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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?

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The Upward Call of God Pt 2

Phil 3:12-14

V12 Christ laid a hold of you why- take a hold of why

V13 Do not allow your past to determine your future

V14 There is an upward call of God on every believer.

2 Tim 1:8-9

V8 Live sacrificially to further God’s Kingdom

V9 Our calling is according to God’s purpose

Why and How do I live my life?

What has God called us to do as a church and what unique role has He given each one of us?

Why do I do what I do?

Why do I live my life the way I do?

Is there an overriding principle that guides the way I use my time and my resources?

Does life just happen and then I respond to it?

Or- are there values that I have adopted that funnel my life in a specific direction?

Running Naked? (ancient Greek athletes ran naked)

Does God have a vision for mankind- if so, what is it?

Pro 29:18 Where there is no vision (revelation), the people perish (unrestrained): But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

(Because we have- revelation of God- put on restraint)

Perish-uncover (make naked), out of control, disorder.

Vision is a “picture of a possible future that God is inviting us to join.” Russ Hutto

What is God inviting you/COTRM to join?

God’s vision statement-

Heb 8:8, 10-11 (God’s vision for mankind)

God’s vision is a restored relationship w/humanity.

What is His mission? (how will He fulfill His vision?)

Mat 28:19-20

He is inviting us into a future with Him where-

each of us knows God and God knows us, and

we help others be reconciled to God.

As a church, our mission statement is-

Encounter God, Love People, Share Life

To have a supernatural Encounter with God so we can Love People, as God has loved us, and Share with others the Life God has given to us.

Time is short- in eternity- does anything else matter?

That does not mean we do not have jobs/careers, pursue education, but it does establish priorities.

You may feel God has moved you into a particular career field and you have a mission in that setting.

You may have a job where you-

can earn lots of money- sow it into ministry,

can write/publish your writings-affect thousands

be a source of light in great darkness (trades).

As a church we want to see people-

give their lives to God and become disciples,

to see marriages restored, and people walk away from addictions.

In Melbourne/Palm Bay, Guatemala, Haiti, Israel-

wherever God gives us influence.

40 years ago- gave my life to- mission- build- church.

Are you prepared to give your life to the mission?

Jesus did and He is asking us to do it as well-

Mk 8:34-35 (cross was a form of execution)

V34 are we willing to sacrifice for God’s Kingdom?

V35 lose life for- Jesus AND the Gospel (Kingdom)

Lay a cross on the persons back- make them carry it through the city to the place of execution.

In the same way- God is asking us to take our cross-

into our city, and into every area of our lives, and

become fully devoted followers of Christ.

________________________________________

The Pattern in the First Century Church

1st church- said they would be fully devoted to God.

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

Act 2:46-47 people coming to Christ everyday

People- committed to- vision/mission- of the church.

This church transformed their community.

God wants to increase our effectiveness in our city.

We want 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 and pain, we have our own story with our own hurts.

We can come as we are, but if we truly call on the Lord, we will be changed by the power of God.

When God had called Saul to become a King in Israel, there had to be a change in his life-

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.

Second, we want to be a church where-

2. Everyone is Welcome

Revelation 22:17 (NAS)

17The 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.

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