[00:00:00] Well, good morning, everyone. And, uh, one more time. Welcome to central. Welcome wherever you are. Welcome to our online community. People like Michelle in Utah. I'm so glad that you're with us. And again, we got all of this stuff going on and it's really, really cool. But the greatest thing is when we get to be in the same place and together as the church or wherever you are, do church together.
[00:00:20] Okay. That's my plea. Hey, before we get going any further today, I just want to. We had a party on all five of our campuses last night. And if you, if you were in any bit involved with the fall festival, I want to ask that we would say thank you to the many, many, many people who gave up their night to make that possible for our family.
[00:00:40] So what can we just say, thank you. It was a blast. It was so much fun and it could never. But if, if people weren't willing to serve, like they were willing to serve. So thank you for that. So why don't you do this? Why don't you right now? Go ahead and open up your Bibles to the book of acts. Just find the book of acts and we're going to be there.
[00:00:58] And I'll explain a little bit about where, you know, kind of what that is in just a moment while you're finding that. I want to tell you what we're going to do next week. We're going to begin a brand new series next week. And I, I know I say this all the time, but I always get excited. We sorta. Because we plan these things because the content is just something that's like so compelling to want to talk about.
[00:01:17] So we're going to begin a series next week called on the run and it's going to be a four week series in the book of Jonah and it Dona has four chapters and we're going to take one chapter a week. So if you want to get a jump on it, read Jonah chapter one this week that the questions we're going to wrestle with is what do you do when you, since God is calling.
[00:01:38] Uh, or literally asking you to do something, does the thought of that excite you or does it absolutely. And if you, since God wanted you to do something, would you be inclined to want to obey or inclined to want to disobey? And Jonah is just a case study in that, and it is a fascinating book. And so we're going to enjoy that next week.
[00:01:59] All right, now, today, what we're going to do is we're going to finish off the series. We have been in the God within is a series that we've been talking about the holy spirit. And in fact, today I'm going to finish what I started last week, which is what difference does the holy spirit. I mean, could we do without the holy spirit, if the holy spirit didn't show up, would it make much difference?
[00:02:20] We're wrestling with. And again, we'll continue to dive into that. Now here's the deal though. If you haven't been here for the last several weeks, there's zero chance. I can make this make sense today without some background. So if you'll allow me, let me just backtrack. Okay. So two weeks ago I asked the question, how close do you feel like God is to you?
[00:02:40] Like how close is God? I talked about the fact that in the beginning and the book of Genesis. It was Adam and Eve and God in the garden. It was incredibly intimate, very, very close sin in the waiver, abelian entered, and then God drove them out of the garden. And then there was this huge distance between people and God, you get to the time of Moses.
[00:03:00] And God said I've had enough of the distance. And so God basically showed up on the top of Mount Sinai and I showed you all this. And Moses was invited to come to into the rumble because God is in the rumble and the thunder and the lightening and the smoke and fire and all that on the top of the mountain, all the people had to say at the base of the mountain, but Moses got to go up and in that process, God gave him the 10 commandments and that look, it, here's what it's going to take.
[00:03:26] And so they began to work on how do we get close again? Well, then what happened is God God said, look, let's change this. That's I want to move into the neighborhood, but it was a portable building cause they were traveling around. So it was like a mobile home. I would call the tabernacle. It was a tent that moved around wherever the people of God went and God went with them.
[00:03:49] So God said, I'm in your midst, in the tent as you go through history and I'm just walking you through the old Testament, you get to king David who lived in a palace in Jerusalem, looked out his window and saw God's living in a tent. And he's said that's wrong. And so he said, I'm going to build a house for God.
[00:04:06] So his son Solomon built the temple that was stood in Jerusalem until it was destroyed many years later. And that's where God was. He was in a room in the back of the building called the holy of Holies, the most holy place. And if you needed to find God, that's where he is as close as you could get that building.
[00:04:23] That's how close you are to God. And God goes, okay, here's a problem. Whenever you start to institutionalize faith, you come up with. And why that, I mean that you get rules and rituals and rights and everything goes weird. Okay. And that's exactly what happened to all of these rules and God's going, that's not what I'm about.
[00:04:43] I'm about a relationship. So God, in Jesus now you're all the way to the new Testament of the Bible. God became a man and walked among us. That's how close God wanted to get. And so Emmanuel God with us, Christmas incarnation, God becomes. And God's go and see, this is how close. And it was awesome, except that in Jesus, he was limited to time and space, just like you're limited.
[00:05:09] He was fully human and fully God, but being fully human, he had the limitations that you and I have. You can only be at one time in one place. And so. Jesus says, look, I'm going to go up to heaven. This is the resurrection, but I'm going to send my spirit. The holy spirit of God is going to come and he's going to live in you.
[00:05:32] Not here's all you got to understand. There were very intimate man and God in the beginning syndrome apart. Great, great, great distances. They get closer and closer and closer in Jesus and Jesus. It's good that I go away because when I go, the spirit will come and together in us, we're going to become the temple of God that when we come together two or three gathered together, we become literally where the place where God dwells.
[00:05:58] And, and that was the message of two weeks ago. Now, the last week, what we talked about was we got a little more personal and I asked you the question, what is your. What is it that you're known? That's what you are. That's what you do. Everybody who knows. You knows you, that you love that what's your passion.
[00:06:15] And then I asked you, what's your purpose when your life is done, what do you want to have done with your life? And then I asked the question, what was Jesus's passion and what was his purpose? What folks his passion was you. It was. And his purpose was to bring you and me and them home to, to restore a right relationship with everyone, with our father in heaven.
[00:06:41] Now that might be a lot for you to get your brain around, but that's why Jesus came because when you're broken in your relationship with God, the Bible refers to that as we're just we're, we're just wondering. In fact, Jesus very clearly declared his mission. And this is in Luke 1910. And he said this to the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
[00:07:04] And if you have you, if you have ever felt like miles away from God, the word loss is a good word to describe the feeling. I just, I have no idea where I'm going. I have no idea what which is up. So Jesus came now here's the question. If Jesus came. So that you, and if you're here today and you go I'm miles away from God, he came so that you would understand your dad wants you home.
[00:07:29] You're welcome. And home, he wants you to come to heaven. He wants you to spend eternity with him, but how in the world is he going to get close to you? How is he going to get close to you? How. Well, that's what we talked about last week. And then I put this idea up and I don't want to remind you of this idea.
[00:07:49] Okay, listen carefully. If you are a Christian, if you are right with God, this world that you're living in, and you might say, man, this is like, hell, this is as close to hell as you're ever going to be in your entire life. If you're right with God as jacked up, messed up as this world is this, that is just going to be for you.
[00:08:11] However, If you're not in a right relationship with God, this is the closest to heaven. This jacked up, messed up world. It's the closest to heaven you'll ever get. And that's not acceptable to your father on your behalf, you are loved so much. It's like, no, I'm not, that's not okay with me. And so he, uh, he wants to get close.
[00:08:34] He wants you to come home to how's he going to do? So let's take the idea that we've talked about last week. If you're a Christian, the farthest from hell you're ever going to the closest to hell you're ever going to be. And if you're not walking with God, the closest to heaven. And let me take that idea and take it a little further, because God now lives in you listen carefully.
[00:08:54] It's important you, because God now lives in you. You might actually be the closest a lost person ever gets to heaven. You. You might be the closest because God's in you, the closest the person ever actually gets to the person of God is in you. And if you're a normal, that oughta just make you sweat a little bit, you gotta be going.
[00:09:17] What? Like all of a sudden that seems like a whole lot of responsibility. I mean, I mean, I understand like, okay, so all of a sudden my life then just took out a whole different purpose, a whole different demands. Like all of a sudden it's like, it really matters what I'm doing every single day. It matters what I do at home.
[00:09:33] It matters what I do at work. It matters what I do at school. It matters what I do at the gym. It matters what I do in the neighborhood. It matters because if I'm the closest person somebody might get to God because God's in me. Not, I'm not God, but God's in me. If I'm the closest, I'd better pay attention to the opportunities that God's presenting, because there could be something much bigger at play than what I.
[00:09:56] Now, listen, if you're normal, you're going, oh, I don't know that I want that respect. What if I blow it, man? What if they ask me questions and I don't have answers? Well, I mean, what if I let them down and disappoint them? What if I disappoint God? And pretty soon we can psych ourselves out and get pretty frightened.
[00:10:17] So last week I said this, what if you took that thing, which you are so in love with doing that passion? What if you took that passion that you have that heart for that, and you've proficient you're you got it. You love doing that, whatever that is assuming it's holy. All right. What if you just gave that to God and said, God, just use this for your purpose.
[00:10:41] If your purpose is to help people reestablish a relationship, God, I'll give you my passion to merge the marry, your purpose, what could happen. And again, if you, if you're thinking about. What I'm trying to say is this, what if you entered into a partnership with God, for the sake of helping people come home, you just showed up as you and God just showed up as him.
[00:11:03] You show up as you and God shows up as him and together for the benefit of somebody coming home. God uses that relationship. What if, what if you know, it's interesting. Most of us, when we start thinking about I I'm supposed to represent God in any capacity, we get scared out of our. And so Jesus said, okay, I want to explain something to you.
[00:11:25] You show up as you all show up in the spirit and to our fears are well, what if they asked me a question and I don't know, Jesus says, I'll tell you the answer. I told you the sponsor of a weeks. I'll show you the answer. What if, what if they, and all of a sudden our panic sets in and we begin to get the center.
[00:11:42] What did they, what did they, they, they ask a question, but you talked about it, but I forgot the. You know what Jesus says. He goes, I'm going to remind you of that. Don't worry about it. Uh, what did they ask me question? I haven't even heard of the answer to, I'll tell you the answer. I'll supply it. And he says all this is absolutely crazy.
[00:12:01] Now I want to explain something to you. If this take this for whatever it's worth, I don't know what in your life you've done that you would say created your heart to pound like major, like, like he was just went. Wow. That was a thrill. I don't have any idea what it is. Uh, my greatest unfulfilled one by the way, is to fly like a fighter jet.
[00:12:21] That's never happened, but you know what has happened? I've been able to jump out of airplanes. I've done that. A bungee jumped, I propelled off cliffs. I've, uh, shot rapids. You know, I've written proud every ride in amusement parks. I was a youth pastor for a lot of years. Okay. I've done a lot of things that have taken my breath away.
[00:12:39] That's the point, but you know what? None of that. None of that compares to helping somebody come home to God, none of it, because it only lasts for a fraction of time. Like, like if you jump out of an airplane, what do you got five minutes before you're done. And then she went again, you know, five minutes to repeat the thrill.
[00:13:00] When you see somebody come home, there's nothing. And God goes, I want you to experience that. I want you to experience that and. Not for five minutes. You know, bungee jumping is maybe a minute, not for a minute. I want you to experience that for a lifetime, for any Trinity. Cause that's, what's at stake. Okay.
[00:13:25] Now against all that backdrop, this is going to make sense. We're going to go to acts chapter one. We're going to go to acts chapter one. So if you haven't found that you've got to find that and I'm going to move really, really quick. And I have not even begun to go over. Okay. So here's what I need you to understand.
[00:13:41] Acts. The book of acts is the sequel to the biography of Jesus written by Luke. Now in your new Testament, Matthew, mark, Luke, and John, or for the biographies of the life of Jesus by four different guys. Matthew mark, Luke, and John. Those were their names. Acts is volume two to the gospel of Luke. It's the same.
[00:14:05] So he's going to end Luke, and then he's going to pick up the story and act in fact, just to show you how this works. Let me, let me read something to you. Let me, let me show you this. The last words, not that very last, there's like two more sentences in Luke after what I'm about to read, but this is the end of the book of Luke.
[00:14:24] All right. So Jesus said, then he says of Jesus that he opened up his minds so they could understand the scriptures. He told them. Jesus is speaking here at the end of Luke. This is what is written. The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. And repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
[00:14:46] You are witnesses of these things. I am going to sin you what my father has promised, but stay until the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Now, let me tell you why this is so sick. When you read the end of the book of Luke, you realize that these followers of Jesus are scared out of their wits.
[00:15:07] These guys are holdups. I mean, they're like the crying. I mean, they're literally, it's a pathetic scene that they betrayed them. They've denied them. They're cowering and fear. And Jesus appears in what I just showed you. And he says, guys, it's going to be okay. This was all planned. This was all supposed to happen this way so that people can come home to.
[00:15:29] I got to do something with their sin is all, it's all. It's okay. Right now, go to the book of acts, go to chapter one. I want to show you verses one to five. If you just paid attention, he's going to repeat in a huge part. What he just said. In other words, what he's doing is look like I just did. When I said, if you're going to understand where we're going to go here, I got to make sure you're tracking with where we.
[00:15:53] He ends Luke. And then he begins acts by saying, Hey, if you're going to understand where we're going to go, you got to make sure you understand where we've been. And he takes us. So look at, look at acts chapter one. I'll just read verses 1, 1, 1 to five, but again, I'm going to go quick. So he keeps sharp.
[00:16:09] Okay. In my former book, what, what former book Luke? In my former book book, uh, the gospel of Luke, the author, this is a guy he's writing into. At the office I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven. Volume one was the birth all the way to the resurrection.
[00:16:33] After giving instructions through the holy spirit, to the apostles, he had chosen after his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days. They crucified him 40 days. And spoke about the kingdom of God on one occasion.
[00:16:52] This is the end of Luke. While he was eating with them. He gave them this command, do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift. My father promised which you have heard me speak about what gift is coming. The holy spirit, you stay here. You stay tight. Don't go anywhere, wait for this for John baptized with water.
[00:17:13] But in a few days you will be baptized with the holy. So you guys gathered together cause that's the church gathered together and the spirit of God's going to come and he's going to do something incredible. Look at verse eight, acts one eight says Jesus said it this way. These are the last words of Jesus by the way.
[00:17:31] But you look at you, you will receive. Uh, when the holy spirit comes upon you, power is Greek word dunamis, which is where we get the English word, dynamite. This incredible force is going to come within you. That's going to have an explosive, uh, element to it. It's going to do remarkable things, powerful things, but you'll receive power when the holy spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth witnesses for.
[00:18:00] For the sake of helping people find their way home to their loving father, who they have not thought about as a loving father for maybe decades, I'm going to give you the power to get this thing done. And he says, just get ready for it. Now jump over to chapter two. We read this in our worship last week in chapter two, but let me, let me go a little, a little bit slower here and make sure you see what's actually happened here.
[00:18:23] Okay. Acts chapter two. Look at verse. When the day of Pentecost came, let's stop right there. What's a day of Pentecost, Pinta, 50, 50 days after the Passover. When was Jesus crucified at the Passover? 50 days later now he appeared for 40 days. 50 days later, this is going to happen. All right. Well, when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
[00:18:50] Why are they all together in one place? Because Jesus said, stay together in one place, gather together, this is how this works. Be together. Don't be on your own. There'll be out there in your own orbit. Be together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house, where they were sitting.
[00:19:14] They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on Eastern. What's a tongue of. Picture a campfire in which you got a little bit of a bonfire going, and I want you to just kind of picture those flames that are just shooting up. Just picture that those are tongues of fire. And these tongues of fire came to rest on the people.
[00:19:34] What yet? I'm just reading it here. Uh, they, they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire separating, uh, separated and came to rest on each of them. Now watch this, watch this. All of them were filled with the holy spirit and to began to speak in other tongues. As the spirit enabled them. W what? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:53] Hang on. Okay. Now there were staying in Jerusalem. God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. Why, why are these God-fearing Jews in Jerusalem? Because it's Pentecost. It's a major festival. It's like our Easter season and it's like Christmas, it's a festival and people have traveled. Where did they come?
[00:20:12] Okay. Well, you'll find that in a minute. Now, when they heard this sound whatsoever, this whooshing sound like when a crowd came together in B wilderness, they, because did you hear that? And then they say, yeah, but that, even the weird thing, the weird thing is this, because each one heard their own language being spoken, utterly amazed.
[00:20:33] They asked aren't these, all these people. I mean, the people that were, I mean, aren't those, aren't all of these who are speaking Galileo. Now you might not understand that slight, but you know what they were saying, are these a bunch of redneck Hicks? I mean, aren't these really a bunch of Backwoods losers because Jesus called these ordinary people.
[00:20:55] And now they're just doing this thing that defies explanation, they're speaking their tongues. And these people came from all this great distance to be in Jerusalem and nobody knows their language, but now these Backwoods people through this thing, the spirits are doing, I'm doing it now. Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
[00:21:16] Parthians means Elamites residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Kappa dosha, Pontus Asia, Phrygia Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya near Reen visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, cretins, and Arabs everybody's there. And everybody is able to understand what's being said to them because the spirit of God has come down and.
[00:21:41] And given somebody who is a Backwoods follower of Jesus, the ability to do ministry in Jesus's name, amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, what does this mean? This is bizarre. This is doesn't happen. What does it mean? Look at this explanation, somehow ever made fun of them and said they've had too much wine.
[00:22:02] They're drunk. Let me ask you a question. When you're drunk, do you speak eloquently in foreign languages? Just. I don't just so you know. Okay. Are we clear? It doesn't happen? And that's our best explanation. We have no way to explain it. I think they're drunk, which is when you're grasping for straws. None of this makes any sense.
[00:22:23] Okay. Stay with, I want to keep showing you what happens. Let's look at verses 14 to 16, where did we leave? He had betrayed to me. He had denied Jesus little servant girl came up to, Hey, Hey, you, you, you are a follower. I am not another little servant. Hey, you, you were one is I swear. I was not. Hey, you even speak like a backwards Galilean I swear to God, I don't know the man.
[00:22:48] That's where we left them. All right. And then he's in that room with the church and the spirit of God whooshes in tons of. And then Peter, I want you to see this look at verse 14. Then Peter stood up with the 11, raised his voice. Hey, listen to me and address the crowd fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem.
[00:23:17] Let me explain this to you. Listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drinking. As you suppose it's only nine in the morning. No, this is what was spoken by the prophet. Joel. Now, if we have time, I'd take you to Joel. I don't have time. He's going. This is exactly what God said was going to happen.
[00:23:38] His spirit was going to come and remarkable. Things were going to begin to happen, insight, the gathering. All right. And so then you get that go down. Verse 22, he changes now he gets through the story of Joel and then. Basically, what was the purpose of Joel saying the Spirit's going to come look at verse 22, 21, and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be say, what's the purpose of all of that.
[00:24:04] So salvation can come. That's why that's going to happen. Now look at verse 22 fellow Israelites. This is a feeder. Fellow Israelites, listen to this. Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God, to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you and through him and you yourself know this and this man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan.
[00:24:28] Wasn't a fluke, wasn't an accident. Jesus wasn't murdered and nobody was there to watch out for him. This was the plan. So you could come. So your sin could be paid for. So God's deliberate plan and for knowledge, and you, you guys, with the help of wicked men put him to death by nailing him on the cross.
[00:24:50] But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death for it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Peter is just pounding it out, man. Peter is like, where did you get this boldness? What did you get? These words? How's all this coming to you. That's exactly what God said would happen.
[00:25:08] I got ya. I got ya. You just, do you just do your thing? I got ya. I'm there. I gotta go farther. Okay. I gotta show you this. What's the next one. I want to show you. Look down at verse 36. I got to finish this 36. Now. I love this. Therefore, all Israel. Hey Peter. This the sermon of his lifetime. Therefore let all Israel be assured of this, that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified.
[00:25:35] Both Lord and Messiah. And when the people heard this, all of these cynics, all of these are just drunk. All of these, when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and they said to Peter and the other apostles brothers, what do we do? What do you do when you realize what you've done is you crucified God in the flesh.
[00:25:57] What do you do about that? How do you fix that? Peter replied, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and catch it. We look, you will receive the gift of the holy spirit. See it. The promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord, our God will call well fat chance.
[00:26:26] This sermon is going to make any difference. With many other words, he warned them and he pleaded with them, save yourself from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted his message were baptized. And about 3000 were added to their number this day. Can I stop right here and ask you a simple question?
[00:26:47] What chance did Peter have a preaching, a sermon that 3000 men plus women plus children? What chance. Paul, what possible credibility does this redneck from Galilee have that's going to carry this crowd zero, but when God shows up and all of a sudden does his thing and all of a sudden stuff's happening, you can't explain.
[00:27:14] Then, then you start going. I don't know, man. There's tongues of fire. Now, people going what's that all about? And God's going, I showed up. That's what this is about. He is, he they'd have no credibility if God didn't show. And nor would you and nor would I, but that says how show up? Oh, show up. Will you show up?
[00:27:35] He's passionate about people coming home. Will you show up the people that were convicted? They were repentant that were responsive and you go, yeah, but that's just a fluke. I mean, that will never happen again. Folks that happens all through the rest of the book, I just don't have time in chapter four, Peter and John.
[00:27:54] Our teaching and all kinds of people are coming to faith and the authority. So the Jewish leaders are going, we're going to shut these guys up. We got to shut them up. I owe the whole town of Jerusalem. City of Jerusalem is going to believe, and we don't shut these guys up and quit and get them to quit talking about Jesus.
[00:28:11] Well, let me, let me show you what happened here. That was just through this real quick. This is all of chapter four of acts, but verses 18 to 20, I'll put it up so you can read. Uh, they called them in again, the authorities, the Jewish leaders to Peter and John, they, they called him in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
[00:28:31] But Peter and John replied, I love this, uh, which is right in God's eyes to listen to you or to listen to him. That was a great answer because you're telling us to shut up. He said, uh, Uh, help them come home. Um, you be the judges as for us, just so you're clear. We, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard, and they just continue to try to threaten them.
[00:29:00] And they were just undaunted, just not even like, not in the least bit intimidated what happened. You will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon. You. And you're going to be my witnesses. You're going to testify for me. Well, I want, I want to do that for you. I want to be like that for God. How do I get there?
[00:29:21] Let's look at what he said. Go back to acts chapter two, verse 38. If you're, if you don't have it, let me show it to you here. Peter replied, repent and be baptized every one of you for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the holy spirit. I don't know how to explain this, but it's just, it's a cool.
[00:29:40] But God wants to live in you and it's a gift and you have God in you, the God within you. You're not God, God is in you and any, and he's there. He's there to help you. He's there to comfort you. He's there to guide you is there to lead you. And it's a gift and I've got to, I've got to move faster and you don't just get the holy spirit you and what the holy spirit does when he comes in you, he comes with his hands full again.
[00:30:10] He's got all kinds of things for you, from God, for the sake of the purpose of God, bringing people home. He's not going to leave you alone. He's not going to leave you abandoned. He's going to give you what you need so that you can do what he's calling you to do. You just got to receive it. You got to receive it.
[00:30:30] I want to jump over to first Corinthians 12. Let me show you this. There are different kinds of gifts. But the same spirit distributes them this holy spirit. When he comes in, he gives gifts. All right, there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord, there are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone, it is the same God at work.
[00:30:55] Now catch this line now to each one, to you and you, and you, you get a gift, then you get a gift, you get a gift and you get a gift. You. Now to each one, the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common. Good. And I need you to see those last four words. You are gifted by God. Why? For what costs for the common.
[00:31:23] Good. What does that mean? Here's what it means your gifts were not given to you for your. And I just plead with you. Stop, think, think, think your gifts that God gives you are not for you. They're for the common good they're for us. So whatever gifts God's given me, they didn't give him to me. For me. He gave him to me for you for the common good.
[00:31:51] There's no one here. Who's not got a gift. There's no one here is who's a received Jesus. Okay. There's no one here. Who's not needed. There's no one here who doesn't have a purpose, a place. All right. In fact, you're gifted so that you have a place to serve and you have a purpose to serve. I got to show you one other passage.
[00:32:15] That's a real important, Romans 12, four. Now each us just as each of us, you, you may. Has one body with many members. Okay. This is one body I got, I got this, I got this arm. I got this one. I got this leg. I got this leg. I got this year. I got this. I got many members. All right. Uh, for, just as each of us has one body with many members and these members do not all have the same function.
[00:32:38] My hand doesn't do what my foot does. So in Christ, we. Though many form one body and each member belongs to all the others for the common good. The church. When it comes together, becomes the temple of the holy spirit. When we gather, God says, I'm going to be there with you. I'm going to show up big time.
[00:33:01] Um, uh, each member belongs to all the others. We have different games. According to the grace given to each of us. Now, if your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. If it isn't to encourage, then give encouragement. If it is giving, then give generously.
[00:33:21] If it is to lead, do it diligently. If it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Now I want to say this. Um, uh, let me, how do I say this? We're all called the gift. Not just those who have the gift of giving, but if you've ever met somebody, who's got the gift of giving. They blow your mind. We're all called to serve.
[00:33:43] But if you've ever met anyone, who's got the gift of serving. They'll blow your mind. We're all called to tell people about Jesus. But if you've ever met, a person has got the gift of events, it'll blow your mind. That's the point that the, that God just gives people. But can I tell you what ha what happens?
[00:33:58] Hey, can I tell you, and again, I gotta do this very quick. I could preach a sermon on each one of these. Can I say what goes wrong? Can I tell what goes back? Let me tell you about four things that could happen. Number one is gift grading, gift grading, one's gift grading. You got your AA gifts and your B gifts and your C gifts.
[00:34:15] You know, you got the really good ones, the useful ones, the ones that everybody can see, and then you got the, the, the lesser, they don't seem as important and they're not as visible. So we can do that, which leads to the second problem, which is gift envy. Like, um, man, I don't want what I got. I want what they got.
[00:34:34] I want what they got and you look at what you're being given and you're discontent with what God gave you. And you're just, all your eyes are on somebody. If I was them, I could do something for God. If I was them. And you get frustrated with God, because you feel like he screwed up on you. And I'll tell you, I know this feeling.
[00:34:53] I am just telling you all right. I believe that God's given me the gift of teaching. I just knew you, you can disagree. You're free. I believe he's given me this, but you know what I want, I want. I want the gift of teaching and of seeing I've always wanted to get, if I could sing, oh, you be in for such, come on, God, help me help you.
[00:35:14] Give me the gift of singing. I want to be able to sing and God goes, oh, you'd be horrific. I couldn't put up with you. Is probably what he's saying. You'd be so Eagle filled. You'd be so full of yourself. God, if I could, I'd be preaching and I'd just be able to, and I can't sing. Okay. But man, if I could sing, you know, and, and, and, and you sinner, you need to come home Desperado.
[00:35:39] Wouldn't that be awesome.
[00:35:43] God goes, get your eyes off other people's gifts here. Here's the third gift. Stealing, stealing. Yeah. Gift stealing. You know what that is? It's when you take what was given for our good and all you knew is use that for your own. You misappropriate it. So if you have the gift of leadership, you you're an awesome leader, but you know where you never lead.
[00:36:06] You don't ever give that gift back to God. And the church, you just lead, build your own thing. And everyone knows you're a leader, but it never gets used for the glory of God. It was not given to you for you. It was given to you for the common good. You want the fourth thing? We can do wrong with this.
[00:36:23] We'll call this knit gift neglect, gift neglect. Is when God gives you gifts and you don't even bother to notice, you don't even bother to open them who doesn't open up. Every one of their birthday presents, who doesn't open up every one of their Christmas president who doesn't open up every one of their wedding presence, who doesn't open up their gifts from God.
[00:36:49] A lot of people, a lot of people.
[00:36:56] I hope you've been wondering, why are these things piling up around him? As I've been talking this right here, tragically isn't too often a picture of the church. You got the word of God in the middle, the spirit of God, all around all the gifts had been distributed and a bunch of them have been left unopened for years.
[00:37:20] For years, they just land. And by the way, I've tried my hardest in this message, not to notice these things piling up because that's what we do. We just act like we don't see them. Yeah. God, I'm, I'm reading your word. I don't see any of this. I saw all of this as it was happening. I just was ignoring it. Try.
[00:37:41] Just try not to see, I don't know. I don't know what kind of gifts you like to receive. Um, a lot of people would go I'm I'm just good with a gift card. Just give me a gift card. That's a great gift. Can I tell you something about gift cards to make a point, you know, gift card? They say that $3 billion go unclaimed on gift cards every year, $3 billion that the industry gained, but no service was exchanged.
[00:38:11] No gift was given. No, uh, Sort of, uh, or package or inner someone say no product. Do you know that most gift cards expire in five years? That's a pretty sweet deal for industry. Don't you think for you to ignore what somebody gave you that I'm not talking about? Gift cards. I'm talking about the gifts of the spirit.
[00:38:36] What's the shelf life on the gift you were given. When does it expire? When God gave you that ability to do that thing. And you've so ignored it for so long. At what point does it just go? What's the point, Cal, open your gifts, open your gifts, receive what God has given you. You know why you're gifted, you know why God gifted you.
[00:39:06] So you have something to give to others. That's how you could be gifted. So you have something to give to others. Who's, uh, who's using their gifts around here. Well, I'm, I'm gonna share with you some that I know are. I'm going to close with this. I want you to pay attention. Now I'm going to explain this a very short list.
[00:39:34] Okay. This is not a long list. There's a short list. I just want to introduce you to some people that you might or might not be aware of. I want to introduce you to Kevin Spencer, Kevin Spencer. It's been serving everything he's been serving the four year olds. The four year olds. For 20 years. Yeah. W uh, thank you Kevin, 20 years.
[00:39:58] And, uh, you know what, a lot of people, uh, a lot of people's kids come to the shirts. Not, not because of me and care about me, but we're going there. Cause Kevin loves our kids and our kids love Kevin. So thank you, Kevin. That's awesome. Now you don't need to clap and cheer for every one of these. Cause I get it.
[00:40:14] I don't have time. Let me just go quickly. I want to tell you about Dennis from. Uh, you might see Dennis Rutherford around. He was an executive staff member, multiple companies, CEO of new vision health, CFO of tightened motorcycles, agility, communications, director of finance, Phoenix children's hospital.
[00:40:29] He's just been serving on like nine different teams over the past six years. He's been involved cause he's gifted and he's open to his gifts. I wanna introduce you to Eric Townsend lead leadership development for Intel's entire Salesforce sales team for the. He, um, he serves on the, on the Gilbert campus.
[00:40:50] He, he, he also for 12 years has taken care of homeless people through the acts of ministry of our church. I want to tell you about Jeremy tody. He's a director of a university is a doctor of education he's spent serving in production for the past 10 years. If you see my face right now, Jeremy tidy is the reason cause he's in the back.
[00:41:10] You just don't ever see him. He's just using his gifts for the, of. Tom Barsky has his own construction business makes them busy. Obviously he still made time to serve our students every single weekend. For the past 15 years, I thought about Julie Hartman. An executive director for chase bank served, uh, serves on like eight different teams has done.
[00:41:35] So for years, I can tell you about Vicky coast Pearson. She's known around the Gilbert campus for just having this incredible infectious smile and welcoming spirit. So last night at the castle bouncy house, just helping kids get in and out. Now here's the deal I'm going to stop here. If I didn't mention you don't take offense.
[00:41:59] Cause that's what could happen when I do what I just did. But you know what the point is. If we're obedient to God, we don't have. The highlight the ones who are using their gifts. The point is not to just celebrate the few it's to challenge you. Are you doing what God gave you gifts to do for his glory?
[00:42:20] And what would it take if you, if you would just dream about opening it up? What if God took your passion that you fell on? Oh, you don't even know why you love that, but he didn't. And then he just gifted you to be able to merge your passion with his purpose. And there's a piece of your life missing because you never took the time.
[00:42:41] What if you took the time? And I'm just talking about people who serve in the church, these people also serve as too many people, the community. Okay. So I gotta, I gotta finish here. Here's the last thought, please stay with me. What difference does the spirit make? All right. If you're here, if you're watching me, if you're online and you are a believer, if you're a believer, every one of us here as a believer is here simply because someone in our past was obedient and using their spiritual giftedness for the sake of ministry.
[00:43:22] Do you understand that if you're a faithful. Filled follower of Jesus. You are. So because someone in your past cared about you and they used their gifts for your purpose, they use it for your benefit. Easy. We experienced them, but God used them to reach us. You experienced them, but God used them to reach you.
[00:43:54] And the last thing I want to just put on his chart, Who's saying that about you. It's not because you can't, it's not because this like abilities that are so far back. No, no, no, no, no. God wants you in the costs of bringing people home. You, you show up as you open his gifts because he's shown up as him.
[00:44:20] That's the difference. The spirit of God banks. So God help us put this together. It's not heady. It's not theory. It's not stuff up in the clouds. It's not esoteric. It's not theory. It's not. And none of that, it's just, this is how this works. It's so practical. You, you love us. And you love people who are long way away from you and for your glory, we've been able to close the distance because somebody came alongside us and children.
[00:44:52] And then you simply called us into the game to put us on the field as an, I want you to do this for somebody else. We go, I can't, I don't have the ability and you come along and you'd all gift. You don't worry about it. I got it. But none of this will happen. If we neglect the gifts, God don't give us a jealousy and envy and neglect has given us a passion to understand our gifts.
[00:45:20] We're getting. For the sake of others, help us to see it. And I pray for this to happen in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you all very much.