Hello and welcome to this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. We pray that this message encourages you in your walk with Christ. If it does, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at email@example.com.
And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/give. No matter what you do for a living, there's a higher purpose for your life. As we continue our series, Technicolor Joy, we learn that God is at work in and through us, regardless of the career we pursue.
In the message, "The Family Business," Skip teaches that God has called us to a specific work in Christ. Now, please open your Bible to Philippians chapter 1 as he begins.
Philippians, chapter 1. I have a friend who was a director. He was a crusade director of the Billy Graham Association. His job was to get on planes and fly to different parts of the country and help organize those huge evangelistic crusades for Dr. Billy Graham.
So one day, he's in an airplane. He's flying across country. And sitting next to him was Tom Cruise, the actor, who asks my friend, so, what do you do for a living?
My friend was always looking for ways to get the gospel presented. So he looked at Tom Cruise. And he said, I'm in the security business.
Now, that's a huge buzz word for actors, because actors and musicians are always looking for good security people. So he goes, really? You're in security?
So my friend went on to tell him about how to have eternal security in Jesus Christ. And that was the platform that he used. I'm in the security business.
You're part of a business. You have a business. And I'm not just meaning that you have an occupational business, a professional business-- that, I know.
But you have another business. You have a spiritual business. You have a vocational business. You have a high and holy business, and that is God's business.
And that's what I want to talk to you about here, so that you might be a financial investor. But you have another business. You might be a consultant, but you have another business. You might be a construction worker. You have another business.
You might be a student. You have another business. You might be a single parent. You have another business.
You might be in between jobs, but you're always on this job. It is a business that comes from God. What's more, it's a family business. That is, now that you're a part of God's spiritual family, you're part of the family business.
You remember what Jesus said when he was, I think, 12 years old, and his mother found him in the temple speaking to the leadership there? He said to her, don't you know that I must be about my Father's business? We are in that business, that family business. And I want you to just make a note in verse 5, even though we haven't even read it yet.
Notice the word in verse 5, "fellowship." Do you see that word? Some newer translations translated partnership. I think that's a better choice.
It is a partnership. It is the word "koinonia," translated, "fellowship" or "partnership." We are partners with God in a family business.
God is our Father. Jesus said, I am going to my Father and your Father. The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers. So we are part of a family business.
I was reading a little article in Forbes magazine this week about businesses in the United States of America. And the article said that family business in America is responsible for 50% of the gross national product-- that is essentially, a country built on family businesses. Now, some of us think of family businesses as a store down the street owned by a family, and it's been in the family for a few years. But the article goes on to say that Walmart is a family business, as is Ford Motor Company, Tyson Foods, Sears, and Comcast.
All of those are family businesses. But the same article noted that less than 1/3 of those businesses will survive the transition from the first generation to the second generation. And those that do survive, 50% of them will not survive the transition from the second to the third generation.
Why is that? The article says, these are businesses that get stuck doing things the same way. In other words, the business outgrows the structure.
So we are in a business. We are in a family business-- a partnership with God, with the Lord, and with others. Now we, in this business, have a product. Every business has a product. Yes, we have a product.
Our product is the gospel. That's our product. That's what we give out. That's what we disseminate. That's what we're always sharing, the gospel.
You'll notice in verse 5 he says, for your fellowship in the gospel. Down in verse 7, he talks about the defense and the confirmation of the gospel. In verse 12, he speaks about the furtherance of the gospel. That is our product.
Why is it our product? Because it's only the gospel that brings change. That's where the life change comes from.
Now, you know what the gospel is. You know what the gospel means. Gospel means the--
Good news. The good news that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to get you from Earth to heaven. That's the good news, that he paid the price.
He did the heavy lifting. We can trust that he died, was buried, was risen from the dead for our justification. That's the gospel.
Now, it's that gospel that changed Paul's life. He heard it. He received it. It changed him from a persecutor into a preacher, from Saul of Tarsus to Paul the Apostle.
It changed Timothy, also mentioned here on our text, in verse 1. Timothy was probably 15 years old when he first heard the gospel preached by that Paul who came through his town on a missionary journey. It changed him. It was the gospel who changed the lives of people of Philippi like Lydia, and like the jailer, the Philippian jailer.
And now there is a church there, all because of the gospel. And now they, church members, are partners with Paul in the family business of the gospel. Let's look at our text. Let's get familiar, at least, with it as we jump in.
I'm going to be looking with you today from verses 3 to verse 8 of chapter 1. But can we just begin in verse 1 and go down to verse 8 for the sake of context? Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Jesus Christ, to all the Saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi with the bishops and deacons. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my god upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making requests for you all with joy. For your fellowship and the gospel, from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are partakers with me of grace.
For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you with all the affection of Jesus Christ. I want to share with you some principles of partnership. Look at these as three partnership principles in keeping the family business strong. They're pretty simple.
Be thankful. Be confident. Be aware.
Be thankful. Be confident. Be aware. Could you say those with me?
Be thankful. Be confident. Be aware. Let's begin with the first. Be thankful.
Paul was thankful. Be thankful for God's work collectively. Go back to verse 3. Listen to what he writes.
I thank my god upon every remembrance of you. Always, in every prayer of mine making requests for you all with joy, for your fellowship, partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. OK. Paul is writing from a prison cell in Rome. We have discovered that in our first study.
And while he's in that prison cell, he's got a lot of time on his hands. So he goes reminiscing. He has a large inventory of memories. And one of those memories is about the Church of Philippi-- how it started, where it is now.
And he says, I thank my god upon every-- I put a smile on my face when I think of you and remember you in prayer, he would say. Now, the way I see it, the words, "I thank god," or "Thank my god," in verse 3, and the word joy, in verse 4, seem like strange words to apply to Paul's experience at Philippi, because Philippi was sort of a pain all the way around. First of all, Paul didn't even want to go to Philippi, remember?
He was trying to go several places. The Holy Spirit was shutting that down. Finally, he ends up at Troas. He gets a vision of a man from Macedonia saying, come over here, and help us.
So he goes to Macedonia, Philippi being the chief city. And he's probably looking around for a man that he saw in his vision. Didn't see a man. Goes to a group of women at a river side, Jewish women who are praying.
And one of them-- one of them named Lydia-- listens to the message and receives Christ as her Savior. So Paul may have been thinking, I don't know. But this is what I would be thinking, if I were Paul.
OK. We got one. I've had more success on other missionary journeys. I didn't want to come here to begin with, but here I am. We've got one.
But then things go from that place, to much worse, to really, really bad, because the next few days, a girl demon possessed follows Paul and his team wherever he goes. And one day, they even mock him while they are praying. Paul discerns she is demon possessed, delivers her from that demon.
Paul gets taken to the center of town and gets beaten with rods and then put in jail. RC Linsky, a commentator, tells us what that would have felt like. Under the many blows, the skin would be broken. The blood would ooze out. The inflamed welts would cover the whole back.
The rod that it speaks about was called a vitis. A vitis is 3 three foot long stick that centurions carried. The centurion used the vitas, the vine stick, for how shall I say it-- to motivate lazy soldiers.
Paul got the full brunt of that vitas, that vine stick, those rods across his back. Then he gets put in jail. He gets put in the stocks. Stocks were designed to pull the extremities out to their maximum reach so that you were immovable.
So it's interesting that with that as the background, he says, I thank my god upon every remembrance of you, because that's not what I would write. I would say, when I think back to fill a pie, I get sick to my stomach. My skin crawls. I break out in a sweat.
But Paul says, I thank my god upon every remembrance of you, always. And every prayer was joy. Now, there's a key there in how joy is produced.
When the Holy Spirit-- and he does this. It's a work of grace. When you look back through your catalog of memories and the Holy Spirit is able to push the Delete key, so that what your mind lands on are not all the bad things people have done to you, not all the injustices, not all the wounds, not all the hurt, not all-- well, let me tell you what's not right with other people.
When all that stuff goes away, and you can look back through all the maze of pain and say, but god was working. And for that, I have joy. What is he thankful for?
Simple. He's thankful for what the gospel produced. It produced life change. People's lives were changed.
A church grew. A family was extended. His memory of Lydia's salvation brought him joy. His memory of the Philippian jailer's conversion and subsequent baptism brought him joy.
His memory of how just a few people gathered around, and now, there's is a larger church, a vibrant church at Philippi. All of that brought him joy. So listen to this principal.
Paul's joy and thankfulness were directly proportional to the growth of the family business. I'm thankful for your partnership in the gospel. My joy is directly proportional, Paul would say, to the growth of the family business. That's how he saw his life.
Yes, this hurt. Yes, that was painful. That was horrible, but the gospel changed people's lives through it. He was joyful.
Same thought is expressed a few verses down. Verse 12, but I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me-- now, he's speaking about his present incarceration-- he has been unjustly accused. He has been a prisoner of the Roman government. He's now locked up in a Roman prison.
Those are the things he refers to. The things that have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the what? The gospel. The product has gone out.
The life changing element has gone out, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are in Christ. And most of the brethren in the Lord have become confident by my chains and are much more bold to speak the word without fear. So my painful hardship has extended the family. And for that, I am joyful.
This is Paul, looking back. This is the Holy Spirit pressing the Delete key, Paul looking back saying, bless you, pain. Bless you, problems.
Bless you, prison. Bless you, chains, because as hard as those were, I see the effect the gospel has had. And for that, I have joy.
Boy, that's an attitude. That's an attitude. I read an article. I found an article this week about your attitude, and it was all about the right kind of attitude in life, and it was found in, of all places, The Huffington Post. And the article was called, "Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude."
The article spoke about how your attitude affects your ability to enjoy your life. It affects your ability to be grateful for blessings, to note that these things are blessings to me. And the article went on to say, it's the reason it's so important to hang out with the right kind of people who will influence your attitude.
There's an awful lot of people, even Christian people, who look like Basset Hounds. They're on their way to heaven, but you'd never know it. And it's important to be with those people like Paul who can look back and go, ah.
But look at-- filter through it. Notice how God was at work. I have joy because of that. I rejoice in that.
My mind could go back, as I go through my catalog of memories. I could think about the hardships when we started, the trials, and the tears that we experienced, the betrayals I've had in ministry. But as I look back, honestly, so much has been deleted.
I remember things happened, but I don't remember the particulars. And I thank God for that selective memory disorder, and I think it's from him. I think back to change lives, and churches planted, and souls saved. And for that, I rejoice. I'm thankful for God's work, collectively.
Here's the second partnership principle. Not only be thankful for God's work collectively, be confident in God's work personally. And that's what he draws her attention to in verse 6, being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Now, allow me to unpack this little version. There's a lot in it.
This personal work was begun by God. It's God's work. Notice what it says, being confident that he who has begun this good work.
Paul is not referring to what the Philippians did. He's not saying kudos to you guys. You did such a great work at Philippi.
You planned. You strategized. You took demographic studies of the greater Philippian region, nor is Paul talking about himself.
He's not talking about or bragging about the work that he, and Silas, and Timothy did, because frankly, he just showed up, and God did the work. Now, you might hear that and go, Skip, you're not giving Paul enough credit. He did more than just show up. He spoke the word to Lydia.
Yeah. But Luke, who is with him-- put it this way. The Lord opened up her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
So who did the work? Paul or God? Well, Paul spoke, but he spoke sort of because he was there. And the Lord opened her heart. The Lord did that.
Then Paul was put in prison. And his back was covered with welts, and he's in stocks. And it's midnight. So he turns to his buddy and goes, hey. Let's sing.
So they start singing hymns. And what happened? An earthquake happened. An earthquake shook the prison, and opened the doors, and the chains fell off.
Did Paul do that? That wasn't Paul's work. That was God's work.
Paul showed up. The Lord opened people's hearts. An earthquake happened.
It is God's work that he was doing. I love that verse in the Ephesians 2, for we are his workmanship. His poema, his work of art. God is the master artist, skillful artist, always looking to express himself. It's his work.
Not only is it God's work, notice more carefully in the verse, it's a gradual work. It says, he who has begun a good work-- now, that word, "begun," implies it's still going on. Think for a moment of the good work that God has begun in you.
Think of the first time you heard the gospel. Maybe you heard it and parts of you said, yeah. I'm sort of touched by that. But then you heard it a second time, and your heart softened, and a third time. Maybe it took several times till you finally said, I give up. I surrender my life to Christ.
At that moment, on that day, god began a work. He initiated a task. It's an ongoing work.
I bring this up, because some of you that I'm talking to feel very discouraged as you look at your own life. There are problems in your life. There are imperfections in your life, and you're tempted to look at yourself and say, this is God's masterpiece?
This is the workmanship? This is the poema, the great work of art? Doesn't look very good to me. But what you're looking at is what a visitor to a great artist studio would see if he walked in, and there is that artist with that white canvas spread out on a beautiful frame.
And the visitor notices a splotch of orange, and yellow, and green. And the visitor thinks, I could do that. That's not art.
I can throw paint at a canvas and put color on it. And that visitor might even say, excuse me, Mr. Famous Artist, but that doesn't look like a great piece of art to me. And the artist would say, that's because you're looking at a work in progress.
I have something in my mind. I have a goal for this. But you are just seeing it at its early stages, just like you are seeing you in the middle of the job.
You see, holiness is not a light switch. It's not like you come to Christ, and he flips a switch, and it's like, I'm perfect. We all know that's not true. The Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon.
Put in your time. You go through the paces. So it's God's work. It's a gradual work. But notice more carefully, in verse 6, it's a growing work.
That is, it has to do with your spiritual growth inside of you. Notice it says, he who has begun a good work where? In you. You see, God's work is always an inside job before it's ever an outside job.
God works in you before he works through you. It's sad, really, but most of our concerns in life are outward concerns. Most people, their focus, their concern is about an outward thing.
How do I look? Do you like my hair? Do you like this dress on me? Do I look too fat?
Am I too thin? Am I too wrinkled? Am I too pale?
It's usually outward stuff that we are preoccupied with. How's the weather? How's the temperature? How do I feel?
It's all outward stuff. Rarely do people really get concerned about the inside work. I was in a furniture store a while back, and my eye was drawn. It was a used furniture, a consignment place, where people bring in their stuff to sell. And my eye was drawn to this beautiful antique refurbished piano.
I love musical instruments, so I walked over to it immediately. It was dark walnut, all redone, the casing. And what struck me about this piano is looking in it, you know what was in it? Nothing.
It was a piano casing redone. There was no good work in it. There were just outsides, no insides.
Now, compare that to a modern Steinway piano. Ever look at a price tag of a Steinway piano, $120,000? You think-- psh. What?
Let me go back to the consignment store. But there's no good work in it. Now, what the amazing thing about a Steinway piano, it doesn't just look good. What's in it is amazing.
What's in it are 12,500 different components assembled by 200 different crafts people who meticulously put that together. And then after it's done, the Steinway piano is taken to a special room they called the pounder room. That didn't sound very good, does it?
The pounder room is the place where every key gets pounded 10,000 times. But with all that work, and all that pounding, there is a good work inside that piano. And eventually, a master musician sits down at those keys, moves the fingers around, and the beautiful music is played and enjoyed.
That's God's intention to do through you. He wants to make his music through you. Before he works through you, he's got a work in you. And sometimes you feel, I'm in the pounder room over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.
So it's God's work. It's a gradual work. It's a growing work. Now, let me just bring this up, because you might ask, well, what are the kinds of things god would do in me?
Well, let me give you a few suggestions. The first word god does in you that's a good work is he makes you guilty. You see, that's good. Doesn't sound like a good work.
I live in a culture skip that tells me guilt is bad, and I should do everything I can to get rid of guilt. No. God makes you guilty, and that's a good work.
See, he makes you and I aware of our lost condition. And in our awareness of a lost condition, that's what drives us to seek salvation. So the first work he does is he makes you guilty. Second work he does, he makes you hungry.
You long for something different. You long, and hunger, and thirst for a different kind of life. Third thing he does in you is he makes you happy.
Once you come to Christ, he puts the joy of a forgiven life. He puts that joy inside of you. You're now forgiven. Forth thing he does, he makes you holy. And let me tell you, that's a life long-- that's where the pounder room comes in.
He makes you holy. That is, he takes off the rough edges of your life. Have you got any rough edges? Mine are still coming off.
That's the good work he does in you. So it's God's work, a gradual work, a growing work, but I've got to say this, because it's in the verse. It's a guaranteed work.
It says, being confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will what? He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. One translation says he'll bring it to a flourishing finish.
Whatever God starts, God finishes. He who has begun will complete. How many of you here have unfinished projects at home? Come on. Be honest. Yeah.
God bless you. I see that hand. God bless you.
I have a running list of unfinished projects. The other day, I'd looked out my window of my study, and I noticed in the front yard, there's a project. I won't tell you what it is, but it has been on my docket for five years.
Now, I started it, and I walked away from it. And now, I look at it as an unfinished project. Aren't you glad that God Almighty is not like Skip Heitzig.
He is the author and the finisher of our faith. What He begins, He completes. Now, He's going to keep working in you.
You know until when? I'll tell you when. It says so in the verse.
He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. God won't stop working on you till Jesus shows up. Now, that's commitment. The day of Jesus Christ is referring to the day when we are in his presence with glorified, resurrected bodies.
God will never give up on you. He will never stop working on you until you're like Jesus. God never says of any of you, I quit. He never goes, no way. I'm done.
You're so lame. I mean, I work hard on you, and nothing really changes, so I'm done. No.
It's as if when you came to Christ, he hung a sign over your life that says, under construction. You're under construction. And he won't take that sign down, until you're glorified. So until the day of Christ-- it's God's work, a gradual work, a growing work, and it is a guaranteed work.
So be thankful. That's the first partnership principle. Be thankful for God's work collectively.
Be confident in God's work personally. And here's the third, and we'll close with this partnership principle. Be aware of God's work practically. Verse 7, he says, just as it is right for me to think this of you all because I have you in my heart, and as much as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of me with grace, for God is my witness. How greatly I long for you all, with the affection of Jesus Christ.
Now, that's a confusing statement, the way it's written for us. But let me just sum it up for you. This is a tender statement of Paul the Apostle saying, you have a special place in my heart, a very unique and tender place in my heart.
And Paul is saying, I feel linked together with you, whether I'm in prison, or I'm out on the streets, preaching the gospel. I feel we are linked together. Why? Well, I want you to notice a word in verse 7.
Look at the word, "partakers." Look at the word, "partakers." And if you have the freedom to write in your Bibles-- not all of you feel you have that freedom-- I do-- you may want to circle partakers and circle fellowship in verse 5 and run a line to them, because they are related words.
Remember what I told you? The word "fellowship," "koinonia," also translated, "partnership." The word, "partakers," is related to that word, "fellowship." But it's not koinonia. The word in verse 7 is sug koininas. Sug koininas. It means a joint fellowship or a joint partnership, and it's translated here, partakers.
Now, let me be practical. How can you be sure-- how can you be sure that God is really working in you? Are there signs that show, yea, God is at work in me? Yes, there are.
There are two signs mentioned in verse 7. It's when you stand up for the gospel, and it's when you spread the gospel. Those two signs show that you are serious about the family business. You believe the product, so much so that you stand up for the gospel, and you spread the gospel.
I want you to see it in verse 7. It's right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, a special place in my heart, in as much as both in my chains and in the-- watch this-- defense-- defense is when you stand up for something-- and confirmation of the gospel. You are partakers with me of grace. Now, that word, "defense," is apologia.
We get the term, "apologetics" from it. It's a defense of the faith. So whenever you hear somebody ridicule the gospel or mock the Jesus that you love, you stand up, and you defend it. You say, excuse me, but you're speaking about somebody that I love.
That Jesus you just used in that cuss word? That's somebody that I love. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't do that.
You stand up for it. You try to answer people's questions. You try to explain your faith. You stand up for the truth.
You do what Peter said to do, and First Peter chapter 3, always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that lies in you. Now, if you didn't love God, you wouldn't do that. You wouldn't care less what people say about Jesus, or the Christian faith, or anything. The fact that you stand up for it is a sign or a proof that it matters to you, that you love him, that he's a work in you, because you stand up for it. You make a defense.
Second is you spread the gospel. And that's the word right after that, the confirmation of the gospel. Now, that is a word that was a legal term used in giving legal testimony. It means to tell, to speak, and it's to confirm a fact used in legal testimony.
So here's how it works. Every time the gospel is preached and received, it's confirmed. Every time you see somebody respond to the gospel, whether you give it or I give it, when that gospel is given out and received, it confirms the gospel.
You're going, look. It works. It happened again. That same old message still changes lives.
It confirms it, the defense and the confirmation of the gospel. The practical proof that you are part of the family business is that you believe in the product. You believe in it so much is that you stand up for it and you spread it around.
If you don't stand up for it and you don't spread it around, it's good to ask, do you really believe the product? Right? That makes sense, right? Now, this task, this is what I want to underscore as I close this task, is a family task.
Remember, it's a family business. I must be about my Father's business. Jesus passed that onto his disciples. His disciples passed that on to the next generation. Now, it's our turn. The baton of the gospel is in our hands.
We are always-- Christianity is always one generation from extinction. We pass it on to the next. All of us are involved. It's a family partnership.
An article I read said this. The Kingdom of God is not meant to be a loose confederation of island individuals, but rather, a unified group that is committed to the welfare of each other. The only cell in the human body that does its own thing is the cancer cell.
Paul's letter to the Philippians teaches us that fellowship is vital in the Christian life. Christian life in the United States is something like American football, where you have 11 men out on the field in desperate need of rest and 50,000 people in the stadium in desperate need of exercise. In a similar way, in too many churches, the pastor and a small band of helpers are exhausted, while most of the congregation sits and takes it all in. That is not a New Testament church. A New Testament church is a joint partnership together in the family business. And we're all about doing our part, wherever we are.
Now, that's the family business, but you've got to be in the family to be in the business. And how do you get in the family? You've got to be born into it, right? Jesus said you must be born again-- a spiritual birth.
A spiritual birth, or you will not see-- his words-- you will not see the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. Unless you are born again, you will not get to heaven. You need a spiritual birth, a spiritual awakening, to go to heaven. So yeah. He wants to work through you. But first, he's got to work in you.
And the first work in you is to make you realize you need him. And maybe some of you are realizing that right now. Maybe some of you are feeling a little bit guilty.
I know what some people do when they feel guilty. They get up and walk out. I'm glad that you've decided to sit down and listen to the whole message.
And maybe God has been trying to make you feel guilty to show you you're lost and that you need him so that he doesn't go, well, I've had enough of that. I've had enough a walk in my own way. Now, I'm going to walk his way. That's called repentance in the Bible, where you turn around and walk his way.
And if you have never done that personally, though you may have gone to church all your life or for the last few years, if you have not personally received Christ, I'm going to give you the opportunity. I know people that come to church every week, because they're sort of drug to church. You will come to church. You will sit there, and so that's it.
But is it real to you? Are you a saved man or a saved woman? Are you sure that when you die, you will go directly to heaven?
You can be sure. You can know. It doesn't come by being a good person. It's acknowledging, I'm not a good person. I need the good person, the god person, who died in my place.
I need him as my Savior. I'm going to trust him. That's the gospel. I'm going to trust him.
I'm going to believe in him. I'm going to turn to him. If you've never done that, I'm going to give you that opportunity in a moment.
Let's bow our heads. Let's pray together. Father, thank you for the gospel, the good news, the best news ever, that people who are born alienated from God-- and all of us are-- can be right with God, can be in the family of God by a new birth, a new start, a new beginning.
Lord, I pray that some who have come who have never placed their personal trust in Jesus, it has been up to this point their father and mother's faith or their spouses faith. It has never been their own. Where they have reached out and said, Jesus, save me.
Come into my life. I believe you. I surrender my life to you.
We know that at that moment, new life happens. Birth occurs. I pray, Father, for some who are here, they've been invited by friends on this welcome weekend, they've never personally said yes to you, or they've walked away from you maybe, and they need to come back. Would you grab a hold of their lives, and would you convince them of their need for you?
Only you can do that. It's a work that you must begin, and we ask that you would. With our heads bowed, our eyes closed, I'm just going to throw the net out and see if there's anyone here who would say yes to Jesus maybe for the first time, or you need to return home after going astray. But if you want to know that you're forgiven and you want to be saved, you want to come to know the forgiveness of the Lord, Jesus Christ, raise your hand up.
Raise it up, and keep it up for just a moment, so I can acknowledge you. I want to pray for you, but I need to know who you are. God bless you, and you, right here on my left, you, towards the back. Anyone else.
If you're in the family room, if you're outside, there's pastors out there. Just raise your hand up, wherever you are. Way in the back, on my left. On the right, one, two, three. I see you at the very back.
Who else? Who else? In the balcony, thank you for that. Thanks for waving that hand. That makes it a lot easier for old guys like me to see.
Anybody else? Right here. God bless you and you. Awesome. And you, right in the middle.
Father, thank you for all of these hands that have gone up, because every hand is a life. And that life is so precious to you. You love each person very uniquely. You know all about each person.
You made them. You've watched them their whole lives, and I believe you've brought them here, not as a coincidence, but to have this special meeting with you on this day when a seed would grow in them, be planted in them. New life would be in them. And you would begin something great in and then through them. Thank you, Lord, that they are becoming part of your family.
As Paul talked about the Church, the family that everyone in heaven and earth is named from-- Lord, I pray that you'd help each person with that hand raised to know that they're loved by you, to realize that there's hope for them in the future. Help them to understand what to do next. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Amen. Let's stand on our feet. Now, those of you who raised your hand, I prayed for you. But I want to lead you in a prayer to receive Christ.
You've just acknowledged that you're that person. But as we sing this final song, I'm going to ask you to do something that I believe is very important. Jesus called people usually publicly. He wanted people to make a public stand for him, and he gave them the strength to do it.
So if you raised your hand, I'm going to ask you to get up from where you're seated. Find the nearest aisle, and come stand, right up here, in the front. If you're in the balcony, we're going to wait for you to walk down those steps and come down this aisle. If you're in the very back, if you're in the middle of a row, if you're in the family room, if you're outside, one of the pastors will walk you right up here to the front.
But we want to give you this opportunity to stand here and pray to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
[ MUSIC - "CHRIST IS ENOUGH"] Everything I need is in you. Everything I need. Christ is enough for me. Christ is enough for me. And everything I need is in you.
And everything I need.
You hear the words of this song. Christ is enough for me. Let me tell you something. Nothing is enough for you without him.
You can be religious. You can be filled with, I'm going to try harder, do good things. None of that will ever be enough to get you to heaven.
No religion will get you to heaven, but Jesus is enough for you. If you trust him, what he did for you, that's the good news.
That's why it's called good news. The good news is that people can get saved by trusting what he did for them.
If you've never trusted him, you're here today, I don't care if you raised your hand or not. Some of you know you need to be down here, because you have a burdened heart. You want to have a forgiven heart, a clean slate. You want a do-over, come on down and let me lead you in this prayer-- a sincere prayer to receive Christ.
That's right. That's right.
[MUSIC - "CHRIST IS ENOUGH"] Everything I need is in you. And everything I need. Christ is enough for me, yeah. Christ is enough for me.
And everything I need is in you. And everything I need--
Hey, let's all gather this way. Let's come all this way. It's just going to be us. Nobody knows we're here.
So this is where we get really personal. I'm going to ask you to pray, asking Jesus to come in. Prayer is just talking to God. So I'm going to lead you in a simple prayer. I'm going to ask you to say these words after me.
Say them out loud. And you're asking Jesus to take over. You're asking God to take control of your life. You're giving your life away to an alien will, his will, letting him control you.
So it's simply an act of faith. Say this. Say, Lord, I give you my life.
Lord, I give you my life.
I know that I am a sinner.
I know that I am a sinner.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
I believe in Jesus.
I believe in Jesus.
I believe he came from heaven.
I believe he came from heaven.
That he died on a cross.
That he died on a cross.
That he shed his blood for me.
That he shed his blood for me.
That he rose from the dead.
That he rose from the dead.
I turn from my sin.
I turn from my sin.
I turn to Jesus as Savior.
I turn to Jesus as savior.
I want to follow him as Lord.
I want to follow him as Lord.
Help me, Father.
Help me, Father. In Jesus' name.
In Jesus' name.
We are the objects as well as the instruments of God's work in the world. Does this knowledge motivate you to change the way that you live your life? We'd love to know.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Albuquerque.