Serve the World

If you Want to Be Great

Pastor Jerry Gillis - September 24, 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 greatness and serving God and the world? Did you learn anything new about God or yourself this week?
  3. Did you participate in serve day? Share some stories from serve day with you group. 
  4. How are you putting Jesus on display in your life? Describe some ways you’ve tangibly served others. 
  5. When is the last time you shared the good news of Jesus to someone? 
    • What limits you from sharing? Fear? Complacency? 
    • If you regularly share the good news with others, how can you encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same? 
  6. The discussed study suggested 47% of Millennials think it is WRONG to share their faith with someone else. Why might this be?
  7. What action step do you need to take in response to this week’s message? How can your group hold you accountable to this step? 

Action Step

Reflect on your prayer life. How often do you intentionally “pray the good news”. Set aside a time this week to specifically pray for supply, support, and sight. Be attentive to how God is answering these prayers and giving you opportunities to serve the world by proclaiming and picturing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Mobilization Challenge

Based on your experiences at Serve Day and this week’s message, create a mobilization challenge for yourself and/or your group. Discuss the outcome of the challenge at your next group meeting. 

Community Group Discussion Questions & Daily Readings


Sermon Transcript

You know, it was a little over 2000 years ago, there was someone who lived and accomplished so much in their 33 years on Earth that he was revered as divine by a whole lot of people. This particular man overthrew the Persian Empire. He established his own empire that went from Greece all the way to northern India, touching three continents and over two million square miles. He was a military innovator, as you can imagine with that kind of conquest, and then he ended up enculturating most of the known world at that time to a Hellenistic or a Greek culture. His name was Alexander III of Macedon, but we know him as Alexander the what?

- [Audience] Great.

- The Great. Alexander the Great. You know, within just a three short centuries of Alexander's time on Earth, there was another man who also lived to only 33 years old. That man did not lead military. He didn't conquer an empire. He didn't even own a home. He died like a criminal. And he had a name that was just as common a name as you could possibly have during that time. Jesus. But it was Jesus' life, not Alexander's, that actually defined greatness, that showed what true greatness actually is. Even though Alexander was known as Alexander the Great and Jesus was known as Jesus, as common as Josh or Joe in our particular context here. But Jesus is who helped us to see the reality of what greatness, true greatness really was. See, over the past couple of weeks, we've been letting Jesus redefine for us our idea of what greatness really is. We talked about, in the first message of this series, we talked about how greatness is actually serving God, that that's what greatness looks like. Then we talked about how greatness in serving God is going to also show itself through serving the people of God or the church, that greatness is serving God through serving the church. But it doesn't stop there because ultimately, the mission of greatness in serving the world that God has entrusted to us is something that we are to make sure that we push out beyond the walls of the place that we are and even beyond the people of God because God himself is on a mission for humanity. And the call that he has on our lives is to serve him by serving the church but pushing that out even farther. You know, recently, I was reading from the late theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, some of you might know him better as Pope Benedict. And he said something that I thought was very insightful, when I was reading this particular writing that he was doing, he said, "The world that we live in offers us comfort, but we were not made for comfort. We were made for greatness." Now, rightly understood, he's exactly right. We actually were made for greatness because we were made to be servants of God, who ultimately served the church, and then that yields itself in service to the world. So if I were building out this definition that we've been kind of piecing together in each consecutive week, I would simply say it this way, that greatness is serving God through serving the church so together, we can serve the world. Greatness is serving God through serving the church so that together, we can serve the world. See, this is the mission that we're actually on, and there is so much that could be said and that I could say and that the Bible actually says about this mission to serve the world, but I want us to look at a very specific place in the gospels and a very specific event in the life of Jesus, because I wanna get us not just to the understanding of we have a mission to serve the world, but what the motivation for that mission actually looks like and how that plays itself out in what we do. So if you can find Mark's gospel, and that's just the second book in the New Testament, right after Matthew, you've got the first four books in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, what we call the gospels, that tell the story of Jesus and his life and his death and his resurrection. But I want you to look in the second book there in the New Testament in Mark chapter number six, and we're going to take a look at an event in Jesus' life, a very specific event. And we're gonna learn some things from this event that I think are gonna help us understand better about what it looks like to serve the world. Mark chapter six, beginning in verse number 30, says this. Says, "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, 'cause they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time, it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. 'This is a remote place,' they said, 'and it's already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.' But Jesus answered, 'You give them something to eat.'" Now, I'm taking this particular event here because I want us to highlight some ideas, now, obviously, it's an interesting picture, right, Jesus and his disciples had been ministering and they come back to him, the apostles come back to him, and they tell Jesus and report to Jesus what they had been doing as they were ministering in some of the surrounding villages. And then Jesus said, "You know, you guys have been working really hard, let's take a break. Let's get in a boat, let's go to another place, and let's rest a little bit." And so they got in a boat and they took off and they went to go rest a little bit. But people saw them. If you've ever been to Israel with me, many of you have, and some of you have not, but you maybe have seen pictures, the lake there, the Sea of Galilee, is not huge, you can see from one side to the other, it's not like if you're, you know, on Lake Erie or Lake Ontario and it looks like an ocean, right? This is a lake where you can see to the other side. And so they were getting on a boat and they were going wherever they were going in particular, and all these people began to see it from all these various places and vantage points, and they actually ran to the place and got to the place before Jesus and his disciples even got there, they were supposed to be pulling away to go rest, and they were greeted with all of these people that were there. And I find it interesting because ultimately, what happens is that Jesus actually serves them and teaches his disciples to serve them as well, even though they were trying to get away for a few minutes, they were trying to take a break and they were trying to rest, Jesus determines to serve them, why, why? Why did he do that? Thank you for asking three times. Here's why he did that. You'll see it very clearly in verse number 34, "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had," what?

- [Audience] Compassion.

- "He had compassion on them." See, this word compassion is to me the great motive behind what's going on in this particular passage of scripture where people of the world are coming around to see Jesus, to maybe see what's going on, some of them maybe believed, some of them maybe didn't, but they were really intrigued by what was going on, and Jesus intended to serve them because he was moved with compassion. See that word, compassion, it's a beautiful word, if you could just pull that verse back up that I just referenced, back up, yeah. "He had compassion on them." This word, it's an interesting word and I almost, you know, it means from the bowels. There you go, you didn't think you were hearing about that this morning, did you? From the bowels is what it literally means in the Greek language, but when we take our English word compassion, we take it from the Latin, and in the Latin, it means suffer with. So the idea here behind this particular word, compassion, is that it's something that comes from deep within us. And the idea with it is that it means to suffer with, you see, compassion is different than pity. See, Jesus didn't have pity on these people, he had compassion on them. And there's a difference between pity and compassion. Pity is an emotion that we can feel for people that are in a bad circumstance. We see something that happens and we have pity for them. We don't necessarily enter in, we don't necessarily feel the need to do anything, we just pity them because they're in a bad circumstance. And just as a side note, by the way, you don't even have to love somebody to pity them. You could pity someone you loathe, but still recognize they're in a bad circumstance, I don't like them, I don't even love them, but I pity the circumstance that they're in. That's different than compassion. Because compassion is something that is deep within us, it's not just an emotion felt, because compassion is not passive. Jot this down, compassion leads to action. In fact, what's interesting is that every time in the gospels, every time that we see, let's see, two times, every time in the gospels that we see Jesus and the phrase that Jesus was filled with compassion or Jesus had compassion, which is four times in Matthew's gospel and twice in Mark's gospel, do you know that every single time, that what's associated with that compassion is action? Because compassion's not passive, compassion actually acts. It's something that moves deep within us and it actually acts, and do you know why? Because compassion is rooted in love. Pity can be an emotion that we feel that we don't have to enter into and we don't even have to love people to say we pity them in their circumstance. But compassion is rooted in love, and do you know what love is? Love is active. That's why compassion is active, it's not passive. Love is active. We see it time and time again in the scripture, God so what the world, He so what? Love the world that He did what, he gave, he acted, right? God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. You see, love is active and compassion comes from the root of love, it springs forth from the well of love. Pity can be an emotion that we separate ourselves from and just acknowledge something, we can even loathe people that we pity. But compassion is different altogether, particularly the compassion of Jesus. And that's why what compassion does is it leads us to serve the world that we live in. Because Jesus looks around and he sees these people like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless. And he sees the world and how they are living, and his compassion causes action, and it should for us too. Because he was teaching his disciples to be able to respond the same way, that when we are filled with the love of God, then ultimately, compassion is working itself out in and through us. So how will compassion lead us to serve the world? How did it lead the disciples to do that? How was Jesus teaching his disciples that compassion can lead us to serve the world, and how can we do that? Well, here's the first truth that I would mention to you, that compassion will lead us to serve the world by picturing the good news. We will picture the good news, in what we do, in who we are, we will picture the good news. Look again in verse 35 through 37, here's what the story says, that, "By this time, it was late in the day, so his disciples came to Jesus. 'This is a remote place,' they said, 'and it's already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.' But Jesus answered, 'You give them something to eat.'" You give them something to eat. You know what's interesting about that? Is that what Jesus was saying to his disciples is, I want you to enter into this need, I want you to step into this need, and I want you to be physically present, tangible, I want you to move right into this need. Do you know what's so beautiful about that? Because it pictures the ultimate good news in our lives. And the good news is this, is that the Word, from the beginning, right, John says, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, talking about Jesus. But then in verse 14 of John chapter one, it says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." Eugene Peterson translates that and says this, "The Word put on skin and moved into the neighborhood." You know what the beauty of the incarnation, the beauty of the good news of the gospel, is that God did not stand off at a distance and have pity on us. But by the compassionate heart of God, he acted by entering into our need. And you see, Jesus is now calling his disciples to do the same thing, here's why? Because the good news is not theory, it's tangible, it's flesh and skin, it can be touched. This is a beautiful reminder that we need these kinds of examples in our living. That just as Jesus was telling his disciples, "You give them something to eat, you enter in." Now, by the way, we're gonna figure out in just a moment, they didn't have to do that by themselves. Jesus was gonna help them out. But he wanted them to enter in, right? It wasn't alone, but he wanted them to enter in, why? Because it's a beautiful picture of what God has done for us. He's entered in, he's come, he's put on skin, he's moved into the neighborhood, he's tangibly seen our need and not just had pity but had compassion out of his overflowing love for us, and as a result, this is what he did. We need this kind of example, and I wanna just say to you, those of you who participated yesterday, it was just a day, I realize that. It wasn't the only day that we serve, but we did this together as a church. And yesterday, there was a lot of greatness because there was a lot of service to God and there was a lot of service together in the world. And what happened yesterday as a church kind of corporately is that together, we showed up in places in the world. We didn't sit back, we entered in together as a church, and we showed up and it was a beautiful thing, and I could tell story after story after story because yesterday, I ended up in every space, almost. I was going everywhere. I wasn't in Niagara Falls 'cause Niagara Falls did their serve day the previous week. But I was in Lockport, at the school, at the Friendly's outside the school where we were doing some stuff to prepare for a community center that's gonna be there for the town and the city of Lockport. I made my way over to Cheektowaga and saw what was going on there and got to go over to two of the charter schools. Then I came back to Amherst and was helping at the playground that was being built for the community that's there. Didn't make it to the other park where they put a blessing box in that park and already, it had food in it that you could come by and take food if you needed food and all of that stuff that like, there was food already in this by the time we built it, it was incredible. I didn't make it over there because they were already done before I was done, but I got to go over to the community center and see what was going on there with a number of asylum seekers that are there struggling, and we had people from our church that were doing translation and interpreting, caring for them in a myriad ways, and then they ended up busing over here and coming and eating dinner here. And a sit-down dinner, a four-course dinner, sit-down service, like people at your table serving you kind of dinner, not a buffet. They all got to take home tons and tons of food for other family members that weren't able to be here. We had one of our pastor friends who we're partnering with, Gabriel Gauthier, who is Spanish himself, Puerto Rican, who came over and went to every table speaking to them about the motivation of the love of Jesus for all of them and be able to speak from a pastor's heart to be able to do that, what a day, what a day to be able to be in the world and the lives of people together as a church on all of our campuses, this was displayed in so many beautiful, beautiful ways. But remember, this is something we did all together, but we can do this in the everyday of our lives, we can just do it in the everyday of our lives. I think of Terry who's over at our Cheektowaga Campus, and he's just decided to use his skills and his background and his gifts and his abilities to be able to minister in the context of his neighborhood in ways that he knows how to do it in his everyday living. And I want you to hear from Terry, because this is a beautiful, beautiful picture of serving the world, take a look.

- [Speaker] Box, box. Box, box, box, box, box. Don't let him get away, watch out. Watch out, watch out, watch out. Box, , box, box, box, box.

- My name is Terry Williams and I run the boxing program on Leroy, 307 Leroy Avenue. It's called the Bomb Squad Boxing Academy. The program is based on making champions. When you get in here and work, if you aspire to box, we have tournaments, we have, if you wanna make the Olympics, hard work, dedication pays off. I think every child, every young man and girl, should learn self-defense, learn how to protect theyself, learn the art of boxing, the discipline of boxing, the hard work, you know, that it takes, and you apply that in your life. So it's something that's very positive, it's something that's good, it's something that's needed. A father, he inspired me to box, that was the first thing, he inspired me to box. That's where it all started. My father wasn't having it, I wasn't gonna hang out on no streets. You gotta do something constructive in the house, either you gonna train, work out, go to school, you can't just hang out in the streets 'cause why fight in the streets? Why? It doesn't make sense at all. Either you get killed, go to jail, and I wasn't having it. And then I joined the military and got in the army boxing team and was fighting in the army, you know, and it was like, wow. Joined the military, I fought in the army, fought in London, Italy, Berlin, Sweden, different countries. And to see me now, you know, now coaching and training and working and, I mean, it's just a blessing. And I thank God for that. Training is hard, you know, but anything you do in life is hard, and you gotta put your mindset to it and make it happen. So boxing to me just really helped me and matured me in everything that I do in life. And then to be able to give back, I love it. Anyone that comes in this gym knowing that they're gonna come in here and work hard, train hard, and also, we're gonna give them love, they're gonna feel love that they part of a team. It's not about just boxing, learning the art of boxing, but to fellowship and to learn about Jesus Christ, that he's the center of our lives, and to have good mentors in the gym to teach and to guide. It is a blessing. And that's one thing that is needed in every community, and it's something that is growing in this community. Boxing is just, was more of a ministry now. God is in the midst of everything that I do. And to be able to share that with these young men, women's and boys and young men, just to teach them and show them that God is your source, no matter what you do in life, he's your source, he's the one that's gonna see you through so many things and challenges in your life. And I pray for that just to share Jesus Christ, 'cause he's the answer, he's number one. I am definitely on a mission to build champions outside the gym, in the gym, and have a walk with Jesus. It's not about me, you know, I'm a servant and I'm gonna keep on doing God's will in everything that I do.

- Yeah. That's what's up. I don't know if you spied Pastor Leroy in that video, by the way, yeah, that's just reason number 757 not to mess with Pastor Leroy. He knows how to box too. You know what's beautiful about this picture that Terry gave us, is that it wasn't just about showing them, showing them a different way of life. He put words to it. He didn't just picture it, which he's doing. He's entering in, entering into his neighborhood, entering into the need, entering into what happens, and he's putting flesh and skin on that and helping picture this good news, but he didn't leave it there. He actually began to speak about that as well, and he unashamedly talks about Jesus Christ in this place where he is being this for all of these young men and women that he's helping to train. That's a beautiful picture, and that's the second truth that I would remind you of as to how compassion leads us to serve the world by not only picturing the good news, but proclaiming the good news. You know what's beautiful about this picture that Terry gave us, is that it wasn't just about showing them, showing them a different way of life. He put words to it. He didn't just picture it, which he's doing. He's entering in, entering into his neighborhood, entering into the need, entering into what happens, and he's putting flesh and skin on that and helping picture this good news, but he didn't leave it there. He actually began to speak about that as well and he unashamedly talks about Jesus Christ in this place where he is being this for all of these young men and women that he's helping to train. That's a beautiful picture, and that's the second truth that I would remind you of, is to how compassion leads us to serve the world by not only picturing the good news but proclaiming the good news. Like you need both of these things, and I'm gonna show it to you from the text of scripture, in fact, because this is exactly what Jesus does. Look what it says in Mark six, verse number 34. "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." Did you catch that the first act of Jesus' compassion was actually to proclaim to them the truths about the kingdom of God? That the very first thing that his compassion motivated was to be able to talk to them and teach them about the good news of the kingdom. See, my brothers and sisters, my friends, listen very carefully to me. Changing tires for people is a wonderful thing. It is a beautiful thing. Offering clothes is a tremendous thing and we should do that, offering food is a tremendous thing and we should do that, all of them are beautiful pictures of how we are to be serving the world, but we can't leave them there. That can't be where all of this ends because ultimately, it takes away the uniqueness of who we are in Jesus Christ, and the uniqueness is is that we have a message to share with them. We have something behind what we are doing. Listen, anyone, it doesn't take a follower of Jesus, anyone can do good for the common good. There are lots of organizations set up to be able to do that, sometimes, they do it better than we do that. Anyone can do good for the common good, but only believers in Jesus do good for the kingdom good. And there's a difference between looking out for the common good and looking out for the kingdom good, and the uniqueness is not just that we enter in because we should and we should be motivated by what God has done for us in Christ, we should be motivated in that picture to be able to enter in and put flesh and skin on places of need in the community that we live in, but we don't leave it just there. Because it takes away the uniqueness of who we are, and it demonstrates not what Jesus was doing because Jesus' compassion first led him to communicate the truths about the kingdom, and then he said, "Give them something to eat." It's a remarkable picture, these both go together. You see what this tells us, friends, listen carefully. That oftentimes, we only think about compassion in the sense of meeting a physical need, and we don't think about compassion in having compassion on the souls of people. We must have compassion on the needs that present themselves to us in our community, in our neighborhoods, in our apartment complexes, in our places of work, in our schools, we must have compassion in that real regard. But we've gotta have compassion on the souls of people. I mean, forgive me for saying it as clearly as I could possibly say it, but if we just keep handing out bottles of water without telling people about the source of life and the water of life ultimately, I'm not saying we do that every time we do it, but I'm saying ultimately, if we don't do that, then we're just hydrating people on their way to hell. Forgive me for being blunt about that. But that's what we're doing. That's not what we're called to. The mission that God has given us is a redemptive mission and it's holistic in its nature. We're entering in, meeting those needs, and I'm not suggesting that, every time you do something for your neighbor or do something, that you have to preach a sermon, I'm not saying that. It may not go that way, it may be, a number of times, you're doing works that you're building a foundation for the opportunity to be able to talk to people about the hope that you have in Jesus and figuring out good ways to be able to do that, right? But ultimately, this has to be paired, the good, the picture of the good news has to be paired with the proclamation of the good news, because typically, if given the choice between just doing good works and proclaiming good news, people just choose this and the other one just goes away. Yeah, man, I'll hand out some water. Yeah, I'll be glad to donate some clothes. Sure, I'll throw a couple of bucks in there. What about engaging people with the hope of Jesus? Nah. If those things are pitted against one another, one of them ends up going away, and it's almost always the proclamation of the good news of who Jesus is. But these must be paired together, and this is what we see in the ministry of Jesus. You know, our Christ Together National Network just partnered with a consulting group called Catapult. And we ended up charging Catapult to ask the question of about 3000 churches, not Christ Together churches, but just 3000 churches in the country, about the state of evangelism in those churches, in other words, are we really sharing our faith, and if we're not, what's happening along that line and what does that look like and all of those kinds of things, and there's so much that we gathered from this data, but one of the things that we gathered, I think, that was super interesting is that pastors actually have a disconnect in the way that they think, listen to this. Pastors believe that their folks in their churches believe that it is a good thing to be able to share their faith in Jesus, right? Pastors believe that their folks believe that they should be sharing their faith in Jesus. Here's the problem. The problem is is that, here's what we found out. 47% of millennials in the churches and surrounding the churches, 47% of them believed it was wrong for them to share their faith in Jesus. It was wrong. That they should just be demonstrating by doing good works. But that they should not talk to people, why? Well, because their truth is their truth and my truth is my truth and I can't really impose upon them and those kinds of things, right? There could be a a million different things and it's interesting because pastors thought that they had an equipping problem, that the reason people weren't sharing their faith is 'cause they weren't equipped to share their faith, we're all equipped to share our faith because we're all equipped to have a conversation. Like you don't need to have 40 bullet points, you don't have to have a canned script, you have to have a relationship with people and you ought to be able to talk about Jesus in the context of a normal relationship. You're all equipped, it's not an equipping problem, it's a persuasion problem. We simply don't believe it. That we should be sharing the beauty of the gospel with people in what we do and in what we say. It's remarkable, and there's a million reasons behind all of that that I can't possibly get into, maybe it's because some people feel like the American Jesus is not actually good news. Hmm. What we've done is we've tied Jesus so tight with our politics and our culture that people identify him with all of those things, and we're afraid to talk about him because this is all they think about, and we don't know how to unweave all of that. Or maybe it's because we live in a culture that's more motivated by fear than it is by love. A culture that's too freaked out about, you know, if I talk to my friend or whatever, I'm gonna get canceled or they're gonna think I'm weird or whatever, and we're just motivated by fear instead of being motivated by the love of God and the compassion of Christ in our lives, a compassion that has compassion on actual, physical, tangible needs and has compassion on the souls of people who need to know Jesus. So what will compassion lead us to do, it leads us to serve the world, by doing what? By picturing the good news. You give them something to eat by proclaiming the good news, Jesus had compassion on them, and the first thing he did, first thing he did was teach them about the beauty of the kingdom of God. And then thirdly, that we would pray the good news. That we would pray the good news. And I'm gonna give you three quick words here about how we can pray along this line. The first is this, that we pray for supply. Listen to what verse number 41 through 44 says. After Jesus told them, you give them something to eat, and then he asked them like, what do you got? And he said, five loaves, two fish, that's all we have, and there's a whole lot of people. Jesus, "Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven," what did Jesus do? "He gave thanks." He prayed. "He gave thanks and he broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. And the number of the men who had eaten was 5,000." The number of the men was 5,000, not counting women and children. This is a whole lot of people from very little. Here's what I would remind you of, that when we are going to serve the world, that we want to take whatever it is that Jesus has put in our hands, even if we think it's meager. And we just say, Jesus, this is what we have. Will you use it to accomplish your work in far bigger ways than we could imagine? Just in your everyday living. Jesus didn't ask the disciples for what they didn't have, he just asked them for what they did. And it was a little bit of bread, a little bit of fish. Give it to me, give thanks. Hey, listen, whatever it is that Jesus has entrusted to you, just thank him for it and offer it to him. Jesus, how do I serve the world with what you put in my hands? Jesus, I just, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna thank you for what you have given me and I'm gonna offer to you that you will be my supply. I don't know that I can do this on my own, you're not meant to do it on your own, by the way, I can't do this on my own, so I'm taking what I have, I'm offering to you, whatever that is, whatever my resources, whatever my influence, whatever my skillsets, whatever those look like, I'm just offering it to you and you help me to walk this out. And maybe you'll accomplish far more than I even think that this could accomplish, 'cause that's what Jesus did. But then he also taught us to pray for support. There was another passage of scripture that's not the same exact story, but it's another passage of scripture where it identifies that Jesus was filled with compassion and that compassion led him to teach his disciples to pray. Here's what he said, this is in Matthew chapter nine. "Jesus went through all the towns and villages teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. And when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd." Same thing that's said here in Mark six. "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" Isn't this a remarkable thing? Jesus filled with compassion for these people who are harassed and helpless. And he says to his disciples, "You should pray." And do you know what he tells them? He doesn't say pray for them, pray for their souls, even though that's a perfectly acceptable and good thing for us to be able to do. He says pray to the Lord of the harvest that more laborers would be raised up to picture the good news and to proclaim the good news, because there's a lot of people that need to be able to hear this. So pray for additional support for the mission that I have called that all of these laborers would be raised up and that they would take their part in picturing and proclaiming the good news of the gospel. But you know how else he teaches us to pray? Same passage of scripture that's there. Pray for sight. Let me show you what I mean by that, look in verse number 37, it says, "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.'" Then he went on to say, "Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to raise up more workers." You know what we need to be able to see? What God sees when it comes to what He's called us to do to serve the world, we need to see what God sees. And do you know what God sees? That He's the Lord of the harvest and that the harvest is plentiful, that there is a lot to be harvested, and He is the Lord of the harvest. Do you know what that gives us? Perspective. It also gives us confidence that the Lord of the harvest knows what He's doing in the harvest field, it's His field, it's His harvest. And He says the harvest is plentiful. I just need, I need people to raise up. I need people to picture and proclaim the good news of the kingdom, that's what I need, I need more of them to join me in this work that I am on for the redemption of humanity. So I'll say all that instead of talking about or just teaching you about how we need to engage this through prayer, I want us to pray. So I want us on every campus everywhere to be able to pray, and I'm gonna prompt you in some prayer. And so that's gonna happen right now at each of our campuses, all of our campus pastors are gonna come up and they're gonna prompt you in prayer at your campus. Now, here at this campus, I'm gonna prompt you, and here's what's gonna happen, I'm just gonna point you to something that's gonna appear on the screen and I want you to reflect on it and I want you to use it as a prayer, all right? I want you to use it as a prayer right where you are. There's gonna be four of them. We're gonna take just a little bit of time for each one of them, but I want you to make this your prayer. All right, here's the first. Pray this, Lord Jesus, would you give me your heart of compassion that springs from love for the world around me? This is where we need to start. We need to start because listen, it's really hard to serve people you don't love. So we need his heart of love and his heart of compassion. So take a moment and pray along that line. Then secondly, secondly, I would ask for you to pray as maybe a prayer of confession, Lord, would you forgive me for any way I've neglected my role in your mission? Maybe ask him to reveal that to you and simply ask for his forgiveness for maybe neglecting that role and those opportunities that he's given to you. Then would you pray this. Lord of the harvest, will you give me eyes to see how I can serve you in my part of the world and trust you for your provision? Whatever it is that you have, that you offer to him where you can serve him in your sphere of influence, your part of the world, ask the Lord of the harvest to open your eyes to see what that looks like for you. Then I am gonna ask you to do something now, you may be sitting next to a spouse, you may be sitting next to a friend, you may be sitting next to somebody that you don't know and that's okay too. But I want you out loud with them, if they be somebody next to you or somebody that you're sitting with or whatever, I just want you out loud to pray this next prayer out loud and I want each of you to do it. Lord of the harvest, will you raise up more laborers to picture and proclaim the good news of the gospel to the world? It's a simple ask of the Lord, but I want you just to make it your prayer. And so if there's two of you or three of you or whatever, each of you just take a moment and you literally can just pray that verbatim. But I want you to do it out loud wherever you are right now, all right, let's take a moment and do that. If you'll just keep your heads bowed with me for just a moment, it may be that you're here and you've never actually surrendered your life to the lordship of Jesus, the one who loved you so much that he acted, and he came, he lived, and he died, and he rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for your sin. He took the wrath of God upon himself against sin so that you wouldn't have to. And was risen from the dead, demonstrating that this was a sacrifice that was sufficient to satisfy the justice of God. And that by faith in King Jesus, your life can be made new, sins forgiven, life made new, and have hope to live in a new kind of kingdom, a new kind of world. If that's your need and you've never come to that place, then when we dismiss in just a moment, there'll be some folks that'll be right down front, men and women that would love to take a moment, pray with you, and talk to you about what it means to surrender your life to Jesus. And I pray that you'll do that. For those of us here who know the Lord who've been transformed by his kindness and his grace. Maybe you just need somebody to pray with you about your own life of serving the king and what it looks like to serve the world, and you wanna spend a little more time praying about that. You can do that, you can remain seated, pray with the person that's nearby you, if you wanna continue to do that, feel free to do that. If you wanna come and take one of these men or women by the hand and ask them to pray with you along that line, they'd be glad to do that as well. I just pray that you'll do what God's asked you to do and you'll respond to what God's asked you to do. Father, I thank you that by the power of your spirit, you speak to us through your word. Lord Jesus, even as we open this Word and see a chronicle of how you taught your disciples and how you led them by a compassion that was grounded in love for people, a compassion for people's need physically, tangibly, their circumstance, but also a compassion for their soul. And how you taught us to turn our attention to you in prayer, even as we are acting on faith to be able to show up and to meet needs and to have compassion on people's circumstance and soul, their physical and their spiritual needs. Would you help us all to see clearly how you wanna utilize us in service to the world? Or sometimes, that's through us together as a church doing what we did this weekend, and we thank God for that. But Lord, we know that all of us are living in spaces, in places, where we have this opportunity to picture the good news and to proclaim the good news in the spaces in places that we inhabit. So would you help us to see that clearly? And would you raise up more and more laborers for the harvest? And I pray that you would do this for your glory and for the sake of your mission and for our good. And I pray this in Jesus' name and all God's people said, amen.

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