Amen. Amen, Good morning. No, no, no. Great morning. Great morning. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be good job church, good job church. What a great decision you did to start or end your week with gathering of God’s people to, to sing, to pray to fellowship, to eat a donut, eat some, drink some coffee, say hi to your old friends and listen to the message of God preach so great choice, christian not neglecting meeting together has something in the habit of doing way to do that. We are in a we’re in a four week series. We’d like to pause the normal exposition of preaching through the bible and we’re doing a more focused timely effort to look at four weeks of believing God for more week one is believing God for more laborers. Week two is believing God for more bold gospel witness. Today we’re looking at believing for more open doors. Next week we’re looking at believing God for more church planners is an exciting week. Next week it’s a celebratory sunday, you’re gonna get a name tag and you’re gonna come in and we’re gonna celebrate hard next week we’re gonna have derek up here twice both services, we’re gonna give them a gift, we’re gonna send them out in style as a church. So come with the bells on ready to go, no don’t worry bells. You know, we won’t let you in the room if you have bell but come ready to go get your, do get your coffee to start the day and come next week to a monumental day for us? Most churches? They don’t start church the first three years I’ve heard won’t plan a church and that’s not our experience. This is our first church plant as a church. We want to celebrate that. Well, Derek’s send off sunday. So thank you for coming. I’m excited for being here with you. Looking at this passage today. We want to we want to not ignore the practical sides of Christianity with the spiritual, to neglect the practical with emphasis over emphasizing the spiritual would not be right. Uh We’re not a business as a church. We are called to be stewards And some examples of stewardship, I would like to remind you of those of you who are new to the bible. It is in the bible being a good steward is in the bible. We were we see in the very beginning of the bible adam and Eve adam is called to, to attend to steward the garden and care for it. We as a church are told in the bible to consider the cost before you build to plan ahead. When you’re going to war, get wise counsel. There’s, there’s this, there’s this stewardship principle. You see throughout the bible that we’d like to steward our practical side of our Christianity. Um wouldn’t be wise for us as a church to steward, our staff, well care for them, well trained them, well equipped them well, you know, help them grow in their walk with God. Wouldn’t it be wise for us as a church to connect new people. Well, help them make the next step of faith. They need to make, help them get connected to christ and connected to community and really get them plugged in. Well, wouldn’t it be wise church if we help Stewart are current members? Well, 127 members, we have well equipping them in. What only they can do? Smokey the bear. Only you can prevent forest fire and only you can hand out a donut now. Right, No, we want to equip our members and their gifting. They’re calling and how God has equipped them to grow into maturity and utilize that gifting to build up the church and bring us into maturity. And so we want to equip and Stuart are members. Well, we want to steward our property. Well, we own a property, a shared property, this is it. Well in this house, this church house. And so we want to steward that church. Well, we’re gonna steward our finance as well. No scandals and our finances are gonna steward that well. And we want to steward our reputation well, as a church as a witness a gospel beacon of hope in this corner of 27th in our street here in Lincoln Nebraska. So both practical and spiritual matters matter. We want to take a moment and look at a more practical text this morning as we believe God for more open doors, we are church are looking hoping, praying and we’re building a plan to move forward and you are a part of that plan. You are the main part of that plan. So thank you for working with us. Um, in light of all of where we’re at and where we hope we’re at today and where we hope to go, will you bow your heads with me? And let’s pray about your heads. Let’s pray God. I uh, we want to steward our time. Well today we want to make the most of this this hour together as a church to be together to encourage and sharpen each other. Well Lord, I ask that you just used today in a way only you can use today. Um, I’m just a dude talking through the bible. Um, I prayed and prepared, but if you don’t show up God and instruct hearts, this is a waste of time. I pray that people would soften their hearts, confess into you right now privately in their, their thoughts as they’re sitting there. Lord, I pray, we prepare to listen to God’s words so that we could obey it. We aren’t trying to just be hearers of gods or will be doers of God’s word. I said we position and posture, our hearts to be in the obedience action chair, not the passive, sit around chair. I ask that you just do what you can do with the word of God, the spirit of God and the people of God do work in these men and women’s lives in jesus name, we pray this. Amen. Alright. So today’s passage, it talks about open doors of gospel movement, open opportunities, gospel opportunities and so we gotta cover some history here to understand what’s happening. And so step one paul didn’t start this church, which is unique. He started most of the churches and most of the letters, but the church and colossal, he did not start one of his church planner disciples went out and started this church in his hometown, probably referencing acts 1910, his name, he wrote this letter is carried back by e Vitus brought this letter back to the people in the city. He visits paul in prison and paul is instructing him and writing several epistles. We’ve we’ve we’ve looked at as a church, but this is one of the epistles he wrote, he did not start this church. He’s supporting the church planner, who’s going back to his church in his city, his home city. Um and the church is doing well, it seems to understand this passage. We have to understand what the churches and so how this, how this text applies to that church and how this text applies to this church. We need to understand this church. And so we gotta start that church. What kind of church is it? All churches have a culture. All churches have a culture and so like someone trying to be cute, played with a quote and made it a little different. They said culture, eats your vision for breakfast, your mission statement for lunch and your values for dinner, culture. All churches have a culture. Every church has an amazing most likely mission statement, vision statement and values all over the city, but every church doesn’t have a culture, a healthy culture of people that make up that church. If we had a focus group of outsiders that never attended this church, right up what we are, what are our images? Our brands is in the city of Lincoln. They would be writing about our culture, they wouldn’t know our vision, our values, our mission statements, they would be writing about the culture of the church, They’ll be writing about you and how you represent christ in this church in this city, that’s who they’ll be writing about. They would be evaluating our culture, your reputation in your city is your culture, in your church, your reputation in your city, is your culture in your church. This church has a culture that we’re reading about in colossians four. But to see that culture, what kind of church, this church really is. You gotta look at me back into chapter one. The first three, the first verses three through seven, those four verses talk about the culture that is in this church. Pick up in verse three, they always thank Paul. Always, thanks God for them when he thinks about them, he hears, he heard about their faith in christ jesus, he heard about their love for the saints. I’m grabbing quotes from the passage he heard about their hope and the truth there and the Gospel that hope in the Gospel is bearing fruit that hope to have in the Gospel is bearing fruit and that hope is growing all over the world. The genesis of this church is culture, is a group of believers that is truly appreciates God’s grace at the very beginning of this church plan, it seems from reading over that first four verses of that chapter one verse 337, it seems that this is a sweet, authentic dear Gospel transform maturing and multiplying church. It seems like a healthy good church some background, so that’s the church, some background to the city. This church is placed in colossi was a city where religion was practiced with intensity, kind of like the most conservative catholic diocese on the planet I’m told is in Lincoln Nebraska religion is part of the fabric of this city. There’s evidence that there’s a jewish presence here. Colossi was a small, socially unimportant city by this period of history, not really a destination city for vacationers. Airbnb ears aren’t blowing up all summer with condos and houses, you know, it’s kind of like fly over city kind of like somewhere you get gas on the way somewhere else, kinda like Lincoln Nebraska, not a destination city, it is probably by it’s probably one of many cities in which paul, students founded back in Acts 1910, but history tells us that a severe earthquake later comes and destroys and damages in this city and it never completely recovers in a D 60 64. So that’s that’s that’s the church, that’s the city. What is the main purpose paul is addressing in this letter? We have to look at chapter two, the main purposes in Chapter two, paul is warning this group of christians, this this church about they have this mystical cultural lost culture there in and they have some jewish influences and that’s mixed and blending up into their world view. And there’s danger in that they’re they’re blurring their Judaism beliefs with some uh pre degree and cultural beliefs, their theology is pagan and blending religious and there’s pressures on this church and that’s what paul is addressing in chapter two, there’s pressures in this church and those same pressures are in this church. So, listen to these pressures, there’s pressure to worship money, sex music, your diet and religious holidays. There’s pressures in this church to worship money, sex music, diets, and your holidays, religious holidays, these christians haven’t are saved out of the culture and they have that worldview and they have this jewish hyper jewish culture in their city and their blending those together and they’re getting warped views of those areas money, sex music diet and a religious holiday & Colossians 4 2, that’s what we’re going to pick up this passage. We’re looking That from verses two through 6 is the passage we’d like to look at and I’m skipping verse one and verse one. I spent a whole sunday sermon last summer covering slavery in the bible. You can find it on Youtube and we go into this in more detail giving it the time it deserves. Uh, there is a cultural economic version of slavery in the bible that is different than what we know of as the United States of taking a people group from one country and hauling them somewhere else. There’s conquered cities who make up the majority shareholders of that city, of that business, of that government that are conquered by the romans. That’s a part of the slavery. And then there’s another third part of slavery that is indentured servants, slavery where they are a contract binding to their 30 learning a trade or a craft of being a blacksmith baker, carpenter, agricultural person and they get housing and cared for like a servant, like a son. And then they’re launched out as a franchise and sometimes they marry members of that initial family and they become a full blooded, you know, member of the society. It’s like a college, It’s a college version. It’s like it’s it’s more complicated than our American view of what slavery is. There’s it’s an economic thing, 50% of the Roman empire is considered slaves at the time. This book was written. The bible does not endorse slavery and calls it a sin. And first timothy 19 through 11 and elsewhere, paul clearly believes that all people are are all by nature equal before God. There’s no control over the but he has no control over the political or economic system of his day, paul warns the masters of these christian communities to look radically different than what is acceptable in their culture. To treat people of value and worth like brothers in the Lord, because God is our ultimate master of all who’s in charge of the Lord of all in our life. And so that’s verse one, we’re picking up in verse two, you gotta know paul is in custody as he’s writing this. Remember he’s he’s he might be on a light house arrest or something. I don’t maybe he’s chained to a guard in a prison cell. But the fact that these people coming and going, he’s writing letters probably indicates he’s in a lighter version of custody, but paul is writing this letter and verses two through six is closing of his letter with some fundamentals, some very practical principles that overlap not only this book, but all of his writings and those practical principles apply to our life as a church. Look at me at Colossians Ford vs two paul riding here, he says, continue steadfastly in prayer being watchful in it with thanksgiving at the same time, pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mysteries of christ. On account of which I am in prison, notice the work of God from his, from all of the new testament. We see the work of God is supported by the believers prayer when you see a gospel advancement, gospel gospel movements occurring, it is backed by gospel prayer. They’re studying their prayer, they’re worshiping God in their prayer, they’re thankful in their prayer, they’re grateful in their prayer, their their watchful in their prayer and those prayers are backing open doors of opportunity. This open door theme echoes what paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 16 1st Corinthians 16 9, I don’t think he’s staring at a literal door and praying about an open literal door. I believe he’s writing about a door into the hearts and minds of individuals and communities and cities and people groups. The guy would open a door in neighborhoods and networks that they could respond to the gospel that people of peace can get saved and become the gateway christian. That leaves a lot of their friends and family to christ to maturity in the local church, paul is praying for an open door of cities and communities and individuals but there’s a principle here believing God for more needs to be supported by the people of God through the work of prayer. If we’re praying for gospel bold witness and more laborers, we need to be praying for more open doors. We can walk through believing for more starts with prayer all throughout the bible from cover to cover. You see opposition pressure, persecution, anti christian culture, antichrist culture. You see see the the house is stacked, the cards are dealt and they’re not treating christians well. You see it’s like they’re oppressed, they have challenges. There’s institutions, powers, organizations, influential people coming after Christianity, coming after the people of God. And then when it’s dark they see an open door they can walk through. We see this in the old testament. In the new testament, his people walking through open doors has been a macro theme of all of the people of God from cover to cover and you if you’re like me, you think well if only our culture liked us more. If only our city celebrated Christianity, our ministry will be really effective. Then it’s only like, you know, you know Hollywood and politics and the economy just really wanted us to be here, then we’d really tear Turkey. Turkey. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know where that came from either but but but the exact opposite is true though. It’s not like if if it was more friendly we’d be more fruitful. The exact opposite is true though. The more comfortable and accepting we are in the minds of our culture. The softer and softer we get as a church, we get lulled into complacency as our culture is complacent towards us. To quote the theologian and uh cultural commentary of Dark Knight rising bane. He said this to batman before he breaks his back, he said, peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you. The world is not our home believer. And if you say that as a pastor to a church, when the world feels very homey, warm and accepting and welcoming like a home could and should be, it’s hard for them to take that away and really mean and embrace it and own that identity. We are sojourners here. We’re we’re journeying from through this land to the promised land of heaven and being of God forever. When your world feels like a paradise, it’s hard to take that for real. We’re told to live for the Kingdom of God, not live for this kingdom, the Kingdom of Man or the kingdom of husker world. We’re supposed to live for the Kingdom of God. It’s hard to live for that future kingdom. When I go home to my own personal kingdom and it’s amazing our comfort Victory. Peace has lulled the church to sleep in our. And Victory. And peace has broken our back as a church. We don’t do hard times well as american christians and it reveals the lack of depth our faith has so in the face of pressure, opposition, anti christian leaders, anti christian policies, anti christian politics and powerful people that are anti the gospel message that is out there. God’s people always find a way an open door, an opportunity for gospel advancement, gospel movement. And that door is opened by prayer. The knob of that door is a praying church, They’re not lulled to sleep, they don’t quit, they don’t check out. They, they see the opportunity because they’re praying church. This principle of praying for more open doors. We have lived as a congregation for a season for a while to kind of remind you of the beginning of the open door stories we have as a church, not the end of the beginning. When our members pray, it seems like God answers those prayers. It’s not always yes, but God does answer those prayers. The church that that sold us this building, They initially dropped their asking price by 500,750,000. A lot of money, they dropped their asking initial price by a ton of money for us to be able to buy a number of years ago. That was an open door. There used to be uh, an organ here. That’s that big cavity over there that I hide in. When I preach there used to be an organ there in this rich eccentric millionaire came out from Orcas Island or he had an island outside of Oregon. I don’t know. And he’s played the organ for four hours and then he decided he wanted to buy it. So he spent several $100,000 deconstructing the organ reverb refurbishing it and hauling it off to his island and organ and he built a replica of this building so he can play his organ. Our old organ. We took the 50K profit that we had and we fixed the leaking roof because we’re leaking that side of the church’s roof was leaking into our science in a nursery area, which is not good. So that was an open door and answer to prayer that someone wanted to buy a massive organ and they give us money for it. And then we were able to fix a leaking roof because it was shortly after we bought this building, we were broke and then we were broke broke and then we got a check for 50 K to fix our roof. That’s an open door of opportunity. We’ve been praying as a church for about a year or more I think for new pastors specifically to new pastors and we now have two new pastors and dan is not new to pastoring. He’s been pastoring longer than I have I think. And he’s a seasoned wise vet. Derek is newer. What a blessing you are Brother Derek, you know, but that’s an answer to prayer to new pastors. We’ve been praying for two services and that was comical when we added that to our prayer request our our members prayer card, remember this thing, our members prayer card, you write your names on this and this, remember this you’re getting another one in a couple of weeks here members but there’s two full service is what a what a joke. You know we wrote it. But now God answered that prayer because our members were praying, we prayed for a missionary. I prayed to God for a missionary and we didn’t get a missionary. We got two missionaries brock and Magdalene who went to Alaska because you were praying as a church. I mean we didn’t cannot even make these things happen. I think your prayers made these things happen. We prayed for a church plant again. I think I was only one that made us get that on the list. We made a church plan and we don’t have a planter, we don’t have enough people to plant. But now we do. We have a planter and we have people to plan. And that’s exciting development. We’re going to look at next week the entire time. Next week we pray for parking that God will double our parking. How do you do that? I don’t know but God knew and he helped lobo by that parking lot across the street. They concrete it it they built a nice little fence and they said we can park there because some of you are nice to them and so we got access to that parking and some of you parked there and you cross the street on sunday morning and the neighborhood works allowed us to park 12 cars they’re 18 plus 12 that’s a lot, it’s not doubled and then on Tuesday we closed on that house right over there if you notice the fence goes and it stops oddly at a property we’ve been waiting but now we own it. So this next week defense is gonna go straight through and we’re cutting out trees and it takes a lot to disconnect the house from Being connected to the city but the house is run down and foreclosed, there’s no furnace and and all that stuff. And so then because you prayed I think the asking price dropped 5060K dropped a lot of money, a lot of money, big boy money on my mind and dropped a lot so we can buy it as a very affordable price. So we bought a house which is gonna get this removed from the premises and we will expand our parking. I mean because you prayed, I think God is doubling it. We haven’t done the math yet. Both known or done but that is an answer to prayer doubling our parking. That is amazing. A praying church with praying members seems to be right and healthy. This church was a praying church and colossians there praying for opportunities for their missionaries that they supported which paul is one of their praying for a bold gospel witness, they’re praying, they’re worshiping and thankful and they seem to be on mission in their minds in prayer life as a church, which is key, which is key. I deeply believe this is just the beginning for us as the church, not the end of open doors for us for us and you to walk through we like the Colossians Church can relate to seeing God move and open doors in prayer and God opened doors when the people of God faithfully pray gospel Advancement, Gospel work. Gospel movement has steady prayers backing the gospel work, has grateful prayers backing the work, worshipful prayers, watchful prayers, the people of God backing the work of God through prayer. In a few weeks we’re rolling out our new prayer objectives, a new prayer objectives card value members. So check your email for that closed member strategic meeting, we’re gonna give you some gifts, we’re gonna have some finger food and some drinks and hang out with some name tags because there’s a lot more members than there was a year ago. Check your emails, check your spam email filter, You have an email. If you remember if you don’t have an email and you think you should be a member call me. We’ll talk through what’s going on in colossians 42 talks about a steady continue steadfastly in prayer. Being watchful in it with thanksgiving at the same time pray also for us, the missionaries that they’re supporting. That God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mysteries of christ, on account of which I am in prison. So this passage continues on this passage not only models a healthy culture of a church that’s praying an opportunistic thinking church that sees open doors because they’re praying for open doors and they’re mobilizing their christians because they’re mobilizing the christians to pray. It models that for us, it models the church that when it looks in an opera oppression, oppression against the people of God and the message of God. They see opportunities in the face of oppression because they’re seeing it in their prayer life, paul is encouraging this church the same thing. I think you would encourage that church in this church with today because the culture is not pro christian, we should be pro prayer as a church. We should be found praying as the culture becomes more hostile. God is on the move, King Jesus is building his church and the harvest of souls is bountiful, but the workers are few so pray is that we looked at a few weeks ago, we should be found praying in the face of opposition. You see the opportunity and the opposition when you pray, he continues on in verse three at the same time, pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mysteries of christ on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Clearly, you can pray for this for your pastoral team to teach God’s word at all costs. That is our mandate to teach God’s word at all costs. The cost of being an apostle and and paul’s age was prison and death, dismemberment, martyrdom chains, it was, it was difficult to be a disciple, apostle, a full time christian worker in paul’s day. The cost of being a disciple in the age of the congregations, paul is preaching to was persecution, oppression and is a dangerous call on your life to be a christian in that day. The cost of being a pastor today isn’t at that level as it was in paul’s days, the cost of not compromising in the face of a very real and present danger for pastors is a real and present danger. Many pastors in our city and our cities around our nation are playing games and caving to the growing pressures of our culture to teach God’s word at all costs. It will cost more and more to hear a clear presentation of God’s word and the gospel to a culture that labels God’s word and the Gospel and the bible hate speech. It is common thought. This is this is wild this, I’ve heard this from other pastors. This is common thought that we need to soften not pastors in our church pastor outside of our church that I meant. It is common thought that we need to soften the hard hitting words of jesus and the Gospel in the bible to a younger audience, to the week, younger minds of youth. And it doesn’t make sense. As a brother was reminded me of in the lobby after church first service. There isn’t a very strong words on Youtube. Young people listen to very strong words in their music. There’s a very strong social commentators on Youtube, but we need to get very soft in the pulpit. I just this is wild which that you can’t speak to young congregation the same way you speak to old congregation because old congregation is already made up their mind about all this that you young people are navigating years ago and they’re set. It’s like I just we don’t have a history of softening the message. The hard hitting message of the bible and the gospel to people. We’ve I’ve shared this before. Remember old preaching saying hard words make soft hearts and soft words make hard hearts. We pastors strive to be unapologetically biblical and this painful bible based stance. Our church has makes hard passage is not something we just write off her skip or spin to sound appealing to our culture. Your curiosity doesn’t trump his clarity. The bible is extremely clear in many areas, our culture is curious about the bible has settled issues. Our culture is unsettled about being a bible based church that is unapologetically biblical will make us rare and that is our calling to live that life. Look at me at verse three at the same time pray also for us. He’s talking about them to pray for them paul and his crew. That God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mysteries of christ on account of which I am in prison and I that I may make it clear which is how I ought to speak. You can pray for this pastor, all the other pastors, they’ve got buckets of boldness. I’m sure I can use your prayers to be bold to teach God’s word at all costs for the sake of clarity. I say this in our membership classes monthly. I’d like to say it here for the sake of clarity. We have a cool and trendy website with a cool and trendy social media team. Thank you Cindy. Thank you Annie you guys are doing great but we do not have a cool and trendy belief statement. We don’t, I didn’t mean to get you just, we don’t have a cool and trendy belief statement. We have an ancient christian belief statement that is held onto and celebrated by thousands and thousands of churches across America. We do not get all squishy in our theology that changes month to month with whatever is cool and trendy in our culture this month. God isn’t surprised about what happened, what is happening in our culture now. He’s not surprised about what we’re doing as people in our country. He’s not like, oh, what are they up to? Well, look at that, That is not what happened in God’s mind. He told us how to live and love and lead and for the saved and for the lost. In a deepening walk with him, How to live love and lead people into a deepening walk with him. And that path to a deepening walk is not through shallow people pleasing preaching. Look at me at Galatians 1, 10 Paul was more strong words to another congregation. He said, obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God, if pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servants. If you want to be a people pleaser, do not lead in a church. That’s a dangerous road to be in christian. If we are going to believe God for more and we should opening, we should believe in God for open doors. We need pastors leading with clarity and conviction and boldness in the pulpit and in private, we need prayers for that. We would be bold and clear as a church in private and in public, that we will be bold and clear in our preaching at God’s word at all costs and private and in public, bold and clear. We cannot compromise the teachings of God’s word and expect God to open doors for us. We should resonate what Paul wrote to that church. 2nd Timothy four. This passage, it paul writes to his protege pastor in another city as he’s leading a church, paul writes to timothy, Who’s a younger pastor. He writes a very high stakes intro in Chapter four Second Timothy four, he says, I solemnly charge you before God in Christ, who is going to judge the living and the dead and because of his appearing and his kingdom preach the word be ready in season and out of season, rebuke correct and encourage with great patience and teaching for the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. We need to be bold in the pulpit as pastors, we need to have bold community group leaders, leading community groups, gospel transformed communities that are not shy that are bold in community groups. We need to be bold and clear in the pulpit. We need to be bold and clear in our community. We need to be bold and clear in our discipleship groups as a church. The genesis of that boldness and that clarity is God centered gospel centered through the heart of thanksgiving prayer and worship. The genesis of a fear of man, heart that is ambiguous and uncertain is a man centered heart that lacks worship and prayer in their life. I believe God has given us bold clear leaders as a church and I’m believing him for more Verse five walk in wisdom towards outsiders making the best use of the time. Walk in wisdom towards outsiders making the best use of the time we’re here to follow christ as we walk in. Wisdom is God’s pattern for full and authentic human living is found in following christ. Look at that, let’s look at that phrase making the best use of the time. There’s the verb there literally means buying up or buying out the time. It doesn’t necessarily have the sense that the time is somehow evil, but the time is to be redeemed simply that every opportunity is to be snapped up like a bargain. I like a good deal. I was driving my minivan back from a playground on my day off and my wife and my kids were there in the van, I don’t go to the playground by myself and my kids there and I was driving along and I saw a person moving out and they had this gold’s gym pull up bar the thing where you work out your abs and you do dips on it. It was massive. I’m like that thing is worth money. This is an opportunity, let’s snap up that opportunity. So I drove my family home, dropped them all off, took one boy with me and I drove my minivan back, I don’t have a photo of it because that’d be embarrassing. But I laid all the seats down our minivan, me and my son shove that thing into our minivan? The door of our minivan was open. It was sticking off to the side and I spent my warning lights on and me and my son slowly drove back to my house and now the massive cool thing in my garage. That’s getting dust. Yeah, but it was an opportunity. We’ll move it to the church someday here. But that’s an opportunity you want to snap up those opportunities as you see them christian. I spent 57 minutes inviting 123 of you to church for our easter sunday in a couple of weeks. It only took me 5 to 7 minutes. I don’t think I prayed before I did it, which isn’t good. You should pray. Don’t be like me. But that’s a normal opportunity. Our culture thinks easter, easter eggs, go to church, go home, eat ham. That’s what our culture thinks right now. It’s, it’s just our culture. I think it’s ham. You should invite your neighborhood, Your networks to join you and sit by you at easter, pick up eggs by your kids and then go home and eat hand with you on easter. That’s a cultural opportunity. Don’t let that moment. Get by bargain. That’s a bargain. Deal. Friendship outrage right there. Go capitalize on that. Men and women. Why do we waste our time as christians? Why do we waste our time. Why do we make the worst use of opportunity? Just poor uses of our our time moses wrote a passage about this concept of time moses like a huge hallmark pillar of the christian faith. He wrote huge, massive passages and concepts in the bible, huge hallmark moments of Christianity and Judaism is there in what moses wrote? He wrote the most he’s the most biggest author in the bible bro, moses wrote more your bible than anyone else. Do you understand what he wrote? one psalm psalms 90 verses 12, It’s at the end of his life. I think if I remember right when he’s wrote in psalms 19 verse 12, he wrote, teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom, teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Why do we waste our time? Why do we make a poor use of our time? We don’t think God is the lord of our time, but we believe the lie that we are, that’s why you waste hours on netflix, Why you waste weekends playing video games, why you have no time to be a christian because you’re you think you’re in charge of your time and you serve a master with your time and it’s not christ, we don’t always make the best use of our time. Our free time isn’t the isn’t you think free time is my time. Me time. And that’s a very young immature view of time. Our God is Lord of all time. All a man’s time. All a woman’s time. He’s rains lord over all the time. All time of humanity. All time of planet. He created time. He owns it all. He is Lord of all the lost. Waste their time, immature believers have the wrong view of time and they squandered their their time mature believer makes them most of the time treats time like a bargain and they invest their time with purpose. Move on to verse six. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person paul seems to mean speech with a gentle tone, speech of a gentle tone and use the analogy of salt. I have a I’m getting into my wife bakes and I cook. There’s a difference. I’m told I cooked the meat and pasta and rice and sometimes I’ve learned vegetables. I’m learning how to cook and I’ve learned early that like I once went to town on seasoning that meat with those vegetables, broccoli. I seasoned broccoli with so much salt because I didn’t gauge it. Right it, no one of my kids want to eat it. They just which makes sense. I didn’t make them all eat it one son soldiered through like a good slam and he got he got sick later that night and I being a cheap guy didn’t throw it away. I ate it all slowly the next couple of days. That was brutal over salted broccoli that you bake in the oven. It’s a little olive oil and it’s, but it was terrible because it was too much salt. Some of you guys have a naturally salty speech disposition. You’re like season of salt. Time for me to be a jerk. Time for me to be a real prick. That’s my, I’m just being seasoned salt brother. No, your speech. Your speech is you’re sitting in your speech and using the bible and appropriately to make your speech. Okay? No, we need to be gentle on the way we talk to a culture that is lost. Going to hell forever. Mayor speech be seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. The city of Lincoln shouldn’t have no grounds to accuse or critique or criticize this church by how you speak and God bless you. Listen to me. You’re speaking more as a generation than any generation has ever spoken before. You’re speaking online, christians how you speak online is speech. It’s a technology space. Like we used to write letters and write books and stuff. Now we’re just tweeting out thoughts and twiddling out thoughts and posting random stuff that’s very narcissistic and vain and self centered and anyways, um, our culture should think, oh christians, they think of you. They think of the culture of what you put out there into the world and you are speaking loud and clear men and women, they should not be able to accuse us criticize us or critique us or gossip about the behavior of believers online and offline in private and in public. How what you say and what you tweet and what you write on social media, do you get what I’m saying? Season with salt, it brings color, it adds value, it brings out texture, it brings out amazing nous of food and too much salt is gross and makes you throw up men and women. Our speech and our culture of Christianity reveals how immature are speeches and how immature are christians are in the american church. What does it look like to have believers that are just not obeying this verse? We just looked at, we’ll look at your social media history from two years ago our culture was unhinged with what christians were saying and they were not being salt and light. They’re just being super salty and jerks. There’s a way to communicate to a lost dying world and we missed it. We’ll have more opportunities, christians. Our speech is key and how we represent christ our speech is key and how we talk about open doors and this week three of week four believing God for more series, we’re praying about open doors as a church. I believe God has opened doors in our church, in your neighborhood and your network. I believe God is just getting started in your walk with God. He’s just getting started the best days for a believer are ahead of you. They’re not behind you that world. God saved you out of, is not the world God’s calling and he’s calling to a better world, a better closer, deeper walk of him and in paradise in heaven forever as a christian, you’re growing into greater things with God, your best days. If you’re not a believer or behind you, they’re not ahead of you. Hell was created for the devil and his demons who chose to rebel against God and be the God of their life. We were not made for hell. We will go to hell because of our choices. God gave you the opportunity to repent, ask for forgiveness and turn and place your trust in, jesus, not in something else. All of us have gone astray. All of us have sinned and walked away from God. We all worship other things that aren’t christ. We all worship the world, the devil, the flesh, our pleasures, our comfort, our ari’s. We worship everything but christ were made to worship as people were made to worship his people. But we worship everything else but God, we worship nature, we worship our leisure, We worship pleasure worship alcohol and drugs and sex. We worship so much in the city, but we don’t worship christ the bible says you need to confess. you’re a sinner. You can’t save yourselves and you repent and turn from the life of sin and worshiping and pursuing sin and turn and live a life worshiping and pursuing christ ask him to forgive you of your sins. You can’t fix your sins. This is unique concept because christians are broke, a bunch of broken sinful people that aren’t perfect. That’s what happens when we die and were before God in heaven. He makes us perfect. But we’re in progress from now until then this is a an imperfect only club people that realize that only christ makes us perfect. We need to confess, we are sinners who can’t save ourselves. We need to repent and turn of our sins. The things that if you close your eyes and thought about what you did this last week before communion, you’d be ashamed of it, you would be ashamed, I would be ashamed. We need to realize that we can’t save ourselves. Only christ can save us. Only christ is our savior. Your best days. If you’re not a believer are behind you, possibly, they’re not ahead of you repent. Turn to christ only he could forgive you of your sins. What are some open doors, we are praying for as a church, we are praying for open doors for you to walk through, You are the plan of discipleship and outrage of seeing this city saved. It’s through you and your work as a christian, open your mouth, invite your neighbors and your network to easter, open your wallet, invite your someone new to coffee or lunch with you or breakfast. If you open your calendar, invite your someone new to your dining room table or some March madness party meal. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on reaching out to people and loving people. We’re praying for us as a church to walk through open doors as a whole church. Were praying for more new door number one is more ministry, new community groups, new times, new locations of new leaders with new people reach new people better and faster than current people. We need godly mature men and women answering the call of leading out discipleship groups and community groups in this church, we need new open doors of more church planning in and outside of Lincoln, a local plant and uh, I guess we can do a global, but you know in and outside of Lincoln Because like 1% of the church will leave your church and go outside the city, 10-20% of the church will go across town to the other side of the city. We’re hoping to do both local and regional church plans. We’re praying for new open doors of revitalization of churches in Lincoln. This is the revitalization of a church. If you ever want a nickel tour, a five minute tour, I can walk around and tell you a bunch of funny stories about this church, how you should be organized and the most honoring respectful way possible. I would say interesting, you know, this church had a lot of revitalization into it and that’s where we are. We’re a revitalization of a church, actually a different church that bought the building of a church that sold it to us. So we didn’t like anyways, but this is the building that we’re sitting in that you paid for as a member is a discipleship tool. One of the most expensive purchases in the life of the church and we got this thing for very affordable. So the Gospel Witness could be in this neighborhood for the next generation. The baton was handed off so young generation of leaders and now we’re running a fit and we’ll hand it off to another generation of leaders. But there’s churches in town that have not had a good last couple of years. The cultural reality of a building is how americans view where ministry happens, obviously happens in your home. It happens on your coffee break. It happens outside this building, but as an outreach mechanism, this is an asset to reach out to the city. The grim reality is churches in America are declining and dying. The prayer is pray against the spirit of power control and fear that churches that are declining and dying, grab onto those, those those spirits among the church spirit, those that that, that culture among the church is challenging and they can rule a lot of churches pray for God that he would give us men and women that have a heart for more gospel movement, more church movement of healthy thriving churches in the city of Lincoln to be a witness in those neighborhoods in Lincoln, I’m convinced that if we are mission minded as individuals and as a church, we will see opportunities. Bold gospel door opportunities, we can walk through to be servants or witnesses of christ. The darker our culture gets, the more pressure the believers are under the purer christ makes his church and the more on mission the church gets persecution and pressure propels the church to live a life of purpose and walk through those doors, will you pray with me for more gospel opportunities. Gospel doors, You can walk through as individuals the next few weeks and as a church the next year or so when God’s people pray amazing God, stories happen. If God’s people don’t pray, some very unimpressive stories happen. Church is declining and dying happen. I believe the people of God praying is a huge asset to a healthy church. We have an opportunity to grab your easter invite bundle on your way out before these college kids, take it all and take it home with you, leave it in your car, bring it for your lunch hour and hand it out to some of your friends and neighbors. Hey man, let’s break God thank you for the bold door. The door people walk through to reach me. I wasn’t saved in a vacuum. No one listening to me became a christian. In a vacuum. There was men and women who had awkward conversations who spoke up, who opened their mouth, who invited who, who spoke up when other people were quiet, who acted when other people didn’t act and they were praying and worshiping you and they moved when other people weren’t moving and I became saved. These people in this room became safe because people were bold and going through opportunities. Lord, I pray you just make us that a church that’s maturing and looking for where you’re moving and join you in it and jesus name. We pray. Amen.