. I have included the sermon notes for your personal Bible study. The notes give explanation, but if you have questions be sure you contact me. Here are the notes.
An Intentional Church
By Victor Cooper
Intro: Mr. Webster defines “intentional” as, “…by conscious act or design.” An intentional church is then defined as “a church with a purpose and a plan.” (definition mine)
An intentional church:
I. has a vision. Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish…
A. vision> khaw-zone’> a mental vision, ie a dream
B. People need a dream. — Power of Vision. Vision reflects a realistic perspective. Vision is not dreaming the impossible dream, but dreaming the most possible dream. Vision stretches our abilities, including our ability to dream, but it is not pie-in-the-sky daydreaming. Vision entails a great depth of understanding, a detailed knowledge of facts and potential. It is not a wild-eyed scheme born in a vacuum; rather, it is a notion of what could occur and is deeply rooted in reality. (George Barna)
C. The dream comes from God.
1. The word “vision” is used 103 times in Scriptures. It was one way God communicated with man before the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
II. has a plan.
A. A vision without a plan is a daydream.
B. A plan say do a few things well.
1. Make sure of the need.
2. Determine what your abilities will allow.
3. Determine your human resources.
4. Formulate the plan.
III. has no problem financing a vision.
A. This does not say the church has to be wealthy.
B. A poor or a struggling church can have no problem with financing.
C. The statement means the church values the vision and is willing to spend its resources to make it happen, even if the resources are limited.
IV. has an outward focus.
A. An intentional church has a “them” attitude, not an “us” attitude.
B. An intentional church has a Christ like view toward people. James 2:14-16 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
V. has intentional individuals.
A. Good advise for intentional believers:
In October 1959, Rev. Billy Graham visited Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A report said he spent time with the students and faculty and shared the following:
Be sure you maintain a personal encounter with Christ. (The blind can't lead the blind.)
Be sure you've had a call from God.
Have systematic daily devotions. (You need at least a half hour alone with God daily, said Rev. Graham. At the time of the report, he was reading five psalms a day to learn how to get along with God and one proverb on how to get along with people.)
Have a consuming love for others. Show compassion by entering into their emotions.
Be sure you have a message to preach. With authority, simplicity, and urgency, preach to a decision.
Be an example. Back up your spoken witness with your life.
Are you an intentional believer? Follow the main points from the notes, and you’ll be well on your way. I hope you have a really good week. Be sure to write and recommend the blog to your friends. I’d really appreciate getting into more homes and offices. Your help is gratefully treasured. This upcoming Sunday is carry in dinner day at Friendship Harmony. If you’re here with us, come and join us. Wherever you are, please pray for us. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.