Living Sent

Built on Prayer

Pastor Jerry Gillis - October 29, 2023

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture points and the main idea of the message.
  2. How did this message strengthen and/or correct your previous ideas about prayer? Did you learn anything new about God or yourself this week?
  3. Do your daily habits, attitudes, and behaviors demonstrate a life of worship? Is worshiping God your highest priority, or are your priorities misaligned?  
  4. Read Matthew 28:18-20. What is our commission as believers? How has God called you to join Him in His mission in the world? 
  5. What are some ways you can develop a practice of prayer and fasting? 
    • To further discuss fasting, read Matthew 6:16-18, Isaiah 58:3-7
  6. Interact with this statement: “You should be all in serving God where you are if you want God to use you in other spaces and places. And you need to count the cost of serving Jesus.” 
    • How are you serving now? 
    • What aspirations do you have to serve God in other spaces and places? Do you believe God is calling you to this? How can you confirm God’s calling?
    • What is the potential cost of serving Jesus?  

Action Step

Pray these prayers daily this week: 

  • Lord, give those in leadership positions the discipline to seek you daily.
  • Lord, I want to offer myself to You to be used in any way You desire.
  • Lord, would you give me eyes to see your desires to use me in my everyday living.
  • Lord, would you help us as a church to live as sent people.

Community Group Questions & Daily Readings


Sermon Transcript

Well, good morning to everybody at every campus. I'm imagining that if you went to college, not everybody did, but if you were like me, you might've changed your idea of what you were going to do a few different times. I actually changed my major a number of different times. I started out wanting to be a broadcast journalism major because I wanted to be Bob Costas, and I wanted to call sports events. And then I was like, nah, I think I'll be the President. So I became a political science major, and that's before a little bit afterwards, God got ahold of my heart and changed my major again to speech communications with a concentration of public speaking. But while I was a political science major, I had this wonderful professor, his name was Dr. Loch Johnson. I think he's still actually at the University of Georgia. He may be around in his 80s potentially now. But he was one of the most loved professors on the campus. Every time we came in to class, it was a really large auditorium. And when we would come in, he would have classical music playing. He always wore a suit and a tie to class. And he used to work in presidential administrations. He's written speeches for presidents. He was just that guy that everybody loved, everybody appreciated, everybody respected. And I loved him too. And eventually through another friend, I got a job in the Political Science Department at the University of Georgia. Now, my job wasn't particularly special. It wasn't like I had to dress up. In fact, I showed up with a T-shirt and shorts on, because really all they told me to do is just run errands. And most of them were for Dr. Johnson. He didn't really know me. He wouldn't know me. He's, you know, had a million people that he's taught. But he would just send me places and I would go into that place, and I would say, "Dr. Johnson sent me", and they would treat me like royalty. I was just a kid, man. I didn't know anything, I was a nobody. I've got my little, you know, Georgia Bulldog T-shirt on and a pair of, you know, sweatpants or shorts or whatever. And I would just walk into the office and I'd be like, "Hey, how are you guys?" And they'd be like, "What do you want?" And I'm like, "Dr. Johnson sent me." "Oh, please come right in. "You know, we'd love to hear. "And he was like, what do you need?" "Well, he just wanted me to pick up that fax." That was really like all I was doing at that time. So it was really cool because I felt a confidence everywhere I went, and every person I talked to, I felt a confidence. And here's why. Because Dr. Johnson had sent me. And I use those words all the time when I would go to places and I would be like, "Hey, Dr. Johnson sent me." "Oh, he did. "Okay, great. "What is it that he needs, you know?" And I felt this confidence. And what if we understood ourselves as God having done that with us? What if we understood ourselves that way? I mean, really, here's kind of the bottom line for what I'm talking about today. It's pretty straightforward and pretty simple, it's just this, The Church of Jesus should live sent. We should just live sent. In other words, wherever we are, whatever we're doing, we need to understand that we are people who have been sent by the Lord Jesus to live our lives on mission, wherever we are, whatever it is we're doing, wherever that takes us. And I want us to see that today in The Church of Antioch. And you're going to, in just a moment, join me in Acts chapter 13. You can find your place there if you want to right now. We're gonna land there in just a second. Now, you remember kind of in the way of a little bit of background before we get to the church at Antioch. You might remember that the church born in the Book of Acts, you know, we see it there in the Book of Acts. In chapter two, the church is born, and then the church grows and flourishes there in Jerusalem. And then there's some persecution that happens. You remember the stoning of Stephen, and Pastor Dan Davis talked to us recently about that out of Acts chapter six and Acts chapter seven. And we learned about the stoning of Stephen. And then there was a scattering of all the people everywhere. All the believers got scattered from Jerusalem because of the persecution. And that's where we begin in Acts chapter 11. We'll be in 13 in a moment. In Acts 11, that's where we meet the church at Antioch. Here's what it says in Acts 11, beginning in verse number 19, it says, "Now those who had been scattered by the persecution "that broke out when Stephen was killed "traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, "spreading the word only among Jews. "Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, "went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, "telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. "The Lord's hand was with them, "and a great number of people believed "and turned to the Lord. "News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, "and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. "When he arrived and he saw what the grace of God had done, "he was glad and he encouraged them all "to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. "He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, "and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. "Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, "and when he found Saul, he brought Saul to Antioch. "So for a whole year, Barnabas and Saul met with the church "there in Antioch and talked great numbers of people. "And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." That word Christians means little Christ, that they are following after Christ, right? They were the first people there called Christians were at Antioch. Now, when we get to Acts chapter 13, we see the leaders that are in place there in Acts chapter 13, and it tells us some things about what they were doing. Here's what it says in verse number one of Acts chapter 13. "So now in the church at Antioch, "there were prophets and teachers: "Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, "Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, "and Saul. "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, "the Holy Spirit said, "'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul "'for the work to which I have called them.'" These flies. Get out of here, get out of here. I don't know what it, what is the deal with the flies in Western New York right now? Like, is it you people? Is it something you're wearing? Is it your perfume? Is it me? Sorry, every campus, you're probably having the same problem, but sometimes these flies, they get on my nerves, and they land on the screen, and then they mess with stuff. What I wanna do to flies, it's not Christian. It is not Christian. "Here's what the Holy Spirit said "as they were fasting and praying, "'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul "'for the work to which I have called them.' "So after they had fasted and prayed, "they placed their hands on them and sent them off", right? This is what we see in Acts chapter number 13. Now, here's what I wanna do. I wanna walk through just for a little bit, I wanna walk through Acts 13. I wanna break it apart just a little bit because I want us to learn some things about God, and ultimately we're gonna learn some things about us as well. Here's the first, that God is sought. This is what we find out right away from the church at Antioch in Acts chapter 13, that God is sought after. Look again in the very beginning of verse number two. It says, "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting". You know what's beautiful about this is when I read this, I recognize that this is probably not something that was exceptional. This was probably something that was normal. This was something that the leaders in Antioch were doing. Now, what we know for sure in Acts 13 is that the leaders were gathered together and they were worshiping, and they were praying, and they were fasting. And it's also possible that the whole church was doing this, but what we know for sure is that the spiritual leaders were doing this. And this wasn't something unique. Just to pause right there. For all of my brothers who may be watching online or around the country who are also in ministry, and this is speaking to me and to us, I want you to make sure that you understand something very clearly. Spiritual leaders should be seeking God all the time. That's what spiritual leaders should be doing. The church at its core, brothers and sisters, is a spiritual enterprise. I mean, in Acts chapter six, when we were there, remember the Apostle said, look, we have to give priority to the ministry of prayer and the word. The church is fundamentally a spiritual enterprise. We need organization, we need systems, but we need God more. We need God more than anything, and we need these things. We need organization. You don't just want to be doing everything, all right? We need all of that, but we need God as first priority. That's why we worship. That's why we pray. That's why we listen to His word. Because when we don't, we lose sight of God's perspective. So I wanna encourage you, listen, I wanna encourage you, brothers and sisters, pray for those of us who've been charged with spiritual leadership, that we would be people who continually seek God, because God is to be sought after, we want to seek his face. But I want you to know something too, that we, who are on our staff team here at The Chapel, we pray for you for the same thing. On Mondays, when we gather, we gather on Monday mornings, our whole staff from all of our campuses, we gather on Monday mornings. And do you know what we do? Do we just assess budgets and do we talk about systems and programs? No, we don't. What we do is we start out by just worshiping the Lord, and then we brag on Jesus and start sharing stories about what Jesus has done in and through us. Then we open his word, and then we just spend time seeking his face in prayer. And oftentimes that's what we're doing for you. Now, there are times during the course of the week that we have to talk about systems and organization and programming and all of that stuff. But how we begin is we begin with the priority of seeking after God. And we've been doing that for years. And we pray for you as we're doing that, and I encourage you to continue to pray for us because that's what we need. God, it needs to be sought. And we learn that from the church at Antioch. Secondly, God is somebody who speaks, right? God is not only sought, but God speaks. Look, again in verse number two, the very beginning of verse number two. "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, "the Holy Spirit", listen to this, "said", listen, "while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, "the Holy Spirit said". In other words, while they were in the business of seeking God, they were worshiping, they were praying, they were fasting. The Holy Spirit spoke. Now, what were they doing in worship? I don't know. Could they have been singing? Sure, absolutely. Could they have not been singing and worshiping? Of course, right? Singing is a part of worship. It is not worship. Sometimes we talk in those terms, right? Yeah, we did the worship, and then we came to the word after that. What, we're worshiping now, we're worshiping the God of the word. We're opening the word of God, and we are worshiping God in his presence, right? Singing's a part of that. Praying is a part of that, encouraging one another before the Lord in the word of God is a part of our worship and service to the Lord. And it's amazing that they were communing with the Lord and God spoke. How do you expect to hear God's voice when you don't commune with God, right? If you don't get with God, how do you expect to hear his voice? I've heard people complain about, you know, stuff in their lives. I just don't know what to do. I don't, you know, I'm not sure what to do. I'm not sure what God, and I'm like, have you spent time with God? Because if you haven't, how are you expecting to hear from God? If you don't have God's word open before you, and you are talking to God and you're communing with God, and you're worshiping God, and you're letting God speak to you through his word, how do you think you're going to hear his voice? Now, in this context, how did the Holy Spirit speak? I'm not 100% sure. It just says the Holy Spirit said. My guess it was probably, because this was before the cannon of scripture was complete. It was probably through the prophets that were there in the context of Antioch. That's why it tells us, there were prophets and teachers that were there. So the Holy Spirit spoke through them in that context. But you know what's interesting about that? While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said. And you know, the Holy Spirit's gonna call Saul and Barnabas, right? He's gonna call them out of there. But you know what's interesting? Saul didn't just walk out there and go, "Hey, God told me that I'm supposed to do." Nope, that's not what happened. What happened was God's spirit spoke to the spiritual leadership of Antioch together. God confirmed all together what God was about to do in separating out Paul, Saul and Barnabas, right? It's interesting because sometimes this is the actual inverse of what spiritual leaders do, and they do it at times, unfortunately, to manipulate people spiritually. Because if a spiritual leader stands up and says, "Well, God told me that this is what we're going to do." How do you argue with God told me, right? How do you argue with that? And does that mean I can't ask, I can't think about this, we can't seek the Lord together? No, no. It's one of those things where here when the beauties of the body of Christ is that God spoke to the leadership multiple, not just in isolation. And he confirmed his word to them altogether. It's a beautiful thing. God can certainly and does certainly speak individually to our lives, but I want you to recognize something that it's a beautiful thing when the people of God around that can also affirm God's voice in that person's life. That's a really, really beautiful act. God is sought, God speaks, and then watch this. God sets apart. God sets apart. Notice again what it says in kind of the latter part of verse number two. It says, "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, "the Holy Spirit said, "'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul'. "'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul.'" See, the word "set apart" is an idea that there is taking someone and placing them in a different context. And God says, I want you to set Saul and Barnabas apart for me, right? This is going to be for a purpose that I have. It's a specific task. Now, could you imagine, maybe I've thought about this. I've thought about how Antioch might've felt. I mean, of all the people you could call out of there, you gotta take Saul and Barnabas? Like these are special people, and you gotta take them? I mean, imagine if the NFL was creating an expansion team and they went, "Hey Buffalo, we're gonna take a couple of people "from every single team "and we're gonna take Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs." Everyone in Buffalo would rebel. That is not happening. No, you cannot take, they're like our prized players. They're like super special players. You can't just take them. The reason that I'm just giving you kind of a thought, did Antioch think that way? I don't think they did. And here's why. Because they weren't in competition with the rest of the body of Christ. They were actually seeking after God. And as they sought after God, my guess is that they heard the voice of God and God said, this is what I want. I want you to set them apart. And they were like, yes, we're glad to do that. Because they're not in competition. They're not trying to hoard Saul and Barnabas to themselves. No, no, no, you can never leave. No, no, no, you can never leave. You have to stay here in Antioch forever because we feel better, because you're so gifted, you're wonderful teachers. You've been here with us for a year. You can't leave. They didn't act that way. Their hands were open and they said, "We're gonna do whatever God asked us to do." I think they were delighted to be able to obey the Lord. And do you know what God did in the midst of that? God actually raised up people later on in Antioch interestingly enough. If you've ever heard of the church, Father Ignatius. Ignatius is from Antioch. If you've ever heard of the later church, Father JohnChrysostom, they named him Golden Mouth, by the way, which is just a killer name, right? Who wouldn't want to name Golden Mouth or Golden Tongue, right? He was from Antioch, right? God was faithful to them in that church, and he raised up more people, even as he called other people out. So God is sought, God speaks, God sets apart. Watch this. God is sovereign. We see that in this verse as well. Here's what it says in verse number two, read the whole. "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, "the Holy Spirit said, "'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul "'for the work to which I have called them.'" Do you know what that teaches us? It teaches us that this is God's mission, and he's the one who invites us to join him about what he's doing. Our job is to obey and to be deployed. And he decides who, and when, and what, and where, and why and how. Because it's God's mission, we're just joining him on it. And when he says, I want these people to do this, and I want these people to do this, and I want these people to do this, God's the one that's in charge. He's the one who's making these decisions because he's sovereign over it all. God cares more about his mission in the world than we do. He's working all things according to his sovereign and eternal purposes. And then watch in verse number three, God sends. Watch, God sends, S-E-N-D-S. Here's what it says in verse number three. "So after they fasted and prayed, "they placed their hands on Saul and Barnabas, "and they sent them off." Now, you may be saying to yourself, well, the church is who sent them off. Well, the truth is that God's the one who initiated this. God's the one who said, spoke to them. God's the one who set them apart. God's the one who said, this is for my work. And then the church just responded to what God did. Listen carefully to me, church, God is a sending God. The Father sent the Son, the Son sent the Spirit, the Spirit sent the church. And the church will at times agree with the Spirit and send individuals for the purposes for which God has set them apart. We are a sent people and we should live like sent people. This is the beauty of the church at Antioch. And by the way, The Church of Jesus should live sent collectively. This is kind of the first piece of this, that all together we should be living as a sent people. If there's a church in the New Testament that I think is a model for the need of the hour in our day and age, it's the church at Antioch. The church at Antioch had people from all over. They lived interdependently in what they did. That leadership sought God with a passion. And by extension, I'm sure the people of Antioch also sought the Lord as well. They listened to the voice of God. And as they listened to the voice of God, God said, I want you to keep your hands open, both in being a generous people with your resources and a generous people with your people, because I have a mission that's bigger. And Antioch also had an idea that the mission was about Antioch, but wasn't just about Antioch. That the mission was actually greater than Antioch. And they had a mind for that because what God used them to do collectively was to make an outsized impact for their size as a congregation. See, the city of Antioch was between, it could have been up to around half a million people. It was one of the largest cities in kind of the known world, the biblical world. It could have been anywhere from 350,000 to 500,000 people. That's a lot of people. Now, the church at Antioch was also one of those churches that was probably one of the more robust churches in the early first century church. It was one of the more robust ones. So it was reasonably sized, but it was super small compared to the place it was in. It was in a really large place, right? Maybe even up to half a million people that were there. And there, the church, the congregation at Antioch was really small compared to that. But they made an outsized impact for the sake of the mission of God because they sought God and they listened to God, and they worshiped God, and they trusted God. And as a result, they made an outsized impact. I mean, imagine this. God says to the leadership, and then of course the church I'm sure affirms this. He says to the leadership of that church together, I want you to set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul, who we know as Paul, right? I want you to set them apart. And they did. And they laid their hands on them. And do you know what happened? Two of the three missionary journeys where the Apostle Paul is going into all of these places and planting churches all over the world, they initiated from Antioch. Do you know what else happened? Two thirds of the Bible in the New Testament was written by one of the ones that were called out of Antioch. Do you think that Antioch had an outsized impact for its size? It did. And that's what we have to remember, that we hold open handed our resources, whether that's money, or people, or skill sets, or time, that we hold those open and we let God do what God does. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be with our brothers and sisters at Restoration Church, a church that we helped to plant 15 years ago. They were celebrating their 15 year anniversary. Their pastor, Dan Trippie, is a child of The Chapel. He is from here. And we commissioned him into full-time gospel ministry from here. Dan and Gina were in Edie and I's first small group when we came here to pastor. And he was working to rebuild cars at that time. And God got ahold of him, called him into ministry, and then he served in Florida. He served in Tennessee. And then I was like, get back here, man. This is the place for you. You're Buffalo like through and through, get back here. I said, but do what God says. But God said, get back here. I didn't say that. And he comes back here, right? And then he plants a work and all that stuff. Now, are they a really super large congregation? No, they're not a super large congregation. They're, you know, 300 ish, around that neighborhood congregation. But they've had an outsize impact in our region. Not only has Dan been able to help give some leading thought because of his schooling on the ethics of how we do what we do as the people of God, which he's done a really great service to the church in that regard. But also when we helped envision an idea for a church planting initiative where we would be able to plant churches in the region collaboratively. And The Chapel kind of led in in helping to fund that, and we kind of led with kind of the vision for that. But do you know who over the last number of years has been really leading that? Restoration Church pastors. Dan and Jim Murphy when he was there. They've been helping to really kind of lead that, and as a result, we've seen lots and lots and lots of churches planted in Western New York that collaboratively we're helping to plant. And they, even though they're of a certain size, because they've got this mindset and they're living with their hands open, they're having an outsized impact as a result of that. What a beautiful thing. Not only has Dan been able to help give some leading thought because of his schooling on the ethics of how we do what we do as the people of God, which he's done a really great service to the church in that regard. But also when we helped envision an idea for a church planting initiative where we would be able to plant churches in the region collaboratively. And The Chapel kind of led in helping to fund that, and we kind of led with kind of the vision for that. But do you know who over the last number of years has been really leading that? Restoration Church pastors. Dan and Jim Murphy when he was there, they've been helping to really kind of lead that. And as a result, we've seen lots and lots and lots of churches planted in Western New York that collaboratively we're helping to plant. And they, even though they're of a certain size, because they've got this mindset and they're living with their hands open, they're having an outsized impact as a result of that. What a beautiful thing. You know, The Chapel, we are one of, or the largest, I don't really know. We're one of the largest congregations in Western New York. Okay, great, that's awesome. But compared to the size of Western New York, we're small, right? We got 1.25 million people in Erie and Niagara County alone. And we go, well, we got a few thousand that are here at The Chapel. Well, aren't we cool? We've got a whole lot of people in our region that need Jesus. And comparatively we're really small, but we can have an outsized impact if we will live like Antioch lived, with our hands open, and willingness to be able to say, with our resources and with our people, God, you can have them, you can call them. We'll say, yes, we know that we don't own everybody, that everybody's not called to stay here, but some are to be sent out. I mean, I started just thinking, I literally was thinking off the top of my head, there are so many more, and I fear even starting to say names because if I do, I know I'm gonna leave tons of people out who God has actually commissioned from our congregation to be able to do the work of ministry. He said, I want them to do this. And we've said, okay, then God, that's what we want to see you do. Whether that's Dan and Gina Trippie from Restoration Church, or whether that's Joe and Kate Vacanti at Wonder Church, or whether that's Scott and Kim Lackey at New Story Church, or whether that's Dick Dewitt, Dick and Marvel, who we commissioned to be a part of Chaplain Ministry nationally, or whether that's Dave Buds with Op Overwatch, or whether that's Autumn Freeze in our own congregation who's still here, but connected to what she's doing on campuses, or whether that's Bruce and Lisa McQueen, who are serving with Eight Days of Hope now out of our church, or whether that's Ben Palka, or whether that's Jeff Page, or whether that's Matt Richbart at iHope Church, or Reggie and Martha Burt, who we've just launched out here recently, or Brek and Gloria Cockrell, or David and and Darlene Miller, or Jeff and Cindy Hackett, or Jesse Polley, or Brian Brown, or Michael Parker, or Brandon Vizzy. And I just have, I can't, I gotta stop because I know I'm missing lots of people, and forgive me if I missed you, but I was just thinking off the top of my head. We've just released tons of people for the glory of God because it's God's mission. It's God's mission. He's sovereign over all of it. And our job is to live open handedly, and we live open handedly. And some of these people are like, they're really gifted. I wish they would've stayed. Do not take Josh Allen. Right? But that's not our role. Our role is to listen, and say, yes, God, do your good pleasure. And not only that, but do it with you, with what we give the resources. All of our kingdom come partners that we celebrated with this past week, what God's doing everywhere. And listen, if you are not in on that, if you're not giving toward that, I don't want you to miss the blessing of it. I don't need anything personally from you. It's actually you give the kingdom come, it does nothing to support me personally. I don't need it. I want you to be blessed because you're participating in things of eternal significance that you'll only find out how blessed you were when you get on the other side. So if you've never started even participating in giving above and beyond what you give through the ministry of The Chapel and saying, I'm gonna trust you God by faith, if you'll supply over and above what I give through our local church, I'm gonna trust you, and I'm gonna put that into kingdom come. I'm gonna give that for the sake of our partnerships, then do it. And if God doesn't supply it, don't give it. If God does supply it, then release it. How's that? We've gotta be, listen, collectively, we need to live as a sent people because the mission that God's given us, we just don't know how much longer that we have. We don't know how much longer until Jesus returns. We've gotta get busy doing the work that God's called us to do. We don't have time to stick around doing nothing or playing church. We've got a mission that God has called us to. We've gotta seek his face and listen to his voice and do what God has called us to do. And we gotta do that collectively. But we also have to do that individually. We also have to do that individually. You seek God personally, and you will be in for the greatest adventure of your life. Just seek God and ask God, "God, what do you wanna do? "What does this look like?" And by the way, his call on your life, it may not be comfy, it may not be safe, but who cares? God gets to determine what He does and what that looks like. You're thinking, man, if I seek God, what if he calls me to another country? Then that is exactly where you need to be. What? That's, ah, I'm scared to do that. You should be scared not to know, not to do what God wants you to do. Be scared not to do what God wants you to do. Be embracing of the God who loves you and has a plan for the world and wants to utilize your life as a sent person to be able to be engaged in that very thing. I know that everybody's not gonna be called, you know, to another country or whatever. I got it. But some will. And we need to foster that in our midst and be able to say, we acknowledge that. And by the way, the church would affirm that. This is not somebody who doesn't serve their church at all, who doesn't do anything related to their church, and then just shows up and says, I think God's called me to a great ministry over here. And it's like, no, he hadn't. You're not even faithful where you are. You're not even faithful right here. If you can't be trusted with the small things, do not think God's gonna entrust you with the great things. We've gotta be faithful where we are, doing what God's called us to do. And if you're, listen, if you're too big time for small things, you're just not gonna be used by God, because God will call us to do faithful in the little so that we can be entrusted with whatever it is that God wants to give us. But God may call you and it may cost you. You better count the cost. I mean, in the 1800s in the London Missionary Society, they sent out tons of people. And do you know what was interesting? There was a whole slew of those people that they called one-way missionaries. One-way missionaries. Do you know what those one-Way missionaries did? They literally, this is what they did. They took all their belongings that they were going to probably get on a ship and they were gonna go to the place that they were gonna go. And they put 'em in a coffin. They put 'em in a coffin, and they took those with 'em to the place that they went. And they said one way or the other, the only way that we're leaving here is in that box. For some of them, they were killed for their faith. For others of them, they died serving those people. But they did what God called them to do. They were one-way missionaries. You see, God will call people to do that. I'm not saying he's calling you, but I'm also not saying he's not. God can do whatever God wants to do. But maybe God's not sending you to another country, maybe God has you planted right here. Remember this, God set apart Saul and Barnabas to take them out of Antioch to do what he called them to do. Listen, but he set apart those that were there to do what He wanted them to do, right where they were. That's what I don't want you to miss. Everybody was set apart by God. Everybody was sent by God. And those that remained in Antioch were to give themselves for the sake of Antioch, so that Antioch might see and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are too, by the way. Many of us are not called to go to another country, but you are called to be living sent right where you are. Part of the reason that we're asking you to do this assessment is because we've got some things that we've got going, and we're just bringing before the Lord, and we're asking God to give shape to, and we're asking God to help us with. And we're not there yet in our region as to how God can mobilize our people to have gospel impact in a variety of different places and spaces in Western New York. That's why we wanna know. We wanna know some of your skill sets. We wanna know some of your background. We wanna know some of what you do for work, because we may wanna say, hey, would you talk to us about this? Or, hey, maybe this would help us. Now, you're not gonna get anything until probably first quarter of next year. 'Cause we're just praying right now. But we're starting the process. We're starting the process. That's why we're asking you to fill this stuff out. So I want us all to be mobilized because I don't know what it looks like. What does it look like to live sent where you work? What does it look like to live sent where you play? What does it look like to live sent in your neighborhood? What does it look like to live sent in your school? What does it look like to live sent? Because here's the great thing. Jesus has sent us. He has told us that we are his ambassadors, so that everywhere we go, we can have a confidence that it's Jesus who sent us. It's Jesus who has given us this commission, and that we can trust him with that. So here's what I want us to do on all of our campuses. I want us to take just a moment or two to just go before the Lord in prayer. I'm gonna give you three prayer prompts, and I want you just to take these before the Lord in prayer and seek his face in that. And at each of our campuses, either a campus pastor or a campus host is gonna take a moment and they're gonna lead you through that there now. For those that are here, I want you just to give yourself for a moment to listening to God's voice and bringing these things before the Lord. Here's the first. Lord, I wanna offer myself to you to be used in any way you desire. Would you just take a moment and bring that before the Lord with your whole heart? Lord, I wanna offer myself to you, to be used in any way that you desire. Take a moment and do that. It's a simple prayer, but when it comes from the heart, God sees it, hears it, knows it. And maybe follow up that prayer by simply asking this, Lord, would you give me eyes to see your desires to use me in my everyday living? This isn't about trying to create some grand narrative. This is just your everyday living. Lord, would you give me eyes to see how you want to desire to use me in my everyday living as somebody who is sent by you? Take a moment, bring that before the Lord. And then lastly, would you take a moment and pray this prayer? Lord, would you help us as a church to live sent in all of our individual lives? So now you're praying for us as a body that collectively we would live sent, and that individually we would live sent in our lives. Would you pray for your church in that regard? As your heads are bowed here for this final moment, it may be that you're here and you didn't realize it, but God sent this church and this message to you because what you need is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Every one of us, the Bible says, has sinned and come short of the glory of God, and we cannot save ourselves. But God in his grace sent his son to take on our sin to satisfy the justice of a holy God against sin. And he, the sinless one, the Lord Jesus, took our place, and took on himself, our sin and our shame and our guilt. But then he rose from the grave, demonstrating that his sacrifice was sufficient to the Father. So that now if we put our faith and trust in Jesus, we can be reconciled to the Father, our sins forgiven, our life made new, and have an eternal home with him. And if you've never come to that place, then we've been sent to you today to let you know that. And in a moment, there'll be some men and women that'll be standing down front, when I say amen and dismiss us, and they would love to take a moment and talk to you about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus and to pray with you. Prayer of faith that would receive Jesus' grace, and his forgiveness, and his love, and his acceptance. He loves you. He wants to know you. God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him would not perish, but would have everlasting life. If that's your need, I hope that you'll come down here in just a moment. Father, I thank you for the grace that you've shown us, and that you call us to be a people who are serious about the sent nature of our lives. I pray that first and foremost, we be a people who seek after you, seek your face, but the God, we'd be seeking your face so that we hear your voice, and we recognize what you call us to do. You call us to act, you call us to live, you call us to share, you call us to be an ambassador, a witness, a testifier. And I pray that we would get that sense in our everyday living, what that looks like. And as people commune with you, that they would get more and more a sense of how you've sent them and what it is you desire to do in them and through them, and with them for your glory. Lord, for those that may be in our church at large, as has happened in times past, we know will happen in times future where you will tap some people on their shoulder and you will set them apart for a particular task that you have called them to, and that this would be affirmed by leaders in the body and the congregation. So, Lord, I pray that you do your good pleasure because this is your work. We wanna live with open hands to what it is you wanna do and how you wanna do it. For your glory. So we trust you with all of this, and we thank you for your kindness to us in Jesus' name, amen.

More From This Series

The Word to Increase

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 1 - Oct 8, 2023

For Our Enemies

Pastor Dan Davis Part 2 - Oct 15, 2023

For Those in Danger

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 3 - Oct 22, 2023
Watching Now

Living Sent

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 4 - Oct 29, 2023

For Boldness in Speaking the Word

Pastor Dan Davis Part 5 - Nov 5, 2023

Share This Message

Share This With A Friend

Subject: Living Sent

Sharing URL:

Send Email