Do you believe that God is up to something? We do. We also believe that the Bible is clear. God wants to use you to make a huge impact on the world, but He gives you a choice. You can say no. Many of us say that we want God to use us, but, when He asks, we either say no or are too distracted to hear. Join us this weekend as Pastor Steve Carter shows us how saying yes to God can both change our lives and the lives others.
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Cal Jernigan: [00:00:00] Well, hi everyone. Hey pastor Cal here. One more time. Thank you for being a part of our worship this weekend. Our church wouldn't be our church without you, whether you're in person, on one of our campuses, or whether you're watching this online, uh, man we love you and we value you very much. I also want to remind you, it's hard to believe that next week is Easter and the most important thing I can tell you about Easter right now,
[00:00:21] is that you don't want to do it alone. One of the coolest things God's given us is the ability to invite people, and so I want you to take advantage of that. Bring somebody with you. You'll be amazed how much it means to somebody that you remembered and you cared enough to invite them along. So please make a point of doing that.
[00:00:39] It is indeed a privilege from God. Well today is a very, very special day and I'm excited for today. You're going to be glad you're here. Because we've invited a very, very special friend and guest, actually a friend of Central to be the speaker this weekend. And, uh, some of you already know him. His name is Steve Carter, and there are so many things I could tell you about Steve that make him such a wonderful person.
[00:01:00] First, I gotta tell you is a great husband. He and his wife, Sarah have been married for 17 years. He's a father to two children. He is a pastor. He's a speaker. He's, he's an author. He wrote this book called this invitational life. He's a church consultant. He literally travels all over the world, raising up leaders.
[00:01:18] He's a sports enthusiastic. I could go on and on and on. But what I love most about Steve is, uh, his, his heart for Jesus is just solid gold. And, uh, not only does he love Jesus, but he loves people and I feel so privileged to be connected to him through, uh, just the way God kind of orchestrated our lives.
[00:01:37] And, so church, hey, we're very privileged to call this guy, our friend. So here's what I want to ask you to do as you always do. I want you to make him feel welcome as any guest comes to Central. This is our special privilege to have Steve Carter. So church to do your thing.
[00:01:56] Steve Carter: [00:01:56] Wow. Wow. I got to tell you, I love this church. I think you have one of the best student ministries on the planet. I've had the privilege to speak to the students and there's summer conference, over the years. The men's ministry here is just incredible. And Pastor Cal, he actually poured into my mentor. So every time he sees me, he goes, you know who I am, right.
[00:02:19] I'm your spiritual grandfather. And I was like, that is right. Well, it is an honor to be here. My family and I, we moved from Chicago land, go Cubs, to Arizona. My wife's originally from North Scottsdale. And so her name's Sarah. So I refer to this great state as Sarah Zona. And we've got a son, 12, Emerson, a daughter, seven named Mercy.
[00:02:44] She has no idea what that word means. She runs our house. She runs our house. Hey, for those of you who are watching online or on the West side, At Tempe, Mesa, Queen Creek, welcome. We are so, so grateful that you're tuning in on this Palm Sunday. And today I want to introduce you to my favorite person in scripture, not named Jesus.
[00:03:07] His name is Ananias and he has only mentioned about 12 times in scripture, but I think he literally transforms our understanding of the New Testament. If you have a Bible turn with me to Acts chapter nine, if not, it'll be up on the screen and we'll begin in verse 10. And it says this in Damascus, which was 150 miles. Damascus, modern day, Syria. Hundred and 50 miles from Jerusalem.
[00:03:35] There was a disciple named Ananias. Now the word disciple in Hebrew is the word Talmud deem, and to be a Talmud deem that you had high desire and high devotion to be like your rabbi and Ananias was leading this kind of upstart little church of the followers of the Way are the followers of Jesus, 150 miles,
[00:03:58] away from Jerusalem, but there was a man by the name of Saul who was very, very powerful. He had been given permission by the religious authorities to go to Damascus because word had gotten out that this small little upstart community was speaking the name of Jesus. And so saw ends up having this profound experience and encounter with Jesus on this road to Damascus.
[00:04:26] But God, need somebody just like, I believe God needs somebody today. I believe that in this room, there's a whole bunch of everyday and Ananias. People that are these disciples, these Talmud deems of Jesus, high desire, high devotion to be like Christ and God speaks. And what's so beautiful, look at it says the Lord called to him meeting Ananias in a vision. Ananias.
[00:04:52] And I love his response. Yes. Lord, he answered. The supernatural begins every time we say yes to God's whispers and God's promptings. And every day God is whispering. God is looking to use you in the marketplace and Costco and the bank and your school, even on Zoom. God is looking to use you, the question is, will you say yes.
[00:05:25] Well, you say yes. Continues on verse 11. The Lord told him go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. So downtown Damascus, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul for he is praying in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight. See, this is what's the so human, because anytime we say God, I want to be used, here,
[00:05:51] I am send me Lord. And he's like, okay, great. I'm gonna use you. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to downtown Damascus, Straight Street, Judas his house. There's a guy I need you to talk to, but Ananias knows who this guy is. Now look what he says, verse 13. Lord, Ananias answered. I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your Holy people in Jerusalem.
[00:06:16] And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name. It's like Ananias is like, God, I know you are in control of everything, but I don't think you've been watching the news, man. This is a bad dude. You want me to go there? I mean, we know few days, few weeks earlier, he killed a guy named Stephen.
[00:06:38] You want me to put myself out? He might beat me in prison me. He might kill me. You want me to go there? You want me to show up at this house? Really? God, really. And look what it says, verse 15. But the Lord said to Ananias go. This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their Kings and to the people of Israel.
[00:07:03] I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. And I love this verse 17 then, Ananias went, he goes. And he went to the house and entered it and placing his hands on Saul, he said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
[00:07:28] Here's Saul. He's been blinded and then Ananias walks up to him. And this guy has done so much pain and hurt to the local church and you got to see, he isn't just show up, but he's going to build a relationship, puts his hands on his shoulders and says, Brother Saul he doesn't punch him. He doesn't kick him. He sees him.
[00:07:52] He doesn't shame him. Brother Saul. And look what it says. Verse 18 immediately something like scales fell from Saul's eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Friends, you got to understand this man named Saul becomes Paul and Paul writes the majority of the New Testament, the theology of Romans.
[00:08:24] Joy in the midst of adversity from Philippians, the supremacy of Christ from Colassians the joy in worship that we have, that we learned from Ephesians how to have a mentor and a mentee, that kind of relationship in first and second Timothy, he wrote literally half of the New Testament. And sometimes I wonder the simple Question.
[00:08:47] what if Ananias said, no. I'm not going God. Can you imagine our Bibles without that those books. And this guy, Paul had this ministry to the Gentiles, which is us. We might not be here if Ananias didn't show up. I mean, just thinking about this for a second, I believe that God is everywhere. God's here.
[00:09:17] God's in the neighborhood. God's in traffic. God's in Starbucks. God is here. And if God is here, then God has a desire. You know, God's desire is. To actually partner with us, to use us, to advance his story. This is the Great Commission go out and make disciples. I'll never leave you. I want you to go everywhere.
[00:09:40] And this means that every moment is brimming with redemptive potential. The question is what if we say no? Cause see, God, God is like wanting to actually use us. But what if he whispers to you? And he's like, God, I need you. I need you. I need you right here to kind of advance my story. And you say no. Then it goes to somebody else that Central is like, Hey, seriously, this person's far from God.
[00:10:02] I need you. You say no. And it goes to another person they say no. And what if he just goes through the rows, goes through the campus, campuses goes through everyone tuning in and we all say, no, I'll tell you what happens in the Valley. Culture begins to drift and take over, families begin to just break down. Cities, counties, states, countries begin just to lose the heart, the ethic, the soul of grace and peace and truth and freedom.
[00:10:32] The globe gets more distorted and corrupted and heaven gets smaller. This is what happens every time we say no to the whispers and the promptings of God. But the question does become what happens every time we say, yes, what might happen? What could happen. How we can partner and truly live an invitational life.
[00:10:56] And so what I want to do today in our remaining moments together, I want to teach you the four marks, of living an invitational life. A life that invites people into the greatest story ever told. The first is this just like Ananias, you gotta live. You gotta live deep with Jesus. This is about you being a disciple.
[00:11:16] You know, God's voice high desire, high devotion to be like your rabbi, your Lord, your savior, your teacher. And number two, you got to show up with expectancy believing God's there. Believing that God's up to something. If he's here believing that God wants to use you. And I experienced this a number of years ago when I went to Bujumbura Burundi. Real place. We had raised all of this money here in the States, and we were going to Burundi to actually give this money to some women, to empower them, to start businesses that would bless their family, their city, and hopefully their country.
[00:11:55] The problem was there were three political leaders, who weren't responding to our calls, our emails, and they had not given us clearance to move this money over to these women. And so we fly into Bujumbura fly in super late at night. Next morning, I show up to this meeting, super jet lagged. I'm standing there.
[00:12:15] There's a business leader. Who's leading the meeting and he's looking for an idea how we can get these three political leaders, to sign off, to move these funds, to bless these women and bless their cities and bless their country. The problem is nobody has a good idea. And this business leader is a great leader and believes in efficient meetings and doesn't want to, just to go on.
[00:12:38] And he looks at all of us and he goes, none of you have a good idea. It's 10:30 in the morning. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to release you, but here's the deal. You're going to come back at dinner time and you're going to come back with one good idea. The city of Bujumbura the country of Burundi, the kingdom of God, we need this idea, beg God for an idea.
[00:12:59] Go. It's like man intense. So I pick up my backpack. I walk out, I look at my friend, who's a little bit older. I'm like, man, what are you going to do with our time? Because I might take a nap. I was like, God does work through dreams. Like maybe that's, that's the way to go. I go to my hotel room and I'm sitting in my hotel room just wondering like, wow, God, I need an idea.
[00:13:19] I have this prompting. Go for a run. Which if you look at me, it looks, you know, that I have not run for a long time. And so I've put on some basketball shorts and I start to run and I've never been to Bujumbura. So I don't really know where I'm going. I'm just trying to run, make a right here, pass some UN vehicles, make a left.
[00:13:39] I, I find myself coming to like the downtown city center of Bujumbura and there's this massive park with a basketball court and there's about 500 people watching a pickup game. So I go and stand outside this court, I'm just watching it, watching it. I'm there about 90 seconds. When a guy comes up to me and pokes me and he goes, you good.
[00:13:57] And I'm like, yeah man. I'm all right. He goes, no, no, no, no. You good in basketball. I'm like, I'm okay. He goes, no, no, no. If I choose you to do we win. All right. All right. I mean, I did play college basketball D one. I didn't really play, I sat the bench, but I got free shoes, but like, I'm sitting there. I know how to scout and I go, man.
[00:14:18] I think, I think we do. All right. And he goes, okay, you you're out. You're in now. I'm like, who is this guy? I'm like, haven't even stretched. I kid you not for the next 90 minutes. We go six and Oh, They come out with a basket of like Burundi dollars. So I didn't know, I joined the BBA, but I did add that to my LinkedIn account.
[00:14:36] And like, they ended up like walking up and the guy, the guy comes up to me, goes tomorrow championship game, be here, same time. And I'm like, I didn't come here to play pickup basketball. I came here for this meeting. He's like, who's your meeting with, well, my goal, here's the deal. He said, we raised all this money.
[00:14:51] We're trying to get it to these women. But the problem is these three political leaders. And he's like, what are their names? I read off the names and he goes, I'm the second one.
[00:15:01] Check your email, bro. He goes, I got deal for you. You win tomorrow. I take meeting. So now I get to go back to the dinner meeting with one good idea. So I come back and I'm like, Yeah, that's a good, you want to go stand outside of the offices, maybe catch them as they walk in bad idea. I'll tell you one idea.
[00:15:26] There's one sport that God loves the game of basketball. So I tell them this story that the leaders like you go to your room, you order whatever you want, you win that game. We win that game. We take the meeting. Why do I tell you that story? Because it's so weird, but this is how God works. God wants to use you.
[00:15:46] We all say we want to face adventure. The problem is we just don't say yes. When he whispers, we say we want to be used, but then when God whispers, we're too distracted, we say, we want the thrill of God using us. But the problem is is when he prompts, we're too busy. Friends, I'm telling you when you live deep with Jesus and you show up into every environment, knowing that is brimming with redemptive potential, and you show up with expectancy.
[00:16:13] God wants to use you. I'll tell you what friends, the third mark is relate, cause this has always ever only been about people. People, God wants to use you to reach people. And when you, actually build relationships with people, man things begin to get transformed. You see real stories, real pain, real trauma being
[00:16:42] absolutely radically transformed by the power of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. Live, show up, relate, and lastly risk. If you live, you show up, you relate, it makes your risk so much easier. Where you get a risk at all, for what matters most to God. And in my house, risk has become an acronym.
[00:17:06] And we love this. We talk about this often because we want to be people who are risk-taking. We want to be people who risk it all for what matters most and let her R stands for this rescued people, rescue people. If you've experienced grace, for many of us, we hear like, thanks, be to God for his generosity.
[00:17:27] We're all just receiving the elements of communion. Thanks be to God. But here's the problem for many of us, our lives look more like the Hoover Dam. We've just blocked up grace. And friends is supposed to flow in us, with us, for us, but through us. Dallas Willard says saints ought to burn through grace faster than sinners ever could.
[00:17:49] But for the church, for many of us, we're just holding it. A number of years ago, I found myself celebrating our 10 year anniversary. I'd saved up for about 18 months. So we could go to Hawaii. I'd never been to Hawaii before. It's beautiful. We stay in Maui and this condo, right on the point of this, this cliff, and to get into the water, he had to go through two other condo associations and you could enter into this cove.
[00:18:13] And it was stunning because when it was low tide, you could put goggles on and you could like, just stand, you didn't have to swim. You could just stand and look in the water. And it was like finding Nemo. It was amazing. But a couple of times a day, there would be a sea change in the waters would rise and there would be big waves coming in, which I love because I love to surf.
[00:18:32] And I was so moved where you would just have this beautiful landscape. You'd see whales breaching, and about five, five thirty, one day. I'm like grilling out really excited. When all of a sudden I hear a woman's scream. Help! And I look out and I just see waves coming. And I don't know what came over me. Well, it was like the spirit of David Hasselhoff.
[00:18:56] I have no idea, but I'm on this cliff and I just take off running. Cause I'm like she can't swim. She can't swim. She can't swim. I go through jump a fence, go through one condo association, jump another fence, go through another. I start running towards the shore. I literally take off my shirt. I'm thinking about my friends who in Southern California, before they took their position at the lifeguard tower, they would pray not on our watch.
[00:19:16] I jumped in the water. I'm like, not on my watch, not on my watch. not on my watch . Can I get to this woman? Not on my watch, not on my watch, not on my watch, I get to this woman. My back, I started to bring her in and waves are just crashing over, as I'm bringing her in and bringing her in. I pick her up.
[00:19:29] I run, I bring her down. She's like not really breathing all of a sudden her like eight year old son comes running. He's weeping, his junior high daughter. She's weeping. We finally get her to start breathing and I'm like cortisol to the max. And am I exhaling. And then right beside me, there's a guy with a Corona and he's like, dude, that was awesome.
[00:19:53] Thanks, man. I pick up my shirt and I'm like putting it on and then I look up to see the cliff for where I had run. And I see about 40 people who were just standing outside their condos, looking down, arms folded. Watching what has happened. And it was in this moment, this spirit of conviction, where I just felt like God, say to me, Steve, you just ran like a crazy person after someone, you don't even know their name.
[00:20:24] But how many people in your actual real life are drowning in addiction, drowning in debt, drowning in their marriage, drowning in pain and sorrow, drowning in their relationship with me drowning and understanding of why they're here on this planet. And who are you more like. This guy
[00:20:49] or this guy?
[00:20:53] My friends, I'll be honest. I just broke down because I realized I was one of those. I knew people in my life were drowning. I knew God had been whispering. For some reason, I was like afraid. All of these grace, the God has given to me the story, these gifts, everything. I just kept it to myself. And I went back to my condo early in the mornings.
[00:21:23] I just found myself reading through the gospels. Cause I wanted to see, I wanted to see how Jesus ran after everyone always. Rescue people, rescue people. Number I. Letter, I invitational fails. Here's the thing I think for many of us, we start to make excuses right now. First excuse I often hear is Steve,
[00:21:45] you don't understand you're a pastor. You're a pastor. That's what you'll say. Your voice changes as you say it you're a pastor. You probably, you probably have the gift of evangelism. Can I just be really, really honest with you? Every spiritual gift leads to evangelism. If you are a follower of Jesus. One of the gifts that God gives you is not just your eternity, but it gives you spiritual gifts and every spiritual gift, leads people to Jesus. If you are at the gift of hospitality, you know what you do, you create safe and secure environments for people to be seen and known by who Jesus.
[00:22:28] If you got the gift of mercy. That means you are the hands and feet of who, Jesus. If you got the gift of leadership, that means you take the values of heaven and you instill them in the marketplace or in your home so that people can experience who, Jesus. Every spiritual gift leads people to Jesus. And if God gave you a story, he wants you to use that story to watch how God can work,
[00:23:00] through broken and beautiful people like you and me, but here's the thing you're going to put yourself out there and it's going to feel like a junior high dance every once in a while. You're going to hear the word. No. And you'd be like, ah, okay. And oftentimes what ends up happening is we go, Oh man, I bet that never happens to Pastor Cal.
[00:23:18] It does. How man I probably would probably, probably, probably I must be doing it wrong. Can I just flip it for you for a second? We spend so much time thinking, man, how they answer tells me if I'm actually doing it right or wrong. That's not the game. That's not the point. You know what the point is? How will obedient you are to the whispers and promptings of God.
[00:23:46] If God whispers and you say yes, and then he's like, I want you to go talk to Saul. You have a choice. You're not responsible for how Saul responds. You are responsible. Will you be obedient and live by faith to God's promptings? And for me, we started to create this kind of movement. We were like, we're going to celebrate invitational fails. As we call them.
[00:24:09] And we're going to celebrate every time someone feels like they are being obedient to God and put themselves out there and they get rejected. We're going to celebrate it. Because if Kris Bryant can get paid millions of dollars to hit .281 for the Cubs, let's just try and hit .281 friends. I'm just saying, let's just go that route.
[00:24:31] You're going to hear the word. No, but you know what? You are going to grow in his faith, his faith, his faith. And so we started telling these stories in the middle of our service, we started talking about this as our staff, we started to encourage one another going, man, it doesn't matter what they say, what matters
[00:24:47] well, if you're weird, don't be weird. Okay. Just, we don't need those people, but like, what we do need is people who are honest and human, who are saying yes, to God. My, my, uh, my son when he was like seven, how my father-in-law's awesome. He built this. Built this bird house for my son, because my son loves creatures,
[00:25:08] he would say. And so we built this birdhouse, we're putting it up. I got the, like the ladder out. We're like nailing it to the tree. We got a bucket and puts a whole bunch of bird seed in it. It was just amazing, so fun. And so I'm telling my son, okay, here's what we're gonna do, bud. Every day we can climb up the ladder and we can take some bird seed.
[00:25:24] We can literally put it up on to the house and then cardinals and blue jays, and, whatever baseball team wants to come take over this house, you know, it'd be great. So I'm like telling this in you all experiences as parents, you're talking, giving a lesson and you think your kid's listening, but he's not.
[00:25:43] And finally, I looked down from the ladder and this is what my son's doing. Here bird come to our backyard. Hey, buddy, you can just come here. It's safe here. We got seeds. We got seeds. We got seeds. And I'm like, no, no, but blah, blah, blah. Here's the deal. You take a little bit of bird seed. You put up in the house.
[00:26:00] You want them to come live there? No, no, no, no. But think about Dad, we can have birds all over our backyard and I was like, thinking about this and I start reflecting on it and I'm like, wow. This is how we are to be every day. This is how we have all of these seeds of grace, but some of us, we live our life, not scattering seeds, wherever we go, we live more like Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith show.
[00:26:28] You remember, he had like one bullet. Yeah. And it was like right here, he was like, Andy, I get to use my bullet today. And he was like, try and like, this is how we live, like one seed of grace. And when I find it, I'm just gonna chuck it at the person. You know what I mean? Like we miss it. And the truth is we should be going everywhere, go to in and out where, you know, it's the best burgers on the planet.
[00:26:52] You know why? Because you got a double double that descends, in like burly form. It's just straight from heaven. It's unbelievable. You're there. You're talking to someone. Why not scatter seeds? You're in a conversation. I mean, I literally get rejected by my Uber driver all the time. Doesn't matter, because you know what, if I hear God, I want to say yes, I want to say yes.
[00:27:20] I want to scatter seeds. Life is so short of anything from2020 has taught us, this world is more fragile than ever before. And if the people who have got grace are not scattering seeds, but just holding it to themselves, really not the Hoover Dam. We are like these grace-filled machines to give it away.
[00:27:45] Rescue people, rescue people. I invitational fails and S this is my challenge for every single one of you is I want you to have an only God story every seven days. Yeah, you start praying for an only God story, every seven days in one calendar year, you'll have 52. The course of five years you'll have 260 in the course of a decade, you'll have 520 only God's stories.
[00:28:09] Can you imagine in one decade, if every person who called Central Christian Church home had 520 only God's stories. How they said yes. And God used them. Can you tell me what your faith would be like? The truth is, I mean, so many sincere Christ followers. I started asking them questions about, Hey, when's God been using,
[00:28:35] you. Inspire me. I want to know when God was using you. They're like 1994. God was at work. 2001, God was using me. I realized I was made for more in 2007. I'm like that's 14 years ago to God go on sabbatical. If God is here, God wants to use you. But so many of us were just sitting on the sidelines, kind of like just retired from God using us.
[00:29:08] Yeah. And if we actually leaned in and we're like, God, use me. Here I am. Send me. God's going to put opportunity after opportunity, after opportunity, after opportunity in your life. And instead of just relying on the stories from decades ago, you would go, I got another story. I got another story. I got another story and I've got another story.
[00:29:34] I've got another story. I've got another story. And all of a sudden you're gonna see people entering into baptism waters. You're like, I couldn't even believe it. When I met that person in the marketplace. They were so far from God, but God. God did something amazing and you'll just step back and go. I was some small Ananias who said yes and was willing to scatter seeds instead of hold it in my pocket.
[00:30:01] I trusted. My friends, I kid you not, you do that. God is going to use you in mighty and profound ways. When's the last time you had an only God story. And what if. It's this Holy week that you start to say, God, give me an only God's story where you take people who are fractured and broken and aching and hurting.
[00:30:25] And maybe this is a week where they become whole, holy, and spiritually healthy because of what God does next weekend through Easter. And through your brave courageous invitation. Rescue people, rescue people, invitational fails, S seven days. Only God's story every seven days. And K every movement of God begins when we're on our knees in prayer.
[00:30:51] And you guys know this, I mean, last couple of weeks, you've been talking about what it means, like where the wild things are. He texted in and there's been these 99 prayers thinking about man, how do we, how do we pray for the people who are far from God, man, when you live like this, you live wild. Nothing scares the enemy more than a whole bunch of Christ's followers who are living dangerously in wild for God's
[00:31:13] goodness. I'll tell you what, when I think about this on your knees in prayer, I think about this story from Acts 13, Saul, we know becomes Paul. He goes to the city called passivity and Antioch is a small little synagogue. He shows up and someone, some greeter or usher recognizes, man. He's not from around here.
[00:31:35] He probably drops that I studied with rabbi Gamaliel and, and they are like, Hey, do you have anything you want to say, which you don't ever give Paul the mic. Cause he ends up speaking and this guy preaches, he gets done preaching. And then a whole group of people say, hey, can you come back next weekend?
[00:31:55] Can you come back next weekend? Share with us more about grace. And this is what the scripture say. Scholars will tell us that that city was probably, 30 to 45,000 people. And in Acts 13 verses 40, 41 and 42, it says the next week when Paul showed up, almost the entire city showed up. So he synagogue of probably 80 people started to go, oh my goodness, let's go scatter some seeds.
[00:32:26] Let's go invite our friends. Can you just imagine next weekend at Easter, if we were people. Who said yes. Who really believed that rescue people, rescue people who weren't going to take? No, like to stop us. Cause we're like about faith and obedience and trust in God. And we're going to like beg God for only God's stories.
[00:32:45] And could you imagine if you showed up and you're like, the parking lot is full and there's people all outside. People on the West side, I can't get in people at Tempe can't get in. People in Mesa, Gilbert can't get in. Queen Creek, stuck. People are watching it online. There's so much why, because a whole bunch of people said, you know what?
[00:33:03] We're here to scatter seeds and we are going to say yes. And then all of a sudden, Cal got up and spoke and was used by God and hand after hand after hand, after hand started to be raised because people are like, I want that. I've seen brokenness, I've seen pain. I've seen my own depravity. I want that. I want that.
[00:33:26] And you're like sitting you seated in your row. And you're looking over here, like, I, I didn't expect that to happen. And your friend, your neighbor, your family member, the person you've been begging God for, they raised their hand. And all of a sudden you're sitting here going, Oh my goodness. And then you fast forward three, four years.
[00:33:45] They're like leading a small group. They're volunteering. They're doing incredible ministry. God is at work and you just step back. And you're like, I don't know if there was ever anything in my spiritual life that will compete to God using me in that person's life. And all you need to do is say yes. So here's my ask is that this week you are willing to say yes, when God prompts and God whispers, I wanna invite you to stand wherever you are, whatever campus you're at, whether you're watching online.
[00:34:19] If God's whispering to you right now, there's no pressure on this, nothing wrong if you stay seated. But if this is this is you saying, God, if you put someone in my way this week, You put someone on my heart this week, I'm not going to keep grace in my pocket. I'm going to make this invite. I'm a scatter, some seeds.
[00:34:40] Cause I believe that you an only you can transform a human life and the human soul. And invite you to put your hands out, cause I just want to pray a prayer of commissioning. Prayer, giving you boldness a prayer. Of God, just kind of giving you names and faces and places. God, we come before you and you love this church. 61 years, you have done and worked and incredible ways.
[00:35:10] Our stories have been transformed because of this church. And you're just getting started. You're just getting started. Hey, gotta with our backs up against a wall. People unsure. Who's coming to Easter. What's Easter going to be, whatever God we know the story. That doesn't have the last word. Hope, love, Jesus wins.
[00:35:37] And so God I'm praying right now that my friends right here would have ears attune to heaven. They would hear your promptings in your whispers and they would say yes. And then when you give them clear instructions to make that ask to make that invitation, to make that call, to strike up a conversation, to share you their story, to ask a question, to share the gospel that you would give them trust in you because rescued people, rescue people, give us only God's stories this week, this week of how you worked in and through broken beautiful people.
[00:36:15] Like us and God, we promise next week, next week, we will give you all the glory, all the glory. May we be people who scatter seeds than keep them to ourselves and all God's people said, amen. Grace and peace. Thanks everyone.