Kingdom Come Sunday
Jesus calls us to get involved right where we are using exactly what we have.
- Interact with this statement: Jesus calls us to trust and obedience, not control. From what you heard in this message, what does it look like for you to live a life of trust and obedience to Jesus?
- What gets in the way of our obedience to mission of God?
- What is one thing you need to do in response to this message?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
What is going on everyone? My name is Jordan, yeah, thank you for that. I'm really excited to be here for a few reasons. One, my wife and I were able to leave our ridiculously cute almost a year and a half son Jamison at home with his grandparents. That's a cute kid. He got all his good looks from his mother though, so. And now we get to spend a day enjoying the city, enjoying lunch without my hands smelling like diaper cream. Everybody knows what that feels like.
But also coming to Buffalo feels like in some way like coming home. I was born right outside of New York City, but my Dad is from Buffalo. And he swears to this day that the best pizza on the entire planet is Bocce's pizza. Is that it, is he lying, or? My parents actually met at law school at the University of Buffalo just a few miles from here. And every single year growing up as a kid we would come to see my grandmother. We would spend Easter in the east side of Buffalo at Faith Missionary Baptist Church on Humboldt Parkway and riding through these streets brings back a lot of nostalgic feelings.
But I'm also glad to be here at the Chapel because you guys are a partner for me. Well before Renaissance Church had launched and well before we had a worship service and a band and auditoriums full of people, we had partners that would pray for us. We had people who would that would give us encouraging words and we had people like you that believed in the mission of God, that every man, woman and child would have repeated opportunities to hear, see and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and you did that in amazing ways. And your generosity has helped us so much at Renaissance. And before we go any further, please hear this from the bottom of my heart, thank you guys so much. Even if you've never been to Harlem or heard of Harlem or know what it's like to be there, your time here, your faithfulness to what God is doing here has impacted so many lives. So give it up for yourselves, you guys are amazing.
Things weren't always as exciting as they are right now at Renaissance. We just celebrated our second birthday, launched another service and we're looking at other areas in the city where we can plant another church. Things by far were not always this exciting. As a matter of fact, I remember those feelings a few years ago right after I left my job as an attorney, and what it felt like to roll over and look at my wife in bed and saying "what did I just get us into"?
Now I knew that God had called me to plant a church. I knew that God had put a burden on me so that we could plant a church in Harlem that would reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That it wouldn't be a church where we would go through a whole lot of formalities, but that we could present people the simple, the plain and the profound truth of God's love for them in Jesus. Now we would grow a community, but the only problem was we didn't really have anything. We didn't have any people, we didn't have any money. And I remember one-time meeting with some people that were interested in joining the church and they were saying hey, we heard about this church, like we want to come and we want to get involved, they're like where is it. I'm like "hey, actually it's just us and you. That's basically it, that's all we got so far." And we had those conversations over and over and over again. This has been an extremely stressful process, so much so that before we started, I actually had a full head of hair, it was a big flowing afro, I would just pic it out.
Here's what I found the last couple of years, that despite the fact that we didn't have a lot leading up to it, despite the fact that I didn't have every T crossed and I didn't have every I dotted, that God often times and that Jesus often calls us, if you put your faith in Him, to start exactly where you are using exactly what you have. That Jesus doesn't require that you have progressed to some magical point in the future in order for you to be usable. That Jesus doesn't require that you would have to have a PhD in Theology, or you would have had to have so much experience or you would know the Bible frontwards and backwards, but that Jesus calls us to follow him right where we are using exactly what we have and God has a mission for all of us. And God has a mission for every single person in this room, because God's mission is that everyone would come into faith to know Him.
Years ago when I was about five, we were living in Yonkers, and I was let's just say a rambunctious child and I, my Mother would take us to her office from time to time on Saturdays while she did some work, and I decided this really brilliant, genius idea that I'm going to play a game of hide and seek outside the office. I'm going to walk in the streets in Yonkers and let my mother find me. Needless to say, she didn't find the game as funny as I thought it was going to be, and I saw her bust out the door with this look on her face where she was consumed and borderline possessed. And she ran out the room screaming my name and for a split second I debated just running away forever. Like, you know what? I can make it on the streets, I'm a tough kid. And the look on her face with so much passion and she was consumed with one thing, to find her lost child. Her child was lost and she wanted her child to be found.
Now imagine that while she was looking for me, you would have stopped her and said, hey I really love your shoes, those are really, really nice. The way you put your outfit together is perfect. Or hey, you're a really great writer, you're an amazing writer, I love the way you write or anything else, any compliment. She would have told you, listen my child is lost, I don't care about any of that stuff, either help me or get out of the way. Now, Scripture tells us a similar story about Jesus, that He will leave the ninety-nine in search of the one, and this is what Jesus' mission is, to seek and to save the lost. And God's mission for all of us is to get on board with Him in that endeavor.
Now you and I can have a lot of excuses why we don't size up to be the right person to get on mission with Jesus, you might not have enough experience, you might be fearful about what would happen if you really were to get engaged. You might not have that much in your bank account, you might not have that much experience, you might not have that much theological knowledge. And we can give ourselves a lot of different reasons why we're not the right person to get involved. Or why we can put limitations on what God can call us to do, but here's what I found. Jesus calls us to get involved exactly right where we are using exactly what you already have in your possession.
So much so, 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul gives a description here that talks about God's intention. It says: We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. That we, you and I are Christ's ambassadors. That you and I are the people that God uses to reconcile people back to Himself. But it's not an easy thing, there's a lot of different reasons that can make it tough.
And I know from firsthand experience how difficult it can be to leave what's comfortable for what God is calling you to do. More than anybody in this room, I love to be comfortable. I love it, I'm not going to go against anybody for wanting to be comfortable, but oftentimes God has to yank us out of our comfort zones to do inside of us what He wants to be done.
Now I want to unpack a Scripture today, it's one of my favorite Scriptures in all of the New Testament. It's so important that every single gospel writer includes it in their account of the life and the teachings of Jesus. So there's only two miracles that are in every gospel, the resurrection of Jesus and when Jesus fed the five thousand. Now I love the way Luke tells it. He starts up the story like this: On their return, the apostles told Him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsiada. It starts with the disciples coming back from preaching and doing ministry stuff, they were excited because Jesus had sent them out. And they had started seeing all these exciting things happening and there was a crowd, a huge crowd that followed around Jesus.
Now later when people had heard that Jesus was in town, a huge crowd started to form and in verse 11 it says: When the crowds learned it, they followed Him, and He welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now even before social media, even before the Kardashians and reality television, there were celebrities and Jesus was a very popular figure that when He would come into town it would be a huge crowd that followed him, and this time was no different. A huge crowd had assembled to find Jesus.
Now after Jesus finished preaching in Luke 9:12, it goes on to say that: As the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get food, for we are here in a desolate place. Now it was getting late and it wasn't like they can hop in a car and go home. It wasn't like they could simply catch a ride with a friend and go home. They would have had to walk through miles and miles and miles and it was a real concern that they wouldn't faint on their way home just from being hungry. People would walk miles and miles to see and hear Jesus. And this huge crowd and the disciples notice something that we have to do something to get them food. That they need to go and leave so that they can go to the villages and lodging and find lodging and food for themselves.
And Jesus replied with something that they would have never thought about on their own. Now I want you guys to pay attention to this, underline this in your Bibles, Luke 9:13. This is what Jesus replies to them: Jesus replied, You give them something to eat. That you're not allowed to just kick this responsibility down the road, we're not just going to send everybody away, you give them something to eat. That what Jesus is doing in the life of His disciples here is that He is inviting them to be a part of the process of what He wanted to see happen. Jesus wasn't going to just simply, He could have easily called down manna from heaven and then a miracle and fed everyone without the disciples even being a part, but here's what Jesus wanted. He wanted them to get involved exactly where they were using exactly what they already had.
So in verse 13 says you give them something to eat. Now it was late and there's no place that they can go and buy food, and here's what we see in the life of Jesus here. That Jesus in the life of the people that followed Him and put their faith in Him, that He's often disruptive. He often disrupts our plans with what we thought we were going to do that day with something much bigger and greater than we ever could anticipate. And in a lot of cases something much more uncomfortable than we would have chosen for ourselves. So we here see Jesus disrupting the life of the people that have put their faith in Him and follow Him. And He wants you and me to get involved in what He is doing.
Now this is what I love, Jesus doesn't want you and me sitting on the sidelines. Jesus doesn't want me and you looking at other people getting involved. He wants all of us, me and you, every single person in this room, every person to be involved with what He is doing. So there's five thousand people, and I love the disciples’ reaction, because they did a lot of things that I think were very healthy that I would have done. One of the things that's so amazing about Scripture is that it includes pretty unflattering views of the followers of Jesus. Right, one of the things I love over and over again, you don't see perfect men and women following Jesus. You see very normal people who do stuff just like you and I would have done.
The first thing you see is that they procrastinated. I have a PhD in procrastination and I know one when I see one. In college I had a paper to write. It was a fifty-page paper - fifty - and I didn't start even doing research for two days before. Yes, that's how I rock, that's how I roll, it's not a good idea. Kids, don't do that, don't follow my lead.
And the first thing you see the disciples do is procrastinate. It says in verse 12: Now the day was ending. Now the day was ending. They saw for the entire day that the crowd was there, they knew the entire day that people were going to need to eat and they didn't do anything about it. They probably figured to themselves, this is what I would have been thinking, hey, we'll just let this day go on and then we'll send everybody home and it won't be our responsibility. And they procrastinated. They had all day to figure out a plan, they had all day to get involved and they started, I'm sure, getting themselves off the hook for getting involved.
And here's what a lot of us do. We procrastinate. Hey, once my schedule calms down, then I'll join a small group. Hey, once I pay this bill and once I do this and once I do this, then I'll start to give and we start putting all of our hope in this mythical day called tomorrow when everything is going to happen. When we're going to get in shape, when we're going to get a six-pack back again and everything is going to happen, we're going to be productive and that tomorrow oftentimes never comes. Here's what Jesus does. Jesus doesn't have a theology of tomorrow, He has a theology of today. He calls us to get involved right now, where we are using exactly what we have.
Now if it's hard for us to think about how we can get involved in what Jesus is doing, it was equally hard for the disciples, but check this out. There's never, ever, ever a bad time to get on board with what Jesus is doing. There's never a bad time for you or for me to follow Jesus and to risk it a little bit for His kingdom.
The second thing they tried to do, is they tried to avoid responsibility. They said send the crowd away so that they can go to other places and find lodging and get something to eat, because right here it's a desolate place. Now send the people away, they're passing off responsibility to other people saying, hey, we didn't invite all these people out here, we didn't tell all these people to come, you should send them to other places so that they can find food and lodging. And Jesus doesn't let them off the hook. He doesn't say because it doesn't affect you personally you're not responsible for them. The opposite is true. Even though you didn't bring them here, even though you're not technically, personally affected by this, Jesus still called them to feed them and to get involved in their lives.
And the third thing they do is they worry. They said Lord, it would take us like eight months’ wages to pay for these guys to eat and the disciples anxiety goes into overdrive. Think about all the cost. Five thousand people, how are they going to get all the food, how are they going to keep it hot, where are they going to distribute it, what are they going to do about health permits, what about liability insurance, what are they going to do and their minds are going into overdrive. Jesus doesn't let them off the hook. I love what He says. He turns to them and He says, He gives them this invitation to join Him in what He is doing.
Now your crowd might not be five thousand people to feed. That might not be your situation. But it might be a co-worker that you're near every single day, and they might be far from God but they're close to you. It might be a classmate that God has you in their life for a reason. It might be to give of your time here or your treasure or your talent here and serve in this local body. Whatever it is, God has us all on a mission to see His children, to seek and to save the lost, and whether we're procrastinating or whether we're worried or whether we try to pass the buck to someone else, Jesus wants us to get involved. And I love it that He calls us to get involved using exactly what we have.
In verse 13 and 14 there's an amazing response. So Jesus calls His disciples to get involved and this is what they respond with: They answered, We only have five loaves of bread and two fish-unless we go and buy food for all this crowd. About five thousand men were there. And I love this, if you're following along with the Scripture, Jesus asked them what they have and they start telling Him what they don't have. Jesus asked them what do you have and they said we only have, we only have this. And they start responding with this inferiority, that we don't have enough.
And so often in my life personally, I know what this feels like. That when I feel like God is calling me to do something, when He called us to plant Renaissance the first thing I thought about is all the stuff that I don't have. The first thing that came to my mind is that we don't have enough people, we don't have enough money, I don't have enough training, I don't have enough this, this and this and the list can go on and on and on and on. But here's what I've learned in the last couple of years of planting this church. That if we take our little, if we take our little and put it in the hands of Jesus, we will be amazed at what we watch God do with our lives. That us plus Jesus always equals a majority.
Now I know what it feels like to want to respond to Jesus, hey we only have this, we only have that. Before we actually planted Renaissance church I had gone through a number of things that made me really question whether or not I was even able to do it anymore. 2008 I heard a sermon that changed my life forever called 'God Loves Cities' and I was compelled and I felt so convicted and so strongly that God had called us to plant a church in Harlem. On the way back from the sermon I remember talking to my wife and she was saying just go ahead and say it and I said say what? You want to move into the city and plant a church and I said yep, I do. And she said great, let's do it. She was probably the biggest reason that I had the boldness to tell my parents that I was leaving the family firm. So for me to leave law, it wasn't that I was just leaving a legal practice, I was leaving my parents legal practice. And I was leaving my older brother who worked alongside of me and it was a big, huge step.
In 2010, right after I had told everybody I was going to plant this church, my wife got really sick. Really, really sick. Probably about a couple of weeks after graduation from seminary we found out that she had a really rare form of cancer, and ten months later she passed away. Now I know what it feels like to a) feel like there's no way in the world God could ever use me now. I don't have anything; I don't even have a wife. I don't have a partner that is going to, you know, let me know that all my decisions are so terrible, there's so much that I don't have anymore. And it was a time where I really re-evaluated whether or not God could use me in anything. And about a year and a half after she died I just remembered this feeling, this notion, that God was giving me this burden that, this call to plant a church and it wouldn't go away. I kept hearing God push me in that direction.
Now, I've depressed most of you, this woman right here is crying in the front row. So let me give you some good news to make you smile a little bit. About three weeks after I had decided to plant the church, I really went out literally with nothing. No organization, I left my job, I had nothing, nothing to bank on to, I met my present wife who is also widowed. She lost her husband in a motorcycle accident about two and a half months after they had gotten married. And after we met each other, she just wouldn't leave me alone, she was begging me, please, please, please would you date me and I was like, alright, alright, alright. She would probably tell the story a little bit differently, but I have a microphone, so, this is how it goes, folks.
But God can take our little - God can take whatever you have - whatever you have, those five pieces of bread, those two small pieces of fish and God can turn that into incredible, incredible things. In the last couple of years of watching Renaissance grow, not just in numbers but in depth and what we are doing and the stories that we're seeing happen. Years ago - I would never in a million years dreamed that we would see these things happen.
A couple months ago, I had the privilege to baptize a guy that I had known for about 10, 15 years. And he was so resistant to all things Christianity, that I actually stopped talking to him about God. Right? You guys have friends like that that are so anti-God that they don't even want to hear a word about church, Jesus, the Bible, anything. It would just set him off. And just a few months ago - when we first started a church he started coming and we started to see his life really being transformed by the gospel, and five months ago we baptized him, and now he is now one of the leaders in our church. Stories like that we've seen happen over and over and over again.
But God can take whatever it is we have - the little that we have - and He can turn it into amazing things. He just wants our willingness. All he wants is our willingness. In John 6:6, John's version of this account, John gives us an amazing detail. It says, Jesus asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do. See, Jesus already knew what He was going to do. All He wanted from the disciples was a willingness. That's all He wanted. He didn't need them to do anything. He could have called down manna from heaven. All He wanted was their willingness, because here's what God wants to do inside of our lives: God wants to blow the doors off of our lives so that you and I would grow to actually trust Him.
And I've gone through a lot of schools. I've taken a lot of theological classes. I've listened to a lot of sermons. I've done all those different things, and still I have never graduated past the need to simply put my faith and trust in Jesus. That God is good. That God provides. That God hasn't left us. That God is with us and that God is for us. And that everything that goes on in our life is not meaningless.
Now the last thing I love about this Scripture is that Jesus oftentimes pushes us well past our comfort zone to a place where we don't have any other choice but to rely on Him. Jesus pushes us to a place where we'd have no other choice but to rely on Him. And there's a detail in the Scripture that if you read past it too quickly, you'll miss it. It says right after Jesus had given them the instruction and they said hey, we only got five loaves of bread and two fish, this is what Jesus says in verse 14. But He said to His disciples have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.
So here's what happens and if you read through it too quickly you'd miss it. They say Jesus, we don't have enough. He says great. Have everybody sit down in groups of fifty. They're like, uh, I don't think you head that last detail, my friend. We don't have enough. We don't have it. There's 5,000 people and we have five pieces of bread and two pieces of fish. Jesus says, I heard you. Have everybody sit down in groups of fifty and tell them food is coming. Now I oftentimes imagine the anxiety of the disciples in between from walking with Jesus and knowing we don't have enough. We do not have it and if Jesus doesn't come through, we're going to look like idiots. We're going to be fools because we're telling people food is coming and we know there's not enough. We know that we don't have enough on our own, and unless Jesus does something miraculous, unless Jesus does what only He can do, then we're going to look foolish.
And here's the uncomfortable truth of how Jesus treats people that have placed their faith in Him: that sometimes, Jesus will call you to a place so well far out of your comfort zone that you have no other choice but to trust Him - that it won't make sense any other way. Unless Jesus comes through for you, you're going to look like an idiot. And this is how He treats the people that love Him. This is how He treats the people that follow Him.
Now I love this so much about Jesus because it tells us how He operates and what He wants to do not just with us, but in us. Not just with you but in you. That God wants to cultivate this trust that you have in Him. That you would see that Jesus is trustworthy with everything in your life. That you can be reckless with Him because you're little in His hands is infinitely powerful, much more so than it could ever be on its own. Jesus put them in a position where if He didn't come through for them, they'd be laughed at.
And so much so, that's what a church plant process is like. Some of the other church planters here, like my boy Jeremy at The Village - he'll tell you a church plant is basically telling people food is coming and you know that there's nothing in the kitchen. You're like, hey - give everybody a launch date. Yeah, yeah, yeah - sounds good to me. September 21, 2014. Hey, do you have volunteers? Nope. You have a place to meet? Absolutely not. And you can go down a list of things you don't have. And I've watched Jesus take our little - our little faith, our little willingness, and turn it into something that blows the doors off of my mind. And here's what I believe more than anything in this world. That God wants to see this happening over and over again in our lives. That God wants to do amazing things inside of us.
And this is one thing I love about this story. Verse 15 and 16 says: The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. The He gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They had so much left over that there was enough to feed the 5,000 and even had leftovers.
But listen to this: before Jesus took the bread and broke it and multiplied it, He first had to break the disciples. Before Jesus broke the bread and multiplied it and made the miracle, He first had to break His disciples of their need to be in control. He first had to break the disciples of their need to have everything all perfectly figured out. He first had to break them from their desire to have to know what the next step was so that they wouldn't really have to trust Him. And here's what trust is: that you don't have it figured out. But you and I, we put our trust in Jesus, that He and He alone can and will come through.
I know it's not easy for us to put our trust in God. There's probably not a day that goes by in my life where I don't struggle with it, quite honestly. My wife can tell you, if you speak to her after, how often I worry about small things. Things at the church or things with our finances or whatever the case is. And I know what it feels like, so you have a brother in this regard. But I also know, I've also seen what God can do with whatever I put in His hands, and it's amazing to see. It's the biggest faith builder in the world.
Now check this out: here's the remedy and the antidote to what I think is the biggest obstacle that gets in our way of us getting involved with Jesus - getting on mission with Him, giving of our time, our talent, our treasure, giving of ourselves, our hearts - to Him, and it's fear. Fear that I won't work out well for us in the end. Fear that we'll be looked at as foolish. Fear that our reputation would be thrown in the mud if people know that we're a Christian and we tell people about Jesus.
All right, here's the antidote that I know. It's in Hebrews 12:2. It says this: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Now when I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, suddenly my grip on my bank account and my grip on my day suddenly loosens, and I see all the beauty of the gospel - that Jesus that went to the cross for me, that this undeserving person got unconditional love from an unobligated giver. And that God so loved me that He would send His son Jesus to the cross for me? Then I don't have to worry about next month's bills. I don't have to worry about my future. I don't have to worry about my reputation because what does it matter if the whole world speaks well of you and the One that really matters doesn't say, well done, my good and faithful servant.
But if we fix our eyes on Jesus - the One that Paul talks about - that nothing can separate us from the unsearchable, unquenchable love of God found for us in Jesus - when our eyes are fixed on Him suddenly our fears start to disappear. But when we take our eyes off and stop to think about the problems or the other things that can go wrong, it's so easy for us to start to sink into despair and fear and all those different things.
A couple things I want for you guys - as a pastor, as a brother, as a friend - I want all of us in here to make space in our lives that we can actually have margin to know what to invest in and who to invest in with our time, out talent, our treasure, our relationships and all these different things.
In New York City, busyness is currency, so if you're not busy, people don't even respect you. I'm assuming that it's like that for a lot of people. And we try to out busy each other in the first five minutes of the conversation. It's like well how busy are you? I'm way busier than that, actually. And we do this and we don't have margin in our lives. So when God does call us to do something, we can't even do it because we've got 900 other things going on or we have 900 other things that our money is committed to that we are over committed.
Secondly, to trust Jesus with what we lack, that He's enough. Matthew 28:20 Jesus says, the most comforting line of all of Scripture. He says I will be with you to the very end. That's me and you. I'm not going anywhere. That if everything else disappears, if everybody else disappears, I'm staying here with you. And we don't have to fear anything because Jesus is with us.
And thirdly, to live on mission wherever we are - at home, at work, in your school, here at The Chapel - keeping your mind focused on God's mission seeing people reconciled to Him because your little can do amazing things.
I want to tell you guys a quick story about a woman named Veronica. She went to Morgan State with me in Baltimore. And I was a sophomore in college not doing too well in Spanish and I asked her, hey, I need some help studying Spanish. And I wasn't a Christian. As a matter of fact, I was probably running as hard as I could in the opposite direction. I did any and everything that I wanted to do. I didn't go to church. I didn't follow God. I was doing everything as opposite as I could from a life of following God.
And one day studying Spanish with Veronica and back in the day I used to wear a big gold chain with a cross. If it was good enough for Puff Daddy, it was good enough for me. And she asked me nervously - I watched her as she was fidgeting around her notes - and she says, hey can I ask you a question? I said shoot. She says, hey, what does your cross mean to you? And I said, honestly, not too much. I'll just be honest. I've been to church before, but it's not really the way I live my life. And she asked me, with her voice shivering, hey, can I read you my devotion for this morning? And I said, go ahead - go for it. I've heard it all before so what's a devotional thought gonna hurt? And she read her thought to me that day and for the first time in probably forever I felt something. I didn't know what it was, but I felt something.
And she invited me to church, and I remember sitting in the back of the church wiping away tears because I didn't want anybody to see me crying in church. Later, some of the fellas and that church invited me to a Bible study and there I sat in a room and I wept. I wept over and over again. I couldn't even get out of the room. I was embarrassed to leave because I didn't want people to see how red my eyes were from weeping. And I felt the weight of all the things that I had done and the blessing and the freeness of all the things that Jesus Christ was offering me in His grace in salvation. And I sat there and I wept and I wept and I wept, and from that moment on my life has been radically different.
Now - Veronica, she was nervous. She didn't have a theological education. She didn't have a PhD. She didn't have a proven method on how to win souls for Jesus. She didn't read books on it. All she knew was that she could give her little, whatever she had and trust that God could do something amazing in someone's life that she couldn't do on her own. And my life has been radically different and we got to plant a church and we got to preach the gospel. We get to preach the gospel to hundreds of people every single Sunday and baptize people over and over again, all because of the faith dare that this lady took just to go out on a limb and risk it to share her faith with somebody who was probably going to be pretty antagonistic.
Now listen, Veronica is not in any national publication. You'll never hear her name or on the cover of Time magazine. I think that God works like that for a reason. That God works with all of us, that God does amazing things through people. We have no idea of the ramifications of what God can do with the little bit that we would be willing to give Him. Let me pray for us.
Father, I thank you for how you call us into sometimes really uncertain, uncomfortable places - that to risk it, to give it all, to jump in with both feet. Father, you know the anxiety that's in our hearts even just thinking about those things and I pray that you would give us peace to know that You're with us and You're with us in a very at the end of the age and that we could be secure in You. Father, would you disrupt us in the right way and would you call us to risk our lives for You. Would you call us to risk our comfort for You, and God, would we be able to see the miracle of how you multiply. God, we love you and we thank You. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
So, let me tell you this. I got to hear some new things in this worship gathering that I didn't maybe pick up on in the first worship gathering. He summarized the gospel by saying, he was an undeserving person who got unconditional love from an unobligated giver. Dude! That is a good word to us. And when that is something that we understand in our lives, it starts to eradicate that fear that he was talking about. I mean I was writing down how before Jesus broke the bread He had to break the disciples - their need for control. Man, I'm glad this is for you people. And that Jesus asks - when He asks His disciples something, He asks us what do you have, and we tend to respond by answering with what we don't have. This was a great, great word for me personally. It challenged my faith. It challenged my faith, and I know it was a good word for you guys as well. So would you guys thank Jordan for being used by God? Thank you, Jordan.
All right, so before we're dismissed, and we finished a few minutes earlier than we normally finish today for a reason. So what I'd like to do first - nobody else move. Any of our Kingdom Come partners, I want to dismiss you now so that you can go back out into the Atrium, hang around the tables where you're at. So if you're one of our Kingdom Come partners I want to dismiss you here first and you go ahead right now. Feel free to make your way out, because we want to catch up with you in just a moment.
Now a couple of things. Number one is that if you're here and you're saying to yourself, man, I feel like Jordan did when Veronica was talking to him. I feel like I'm in that place where I need to begin a relationship with Jesus and understand what that looks like and what that means. It's amazing that there's somebody like a Veronica who's willing with a trembling voice to be able to share with him. I had a girl named Kay who about the exact same time, between my sophomore and junior year of college shared the gospel with me. And I don't know if Veronica and Kay ever anticipated that Jordan and Jerry would ever be doing what they're doing at this point. And for every time we preach the gospel and all that stuff, it is a testimony to the faithfulness of people that said, here's my little and I'll do with it what you couldn't imagine.
So, maybe you're here and you're saying, I need to enter into that relationship with Jesus Christ, and Jordan played that part in your life today where he talked to you about the gospel. If that's you, come by the Fireside Room. We'd love to be able to speak to you, love to talk to you about what a relationship with Jesus looks like. Nothing more important than that.
And then the second thing is this. For those of you that are here that make up The Chapel - I know the Bills are kicking off at 1:00, and I'll be honest with you. It's just not as important. I'm for them by the way. I want them to win. But it's not as important as what we're talking about. Hang around for a few minutes. Talk to some of our Kingdom Come partners. See if you can encourage them. Maybe there's a way that you can serve them. Maybe you could just walk by and just say hey, could I take a moment and pray with you? Just anything to just encourage them, bless them, anything. I would be really, really grateful for you to be able to do that and I think it would be an incredible blessing to them as well because we want you to know who they are and how you could connect and pray for them. And bring that On Mission magazine with you home. If you need to pick up a prayer card at any one of these stations, you can pick them up anywhere and maybe write in some of the names of these prayer partners or these Kingdom Come partners you can be praying for - anything.
So Father, thanks for our time together, the way that you've spoken to our hearts and I pray You would continue to speak to us and that we would actually act on whatever it is you've spoken to us about. Maybe that's taking up the role of putting in Your hands our little and saying I'm willing to share the gospel with that person in my workplace or in my school or in my neighborhood. I'm willing to reach out and step out by faith in terms of what You're calling me to do. Jesus, whatever it is, help us to obey You because You can be trusted. We pray this in Jesus' name, amen.
God bless you folks. Love you. You're dismissed.