The God of Now - Love One Another - Instruments of God

Weird. That's all I have to say about my dream last night.

A friend of mine, who is always pushing for me to go back into the full-time ministry, mentioned a church for me to apply at yesterday. I said I would pray about it. I'm always willing to go where God wants me to be even if I've made plans to remain where I am.

Anyway, the dream was about going and giving a trial sermon to them (I love how we often decide ministers based upon one sermon). I had a whole sermon manuscripted and planned. Then when I went in to the singing time, God completely changed what He wanted me to preach.

For what it is worth, here is the message God was leading me to preach in my dream. I never preached it because we never reached the point in the service where I was to preach.

It began with the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-29).

14 "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, "Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' 21 His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, "Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' 23 His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, "Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26 But his master replied, "You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

The church in my dream had been blessed in the past, and they kept looking to the past as the golden days, the days of blessing. They were discouraged with their present situation. They were like the man who had received the blessing of ten talents from the king after being good stewards of it. However, upon receiving the blessing of ten talents, they stopped using the talents for purposes of God and started using the talents for their own selfish purposes. Slowly, the talents were not put to use in which they would be multiplied and they were well on their way to becoming broke. God blessed them in the past with more talents because of the good use of what he had previously given them. But when they started to squander God's blessings, the river of blessings stopped flowing. Receiving God's blessing once in the past isn't a guarantee of future blessing. The blessings of God usually come when people are faithful to Him.

"Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence" (Proverbs 10:6).

"The faithful will abound with blessings, but one who is in a hurry to be rich will not go unpunished" (Proverbs 28:20).

So you want to be a church that receives God's blessing or be an individual that experiences God's blessing?

Then we need to be the people that God wants us to be with what He has given us now. It is too easy to look at the past and observe God's blessing. It's too easy to hope for the future blessing. It is too easy to say that I would use (whatever it is that you want) to be a blessing for God when I'm not using all that I have to bless God now. It is much more difficult to live in the now in such a way that we are instruments of the will of God, bringing about His will wherever we go and with whatever we touch.

Christianity is a great religion of hope and tremendous blessings. I have so many things in my past that God has done, enough things that I could just sit around the rest of my life, share those stories, and enjoy them. The hope of the future perfection is also desirable, so desirable in fact that I could just sit around, share stories about the future perfection, and dream. But God or the past and the God of the glorious future is also the God of the now. He blessed us in the past so that we would continue to use his blessing as a blessing for others. He gives us hope in the future so that we will not get discouraged in the valleys we stumble through but continue to be a blessing with all that we have. If we want to have the impact that God desires for us to have on those around us, then we need to start doing everything we can to be a blessing to others, now.

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (John 13:34).

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you...I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another" (John 15:12).

"Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor" (Romans 12:10).

"Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8).

"For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another" (Galatians 5:13).

"And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you" (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

"Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another" (1 Thessalonians 4:9)

"We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing" (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

"1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3).

"24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

"Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22).

"Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind" (1 Peter 3:8).

"Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

"For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (1 John 3:11).

"We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death" (1 John 3:14).

The glory days of our life in Christ or the life of our church doesn't have to be behind us or just a hope for the future. The glory of God can be experienced again, now. We just need to live as people who are experiencing that glory. And that means that we use what God has given us to love one another.

Luke 12:48b says, "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded."

God has entrusted His people with the task of doing His will on earth. He will help us - He will give us strength and nourishment, but we need to do the doing.

"19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness." 20 In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. 21 All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work" (2 Timothy 2:19-21).

Watch out for the potholes.