What's Next 9/19
(Proverbs 29:18 KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish.
(Proverbs 29:18 NIV) Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint.
(Proverbs 29:18 MSG) If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
The Way of Life
(Psalm 16:11 NLT) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
(John 10:10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
My Ultimate Purpose
(John 17:18 MSG) In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.
(Acts 20:24 NCV) I don’t care about my own life. The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me—to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.
(Ephesians 2:10) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Acts 1:8) “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
I will never be satisfied making a dollar when my purpose is to make a difference.
1. Make a difference in Jerusalem (my world) – those closest to me.
(Mark 5:19 NCV) Go home to your family and friends. Tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.
(Proverbs 3:27-28 MSG) Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.
2. Make a difference in Judea and Samaria (beyond your world) – those close to me but different from me.
(1 Corinthians 9:22 TLB) Whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.
(Galatians 6:2 MSG) Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law.
3. Make a difference in the ends of the earth (in the whole world) – those far from me.
(Mark 16:15 NCV) Jesus said to His followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.”
Mark 10:29 LB) Jesus replied, “Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything... for love of Me and to tell others the Good News, who won’t be given back, a hundred times over...”
BIG Idea - For believers, knowing “What’s Next” is a critical question. Why? Because without vision or revelation of what God is doing and the part we have to play in it, we cast off restraint and ultimately perish.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In other words, a life without vision is empty, joyless, and unfulfilled. Furthermore, it’s fruitless, lawless, and ignores God’s plan to use us to reach others. Essentially, without vision, we’re either spiritually dead or dying. Remember, we are on a mission, not from God but with God, and it’s a Great Commission. It’s the call of the global Church. Jesus gave us our marching orders moments before He ascended into heaven.
As Jesus followers, our ultimate purpose is found in the last words Jesus spoke to His followers right before ascending into heaven, “But you will 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.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
Before we embark on the Great Commission, we have some work to do ourselves. These four steps (Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose and Make a Difference) not only lead us into the abundant life Jesus promised, but they give us vision and equip us for our part in God’s mission.
First, we must know God and know Him personally. In the depths of our hearts, we must know Him intimately and powerfully.
Second, we must find freedom. We must tackle our past pain, including our hurts, mistakes, or missteps, and allow Jesus to wipe the shame and regrets of our yesterday’s away permanently. Then and only then, can we see ourselves as He does, in His righteousness.
Third, we must discover purpose. We must identify how God planned to use us and our unique gifts to reach the world.
And, finally, we must make a difference. God has something specific for each of us to do with the Holy Spirit as our guide. Paul said we were created for good works before the world began. That’s where we experience real joy. It comes through knowing God, being filled with His spirit, and yielding to Him as we joyfully impact eternity.
In light of Jesus’ parting message of Acts 1:8
∙ How am I reaching my world - my Jerusalem? That would be my family, my neighbors, my co-workers, and friends. (For clarity read Mark 5:19 and Proverbs 3:27-28).
∙ How might I make a difference beyond my world - my Judea and Samaria? That would be my fellow Kansans. (For clarity read 1 Corinthians 9:22 and Galatians 6:2).
∙ How am I making a difference in the whole world? Has God blessed me to be a blessing to others? Is He calling me to go and give, or merely give? How have I responded? (For clarity read Mark 16:15; 10:29).
This week’s prayer focus is the unsaved and unchurched people within our sphere of influence and beyond. This week, intercede for a lost family member, a nearby community, another state, or a country. Ask God to use your prayers and save the lost by His grace and for His glory.
Next Steps Do the next right thing! All Family Church members are invited to take the NEXT class, to join one of our Dream Teams and begin serving in some capacity in the church on Sunday mornings. And, as always, remember to make pursuing God a priority.