One in Mission


Pastor Jerry Gillis - January 19, 2020

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s message.
  2. Read Ephesians 3:10-11 and 2 Corinthians 5:20. How do these verses speak to your personal assignment for the mission of God? What is your responsibility and why?
  3. What are some of the obstacles that you allow to get in the way of fulfilling your part in God’s mission? How can you get past them, and how can we – as a group – help you do that?
  4. What might happen in our neighborhoods and our region if each one of us lived life on mission? What is at stake if we don’t?
  5. What one thing did God speak to you about – either through the message or through your discussion? What does God want you to do about it and how will you do it?


Sermon Transcript

Jerry Gillis

Do you guys have any friends that ever make up any words, or phrases, or assign new meanings to those words or phrases? Maybe it's a friend, or a family member, or somebody that you know that's famous for doing some of those things. I had a friend in Georgia, as only a guy from Georgia could do, who was real concerned when we were having a conversation that April 1st was coming up, and his W-2s... He was getting an order, and he was nervous because he said he needed a taxidermist. Yeah.

Same guy, by the way, who I won't say his name, it rhymes with Schmitty, but same guy, when we were having a real conversation about real substantive issues and I asked him what he thought about euthanasia, he said he thinks we should help all the youth, whether they're in Asia or America. Sorry. It was ridiculous. You probably have some friends that are like that.

My dad has a friend that every time he was traveling somewhere because of work, or when he would get reassigned to another state or something for work, he would say this phrase, he would say, yep, they've got me doing a two year stench over in Michigan. A stench, really? I'm sure he was trying for either a two year stent or a two year stretch, but he just made it a two year stench.

There's a pastor that I know who also made up words, and he didn't just assign new words to things, he actually made them up. And he knew that he did this. The word documentary, he made it documentarary, so he added an A-R every time he said it, without fail, it was documentarary. Now, he knew this about himself, and one of the times that he was really excited about something he wanted a really big word to use when he was really excited, but he couldn't think of anything to actually describe what he thought was so great, so he ended up saying that it was hippopotamusly good.

That was the word that came to mind. He wanted a big word, and that was the word that came to mind, hippopotamusly good. Now, I'm sure that all of us at some point in our lives have made up words in excitement. The apostle Paul also made up words in exuberance and excitement, so we're not alone if we've done that. In fact, when Paul was marveling at the greatness, and the sovereignty, and the power of God, what he would do sometimes is he would add a prefix to a word to create another word so that he could describe his level of exuberance.

Now, he did this some maybe close to 20 times in his writings, which is remarkable, but one of the times that he did that was in Ephesians 3. If you want to find your place there, whether it's in the Bible that you want to turn there, or if you just want to look at your device to be able to get to Ephesians chapter number three, and I want to show you what Paul does here. It's in a concluding prayer.

He's been talking about some things that are absolutely astounding about the nature of the church and who we are as the people of God, and he gets to praying a prayer, and at the conclusion of his prayer... I want you to see what he said in Ephesians 3, beginning of verse number 20.

It says, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more," I'll come back to that in just a second, "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and forever. Amen."

You see, when he's talking about this idea a measurably more, that term, it's a term that he's actually made up. It's not even a word that's used in normal language, in normal Greek language. What Paul did is he took a prefix, what we would know in English as the prefix hyper, if we said somebody really active and then we noted someone was hyperactive, that's exactly what Paul did, except he created a word that described abundance and he put this prefix on it, hyper, to make it this word, hyper-abundance, or super-abundance, or immeasurably more, is how the NIV actually terms it.

Well, what's Paul so worked up about here at the end of his prayer? When he's praying this, and he's excited to the point where he's making up a word, when he talks about him who is able to do immeasurably more, what is it that has gotten him all riled up? Well, as we just read a moment ago, what's gotten him all excited is God's power and God's activity.

Look again in verse number 20, it says, "Now to him who is able to do."

Right. He's talking about God's activity at this point.

"Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power."

The idea here is that he's excited about what God can do or what he has done, and he's talking about the nature of God's power. That's what's getting him so excited. That's a power that he says that's greater than we can even imagine, that it's more than all we ask or imagine. Think about that for just a second. All we can do with our finite minds is ask or imagine things that are within the boundaries of our finite minds. Paul is saying, think about everything you could ask, or imagine, or even conceptualize, and that doesn't touch what God's power has the ability to do.

Now, we obviously understand that when we start to think about the creation itself and how God has brought everything into existence, whether it's this galaxy or all of the galaxies, and universes, and solar systems, and that's beyond our capacity to understand. In fact, we would maybe use a term, Paul uses a different term, but maybe in our modern language we would use the term, we can't wrap our mind around it.

And so Paul is really excited about God's power, God's activity, to the point that he's making up language, and he's saying it is beyond our ability to even imagine. We cannot get our minds around it. But it's even more specific than that. He's not just fired up about what God does, and what God can do, and what God's power has the ability to do, Paul actually gets even more specific than that.

Notice what the verse says again in verse number 20 as we read the whole, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us."

This is the power of God, this power that is beyond our ability, beyond our conception, beyond our ability in our finite minds to even understand, and he says this is a power that is at work in us. Now, that's a remarkable thing even to just pause to think about for a moment, but what Paul doesn't do in this prayer as he ends it, he doesn't elaborate on what that is. He doesn't elaborate on the power that is at work within us. In fact, he just states it and leaves it there.

Well, there's probably a reason for that. The reason that Paul states it, because he's finishing up a prayer, and he's praying based upon some things that he's already talked about. Paul had a tendency to write about some things and get so caught up in what he's writing about in the greatness, and the power, and the grace, and the beauty of who God is, that sometimes he would just explode into a doxology of praise, sometimes he would just explode into prayer. And what he's praying is coming from what he's been pondering or, in this case, what he's been pondering as he writes by inspiration of the Holy spirit.

So I think the reason that Paul doesn't elaborate on this incredible power that is beyond our ability to understand or imagine, that this power is at work within us, and that Paul is basically saying this, I don't need to elaborate here, I'm just praying about something I've already talked about. Which, I think, brings us to looking at what these incredible truths are that about God's power and activity in us that he's already talked about in Ephesians chapter number three.

And I want to offer us today to think about three of them, because what we're talking about today is we're talking about being one in mission, the mission of God, and what God does in us, His power that is in us has a net effect on His mission in the world. And we see that when we start to unpack Ephesians chapter number three. And so I want us to look at... At three there's more probably that we could unpack, but three really indescribable, and beautiful, incredible truths about God's power and activity in us. Here's the first one, is it reveals a mystery, that God's power and activity in us reveals a mystery.

Now, I want you to see what it says in Ephesians chapter three, the very beginning of it, starting in verse number one, it says this, "For this reason, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles, surely you have heard," do you see what he just did there?

He broke.

"For this reason, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles," and then there's a stop, because sometimes Paul just gets overwhelmed in what he's talking about. He gets so excited about it.

And he says, "Surely you've heard about the administration of the mystery of grace that was given to me for you, that is the mystery made known to me by revelation as I have already written briefly. In reading this then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the spirit to God's Holy apostles and prophets."

Now, when Paul's talking about this idea, he's using a repeated term, and that repeated term is mystery. When you're studying the Bible, just a heads up here, when you see a repeated term, I'm not talking about a conjunction like but, or and, or if. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about something that you see as a fundamental part of a sentence that is a repeated term, pay attention to that, because that means that the author is trying to convey something to us very specific.

So, this repeated term is mystery in our text here. Now what Paul is doing, is he's not... Mystery does not mean necessarily something we could never know, something we could never figure out, what it means when we see it in the scripture is it means something we could never know unless God revealed it to us. Last week when I was talking about the idea of the Trinity, I talked about that idea being somewhat of a mystery, but not a mystery that we could never know, but a mystery we could have never figured out unless God would've revealed it to us.

Well, the same thing is true here, because he talks about this idea of mystery, and he gives us a clue, because he said what I wrote about to you earlier. So he's actually referencing something earlier in the text in Ephesians chapter number one. Notice what he says.

He says, "He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment," and here it is, "to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ."

So this mystery that we're talking about here in chapter number one is this mystery that, in Christ, God is bringing everything to unity in heaven and on earth under his headship. Now, that is not exactly the same mystery that is being talked about in Ephesians 3, but it sort of is. So Paul uses a different way of talking about it in chapter one, and then in chapter three he begins to talk about even though everything is headed toward this headship of Jesus Christ over everything, there's going to be a unity of everything under the headship of Jesus Christ, right?

Like when Paul writes about it in Philippians, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess in heaven and on earth and under the earth. It's the same idea that he's talking about in Ephesians chapter one. He's actually also referring to God's desire to draw everyone and everything to Jesus. And so, how is he acting on that? Well, that's what Paul's talking about this mystery is in Ephesians chapter three, that the way that God is bringing things under the headship of Jesus is through a particular means.

And listen to what he says in Ephesians 3:6, he says, "This mystery is that through the gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise that is in Christ Jesus."

Now, I want us to pay attention to this for just a second because what he's saying is this, is that the mystery itself is the church. He's talking about how now Gentiles have been included in this promise, and he uses three different statements to actually help us see that a little bit more clearly.

The first statement that he uses is that we're heirs together with Israel. Think about it this way for just a second, if there was a family on your street or in your apartment complex that was inheriting a great sum of money from whoever that may be, and you're like, wow, that's pretty incredible, and then a few years later you found out you are also included in the will. You weren't from their family tree, you weren't originally, you don't have their same last name, you're maybe not even their same ethnicity, but all of a sudden you were included like a family member in that will.

That's the idea between being heirs together with Israel, that now people who were not Israel, people who were not chosen, people who were not a part of the covenant, in other words, Gentiles, now get to be a part of this thing. They were part of the will as well. But he also uses a second term. He says that they're members together in the body.

This is a way of what Paul was saying in Ephesians chapter two, he said, "For he himself," meaning Jesus, "is our peace, who has made the two groups," Jew and Gentile, "one, and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body, to reconcile both of them to God through the cross by which he put to death their hostility.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away," Gentiles, "and peace to those who were near," Israel, "for through him, we both have access to the father by one spirit."

So when he's talking about being members together in one body, this is what he's referring back to. He's referring back to what he said in chapter two that now Jew and Gentile are a part of one new humanity in Christ Jesus. That by faith in him, we are one new humanity and demonstrating to the world what a new kind of human being called a Christian is supposed to be. But then in that verse he also gives us a third thing.

He says, "We're heirs together with Israel, we're members together in the body, but we're also sharers together in the promise."

Now, obviously that promise could mean the promise of the covenant that God made with Abraham, and so now Gentiles are a part of that through faith in Jesus Christ, not just Israel, but the Gentiles as well. But I think he's referring back to something that he said in chapter one.

Notice what Paul said in Ephesians 1:13-14, he said, "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation," he's talking to the Gentile people here, "when you believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession to the praise of his glory."

He's talking about this idea that we have been made a promise, and that promise is that now by faith in Jesus Christ we have been given the Holy spirit. That's not just relegated to Jewish people or Gentile people, it's for everyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ. This first part here of how when Paul is praying about this power that is at work within us and what it actually shows us, is he shows us that it reveals a mystery. That's the first piece.

But there's a second piece that I don't want you to miss either, because it's something that when we look at it, we'll begin to understand it a little bit better and it's this, that not only does he reveal a mystery by his power at work within us, but he executes a strategy because of his power at work within us. I want to turn our attention for a moment to chapter three verses seven through nine, and listen to what Paul says.

"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me to preach to the Gentiles the boundless," in some translations, this word boundless is translated unsearchable, ESV translates it's unsearchable, "the boundless or unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God who created all things."

Now, it's interesting because when he talks about this idea of the administration of this grace, he's including the Gentiles in this beautiful picture, that with the Jewish people and the Gentiles, now in Christ Jesus, they are one new kind of humanity. That's this mystery, the church. But then he says the administration of this mystery. That word administration is a word that carries with it the idea of the management of something, or the execution of a strategy towards an end.

So if Paul is talking here about the administration of this mystery, in other words, this working out, we've already decided that the mystery is the church, right? What God's power is doing in God's people, this new kind of humanity. But if that's the case, what is the strategy? What's the administration of this mystery? Well, the church. The church is the mystery, and the church is the strategy. It almost jumps off the page to us when we pay closer attention because that's what we see, the church is the mystery, the church is the strategy.

That means we are the church, and we are God's strategy for his mission. What is his mission? To sum up everything under the headship of Jesus Christ. The way we say it here is that every man, woman, and child would have a repeated opportunity to hear, see, and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That God is drawing everybody and everything to Jesus Christ. And he's doing that through the mystery, which is the church, by the strategy of the church.

Now, when I talk about the church, remember we're talking about people. We're not talking about place. And that means that you and I, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and have been transformed by the gospel, we are the strategy, that God is actually working his plan through us for the world. He uses this term, he talks about the boundless or unsearchable riches of Christ, and he's talking about that in the context of the administration of this mystery that we just read about. Right?

Well, that term unsearchable, it actually is an interesting one because there's a negation on the front of that in the Greek language. Sorry for being Mr. Greek guy for a second, but it's important that you catch this. A negation is like a, well, it's a negation, right? It's like this is the word, but here's how we negate it, and so it's just putting a little bit of a word on the front end to negate it. And then there's a preposition in that word that means unsearchable, the preposition means out. And then there's a noun that's carried in that phrase that means tracks or footprints.

Now, if you put that together, the idea of this word unsearchable means this, footprints that can't be tracked. That's the idea behind the word, the etymology of the word a little bit. I think that's an interesting way for us to be able to look at the idea of what God's doing in his mission. Footprints that can't be tracked. I mean, it's fair of us to ask this question, how is God putting together the plan of redemption in Jesus Christ through the vehicle of the church in such a way that its footprints can't be tracked?

Well, I'll tell you. If we were to go back in time and we were to track the ancient people of God, the Jewish people, and we were to track their footprints, it would be easy, because all of their footprints would be tracked to the temple. This was the place where God's presence was, this was the place where they would go to be able to minister to the Lord and have the Lord minister to them, this was their place. It was a geographical location, the temple of God. And so, if we were to look at the well beaten pads in Israel, we would see that these footprints are leading us up to Jerusalem and up to the temple.

But the truth is, in our day and age, now that Jesus Christ has transformed both Jew and Gentile, that by faith in Jesus Christ we can be one new kind of way of being human, everything has changed. Now we have the spirit of God living inside of us, and instead of having to go to a temple to be able to worship, or to go to a temple to meet the presence of God, now the Bible says that we in our bodies are temples of the Holy spirit.

In other words, we are now mobile temples, that wherever we go, God goes. So think about this, every single believer everywhere in this region of Western New York, or everywhere in this country of the United States, or everywhere in this world, everywhere the footprints of a believer goes, God goes, because God lives inside of us. Now, there's actually no way to track the work of God through the people of God, it's unsearchable, because everywhere the people of God are in the world, and everywhere they go, wherever their footprints are, this is where God is and what God is up to.

Now, we know that in the sovereignty of God he's at work in even greater ways than that, but it is almost an in... It's unsearchable, it's boundless, it's not relegated to geography, this plan that God has for his people to get the message of the gospel out, and it makes us marvel, because everywhere you can't limit the people of God. Yes, there are people of God that are right now in this building at CrossPoint who are worshiping. They're also worshiping at our Cheektowaga campus, our Lockport campus, and our Niagara falls campus.

And there are loads of churches that love Jesus where believers are gathered in our region to be able to do what they're doing, but we cannot relegate the mission of God to just a place one day a week, because everywhere we are, when we're all over the place, God is active and doing what he wants to do in the world because he is strategizing through his people this mystery where he has brought Gentiles into this beautiful promise. That now through faith in Jesus, all of these people, the church, are now showing the love and the life of Jesus everywhere they find themselves, wherever they go, God goes.

This makes us marvel at the mystery, because we could have never seen this coming. Now, it's not something we don't understand now, but it's something we never could have seen coming from the very beginning. But it makes me also ask a question, if you as an individual, because you are a part of the church, those who believe in Jesus, if you as an individual are serving him on mission, I wonder, where do your footprints go? I wonder where my footprints go. If we were to track our footprints, where would we see them headed?

Now, I know many of us would say, well, they see me get in my car, and then it would see me get out of my car, and go to work, and then walk around and pace in the boss's office because of sitting through this terrible meeting again or whatever, it may be some of those things for sure. But, I mean, metaphorically, where do your footprints go? They go into the places and people that need to know the message of the gospel? Maybe those people are at your workplace, maybe they're at your school, maybe they're in your home, but I wonder where do our footprints go? It's a great question for us to be able to ask, isn't it?

Maybe I could even ask that question in a different way. What if somebody who didn't know Jesus, what if their footprints led to you? What would that look like? What would they find? Would they find the reality of Jesus living in you? Would they find the reality of God's presence alive in your life? Would they find the beating heart of Christ inside of you? Would they be able to meet Jesus if they met you, if their footprints led them to you? I think these are questions that we need to be able to wrestle with and think through, because we are the mystery, and we are the strategy.

And so when Paul was praying this prayer in Ephesians, and he's saying, "To him who is able to do super abundantly or immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.", he's talking about some things.

He's talking about the power within us that reveals a mystery, the power that's in us that executes a strategy. But there's a third thing that I think he's also talking about. He's talking about the power within us that affirms his intent.

Now, I want you to pay attention to what Paul says in Ephesians 3 beginning of verse 10, "His intent," you can see where I got my point, right?

"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This is a staggering text for us because it reminds us that God's intent is that every man, woman, and child have this opportunity to see, and to experience, and to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It reminds us that he's doing that very thing through the church, that he is demonstrating his manifold wisdom through the church, and the church, as we've already established, is us, those of us who've put our faith in Jesus, those of us who have believed in Christ.

So what does he want to do through you? Well, what he wants to do is he wants to display the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. Okay. So Ephesians is one of those passages where it's like the mountaintop of talking about the church, about the purpose, and the nature, and the mission of the church. Ephesians is like... The first three chapters, this is like the mountaintop man. This is Paul just waxing eloquent about all of these things.

And so when he talks about the manifold wisdom of God being revealed, that word manifold means, if we were to translate it literally, multicolored or multifaceted. Think about it this way, God is painting a picture on the canvas of the world, and he's painting a picture of his grace, of his wisdom, of his beauty, of his truth, of his magnificence, of his life. He's painting this picture on the canvas of the world, and do you know what his paintbrush is? You, me, the church. Through the church he is demonstrating the multicolored wisdom of God.

Isn't that remarkable? That you and I are actually a paintbrush in the hand of God where he is painting the beauty, and truth, and grace, and love, and glory of who he is on the canvas of the world. And that's important, because we need the people that live in this world to see the impression, and the beauty, and the color of God. And the beautiful thing is that this paintbrush that God is using is multicolored itself. It's made up of people from all different kinds of nationalities, and backgrounds, and ethnicities, and social standings, and educational attainments.

It's made up of all kinds of us that God, through our lives, is painting this beautiful picture in the world. And every one of those micro stories is informing the big narrative of what God is saying to the world, that he transforms, and that in Jesus he unifies no matter where we've come from, what our background is, what we look like, that in Jesus Christ we have now become unified under the headship of Jesus Christ, and we're one new kind of humanity, showing the world what God is wanting to put on display in Jesus Christ.

It's really remarkable. And for people that actually read the Bible and think about the Bible, it's really impossible for us if we do a good job of that, to not believe that we don't have purpose, to not believe that we don't have a point in being here. If you've ever wondered, man, I don't know why I'm here, man, I'm not sure if I really belong here, man, I'm not sure if I really have meaning, or purpose, or value, well, just read the word, because all of us that are in Christ Jesus, we're the mystery. We're the strategy.

And what he's doing is God is showing his intent to the world that he desires every man, woman, and child to see this picture, and so he's painting with this multicolored brush so he can paint this multicolored canvas to show everyone the glory of who Jesus Christ really is. And he says that he's doing that because he wants to demonstrate his wisdom to the heavenly realms, to the authorities and rulers in the heavenly realms.

Now, when Paul says that, he doesn't make a case positive or negatively when he talks about the heavenly realm. So he's not specifically saying to only the demons, or to only the good angels, as we would refer to the heavenly realms. But what he is saying is that there is this created realm of heavenly beings, and God even wants to demonstrate his wisdom to them through the church. Can you imagine that? That God is not only demonstrating his wisdom to people that are around us through our lives that have been transformed by Jesus, but he's actually using our lives to demonstrate his wisdom to the created order in the heavenly realms.

Think about this for a second. Could you imagine a demon who is looking at you and me? I'll put me in this category right with you. He's looking at you and me and he's saying, wait a minute, this is God's strategy? Good luck with that. That's probably what demons are thinking, because they've looked at our lives, they've looked at our missteps, and our mistakes, and all of those kinds of things, and they thought to themselves, this is God's plan? But imagine what angels, good angels, ministering angels, imagine what they're thinking.

They probably also see our missteps, our mistakes, our weakness, and you know what they'd probably say? Wait a minute, this is God's plan, this is God's strategy for people to be meeting Jesus? Good luck with that. Isn't it amazing that when we back up for a second angels and demons are probably thinking the same thing when they look at the church, because they've seen people like me and people like you, and they've seen that we are far from perfect, and we are less than awesome all the time, and they're thinking, how could this be?

But this is why God's wisdom is on display, because what God's wisdom displays in Jesus Christ, ready? Grace. And grace is a concept that it is far better to demonstrate than to just explain. And so God says, you see the weak things of this world, look at Gillis, look at her, look at him, and yeah, I'm talking to you, look at them, I am going to do something that is unsearchable and unthinkable, because I'm going to give the world, and I'm going to give the created heavenly realms a demonstration of my wisdom.

It is absolutely awesome to think about this, so it's no wonder that Paul, when he comes to the end of Ephesians 3, is praying a prayer where he is making up words to describe how incredible and how awesome this is. He's basically saying that God's power and activity in us is to reveal a mystery, which is the church, is to execute a strategy, which is the church everywhere, footprints that can't be tracked, and is to affirm God's intent, to demonstrate God's glory in all of creation, both the realm we see and the heavenly realms, which is the church putting grace on display.

No wonder Paul ends his prayer by saying this in verse number 21, "To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen."

This is how he ends this prayer, and it's no wonder, he's basically saying... It's interesting, because I read that phrase and I started thinking about what that phrase means, forever and ever and ever. One translator said it this way, it would be translated this, to all the generations of an eternity of ages. In other words, he's talking about eternity here.

Now, here's what I would want you to do. I would want you to write down this statement as I summarize Paul's prayer here, the glory of God on display through Jesus and his people is an eternal legacy. This is what I'm pulling out from our text, from this prayer that we have seen Paul praying at the end, that the glory of God on display through Jesus and his people is an eternal legacy. And I don't know about you, but that idea, it motivates me because I want to take part in that. I want to be a part of the mission that God is on, because he has chosen to include me in that.

Don't you want to take up your part in that mission? Because the church of Jesus, the glory of God on display through Jesus and his people, this new people that he has made, the church, it's going to be an eternal legacy.

Paul says, "To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen."

To all the generations of an eternity of the ages, we get to be a part of that. Don't you want to be? Don't you want to take up your part? You've got an assignment from God. You have been sent on mission. It's why you exist. You don't just exist to do your normal stuff, to just live your normal life, you exist now in Christ Jesus for the glory of God, and for the good of people around you that need to know, and see, and meet Jesus Christ.

It means this, sir, ma'am, when you go to work, you are not just there to earn some money or to figure out a way to get a promotion, you are there as an ambassador to show the light and the life of Jesus Christ. Young man, young lady, you don't just go to school to get good grades, to pass tests, and to maybe be able to get into college, or after college to be able to get a job, all those things are good, and you should pursue all of those things, but you're actually there as an ambassador if you know Jesus. You're there because Jesus wants to use you to bring light into the midst of darkness.

You're on assignment. You're a part of God's strategy. Yes, you. You are a part of God's strategy in your school. You're not in your home, moms and dads, you're not there just to make sure that your kids brush their teeth, and do their homework, and clean up their room. By the way, I think kids should brush their teeth, please, especially when you come up and talk to mom and dad real close, brush your teeth, do your homework, clean up your room, do all of those things, right? Kids should do that.

But mom and dad, you're not just there to make sure they do those things. You're there to help them understand that they are an ambassador of Jesus Christ wherever they are. You're helping to teach them what it means to live life on mission. You don't live in your neighborhood or your apartment complex just because you need a place to sleep, or you need a mailing address, you live there because God has you on assignment in that place to demonstrate his glory to the people that live around you. You are plan A, ladies and gentlemen. You are the mystery. You are the strategy.

God is working his plan through you in Christ Jesus. That is glorious. Imagine if we all began to live like that. Imagine the corporate effect if the people of God in Western New York really lived like they are on mission. I don't even know how to describe that, that would be hippopotamusly good. So why don't we do it?

Wes Aarum

It's an old saying, but it's a true saying, you're the only Bible some people will ever reed, and we get to be that this week. And so let's lean into that and ask God, God, how do you want me to live that truth out in my life for you this week? Our life is brief, the window closes quick, so let's make use of that time. Say, God, help me, how do you want me to be an example, an ambassador, for you?

If you're here today and you don't know Jesus Christ, you know about him, but you don't know for sure if you died today, that you'd be in heaven. Every one of us is going to die, our life doesn't end then, it ends here, but it continues somewhere else forever. You're going to heaven or hell. And Jesus came and died and paid the price so that we could know him, so that we could know we're going to heaven. So if that connects with you, you're like, man, that's me Wes, I've got some questions about that. I really want to know Jesus today.

Please, please, please don't leave this place till you give us an opportunity to talk to you about that. As soon as we dismiss in a moment, on the other side of the atrium there's a room clearly marked The Fireside Room. We've got some folks there that would love to answer any questions you have, maybe give you some material that would help you, or actually introduce you to Jesus today. And how awesome would that be?

So let's take a moment. If that's you, then step into The Fireside Room as soon as we dismiss. And of course finally Sunday community groups, gets you there. If you have any questions, we'll be out, I'll be out there in the atrium where there are computers. If you've worn these shirts, we'd love to talk to you about that, to get you connected so that together, man, we can live this mission out in our lives. Let's pray.

Father, thank you so much for your word that tells us the truth. We wouldn't even know how to live in this life if you didn't tell us, because you're the author of life. You know how it works. And Jesus, so grateful that you love us. You made a way for us to know you, and then you invited us to be a part of something that is spectacular and eternity changing. So Lord we grab hands with you and we just say use us. We Love you. Pray that we would be encouraged by your investment into us, God. And while we have breath, may we honor you with how we live, make it real for us this week. In your name we pray these things Christ. Amen.

More From This Series

One in Prayer

Pastor Jerry Gillis, Pastor Wes Aarum, Kim Holet, Pastor Deone Drake, Edwin Perez, Multiple Speakers Part 1 - Jan 5, 2020

One in Worship

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 2 - Jan 12, 2020
Watching Now

One in Mission

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 3 - Jan 19, 2020

One in Generosity

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 4 - Jan 26, 2020

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Who is Like the Lord

Highlands Worship


Way Maker



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