How to Share Jesus (1:28-29)
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

How to Share Jesus (1:28-29)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Evangelism. It sounds good but how do you do it? We open with a question - how much do you have to hate someone not to [share Jesus with them]? Challenging question.

Does anyone know Paen and tell her anybody there magicians. They do card tricks and and one guy, Pant, is a big guy and then another guy is a smaller guy and he doesn't talk. Do you know which one's which? Pain and teller who doesn't talk? Teller doesn't talk right, teller doesn't talk. You know, I don't know. But anyway, they're really good and they have a TV show that's still on TV today and they're pretty famous couple, famous magic duo. But pain had a video go viral in the year two thousand and nine. If you could look back all the way back then, back in the day, pen was sitting in front of his phone, Selfie Style and recording himself talking. Now, back then they didn't know how to do selfie videos. You're looking up his nostrils the entire time. His face is like in the whole screen and he's just talking. So there was absolutely nothing special about the video itself, but what he was saying was just so impactful that it got shared all over the place. And what he was sharing was a simple interaction that he had with somebody after one of his shows and he went on his phone and just was telling about it because it impacted him very much, and so here's what he says. He said after one of his shows there was a guy who was standing off to the side and you know, they meet and greet, they they talked with people in the audience, and this guy came up to whom and said that he was so complimentary, like he was just saying, Hey, you're a great magician, you did a great job. You you're really good at what you do. It's an honor to meet you. Very complementary. And then this man gave them a Bible and that just it struck pain and he had to tell the world about it. He just thought it was amazing, and you have to know this about pain. He's an outspoken atheist. Okay, he doesn't believe that there is a god and he doesn't believe in God right because he doesn't exist. And so this gift of a Bible, it just it just made such an impact on him. And so this is what pain said. He said I don't respect people who don't proselytize, which is the way of saying sharing your faith right, telling people about Jesus. I don't respect that at all. If you believe there's a heaven and a hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward. Then how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? He went on to illustrate. He said if you believed that beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you and you didn't believe it, that that truck was bearing down on you, there's a certain point that I tackle you, and this is more important than that. This is more important than that. Pen went on to say that this guy who gave him a Bible was a really good guy. He was polite, honest and saying, and he cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible to Christian. I wonder, do you care enough about people like pen? Do you care enough about them to care for them and share Jesus with them? Do you care enough about your father or your mother? Caring off about your coworker, caring off about your neighbors, careing off about the person that checks you out at the grocery store? Do you care enough about them to share Jesus with them and maybe give them a Bible? And for those of you who aren't believers yet, I want you to know that you're engaging with a church that cares about you, really deeply cares about you. If you look on the connection card that you receive when you came in...

...today, it says today we celebrate you, and we do. We celebrate you. We welcome you with open arms because we want to do everything that we could possibly do to care for you and we want to share Jesus with you. That's our goal. And so it's just challenging that statement. How much do you have to hate somebody to not prophalytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? It's a challenging statement. So that's the point that Paul makes in Colossians, Chapter One, Verse Twenty Eight today is we continue through our book of Collossians. Here it says we tell others about Christ. So we tell others about Christ. That's the conclusion that Paul makes. Now why does Paul come to that conclusion in his what he's writing to this letter to the Colossi Church that was written about sixty five ish a d. Why does he said so we tell this about Christ? Is it because he gets paid to tell other people about Jesus and that's why he doesn't? Probably not. We tell he is about Christ because if they don't believe in Jesus, then they're going to sense spend an eternity separated from him forever in a place called Hell, and we don't want that to happen to them. Is that why he says don't tell the Bird tell people about Christ. That might be true, but that's also not the reason why he tells people about Jesus. I tried to find a motivational video on Youtube this week about why you should tell people about Jesus, why you should do it. You come on, everybody right, you should do it. I couldn't find one. Maybe you could find one and you could send it to me. There was like maybe one or two, but I didn't really like them. So we get Paul's version of the motivational video today. How about that? This is what Paul says of why you should tell other people about Christ. He says, because there are some really good news, some really really good news, that there is a savior of the world for everyone, everyone, the Jews and the gentiles, everyone, everyone is precious to God. And, just in case you don't know everyone, let's break down everyone a little bit. Right. Jesus died to pay the penalty for the sin of everyone, for the homeless Guy Standing on the corner at the grocery store entrance where you you know, the dogs laying on the ground licking the water out of the bowl. Jesus died for them, for her, for him. Jesus is for the people that sit across the street at starbucks right now as we speak, and they are for them. He is for them, he is for everyone. He's the savior for them. He's the savior for those people who work here at real cinemas and for every employee that works in this area, Wagmans and all the shopping areas right it's for those people too, and it's like it's like you have a win being lottery ticket, and the lottery ticket that you have is like a hundred million dollars. It's life changing amount of money and it's in their name and you have it in your hand, you're walking around with it, you're holding it, you're you're taking it with you everywhere you go. It's in the glove box of your car, you sleep with it under your pillow, you always have it in your pocket. You have this thing and you refuse to give them the lottery ticket where all they have to do is receive it, cash it in and boom, their life is completely different. You have it. You couldn't live your life, I don't, think, holding that kind of ticket in your hand, knowing that you're withholding that kind of news from...

...somebody like there would be something inside of you that would just eat you up. You wouldn't be allowed you you just physically. I don't think you could do it. You couldn't live your life that way and I don't think you should. With the good news that Jesus has given you like you have to do something about it, you have to give it to him, you have to tell people about it, because it literally will change their life. It will change their life when they believe and receive the good news about Jesus. It'll change their life today, in this moment, right now, and it will change their eternity forever and all you have to do is share it with them to how do you do it? That's the question, right. We want to share Jesus with them. We're motivated to do it. We've got all this stuff, you know, this good news, to give to them for everyone. How do we do it? Paul tells us that we warn everyone and teach everyone. We warn everyone and teach everyone. Warning is the idea of like telling somebody, Hey, watch out, and it's not just an intellectual thing. It's a whole kind of holistic body, mind, will emotion kind of thing. We're warning you because you know, the really good news that you have is really good, because there's some really not so good news as well. has anyone ever had a bad day? Just me? Okay, okay, good, I'm not alone. Right. When somebody does something kind, something good for you on a bad day, they hold the door for you, they smile, they compliment you, doesn't that just feel so much better? I mean that coffee drink that you get every single day? Someone brings you one of those on a bad day and the normally good drink is like so much better. Right. It's because we understand that there's something that's not so great and now we get that thing that is really, really good. So like do you feel like something's missing in your life? It's not right. You feel depressed, worn out, frustrated. Life isn't going your way. And if there was a god, then he certainly doesn't care about you because, hey, life is not the way that it should be. It's not working out for me and he must not care about me. So God probably doesn't exist. And so you try and fix it. You try and find purpose, you try and find meaning, you try and find wholeness and other things, and so you turn to your favorite drug of choice. It might be a literal drug, it might be a drink, a shot, maybe shopping or something right that you turn to to give you something that you feel like you're missing. But the warning in living your life that way is that if that is the way you're living your life, is that is what you do, then you are going to have to do that thing again and again. And if you run to that thing and you'd take that thing, you drink that thing, you do that thing to find that meaning, that purpose, that happiness, then you're going to have to do it again and again and again and again and again and eventually it won't feel as good, it won't accomplish what you wanted to and you're going to have to up the level, you're going to have to bring more into it, you're going to have to try something different to get you to what you once experience. And that's the warning is don't live your life that way. It is not a good way to live. It's never going to fulfill you, it's never going to give you what you're looking for. You're just going to keep spending more money and keep getting sucked in down that road and you're just going to keep living that way. So don't go that way, don't do...

...that. Don't live your life that way. But if all you're doing is living your life with a bunch of warnings, you're not going to go anywhere. Imagine you're driving West down route thirty. You're heading west, okay, and what if all the road signs that you see we're telling you warning you're not going to Philly, warning you're not going to New York, warning you're not going to Boston, you're gonna get lost. You need some signs that point you in the right direction, and that's what teaching is. There's the warning of you don't want to go this way, but then there is okay, once you are going the right direction, okay, here's what it looks like. Here's what Jesus does when you follow him. Here's what it looks like when you do this, and here's a guard rail that God is put in place and how you can follow his design and path and your life will be better as a result of these things. So we warn people, what we tell them? Don't do that, watch out, that's not the right thing. But then there's also a teaching, a positive way, of positive direction that you can go. So how do you know? How do you know if you should warn somebody or if you should teach them? How do you know? Well, Paul tells us that we need wisdom to know. This wisdom that God has given us. We got it. We got a trust that God's going to lead us to be able to know what to do, what to say. How does this apply to this person in this particular situation? If you warn somebody, that might scare him to death and I might not be what they need. But if you're just always teaching them and pointing them in the right direction, sometimes they just need a clear, stern hey, turn around, this isn't this isn't good. So what I want to do now is I want to tell you six evangelism styles that you could use to share your faith with the people in your life. Six. Here they are. I came across this and number of years ago I printed them up and I put them on the wall of my office when I used to have an office right near my door and walk past them every single day when I left the my my my office, and I just think it's really powerful to see them like this. How can we share our faith practically? And maybe one day will do a whole series breaking all these down, but today I just want to give you a quick overview of all of these things. Okay, so the first evangelism style that you could use is the direct style, and all of these have a biblical example and a scripture to go with it. So there's Peter. In Acts Chapter two. It's recorded that Peter stands up in front of a crowd of people, a large crowd of people, people from all over the world, all different kind of cultures, all different languages. Peter stands up and there they have this Jewish background and Peter tells them, you know, that Jesus who died on the Roman Cross about a week ago. Yeah, you killed them, you, yeah, you right there. You killed them. It was your fault. But guess what, he died for the penalty, to pay, the penalty of your sin. He forgiven you. You can believe in him and you can have eternal life. And guess what? Peter's direct message led threezero people to believe in Jesus that day and three thousand people were baptized that day. So the first mega church, right, and three thousand people on a single day. That was an extremely direct way to bring the message of Jesus to people, and sometimes that's what people need. I mean a lot of times we just beat around the Bush about everything in life. Right, some of us are a little bit more direct than others, but when it comes to our faith we don't really like to say direct stuff too much, but sometimes that's exactly what people need. This the direct hey, here's the deal. You believe in Jesus, go to heaven. Here it is, you know, decide yes...

...or no, and some people respond in that way. But I also realize that when we think about evangelism, this is sort of the first one that comes to mind and it's like, Oh, that's scary, I don't like doing that. People don't respond well to that these days. Are you telling me I need to go door to door and ring on someone's doorbell and like hey, hey, if you were to die tonight and you do you believe in Jesus, and would you go to heaven? It's like what, I'm gonna die tonight, right. Does that really the best way to do it? Well, like I said, in some ways sometimes it is. But that's why we need God's wisdom and that's why there's five, at least five other ways that we're going to talk about in a minute of why or how you can share your faith. So the first way is the direct style. The second way is the intellectual style. Here, the Apostle Paul, is recorded in acts, chapter seventeen, stands in front of a group of people very similar to what Peter did. He talks to a bunch of people. This time, though, Paul says something completely different than Peter. He starts in an entirely different place, because Paul knew that the people he was standing in front of didn't know anything about God, they didn't grow up with a Jewish background and so Paul starts with something that they do know. He was talking to a bunch of people in the Greek culture and Paul quotes some of their Greek philosophers, like in the Bible. You can read Greek philosophy in the Bible. How Cole is that? Because Paul's like, Hey, this thing that you know, this podcast you're listening to, this book that you're reading. Yeah, yeah, yeah, God has something to say about that. And for some people that's the way that we want to engage with them, is we want to meet them. What they're listening to, what they're reading. There's a podcast out there right that like someone's talking in this just like Oh, that, that sounds good, I like that. That's true. He's not talking about Jesus, he's not talking about God, but you know what what he's saying is right, what he's saying is true, and what we can do as believers is say, okay, like, that's cool. You're resonating with that message for a reason, and let me tell you why. Because this is the way God has designed the world and this is this is how it works and this is how you can connect with your Creator through all of these things and it's like, Oh, you know, you're engaging with them intellectually, and sometimes we need to defend our faith, like there are answers, under answers, under answers for why Christianity is true, like it's not just some surface level. I show up at Church and that's the reason I'm a believer and I go to heaven right, like there are some serious reasons why the message of Jesus has survived history for over twozero years, just because it's it goes deep, it's real, and sometimes we need to engage people on that intellectual level provide answers for those of types of questions, and that's the intellectual style. Then you're like wow, that's really a lot. There's the testimonial style, which is just simply telling your story. There was a blind man in recorded in John Chapter Nine, and it's really interesting in the scriptures because the disciples are wondering, was this guy born blind because his parents sinned or because he sinned? It's like wow, what an assumption to make. Right, it's either his fault or her fault. You know whose fault is it. and Jesus shows up and he's like stop thinking that way. It's not any of their faults. He was born blind so that the glory of God could be revealed in him. That's why so you tell your story. That is why you've gone through what you've gone through. It is not necessarily your fault or his fault or him right. It's God is at work in your life. He wants to redeem you, he wants to restore you, he wants to make you whole and again and bring you...

...into a new kind of life, a new kind of living, and you want to tell the world about the story that God has brought you on. And it's your story. It's a powerful story. Sometimes we think is Christians were like, I don't have a great story. I don't know if you ever thought about that before. It's like, I wasn't in jail, I wasn't a drug addict, you know, I didn't, you know, do all this stuff. And some people's stories are amazing. You know, they're like driving down the road, they're about to, you know, run into a offer bridge or whatever and like on the radio, God shows up, you know, through the station and in the like changes their whole life from there. It's like, I don't have that story and it's like well, that's okay. You have your story and the people in your life connect with you. They don't connect with that crazy thing over there. They connect with you and your story, and so you can tell your story. Just tell people about what God has done in your life, what he is doing in your life, and that is a great way to share your faith in Jesus. There's an interpersonal style. I love this. Jesus invites a guy named Matthew to be one of his followers, his disciples. We find the story in Luke undred and twenty nine. And when, when they does, when he dos does this, matthew invites all of his friends to get together and rub shoulders with Jesus. You know, let's have a party, let's get together, let's like, let's talk. But the thing about Matthew is he was a tax collector, and tax collectors in that day were not like very much because one they were taking your money and too they were working for the evil government. And so matthew gets his buddies together in a room and invites to this over. Wow, that's about the extent of the planning for the night. Come over and rubb shoulders with Jesus. And you know what, God has a great way of working in those environments because some people, some people will never be reached until somebody takes the time to build that kind of intimate relationship with them. Like some people just need to connect over a cup of coffee. They need to come over to your house and talk about life, just talk and you have a time of connection over a meal or something, and God uses those interpersonal relationships in a powerful way. Then there's the invitational style. Here there's a woman that Jesus met at the well with Samaritan Woman and recorded than John Chapter Four, and through their conversation she believes that Jesus is the Messiah, and so that rocks her world and she goes into the city and she brings back the entire city to come and meet Jesus. She says, come and see, come and see this man who told me everything I ever did and love me anyway. Come and see, and sometimes that's the best invitation you can give to somebody to come and see. Come and see, come and see. Come and see my church, where we talk about Jesus and invite people to learn more about Jesus. Come and see my life, where I'm praying and studying the Bible and and trust in God. Come and see. Come and see. They did studies years ago, before Covid so I don't know what it is now, but they used to say back in the day that if you were to invite somebody to church, what do you think the percentage that they would say yes would be? There was a study group, or barn, I think was the name of, or Pew, I don't know. They do lots of research upon this and they interview people. They're like, are you a Christian? They say no. Do you go to church? And they say no. And then they'd ask them if a Christian or a friend were to invite you to church, would you say yes and go with them? And the answer was like way more that, or it was more than like twenty five percent or whatever. So I don't know what it is today, but there is a one in for chance, there is a good decent chance that they might say yes to...

...come with you when you just simply ask them. But guess what, they might say no, and that's okay. That is okay. It's either yes or no. Right, there's only two options. So if you're comfortable with both of them, you can continue to ask, continue to invite and guess what, they just might say yes, they just might come, they just might hear the Gospel, they might just believe in Jesus, they might just have their life completely changed because you just simply ask them a question. The invitational style. Sometimes we can invite them, you know, just on everyday places with a go on vacation with us, go bowling with us, whatever the case may be. The last one that we'll talk about today is the serving style. There's a lady in the Bible named Dorcas, as recorded an act, chapter nine, and here's what Dorcas is recorded about. Dorcas. Okay, Dorcas was always doing good and helping the poor. Would that be cool if your name was in there and for all of history in the Bible it's like Jim, yeah, he was always doing good and helping the poor. That's just like that. That is the description of you like this. Not Cool. That's Dorcas's description. And some of you you love to serve other people and you don't need any credit for it, but you just naturally see the needs of people and you show up there and you make a huge difference in their life, and those are amazing ways to point people to Jesus as you're serving them and making a difference, and so I realize we covered those very quickly. There is a lot of evangelism styles. Which one do I choose? You know, I'm confused, I don't understand. It's fine, okay, I realize there's a lot of them and you can find this later. You can listen to it later. Will do a series later, taking more time to go through these. But if you get confused, if you spend any time around connect US church at all, you will hear these things. If you get confused, remember we want to pray for people, we want to care for people and we want to share Jesus with people. So who are you praying for that is not a Christian? Who are you praying for that is not a church goer? Who are you praying for? Who is not, who is far from God right? And if the answer is nobody, or I don't know if I know anybody, then that just might be a sign that you should go somewhere where those people are and meet somebody, get out of your comfort zone a little bit, walk across the street, go to that restaurant and just talk to somebody and you could start praying for them today and then you just don't want to pray for them, but you want to care for them. Maybe you're like that guy who gave pain a Bible and just said, here's a simple way that shows you I care. Maybe you bring somebody a cupcakes or a meal or or do something to show that you care about them. You're praying for them and God works in your heart to care for them, and then you share Jesus with them. You have to tell them about Jesus, of the good news, of what Jesus has done for you. So we want to pray, we want to care and we want to share. Would you say those words with me so that you remember them with me? So ready, one, two, three, pray, care, share. Say it again, pray, care, share. One more time. I like it. Good a job. So how how do you share Jesus? You're praying, you're caring. You get to that moment, you know, you feel like all weird and side of you they're like staring at you. You're like you go to church, yeah, Oh, tell me about your church, okay, like, tell me what you believe in Jesus. And now it's like, oh my goodness, I don't know what to say. I want to give you three things you can say in that moment. Okay, the first one is as simple as the ABC's. So how do you become a Christian? ABC's a admit that you're a sinner who needs a savior. That's the first thing you have...

...to do. I can't do it myself. I need Jesus. Admit that you're a sinner in need of a savior. Be believe that Jesus is the only savior available. Jesus came to this Earth to die on the cross the pay the penalty for your sin. He was buried and rose again the third day, and anyone who believes in him would have eternal life. Jesus is the only way. He made it possible to you, for you to have a right relationship with God and see, choose to follow Christ, to place your faith in him alone. Like that's what you got to do. That's the action you got to take. You got to choose to follow Jesus, to put your faith in him, not in anything else, but in Jesus, Christ alone, a be see, it's the simplest that. How about this one? It's called the three circles method. You start with, isn't our world messed up? Is Anyone agree that our world is a little messed up right now? Yeah, I don't think you have to convince anybody of this. Right, it's just like our world, right, our world, all right. So then you say, but that's not the way it's supposed to be. Like when God created this world, it was good and it was right and it was the way it was supposed to be. So what happened? Like, how did we go from good to like today? What happened? Well, Sin Happened, and sin is when we put ourselves before God, when we do it our own way. And Adam and even the garden, they chose to disobey God. They decided that they were going to take it into their own hands and as a result of that, the whole world was infected and effected by Sin, and that's why it's broken. But God love the world so much that he sent Jesus to this Earth, where you don't have to stay broken anymore. Jesus, perfect God man. He he died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He was buried and he rose again the third day, overcoming sin, overcoming death and making it possible for you to not have to stay in this broken world. But you know what, we like to choose all these other things to make us try and get out of our brokenness. We try to fill it with education. We think, all, if we just learn more than life would be better, we could find more success. Oh, I can find purpose and meaning in that. Oh, I'm going to start, I'm going to join a new religion, I'm going to I'm going to start going to church, I'm going to start praying and giving and doing stuff, and that's going to fix it. or or I'm going to take drugs and drink and just numb the pain, or try and fill it that way. And we fill our brokenness, we try and fix our brokenness with so many other things besides Jesus. And but Jesus is the only way. You can turn to him. You can believe in Jesus, and when you do, then he will help you grow and become more in line with God's perfect design and plan for your life and for the world. And that could be you. But there's only two kinds of people in this world, those that are following Jesus, that are right with God, and that are pursuing Christ and his perfect design, or those that are broken and living in that broken world? And which one are you? And then you pause and you wait for them to talk, which sometimes, if you're like me, is the hardest part. There's something inside of you that wants to fill all the awkward silence. And you ask somebody a question like that. Which one are you? Let them answer. Let them answer. I wish you all come in, sir, right now, but let them answer. The last one that I want to give...

...you is called the great exchange, and this one was kind of fun. I before we plant to connect this church, we, me and my wife, went to this thing called a church plant or assessment event in Ohio where they study you and see if you're good enough to plan a church or I don't something like that. Thank you for laughing. I like it. And one of the things that they do at this event is they make you share the gospel with somebody. It's like here, here, you want to plan a church, you don't know how to share the Gospel, right. So you're in a room with this person. It's awkward, right, you're like role playing, you're like to look sure the Gospel with me, you know, and so I think at that point. I don't even know what I said, you know, but I'm always I'm always like hey, I want to make it practical for the person. So doing a role play thing. It's just silly, but you make the most of it. And at the end of this little thing it's like it's good to have a certain like one that you could teach your church and all this stuff. And I was like okay, fine, and the guy said what about this great exchange things like Oh, yeah, that sounds good. So so, anyway, for some reason this is always kind of stuck in my mind. I think it's a great explanation of the Gospel and I saw it kind of illustrated this way this week and that's how I'm going to give it to you in a second. So, row three, twenty three, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Again, you don't have to convince anybody of that, right, you just watch the news and it's like Oh, okay, yeah, something's not right. Okay, and left to themselves, Romans six hundred and twenty three says for the wages of sin is death. So if nothing changes, right, if we're just fallen and nothing changes. It's never going to get better. It's just death is just going to get worse, it's just going to fall apart, as just going to end. It's just going to be frustrating and painful and horrible and eventually that's just what it's going to be. But of course Jesus is the Gift of God for for the wage of the sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Like, if you just believe and receive Jesus, then he comes and forgives you of your sin and he redeems you, he restores you, he makes you right with God. And that is what this next verse says. You could be made right with God's Second Corinthians Five, twenty one. It's God made him, Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. So basically what that says is Jesus, who was perfect, became sin, he took on our sin and he died on the Cross to pay the penalty for it, so that when we believe in him, we don't have to be left in our own sinful state, but we can be made right with God. That's the great exchange. Jesus takes our sin and he gives us his perfection. And don't you want that? I mean, it's just a believe and receive kind of thing. It's a I am choosing to believe you, Jesus, when you say that you are taking my sin. You have taken care of my sin and you are giving me eternal life. And there's nothing I need to do, there's nothing you can do to earn it. I'm just receiving what you've already made possible for me. So those are just three things that you could do. And guess what, you won't wake up one day and know all of these Little Gospel presentations and, you know, be an expert at them all. That's why you have to work hard at them. Colossians one hundred and twenty nine and says that is why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ, mighty power that works within me. Paul says you got to work at it, you got to fight for it, you gotta you got to go after it and you got to go after it hard. These are athletic terms. Any of you watch the Olympics? Swimming, drag and feel. Yeah, I saw this on social media and I thought it was just hilarious and I wish they would do it. You know how they have like eight lanes in...

...a swimming or track and field. They should add a ninth lane. And for the Ninth Lane it's like they pick up the phone and call random number and say, hey, you're chosen to compete in this event today, so show up, you know, get to hop on a plane, it's already provided. Come, come to the Olympics, get in the pool and you're swimming two laps against these Olympic swimmers. And the reason I just think that's amazing is because we're watching the screen and these guys are so close. I mean it's like ten of a second right, and you're like they're not going that fast, no way, like, I'm a pretty good swimmer. I mean I could get in the pool. I got hold my own you know. And so if you bring that like random Joe in right, put him in the pool with them and then you raise and it's like up and back right, those Olympians are going to be done and whatever. It is forty some seconds and like you're not even going to be halfway done. The first lap and it's like, how do you get that good? How do you get that good, the best in the world at what you do? You work really hard. You show up at the pool every single day and you swim a lot all day, every day. You work so hard, you work at it, you train for you eat the right way, you exercise, you every your whole life is built around this idea that this is who I am and I'm going to go after it with everything I got. And that's the image that Paul gives us, is that we have to work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ mighty power that works within me. See, it's a both and type of thing. If you try and do it all in your own strength, all in your own power, you're going to fail. It's going to wear you out, is going to blow you up, it's not going to go well, and that's why you work so hard and you trust in God's power to give you what you need to help you to do it. You don't just sit there and hope God's going to do all the work, and you just don't do it all and leave him behind and trust in all your strength. It's both of those things together. That's where the power really comes from. It's Christ working in you. It's going to cause you to pray more than you've ever prayed before, to step out in faith into places that you've never gone and believe that God's going to be there with you. And so what is the goal in all of this? We share our faith. What is the goal in doing it? Paul tells us the goal is to present them to God perfect in their relationship to Christ. That's the goal. The word perfect in the Greek, translated here in the English, is a little hard to translate into English. Sometimes it's translated as perfect, other times it's mature, but it's this idea of being made complete. You're not going to ever be perfect on this side of heaven, you know, we're all going to sin, we're all going to fall short all the time, but there is something about being with God, right with God, that makes you whole or right complete with God. I found this little definition and that talks about what that means. It says you can be complete and undivided in the way in which a person, with all of one's positive and negative attributes, is oriented towards God or towards Christ, and I just think that's so cool it regardless. You bring all of who you are, all of your good stuff, all of your not so good stuff, and it's all moving in the direction to follow Christ together, and that's sort of what it means to be whole. So one of the goals in starting connect US church is that we would help you to do this. Sometimes, in my experience with church, it's like you do this, you do it, you you share Jesus with your friends. You do it, you know, go ahead, you know. Why haven't you done that? Where's your...

...where's everybody? Where is everyone? And sometimes that's the way it kind of comes off. And what we said from the very beginning at connect US church is that we want to help you do what God is doing in your life. Like, if God wants you to share your faith, which she absolutely does, right, we just read this Paul's like share your faith in Jesus, okay, then our church is designed to help you to do that. And the place where this happens is after the service. I'm going. It happens everywhere, but we have created these specific groups of people to help you do these things. And so if you want to evangelize more, if you want to share Jesus with some ID. I invite you to join us at our first step group, because that is designed for people who are far from God. Maybe they're not Christians yet, and they are invited to come there and they want to share their stories, share what they believe, and you can share the gospel with them right then and there, you know, and they might believe in it. And then we want to celebrate their baptism, which was awesome. We did that for the first time a couple months ago. Wasn't that great? Yeah, that was so cool that we got to celebrate our BAPTISISM. I love to celebrate some more baptisms pretty soon. So that'd be that'd be really cool. But we've created this group that you could come to, you could share your faith, you can invite your friends to and the whole purpose of this group is to facilitate these types of conversations where we can get to know you, answer your questions, you know, point you to Jesus and then, you know, if you either come to faith in Jesus or you are already a believer in Jesus, then you get kicked on the group too, which is we want to help you grow in your faith. And so how do you become complete or mature in your faith in Jesus? Right, you don't just come to faith in Jesus and then you like never go to church again. Right. That's not that's not how it works. You got to grow in your faith. You there's still more questions to ask, there's still more things that you're wrestling with and growing with and sin that you're defeating and learning how to overcome and how to trust God more in this particular situation and all the above. And so that's what the second group is all about. And we want to get you connected into groups of people, relationships with people where you can do that together in community. And so that's the second group. The third group is about discovering your gifts and ability and serving. We talked about that a little bit earlier this morning, and we want to help you, help you figure out where, where God has gifted you, what options and opportunities you have to get involved in to make a difference in the serve. And so we haven't started that third group Ness right just yet, but if you wanted to be a part of it, then we would start it right. We find a leader and we make it happen and then the fourth group is we want to help you turn around and give what God has given you to somebody else, bring them along in the process. Influence, use your influence with other people. How do you help them come along in the faith or develop, you know, their maturity in their faith and come alongside of you and then replace yourself? And so I want, I want you to see, and why I rehearse all of that to you, other than just it's always good to be on our mission and on our vision for what we're trying to accomplish, but is I want you to see that all of these things, they're on the screen together. It's one big thing. It's one big program is a scary wordness, but it's not necessarily a program which is all one big thing. And sometimes you ask the question. Well, evangelism and discipleship, how do they go together right? What does it mean to read somebody who's not a Christian yet, and what does it mean to help them train up to become mature in their faith? I think those two are more related than a lot of times Christians and churches think they are. And so when does discipleships start? As it's the moment I meet you, and now it starts online. It starts when they visit your website or here about your church or something, and wherever they're...

...at in their steps, in their faith in Jesus, whether they're a million steps away from believing in Jesus or whether they're already a Christian and they've got a next step to go to ministry and travel somewhere else and be a missionary or something. Right there is a next step for them to take, and that is why our mission is to connect you to God's next step for your life, wherever one of those steps is going to be. Like. You don't have to be a Christian in order to attend church. In fact, our church is designed for Non Christians to come, to be welcome, to be cared for, it to be loved, have a space for them to share whatever they want to say and point them to Jesus, and we want to help connect them to God's next step for their life. And we want to help you do that. And so, as we always say, we want to connect you to God's next step for your life. So would you stand with me as we close our time together in a order of prayer. Lord Jesus, thank you that you love the world so much. Lord, Jesus, help us to love our world so much too. Lord, I just am challenged, have always been challenged by those words from pain. How much do you have to hate somebody not to tell them about Jesus? Oh God, I pray that our love for people would increase in this moment, that we would just know and have the wisdom that you give us to know how to engage people, how to tell them about Jesus, how to invite them to something, how to connect with them. Maybe it's showing up at their door and just sharing the gospel. Maybe it's inviting them over for a meal, maybe it's thrown a party, inviting the neighborhood, maybe it's an invitation to church. Lord, I just pray that today that you would give us wisdom to know how to engage our community, how to engage our family, how to engage our friends and our coworkers. And, Lord, we believe, I declare today, we believe that you will save people as we share the Gospel, and we believe that this church will be a place where people can get connected to God's next step for their life and grow in their maturity in faith. We believe that is true and Lord. Maybe live our lives like it is in Jesus name, Amen,.

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