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Driven by a Higher Loyalty - Step aside, Star Trek

Jonathan Walter

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Jonathan Walter

Jonathan Walter, an Austrian native, is a pastor who currently serves with the General Conference Ministerial Association as well as the Vice President of Missions for GYC.

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  • December 7, 2019
    5:35 PM
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Bother I just thank you so much for the privilege of. Spending time with you in the word the Sabbath afternoon and pray pray now and it's your spirit will descend upon this place and as we look at this this powerful story one of these followers of yours made inspire us and guide us in the way we reach out to people around us I pray to us now in Jesus' name amen. It was 2013 and I flew to Pato which is in Portugal very beautiful city anyone ever been there but chance to go no one now that's Ok. And. We had a Jew I see Europe planning meeting close by about an hour or so away in the mountains in the beautiful health facility. And I had some time before the meeting started and my friend and I'm a friend somewhere and I we decided let's do some sightseeing that's go around the city and check it out and so we did we looked at all the buildings and I love old buildings and so I was like to touch them and see you know you know I'm touching the past this thing is 1000 this cathedral is a 1000 years old or whatever it is I just think it's kind of cool. And so we walked around and then we there's this huge bridge across I think it is a river that goes into the ocean. Beautiful beautiful place and they walked over to the bridge and went up to another church that was on a hill and I was told is a very beautiful church inside and you have to check it out Ok let's go there and we walk up to discharge and as a Catholic church building and as we walk up there are these stairs on the side and you walk up the stairs in there and then there was the entrance big entrance and so. We walk up there and I see a Catholic priest standing there with his cellphone talking to someone in Portuguese I must be Portuguese so I know what he was saying and then there was a woman standing there and the man holding the woman kind of like this just kind of holding her together. And the woman looked very bewildered I was not sure what was going on just had a really weird feeling just walking by but you know it's not my issue so I just walk by and go into the church and doing my tourism thing and and I when I walked through the church building and looking at the paintings and statues and glass thing you know all the stuff I just couldn't really enjoy because I was constantly feeling that something was wrong something was terribly wrong I didn't know what it was just something was going on that I had to kind of look at and I told some of some of the something that I think it was something wrong with this lady out there I don't know what it is but I feel like we need to go out it out there again and so he's Ok so we walked up to the billing and we just sort of like walked out and kind of looked over and just kind of walked by you know what else are you going to do this is not your problems not yours you know who are you and so we walked off and and I wasn't sure what to do and so we after maybe. 100 meters was that 300 feet we just kind of stopped and I was like I don't want to do much just pray I guess and so we prayed for for whatever was going on there and and then we said well let's just go and as we start to walk I have had a very very strong impression. Were I think the Holy Spirit told me you have to go back right now I'm like This is I don't want to do Lord what do you want from me and say Ok Well some of the I think we need to go back Ok so we walked back and so I walked up and I didn't know what did I just walk up again to the entrance and I went to the man who was holding the woman a Catholic priest was still as phone and went to the man I like is everything Ok I said and he just kind of looked at me and kind of just waved me away because he didn't speak English and he said basically we're his body language of saying don't get involved just go away. But I looked at the woman and it became very clear that at least my impression was that she was demon possessed because she looked she looks very very bewildered her eyes are very strange and she's kind of shaking and so I didn't know what else to said in English because I was because he said Believe in Jesus and he can set you free that's all I said. I wasn't sure what I was doing was a believe in Jesus and he can set you free and then when I said Jesus I think it wasn't her it was the demons started screaming and now no no no no don't talk you know look it was to screaming around and cursing and rather you know and just a terrible situation but I just continued saying you know believe in Christ he has the power to free you and you know you can be free of these things and this went on for a while and in it's kind of hard to describe this but in the moment I could just feel. That the tenseness of the situation and maybe it was the supernatural world clashing because I was like my whole body was shaking and and it was just a crazy situation but I was saying look I was just trying to pray out loud and try to reach this woman that is obviously has lost the control over herself and this demon started holding her ears sort of she cannot hear and and seeing all kinds of things Meanwhile a police officer could discuss a huge scenes all these tourists and people like what's going on here just like court that no one film doesn't put it on You Tube And so this police officer comes comes up here and and he talked start talking to me and kind of wants me to go away. But then the Catholic priest walks up to the police officer and tells him know what he's doing is fine so he was offending the I guess and so. I continued just praying out loud and saying you know you can be free if you trust in Jesus just trust in him and and then the demon said you have no authority over me and that was just I was just a crazy moment scary moment and I want to continue the story later. That's going to act separate. Accepted. Verse for the Bible says here now those who are scattered went about preaching the word Philip went down to the city of a city of some area and proclaim to them the Christ and the crowds were 6 with one accord and paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did for unclean spirits crying out of the loud voice came out of many who had them and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed verse 8 so there was much joy in that city who was Philip Philip is 1st introduced to us actually in chapter 6 of the book of Acts he was one of the 7 deacons we all remember Stephen we don't always think of the other ones but he was one of the 7 men filled with the Holy Spirit who were chosen to serve as deacons to the early church and you know Deacon speck then today we often think just to just take care of the pews or or or you know the church building and that's this wonderful thing but if you look at the church manual by the way that the last point in the church manual that deacons as opposed to do. 1st thing is to be ministers to the members so Philip was a powerful. Holy Spirit filled man and he was part of those Christians who were persecuted and scattered and he was not scared as we had learned this morning to continue preaching the word what I love about Philip is the fact that he was not an apostle that he was not v.i.p. so to say that he was not a pastor and elder he was quote just a deacon he was a powerful man of God and so he went in holy spirit power down to some area to proclaim Christ's I believe the story of Philip should inspire all of us today not only to pray for a daily baptism of the Holy Spirit but to go and collaborate with God in missions a man to do the works of Christ the reality is that we will not experience God unless we step out in faith we can sit and pray for God to show up and do something but unless we go and do something he's not going to be able to use you to perform miracles. As we learned this morning accepting our prophetic identity and God's love in our hearts will inevitably and naturally lead to engaging in God's mission and that is exactly what happened with Philip the book of education by Alan White $62.00 tells us that they have an appointed purpose of giving the Gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest aim the noblest the can appeal to any human being it opens a field of effort to everyone whose heart Christ has touched. Philip knew this the Apostles knew it and I hope that you are seeing it as well the whole purpose of life the most noble goal the highest calling is spreading Jesus with to the world and trying to do it in this generation if your heart has been touched by Christ in His love then you have a mission to share what you've experienced with others I believe that when we have that encounter with Christ we really cannot but share we cannot but share the love that he gives us and the transformative power that he provides to give us strength to overcome and just the joy that comes with knowing Jesus God calls us to be compelled by the love of Jesus filled in the power by the Holy Spirit and then going out into the world starting with the neighborhoods now Philip listen to the prophetic instruction that he was given and accept the one if you remember Jesus his saying you know goal to Jerusalem go to some area go to the ends of the earth in the power of the Holy Spirit sharing the good news message. But let's take a quick look at the content of Philip's preaching let's look at verse 5 again what does it say that he was preaching he proclaimed Christ. He proclaimed Jesus Christ and that is where it's at you know we're here in 2019 we know from Spirit profit we could have been in heaven a long time ago and 888 the church did not fully take hold of the message of righteousness by faith the message that can transform your life to become a channel of God's glory the message would have wrapped things up on this planet and brought in the latter rain and we're still waiting for that latter rain I believe that we have a calling to share Christ with this world and we have a responsibility to do it very soon. When we come in the name of Christ filled with Christ proclaiming Christ all false wood all darkness and all demons and all sins and all delusions and temptations will flee when Christ comes into your life light is coming when you share price your share in the light and darkness will disappear Philip came in such manner and verse 7 was the reaction for unclean spirits crying out with a loud voice came out of many who had them and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed Jesus can still came in the power of Jesus and this town some area was not left the way the used to be so as I was standing there in Porto in front of this lady who was demon possessed pleading with her or trying to to reach her because really when she when your daemon process you lose control over yourself and you kind of trapped inside of your body and the demon has control over you but when you pray and intercede God can open a channel for the person to make a decision to say I want I want to be free so as a demon said you have no authority over me I said that is true but Jesus does and so it's continued on and and somewhere there my friend and I we just kind of start praying together and I'm just praying for minutes and minutes interceding for this woman that Jesus will somehow break through the darkness in her life and so we prayed and after 2 or 3 minutes suddenly there was like a like a release of tension I don't know how to describe it but you could just feel it and and the demon had left her. And she kind of collapsed and was really weak and and and they kind of carried her and they start carrying her into the church and she as she cared you know as he was walking in there she turned around and looked at me and she kind of like nodded us to say you know thank you or some kind of sign of appreciation and I'm not telling you to do the story to say are like oh I have the power to do any of these things I've never experienced this afterwards or before ever. And I was just there and the Holy Spirit told us to pray for this woman but what I learned in that moment was that God has the power to dispel darkness in the lives of other people and that's why they make ourselves available to him interceding for others he will connect us with people who need that light and the power that we see in the book of Acts is still there today God has so many ways to work to help people and love what it says here verse 8 as a result of all of this what happened in the city there was much joy great joy this was the joy of salvation friends there is no greater joy in life than seeing a soul saved as a pastor I've had the privilege many times to to see work with people and give them Bible studies and to see how they're how they're getting to know Christ and falling in love with him and then making that decision to surrender their lives to him is there is nothing as wonderful as the joy of so they should not only for you but for of course for the person we all have been in that moment where we give our hearts to Jesus and the joy fills our hearts his presence no vacation a paycheck no sports team no gadget can bring fulfillment and joy like soul winning does. This joy is all of our privilege to have it's the most blessed of work and I want to see it it really say here that I believe that. Soul winning can be done not only through public evangelism we love it as a church and I am I'm in total favor of public event is a wonderful work but you don't have to be a drug bashful or or a mark Finley or a. Drop you don't have to be a pastor to win souls you have the ability to be a channel of God's grace to this world Philip was a normal guy but he was willing to be used by the Lord preaching Christ living Christ out to the world when you live life intentionally and treat people with genuine kindness not expecting anything in return but just genuinely loving people you will be building relationships that turn into fellowship and into friendships and you'll be laying a powerful calf or having a positive influence into somebody's life and when the time is right the Holy Spirit will give you a moment an opportunity to share with that person which friendships take more work we like the public meetings we like the preaching because it's easy writing a sermon is easy compared to having a friendship and investing time in another person but that's where it's at in the kingdom of God in heaven we're not going to be preaching all the time we're going to have friendships and fellowships and that will increase throughout eternity but this is where it's at and I just want encourage you to to look for people around you that you can connect with that way but back to Philip this man who was driven by a higher loyalty I want to look at a couple more lessons from his life let's jump down to verse 26 this is a powerful story at the core of our message today now an angel of the Lord said to Philip rise and gold toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to gas that this is a desert place. When God makes a certain path clear to you. It is our duty to obey a and go a man even if it means that you have to go into a desert place let me actually back up here the fact that an angel and later the Holy Spirit is talking to Philip that tells you something doesn't it that tells you to Philip that God knows that Philip is able to listen and God knows that Philip is willing to listen and is to you into the frequency of heaven and God will work with every one of us when we tune into that frequency when we are have open ears not just in Sabbath morning or afternoon. And God is willing to use us so the lesson we learned here from Philip just from this verse is that if we want a powerful experience of God we have to be willing to listen and we have to be willing to God interrupt are generous of people in the in the busy now in California California last others easy right. And you guys are busy I know you have 3040 hours shifts and all those crazy things but God wants to interrupt our agendas and when we let him that's when we experience the miracles Let's continue here we see here danger speaking go towards the south into the desert place very few people want to go to desert place I mean unless there's an air b.n. b. with a nice pool I don't need to be in the desert it's an uncomfortable unreasonable life threatening place. But when God calls you somewhere friends he will empower and lead you to so have no fear trust that a call from God even into a desert place has a purpose we're going to see we're 27 and he rose and went to B.D.'s and there was an Ethiopian unic a court official of Candace queen of the few pins who was in charge of all her treasure he had come to Jerusalem to worship verse 28 and was returning seated in his chariot and he was reading the Prophet as a. And a spirit said verse 29 to Philip goal over and join this chariots this is a very interesting situation when you make yourself available to God to be used by him when you commune with Him in prayer in a prayerful attitude constantly connected with just because the company connecting with Jesus when you learn to hear his voice he will and I guarantee you this he will direct you to other people people who God has prepared maybe for years to meet you because the reality is all of us through our individuality can reach certain people that others cannot God can reach some people that Mark's in the cannot reach through you Ok I cannot reach everyone here that's totally fine that's why you have got speakers every week so there has reached you know I'm saying there's your individuality is perfect for some person who is seeking Christ but God cannot lead you to the person if you're not listening and soon into his frequency so let's make a self available and ask God to direct us we in our human thinking we love to plan and execute our plan so that's fine but too often we plan our days our lives even our mission activities and we expect God's blessings not realizing that many times our efforts are at best missed high fives you know missed high fivers. You know like hey. At the Miss High 5 almost but not quite and it gets really awkward Oh oh. God wants us to have really good high fives he wants us to connect with people that he has prepared but he needs us to be willing to tune into his frequency Jesus loves giving us divide appointments I've had so many and all of those in my life I'm sure many of you have a swell it's amazing how God puts these things together for example I was in a train in Europe we write the train a lot of great train system you don't need a car if you live in Europe. I was right in a train and it was a very it was in the mornings all the commuters were in trams very full I was just sitting there and you know it's kind of awkward no one really talks when it's really packed like an elevator or people are there you know the headphones on and whatever I was sitting there and then there was this lady sitting in front of me and I'm trying to remember I don't remember what it was exactly but she read a book and it was some kind of spiritual all book Ok it was not Christian though and. At that time I made a habit. To pray every day to ask God to give me divine appointments so I went through there just looking like a god where that was it going to be this time and so when I saw that I was like Oh I think this is it and so I engaged a conversation with her and it turned out that her she lost her son just recently just a year younger young woman and she was devastated and so she's just what what's happening like is he alive is he somewhere what happens when we die this was a woman looking for answers and I only had a few minutes but I was able to share with her you know our truth and the gospel just a brief encounter never saw her again afterwards. But was a blessing to to be able to be used by God in that moment and I believe it gave her some kind of track or book I usually have something with me another time I get a train story I was writing a train to Hungary to speak at a conference there and I was the ologist student at the time and so I was in the train and I want government I was in the evening I got to one of those what he called like a wagon you know one of the compartments of the train was that car at City College Ok and I got into at and was completely empty as a great I have a paper to write and went to work on my computer and just you know get this done I have like 4 hours from the end. Would have passed and so I'm sitting there working on my thing and then I don't know somewhere in between maybe 2 hours out of Budapest to the door opens and. An older lady walks in maybe maybe in her sixty's and she walks in and and she had the entire empty car available. And you know where this is going you know she sat down. Right next to me she didn't talk to Mary things just like sits right there on the Ok all right and we're still working on my theological paper and and then she takes her computer out and opens it and I'm just like you know I kind of peeking over a little speaker and I'm looking Ok what you know what I want to be working on and I just looked and I couldn't believe what I saw maybe this is more common in the us because there's more Christian or more you know actually Bible even Christians in the us and so on but this woman was working on a theological paper. This does not happen Ok you don't meet people like that in Europe this is so random and she didn't know what I was doing I was like I couldn't believe that I saw I think she was working on a paper on I don't know Joe wall or something Old Testament I just saw so all the divine appointment alarm bells go off in my mind I'm like Ok Lord what you want to do now so I just kind of like looked over like looks like we're in the same kind of work field you know I'm working I thought a paper story I saw your screen and she's like oh yeah and turned out she was the ology professor at some I think Lutheran seminary in Budapest I'm like Wow Ok this is cool you know your eye on the little theology student and here she is the professor and this just doesn't happen so I was just so obviously and I did find a partner and so we started talking talking and long story short we arrived Budapest and I got to give her something and I knew I had this great controversy in my bag and like i'm just go do this like well I want to give it his book you know I this is a really great book and trying to you know get a good mother who can listen to that now it's Ok I'm I'm writing and I'm really it's fine you know I'm a fan and like no it's really good book and that kind of the you know of the technique it's just kind of hold there and she or actually she took it and she looked at it and you know Alan g. white I think we have some of her books in our library and like a really well it's a great author and then she but she still didn't want it and then she kind of flipped through the book and I was the Lord did this stop right there I don't know it was a chapter 40 or something and said Martin Luther. As you get all Luther like yes Luther luck stories about Luther. And she and she's like well maybe I'll take it on the get it you will love it you know because he's a Lutheran like all right already well God bless you and it was just so thrilling to to have that experience but it was obviously divine appointment the Lord connects us with these people. And so as we look at the story here in accepting aid in verse 29 I love how it says there are the spirits talking to Philip and says Go over and join this chariot maybe your translation says go near come close you know the gospel is all about relationships connections between God and humanity and between us individually love God and love others God's Kingdom is a great web of love he just wants to connect us with each other and to heal us in the process but we have to come close we live now in the most digitally connected time of all of all the of all the history of the earth but are still so disconnected how many friends do we have real friends how close are we with people especially those who need Jesus go near come close to Spirit says still today to us we need to reeling to leave the Adventist bubbles are safe spaces are safe places that we create for ourselves we need relationships and personal connections with the people that Jesus desires to reach. As I said earlier I do support public evangelism Absolutely we need it but what excites me even more is the potential power of genuine caring intentional one on one connections and friendships with people who have not experienced the grace and love and hope of Jesus yet there is such a beautiful change in people's lives when we befriend them and we befriend them without trying to get anything from them just loving them people in this world don't know what that feels like. We're so used to it because we are Christians and we kick care of each other and we love each other we support each other and we don't need towards each other's fundraisers and mission trips and all the things and that's all wonderful but people in the world live in a cold selfish world that desperate for connection the desperate for love the desperate they don't know it but they need they're desperate for Jesus. And Jesus wants us to show them who hears you know Jesus is great commission sending us into all the world he did that yes but he's not sending us into all the world so that we can travel and take nice pictures he's sending us into all the world to all the people to get close to last human beings it's in relationships and in friendships in personal connection that hearts are touched and consequently they're soft and to hear and potentially receive the gospel and White says in ministry feeling 156 I love this quote to reach the people wherever they are and whatever their position or condition and to help them in every way possible this is true ministry by such effort you may win hearts and open the door of access to perishing souls to reach people wherever they are whatever their position in condition and to help them in every way possible that's what God did to us and he turned do it to others verse 30 so the Spirit tells him going you come close to this person verse 30 so Philip ran to him. I love it here and Philip is not wasting any time he's like Ange doesn't go there I'm going to go close I had a guy running close he is a man of action and an obedience and he's like our I've lowered what's next what's next I'm just going to do this and he doesn't know what's going to happen here's the thing that we think Ok when we plan our missions we plan our are the things that we do we think all from a to z. right we we want to know exactly what's going to happen and how we're going to do it how we're funding this and how we're going to make sure that this is a success but he has no idea what's going to happen he's just listening step by step because probably if God would have told him in the beginning what he was supposed to do that he was supposed to meet you know one of the highest official of the if you'll be an empire he would have been like the whole way Lord God reveals to us just step by step and then a process we learn to trust him more so he's running towards this. He's not questioning the commandment or shy about it he isn't he isn't even scared of the possible awkwardness like this random guy running up to his chariots can be awkward right at the top of the story important like it fell over Lockwood going up to this person that I didn't know anybody by the way I forgot to mention after this whole thing happened the police officer who was trying to stop us for further he saw this whole thing and he was like soccer is what he has seen and he came up to us and he was like if you need anything let me know over there is our office a police station anything we will support you the Lord the Lord provides and we don't have to we don't have to worry about anything when he calls us to do something no matter how awkward and weird it is do it run to the chariot like Philip did so he runs because he knows every moment counts in fact hesitating to listen to God's voice can lead to painful experiences and lost opportunities that might never come back. Verse 30 again so Philip ran to him and heard him reading I say had a prophet and asked Do you understand what you are reading and he said how can I unless someone guides me and he invited field to come up and sit with him and the passages of Scripture that he was reading was this like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before it sure is silent so he opens not his mouth and his humiliation Justice was denied him who can describe his generation for his life is taken away from the earth and the unique said to fill a burst 34 about whom I ask you does the prophet say this about himself or about someone else but this Ethiopian unique this treasure of the earth the open empire he was a Bible student he had some scrolls but he had trouble understanding Scriptures and that my friends is what got the record Philip to him because truth seekers God will not leave alone and those people all around us they might have different issues and different opinions and they might be a flat earth or no offense if you're flat earth or they might have different ways of doing things but truth seekers are everywhere and God wants to connect with them so he says How can I understand unless someone guides me what is as they are talking about when Scott connects you with an individual you have to be ready for questions I want to another story Ok so I was in Switzerland. Canvassing and county of candidates before Reza Lord. All right you have to do it it's the worst thing you can do in life it's also the most blessed thing you can do in life. So I was going door to door canvassing and. And in this little villages in Switzerland beautiful a place and little Cartman's going alone that we do kind of thing a little different in Europe than they have over here they have all these of and leaders and they're always encourage men through stuff like you're on your own when you go camping in Europe and so we go and I go and. There's many camping stories I could tell you but this one is particularly interesting again it relates to this divine appointment kind of thing that's going on here with Philip and so I remember going down the street and every door rejection rejection rejection those who were canvassers you know what I'm talking about and then. I remember coming to this house and it had maybe 2 or 3 levels and each level was its own kind of apartment and so I saw this lady I think she was on the 2nd floor and she was outside on her on her like a balcony and that's a bad thing because he you know they can just send you away from there you want to reach them at the door so but I had no choice or like a higher so and so and I have these books and and she's And I was like oh he's going to send me away she's like Oh Ok well I'll come down and then I came to her door and she invited me in actually and she's a come in and long story short we were she you know I presented her books and you know we start with the health books and then she was small interested in like Oh we also have these other books and went to great controversy and some of the other spiritual books that we that we sell and she's just started like asking me question after question about about God and the great controversy and why are suffering and all these questions that people have and for 3 hours I was sitting there and just share with her what I know and the answers that I could give her and we long for you know long forgotten in trying to sell anything and and she actually didn't buy anything but. But I think I left her with some books but anyways we talked and. And it was a good conversation and God obviously connected us and then as I was leaving I come to Durrant a migraine and God bless you and I think it gave us information about the local church and she's like you know Jonathan intelligence earlier about 2 days ago I was praying that God will send me someone to answer my questions and now you hear. Why but you know I didn't know in the process that God was actually going to use me to answer the prayer but this divine appointment took place there it was just a powerful moment and has nothing to do with me it was just the fact that you know when we make ourselves available God can connect us with truth seekers and so we're told by the Spirit of Prophecy that there are hundreds and thousands of people out there it's just houses he said wistfully looking to heaven hoping that someone will come and share with them the truth and give them answers people are desperate for answers they're desperate for hope trying to understand why their hearts are not fulfilled and are looking for purpose connection and love and we have that message of hope friends we have that message of healing and we have the Holy Spirit's presence and we have the Holy Spirit's power which means we have a responsibility a prophetic identity is a prophetic calling Let's move on verse 35 what did Philip share he's asking here about this prophet Isaiah and trying to understand the message that he's reading verse 35 then Philip opened his mouth and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news about Jesus I just love that the good news about Jesus everything about Jesus is good news a man to know him is to love him and when you love him as we talked about earlier this morning. Then you cannot but share him as a matter of fact I wouldn't even stand here today and probably none of you would be here if not somebody who loved Jesus would have shared him with you there's a real need to flesh out the I'm just message go with the love of Christ I don't know how but how does for you maybe not here I've heard so many sermons and so many presentations of spiritual truth they were dry and dry and not much of Jesus in there we need more of Christ it's one thing to share the facts and the logic of our believes but unless they're presented as to how they relate to Jesus being your personal Savior who can give you power and victory and joy and hope and fulfillment and healing unless we fill our doctrines with Jesus we are very quickly giving Christianity a dusty feel because in reality all of our beliefs all of our doctrines when presented in Christ they portray him as a personable beautiful friend and Savior Philip here share Jesus he shared the good news about Jesus Is this what people hear when they meet you in a Love the I'm studying with by my small group that we have every Friday or in our home based on book of Galatians and the 1st thing 3 or 4 verses of Galatians we spend a whole whole session just studying that Paul greets the Galatians with the gospel of Jesus he lays out the entire Gospel message right there and then in his greeting and I take away far from that from the study was like when people meet us do they meet the Gospel did it today have an encounter with Jesus is our greeting a gospel message how do we connect with people. Philip gave him a Bible study and he showed him Christ all over the word Christ in all truth Christ in all the doctrines this is a people need friends as we finish the story verse 36 and as they were going along the road they came to some water. And the unique said See here is water what prevents me from being baptized that's the best question a pastor once ever to hear Hey there's a there's baptistry what's what's hindering me Philip didn't have to say it he didn't have to make an appeal it just became very clear like obviously I need to be baptized this is good news about Jesus I want that what prevents me from being baptized the 38 and he commanded the chariot to stop and they both went down into the water Philip and the unique and he baptized him when somebody hears the good news about Jesus from a person who has experienced Jesus who loves Jesus and was filled with His Spirit that He will lead them naturally to make that decision the Ethiopian official made a decision there and then and was baptized and praise God for that this is so powerful friends God's plan for you might involve a desert wrote dry and deadly but by his guidance it will lead to the refreshing reviving waters of life don't you want to do stuff like this I don't have a lot of cool things to do out there in the world and that's fine you can hike and you can I don't know skydive you can do virtual reality things and you can travel and you can experience incredible things and that's wonderful but this kind of life guided by the Spirit doing the work that Jesus wanted to do things that have meaning and purpose that are have eternal value isn't this what we're called to do. Isn't this what you want to do I believe it is otherwise Hollywood wouldn't make billions on superhero movies everyone wants to be special and do something incredible that is beyond themselves but Jesus called Doesn't cost to be that kind of superhero he's a superhero who wants to work through you and me and gives us the privilege to engage in neck and of work friends want to courage you to collaborate personally with Jesus Christ living a life of service a life of intentionality a life that is Spirit filled and guided a life that is focused on God's mission I work that leads people to salvation every day God is willing to give you an opportunity to meet in a theo paean on a dusty desert road today might be that friend that you haven't talked to in a while tomorrow it might be the girl across the room a Chipotle or next week it might be your neighbor and what happened next was 39 and when they came up out of the water the spirit of the Lord carried Philip away and the Unix saw him no more and went on his way rejoicing if this isn't the coolest Exod ever a Baptist in the name of the Father the Son of the Holy Spirit. Plunge guy step aside Star Trek Holy Spirit teleportation services here. Friends there's adventure and joy and purpose and excitement when you work with God I haven't experienced this yet although I really hope it will happen one day but it doesn't matter we're not in it for the perks but there's such joy to collaborate with God and and he gives you an adventure that you can never produce. When you that Jesus live out his life within you when you listen to his spirit and follow His guidance you can expect amazing miracles to have time for one more story or Ok Ok. This last August I was in Iceland and I led a mission trip to Iceland and let me back up a little bit on the vice president of missions for g.i.c. and over the last couple of years God has put in a heart to to to do a mission and not in a country where we typically know that there will be results that make sense nothing wrong with that we've got to go everywhere but everywhere includes Iceland it includes secular places that are hard to reach apparently and places where people don't feel a need for God And so we said all right Iceland is one of the most secular countries in the world it is very wealthy and it's right in between North America and Europe and so it's just a strategic kind of island that needs Jesus and so we were thinking about how can we do this what should we do what you know should we go and do public meetings should we should we go to knock on every door what do we do and I stand and this was not an easy thing because got to put on the Hearts some of you might be following your have been you might not have got as of the last couple of years really put the topic of prayer on our hearts we have a prayer with you I see that God has just been done incredible miracles their thousands of young people come to go to pray and so we were inspired by said Lord while we believe that God puts in our hearts to just go and pray. No plans no elaborate plans just listen to dispirit and risk the reality that you might have no results to risk the reality that this could just potentially go completely wrong and ruin the reputation of g.o.c. and just be a waste of money for all the missionaries because all you're doing is praying just prayer but God put in our heart and we're like you know what. If this bombs then at least we go with the bag and nothing makes sense or so we decided to do this and I am going to cut it short course and it's a long story but the Lord blessed despite a last challenges in the preparation we had 50 young people from the entire world from every continent we couldn't have planned this that day came and came to Iceland and we decided we will goal and to the Capital Region of Iceland where 75 percent of the country lives and we will go and just pray or walk the city and pray with people that's it most secular place where people don't believe in God where people have everything they need and we're going to pray because this is a spiritual warfare I mean when you think about it prayer really is the most powerful thing you can do because of that in God's work. But from a human perspective there was definitely a tension in our hearts like I mean this was going to do that can we what are we going to do like just pray you can just if you want to do something right you just have this feeling you you've got to do something more tangible and so we decided and this is not because we wanted to do more tangible we wanted to make it possible to have some kind of follow up if we do have experiences and so we trust that God will guide us and so we put in some glow tracks an Icelandic one prayer and we had 4 a but we gave everyone that we met every interaction with prayer and it looked like on health or something else and so we had teams walking around the entire capital region of week all they did was prayer walk and intercede for the other missionaries that were. Sent out in the different regions where people lived and they were praying walking and also going through the city praying and and identifying satanic strongholds all over the city that we can continue to see for and then the other teams that were going from door to door and knocking on doors and just offering prayer they would say hey we are you know my name is Jonathan and and here with we called the project glow Iceland and we said you know we're here to to share and we believe that God hears prayers and prayers and is there anything we can pray for in your life that was very simple thing with said. And we thought because I'm from Europe I know how it is there I thought it was just going to rejection rejection but got that incredible things for us he opened doors and connected us as people who were seriously hurting people who had who who had so much pain their life depression issues and today the presence of some random person from the u.s. or from the Philippines or must really out from wherever they came was just it blew their mind why would you come to Iceland because most people can dies than to see the incredible country it's a beautiful country but we came to pray in a while you would come here to pray we show them that we cared if we love and we pray for them and there are so many probably expensive ones for example I went to this one door and I did my little spiel and and the lady said yes please pray for my son he's been struggling with alcohol for 20 years and he can't overcome he's tried everything and I have all these issues and so she like we held hands we prayed she hugged me her tears were streaming down her face of a you know you're a gift from God I can't believe that this happened and this happened multiple times people were so touched not so much by what we said about presence and I believe the Holy Spirit touching their hearts because here's the thing there were people we were praying with for you think kind of funny things you know like this 120 year old guy a young guy who's a I think an airport technician something with airplanes and and he said well I had my wisdom teeth removed can you pray for that I'm like Sure let's pray and so we prayed together and afterwards he was soul visibly touched he didn't know what to say he had never in his life had an experience like this never prayed before really knew what that meant there were young people that talked to a 13 year old who was depressed and and he had to have depression and but when I asked him Can I pray with you he said what is prayer. When we pray with people we are connecting them with God They need to hear about the Sabbath they need to hear about the century they need to hear about all these messages but 1st in a connection with Jesus and so we had all these encounters with them and I mean so many stories. One of our missionaries met the freemason leader of Iceland and one of the freemason leaders and he said yes please pray for my 3000 freemason on this country so we did it we even went to the president's home it's not like here where you can't even get close to the White House ever White House through there very very nice and we were knocked on his door to missionaries and me and he wasn't home but his assistant was there and we gave him the glow tracks and told him what we're doing and we prayed prayed for them so God God wants to use us when we make ourselves available he will connect us with all these people that are whether they know it or not looking for something and it works even in the most secular places God is at work people are seeking and we're all human beings who need to be filled with healing and love of Jesus so after this amazing experience with it Philip do or 30 or 40 but Philip found himself after his teleportation Star Trek Experience found himself that as though to use and as he passed through. What they do he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Sesar ear after bringing the life love truth and power and power of God to some Mariya earlier and through the Ethiopian to the entire continent of Africa he simply continued step by step Philip didn't even know the result of all his work but he continued doing what God called him to do how could he not. He didn't sign up for a one time 3 week mission trip nothing wrong with us by the way you have to sign up for it by tomorrow if you want to be part of the mission trip nothing wrong with mission trips I organize them as a blessing but sign up for a lifetime of mission that's a recall to do still it was driven by a higher loyalty a loyalty of love for Jesus and grounded in his prophetic identity friend as a remnant believer today you have that same prophetic identity Jesus still desires a deep and personal love relationship with you why not give God complete access to your life to all of your agenda items to every one of your calendar days one of the Holy Spirit to guide you into divine appointments maybe every day empowering you as you follow to have an appointed purpose the highest the most noble aim of bringing the gospel to the entire world in this generation starting with your sphere of influence here and why not start to risk building friendships with people outside of our bubble and God will lead you if you let him I promise you this he will use you to literally change the world for him just like food is one interaction the Gospel went to Africa he can and will use you to share the good news with the world starting with your neighbors with friends and with people you meet brothers and sisters God needs more Phillips and I'm speaking to myself Here men and women who will be whole Jesus and love and know him people who are simply willing to be used by God to be filled with His Spirit to make themselves available wherever he sensed a mentor ever cost necessary even if it's a desert people who make Jesus His mission their life. Who are driven by a loyalty of love and a prophetic identity in Christ he desires to reach an entire world with us in this generation all he needs is a willingness to go and let him do all this through you and me I told you a lot of stories of my life and I don't want to think that I'm anything special because I really am not God wants to usis just if you make yourself available and I'll be honest with you I'm so busy in my own life that have I've had very little time to have divine appointments outside of the endless bubble I work in the g.c. building and I'm in there you know 1112 hours a day I just want to go home and sleep and then repeat the next day but the Lord is spoken to me as well again like Lord Jonathan you have to get out of your bubble so my wife and I are going to knock on every one of our neighbors' doors and introduce ourselves without telling them anything yet we're just connecting and trying to build friendships that will encourage you and almost of a neighbors or add interest here but there is someone out there and it might be another just as nothing wrong with helping at this but make yourself available so if it's your desire tonight to make a decision in that direction to go to the end of the earth starting with your street living in sharing the good news about Jesus in actions and if necessary in words if you desire to work as Steve says work as Philip worked come close to people living God perform miracles through you and to earnestly strive to take the message that he's given us the good news about Jesus to people all over the world making his mission your life living for a higher loyalty if this is your desire tonight would you stand where you are as we pray. The same Jesus that heart song we talked about this morning you want I want to want to say Lord I want to. I want to make myself available. Doesn't mean it will experience miracles every day but the reality is we don't always see the miracles there really are miracles all the time and it's not about that but it's about making 5 available and connecting with people to share within the good news about Jesus let's pray Father we are here because we are desiring a closer walk with you Lord I know that they have been too many moments that I have wasted well not made myself available where it was more comfortable to put in the headphones and scroll through Facebook instead of reaching out to the person sitting next to me Laura day pray that you will please forgive us for our lack of. Willingness to. Cleanse our hearts from the selfishness that we so often let rule our lives. Repaired you will remind us to spend our time with the cross every day to be filled with your love driven by your log and higher loyalty because we know we are prophetically called to share that beautiful message of Jesus with the world so now we stand here Lord as we've made a decision tonight to say Lord we moan and make ourselves available right now maybe even tonight maybe even now in this room there is someone we need to connect with maybe I will home maybe tomorrow maybe when you go back to work just make us individuals who are so into human with you so in tune with your frequency to frequency of heaven then we will hear the Spirit when he tells us where to go who to talk to who to run to who to come close to Lord you are allowed. To interrupt our agendas from now on and if that means that we will maybe make less money that's fine if that means that we will miss out on some kind of experience that we were looking forward to that's Ok too I would rather spend time with you and with people that need you so Lord we pray that from now on our lives will completely change and and we come together in heaven that it will be a multitude of people that you have been able to reach just because of innocence of Ailill and let your spirit work through us so we commit ourselves to you and our lives all of our plans and we praise you and thank you that you've promised. That you will glorify yourselves. Soprano Jesus. And that this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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