Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
Colossians 1:24-29

A.  What does the church really need to come alive today?
B.  Is it more programs?
Proposition:  The church's need today's for dedicated persons.

  I.  BE A SERVANT OF THE WORD, vs. 24, 25

A.  The church needs more people with the humility of a servant.
B.  The church needs more people with the loyalty of a servant.
C.  The church needs more people with the industry of a servant.
A.  Preach it
B.  Teach it.
C.  Discuss it.
A.  God is energizing the church.
B.  He needs people who will be channels for that energy.
Conclusion:  The church needs people like this, people who will serve, proclaim, and energize the church.

    He was staying in the elegant St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.  He went out in the street and stood looking into the window of a fancy jewelry store nearby.  A shabbily dressed young couple came up and asked for money. "I'm sorry, I don't have any more either," he said.  "Then come with us," was their reply, "and we'll give you part of what we get. We have some food and you can have half of that!"  Often, it is not our substance we fail to share, but our Savior!  It is not our money, but our Master that we selfishly keep to ourselves.  It is not the staff of life that we hoard, but the bread of life!  Let us say to a spiritually hungry world, "Come with us and share what we have!"

    One of the earliest kings of England was called Ethelred the Unready!  What an interesting name.  Are there not some of his relatives still around?  Don't some of his descendants belong to our churches?  We are unready to serve, unready to share, unready to work, unready to study, and unready to pray!

    Last Christmas, in Washington, D.C., someone rented a hall, hired an orchestra, and advertised a "sing-along" production of The Messiah.  People stood in line to get tickets!  Five thousand did.  They paid for the privilege of joining a giant choir to sing The Messiah.  It is, in fact, a privilege to sing or speak for the Messiah.  A minister once said that he was paid for a job which, if necessary, he would pay others for the privilege of doing!  To tell someone of Christ is our greatest privilege.  Why do we not take advantage of it?  Suppose Christ had said to us, as He did to one long ago, "Tell no one I am the Messiah!"  Wouldn't it be hard to keep such good news?  How do we manage it?

    Christchurch, New Zealand, boasts a very fine museum.  Over the doorway are these words:  "Lo, these are parts of His ways, but how little is heard of Him."  Indeed!  How little is heard of Him!  The early Christians could not keep silent!  Christians today cannot speak up!  The threat of death could not silence those first believers.  How are we so easily silenced?  In our world, it is painfully true that "little is heard of Him."  Let's change that!

    We read so often of people who won't get involved in the problems of others. Here is a story that is different.  In Palm Harbor, Florida, a van struck a car, and the car overturned.  The van went on. But bystanders rushed to the car.  They turned it right side up by hand.  Out of nowhere, a doctor appeared and gave first aid to the occupant.  Another motorist chased the van and later told the police where to find it.  It was a grand demonstration of people caring about others, even when it was someone they did not know.  That is the kind of caring that Christ would like to see in us all.  Our caring must go beyond physical problems to spiritual needs, go beyond the body to the soul.

    In some denominations, the minister follows a calendar that is called the church year.  The year is divided into Advent and Pentecost and other seasons.  There is a period called "ordinary time."  Does it not seem to you that we are living in extraordinary times?  Perhaps it has always seemed that way.  Perhaps in every era people thought of their times as extraordinary times.  Whether these are ordinary times or extraordinary times, the Word of God is appropriate.  It will bless and strengthen.

The Savior We Worship (1:13-27)
Table of Contents
The Maturity We Seek (2:2-7)

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