Do you have gospel dreams for this year?

This is a short talk I gave at the beginning of a training morning for our student leaders.  One of our aims for the morning was to get them thinking, dreaming and taking initiative for ministry on campus, not just waiting for the staff to do things, run ministry etc.

Intro Question:

What are your dreams for this year?

(we got them to discuss this in 2’s and 3’s with some feedback)

This year I will be a father… I have big dreams for my son/daughter…

I challenge you that your dreams are too small!

Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

Focus on v11

“with this in mind” – with what in mind?

v7b-10 – the gospel, particularly here its eternal consequences – eternal destruction/shut out (v9) or inclusion amongst God’s people (v10)

“This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”

“With this in mind, we constantly pray” Pray what?

“That God may count you worthy of his calling”

i.e. That you may not fall away that you may be found among his people and not those shut out (v9-10).

What what does it mean to be found worthy of his calling?

v3-4

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring”

  • growing faith
  • growing love
  • perseverance and faith in all trials

In some ways these are all things we have come to know and believe as Christians.

But then this caught my eye, when I read it recently:

Not only is he praying that because the gospel has eternal consequences they may be found worthy (a holding steady)

but also that because the gospel has eternal consequences they dream big, take risks.

“by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”

This is a great prayer – Paul prayers that whatever they attempt for the gospel this year may be fulfilled.  That every good deed you do in your class, res, friends etc may be fulfilled.

Fulfilled how? By bearing gospel fruit.

Paul prays that every act prompted by their faith may be fulfilled.  What faith-prompted acts are you planning this year?

Start a Bible study, disciple another Christian, serve unbelievers, the poor, live and tell your friend about Jesus.

What faith-prompted acts are you planning in your res?

in your class?

in your unit?

in your family?

Do you have gospel dreams, gospel ambitions?

My prayer is that:

“by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”

What are your gospel dreams for this year?

( as with the intro question we got them to break into 2’s or 3’s and discuss this idea)

Not for your glory but for God’s

We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” v12

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~ by John on February 9, 2009.

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