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Summary: 2011 is the beginning of a new day, a new year, and a new season. A look at our mission as believers and as a church? How do we live our lives with a sense of God’s eternal purpose in everything that we do? (adapted from a sermon by Chris Spradlin, LifeCh

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The First Century Challenge

The Upward Call of God Pt 3

(Adapted from a sermon by Chris Spradlin, LifeChurch.tv)

Phil 3:14 NAS

Press on- pursue, hasten toward- active verb.

Our walk w/God is not passive- it is not-

God, I am saved, now I am waiting for heaven.

It is living for- purposes of God everyday of our lives.

Phil 3:14 (Msg) I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Every believer has-upward call-we can respond or not.

We can take the position- I’m saved- next stop heaven, or we can take a hold of God’s purpose for us now.

Upward- a position above, a higher place- step up!

Paul’s testimony at the end of his life-

2 Tim 4:7 (NAS) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

From the day Paul encountered Jesus- never looked back- labored vigorously to build God’s Kingdom.

What do you believe is God’s upward call in your life?

The First Century Church Pattern

Act 2:42-43

Continually devoting- steadfast, persistent, ongoing

Everyone was feeling a sense of awe- there was-

-excitement about what God was doing and

-expectation of what God was going to do.

Act 2:44-45 great generosity in early church

Generosity-earmark-church-has had-Encounter w/God.

Generous- magnanimous, openhanded, liberal

Magnanimous- lofty and courageous spirit

Not just w/money- forbearing spirit- generous in grace.

Are you a generous person? Applaud/criticize people?

Act 2:46-47 people coming to God everyday-why?

they saw God’s love in how-treated one another.

This church transformed their community- so can we.

I want COTRM to be a church where-

1. Everyone is Changed

Rom 10:13 (NAS) for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

We all come with baggage/pain/hurts-we have a story.

We can come as we are, but God wants to change us.

When God called Saul to be King- he had to change-

1 Sam 10:6 (NIV) The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

We will be a church where everyone is changed.

1 Cor 15:49 (NAS) Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

We will be changed!

Second, we want to be a church where-

2. Everyone is Welcome

Time/time- hear from a visitor- their perception of us.

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Regardless of who you are,

what type of pain you have/are experiencing,

how you dress or the color of your hair,

whether you have tattoos, pierced ears, lips-

you are welcome-God’s Kingdom/church!

You are welcome w/your doubts, fears, poor decisions.

Must stop judging people by-flesh-what does God see?

God sees- finished product- what He created us to be-we must help each other complete the course.

1 Pet 1:21-22 NLT

We will be a church where everyone is welcome.

Notes- list three people you need to invite to church.

Third, we want to be a church where-

3. Everyone is Needed

1 Cor 12:4-11 Every member is needed/important

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