Lasting Impact

Being a Christian:
isn’t visiting a building on Sunday morning
isn’t telling people you’ll pray
isn’t posting to social media
isn’t hoping for change

Being a Christian:
is actually being the church 24/7
is actually praying for needs
is actually connecting with people
is actually being the change we want to see!

Being a Christian is not merely influencing, impressing, inspiring or exciting others.
Influencing someone may cause them to act differently.
Impressing someone may cause them to see differently.
Inspiring someone may cause them to think differently.
Exciting someone may cause them to evaluate differently.

But impact leaves it’s mark!

We’ve had many leaders in this world. All leaders have influence. But some have had impact!

I have a dream!
Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask …
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.


BEING A CHRISTIAN IS ABOUT HAVING IMPACT!

Matthew 28:19-20

That’s not influence, that’s impact!

Matthew 5:13

In Jesus’ time salt was a curative, a preventative, a tool, a powerful force that impacted anything it touched. Who is the salt?
The phrase for “lost its saltiness” by definition means more literally to lose one’s wisdom or strength, in other words to become simple or lose the ability of its original purpose.
And when salt was in contact with the ground or exposed to rain and sun it became insipid, or useless, and was only good as gravel for footpaths.
Jesus’ intent is for us to have the power and the purpose of impact!


JESUS HAD A MINISTRY OF IMPACT

When Jesus went to “church” He didn’t just warm a pew!
He healed people in church – Matthew 12:9-14, Luke 13:10-13
He even made some people mad at church – Luke 6:6-7, 13:14
He cleared profiteers out of the temple – Matthew 21:12-13

People were amazed at Him, one time even in an uproar – Matthew 22:33, Matthew 7:28-19, Matthew 21:10-11

He was healing every sick person – Matthew 10:1, 4:23, 8:16, 9:35, 12:15, 14:35-36, 20:32-34, 15:30-31

Matthew 8:2-3, 5-13, 14-15, 26-27, 9:6-8, 20-22, 24-25, 9:27-31, 14:14-21, 15:32-39, 17:15-18, 21:14, 18-19


JESUS HAD A MINISTRY OF IMPACT AND HE LEFT IT FOR US TO CONTINUE!

We weren’t given a certificate or a Bible bookmark or a gold star.
We have been given power and authority over evil powers and to heal diseases.

Luke 10:19

Following Jesus

Following is a commitment to the One you’re following

Today let’s talk about two things that Jesus started – for us!


BAPTISM

The top 3 reasons all Christians must be baptized:
1. Matthew 28:19
2. Mark 16:16
3. John 4:1

Baptism is the first step. You can’t take 2nd step until you’ve taken 1st.

Jesus chose to be baptized.
Baptism is a foreshadow for Jesus, looking toward the day He would die then raise back to life.
Baptism is a symbol for us, it points to our past that we have died to and become alive in Jesus.
Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify with us!

There is no power in the water. But there is power in obedience!

So follow Jesus into the water!

THE CHURCH

Jesus called 12 men to follow Him in order to be together, learn together and grow together.
Mark 3:14-15
They spent a lot of time together in ministry, not doing their own thing.

When Jesus sent out His followers it was in pairs, not individually.
Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1
They did ministry together!

So when Jesus left, at His direction, the disciples waited together in Jerusalem until the feast day called Pentecost – and the church was born! Acts 1:4-5, 12-14, 2:1-41

Hebrews 10:24-25


You need us and we need you!

We can do more ministry together.
Paul was no lone ranger. He had Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, John Mark, and at least 7 more.

Questioning Jesus

Questioning is not always bad. It can mean:

  • Interrogation
  • Raising doubts, or simply entertaining them
  • Being suspicious
  • Seeking truth or peace

Let’s start with perhaps the most important question we ask of Jesus:
Are You the One?

Matthew 11:3-5, 27:11, 21:23-25, Luke 7:19-22, 22:67-68, Mark 14:61-62

  • To John the Baptist’s followers Jesus replies (this is a paraphrase): What do you see? Notice the miracles! And that hope is readily shared with the poor! Something is different!
  • To Pilate He basically says: You already know
  • And to the High Priest Jesus simply says: “I am”

A related question from John 6:30-33:
Why doesn’t Jesus just prove Himself to everyone?
Jesus doesn’t want us to chase His miracles, He wants us to believe in Him!

But probably most questions asked about Jesus in our age are about reconciling a good God and a bad world

Luke 10:38-42
Does Jesus care that life isn’t fair?
Maybe we’re prioritizing the wrong things!

Luke 2:43-50
Why does Jesus disappoint me?
We really should know what to expect Jesus to say and do.

Matthew 15:12
Does Jesus knowingly offend people?
Disregard these particular people.
But do not offend those who are weak or young in their faith! Romans 14:1, Matthew 18:6-7

Luke 9:51-55
Wouldn’t it be better if bad people were dead?
Check your heart, your spirit, your motivation.

Luke 22:47-51
Should we fight?
Stop it!

Mark 5:25-34
Why is Jesus concerned about insignificant things?
Insignificant things are huge to the people who have to deal with them!

Mark 4:36-40
Does Jesus care what happens to us?
Just have faith! He’s already on the boat with power to perform your needed miracle!

John 9:1-3
Why do bad things happen?
God’s power has not yet been displayed in this place. So we should be working toward prayer and seeking God’s power for needs!

Matthew 3:13-15
Why does Jesus need me?
Jesus said it is fitting, it’s how He chooses to do it. He wants you involved!

John 8:31-36
Why do I need to be set free? I’ve never been a slave.
We think we sin because we choose to sin, but it’s really because we can’t help it. And Jesus came to not just make us feel free but make us free indeed!

John 4:11
Can Jesus really perform miracles?

Most people today don’t believe in miracles – until they need one!

Do I Really Need Jesus?

Who is Jesus?


The Questions

What if I’m a good person?

Oriel FeldmanHall study at Cambridge
96% of subjects chose to administer an electrical shock to someone for money

Romans 3:23-24
Jeremiah 17:9

Aren’t there many paths to Heaven?

John 14:6

What if my life is already full?

John 10:10-14


The Verdict

Jesus is not some app or widget to simply make our lives smoother. He is the missing piece that completes us.

Revelation 3:20

What About Jesus?

Recently a staff member commented on the fluidity of our times.
Jobs, friendships, technology, medicine, travel, everything changes these days. Even truth?

Facts, information, data and perspectives are ever-changing.
Truth does not change.

Fluidity can be good, having the ability to adapt to your situations.
But fluidity can be bad, uncontrollable, destructive, like an unseen leak in your plumbing!

We must be careful to not allow the fluidity of our times to influence our understanding of who Jesus is, and of our relationship with Him.


You need to settle what you believe about Jesus!


Jesus is not moody, impulsive or fickle.

He is the opposite of erratic, wavering, unsettled, indecisive, uncertain, unsteady – that often describes us but never Jesus!

Hebrews 13:8


 

Jesus is the reason for grace!

John 1:17

Think about what changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Jesus came!

When a woman was caught in adultery Jesus said, “I don’t condemn you, either. Go home, and from now on don’t sin anymore.” John 8:1-11

The famous woman at the well was a Samaritan, see John 4:1-13

Jesus created a story of a hero and made him a Samaritan, see Luke 10:30-37

Jesus ate with sinners! See Luke 19:6-7, 15:1-2, 5:29-32


 

Jesus loves everyone

kids and adults, the well-off and those the Pharisees called “scum,” both the educated and ignorant – so much so that He died for us!

The only people Jesus seemed to have issues with are probably the same people you have issues with:
hypocrites Matthew 23:1-33
profiteers (price-gougers) Matthew 21:12-13
bullies, see John 8:3-5, 9:20-24

Revelation 3:20

Grow

Perfect people have no room for growth…the rest of us do!

You can help a hoarder clean their house, but if they remain a hoarder it won’t do them any good next week.

OWN YOUR GROWTH

Ethiopian court officialActs 8:26-40

He went from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, 1500 miles to worship!
Or he went to worship while on business or vacation!
He was reading though he didn’t understand it all
He found an opportunity to take the next step!


 

FIVE STEPS FOR REAL GROWTH

READ

Imagine the impact it would have on your life to read the Bible early every day!


 

PRAY

Converse with God every chance you get!
1 Thessalonians 5:17


 

DO

Church is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be impactful!
Whatever needs to be done, do it, even if you have to do it alone!


CONNECT

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Small Groups launch with new changes on 9/8!

Image result for divine direction
Divine Direction – Check out the 7 day devotional here.


CONSISTENCY

Corporate success requires individual commitment.


 

  • Start strong

  • Stay strong

Consistency builds character, gets us through tough days, but is missing in many lives


 

THE GOAL is not to just get you here on Sunday. The goal is to get you to the feet of Jesus,
worshipping Him for yourself not just watching,
discovering the gifts He has given you to make a difference and helping you develop and use them,
become so overwhelmed by Who He is that you can’t help but invite someone else to come sit at His feet with you,
learning for yourself as we provide all the help you need doing that.

Gather

Because of all He’s done, This Is What We Do

We gather because we are Firstborn!
Luke 13:34
Matthew 9:35-38
Luke 19:10

The goal is not to just get you here on Sunday. The goal is to get you to the feet of Jesus,
worshipping Him for yourself not just watching,
discovering the gifts He has given you to make a difference and helping you develop and use them,
become so overwhelmed by Who He is that you can’t help but invite someone else to come sit at His feet with you.


What kinds of things need to be gathered? Things that are scattered, out of place, or lost!

Lost is the word Jesus used in Luke 15 when he spoke of a sheep, a coin, and a son.

Pray and watch for signs, for hope! Those who have chosen to walk away have to choose to return.

So who are these scattered ones? Those with marital problems, addictions, suffering abuse, with financial trouble, self-esteem issues, living with guilt, condemnation or shame, who have anger issues, those who are lonely, etc.

What kinds of things need to be gathered? Things that belong together!

  • ALL the sheep!
  • ALL the coins!
  • The WHOLE family!

HOW WE GATHER

At 29:11 we want to reach people no one else is reaching. That means being willing to do what no one else is doing!

“I think our culture is changing, which is making evangelism difficult…people are shrinking back because it’s not politically correct. I think people are afraid of being asked questions that they may not be able to answer. They’re not even sure…how to engage in spiritual conversation.”  – Garry Poole



How to gather better:

  • Make it priority
  • Set a goal
  • Name a name
  • Plan follow-up in advance
  • Design the worship service with FTAs in mind
  • Equip people to invite

When I see God in eternity and He looks over my shoulder and asks, “Who did you bring with you?”, what will be my answer?

Serve

Philippians 2:3-11

Serving began with Jesus!

“But I’ve realized serving isn’t something we do. A servant is who we’re called to be. Because when we serve, we become like Christ.”
– Craig Groeschel

THE DANGER OF LIMBO – When it comes to spiritual matters, there are: the curious, the contributors, and between the two is a dangerous place of limbo called consumerism.

 “God wants us to contribute rather than to consume.”
– Craig Groeschel

“Consumer Christianity isn’t about what you bring to the mission, it’s about what you can squeeze out of it.”
– Carey Nieuwhof

God wants us to be part of the mission! How awesome is that?

Serving has a cost and its own reward!

Matthew 16:24, Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Peter 4:10, Acts 20:35

[ctt template=”3″ link=”3851v” via=”no” ]When people are uninvolved, inspiration becomes criticism.[/ctt]

We remember what we do for others more than what we receive from others because receiving isn’t fulfilling. Giving and serving are!

Everyone has something awesome to do for Jesus! Like in the early church it wasn’t just pastors and evangelists, but a benevolence committee in Acts 6, Dorcas of Joppa and her benevolence friends.


WE ARE TOO BLESSED TO NOT SERVE!

Luke 12:48, 2 Chron 29:11, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, Mark 16:15-18, Psalm 84:10

Team Night tonight, 5pm!

The goal is not to just get you here on Sunday.
The goal is to get you to the feet of Jesus,
worshipping Him 168 hours a week,
worshipping Him for yourself not just watching,
discovering the gifts He has given you to make a difference,
and helping you develop and use them!

Worship 168

Because of all He has done, This Is What We Do

Worship

It’s not only what we do while the music is playing!

etymology, OLD ENGLISH, the condition of being worthy
So, worship doesn’t start with us. God had first proven Himself worthy.

definition, the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration

In Hebrew, worship means
1. acts and expressions of worship
2. to lie prostrate, in a literal position of mercy and humility
3. to work and serve


Benefits of worship

  • the mind is transformed (by faith, belief in God, repentance)
  • the heart is renewed (through love, trusting someone)
  • our actions are redeemed (in obedience, in service)
  • there is peace in worship (Isaiah 26:3)
  • there is victory in worship (2 Chronicles 20:21-25)

Jesus said this about worship in John 4:24
Worship cannot be piecemeal, not just Sundays, not just thru music, not just with voices…

Spirit, in the soul, where a person feels, thinks, wills, decides, etc. It’s our heart, attitude, desire, our want-to, etc.

Truth, in reality! So, yes, go through the motions! No one can do it for you. Our Worship Team does not worship on your behalf or in your place.

[ctt template=”3″ link=”9c10b” via=”no” ]James the apostle said if faith doesn’t produce good works it is dead and useless. So if feeling doesn’t produce expression is it worship?[/ctt]

James 2:17

Singing is Worship!

The deepest worship is adoration and reverence that begins in our spirit before the music starts! The deepest worship is what springs up naturally out of our feelings toward God!

The depth of my worship depends on my personal adoration and feelings for God!


Giving is Worship!

The story of the Widow’s mite from Luke 21:1-4

Giving is worship because
…it has cost, it involves sacrifice. It is worshiping with our substance.
…it affirms stewardship. Tithing shows we acknowledge God as the Owner of all and Giver of all, that we are mere stewards of money, of the earth, of people, of time, etc.
…it displays gratefulness. Giving is the antithesis of selfishness, stinginess.

Deuteronomy 8:18


Worship is a Lifestyle!

True Worship isn’t 1:15 but 168. It is exalting Jesus 168, making Him Lord over home and business and play, not just church.

1 Corinthians 10:31

[ctt template=”3″ link=”fZ0FP” via=”no” ]A worship lifestyle is taking note that everything I do and every place I go and everything I say, because I call myself a Christian, has the potential to honor or dishonor God.[/ctt]

Bringing your problems to God is Worship!
The action of trusting your problems to God says “God, I know You can!”