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You Are the Gospel

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You Are the Gospel

Intro - tie sermon into the Lord’s prayer verse 10. “YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...”
But do we really pray with God’s will in mind?…
Are we so caught up in our wish list that we forget to be changed by our prayer, and by His Spirit?
I am sure that was happening a bit to the early church on this day. A church that was no doubt struggling with the same question that you and I sometimes struggle with. A question that rules over us all - What is God’s will for me?
The Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith tries to clear that up for us a bit. He said that, “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.” In other words, the message is seen before it is heard. And as we pray for God’s will to be done, in this wonderful prayer, we need to understand that the world will only really see that will come to life - that Gospel - if we live it out for them.
You are that Gospel. I am that Gospel.
...The Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.” In other words, the message is seen before it is heard.
The Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.” In other words, the message is seen before it is heard:
That is something that we all struggle with. Even the early church - the disciples and all those who were actively following Jesus - they all struggled with that. We all struggle to live out the life we have not only been called to live, but church, we have been uniquely equipped by the Holy Spirit to live out that life.
And like the disciples and early church, who we see in the setup for our text today staring into the sky waiting for Jesus to come back (), we wait sometimes too, don’t we? But there is no more need to wait! The Spirit has come! And today reminds us that our lives must be a Gospel for this world - a Gospel fueled by His will and Spirit.
----
Pray
[pic of pentecost]
It is probably wise to make sure we know the context and reason behind the significance of Pentecost. You see, this was a celebration for the Jewish people. It is called the festival of weeks, and in particular, the feast of harvest.
This is a time when all the Jewish people would bring into the temple all their firstfruits.
So this is an unbelievably busy time. There would have been tons of people there! All of them on the same page, there for the same purpose, to honor their God and to celebrate with kindred Spirits!
[Not unlike being at Carowinds, or a Football game...]
Acts 2:1–4 ESV
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:1
You know, this moment really reminds me that God’s Spirit, is a Spirit of change. It really is. And when we pray this prayer, and ask for God’s Kingdom and will to become evident in our lives, we are really asking God to start that process of change!
This is a time when all the Jewish people would bring into the temple all their firstfruits.
For these disciples, who no doubt had prayed that, it was evident, right?
So this is an unbelievably busy time. There would have been tons of people there! All of them on the same page, there for the same purpose, to honor their God and to celebrate with kindred Spirits!
[pnuema stuff? change metaphor]
[Every tool we have ever learned (school on up) is a tool that the Holy Spirit can and will use when we pray and live out God’s will…practical examples…for me French]
[pnuema stuff? wind seems important…change metaphor as well… ]
[Haiti preaching]
[walk through style - expository]
[walk through style - expository]
ak lafwa pa gen anyen enposib - ou ka di nan mòn, ale la!
That wasn’t me talking, that was the Holy Spirit. Church, everything we experience in life becomes the most powerful tools of the Holy Spirit. And when we pray to stay in God’s will, it will then be used for His purposes and glory. And just as important, when we allow Him to use us, we fall behind Christ as He continuously leads us to those who need Him most!
[outline and important take away only. print out for other side of bible is ok]
[parenting kids…not angry, not yelling, but setting the expectations allows us all to fall in line and do the thing we are supposed to do....WHEN WE PRAY FOR GOD’S SPIRIT, AND FOR HIS KINGDOM AND WILL, WE FALL IN LINE BEHIND CHRIST AS HE LEADS US TO THOSE WHO NEED HIM MOST!]
[Leads us to find others like us, and leads others to us as well.]
Acts 2:5–6 ESV
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
That is what happened to these disciples…[read]
This is a powerful moment to me. Understand that these men came from all over the place…[differences stuff]…BUT GOD’S SPIRIT, AND THOSE FOLLOWING HIS WILL, PUT EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE!
IT WAS ALL ABOUT JESUS. HIS WILL. HIS SPIRIT.
And church, this is really the moment when all this comes together. You see, God sent His Spirit to fill that place, and those people. And when we pray for God’s will, we too will experience that same thing.
God’s will is that we be Spirit-filled. [not with signs…]
[And that moment, is what this portion of the prayer, and even this day, is all about…God’s will is for us to be Spirit filled...]
That is God’s will, right from His mouth.
And that is what we see being set in motion on this day, and in this text. His Kingdom. His will. A kingdom and will that we don’t always understand. That is what I see here.
[coming together, people from all nations…]
[moving everything towards the idea that God’s will for us is that we seek Him and His kingdom here on earth ( ) and that we allow ourselves to be amazed at His power and plan (acts 2:12). God’s will is for us to be Spirit-filled! Move that idea toward the ending (paraphrase verses 25-28)
ak lafwa pa gen anyen enposib - ou ka di nan mòn, ale la!
…It wasn’t really me talking in that moment. I was wrapped up in what the Spirit was doing, and in that moment, was something more than myself. That is what I feel was going on here. And when I said it, the interpreter, and the people understood that God had something to say to them even through me. And when that happened we all immediately got on the same page!
When the Spirit takes a hold of us, it leaves us all bewildered and amazed. It leaves us shaking, at least inside, and church most importantly, it leaves us wanting more!
We
Acts 2:12 ESV
And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
He wants us to be Spirit-filled because we are the example…[read]
[it means that God is with us....it means that…it means that “Your kingdom come, Your will be done…it means that His Kingdom is here in front of us! His life for us is in us! As long as we live filled with His Spirit we will not be shaken to the point of destruction! We will not be moved from His presence and love! So no matter what your situation looks like, you can rejoice and be glad! If in nothing else, that you have a Savior! You have a Creator that values you, and has plans for you! You have hope! Hope for this life, and hope beyond the grave! Church, I don’t care what you are facing. I don’t care what you think will take you down, or what life might be throwing at you! I don’t care your shortcomings or mistakes! And understand, I don’t care, because those things not only don’t define you, but they are nothing compared to God! And God will never abandon you, no matter what you think might limit His reach in your heart! He won’t leave you! He won’t forsake you! You see, His will was that you have life! His will was that you have purpose! His will was that you were put here on this planet, so that His Kingdom can be shown through your life, and through His Spirit living in You! Who cares if they all laugh! Who cares if they think you are drunk at 9 in the morning! You have been shown the path of life! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God, His very Spirit and presence! What more do you need? His presence, celebrated this very day, has filled our lives! He has made us glad! He has given us every reason to rejoice! So church, live like His Kingdom has come in your heart! Live like His life has entered your soul! Live like His will is fulfilled by His Spirit living in you, because it has!
What does it mean? It means that when we are filled with His Spirit, we will no doubt lead by example! We will look beyond our failure and our shortcomings! We will understand that faith is a process, and that no matter where we are in that process, as long as we are praying for God’s will and allowing His Spirit to breath life into our hearts, we exactly where He needs us to be! Right inside His will! And when we are there, church, He is no doubt right there with us! In your life. In your heart. In this world. Because when you pray that, you will become filled with His Spirit, and ready for His work to be done through your life.
And when we are filled with His Spirit, we will no doubt lead by example! We will tell those mountains in our lives to move! We will look beyond our failure and our shortcomings! We will understand that faith is a process, and that no matter where we are in that process, as long as we are praying for God’s will and allowing His Spirit to breath life into our hearts, we exactly where He needs us to be! Right inside His will! And when we are there, church, He is no doubt right there with us!
Pray for God’s will. Pray for God’s Kingdom. In your life. In your heart. In this world. Because when you pray that, you will become filled with His Spirit, and ready for His work to be done through your life.
Pray for God’s will. Pray for God’s Kingdom. In your life. In your heart. In this world. Because when you pray that, you will become filled with His Spirit, and ready for His work to be done through your life.
Philippians 3:12 ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Not that we will always get it right - but church, we always press on in His Spirit doing our best to find His will in and we do. We chase after it. We do our best to reflect it. We spread His Spirit, like fire, throughout all the world as we live out the Gospel in our lives.
Who cares if they all laugh! Who cares if they think you are drunk at 9 in the morning, just like they thought of these disciples! You have been shown the path of life! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God, His very Spirit and presence! What more do you need? His presence, celebrated this very day, has filled our lives! He has made us glad! He has given us every reason to rejoice! So church, live like His Kingdom has come in your heart! Live like His life has entered your soul! Live like His will is fulfilled by His Spirit living in you, because it has!
And hear this clearly, church. You are the next step in God’s will church. Sure you might think you are just a teacher, or a banker. Maybe your a student, or a electrician, or a retail worker, or a clerical worker. Maybe you think to yourself, “what can God ever do through me?”
Well let me reassure you, today, that this text, and His Spirit, it reminds us that you mean everything to this world, simply because you are a vessel through which His Spirit lives for this world.
And not just because of what we can see. No. What we see is essentially just like this jersey. But what we are, in our hearts, is what we reflect out into the world.
And it leaves us wanting more, because honestly, it is a process. Faith - whether living it out or finding it, is all a process. It is ongoing. As we pray this prayer, praying that God’s will be done and His kingdom come, we need to understand that it just doesn’t magically happen one day. Don’t get me wrong, it just might! But what we are really praying - what we should be praying in those moments - is the understanding and resolve to participate in the process of faith that God is in control of.
[it means that God is with us....it means that…it means that “Your kingdom come, Your will be done…it means that His Kingdom is here in front of us! His life for us is in us! As long as we live filled with His Spirit we will not be shaken to the point of destruction! We will not be moved from His presence and love! So no matter what your situation looks like, you can rejoice and be glad! If in nothing else, that you have a Savior! You have a Creator that values you, and has plans for you! You have hope! Hope for this life, and hope beyond the grave! Church, I don’t care what you are facing. I don’t care what you think will take you down, or what life might be throwing at you! I don’t care your shortcomings or mistakes! And understand, I don’t care, because those things not only don’t define you, but they are nothing compared to God! And God will never abandon you, no matter what you think might limit His reach in your heart! He won’t leave you! He won’t forsake you! You see, His will was that you have life! His will was that you have purpose! His will was that you were put here on this planet, so that His Kingdom can be shown through your life, and through His Spirit living in You! Who cares if they all laugh! Who cares if they think you are drunk at 9 in the morning! You have been shown the path of life! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God, His very Spirit and presence! What more do you need? His presence, celebrated this very day, has filled our lives! He has made us glad! He has given us every reason to rejoice! So church, live like His Kingdom has come in your heart! Live like His life has entered your soul! Live like His will is fulfilled by His Spirit living in you, because it has!
It is understanding that God is with us, through this Spirit, in the process. It means that even though you can’t understand or speak in tongues, or you can’t or don’t preach or pray in public; even though you might not be spiritually where you think you need or want to be, God is right there with you in the process! His Spirit has lowered itself on you, and will guide your heart and life!
[moving everything towards the idea that God’s will for us is that we seek Him and His kingdom here on earth ( ) and that we allow ourselves to be amazed at His power and plan (acts 2:12). God’s will is for us to be Spirit-filled! Move that idea toward the ending (paraphrase verses 25-28)
And church, when we pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, that means that His Kingdom is here in front of us! His life for us is in us! As long as we live filled with His Spirit we will not be shaken to the point of destruction! Sure we might not be where we want to be, but even so we will not be moved from His presence and love! So no matter what your situation looks like, you can rejoice and be glad! If in nothing else, that you have a Savior! You are on the team! You have a Creator that values you, and has plans for you! You have hope! Hope for this life, and hope beyond the grave! Church, I don’t care what you are facing. I don’t care what you think will take you down, or what life might be throwing at you! I don’t care your shortcomings or mistakes! And understand, I don’t care, because those things not only don’t define you, but they are nothing compared to your God! A God that will never abandon you, no matter what you think might limit His reach in your heart!
*His Kingdom is here in front of us! His life for us is in us! As long as we live filled with His Spirit we will not be shaken to the point of destruction! We will not be moved from His presence and love! So no matter what your situation looks like, you can rejoice and be glad! If in nothing else, that you have a Savior! You have a Creator that values you, and has plans for you! You have hope! Hope for this life, and hope beyond the grave! Church, I don’t care what you are facing. I don’t care what you think will take you down, or what life might be throwing at you! I don’t care your shortcomings or mistakes! And understand, I don’t care, because those things not only don’t define you, but they are nothing compared to God! And God will never abandon you, no matter what you think might limit His reach in your heart! He won’t leave you! He won’t forsake you! You see, His will was that you have life! His will was that you have purpose! His will was that you were put here on this planet, so that His Kingdom can be shown through your life, and through His Spirit living in You! Who cares if they all laugh! Who cares if they think you are drunk at 9 in the morning! You have been shown the path of life! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God, His very Spirit and presence! What more do you need? His presence, celebrated this very day, has filled our lives! He has made us glad! He has given us every reason to rejoice! So church, live like His Kingdom has come in your heart! Live like His life has entered your soul! Live like His will is fulfilled by His Spirit living in you, because it has!
He won’t leave you! He won’t forsake you! And I know that, because you live in His will! You see, it was His will that you have life! His will was that you have purpose! His will was that you were put here on this planet, so that His Kingdom can be shown through your life, and through His Spirit living in You! Who cares if they all laugh! Who cares if they think you are drunk at 9 in the morning, just like they thought of these disciples! You have been shown the path of life! You have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God, His very Spirit and presence! What more do you need? His presence, celebrated this very day, has filled our lives! He has made us glad! He has given us every reason to rejoice! So church, live like His Kingdom has come in your heart! Live like His life has entered your soul! Live like His will is fulfilled by His Spirit living in you, because it has!
You are the next step in God’s will church. Sure you might think you are just a teacher, or a banker. Maybe your a student, or a electrician, or a retail worker, or a clerical worker. Maybe you think to yourself, “what can God ever do through me?”
Well let me reassure you, today, that this text, and His Spirit, it reminds us that you mean everything to this world, simply because you are a vessel through which His Spirit lives for this world.
And not just because of what we can see. No. What we see is essentially just like this jersey. But what we are, in our hearts, is what we reflect out into the world.
[picofKira’smessage]
This past week I was humbled to be reminded of that by this sweet note on the screen. I actually thought about making up a story about this happening to another pastor, because I honestly don’t want it to be at all about me, but Kate convinced me that it might be more useful to help someone understand.
You see, I am not at all perfect…[relationship stuff]…everything I do doesn’t always come from a place of me wanting for reflect God! A lot does, but not everythign! But when you pray to be useful to God, and to live in His will. And when the Spirit is using you to reach someone, EVERYTHING you do can be the very thing that makes the difference!
And because of that, everything we do has to, in some flawed and small way, try to point people back to Jesus.
Everything we do has to, in some flawed and small way, try to point people back to Jesus. Especially with young people.
…now this isn’t intended to be about me, but it reminded me of something very important. Everything we do has to, in some flawed and small way, try to point people back to Jesus. Especially with young people.
We are that Gospel. And we must live it out. We must live out His kingdom and will first, even when it is hard.
We are that Gospel. And we must live it out. We must live out His kingdom and will first, even when it is hard.
[roger’squote]
Fred Rogers reminds us of that. “If you could only sense,” He says, “how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
What you leave with them, church, must be that Spirit. It must show the fruits of that Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. That is God’s will for us. That we be Spirit filled. That you would live your life so dependent on Him, so willing to look foolish for Christ, so filled by His plans and love, that this world couldn’t possibly miss out on the truth.
[3 marbles story if time?]
Philippians 2:13 ESV
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Our lives are simply the vessels of Christ’s mercy and grace. Instruments of God’s will and Spirit. At the end of the day, God is in charge, and we must give our lives to Him for His purposes.
At the end of the day, God is in charge, and we must give our lives to Him for His purposes.
Ultimately, there is a huge difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. And let me tell you, the real difference between them is what God can and will do with us when we give ourselves as humble servants seeking to build His Kingdom above all.
Ultimately, there is a huge difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. And let me tell you, the real difference between them is what God can and will do with us when we give ourselves as humble servants seeking to build His Kingdom above all.
You are that difference. You are that Gospel, church.
[Invitation…I pray that we can all welcome God’s Spirit into our hearts in a new way this very day.]
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