Sunday, May 29, 2016

Your Mission...Should You to Decide to Accept It

“Your Mission…Should You Choose to Accept It…”

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date:  05.28.2016

Text: Mark 8.1 - 9
Thesis:  Being first compassionate and thankful, we then can be sent away by Jesus.

1           Introduction

A. “Good morning, Mr. Phelps.  Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it is to ….  As always should any member of your IMF force be captured or killed, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.  Good luck, Jim.”
B.  Being sent on a mission is often fraught with danger, uncertainty and the possibility of failure.
C.  Work, preparation and risk are required for the mission.
E. Mark is all about action!
             1) Action is described by VERBS.
                       a. The action verbs in this passage:
                                 * Have
                                 * Gave
                                 * Sent

2          JESUS HAD COMPASSION – 8.1 - 3

A.   In order to have compassion like Christ one must pray for it
1. (Jas 1:5 - 8)  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
B. In order to have compassion like Christ one must observe others for good
1. (Mat 25:34 – 40)  Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?   And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?  And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
C.  In order to have compassion like Christ we must draw a true and righteous comparison.
1. Compassion is the opposite of vanity, arrogance, pride, haughtiness and condescension.

3          JESUS GAVE THANKS – 8.4 – 7

A.   In order to be thankful like Jesus we must pray for it
1.      Prayer for Christ was more than a recital, it was a continuous conversation.
2.     Prayer for us should be the rule, not the exception
B.   In order to be thankful like Jesus we must pray as individuals
1. (Col 3:15)  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
      C. In order to be thankful like Jesus we must pray collectively
2. (Col 3.16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

4         JESUS SENT THEM AWAY – 8.8 - 9

A.   In order to be sent away by Christ on our mission we must understand the prime directive of being sent away:
1. (Mic 6:8)  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
                       a. We must do justice
1) Dr. King’s plea of “judgement on the content of character” is justice
2) “Doing justice” is treating everyone the same, the “same” being your very best
                       b. We must love kindness
1) (Col 3:11 - 13)  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. Individually and collectively, we have been sent on a mission
B. In order to accept that mission we must first be compassionate
C. In order to accept that mission we must be thankful

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. Will we “accept the mission?”
B. Will I be compassionate?
C. Will I be thankful?

7          “The Gospel Call”

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here:
Ruins photo courtesy of:

·         On Friday night, August 5, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.

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