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
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
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
If you are not using your gifts- there are things God has called this church to we will not be able to do.
1Cor12:20-21 church-need every member-function
If you are not serving God, please commit yourself to God’s call in your life before you leave today.
We will be a church where-
everyone is changed- Encounter God,
everyone is welcome- Love People, and
everyone is needed- Share Life.
You have an upward call of God in your life-
will you step up and say yes to God?
The upward call- more than being- attendee/spectator.
Will you embrace the upward call of God?
Challenge some- make a deeper commitment to God.
Take your spiritual life to the next level-
God is waiting for you to step up.