Central Christian Church Message Podcast

International Weekend | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan, Dr. Florence Muindi & Camille Melki

February 28, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
International Weekend | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan, Dr. Florence Muindi & Camille Melki
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
International Weekend | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan, Dr. Florence Muindi & Camille Melki
Feb 28, 2021
Central Christian Church of Arizona

Sometimes we can start believing that the good news and freedom that is found in Jesus is only for ourselves. However, the Bible couldn’t be more clear—the gospel is for all people, tongues and nations.

 Join us this weekend as we hear from Pastor Cal Jernigan and from our brothers and sisters oversees. Welcome to International Weekend at Central!  

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Show Notes Transcript

Sometimes we can start believing that the good news and freedom that is found in Jesus is only for ourselves. However, the Bible couldn’t be more clear—the gospel is for all people, tongues and nations.

 Join us this weekend as we hear from Pastor Cal Jernigan and from our brothers and sisters oversees. Welcome to International Weekend at Central!  

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

 Cal Jernigan: [00:00:00] Hi everybody. And thank you for praying with us. Now, this might not be what you were expecting to see, but I want to just add a word of welcome to each and every one of you on a very special weekend. This is international weekend and it's a, it's a day that we literally celebrate the nations and our commitment to make a difference.

[00:00:16] So right now I and my friends, this is my wife, Lisa, very dear friend, Matt and Paul. We are in a place in Tempe called Mandi House. And Mandi House, the owners are friend of Central and they've allowed us to come in here and we're enjoying a Middle Eastern meal. And the reason we're doing this is to just get us to thinking about the incredible importance of why the nations should be the first thing on our heart.

[00:00:41] So we're going to talk about that today and right now, just to get you move in that direction, I want to show you something. I want to show you a video and it'll kind of set the stage for what we're gonna talk about today. So [00:01:00] watch this.

[00:02:00] Well, that [00:03:00] was certainly  sobering. But thanks for taking the time to look at it and the process. And that's really, what we want to talk about today is, is that how God intended for things to go? You know, it's interesting if you go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible in fact, there's a guy, his name's Abraham, Abram, then God changes it to Abraham.

[00:03:41] And he is known as the father of the Jewish nation and literally the father that the first patriarch. And there is a very interesting passage. That's in Genesis chapter 12, where God calls him. But what you understand when you get this is that God's calling him, but he's calling all of us who are his [00:04:00] descendants into a mission.

[00:04:01] Let me read to you. It's from the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis. The Lord God said to Abraham, go from, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great. And you will be a blessing.

[00:04:21] I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse. And all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. There's a couple of things here I want to just highlight. The first thing is Abraham was called to go somewhere, Abraham wasn't called to just be comfortable and just stay put and, you know, just relax.

[00:04:38] He was called to actually go from where he was to someplace he had no idea. And God said, the reason I want you to do this is because I want to start something and what I began it it's going gonna, it's literally going to pass from generation to generation. And the actual call is this is that I will bless you.

[00:04:55] And then I literally make you a blessing to everyone you come in contact with so that [00:05:00] you will be blessed to bless you will blessed to you. You will be blessed to be a blessing. Now here's the, here's the sad truth of it. All right. All these years later, again, the reference, the video we just watched just refer to that and, you know, make a, make a mental reference point on that.

[00:05:18] But here's what you need to understand. On the planet today there are 17,744 distinct people groups. All right, now you're getting seventeen thousand seven hundred and seventeen thousand four hundred forty four. Okay. So make a mental point of that. And then what do I need you to understand is out oall of those people groups, 7,400 still, haven't never had anyone tell them about Jesus, that they, the, all the people that were blessed to be a blessing, they didn't get to them.

[00:05:51] Now they'll 7,400 that represents about 42% of the population. The 42% that's 3.2 [00:06:00] billion people who still never, never have heard about Jesus. And they never heard because for some reason we've never bothered to tell them. Now let me take us back to the generosity series that we're, we've been in.

[00:06:14] That's just think about this for a minute. So we talked about the fact that you have a heart in your chest and that literally your blood moves in and out of your heart. And if your heart held or hoarded its blessing of blood, it would literally explode. And if it exploded game over, you're dead. But, but what your heart does is what it receives it gives.

[00:06:32] And this was exactly the image of the picture of what we're supposed to be doing. That as we've been blessed, we were to give that away. The sad tragedy. Of the church throughout history has been always to grow inward instead of the other focus. In other words, it's about building buildings. It's about doing programming that makes our ministry our lives better.

[00:06:55] Our ministries better it's about us us us us us, and God said, no. It's not to be [00:07:00] about you. It's, I'm going to bless you so that you can bless other people. And we got to get serious about doing this church. I want to introduce you to some people. Okay. Now, before I introduce you to some people, I want to share something that Lisa once said once when she was introducing a friend. We were in in Bethlehem, in the Holy land and she was introducing a friend of ours, Sami Awad to a group from Central.

[00:07:26] And I'll never forget how she introduced him. She said to the group, one of the greatest joys of meeting people around the world is that you then get to introduce your friends to your friends. And then she introduced Sami to our group. Well, what we're going to do right now is introduce you friends to some friends.

[00:07:45] And I want to introduce two people that you're going to get a chance to hear from. Okay. Dr. Florence is from Kenya and North Africa, and you're going to hear from her. And then you're going to hear from Camille who is in Lebanon. Now they're going to come up [00:08:00] in just a minute before you hear from them. Let me just give you some background as to why you're going to listen to these folks.

[00:08:07] A number of years ago at Central our leadership said, look, we're going to have to think long and hard about how we prioritize this Genesis 12 passage and how do we make it make it real for us. And we prayed and we sought counsel and we literally traveled around the world and we asked God, God, where do you need us to commit to?

[00:08:31] And in the process of doing that, there was a very real tension that emerged. And what we discovered is. That there are so many places churches can commit to around the world that are fantastic exotic locations. That it's really, really easy to get people to go look at. And global trips would be easily filled because Hey, it's like going on a vacation in an exotic land.

[00:08:55] The problem is as all those places have lots and lots of people that have [00:09:00] been there, but there's other places that, that, well, they're harder to reach. We felt God told us our calling needs to be to a region that's called the 10 40 window. And that has to do with latitude. Okay. There is a section that goes across North Africa and into the Middle East that's in this window that 40% of the world lives in.

[00:09:23] And yet, so few resources has been dedicated to it because it's hard. It's just a difficult place. And so we felt God's calling us as a church is we're going to care about them. And we're w we're going to, we're going to let God do a work in our lives and in our hearts to prepare us to be faithful, to a hard calling, not an easy calling.

[00:09:43] And that's why we've taken what we call the NAMW region North Africa, Middle East. And we've said, that's our focus and that's our priority. So the two people that you're about to meet our friends we've made in the NAME region. And we're excited for you to meet them. Listen carefully to their story because I'm telling you [00:10:00] they'll rock your world.

[00:10:04] Dr. Florence Muindi: [00:10:04] My name is Florence Muindi and I serve with the ministry of Life in Abundance International. Life in Abundance is serving in partnership with Central Christian Church. We serve in Africa about 12 countries in Africa now, and are also involved with work in the Caribbean and the Caribbean. We are serving with two countries.

[00:10:31] We work among the poor and the vulnerable, and over the last 25 years, we have been involved in this ministry. It's not wonder that Jesus would say the spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor that they may become the likeness of God. Just coming along that mission, that mission that not only [00:11:00] touches the physical needs, but also the spiritual, the emotional, the social needs of the poor.

[00:11:07] Brings us in a very, in a very deep way in partnership with, with the mission of Jesus in partnership with, with God, the spirit of Christ in us and connect us in a very special way to be in fellowship with the Lord. That is something that I have so much enjoyed over the last 25 years. And serving in a place where Christ walks and serving people who we can connect at a level where the spirit of God is truly glorified. In Isaiah 61, we read about, about Jesus coming to preach the good news to the poor, but he goes on to say until they are ashes until they're their predicament.

[00:12:00] [00:12:00] Until all the depths of the things that they find themselves in can be transformed to joy, to dignity, to self-worth, and can become praise to God that the glory of God can be restored. As Isaiah 61 talks about them becoming established to becomes acts of righteousness. I believe that is the holistic ministry that we are called to be involved in. That we may see the redeemed become established in their estate in ways that they will not be able to go back. It calls for a compassion that works with for the longer term. For many years the church, and when I say the church, I mean, myself and us. We have seen [00:13:00] missions as a spiritual evangelism.

[00:13:04] I'm going to share the word of God. But I am so thankful that we have come to a place of maturity where we have seen and come to understand that mission, indeed missions, is bigger than just sharing the gospel. It is, it is being involved in the spiritual, yes. But the physical, the emotional, the social, the for restoration of, of the whole person restoring them to the image of Christ, which they are made they're made in. Wanting to address all of that, to bring them to a point where they can, they can glorify God. They can. They can worship God in that, in that fullness. And the [00:14:00] mission in its fullness is integral. It's both physical and spiritual. It's asking ourselves to meet the broken mess and to bring it to that full restoration that the poor, the vulnerable, the broken, the abused.

[00:14:20] Can be restored back to the image of Christ. It takes, it's take compassion. It takes applied compassion where we can come alongside and work with for the long term. As we respond to what Christ calls us to be. It not only gives fullness to those that are recipients, but it gives us fullness and purpose and indeed it fulfills us as we obey what Christ invites us to.

[00:14:55] And that is, that is his mission. He says, [00:15:00] go and make disciples of all nations as we go. We also become disciples. As we walk in his obedience, we also become radiant in his presence. 

[00:15:14] Camille Melki: [00:15:14] I bring you greetings from the country of Lebanon. My name is Camille Melki. I'm the co-founder and CEO of Heart for

[00:15:21] Lebanon. Thank you for your generous invitation for me to join you at this Central international weekend, we have bid farwell to the year 2020 and what a year it has been. The entire world was caught off guard by this horrific pandemic. COVID 19 have caused so much hardship to the entire globe. Many economies have crippled and the healthcares of many countries have fallen apart. Lebanon is no different. Friends the middle East is a very [00:16:00] important place in my heart and has a very important place in your heart as well. We know that people who live in despair are not only questioning if God exists, but they are also seeking the truth. And here is our opportunity.

[00:16:15] Here is our opportunity to come into a relation of trust with the families that we serve and the people who are suffering so much and share with them that Jesus Christ loved them. That God the father, God the son, and God the Holy spirit cares for their agonies and cares for their miseries and use us as the conduit of a message of reconciliation. Reconciling the world with the father.

[00:16:44] What a great gift we have been given that we join hands together in partnership, but also together with Jesus Christ to reconcile the world with the father. [00:17:00] Friends I am so grateful because you have the middle East and North Africa on your heart. I'm so grateful that you pray for, support, and encourage many indigenous ministries, ministries that are not only showing the love of Jesus Christ in tangible and meaningful ways.

[00:17:21] Providing food, shelter, safety sanitization, as well as medical care for families in need, but also sharing the message of the gospel standing in front of a wave of radicalism. Offering a message of reconciliation. Leading people from despair to hope we have no choice, but to stand together. Today and in closing, I shared with you this bright encouraging message I'm speaking to you from our hope and ministry [00:18:00] center and the Beqaa Valley around us here in the Beqaa are hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Arabs, and Kurdish refugees.

[00:18:11] They fled their home town and came to this Valley. And they have found Jesus Christ here, here at this center every Sunday, we have a worshiping community of Muslim converts, born Muslim believers in Christ as their personal savior. And on Wednesday, we have a Kurdish speaking church as well, all this because you and us have decided to share a message of hope in the midst of despair. May God bless you and keep you safe. 

[00:18:51] Cal Jernigan: [00:18:51] Well, Hey, I just want to personally thank Dr. Florence and Camille for sharing with us, their heart, and literally what's going on in their part of the world. And [00:19:00] obviously we care about them and we care about those who they live with and it really does matter.

[00:19:05] But right now we're back home. In fact, when I say home, we're technically not at home, I'm standing right now on the on the campus of Arizona state university. And you might be wondering what's that got to do with us? Well, you might not realize this, but education. Is a huge element in literally reaching the world. Now let me explain of all the people that are heads of state in the countries across the world, 40% studied at a university like ASU in the United States that this is where they were educated.

[00:19:32] And, and then they take home the education that they were given, and then they execute their, you know, their wisdom and leading. But here's something I don't know that you might not be. I, you might not be aware of. I don't know that you know this, but you know that 80% of all the international students who come to the United States never once in their years of education here, get invited into the home of a Christian of a believer in God that they just don't get invited.

[00:19:57] They don't get invited over for a meal. They don't get invited over for [00:20:00] conversation. They just aren't welcomed in, in any way to the family. 80%, 90% of all the people who come here from around the world never once, got invited to come to church. Never once. Nobody, nobody, nobody knew them. Nobody cared enough to get to know them, to invite them.

[00:20:16] Why am I telling you this? I'm telling you this because whether you understand this or not 160,000 people die every single day. And if we're Christ followers and we believe what we say, we believe then that number matters. And we ought to be doing everything within our power to make a difference in the life of every single person

[00:20:36] we come in contact with. Hey, in my first few moments I had with you, I shared with you from Genesis chapter 12, the call of Abraham and I. I explained that literally what happened when God called Abraham has God called you and me, that God called all of the descendants of Abraham to be a blessing to all the rest of the world and tragically.

[00:20:57] As I said, so many of us kind of hoarded that, but that [00:21:00] was the first commission, but can I share with you what we often call the great commission or maybe the last commission? These are literally the last words of Jesus. So what I want you to understand, and it's from the very beginning to the very end, the mission was very, very clear.

[00:21:14] And let me, let me remind you what Jesus said. Matthew 28:18-20 all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you.

[00:21:30] And surely I am with you to the very end of the age folks from the beginning to the end, there's been one commission and it was to make sure that you don't hoard the blessings of God that you give them away. See what I need you to understand, church. What I need to remember is this is not, this is not a commission for some other group.

[00:21:51] This is not a commission for some other believer. This is a commission to you and to me and you. You might go, well, what would I even do? [00:22:00] Let me just explain in our global mindset around central there's five different aspects of what you could enter into. Okay. And you might be perfect for one of them, but not all five, but one of them would go that's exactly.

[00:22:12] See, some of you are the first group. That's the goer. The goer one who says, look, I'm I'll, I'll get on. I'll sell everything, get on an airplane. I will give them the next X number of years of my life to make sure that that people group in that section of the world gets a chance to hear about Jesus. It's absolutely crucial that we have goers, but not everyone's a goer because it takes a hundred of the second group.

[00:22:34] And that's what we're going to call senders. Senders are the ones who get behind the goers and facilitate, make it happen, support them financially and emotionally, and, and just literally spiritually come to their aid and just go look, you can count on me. A third group is the idea of being a welcomer.

[00:22:52] Okay. You gotta goer  you got a sender you got a welcomer. Okay. What's a welcomer? Well, just as I just told you all of these people come here [00:23:00] to the United States. Now some thousands come as students, thousands more come as refugees. Others just, they just live among us. You could literally would be the kind of person that instead of getting angry, that

[00:23:14] foreigners are in the United States. You go, we're going to welcome them. They're here. And I'm going to do everything within my power to make sure that the love of Jesus touches them. And so you just determined that that's what you're going to do. Another group would be prayers. Prayers. Okay. We got goers and senders and welcomers and prayers.

[00:23:32] And those are people who are just dedicated, literally committed to making sure that these people are held before the throne of God and remembered. And and the fifth group is what we call mobilizers. Now mobilizers can encompass others, but mobilizers are just people who I'm just going to dedicate myself to make sure this happens.

[00:23:51] And literally become a champion of the global effort within our church and just make sure that every opportunity it can be brought up, it gets brought up and that people get to hear [00:24:00] the easiest thing for the church to do is become self-centered and care only about us. We can literally become hoarders of the truth.

[00:24:07] But just as our heart was not made to hoard our lives were not made to hoard our mission is not meant to be hoarded and we're to give it away. So, Hey, thank you again for being involved in this. Now this, somebody else is going to close this out, but I just want to personally thank you for being involved, but when this is all done, please find a place where you can give your heart and make a difference in the world.

[00:24:28] It's up to us. It's up to you. Thanks.