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Blessed to be a Blessing

Jason Sliger

Presenter

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

Recorded

  • April 17, 2019
    10:15 AM
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Father in heaven our request this morning is simple we pray that you would send the Holy Spirit to take the words that are spoken and send them home to our hearts he would be receptive Lord to what you have in store for us both this morning and throughout the rest of our time together worshipping you on this your Sabbath Day Thank you Father for hearing our prayer for answering it because we pray in the merciful name of Jesus Amen lowliest Trotter was a young lady who was raised in a privileged home one of great wealth and in her early twenty's her mother took a few of her paintings and brought them before the great famous art critic John Ruskin for him to examine and take a look at when Ruskin saw the paintings of Lily as he was moved to his core and he begged her to let him launch her career as an artist he believed he told her that she would become one of the greatest living painters and do things that would become immortal this type of stuff is intoxicating for young people when they hear it but there is a catch Not only was raised in a wealthy home but she was raised also in a God fearing home and they catch that Ruskin told her that she would have to give herself completely up to art. For about a day or so US was just in thrall with her prospects of becoming a great artist that would make paintings that would become immortal but the more she thought about it from a Christian perspective the more she became uncomfortable and then she penned these words she said I see clear as day light now I cannot give myself the painting in a way he means and continue to seek 1st the Kingdom of God and His righteousness I believe that there are young people here at Heartland that have the same mentality so little yes turn from pursuing her career as an artist and gave herself wholeheartedly to the Lord and his service and in fact if you were to go in search of her paintings you will not find them hanging in the Great out artists galleries and museums in the world you actually have to ask they are filed away in a obscure museum in Oxford England and to see them you would have to ask to be able to be to see them but she lived the for the next 4 decades of her life as a pioneer missionary to the people of Algeria in North Africa meeting people who had never seen a white woman before for little eous the Gospel commission was transformative in her life but I'm going to tell you another story a young girl by the name of Lillian Trotter 23 years old she was engaged to her sweetheart he was a young minister who was getting ready to launch is Ministry career. And one day she went to listen to a missionary from India share about the work that was being done in far off lands and her heart was moved as she contemplated the work that needed to be done in other parts of the world she felt the calling of God pulling strongly upon her heart to go and serve in Africa as a missionary Well she shared this with her now fiance the call that God was giving to her to go to the mission field and he did not share that same call 10 days before they were to get married Lillian Trotter broke off there in Gage meant because she had to obey her masters command for her life 23 years old sold all of her earthly presents sions sailed to Alexandria and founded an orphanage in Egypt and worked there tirelessly for 50 years and never married and she became known as the mother of the Nile and was given the opportunity to. Form the lives of some 25000 Egypt young people who were orphans for Lillian trot for limit trasher the Gospel commission was transformative in her life and as we hear these 2 stories and there are countless others I could just go on and on of various missionaries who've done the same thing we think what a sacrifice they have made. Reminds me of a statement from David Livingston the great explorer missionary of the interior of Africa he said if a commission by an earthly king is considered and honor how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice so only I say amen to that. Prophets and kings page 701000 says from no sect rank or class of people is the light shining from the heavens thrown to be excluded the message of hope and mercy is to be carried to the ends of the earth last night we looked at this passage in Matthew Chapter 9 where Jesus said The harvest is plenty is but the laborers are few Let me tell you something this morning they may be stating the obvious but the devil knows that the harvest is plenty of us and he is doing everything he can to keep the laborers to be few but it's our God given responsibility it is our divine marching orders that come hell or highwater we will move forward in sharing the gospel to the far reaches of the world amen there are millions of faceless individuals who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus preached Jesus tells us to go. To go to every nation kindred tongue and people and not just go to make them better people not just go to make them healthier people not just go to make their lives more comfortable and to supply their needs but to break before them the bread of life the 3 Angels' messages that God has given us in Revelation the 14th chapter in brothers and sisters as wonderful as the one or 2 or 3 week mission trips on our God is looking for people who will be like little Ian Trotter and Lily as Lily a striker and Lily and trash or who will go and spend their life's ministering to people in the far off distant lands and what some of us might be might consider as hostile regions of the world their god has his children who need to hear the everlasting Gospel Now let me be quick to say that the short term mission trips are needed they transform my life and they are transforming the lives of many young people as they go and they see what the world is like there they feel that call to go into the mission field but we need more workers that are not just working here in North America but that are going to the distant lands as we saw in our illustration last night working among those who are on Reach it is a business statistic that one out of 10 missionaries are working among the unreached people we work as though this is going to be our home for ever What's that old song this world is not my home. On just passing. Through how we overlook the blessing in the Bible that Scripture tells us that it is more blessed to give then to in North America we have become intoxicated with receiving more and more information sermon after sermon service will last after Sabbath school class and I'm not saying that we shouldn't do those things we need to do those things but we don't want to stop there we get so that we can give because one who gets and does not give becomes stagnant and what Revelation 3 describes as a Laodicean Christian of course Matthew chapter $21020.00 is not the 1st time that God called his people to be a blessing to the world we find this invitation numerous times throughout Scripture even in the life of Jesus and his ministry with the disciples as Jesus invited Simon and Andrew to come and follow him he told them that he was going to make them fishers of right at the very beginning of their ministry in. March after 3 in verse 14 Jesus the Bible tells us that he commissioned of 12 disciples that they might be with him and that he might send them forth to preach and then again in March after 6 or 7 Bible tells us that he called the 12 to him and began to send them out to buy to God is a sending God. A kind of God as. He is a sending gone beginning again throughout the Bible we find that God calls people to Him He blesses them and then he sends them out. Again and again we see this and you look at the book about X. you see the book of Acts is pregnant with this concept of people who had been blessed by the ministry of Jesus and could not contain themselves no matter what came their way whether it was persecution whether it was an accolade no matter what happened even if they didn't have the money to supply their needs they were not going to let anything stop them from spreading the good news that Jesus was coming soon to take us home but I want you to turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis Chapter 12 verses one through 3 and we find here a passage of Scripture that in my humble opinion is foundational to the Gospel commission that we are so familiar with Genesis Chapter 12 we go back to the father of faith here the great patriarch the great prophet Abraham and in verses one through 3 Abraham who at this point is still a broom is having a close communication with his Heavenly Father and the Bible says this No the Lord it had said unto Abrams get the out of the high country and from by kindred and from my father's house unto the land I will show them and I will make the make of the A What great nation Listen to this and I will bless thee and make great and that now shall be a what. God blessed so that his descendants could be a what a blessing they were blessed to be a blessing the Bible goes on verse 3 and God repeats himself and I will bless them that bless thee and I will curse him that curse the and in be shall all families of the earth be brothers and sisters that prophesy or that promise is being fulfilled the smarting Amen God is blessing his people so that they in turn can be a blessing to all nations kindreds and tongue it's my humble opinion this is foundational to the Gospel commission but I want you to notice something that takes place I'm going to just kind of trace some history here and if you want some good reading this afternoon probably won't have time because we're going to come to all of the other programs in the taking That's the stuff to noon right but if you want some additional reading I would encourage you go to the book profits in Kings Chapter 59 the house of Israel largely the quotes that I was sharing with you this morning have been taken from that particular chapter the some very interesting things in there that you may want to read through. But this is from prophets and kings page 73 it says this this promise the one that we just read in Genesis Chapter 12 of blessing should have meant fulfillment in large measure during the centuries following the return of Israel from the land of their captivity that is from Egypt in captivity it was gone design that the whole earth be prepared for the advent of Christ what were they supposed to do to prepare the earth for what the advent of Christ the 1st coming of Christ and then she goes on even as today the way is prepared for his 2nd coming OK so the the Jews after their Egypt in captivity their their goal in blessing the world was to prepare them for a specific event it wasn't just to make them good people it wasn't just to make them comfortable people it wasn't to make them better sinners but it was to prepare them for what the coming of the promised one sounds similar for us today it hasn't changed over the centuries it's just a shift in the event we're not preparing people for the 1st coming of Christ but by God's grace we are preparing people for translation into the Kingdom of Heaven they were blessed abundantly to be a blessing to others now suppose with me if you would that you had something very important. That you wanted to give to a loved one maybe they are in need of some specific thing and you want to help meet that need and so you get a box and you package that thing up in that box you write a nice little note you stick it inside there and then you take it down to the man at the Fed Ex store and you give him the address the return address you stick it on the box What do you expect that man to do with your blessing in a box. Now what would you think if that man took that box home opened it took it out and kept it for himself what would you think would you be happy now you've lost that man because you paid him to do that but you didn't pay him or Bless him to keep it for himself brothers and sisters were Fed Ex employees and God blesses you morning by morning God blesses you Sabbath by Sabbath God blesses you from one class to the next God blesses you abundantly day after day as you see his Will let's be good Fed Ex employees if you will and take that blessing to the world. There are people who are in need of what God has given to us and we don't want to keep it to ourselves now this morning I want to quickly outline for you 2 traps that the devil tries to catch us in to keep us from fulfilling this gospel commission to keep the prayer of Christ to pray you the Lord of the harvest that he may thrust workers out into the field there are 2 traps there are probably more but Q. traps that I want to share with you this morning that I believe the devil has specific specifically designed to help keep that fulfillment or that prayer request from being answered and the Gospel going to the world the 1st trap that the devil caught Israel in and it's also a trap that I believe he catches us in as well is the trap of worldliness What is that trap. Worldliness it didn't take long after their release from Egypt in captivity and ultimately their settle in the earthly cane in their possession that they had received for Israel to start flirting with the nations are around them and as you chronicled this history throughout the Old Testament you find that it got to the point where the Israelites worshipped was so transformed that it no longer looked like the worship that God had outlined for them to participate in but it actually looked more like the pagan systems of worship we find this outlined in easy cure chapter 8 and verse 16 were easy kewl sees in prophetic vision God's people at the house of the Lord with their backs towards the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east worshipping the sun as it rose out of the east they became so a now merged with the customs and the rituals of the people around them that their worship had been transformed that worldliness had D. railed them from the commission that God had given to them to take the Gospel or to prepare the world for the 1st coming of Jesus can you all see that until the bible tells us that these people that are defined as the people of God actually made than the name of the Lord Fane among the nations Lord forbid that we would do that. The reality is brothers and sisters that the press of worldliness is all around us and I don't need to drag you through all of the gory details on this but every day we are constantly bombarded with the temptations to compromise the temptation to obtain the American dream the temptation for wealth for position the temptation with entertainment and in more reality the press of worldliness is always around us and when that press of worldliness comes to you it is the devil's attempt to try to derail you from being the witness that God has called you to be by God's grace we won't get sucked into that trap we could talk long and hard about ways that we can avoid that and I'm sure those types of sermons have been preached here once before but I want to talk to you about this 2nd trap that I believe is probably one that we more easily get sucked into and it's the trap of isolating ourselves from those who need to be reached now those of you that were here last night when we did the illustration we had the reach and the unreached when we divvied up the missionaries where did most of the missionaries go they went to the reached right in that illustration we begin to see how this trap of isolation is actually starting to play out there needs to be a more even distribution of the work force and we'll talk more about here and that in just a few moments but as Israel went and were sucked into worldliness and immorality gone had to do something to get them back and so we find them going back off into their Babylonian captivity for some years. As they came out of that Babylonian captivity in the Old Testament prophet Zachariah wrote in Zachariah Chapter 8 verses 12 and 13 just jotted down the notes he said this talking about God is talking here he said and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things and it shall come to pass as ye were a curse among the heathen Oh House of Judah and house of Israel sown will I save you somebody of the same into that and ye shall be a blessing Aren't you glad that we serve a patient God time and time again he works with us we we get going in the right direction and then boom we get derailed and we start going someplace else and God works around and he brings us back to where he wants us to and then boom we get the rail again and he brings us back around again we serve such a loving patient in patient and concerned God who is constantly working to use us as a conduit of blessing to the world just brought them out of Babylonian captivity I will use you he says. To be a blessing paychecks and promise page 75 says this by Babylonia show captivity that Israel lights were effectually cured of their worship of graven images sometimes God has to bring us through persecution to refine us talk more about that tomorrow. After their return they gave much attention to religious instruction and to the study of that which had been written in the book of the long and of in the prophets concerning the worship of the true God there was a revival there is a reformation that took place they came back to the Bible and the Bible standards the good all gospel and they began to apply those things in their life worshipping God it the way God intended them to in this great reformation Listen to this the seasons of prosperity that followed gave ample evidence of God's willingness to accept and forgive listen and yet with fatal short sightedness they turn again and again from the glorious destiny and selfishly appropriated to themselves that which would have brought healing and spiritual life to countless multitude What did they do. They sat on their blessing if you were to attend their worship service and compare what they were doing to the word of the law you would see that there was an agreement between the 2 they were following at least to the best of their ability at that time the teachings of God's word there was a revival that took place and as the revival began to take place God's blessing began to be showered down upon them and as God's blessings was showered down upon them what did they do they kept. To themselves she continues the chosen people did not become the light of the world but set themselves away from the world as listen to this Don't miss this. But set themselves away from the world as a safeguard against being seduced into idolatry do we want to become I know do you want to be seduced by world leaders No What I'm suggesting is there's 2 sides of the ditch here there's 2 ditches. And so the one side was worldliness being caught up in idolatry they fell into that ditch and so now God trying to bring them back on that path to bring the Gospel to the world of Christ to prepare the world for Christ 1st coming in so doing they wanted to stay as far away from pos as possible from idolatry they didn't want to be affected by it and so they separated themselves from idolatry and the tsunami carefully and from all the idolators Now let me ask you a question how are they going to prepare idolaters for the coming of Jesus if they are separating themselves from them as the trap of isolation she goes on the restrictions which God had given were so all perverted as to build up a wall of partition between the Israel lights and all other people thus shutting from others the very blessings which God had commissioned Israel to give to the world worldliness isolation we are to be in the world you've heard it said before but not of the world and let me tell you something brothers sisters that's not a balance that you can do on your own there is no way in the world that you can keep that balance without the help of Jehovah. That's why morning by morning God's people need to be found on their knees committing their lives to God take me oh Lord as holy as the wind I lay all my plans at your feet use me today in by service abide in me and that all by works be wrought through mean and as we commit ourselves to God morning by morning then we are able to keep that balance to be in the world but not of it unfortunately Israel fell into the 2nd ditch the ditch of isolation they didn't talk to Gentiles they didn't spend time with the Gentiles they considered them lost and on clean in short brothers and sisters they did not love the Gentiles they thought that they were the only ones that were worthy of being saved and so they isolated themselves from the people that God wanted them to go to so what would God do let me tell you something brothers sisters God's plans are not going to be frustrated by human beings he will accomplish his purpose the question is is am I going to walk to the beat of his drum or am I going to walk to the beat of a different wrong whether it be worldliness or isolation now it's admirable that we do not want to become like the world that is admirable We do not want to become like the world but we don't want to isolate ourselves from those people go with me in your Bibles to our scripture reading Matthew chapter sorry Malakai chapter one in verse 11 again I found this gem of a passage I've read it once before but it didn't make the impact that it did on me like it did a couple of weeks ago Molokai chapter one and verse 11 and it just thrills my heart whenever I read this passage Malakhov the Old Testament prophet in the context of what we have just learned he says this. From the rising of the sun even to the going down of the saying my name shall be great among the Gentiles like God's people say amen. And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name and the pure offering for my name shall be great among the heathen say if the Lord of Hosts does not really your heart God's great God's name is going to be great among the heathen among the young reached among the Muslims among the Buddhists among those people who are so far away from God right now God's name is going to be great among them and God wants to use you to make his name great what a great privilege we have to be representatives of our Heavenly King Well how would God accomplish his purpose Listen to this I'm just continue to repeat prophets and kings the same chapter there Chapter 59. She says this that which God purposed to do for the world through Israel the chosen nation he will finally accomplish through his church on earth today what church is that well according to my Bible in your Bible according to Bible prophecy God has one distinct remnant people in the last days and God wants to use the 7th Day Adventist Church to take this Gospel to the world God what he could not accomplish through Israel he will accomplish through his church on earth today and I want to thank the Lord that there are many pre Adventists that have sacrificed the life the cares of this world to take the good news of Jesus to the world those are our brothers and sisters they don't bear the tag 7th Day Adventist on them yet. But I believe that as they sincerely follow God into the mission field that God will sincerely lead them into the truth whether that mission field be here in North America or in the far flung parts of the world God will fulfill Malakai chapter one in verse 11 he will fulfill that through His people on earth today so how are we doing well some of the administration church as many of you already know we are in 213 of the 235 nations recognized by the United Nations that's something to rejoice about isn't it and then you know oftentimes use this in my Bible prophecy seminars that we are to be a global movement God's people last days will be a global movement and truly the Lord has blessed us in that regard the gospel is being taken to these different parts of the world but let me tell you something brothers sisters just because we have a presence in the country does not mean that the work is finished there in many of these countries the work has just begun barely just begun according to statistics we have almost 21000000 members in this great movement of people that God has raised up this movement that he loves so much and for this we can truly be grateful for but I think we can do better according to statistics there are 10000 people groups who have yet to be reached how many 10 that there are 17000 people groups 10000 of them are considered on reached that comprises 41 percent of the earth's population many of whom have not even heard the name of Jesus. My heart goes out I remember I believe it was a G. Y.C. or something like that. When I 1st learned about the Middle East North Africa Union and as I listened to the stories by the president at the time homer carton and the the appeal that he was making for tent makers to go into these parts of the world where oficial missionaries cannot go I heart was moved and just recently I went back and I started crunching some numbers that I thought you might be interested in in North America well let me start with this meant the Middle East North Africa Union has 558000000 people OK so it's a large territory in North America we have more ministers and they have members we have more ministers than they have members according to what I can find from the statistics that have been published online there are 283 denominational e paid employees in that territory of the earth we have over 4000 here in North America actually know if you clue all of the employees it's over 118 those Middle East North Africa Union comprises some of the largest cities in the world like Istanbul Turkey with 15000000 people the country of Iran is part of this union with 81000000 people with no known Adventist presence there's 2 ditches that the devil has devised to try to keep this prayer of Jesus from being fulfilled from the Gospel commission from being fulfilled William Borden once said he was a missionary himself if 10 men are carrying a log 9 on the little end and one on the large very heavy end and you want to help which end will you lift. I'm thankful that our 10 missionary volunteers that came up in our time together last night they could see this they didn't go where there were lots of workers where did they go they went to the unreached because there weren't as very many people over there there was a vast need for people to work among those who are considered Henri I think it's time for us to help those that are carrying the heavy end when you say now my Bible tells me and we're going to wrap this thing up now in Revelation Chapter 7 and I want to end on a good note here Revelation Chapter 7 in verse 9 where we find the seal of the Living God talking about the 144000 of course in that chapter but then John sees something in prophetic vision that I can't wait to see for myself with my very own eyes by God's grace one day. Verse 9 John says this and after this I beheld and lo the great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues that stood before the throne and before the lamb clothed with white robes and poems in their hand. Hey men one day this thing is going to be done the Gospel is going to go to all parts of the world to every nation kindred tribe and language the Gospel is going to go and one day you're going to get the privilege that if you are faithful to follow God's calling in your life to fulfill that commission and remember last night we talked about I don't know what that looks like for you only God can tell you what that looks like in your life. But as you pray through that and you see God's leading to show you where do I fit in in fulfilling the Gospel commission lord am I on this ditch of worldly mis or I mean does this ditch of isolation were Am I in this thing help me to see clearly so that I can fulfill the prayer request of Jesus to Egypt workers into the field one day if we are faithful to that calling we will be in heaven and we will see this multitude What a day every joy seen that will be in let me tell you something brothers and sisters when you get there and you see this I don't care what suffering you have to go through here on this earth it will be worth it Amen in Cairo Egypt there is an overgrown cemetery that is filled with American missionaries it's off to the side down an alley most people don't even really know where it is nobody is tending to it but in that cemetery there is a tombstone with the name inscribed on it William Borden William Borden was a young man who was privileged to be born into a family of opulence very wealthy and he was to inherit all of his family's fortune and upon graduating from high school his parents decided to give him a high school gift the highest high school graduation gift. And my gift was to travel around the world and see the different places how would you like that for a high school give graduation and as Bordon in this 1819 years old traveled through Asia and the Middle East and Europe as he saw the need in the world his heart was moved and he wrote back home to his parents that he was going to commit the rest of his life to taking the gospel to the world. One friend remarked upon hearing this letter that he was throwing away his life as a missionary the $1000000.00 millionaire Christian missionary William Borden died in Egypt at the age of $25.00 his chosen destination was China he wanted to work at one among the Muslim people in China he stopped in Egypt so he could learn the Arabic language and while he was there he contract that spinal meningitis and was laid to the grave a very tender age however before leaving this world and going to his place of rest during his time as a student at Yale he inspired hundreds of young people to give their life in service to or it is said that on the back of William Borden's Bible that right before he died he wrote 2 words no regrets this is a man who gave up millions of dollars high paying jobs a prestigious position in the eyes of the world died in death had a funeral service that was attended by just a handful of people and is now buried in a cemetery somewhere where the weeds are taking over no regrets it's inscribed on his tombstone apart from faith in Christ there is no explanation for such a life God's church was designed for one purpose missions signs of the times 986 and closing she says this The mission of the church is to save souls as much as we love convocations this is not our mission as much as we love being trained in going to training institutions like this and I'm thankful for Heartland Institute it's not our mission this institute is here for one purpose and that's the train people for this mission. The mission of the church is to save souls Jesus was about to ascend on high he pointed to the harvest field. He said to his father's go sorry he said to his followers Go ye into all the world and preach. The gospel. But some tailor the great missionary China he said this is the Great Commission is not an option to be considered It is a command to be obeyed. It is a command just like the 10 Commandments are a command. It's not negotiable every person is called to be part of this great gift of taking the dogs. And so brothers and sisters I appeal to you again the small. As I peeled to you last night that you would pray earnestly and that she would say Lord where do I. Where do I fit in on this and don't let your age your physical limitations your financial limitations don't lead to anything like that stand in the way of what God impresses you to do. Because his bidding is your neighbor. And if he calls you he will provide for you it does not mean that it will be a road full of roses and that the past will be easy but I want to tell you something brothers sisters when you get to the end of the path and you're standing before the throne of God and you see those people there who you have one to God who God has used you to win to him it will be worth it. This world is not our home. We're just passing through. And as we pass through we need to take as many people with us as. Let's pray. Father in heaven. Thank you for your patience with us. Lauren it's so easy to get comfortable in our lives. Comfortable homes comfortable churches. Comfortable jobs comfortable cars thought of being around people who are strange and dress different and talk different and act different. Makes us uncomfortable. Father I thank You that You sent your son. And that he was willing to go on the greatest of all mission trips. To a world that was uncomfortable. To die on a cruel cross the creator of the world. To redeem fallen humanity. The Father I pray that we would be willing. To take up our crossing blindly following the humble footsteps of Jesus. Lord I pray for each person here today. That you would reveal to us where do we fit in. In fulfilling this commission that you've given to us as a church. Are we prayers are we financial supporters are we for soldiers. Father have we fallen into one of these 2 ditches reveal these things to us. Because we want our lights so shot. That others may see Jesus. And desire the same for those. Father thank You for each precious person who is here today. Pray that you would bless and stored as we continue to seek your will from our life as. We ask it in the merciful loving. Us. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and my. More if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon leave Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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