Sacrifice Is the Core of Living Sent

The life of the Apostle Paul is a remarkable demonstration of sacrifice. He left everything he knew behind to do what God called him to do, and he experienced extraordinary hardships along the way, including prison and severe persecution.

We all know how to sacrifice for the things we love and enjoy. But can we sacrifice to Live Sent and meet the needs of others — even when it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient? Paul believed his life would be worthless if he didn’t live out what God called him to do.

Imagine how the gospel would advance if we all did everything God called us to do, and we spread the good news of God’s grace on a daily basis.

God Causes Trouble in You

Pastor Kevin explains how God caused trouble in the life of Saul to awaken him to living for Christ. Saul did not believe Jesus was the Messiah and he persecuted many Christians. He was on the road to Damascus to continue persecution when he had an encounter with the Living God. He was told to continue to the city and wait for instructions of what to do. For three days, he was blind and did not eat or drink.

Later, God returned his sight and changed his name to Paul. This is who we now know as the Apostle Paul, who wrote many books of the Bible. God had specific assignments for Paul, and He has them for us, too. We should ask ourselves where we are blind in our spiritual life? And how can we move from living for ourselves to living sent?

Live Better Than Living for Self; Live Sent

We can live for ourselves or live sent by God. Living for one’s self leads to a broken and empty life, while living sent by God leads to a blessed and fulfilled life.

Paul’s life is a prime example of how God transforms lives from living for self and living sent. God first rescued Paul from his selfish life, transformed it, then sent Paul into the world as an apostle. This is the pattern God uses in all of our lives.

How You Live Reflects What You Believe About God

Once You know that you have come from God and once you know him personally: it will define what you value in life, how you do relationships, marriage, family, parenting, your career ethics, financial values for how you make money, spend money, manage or give money.

When Paul was in Athens (Acts 17), he was speaking to Epicureans who would suggest indulging life and Stoics would suggest to endure life. But Paul would say they are missing life, real life, the truth of life – life through Jesus.

Christians: Hang With Non-Christians

When we get to heaven, there won’t be any lost people. Why are we spending all our earthly time with Christians? We have eternity for that! Our one and only opportunity to reach lost people and help them receive God’s gift of salvation is now. It’s time for the church to intentionally step outside its walls and show the world the love of Christ.

The Key To Creativity

When you enter a lost person’s world, the key to creativity is to believe there’s always an answer. Learn John Maxwell’s four pictures of God to help you find the right connection point:

  • the fence
  • the garbage can
  • the stairway of good works
  • the door with Christ knocking on it

Get creative and use these pictures as you explain God’s true character and saving grace.

How To Fight Against Lies

Very often, the difference between a life of rejoicing and a life of regret is how well we fight against the lies.

Paul wrote in 2nd Timothy 3:16. He said, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Paul understood scripture as the primary tool that God has given us to fight against the lies.

Rejoice Or Regret

In Paul’s last letter (near his death), he declares that he had lived up to God’s call. He had triumphed over the troubles and temptations that had come his way. He fought to the finish!

God’s call on your life may not be the same as it is on Paul’s, but if you’re gonna live like a boss, then you need the same grit that Paul had. Because life is harder than it seems like it’s going to be.

Very often the difference between rejoicing and regret is grit. Grit is a key ingredient of a life well-lived.

It Takes Grit To Finish

Until Paul, the good news of Jesus had not spread much past the people of Israel. God wanted to use Paul to build the church in the Gentile world, so Paul went on 3 journeys into the Gentile world. He would go from town to town spreading the Gospel and building churches along the way.

It took 12 years to complete these 3 trips. Each trip was difficult because things had a way of not going as planned. Each season in Paul’s journey, trouble found a way to arise. The temptation to quit was often strong, but Paul had grit to finish.

The Apostle Paul, Growing In Grit

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4: 6-8

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Grit: The will to fight to the finish.

  • Fight against the lies.
  • Fight to put Christ first.
  • Fight to find the joy.

Questions:

  • How much joy do you have in your life these days?
  • Where are you in danger of putting yourself first instead of Christ?
  • How are you going to grow in your knowledge of the Bible to protect yourself and your family against the lies?

Images of Hope

Pastor Kevin Queen teaches on how to “Look Forward More than Backward” so we can practice Eternal, Eventual and Everyday Hope. KQ uses three images of the Christian faith to convey this:

  • The Cross
  • Water
  • The Cup

Look For The Solution

Paul’s solution to setbacks and problems was to rejoice, to think on pure and lovely things, and to live out all that he had learned from Christ. The result was a life lived in peace that only God can give…a peace that makes Christ’s strength a reality in our lives and enables us to keep moving forward.