Getting Spiritually Fit Week 5

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 14th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/601801


Spiritual Fitness requires Stewardship.

A true disciple is one who says, “Jesus, I want to know what you know so that I can respond to others like you with the resources God has given.”

But it is more than behaving like Jesus, it is having a heart for God that is passionate for what God is passionate about: Redeeming the lost, bringing shalom to chaos.

Our whole goal then is to become spiritually fit, to mature/grow in such a way that we build people up, serve them, encourage them to fall in love with God. We're not just trying to make them better people or better Christians, but to help them to better know the awesome power and intimacy of God’s love, - and that will radically change their hearts and lives.


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul concludes this thought of building, equipping and maturing with a call for each of us to do our part. God has given us provisions to do our part. Whatever God has called us too, He provides. We have time, energy, and talents expressed and invested in relationships, resources, and money. We need to see the product of our life in the terms of STEWARDSHIP.


Matthew 6:21 NIV

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Stewardship is about who is in charge of your life. As this grows clearer in our understanding, the more we move in step with God - with our time, talents, resources, and money.

Great story of knowing that God has blessed and will bless.

Genesis 12 - 14


Genesis 12:1-5 NIV

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.


Abraham obeys. Trust God with his life and does what God says. Time passes, Abraham is sees God’s blessings, his herds increase… so much so that he and Lot must part and chose a place near Sodom (13:12). The place where Lot settled was not only wicked, but a war torn land. Look at Genesis 14:

In Genesis 14 we see 4 Kings join forces against 5 kings. The 5 kings lost and became subject to them. This went on for 12 years and until the 5 kings said enough and didn't want to pay anymore.. They rebelled.


Genesis 14:13-16 NIV

13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

SO here in Genesis 14 we see battle lines drawn, 5 armies with their kings against 4 armies and their kings. The 5 lost…As the 4 kings swept the land to pillage and take captives to make them slaves or sell them as slaves, Lot, his family and his possessions are taken captive.


Here we see Abram going out to rescue Lot. In verse 14 it says that he took 318 men with him. Why 318? It was all he had…

This may seem like a small army - 318 against 4 great armies that just defeated 5 great armies…

But what did Abram have on his side that guaranteed a victory?

God’s Word!!!

Remember back up in Genesis 12:


Genesis 12:1-2 NIV


Abram had faith. He knew God. He saw God’s hand of blessing upon him. Abram knew that these 318 would win. He knew that all he had belonged to the Lord and that God would use these simple 318 men to do mighty things.



Abram was a steward of God’s blessing.

Friends the message is simple today:

God has blessed us as well. Deut. 8:18 “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” We are wealthy in relationships. We’ve been given opportunity, time, energy, resources, money… But for what purpose? What do we do with them? What are we doing with God’s provision?

(Consumers gain riches for personal wealth and use. Stewards work with a different set of views on wealth and its purposes).


Matthew 6:19-21, 24 NIV

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.


CONSUMER MENTALITY: GREED seeks money for personal gain

STEWARDSHIP MENTALITY: serves God and uses money to further His purposes.

I am not saying we should not prepare for retirement, save money, or have nice things…

Proverbs 21:20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

The important thing is to make sure we maintain the right heart, perspective and use of what we have and what we work for…

Many wear themselves to gain riches: Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Again, back to the driving word of Ephesians 4. We are called to build up, mature, work, & serve. We need to see our selves as STEWARDS of God’s people.


What does that look like:

1.Time with people (includes our talents). Not just hanging out and having a good time but being intentional to build up, encourage and help them know God, His Word, and His purpose. We live together in such a way that we are living examples of His Word in action.

2. We need to give of our resources. This includes our money. We need to see tithing and giving offerings as an act of worship. Two things that are important in this: 1. Do we really believe that God has blessed us? We tend to forget at times where our provisions has come from. A great way to refocus our lives is to keep GREED in check. Tithing on a regular basis helps detach us from GREED. It is us, give back to God knowing where it came from. … Tithing is a great expression of humility, worship and simply saying, “God I am yours.” 2. Tithing is also a BIBLICAL truth.


Malachi 3:6-12 NIV

6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.


Some may say… V that is OLD TESTAMENT and it doesn’t apply to us today. Well, gravity was created in the OT, does it apply today?

There are those who desire to argue, debate and say tithing isn’t for today. Either way, the truth is still the same. God desires to reveal who He is to a lost and hurting world - that didn’t change... that didn't change from OT to NT. Instead of the law making us righteous in the OT, we now have grace in the NT… the purpose though is the same… why do we not want to give of our resources? of our money?


CLOSING THOUGHTS:

>As members of the family of God in the body of Christ, we belong to each other, we need each other, we influence each other, and in love, we should minister to one another.

>Each of us has different gifts and abilities, resources, money amounts, that we should use for building up one another in the church of Jesus Christ.

>We should ask God not only to bless others by meeting their needs but also to make us a blessing to others and share what we have.

>The Lord says to us as he said to Abraham, “I will bless you… and you will be a blessing” Genesis 12: 2–3

So we are confronted with a choice and an opportunity: Do we take what we have, what we work for, what has been given and merely consume it for ourselves? Enjoy it for our on pleasure? OR Do we join God in His great purpose and reveal His love, care, compassion and provision with those we see, encounter, walk with, work with and live beside?

We need to remind ourselves repeatedly that we are God’s appointed stewards and that He is prepared to give us what we need so that we may accomplish His will. We are blessed so that we may bless…





Getting Spiritually Fit Week 4

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 7th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/597420


Spiritual Fitness requires Discipleship.

A true disciple is one who says, “Jesus, I want to know what you know so that I can respond to others like you.”

But it is more than behaving like Jesus, it is having a heart for God that is passionate for what God is passionate about: Redeeming the lost, bringing shalom to chaos.

Our whole goal then is to become spiritually fit, to mature/grow in such a way that we build people up, serve them, encourage them to fall in love with God. We're not just trying to make them better people or better Christians, but to help them to better know the awesome power and intimacy of God’s love, - and that will radically change their hearts and lives.

Following the example laid before us by Jesus, a disciple is a builder of people.


Philippians 2:1-8 NIV

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!


Paul is instructing the believers in Philippi to have the same mindset as Jesus: again in verse 5- "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus"

Paul gives us the pattern to follow here:

1. Have love for one another (love what God loves)

2. Don’t be selfish or conceited

3. Be humble

4. Value others above yourselves

5. Be a peacemaker

6. Be a servant

7. Obey at all cost

Let me give you an example of a different builder. In this example, we see something other than people being built, but in it, we see a great truth in understanding the heart of a disciple. We see these seven attributes at work.


Nehemiah 1:1-3 NIV

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”


Nehemiah was one of the greatest leaders of all time.

>He took a task that seemed impossible, mobilized a team of people, and accomplished the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

>Today you and I have a task and that is to rebuild the lives of people.

>Since we are God’s handiwork crafted in Christ Jesus, vessels He has poured in to and now running over - our task is specifically, to rebuild the lives people.

Well let’s take a look at how Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and then maybe you and I can get some pointers on how we can rebuild the lives of people.


1. Nehemiah Had a Burden

The way you and I are going to see God use us to build lives is to have a burden to see people reached with the good news of Jesus.

>Nehemiah had a burden… if gripped his heart for days, overwhelmed him. It filled his thoughts and motivated him.

>Do we feel the pain of others, the lonely, the depressed, the young person who feels they have no hope, the drug addict, the hurting?

We need to feel the burden of our friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors, co-worker/classmates, our community, our city…


Nehemiah 1:4 NIV

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.


2. Nehemiah Prayed about the Need

>Not only did Nehemiah hear about the need. He then began to pray to the God of heaven to do something about the need.

>He didn't just pray for God to raise someone up, but he was willing to be used by God to make a difference in the need.

>When is the last time that you and I prayed that God would use our lives to help meet the needs of hurting people.

Jesus told His disciples - to pray. Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

STRONG STATEMENT: If we aren’t praying about being used by God, then we aren’t Spiritually Fit? Could it be we are weak and in trouble


3. Nehemiah Understood that He Couldn’t Do it Alone:

After examining the the destruction of the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah saw that this was a massive task and the only way to do it was to motivate helpers.

In chapter 3 we see all the people that helped Nehemiah get the job done.

>If you and I are going to impact others we need to know that it is going to take everybody working together to accomplish the task.

This is not a one man show. Nehemiah knew he couldn't do it alone. So he had a team and everybody contributed what they were good at.

Let me ask, how are you willing to help us impact this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

What do you have to offer to the team and are you willing to help?

- I am not talking about stuff or even your abilities- all of which are good.

- To reach people we need to be willing to spend TIME with them, walk with them through life. Grow in relationship with them, peel back the layers to get to the heart…

It’s not going to be easy but it is important and necessary.

There are going to be challenges and hurdles…


Nehemiah 2:17-18 NIV

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.


4. Nehemiah Endured Opposition

>If you and I are going to be consistent in touching lives and get the job done, then we need to know that we are going to face opposition.

>We need to learn how to keep pushing and serving even in the midst of opposition.

The key is going back before the Throne of God and refocusing, seeking wisdom and asking for strength.

Nehemiah 4:9 (NIV) 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

We must be motivated to finish strong, pray, pray, pray (together)... - I don't want to be a quitter but I want to be a finisher? Finishing strong is not finishing alone…


Nehemiah 4:7-9 NIV

7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.


5. Nehemiah Rebuilt the Walls

>The wall was rebuilt... a great accomplish that revealed the One True God.

Nehemiah tapped into God’s purpose and God blessed them to get the job done. The finished wall revealed that God is at work in the land… not some statue, some rock that is impersonal and unapproachable, but alive, personal and approachable. God took the ruined and rebuilt security.


Nehemiah 6:15-16 NIV

15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.


CLOSE:

The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique.

Lampadephoria was an ancient Greek type of relay race using a torch which was passed between the runners. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. If a torch went out the team would lose the race.

I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.

We are all running a race… but what is the prize you are after?

A disciples prize is “bringing glory to God” through touching peoples lives with His love. It is the same purpose as Jesus'.

May we grow spiritually fit and reveal His love everywhere we go...


1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NIV

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.



Getting Spiritually Fit Week 3

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 31st, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/593119


Psalm 46:1-11 NIV

1 God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give wayand the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foamand the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall;God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done,the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars ceaseto the ends of the earth.He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress.


What a great passage that tells us God is near. It is a great passage to embrace when we are pressing through tough times.

We all have times when life is tough. Each of us has a tidbit of wisdom about perseverance - some taught, some learned from the school of hard knocks. The greatest encouragement we can embrace comes from God’s Word.

Jesus told His disciples that they would face challenges, trouble: (Jn. 16:33)


John 16:33 NIV

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


We have been called to be disciples of Jesus and these words ring true for us as well.

A disciple is one who wants to be full of the right knowledge - God’s Word - in order to know how to respond the right way in every circumstance. We are vessels that God wants to fill. He wants to fill you with His Spirit, His knowledge, His Word, His purpose, His ways. It’s not going to be easy. JAMES said it like this: (James 1:2-5)


James 1:2-5 NIV

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


We will face trials in this life…this means that we are called to a life of perseverance, a steadfast determination to follow Jesus no matter the cost. Through perseverance we grow mature, we become Spiritually Fit.

Paul understood this and even gave us encouragement about persevering. 2 Cor. 4:7-18


2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Paul helps us understand a little about who we are and how to see our lives. He uses a metaphor here… comparing our lives to a clay pot.

I think Paul is drawing off the Words of Jeremiah and Isaiah. (Jer. 18:1-7) (Isaiah 84:8)


Jeremiah 18:1-7 NIV

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,


Isaiah 64:8 NIV

8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father.We are the clay, you are the potter;we are all the work of your hand.


Clay Pots:

>weak, fragile, easily broken, damaged.

What gives the jar value?

>the thing inside. The jar is of little value compared to what is inside.

(vs 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay.)


Treasure:

A treasure is something that is valuable, expensive.

In verse 7 Paul speaks of a "treasure."

>What is the treasure?

Christ and the gospel. Again, it’s the treasure within the vessel that gives it value.

The important thing is that the vessel be clean and available for service.

As the Holy Spirit fills the vessel the power of God is seen.


God desires to shape us into what He would have us be, to do what He would have us do. We are like jars, jars filled with a great and valuable treasure.

Paul goes on to describe the challenges we face.

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

>We may be troubled but Christ helps us in our distress.

Paul said in verse 8., "We are hard pressed" - which is to be squeezed, oppressed, hedged in and pressured. "BUT NOT CRUSHED" - We might find ourselves in troubled times but we are never beyond the assistance that God can give. God never leaves us without hope.

We may be perplexed, at a loss, doubting, not knowing what to do, which way to go, what to say - but Christ’s power keeps us from despair, from hopelessness. In His presence we find security and confidence.

Perseverance comes as we embrace the TRUTH of who Jesus is and who He is in our lives. He has paid our sin debt and has given us access - to the Father to stand before His presence.


We need to remember what Christ did, where He came from, why He came. We need to remember what He did for us on the cross and embrace the gift of LIFE He gave. We need to remember that since He is our Lord, no weapon formed against us will separate us from His love (Is. 54:17/Rom. 8:38-39). Paul went own to say (vs 16-18)


Isaiah 54:17 NIV

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,and this is their vindication from me,”declares the Lord.


Romans 8:38-39 NIV

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Because of who Jesus is and what He has done, we can have confidence in the (Jn. 10:10) abundance of grace given to persevere through adversity. In these times, we can rely on His strength, His presence and have hope of a better day. Through it all, know that God is at work in you so that He may be known through you.

Getting Spiritually Fit Week 2

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 24th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/589080


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul is talking about a fit, mature Body. We are called to be people who grow, are equipped and ready for works of service. But...I think that the Body is out of shape (spiritually).


Speaking of "out of shape"… More than three-quarters of U.S. adults say being in shape and looking good are "very important" to them, yet less than a third exercise regularly and nearly half admit they are not active at all.


So, what about Spiritually Fit?

Do you feel satisfied with your relationship with God, do you understand His purpose for your life?

Do you feel like He is good with your relationship with Him? To you feel Spiritually Fit? Ready to minister, ready to share?


Here’s the facts, compiled through my research from Christianty Today and Barna Research:

>Most don’t feel like they know the Bible very well.

>Most don’t pray unless they really need something.

>Most don’t persevere through tough problems well.

>Most don’t make disciples or even know how.

>Most don’t understand that they are stewards of God’s blessing.


Throughout the Bible - The human culture varied by time and region, but the relational culture with God was one of prayer. Take a look:


1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV

11 Look to the Lord and his strength;seek his face always.


2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


Ephesians 1:18 NIV

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,


Ephesians 6:18 NIV

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


Jeremiah 29:12 NIV

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.


Job 22:27 NIV

27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,and you will fulfill your vows.


John 17:15 NIV

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.


James 5:13 NIV

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.


Matthew 5:44 NIV

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,


Matthew 6:7 NIV

7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.


Matthew 26:41 NIV

41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


Proverbs 15:8 NIV

8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,but the prayer of the upright pleases him.


Psalm 17:6 NIV

6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.


Psalm 141:2 NIV

2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.


Romans 12:2 NIV

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Romans 12:12 NIV

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


Psalm 4:1 NIV

1 Answer me when I call to you,my righteous God.Give me relief from my distress;have mercy on me and hear my prayer.


Psalm 145:18 NIV

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,to all who call on him in truth.


Proverbs 15:29 NIV

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,but he hears the prayer of the righteous.


Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’


Luke 6:12 NIV

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.


Philippians 4:6 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV

17 pray continually,


1 Timothy 2:8 NIV

8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.


James 5:16 NIV

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.


Acts 2:42 NIV

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


Well, do you see the point? Cultures change, but God relationship is grounded and connected through prayer.

What about our lives? Has our culture affected our lives so much that even our prayer life has changed?


Think about this:

If God answered all your prayers with ‘yes’ how would the kingdom be furthered? The question strikes a chord because it forces us to stop and think. What effect do my prayers have on the kingdom of God? How much time do I spend praying about Spiritual things? What true good would come from God giving me all the things I am praying for? When you look at the things you pray for ask yourself: if God answered all of these prayers with a yes, how would the kingdom be changed? We need to learn how to pray kingdom minded prayers.


Before we can have kingdom minded prayers however, we need to better understand prayer.


Prayer is communication - the deeper the communication, the more intimate the prayer. One of the things I’ve noticed is the parallel between the levels of communication and our intimacy with God.


Here is the progression of communication:

1. Small talk

2. Sharing info

3. Sharing your personal opinion

4. Sharing feelings

5. Sharing who you are - being transparent


Prayer is a conversation with God that stems from a personal relationship in which communication naturally occurs.


Closing Thoughts

>Prayer is an important part of our Christian lives.

>We are to devote ourselves to prayer.

>Prayer should be a key pillar in our lives, a regular part of our everyday life.

Getting Spiritually Fit Week 1

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 17th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/584920


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul is talking about a fit, mature Body. We are called to be people who grow, are equipped and ready for works of service. But...I think that the Body is out of shape (spiritually).

Speaking of "out of shape"… More than three-quarters of U.S. adults say being in shape and looking good are "very important" to them, yet less than a third exercise regularly and nearly half admit they are not active at all.

So, what about Spiritually Fit?

Do you feel satisfied with your relationship with God, do you understand His purpose for your life?

Do you feel like He is good with your relationship with Him? To you feel Spiritually Fit? Ready to minister, ready to share?


Here’s the facts, compiled through my research from Christianty Today and Barna Research:

>Most don’t feel like they know the Bible very well.

>Most don’t pray unless they really need something.

>Most don’t persevere through tough problems well.

>Most don’t make disciples or even know how.

>Most don’t understand that they are stewards of God’s blessing.


So let me ask you something: Do you ever feel like you truly want to know Him but don’t really know how? Getting to know God can seem so complicated sometimes but it doesn’t have to be.

Man is not an independent entity, the Bible calls us vessels.

Isaiah 64:8 NIV
8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Romans 9, Paul calls this clay a vessel.


Vessels are designed to be filled with something. We were designed to fill ourselves with God but we sometimes stray from that design.


Our lives are filled with one of two things:

1. with ourselves which fills us with stuff we pursue for our pleasure or

2. with God - which drives us toward bringing glory to Him.


Sin is essentially when we fill our lives with something other than God.

What we put into our lives effects what we get out of them. Man is designed to be filled with God. So then it is important for us to learn how to do that.

>How do we fill ourselves with God while keeping out the subversive forces of our enemy and our own selfish nature?

>How do we fill ourselves with God?


The First Discipline: Studying the Bible

The study of God’s word is one of the most important spiritual disciplines. We must know the truth. If we don’t we can’t live it.

In Colossians 2:2 Paul shows us the importance of the word of God in our lives.

Col 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Do you see Paul’s desire?

He is wants the church to experience the full riches of complete understanding.


In Matt. 4 Jesus says man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Sometimes we forget the importance of investing ourselves fully in Him. The truth is, if we are too busy to give God a few hours a day in the study of His word to fill our lives with Him we are too busy for our own good.

I want to ask you to think and carefully consider your answers to these questions:

Do we really live our lives on a regular basis any different than those who have never heard the name of Jesus?

Do we spend that much more time in the word than those who do not have access to a Bible at all?

Do we realize the beauty of the Bible?


Studying the Bible should not be a chore.

WE NEED TO SEE IT AS A WAY, AN INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGED WAY TO KNOW GOD.

We desire this connection with God and we reach out for Him.

The bible is one of the ways that God reaches back.

As we invest ourselves in the study of His word, God reaches out and touches us. He connects with us on a personal level and we see His heart and experience Him. James (4:7) tells us when we draw near to God that God draws near to us.

What better way to be filled with God then to draw near to Him and watch as He draws near to us?


Closing Thoughts:

>We are vessels meant to be filled with something.

What we are filled with is a direct result of how we live our lives and what we invest ourselves in.

>If you want to know God, you need to fill your life with Him.

To fill your life with Him you need to practice Spiritual Discipline, through understanding His word, prayer, obedience, and following His example.

Friends, we need personal and group Bible study.

God’s word is His revelation of His character to us.

We cannot really know Him if we don’t know His word. We must invest ourselves in a relationship with Him, we must fill our hearts with His word that we may begin to fill ourselves with Him.


In Matt. 4 Jesus says man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Sometimes we forget the importance of investing ourselves fully in Him. The truth is, if we are too busy to give God a few hours a day in the study of His word to fill our lives with Him, we are too busy for our own good.

Do we really live our lives on a regular basis any different than those who have never heard the name of Jesus?

Do we spend that much more time in the word than those who do not have access to a Bible at all?

Do we realize the beauty of the Bible?



Barely Above Water

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning March 10th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/579225



○How many of us would say: I wish I had more time for ________________?

○When you ask someone, "How's life been?" What is the number one response? Busy.

○Being able to say "I'm so busy" has become a point of pride. Being busy = Being Valuable

○I wish I had time for the important things that I value.



2 Peter 1:3 NIV

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.



○If we believe God has given us everything we need to live out His plan for our lives, we must also believe He has given us the time we need.

○We make time for the things that are most important to us.

○So often we allow good things, or even unimportant things to get in the way of the most important things.



Busy doesn't mean best.



Luke 10:38 NIV

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.



○Jesus is in town. Martha is hospitable and invites Jesus over. This is a good thing! But something takes away from this moment for Martha...



Luke 10:39-40 NIV

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”



○Can you identify with Martha? How often do we allow the urgent to take precedence over the important.

○Was it good to prepare for Jesus' stay? Yes. Was it the most important thing to do? No. Her sister, Mary, had it right.



Luke 10:41-42 NIV

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”



○Have you ever been, or are currently in a similar situation with Jesus in your life?

○We have everything we need for an incredible relationship with Christ, but we’re distracted by everything else we’ve made so important.

○We can be full time with life’s concerns, but part time with Jesus’ concerns.



Getting Practical:

○What's one thing we can do to turn this ship around?



Do less, better.



Our idea of fixing an area of lack: add something new to our plate. Go further under the water.

Our lives might be full of ‘good things’ but we’ve left little time for the best things.



Luke 14:28 NIV

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?



○How can we not be bogged down with more to do for the sake of doing, but do what we can with better results?



○What about spending time with our kids?

○Nurturing our relationship with our spouse?

○Reading God's word?



Getting Practical:

○Whats the most important question I can ask myself?



Has my relationship with God been the most important thing?



Matthew 6:33 NIV

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.



○For God to have His way in our lives, our marriages, in raising our kids, in our careers; we seek Him first.

○So how would you answer that question? Is your relationship with God the greatest thing?



For your week:
Take a look at this 7 day reading plan, dealing with the pace of life.

Thanks for being with us today.

If you feel like you've made time for what's good (or not so good) and not for what's best- a decision made today can be a game changer for your life.

We're here to pray for you and walk with you. You can send in a prayer request on our website as well: www.thechurchofjoy.org/prayer. There are so many great opportunities to plug in at Joy.

If you feel that Joy isn't the home for you, we are happy to help you find where God wants to plant you. We're all on the same team and we want God's kingdom come and His will be done, in and through your life!

Made for Mission Week 7: Bring Someone with You

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 3rd, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/576265

God’s calling on your life is always bigger than your lifetime.

While just about all of us can’t go back three generations in our own family trees, that is not the case with our spiritual family. Wouldn’t it be good, that when we get to heaven, we could see our family tree. Our spiritual family tree. Think about it… to see how the Gospel went out from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria and through the world, over time to you…

God’s got something bigger for your life and is inviting you to join Him in his activity where He’s already working. Today we are going to study a scene in the life from a guy named Peter. He’s one of those insert foot open mouth kind of guys. He was always getting into trouble for speaking before thinking. If you’ve ever done that before then you’ll be able to relate to him. If you ever make bonehead mistakes, Peter is your guy.


Luke 8:40-42 NIV

40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.


So Jairus meets Jesus and His disciples at the docks. His description as the synagogue leader was a big deal. In that

culture think city council member or even mayor of that area. This could be a really big opportunity for this small start up movement led by Jesus. If a synagogue leader were to become a follower he might influence the whole city and even the surrounding region.

So I don’t know what Jesus is thinking but I bet the disciples are not blind to the opportunity at hand which meant they better get to Jairus’ house fast before they miss it. Check out what happens next.


Luke 8:42-48 NIV

42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”


It’s almost comical how this scene starts. Massive crowds are surrounding Jesus pressing in to get closer to him yet he stops mid stride to ask, “Who touched me?” I picture Peter rolling his eyes here, “Ahh Jesus, there are people all around you. Everybody is touching you!”

What comes to mind as read this? Have you ever been somewhere so congested that people are all around you, bumping up against you?

What about this woman. What would others have thought of her? treated her?


You have no idea when God wants to use you.

Your greatest impact will probably come at a time you’re least expecting it. For the woman, she has been suffering with this disease for 12 years. She’d prayed for God to remove it from her multiple times a day for over a decade. If you walked in here and you’ve been carrying around a prayer request for what seems like forever, learn the lesson from this woman. Don’t give up. Run to Jesus. There is always hope and He can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime.


Luke 8:49-56 NIV

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.


So they get to Jairus’ place and his daughter is already dead. I can picture some of the disciples slyly shaking their heads.

“If we didn’t have that stop along the way I bet we would have made it.” Jesus grabs a couple of the guys and the girl’s parents and goes up to see the dead girl.

He says to them, “she’s just sleeping.” Odd thing to say… I bet they thought He’s crazy. Their response - they laughed. Jesus ignores the apparent lack of faith, grabs the girls hand and raises her from the dead. (Think about this girl’s life, what a story for her to share. Think about the parents.) The Synagogue leader of the area just became a Jesus follower. How old was this girl? 12 years old. How long did the woman suffer from bleeding? 12 years. How cool is it to think that God had been waiting for this amazing day for 12 years.


When Jesus arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

What do you think about this? Significant or not? What's Jesus really doing here?


Why Peter? He had just questioned Jesus in public a minute and a half ago. Shouldn’t he by this point have learned to stop talking back to Jesus? Then Jesus brings him along to Jairus’ house and he laughs when Jesus remarks that the girl is sleeping.


Bring someone with you. As you go, live the mission you were made for, don’t go alone. Bring someone along for the ride. This may be the single greatest leadership lesson we learn from the life of Jesus. You could make a strong case that Jesus is the greatest leader of all time. He never wrote any books. He never held a public office. He never went outside one small area of the world. He was only on the public scene for a little over three years and then died at age 33. Yet here we are 2,000 years later and there are over 2 billion people following him from all corners of the earth in hundreds of different languages. The movement he started is growing faster now worldwide than ever before. That’s some pretty good leadership.


Bring someone with you.

You know how many times it says Jesus took his disciples and they went somewhere? Me neither. I started counting through the Gospels and lost track because just about every time he went somewhere he intentionally brought people with him. There are examples, moments when he got alone - few though. The evidence is abundantly clear that with incredible intentionality Jesus brought people with him.


Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

19 Therefore 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.”


"Therefore go" is actually “As you go” in the Greek the literal translation.

Think about the different applications to this command. What does this mean in your life? is this hard or easy?

Jesus ends with promising that he will be with us always, to the very end of the age. If He’s truly in the driver’s seat of your life then it’s not so much you bringing him with you but instead he’s bringing you with him. What he did for the disciples 2000 years ago, Jesus still wants to do in our lives today. As He disciples us now He invites us to do the same with others.


Let me give you some practical examples:

>Parents, bring your kids with you. Share a way your family intentionally has involved your kids in the ministry to help disciple them.

>Parents, bring your kids’ friends with you too. Three words–Saturday night sleepovers. Obviously talk to their parents first before you bring them to church but your family may be the closest to Jesus that your kids’ friends ever get.

>Bring people into your home, connect with them, grow with them, do life with them, study the Word with them, pray with them. ("To busy" is an excuse. Business is the killer of ministry opportunities.)

Jesus said, as you go. As you do life, do it with others with Christ at the center.

>As you serve in a ministry, invite someone to serve with you.

Bring someone with you.


So what happens with Peter? I think he got it! Jesus can raise the dead. Even death is not an insurmountable barrier when it comes to Jesus. What if Jesus didn’t bring him? Then Peter wouldn’t have learned that lesson and this future scene probably wouldn’t have ever happened.


Acts 9:36-42 NIV

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.


Peter heals Tabitha in an similar way that Jesus had healed Jairus’s daughter. Many people came to believe in Jesus all throughout Joppa simply because Jesus took Peter with him years earlier. God is a “connecting the dots” kind of God.

We have no idea what God wants to do through us and when He wants to do it.


God’s calling on your life is bigger than your lifetime. There is only one thing that will last. The stuff you are stressing about now won’t. It probably will be no big deal in a couple years and your own great grandkids that wouldn’t even exist if it were not for you, won’t even know your name. BUT—if you bring someone with you, that will be celebrated for all eternity.

What is God calling you to? Who can you bring with? Who in your life does not know God, but as you seek to grow in faith, who will you invite to go with you? (They may laugh? Don’t worry, you’ll be in good company.)

Made for Mission Week 5: Who is My Mission?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 3rd, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/559448


Who Is My Mission?

Simply answered- EVERYONE.

God has intentionally and strategically placed you in your family, friendships, neighborhood and workplace to reach out to those you are already doing life with.



You may be asking/thinking:

>I get it that I’m supposed to share how God’s goodness has intersected with my life but do I just walk up to random people and start talking?

>If God has uniquely placed me in some people’s lives to share about Him how do I go about identifying that?



Let's explore this in the Text.


John 2:24-25 NIV

24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.


Jesus knew all people and knew what was inside them. As he started his ministry he gives us two polar opposite examples of the kinds of people that God loves to work in. Listen to the very next verse.


John 3:1 NIV

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.


Jesus has a conversation with a very religious man named Nicodemus. We’re not going to study that conversation today except to say that the author John very deliberately placed it before the scene we are going to read.



>Jesus has a spiritual conversation with someone you’d expect to have it all figured out (think like a pastor of a church) but ends up correcting some basic beliefs that Nicodemus was holding.



Side Note: Just because someone appears to be a “super Christian” doesn’t mean that they are not still struggling with questions about their faith and their walk with God.



>Then Jesus leaves there and has a conversation with a woman that was on the opposite end of the religious scale than Nicodemus.



I believe Jesus is making a profound point that nobody is off limits when it comes to talking about God.


John 4:1-6 NIV

1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.


Geography helps us to understand this passage. We read that he left Judea to go to Galilee. Now most Jews would actually

make this trip longer than they would have to by intentionally missing all of Samaria.



>The Jewish people despised the Samaritans because they saw them as sell outs. They were the people that intermarried with the people of the land so that they were only half-Jewish.



>What’s interesting is that Jesus actually went out of his way to go through Samaria.



>The scene we are about to read is the only scene we read during this trip meaning it must be incredibly significant.



The Scene: Jesus sits down at the well by himself. We’ll learn later that his disciples have gone into town to grab some food.


John 4:7-14 NIV

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


As we seek to answer “Who’s my mission?” I think it’s interesting how the different people in this scene apparently saw this woman.

1. How the woman saw herself–Samaritan woman

2. How the disciples saw her–wait, where are they in this scene? Passed her by on the way. Never talk to her when they return.

3. How Jesus saw her–

>She was worth it. Worth going out of his way to meet her. Worth crossing social barriers.

>She was persistent. You might say, where do you see her persistent? Check out what happens.


John 4:15-18 NIV

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”


I’ve heard many sermons focusing on the woman’s sinfulness and shame. Yes, I’m sure this is a part of her story and she had a lot of things from her past that she was not proud of.



>In the first century Middle Eastern culture it was a man-centered world.



>Women were seen as second class citizens and men had all the power. It was completely acceptable for a man to have several premarital sexual relationships and if a husband wanted to divorce his wife all he had to do was give her a certificate and kick her to the curb. So this isn’t a woman that jumps around from guy to guy—this is probably a woman who has been used and abused over and over by multiple men. She knows what it’s like to feel pain and loss. She probably is carrying some bitterness and anger along with her shame.



Yet, here she is. She’s not given up. She’s still going. She’s still day after day going out to the well to get the water. Maybe everyone else missed something that Jesus saw because he knew what was inside her. This becomes obvious later in the story. Check out the best part.


John 4:39-42 NIV

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”


The very next verse says that Jesus left for Galilee after two days. So there is an impromptu spiritual revival among the Samaritans that goes on for two days. How does it happen?



The very woman that people had cast aside comes back into a village of people that had rejected her and convinces them to meet her new friend and Savior Jesus.



I don’t picture her handing out a few flyers. Because of who she was, it couldn’t have been easy.



Think about this, this was the very woman that the disciples passed by without ever saying a word too. This was also the very same people that the disciples had seen when they walked into the village to buy food. It never crossed their minds to share with them yet this woman sees people that desperately needed to meet their Savior.



What barriers do we put up when we judge people with our biases?


You have no idea what is inside people but Jesus knew the potential of God working through this Samaritan woman.



I think Jesus was teaching multiple lessons to multiple audiences here. Jesus primary focus was making disciples so He used every scenario to teach them a lesson in ministry. I believe the big lesson here for them and for us: Who is my Mission?



The answer: Everybody!



Who did the Samaritan woman go to?

Notice that this woman goes back to the town where she was from. It probably was out of her comfort zone but she felt compelled to share with those she did life with.



There is a Greek word that is mentioned throughout the New Testament that helps us answer the question. It’s the word “Oikos.” It was the ancient Greek equivalent of a household, house, or family. An average Oikos is usually made up of about 8-15 people.


OIKOS:

>In Luke 8, (from last weeks sermon) the demon possessed man was told to return to his household (oikos) and describe the great things done for him.

>In Luke 19, Zacchaeus was told salvation had come to his household (oikos).

>In John 4, the centurion’s whole household (oikos) was saved following the healing of his son.

>In Acts 10, Cornelius was a righteous man who feared God with all his household (oikos).

>In Acts 16, the Philippian Jailer has his entire household (oikos) baptized in the middle of the night.


What does that look like for us? God has intentionally and strategically placed you in your family, friendships, neighborhood and workplace to reach out to those you are already doing life with.



One easy way to think about it is to think FRANCE . Who are your

Friends

Relatives

Acquaintances

Neighbors

Co-Workers/Classmates and

keep your Eyes open.


Would you just start praying this prayer on a daily basis, “Lord I don’t ask you for much today, but would you give me your heart for the lost.”



Make a those you know who need Jesus

Friends

Relatives

Acquaintances

Neighbors

Co-Workers/Classmates

Eyes (those you meet along the way)



Remember 1 Cor. 3:6


1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV

6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.


For His glory, God is working in you so that He may be known through you.

Made for Mission Week 4: What's My Message?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 27th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/555153


Today we will spend time answering the question, “What’s my message?” What do I actually say while living on mission. If you are already a Christian, then this is at the very heart of following Jesus.



Have you ever tried to explain something to someone and they just don’t get it? Do you ever feel like sharing Jesus is like speaking in a different language? You just can’t seem to get the words out and you’re pretty sure you are confusing the other person more than you are helping them.



If you can relate at all then today’s passage we are studying should greatly encourage you. We are going to look at the same story from two different places. Mark 5 and Luke 8


Mark 5:1-2 NIV

1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.


Mark 5:3-5 NIV

3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.


Luke 8:28-29 NIV

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.


Luke 8:30 NIV

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.


Luke 8:31-33 NIV

31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.


So the man asks the question, “Jesus, what do you want with me?”

Jesus answers in words and actions: 1) I want to know your name. 2) I want to help you.



Think about it, everyone else wanted to bind him and keep him away but Jesus came to free him.


Luke 8:34-35 NIV

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.


As the man sat at Jesus’ feet what do you think they talked about? A great question to ask anytime you are reading the

Bible and it says they were talking is “What do you imagine the conversation was about?” I’m just guessing but don’t you think the man somewhere in there probably asked, “So who are you and why did you save me?”


Luke 8:38-39 NIV

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.


This guy has been a Christian for 5 minutes. Doesn’t he need more training? Instead Jesus gives him a mission. Return home and tell how much God has done for you.



The area that this all happened was called Decapolis because it was made up of 10 cities that were all together. He went all over the place and told people how much Jesus had done for him.



So, what’s my message? It’s simple, to share how God’s goodness has intersected with my life. What did Jesus do and howhas it personally impacted my life. Can you do that? That’s the message you’re supposed to be ready with.


Mark 7:31 NIV

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.


Jesus went back. In Mark 8 we read that the feeding of the 4000 happened in that same region. So Jesus goes on and tells one guy before they send him away. He comes back a little bit later and 4000 men (or probably 12-15,000 including women and kids) What was the difference? There is no other explanation. I believe it had something to do with how God used the testimony of the former demon possessed guy. Think for a second what that means, he probably went and shared about Jesus to everyone. He probably shared with the very people who cuffed him in chains and left him to die. The message was just too good, his past relationships just didn’t seem to matter anymore.


You have no idea the impact God wants to make through you. Jesus took the craziest most insecure guy and used him to build His kingdom.



We limit our testimony and thereby our effectiveness with: “I can’t do this.” “I’m shy.” “I can’t talk with people about how good God is” “This is just not my thing.”



Let me ask you, “Are you known for running around the local cemetery and your neighborhood naked? Has anyone ever chained you up because you are so out of control?” If not, then you have far less to overcome than this guy did and he brought about one of the Bible’s best spiritual awakenings. Stop saying I can’t and Say God can.


1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV

6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.


God is at work in you so that He may be known through you. You have a mission.

Paul planted

Apollos Watered

God gave increase



Pray for planting moments and courage.

Pray for watering moments and courage.

Trust what God wants to do through you, for His glory.

Made for Mission Week 3: What's My Mission? (Part 2)

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 20th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/551019


We are in week 3 of our “Made for Mission” series. At the beginning of this series we investigated the truth that every person has been called by God for a mission. You are not an accident or fluke but instead God’s masterpiece created for a purpose.


Ephesians 2:10 NIV

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


Since we are created in Christ Jesus to do the will of God, we again must ask ourselves the questions:

What’s my mission?

Whose mission am I already on?”

What mission was Jesus on?


Luke 9:51 NIV

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.


What does RESOLUTELY mean?



RESOLUTELY: determined, and unwavering manner. Another way of saying it would be: steadfastly, set His face, determined, made up His mind, with intention - he set His face to go



Jesus was a man on a mission. (John 17:4)

He resolutely set out to lay down his life for the sake of other’s salvation. With great intentionality and courage He knew where He was going and that his life was bigger than himself. It’s interesting earlier in the chapter He shared point blank what that meant for anyone that would follow Him.


Luke 9:23-24 NIV

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.


Jesus made it clear that the mission of those who would follow Him was the same as His.

>Followers must lay down their lives on a daily basis for the sake of others being saved.

>This isn’t just a one time event, this is the mission of our lives on a daily basis from now till Jesus returns.

>Our mission is way bigger than ourselves or even the people we serve, it’s part of a worldwide movement that Jesus started.


This worldwide movement faces obstacles. I think one of Satan’s most powerful tools to get Jesus follower’s off mission is the weapon of DISTRACTION.



DISTRACTION: A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. A diversion or recreation.



We all agree, we live in a distracted culture? The truth is, most of us aren’t out there committing sin after sin and aren’t bad people. We are just busy people. We aren’t on mission like we should be or would like to be… because we are so busy, so distracted.



In a recent survey put out by Lifeway, 80% of church-goers said they believe they have a personal responsibility in sharing their faith BUT 61% say that they haven’t in the past six months. So the majority of us know what the mission is and the importance of it but somehow it doesn’t impact the way we live.


Luke 9:57-62 NIV

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


From this passage, Jesus identifies and calls out three distractions that will pull us away from the mission Jesus has made us for.



1. Comfort

2. Commitments

3. Competition


1. The Mission of Comfort

Our world is obsessed with safety and comfort. How many of you took my challenge last week and went to Walmart and saw all the things that are available to make you more comfortable?

Whether you did or not, the truth is, we like to travel the course of least resistance. We enjoy comfort.

>What happens when the Mission of Comfort comes in conflict with the Mission of Jesus?

>What happens when comfort becomes a bigger deal in your life than Christ?

The mission that God has invited us to be on isn’t always easy or comfortable.

Is He worth it? Is loving God and loving someone else worth it? or are we in love with our comfortable lives so much that we to neglect God’s purpose? Are we so consumed with the pursuit of a comfortable life that we to neglect God’s purpose?


2. The Mission of Commitments

Matt 6:33 “Seek first His kingdom and His righteous and ALL THESE THINGS will be given to you as well.”



Jesus promises that if we place his Kingdom first in our lives then He will take care of all the other things we love to stress about.

So, are there things you have told Jesus “yes, but first…”

>I’ll serve, but first let me get through this busy season.

>I’ll give, but first let me get this promotion.

>I’ll share my faith, but first let me get more comfortable in my own walk with God.

>I’ll spend time reading my Bible in the morning, but first let me push the snooze button a few times.



While many of the commitments we’ve made may be really good and honorable, Jesus still tells us that His mission must come first.


3. The Mission of Competition

vs 61: As Jesus continues to walk along another man approaches. vs 61 “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus turns to him and replies, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”



Notice once again that this man has some of the same disorganized words. “Lord; but first…”



Instead of going the mission unconditionally, this man places a condition on his willingness to serve.



The word “but" completely impacts whatever was said just before. Think about it…

I really like this…but….

Every thing is good…but…

I love you…but…

I’m all in…but…

I’ll follow you…but…

He is a nice guy… but…



The mission that God has called us to must be seen as a reward and not a regret. He wants us to step forward into, press in, and embrace His calling, His confidence and joy, and not be looking back with uncertainty and anxiety.


Philippians 3:13-14 NIV

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


There are lots of things in our lives that are competing with God’s mission. Making money, appearing successful in the world’s eyes, having everything you want, staying healthy, having your kids turn out perfectly. Many of these things are great, but do they ever compete with what God’s mission of resolutely walking with him no matter the cost.



Simply saying that you will follow him is not enough. The primary characteristic he is looking for in His followers is Humility. Will I lay down my own comforts, other commitments and things that compete for my time, treasure and talents to resolutely follow Jesus?



We need to seriously ask and respond to what God reveals:

God, do I have any distracting missions in my life that I need to die to today?

1. Are there any comforts that you have made more important than Christ?

2. Are there any other commitments that you’ve been saying, “but first,” before you can fully follow Christ’s call on your life?

3. Are there any competing missions that might be good but have become more important than your calling to know Christ and make him known?



I am praying for you and asking God to help you connect to His purpose for your life. May God richly bless His mission through your life.

Made for Mission Week 2: What's My Mission?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 13th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/546900


We are in week 2 of our “Made for Mission” series. We said last week that every person has been called by God for a mission.

You are not an accident or fluke but instead God’s masterpiece created for a purpose.


Ephesians 2:10 NIV
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


INTRO/REVIEW

With this mission you’ve got some options:

1. Some people completely ignore their mission in life or never seek to answer what it might be.

2. Other’s kind of flirt with their mission. Every once in a while they accidentally live out part of their purpose but only for a short time. Their heart beats fast and they think to themselves, “I really love _______.” Then life gets busy and they fall back into the daily grind of everyday life.

3. Some people actively pursue the mission God made them for. They find it because God’s not hiding it from them. They reach out to people, intentionally focused on encouraging, ministering and showing God’s love.

We want to be in lifestyle #3. That’s the goal of these few weeks, that we would literally live our lives ON the mission we were made for.


Our big point from last week was that “We are all called.” Ministry is not for a select few but for all Jesus followers. Since that’s the case, then the obvious next thing is to ask, “So, what am I called to?” or “What is my mission?”


Luke 9:51 NIV
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.


What does RESOLUTELY mean?

RESOLUTELY: determined, and unwavering manner. Another way of saying it would be: steadfastly, set His face, determined, made up His mind, with intention - he set His face to go

Jesus was a man on a mission. (John 17:4)

He resolutely set out to lay down his life for the sake of other’s salvation. With great intentionality and courage He knew where He was going and that his life was bigger than himself. It’s interesting earlier in the chapter He shared point blank what that meant for anyone that would follow Him.


Luke 9:23-24 NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.


Jesus made it clear that the mission of those who would follow Him was the same as His. Followers must lay down their lives on a daily basis for the sake of others being saved. This isn’t just a one time event, this is the mission of our lives on a daily basis from now till Jesus returns. Our mission is way bigger than ourselves or even the people we serve, it’s part of a worldwide movement that Jesus started.


This worldwide movement faces obstacles. I think one of Satan’s most powerful tools to get Jesus follower’s off mission is the weapon of DISTRACTION.

Can we all agree, we live in a distracted culture? The truth is, most of us aren’t out there committing sin after sin and aren’t bad people. We are just busy people. We aren’t on mission like we should be or would like to be… because we are so busy, so distracted.

In a recent survey put out by Lifeway, 80% of church-goers said they believe they have a personal responsibility in sharing their faith BUT 61% say that they haven’t in the past six months. So the majority of us know what the mission is and the importance of it but somehow it doesn’t impact the way we live.


Luke 9:57-62 NIV
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


From this passage, Jesus identifies and calls out 3 Distraction Missions that will pull us away from the mission Jesus has made us for.

1. The Mission of Comfort

2. The Mission of Commitments

3. The Mission of Competition


The mission that God has called us to must be seen as a reward and not a regret. He wants us to step forward into, press in, and embrace His calling, His confidence and joy, and not be looking back with uncertainty and anxiety.


Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


There are lots of things in our lives that are competing with God’s mission. Making money, appearing successful in the world’s eyes, having everything you want, staying healthy, having your kids turn out perfectly. Many of these things are great, but do they ever compete with what God’s mission of resolutely walking with him no matter the cost.


Simply saying that you will follow him is not enough. The primary characteristic he is looking for in His followers is Humility. Will I lay down my own comforts, other commitments and things that compete for my time, treasure and talents to resolutely follow Jesus?

We need to seriously ask and respond to what God reveals:

God, do I have any distracting missions in my life that I need to die to today?

1. Are there any comforts that you have made more important than Christ?

2. Are there any other commitments that you’ve been saying, “but first,” before you can fully follow Christ’s call on your life?

3. Are there any competing missions that might be good but have become more important than your calling to know Christ and make him known?

I am praying for you and asking God to help you connect to His purpose for your life. May God richly bless His mission through your life.

Made for Mission Week 1: We are Called

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 6th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/542403


Today we are starting a new series titled “Made for Mission.” I believe this is a timely Word for us. Timely because chaos seems to be ever increasing, suffering is prevalent, the enemy is stealing, killing and destroy many lives. The truth of God’s love can change lives and we have a part to play. We were made for a mission. A life-changing mission.

SURVEY: Stanford University did a study recently to find out if people truly desired happiness or meaningfulness. The result of their study showed: ultimately what people really wanted was a life that had meaning.

>People are seeking a purpose in their lives that is part of something bigger. Bigger than wealth…

>People also want their life to be about something good.

We were made for a mission. Over the next 6 weeks we are going to spend some time figuring that out for our life.


Matthew 9:9 NIV
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him


That Jesus approached Matthew says so much. Tax collectors were seen in that culture as the worst of the worst. Tax collectors were not liked, they represented the oppressive rule of Rome and collected taxes for Rome. People hated them. If we could go back in time and freeze frame this scene and then pick out of the hundreds of people there who would be the last person Jesus would pick to train up and send out to change the world it would be Matthew. Think NFL Draft first pick first round, nobody uses their pick for a backup punter. That’s Matthew, the backup punter.


This is incredibly significant for us? If Matthew is called then that means we are all called. There is a widespread myth in the churches that “calling into ministry” is a secondary experience that happens to only a few Christians. Their job is to do the ministry and everyone else's job is to just show up and foot the bill. Few lies cripple the mission more than that one. Each believer is called to share the gospel everywhere they go. The question is no longer whether we are called, only where and how.


You are called by God! He has chosen you to be an active part of his mission. Since you’re called, you need to start asking some big questions.

>Those in the business world—why did God make me good at business? Surely not just to fill up your life with all kinds of comforts so you can spend the last twenty years of your life on vacation.

He has given you talents as a means of blessing others and as a platform to spread the mission.

>If you’re a stay-at-home mom, ask yourself: What role do I play in the advance of the mission as I raise my kids?

>The same question applies if you work in construction, in an office, at fire department, a teacher or a student, anywhere… God may have not put you in a vocational pastor position but He has put you on the frontlines for mission. The word “vocation” actually comes from the Latin word voca, which means “to call.” What if you started seeing your job as an actual calling from God.


Don’t miss the point here. God isn’t calling us to simply “Do Something”. Look at Jesus’ invitation to Matthew. He doesn’t say, “get in line” or “do what I do.” He simply says, “Follow Me.”

The idea of following is to learn his ways, walk, talk, think, respond as Jesus (the teacher) would. This is relational. Jesus invites Matthew first and foremost into a relationship with him. The relationship was not the by product of them doing ministry together, the relationship was the assignment. The ministry is what would come from them spending time together. The Christian life is not about doing stuff for God but being in relationship with God. We aren’t to hide it. We are to bring it in to the relationships we have with people so that they may experience His love, care and compassion through you.

From Matthew’s point of view he’s obviously shocked that Jesus approached him, but it’s also remarkable how Matthew got up immediately with no questions asked. Why drop everything? He had a good paying job, most of Israel was living below the poverty line. He seemingly didn’t have to work hard. (He’s just sitting there) He was a part of something bigger. (the Roman Empire probably had a good retirement plan)


Jesus invitation is from sitting to following. (sitting to serving) Replay scene for a moment.

>Matthew is just sitting there. (sit down on a stool)

>Then Jesus walks up. (Get up and play role of Jesus before sitting back down)

>What does Jesus call on Matthew’s life require of Matthew? Movement! He must get up!

>He had to get up. He had to make a conscience decision to make a move. He couldn’t just stay in his seat and follow. The moment he took a step he was on mission but a step of faith was required.


For us, God is calling us to get off the sidelines and get in the game of being made for a mission. It will require you to consciously get up even if it may be a bit uncomfortable.


Matthew 9:10 NIV
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.


SO we see in verse 9 that Jesus calls Matthew, Matthew gets up and follows Jesus. But to where?



There is this fear that if I am all in, I give my “YES” to God then I may move to Africa or Antarctica. That could happen…but God more often says, “let’s just start with where I have you now.”

P.S. #1 - Jesus’s discipleship model moved from where the disciples were in Jerusalem to Judea, then outward to Samaria then the world.


This next scene takes place at Matthew’s house. Who probably provided/cooked the meal they were eating? Matthew.

Had Matthew probably had friends over to his house before? Yep, but this dinner would have felt different. Before he was

Matthew the tax collector but now he’s Matthew the missionary. His ability to BBQ is now being used for the mission of

God. When we go from sitting to following, God is going to internally start changing the way we start seeing things in our lives.


God wants to transform how you use your resources.

God has blessed us with stuff that can be used for mission. Matthew used his house and food to be on mission. The same is true for us. You’ll look at your finances differently. You’ll look at your possessions differently.


God wants to transform how we see our relationships.

Matthew possibly had many meals with his tax collector buddies prior to this meal with them, but this one was different. Jesus was there…

Why even have a meal together? What was the motive? How do you think Matthew introduced Him? Hey friends, this is Jesus, the Messiah. He changed my life today. My sins were forgiven —you could have that happen too.

What do you think the conversations sounded like? Maybe he thought that they too could experience a different life by following Jesus… Here’s what I do know:

When you join God in a life on mission, you begin to realize that none of your friendships or even acquaintances are coincidental.

God has placed people in your life and you should desperately want what happened to you to happen to them. At some point all of us had someone tell us about God—it is quite significant when we we realize that we get to do the same thing for others.


Jesus transforms lives. Jesus transformed Matthew from a man who needed a savior to a man who not only trusted Jesus as His savior but became a voice that revealed hope, love and peace.

Matthews willingness to be a vessel, an instrument of change has touched many lives. How many millions have been saved through his writings?

God wants you on mission as well. You have no idea the impact God might want to make through your life.

You’ve been called by God and made for a mission. What if every one of us simply had the attitude of “one more.” Jesus, would you use me to reach just one more person? If we all did that, the light of God’s love would shine forth…we’d change the lives of many…


2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.