Thistletown Baptist Church
September 14, 2008

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Do you long to love as Jesus loves? Do you long to have the Word of God dwelling in you more richly? Are you tired of your pride and sin and will you seek the face of God to be healed? And do those longings demonstrate themselves in fasting – from food, and entertainment and sleep and leisure – for a season so you may pray? Do you mourn for the world and the state of the church? And will you pray and not stop praying until He blesses us?

That is where we are heading this morning.

For four weeks we looked at four different texts that speak in some measure to the matter of revival in the church. What we have been doing is looking at the four marks of the church that are mentioned for us in Acts 2:42 … . John 13:34f, Col. 3:16, II Chr. 7:14, and Mt. 9:14-17… . We looked at these four texts as a work up toward our annual Week of Prayer. O Lord – bring us to love one another as you have loved us so that the world will know that we are your disciples, give us to dwell in the Word of God richly so that we will know what you have said to us, what your will is for us so that we may do it, give us to come to you with humility, seeking your face in repentance and prayer so that you will hear us, forgive us and heal our church, and give us to miss you as a bride misses her groom miss you so much and desire to see you come through the clouds as you have promised that we will forgo the good things of life that you have given us to enjoy because we want you more than we want them.

The church ministries will all be up and going by the end of next week. And we have just completed our week of prayer – where we pray for God to bless and inspire and revive and produce fruit … … … . When the year is new, the hopes are high. Hopes are high, things are fresh. People get excited about the plans that are being made. We invite people to our Bible studies, we make a resolution to get to a prayer meeting and we start in on doing it … .

But a couple of weeks in and something happens that keeps us from prayer meeting. There is a crisis at work and the preparation of the lesson didn’t happen. You overslept and couldn’t get your Bible reading done. The car needed repairs and the only money to fix it was being saved for a project to help the needy. Someone criticised your Bible study. You found out that you made a mistake. You lost your temper – again and now have to apologize – again and when you do someone doesn’t accept it. Your doctor tells you it might be diabetes, or cancer. For all your exercising and eating right, you put on weight instead of taking it off …

For all the hope and polish of a new season beginning, it does not take long before we see that things haven’t changed that much just because the new fall season began. And it works into our thinking and gnaws at our commitment and we wake up one morning and instead of getting up with gusto we hit the snooze button and forget about all the great plans we had. Kind of like those New Year’s resolutions we make every year. (BTW – this is one of the things that amazes me about my wife …).

This happens to all of us. This happens to Christians. This happens to churches. This happens about things that need to get done, that are good to do that would help us and help others if we got down and did them – but we get weary, we get tired. We get tired of not being appreciated. We get tired of opposition. We get tired of the lack of progress and the absence of real solid fruitfulness in our lives and the lives of others. It seems there is no end to the things that threaten to cause us to get tired, discouraged, forgetful, … and just give up. And we are looking at a text of Scripture this morning that recognizes that and encourages us to never give up.

Galatians 6:6-10

Verse 9 – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

The context of Galatians
– The purpose of Galatians – stick to the biblical Gospel – see 1:8,9, 3:1-3,
– we are not saved by keeping the OT Law. We are saved by grace through faith + nothing – 3:7-9, 10f, 12, 23-29; 5:6
– we are not saved by the Law or by works of any kind – but we are saved to DO all kinds of good works – 5:13-14, 16 , 19-21, 22-24

So, in the final words of his letter to these Christians God, through Paul says, you are saved by grace – don’t think that means that there is not work to do. You are to be always at work – and that is the part of this letter that we find ourselves in.

I let us not grow weary
1) Gk – (engkakomen) – pres. act. subj.
To grow weary
to give in to evil
to lose heart and become a coward

We could properly translate this verse as :
a)Don’t get tired of doing good
b)Don’t replace good with evil – instead of giving to the poor you spend all your money on yourself. Instead of giving the Gospel you join in doing evil with those who need the Gospel. Instead of disciplining yourself for godliness you allow yourself to be lulled to sleep by the trinkets of our culture. Instead of persevering in a ministry you become a person who is always receiving but never giving … .
c)Don’t become a coward – the Christian at work who won’t pray over his lunch because of what his co-workers might think. The believer who is happy to help others but will never say that the reason she does it is because she lives for the glory of God and her good works are merely a response to His great grace. The one who prays for opportunities to give the Gospel and when they come won’t take them because he is just too plain afraid.

The tense in Greek suggests to us that the Galatians have not yet fallen prey to weariness, but the potential is there. “Do not let yourself get weary.” The reality of the situation is that they are not weary yet but there is a real possibility that they could become so. You have grown weary before and you want to do better this year.

And what that says to me is this: Weariness is not inevitable. The possibility is there but not the inevitability. You don’t have to grow discouraged. You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to fall away from good into evil. Oh how we need to hear this. We need to know that this time need not be like all those other times.

We hear its opposite all the time and one of the most common ways that we Christians show that we believe that weariness is inevitable is that horrible phrase “that’s just the way I am”. We say that to excuse our sin. “Oh, I’m from the Maritimes – we mind our own business” – pretty poor excuse not to give the Gospel. “Oh, my mother beat me; that’s just my nature; I didn’t go very far in school” We are masters at inventing excuses to explain away our failure to obey. This verse says “don’t be weary. Will we find reason to quit down the road and say “I am the exception to this”?

Dear ones – find hope in this. By the power of God which works in all who believe – you don’t have to give in to sin, to discouragement, to cowardice, to fear … . We need to show that we believe

1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

But note this also – this verse does not tell us that the temptation to weariness, in all its forms, is going to go away. God has saved us to do good works and the evil one’s goal is to make sure that we do not do those good works. And he will come along and whisper in your ear: “It is not worth it” “Give up” “That’s just the way you are” “They don’t care” “It doesn’t really matter anyway”. … Of course it is not just the devil who whispers that in your ear is it? James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. [14] But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. [15] Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

2) Why does Paul give this command to the Galatian Christians and why did God preserve it for us? We are commanded this because we are so prone to get weary. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it…”
See Paul in Acts 18:5-11 …
a)What causes us to get weary in doing good? The second half of the verse suggests it – lack of fruit. We do not see the fruit of our labour. It is hard to work without the knowledge that your work is producing something.
b)It is not just the absence of good fruit that causes the weariness – it is the presence of bad fruit – opposition, desertion, jealousy.
c)Then there are our own internal things – laziness, lack of interest, legalism – that is, not doing the good thing out of true spiritual commitment but solely as duty, dissatisfaction with one’s performance, carnality – this is suggested by verse 8 … .

II doing good
What is Paul referring to when he says “doing good”?
The context may suggest that the good is sharing all good things with teachers, but it need not be restricted to that. The same thing is said to the Thessalonians without the same context – II Thess. 3:13…
a)Whatever good the Lord gives you to do … .
Doing good –
Titus 2:7 – pastors are to be a model of it
Titus 2:14 – Jesus died to produce a people who do good – think on this dear ones. When you grow weary of doing good you are in effect saying “Jesus didn’t die for me. Jesus failed to do in me what He came to do.” see Ephesians 2:8-10, II Cor. 9:8, Col. 1:10. Little wonder that we are told not to grow weary in it.
Titus 3:1 – Pastors are to remind their people to be ready to do every good work
Titus 3:8 – God’s people are to devote themselves to good works – devoted to it. Where are your devotions this morning? What are you committed to?
b) Good works – evangelism (Flea Market, giving Gospel to your children …), prayer, use of the gifts God has given you, encouragement of others, driving people, helping in a ministry – AWANA, Youth, ….
c) Know this – your life hates a vacuum. If you are not given over to doing good, you will do evil. There is o such thing as the neutral middle. Doing nothing is evil. .. .
d) for God’s glory

Dear ones – this is our calling

III for in due season we will reap

When is it “due season”?
a) It may be later on in your life. Years from now, tomorrow … Someone gets saved, a person is saved from hunger, someone gets encouraged …
b) It may not be until the Lord returns
See how often the promise of future reward is used as an incentive for keeping on:

2 Cor. 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. [17] For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

2 Peter 3:13-14 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
[14] Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

Dear ones listen. We do not do good because we believe that it is necessarily going to grow a large church, produce a lot of converts, accomplish much in the world for good. We do good because we believe that God is going to reward us in the hereafter.
We do good because we believe that He is faithful and even if we never see the results of our work here and now we know that our God cannot lie and He is going to keep His word to us and that it is always worth it – IT IS ALWAYS worth it.

IV if we do not give up
Make no mistake dear ones. The reward is only promised to those who persevere.
Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The rewards in Revelation 2&3 are to those who conquer. Don’t take hope in the promise if you are not willing to meet the conditions attached to it.

But what a grand promise it is!! Are you weary? Do you feel like quitting? Do you think that no one cares, that your little bit of good won’t make a difference anyway? You think you have nothing to offer?

Do that little bit. Do whatever God puts in your hands to do and do it with all your might.
Remember 1 Cor. 1:26-31 (ESV)
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. [27] But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [28] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, [29] so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. [30] He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. [31] Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Remember 1 Cor. 3:7-9 (ESV)
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. [8] He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. [9] For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Dear one WE are supremely NOT the issue. HE is the issue. HE has given us something to do. He has said that we are to do it with all the strength that He provides and HE has said that our labour is not in vain in the Lord and that if we do not grow weary and faint not we will bear fruit.

Do you believe this is true?

Then people of TBC – Let’s go into 1008/09 with courage and perseverance and faith in a faithful God and DO GOOD and not stop doing good until He takes us home.

And let us resolve to keep our eyes open for those who grow discourage and those who are about to quit. And let’s encourage one another every day so that none of us develop sinful unbelieving hearts that turn away from the living God and doing what He has called us to do.