Jesus was saying that I can send the Holy Spirit so that He (the Holy Spirit of God) can be with all believers in all places and at all times, filling them and using them as a mighty army to do the work of God!!!!!

Story:

A young pilot had just passed the point of no return when the weather changed for the worse. Visibility dropped to a matter of feet as fog descended to the earth. Putting total trust in the cockpit instruments was a new experience to him, for the ink was still wet on the certificate verifying that he was qualified for instrument flying.
The landing worried him the most. His destination was a crowded metropolitan airport he wasn’t familiar with. In a few minutes he would be in radio contact with the tower. Until then, he was alone with his thoughts. His instructor had practically forced him to memorize the rulebook. He didn’t care for it at the time, but now he was thankful.
Finally he heard the voice of the air traffic controller. "I’m going to put you on a holding pattern," the controller radioed. Great! Thought the pilot. However, he knew that his safe landing was in the hands of this person. He had to draw upon his previous instructions and training, and trust the voice of an air traffic controller he couldn’t see. Aware that this was no time for pride, he informed the controller, "This is not a seasoned pro up here. I would appreciate any help you could give me."
"You’ve got it!" he heard back.
For the next 45 minutes, the controller gently guided the pilot through the blinding fog. As course and altitude corrections came periodically, the young pilot realized the controller was guiding him around obstacles and away from potential collisions. With the words of the rulebook firmly placed in his mind, and with the gentle voice of the controller, he landed safely at last.

Like that controller, the Holy Spirit guides us through the maze of life. The controller assumed that the young pilot understood the instructions of the flight manual. His guidance was based on that. Such is the case with the Holy Spirit: He can guide us if we have a knowledge of God’s Word and His will established in our minds.

So this early mission’s minded church was guided by the Holy Spirit and we need the Holy Spirit to guide us. As we are seeking to increase our missionary support and outreach, we need to be sensitive as to who we will take on for support and who we will increase our support to and what people groups do we want to emphasize.

#2) They were praying and fasting, seeking God’s will for them.

I think that many times we make decisions and plans for God’s work that we really sincerely think are the right ones and then we even pray and ask God to bless the plans without really seeking Him first. Look again at Acts 13:2 & 3,

"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."

These were people of God who were earnestly praying and fasting and expecting to receive direction from the Lord. And they did! How much time do we spend in prayer and fasting to the Lord until we get an answer from Him?

And that’s why we don’t have the results that this group had either!

Story:

A committee of ministers in a certain city was discussing the possibility of having D. L. Moody to serve as the evangelist during a city-wide evangelistic campaign. Finally, one young minister who did not want to invite Moody stood up and said: "Why Moody? Does he have a monopoly of the Holy Spirit?" There was silence. Then an old, godly minister spoke up: "No, he does not have a monopoly of the Holy Spirit; but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly of D. L. Moody."
Does the Holy Spirit have a monopoly on your life?

Are we so in touch and sensitive to His leading that every important and even "minor" decision is not made until we have bathed it in prayer?

For the second part of my message I want us to turn in the Word of God to I Corinthians chapter 16 and read verses 1-9.

Paul is writing here to the believers in the church at Corinth about his third missionary journey and in verses 5 through 9 specifically, Paul is telling the church that he will come to them after he first visits Macedonia. Then in verse eight Paul says that he will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost. What is so important that he stay in Ephesus until Pentecost? Well Paul sees an opportunity here for people to hear the Gospel. In verse nine he explains why he will stay. Look at it again.

"For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."

Listen to what one of the greatest missionaries in all of church history is saying. Paul is no doubt very tired. He has been on two other missionary journeys with no break or vacation. He has been preaching to all who will listen, he has been starting churches, facing mighty opposition and sometimes having to flee for his life. He is hoping to take a little break and come to Corinth and rest for awhile but notice the words in verse nine,

"A great door and effectual is opened unto me."

You know what happens to Paul? He stays in Ephesus for another three years, the longest he stayed in any one place! God used Paul to start a great church in Ephesus and many other churches around that region so that Ephesus would become a major control center for early Christianity. I want to talk quickly about three doors that Paul saw in that one great door he mentions in I Corinthians 16:9.

#1) He saw a Door of Opportunity.

Ephesus was not where most Christians would want to settle…it was a big city, a major financial and commercial center and a rich city….BUT IT WAS HOME TO THE TEMPLE OF DIANA…one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This was a place of immorality and legalized prostitution. It was a city full of superstitious people.
BUT WHEN PAUL SAW THE CITY AND SAW ALL THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THERE HE SAW OPPORTUNITY TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL!

The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is that a pessimist sees a problem in every opportunity…and a optimists sees an opportunity in every problem.

Do we have a door of opportunity….YOU KNOW WE DO!!!!

We live in the most densely populated state in the country and we literally have the world here at our footsteps. It is a culturally diverse area with many different language and nationalities represented. God had placed us strategically here for such a time as this and we must seize the opportunity as Paul said and see the open door and take advantage of it. We can literally reach most of the known world right here in our backyard.

By winning people to Christ and discipling them, some will be called to full time service and some will even be called to take the Gospel back to their own peoples. (Tell story of Glenn Hohmann and the Blackfeet Indians and Aron Sintangang going back to Indonesia as a missionary) Like Paul, we to have a door of opportunity. Let’s not waste it.

 

Illustration:

How would you like to spend 2 years making phone calls to people who aren’t home? Sound absurd? According to one time management study, that’s how much time the average person spends trying to return calls to people who never seem to be in. Not only that, we spend 6 months waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and another 8 months reading junk mail.

The Bible says that we must redeem the time because the days are evil!

Paul saw a door of opportunity and he also saw

#2) A Door of Obligation:


We have an obligation as Baptized believers to take the Gospel of Christ to the uttermost part of the earth!

Paul didn’t say here that the door had opened for Barnabas or Timothy or someone else. He said that the door was open unto him! He felt the obligation to personally stay and do the work.
God is opening doors…but it is our responsibility whether we are going to go through them or not.
Maybe the question should be put this way… "DO WE REALLY CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE FOLKS?"

Illustration: Kitty Genovese was the young woman who was murdered in a New York residential section while at least 38 neighbors watched from their windows. During the course of the 30-minute assault, not one person even telephoned the police. Recent studies have uncovered some surprising facts about these people. Interviews revealed that they were not totally indifferent as many had suspected. The main reason nobody did anything was that each person thought someone else would take the initiative to get help.

We must place the responsibility where it belongs. It’s our collective and individual responsibility to reach the lost around us. In our own individual circles of influence where God has placed us and then to do what we can to pray, send, and support worldwide missions.

Paul saw a door of opportunity and a door of obligation and last,

#3) He Saw a Door of Opposition:

I Corinthians 16:9 again,

"For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."

In II Corinthians 11:24-28 Paul is just giving a sampling of the opposition and trials that he had to go through in service to the lord. He says,

"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."

Whenever God moves there are always people who want to oppose him….many not even realizing that is what they are doing. Someone said that when God begins a work, the Devil also begins a work.
In Ephesus it was open opposition from the worshippers and business men who made their living off the worship of the false goddess Diana,
BUT PERHAPS THE WORST OPPONENTS OF THE GOSPEL ARE NOT ALWAYS IT’S ENEMIES…IT’S THE CHRISTIANS WHO HEAR THE MESSAGE, AND SEE THE LOST…BUT DO NOTHING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I have one question today? Do we want to be a mission’s minded church? One that will be mightily used of God to see thousands saved here at home and abroad? Then we must be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit of God, One that is known for its power in prayer and one that sees the Opportunities, Obligations and yes even the Opposition of that great open door that God has placed before us. Let’s go through that door to claim the victory that we already have in Christ.

If you’re here this morning and you’ve never trusted Christ as your Savior, then you come and be saved and join with us in the work that God has given us to do.

If you’re saved, then make a decision to do your part to make us a mission’s minded church.