God Equips Us
Equip is the value of our church that we are going to talk about today.
- Supply with the necessary items for a particular purpose
- Prepare (someone) mentally for a particular situation or task
o Synonyms: provide, furnish, issue, fit/rig/deck, stock, provision, arm
- Different people meant for different hikes, equipment, tasks on hike (packing, cooking, setting up, navigating, etc)
We are called to go and make disciples
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
James 1:25 reminds us that those who look intently into the perfect law (the gospel) that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed and in 2:17 that faith without deeds is dead. James goes on to remind us that Abraham lived out his faith, and that his faith and actions worked together. How was Abraham able to do this? Only because God equipped him.
Let’s look at 2 other examples from scripture, one from the old testament and one from the new.
Naomi and Stephen
For Naomi’s story we turn to the book of Ruth
For Stephen’s story, Acts 6 & 7
I’m going to divide us into 2 groups to delve into these stories and I want us to consider these questions:
In what ways does God equip each of these people? Did they feel equipped? Did they live out their faith and allow God to work through their gifts?
There are many other examples in the bible:
The 12, Paul, Timothy, etc
How were they equipped? Some were just plain fishermen . . .
Since we are created to do God’s work and He chose this work in advance, surely he has equipped us to do so.
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
So how has he equipped us?
- scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Holy Spirit (John 14:26)
- prayer (Ephesians 6:18-20)
- Armor of God Ephesians (6:10-18)
- Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control
- life experience
- rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
- fellowship (I Thessalonians 5:11) *the cards I have in my bible
- faith, trust, reliance on God (Hebrews 4:14-16)
When we recognize our own shortcomings/weaknesses we depend less on ourselves and more on God.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We can stand firm in the knowledge that God has equipped us to do His work. But similar to the hiking analogy, and all of the different people from the bible we talked about today: Will we all have the same work? Are we all equipped in the same way? With the same gifts?
I Corinthians 12:4-7
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness
What keeps us from doing God’s work even knowing that we are equipped to the fullest extent by our Father in heaven?
- Fear (failure, causing harm, quoting scripture wrong, not knowing answers)
Despite these things that get in the way of us doing God’s work, God is patient with us, continues to equip us, and enables us to cast our fears away if we are willing to surrender them to Him.
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Let’s look at this list of all the ways he equips us. Take a minute and contemplate which of these you feel you struggle most with. Which do you feel is missing? Which do you need encouragement to feel God has truly equipped you with?