First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 3

The Message: Hindrances to the Gospel
Part I - Assurance

 For the next three weeks we will ask the question "what are the things that hinder us from being open to being used by God?" This week we will speak of Assurances. There are three assurances that we need to consider.

 Assurance of Salvation - This could be a major hindrance for those who want to be a witness and have doubts, questions, or are unsure of their salvation. Most who have difficulty with assurance have a strong need to do something to work for their salvation. The fact is that it is a faith decision that requires nothing of us. It is the gift of God. Because a lack of assurance will make you a less effective witness, I would encourage you to please consider talking with a friend or a minister to get some help and settle this issue.

Assurance of God's Word - The Bible is our guide and is reliable in all matters of faith, in our relationship with God, and how we should live our lives. If you have trouble with accepting the Bible as reliable this could affect your witness for Christ. Not being sure about trusting God's word will weaken your position as you witness. God gave us his word and assured us of its authority. With this authority we can be confident in using the Bible in matters of promises, witnessing, and faith.

Assurance of God's Help - We mentioned last week that God desires to bring missing people back to him much more than we do. He has chosen to use us as his tools here on earth. Do we think that he will let us blunder our way in these matters? I think not. We could never overstate the importance of relying on God to lead us and situate us in the right place with the right conversation at the right time. This will require us being open to him leading and guiding us. When we begin to pray for God to help us and give us what we need, he will be there just as he was with Moses before Pharaoh, as he was with Phillip and the Ethiopia eunuch, and as he was with Paul as he spoke to the people of Athens. The Holy Spirit's role in building relationships for Christ is of utmost importance. But that information will be covered in a later Good News Note in week 14. How could we not be anything but bold for God when we know he is there before us?

 Scripture - The week before last our verse came from the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20. The last part of verse 20 Jesus says, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." This passage gives us the confidence in knowing that God is always with us. When we believe this we will learn to depend on God in all things.

 Action - I think we are all guilty of making God too small. Are you tired of limiting God? Would you really like to see God do some great work through you? Are you willing to step out in faith to attempt to be used in a missing person's life? Then pray this prayer all this week.

 Prayer -Lord, I really desire for you to work in a new and different way in my life. I want to serve you. Help me in this new adventure as I look for missing people and how I can build a relationship with them. Help me to keep returning to a position of weakness and depend on you for strength, guidance, and confidence. I will step out in faith and trust you for all things. Please help me.

Next Week - Hindrances to the Gospel - Part II