Intro: QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

What’s the most powerful thing you’ve ever witnessed?

Cars, Explosions, 

Power tools

Power Lifter

Processing power

Powerful people

Powerful armies

Powerful Rome

Journal | Memory Verse: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Sermon Title: Prayer, Planning & Power

Ready, Aim, Fire

Prayer (vs 8-10)

First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you and I always ask in my prayers,

Paul starts by saying, I’m praying for you and I’m proud of you and I’m pleased with you, and I look forward to visiting you. 

Here’s an encouragement:

Start everything with prayer. 

your day, 

your marriage, your decision making 

your work day, your meals…

Start everything with prayer. 

Prayer is how we talk to God and the word of God is how God talks to us. It’s simple communication. 

Prayer can be written (journal it out) 

Prayer can be artistic (paint it or sketch it, express it 

Prayer can be silent, 

It can be spoken out loud, 

it can be sung. 

It doesn’t have to be a weird mantra, it can happen as we live our life, we are just involving God practically. 

It doesn’t need to be religious or formal. It just needs to be heartfelt and it needs to be respectful. 

Prayer builds our relationship with God and others. 

One of the reasons we pray is to ask God, what do you want me to say? What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to give? Who do you want me to help? It’s asking God for His vision.… 

You Are Awesome

Paul says he is praying for the church, and then he goes on to say, “you are known throughout the world” 

You are awesome. 

I’m not trying to flatter you – I want my words to line up with truth in my heart. 

I was just speaking to someone last weekend at the Mens Breakfast.

What he said is, “Going to Oasis is refreshing because everyone is so relatable. It’s not about a show or a production – it’s just people like me coming together and honoring Jesus” 

He said, “The people we have met are amazing. We’re so glad that we get to raise our kids at Oasis 

I want you guys to know that you guys are an incredible church. 

I am so proud of you and privileged that I get to be your pastor.

Praying FOR vs Praying ABOUT

8 Prayers I’m praying FOR you

1. That God would do whatever He has to do to draw you to him.

2. That you would know how much God loves and values you.

3. That you’d fall in love with Jesus again.

4. That you’d be transformed by the renewing of your mind 5. That we’d create a culture of generosity

6. That we’d create an environment of true biblical community

7. That you would see what God can do through you.

8. That you would know the fullness of joy that comes in putting Jesus before everything

Celebrating Prayers answered

Celebrating progress

Let’s Pause and Pray?

Planning (vs 10-13)

Start with prayer and then make a plan. 

How many of you are planners? 

Scheduling, Organizing, Budgeting, Etc 

In ministry, Prayer and Planning go hand in hand. 

For example: I love how Fuller and our worship team both PRAY & PLAN. 

Some people skip prayer, and just jump to planning. 

These folks end up missing God and aren’t getting vision from God – they are just full of themselves and their good ideas – and their ministry comes off dry and misses the mark.

Some people skip planning, and just pray. 

These are the worship leaders who show up unprepared, haven’t rehearsed, and just begging God to move in spite of them.

We Pray AND Plan.

Harrison at breakfast the other day said, “Let’s plan as much as we can, but yield to the Holy Spirit if/when he changes the plan.”

Sometimes your prayers seem to go unanswered.

And sometime your plans go off the rails. 

Paul Prays, then he plans. 

if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 

He’s planned to visit Rome over and over, but he’s not been able to get there, 

He’s not been able to visit the city of Rome,

Interestingly, he never makes it to Rome on his own terms, he’s arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome, where he was beheaded.

His plans didn’t play out like he expected. But he was faithful to God through every ounce of his suffering.  

I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 

In the last sentence, he’s saying “Jesus is for everybody.”

A lot of times, I’m for my political party. 

I’m for my racial grouping. 

I’m for my tax bracket. 

I’m for my kind. 

Jesus is over all, everyone needs Jesus, and Jesus is for everyone!

Paul is EAGER to preach the gospel in Rome!

In Acts 1, we see the great commission is to take the gospel from jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the “ends of the earth”

 

Rome is the “ends of the earth”

Jerusalem was the capital city of God’s Love & Grace.

Rome was the capital city of Sin & Evil

Rome was the most powerful city in the known world.

Paul knew if he could reach ROME, then he could get the gospel to everyone, everywhere.

Power (vs 14-17)

Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Power was a value & a buzzword in Rome

The gospel had already made it to Rome because Peter baptized 3000 people on the day of pentecost, and so many people were visiting there from Rome, they went back to Rome saved, different than they came.

The Christians in Rome were known for love. They cared for the sick, they ran toward the mess of peoples lives, they were Bold and brave to spread the gospel in Rome.

Paul knew the Christians in Rome needed support and encouragement – they needed a leader who would courageously advance the cause of Christ.

 
Rome had the power to snuff out and kill christians. 

Caesar Nero was a ruthless emperor who was known for enslaving the most vulnerable people – Nero was known for murdering anyone who rose up against him, and he was so threatened by Christianity that he wanted it eliminated.

Sounds like many in our culture today, huh?

WHY?

The preaching of the gospel.

The words of the gospel are offensive.

Privatization & Pluralism

Culture wants you to sit down and shut up

You hear people say “you can’t legislate morality”

You hear people say “religion is the problem”

Etc

And culture has done a good job of shutting us up and many of us have said, “sure, I’ll sit down and be quiet”

Why? Because we are ashamed of the gospel.

We are afraid of what people will think.

We don’t even know the gospel – we just like going to cute church services.

We need unashamed Christians who are willing to spread the news of Jesus everywhere!

 

Christians say, I don’t talk about my faith publicly because its a private thing.

Or, I just live a good life and people see it and that’s my evangelism.

We use the quote…

“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” 

-St Francis of Assisi

That’s a cute quote but its problematic.

Myth: you can preach the gospel without using words.

The gospel IS words

  1. The gospel needs to be proclaimed publicly because Jesus is Lord of all and not just Lord of our hearts.
  2. The words of the gospel is what causes conflicts.
  3. You cannot see the gospel. You must hear it. Good deeds vs good news.

vs 17

“For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”

Righteousness of God: phrase is used 8 times in Romans 

Who God is – righteous

Who we are – unrighteous

How do you become right w/God?

By FAITH!

 
God embraces us, adopts us into His family, he proudly accepts us for who we are and is patient with us as we transform into a new creation. 

Conclusion – Unashamed – God is not ashamed of you!

According to everything I read online these days, the CHURCH is…

-Broken & Imperfect

-Underperforming & Flawed

-Wrong

-Pointless

-sinning

-hypocritical & self righteous

-Not working hard enough

-harmful & toxic

-abusive

-not listening

Im honored to pastor that church.

Those are literally the kinds of people I prayed God would send.

And I am one of them.

And yes there is work to be done.

I need to acknowledge my sin & repent.

We all do.

I doubted, deconstructed, dissed, ditched, cussed & accused the church throughout my twenties. Eventually I got over myself & I realized all the education & knowledge I had, along with all my criticism & contempt, didn’t actually change a thing…

The best way to enact change is from within.

Today I am fully, 100%, head over heels, wholly sold out to Jesus & His church.

I will love, live, breathe, eat, drink, & pray for His church.

The world may crucify me with it.

I’m all in.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel!

 I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus! 

He made this planet. 

He rules this planet. 

And He has spoken to this planet. 

He says that all nations, all races, all classes, all colors, all creeds are equally His image bearers, made in His image and likeness, that all life is sacred from the womb to tomb. 

Our God is a God of grace. God’s people care for everyone because 

God made everyone, 

God loves everyone, 

Jesus died for everyone, 

the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone! 

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The nations need Jesus. 

The political parties need Jesus. 

The poor need Jesus. 

The rich need Jesus. 

Every race needs Jesus. 

Everyone needs Jesus. 

Our hope is in Jesus. 

Our righteousness is in Jesus. 

Our authority is in Jesus. 

Our savior is Jesus. 

Our King is Jesus. 

[If there is time: Martin Luther and Reformation]