As we wrap up chapter 25, Jesus has already explained that those who are saved have the Holy Spirit (the "oil"). But how do we know if we have the Holy Spirit? There's a definitive behaviour that shows up in the life of every true believer...
You have your Bibles with you, and I hope you do please grab them, open them or turn them on. Depends on what kind you have and turn to the gospel of Matthew.
The first book in the New Testament in Chapter 25 tonight. And like Jeff mentioned, where we're not only wrapping up Chapter 25, we're we're wrapping up the section of Matthew that we're in and heading into Exodus next week. If you've been around the last few weeks, you know that as we've been diving into the gospel of Matthew, specifically Chapter 25, we've likened it to this grand masterpiece that Jesus is painting for us all these these incredible picture for us and Matthew.
But he's not use any regular supplies that you can find at your local arts and crafts store to paint this picture. No, he's painting this picture on the canvas of our hearts and our minds.
He's not using any paintbrushes. He's using his words to paint this picture for us.
And he's painting this picture in layers with each added layer in Matthew. Twenty five, bringing us a deeper level of detail to the overall picture. So what's this picture Jesus is painting for us in this chapter? Well, it's this this scene. The king is coming. Literally physically coming, and when he gets here, he's setting up his kingdom on Earth and some of the people who are alive when he comes will enter into this kingdom.
But some of the people who are alive at his second coming will not enter and they will be banished from it for ever. Jesus is giving us this picture progressively in three layers back In verses one to 13, Jesus painted the first layer of his masterpiece where he gave us the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. It was there that we saw that those who have the oil are those who will enter the kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the oil. In that parable, the Holy Spirit is given to those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins, which he made possible by his life, his death and his resurrection.
He Jesus is the only thing you need to have in your life in order to enter his kingdom. Those who have him go in and those who do not have them do not go in. That was layer one.
Then in layer two of his painting, Jesus begins to describe with the lives of these people will look like how can we tell who has the Holy Spirit and who doesn't?
We saw last week in the parable of the faithful and wicked servants of Verse is 14 to 30, that when God comes to live inside a person by way of the Holy Spirit, that that life will change.
It has to change. It would be impossible for that life to remain the same when God comes inside of it. This is what the spirit will do. He will produce a life that takes everything that it's been given and use it to live exclusively.
For Jesus sake, we don't live for ourselves anymore. We live totally surrender to the will of our master. That was layer two, and this brings us to our message tonight in this message, we will see the third and final layer of this masterpiece that Jesus is painting for us of his second coming.
And we'll see the distinction between those who will enter the kingdom and those who will not.
We will see the details of what a life will look like that has the oil of the Holy Spirit in it and has yielded up everything that it has in the service of the master. We'll see this in contrast to the life that doesn't so let me read a text for us with your Bibles, Open Hearts and minds open Matthew Chapter 25, Verse is 31 to 46. And this is Jesus speaking. He says when the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne before him will be gathered, all the nations, and he will separate people from one another as a shepherd, separates the sheep from the goats, and you will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Then the king will say to those on his right come you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom, prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you a drink, and when did we see you a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the king will answer them truly. I say to you as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Then you will say to those on his left, the part from me you coerced into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink.
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me naked and you did not clothe me sick and in prison. You did not visit me. Then they also will answer saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you. Then he will answer them saying truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.
And these will go away into eternal punishment. But the righteous into eternal life. That's God's word, and we see here in this letter, in this text that Jesus is done with parables now is just straight talk to his disciples and to us in these verse is. And he talks about the time when he comes back to set up his kingdom. And when he does, he's going to gather everyone who is still alive at that time. At his second coming, he will divide this entire group of people into two groups.
One group will be with him forever. One group will be banished from this presence forever. And in this text, we're going to see the ultimate mark that's visible on the life of a person who will enter the kingdom of heaven. Which begs the question, what is the mark, what's the distinguishing mark between these two groups of people? This has been our main question over the past two weeks.
We know they will have the oil of the Holy Spirit in them. We know that they will have been using the gifts they've been giving them in their life in order to serve their master Jesus. We know those two things. But what does this kind of Holy Spirit filled all in for Jesus kind of life look like?
Well, the answer is going to be the first fill in on your outline. Those who love Jesus will be the ones who enter into his kingdom when he returns, this love for Jesus will be evidenced by the way they love their brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who love Jesus will be the ones who enter into his kingdom when he returns and this love for Jesus will be evidenced by the way they love their brothers and sisters in Christ. Love for Jesus is the ultimate mark of a kingdom citizen love for Jesus is the ultimate mark of the life that has the presence of Jesus.
Living on the inside of them is love. What is love, what are we talking about when we say the word love, when I throw the word love out there because love is a tricky word is tricky, like the word Jesus. What are people talking about when we say that, when they say the name Jesus, we looked at this last week, remember that Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, atheists and Christians, all of them say they believe in Jesus.
We all believe in Jesus.
It's just that the name Jesus means something different to each one of these people.
And so what do people mean when they say the word love?
Everyone talks about love all the time as being a priority in their lives, but when everyone talks about love, are they all talking about the exact same thing or does everyone use the same word, which is love, yet read different meanings into that word like people do with the name Jesus? So I want to give you a definition for love. Next, fill in on your outline, their love. We're talking true love gives sacrificially of itself for the benefit of the object of its affection.
Love gives sacrificially of itself for the benefit of the object of its affection, the absolute best examples we have of what love looks like is the example given to us by the one who is love.
Twice in the book of First John, it says that God is love and here are a couple of plain demonstrations of what real love and action looks like.
Consider how the father loves us. Consider how the father loves you and me.
The most famous Verse 8 in the world, arguably, is John three 16, and it depicts this for us, it says, For God so loved the world. There's the object of his affection that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God loves sinners so much that he gave his son to go up on a cross and die in the place of them so that sinners could be forgiven and be brought into God's family, what love, what a gift, what sacrifice.
And you see our definition in this act that love gives sacrificially of itself for the benefit of the object of its affection.
That's the father's love towards you. But the sun he showed his love for us to Jesus didn't go unwillingly to the cross, he wasn't forced to go to the cross to die for us. He sacrificially gave up all of himself for us. We see this in John Chapter 10 Verse 8, where Jesus says this. He says, no one takes it from me, referring to his life.
But I lay it down of my own accord, I have the authority to lay it down and I have the authority to take it up again, this charge I've received from my father. So it's not just the father. Sending the son is a sacrifice. The son comes on his own to give up his entire life as a sacrifice for you and me.
He chose to give it all so that we could have eternal life. What love was love. That's it, right? Love gives sacrificially of itself for the benefit of the object of its affection. Now, this is love depicted for us by God himself, and it's still important for us to understand that we need more than just having love for and an object of our affection of various kinds.
It's not enough just to have a kind of love for any old random kind of object of our affection. Not is a different kind of love that marks the kingdom citizen. It's not love for the environment that will get you into the kingdom.
It's not a love of dogs that will get us in. It's not a love of celebrities that will get us in. It's a love for Jesus. It's a love for Jesus specifically. That's the ultimate mark of a kingdom citizen. In our text, Jesus says that the way people treat him will be the differentiating mark between those who enter the kingdom when he comes and those who won't listen to what he says. Again, to the sheep. He says this in verses 35 and 36, he says, for I was hungry and you gave me food.
I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you called me. I was sick and you visited me. I was a prison. And you came to me. That's what he said, and then he said to the goats, in verses, forty two to forty three, the opposite for I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink.
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me naked. And he did not clothe me sick and in prison. And you did not visit me. Jesus says that love shown towards him will be the primary mark on the lives of those who are going to spend an eternity with him. It's a love for Jesus, which makes total sense to me. If you love Jesus in this life, you're really going to love the kingdom. You're really going to love eternity, because all we're going to do there is love him forever.
You love him now. You get to have the fulfillment of that love forever, perfectly in eternity.
But if you don't love Jesus in this life, why would you even want to enter his kingdom? Because all we're going to be doing there is loving him forever and ever and ever and ever. So if you can't stand Jesus guts now, what makes you think you're going to like heaven when it's all about him? Always and only? So it's all about loving Jesus, but we have a little dilemma here that we need to wrestle with. I don't know if you recognize this yet.
How can we feed Jesus, clothe Jesus, visit Jesus if Jesus is as we speak right now, physically in heaven and not physically here on earth, how is it possible to do the things that Jesus says he's expecting us to do towards them if he's not here?
It's actually really simple, according to Jesus, according to Jesus, love towards Jesus is evidenced by the love people show towards his brothers and sisters. To the sheepy, says this in verses thirty seven to 40, then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you. And the king will answer them truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Again, he says the same thing to the goats, verse is forty four to forty five, then they also will answer their perplexed Jesus how do we feed you, clothe you, do all the stuff they're perplexed to.
They will answer saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. Who are Jesus brothers and sisters that he's referring to in this text? Well, he's already told us back in Matthew 12, there's a scene where Jesus biological family comes to him as he's ministering and they won't have an audience with Jesus.
He was inside. They were outside. And what does Jesus say? It's not on your outline. Let me just read it for you. Jesus says this.
Who is my mother and who are my brothers? The right side. And stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
So according to Jesus, his disciples, which are Christians are his brothers and sisters, were part of his spiritual family. So how do we connect these dots? How is loving Jesus, brothers and sisters the equivalent to loving him, because if we just read his words plainly, that's what he's saying to us. Maybe an illustration of a hypothetical scenario in my life will help us understand how could we love someone by loving their family? This might not be a stretch, this hypothetical scenario, but if I went to prison one day for preaching the gospel and I go to prison for doing a 10 year stint, how would you show your love for me while I'm in?
Can I suggest to you what you should do if that ever happens to me? Take care of my family. Take care of the practical needs. If I got out of prison 10 years later and you met me and you told me how you loved me and were praying for me and were waiting with anticipation for my release, those would be really nice words to hear.
But if when I got home and found that my family got kicked out of our house because they couldn't afford the payments anymore and they were homeless for a bit and then they died of starvation. What do you think your words of love and affection would mean to me?
They would mean absolutely nothing, because if you loved me, you would take care of my family.
And I think that's one important way that we need to understand the connection between loving Jesus and loving his family.
We love him by loving his family.
That's one way. But here's another way to look at the connection to see the Bible describes a real. Mystical union that exists between Jesus and his people, there is a mysterious reality surrounding our position in Christ right now.
That's true of every single Christian around the world.
Jesus is in us. And we are in him. The Bible says that Christians are in crisis is your next in on your outline. The Bible says that Christians are in Christ first. Peter five, verse 14 says peace to all of you who are in Christ and Philippians. One one says to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Phillipi.
And Romans eight one says there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, I don't have it on your outline, but if you look up Ephesians chapter one, you're going to see In verses three and four and six and seven and 11 and 13 in Christ, in Christ, in Christ, over and over and over. The Bible says that Christians are in Jesus Christ. But the next fill in on your own mind is this.
The Bible also says that Christ is in Christians, that Christ is in Christians. Caution's one twenty seven.
To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory and Romans, eight, 10 to 11 says. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness. If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit.
Who dwells in you?
The Bible also says that Christ is in Christians, so according to the Bible, in some very real, some very mysterious way, there is a oneness that we share with Jesus, him in us and us in him.
So when you see a fellow believer, you are in a very real way looking at Christ himself. This is very important, none of us is Jesus, only Jesus is Jesus, but Jesus chooses to identify with his people in such an intimate way that when you do something to one of us, he says it's the same thing as doing it directly to him.
I wonder, wonder with me. If we would treat our fellow Christians any different. If we saw Jesus when we looked at them. That will be a great question that you want this week. So. What does showing love to a brother or sister in Christ look like? Well, in our text, Jesus gives us six practical ways to show love to him by showing it to his people. One, give food to the hungry Christian to give water to the thirsty Christian.
Three, welcomed the Christian stranger into your home to stay for clothed the naked Christian five, visit the sick Christian and six, visit the imprisoned Christian. For those of you out there who love lists. This is as simple and as straightforward as it gets six ways to love your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now, the list is a simple one, but by no means is it an easy one.
Because there's a cost to loving people like this, and we should expect there to be a cost if our definition of love is correct, that love gives sacrificially of itself for the benefit of the object of its affection.
So there is a what I'll call a normal cost associated with loving other believers, like the way that Jesus is imploring us to to love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in the ways that Jesus is laid out for us.
It's going to cost you money, time and energy to do it. It costs money to provide food, water and clothing for someone else. And if you choose to do that, that's money that you could have spent on yourself, but instead you're spending it on another person for their benefit.
But it's more than money, it also takes time and energy when you think about what it would take to show hospitality to a brother or sister by bringing them into your home if they have no place to go or to go visit those who are sick or in prison. Tax time and energy you could be using to fulfill your own personal bucket list or pour into fulfilling your own comforts in this life, but in this case, you're using what you've been given for someone else's benefit.
That's the normal cost associated with loving like this, but then there's something I want to call the tribulation cost that's associated with loving people like this, because remember the scene that we're in right now, the scene that Jesus is talking about here comes at the end of the tribulation when he comes back.
The one we know as Antichrist has been ferociously persecuting Jews and believers in Christ for the three and a half years leading up to Christ's return, God's people have been running, hiding, starving, dying during this time of war, the name of Jesus.
Christians will be in prison during this time. But not because of prison ministries, where Christians go in to preach the gospel to inmates so that they might be saved, during this time, Christians will be put into prison simply for being Christians.
It's going to cost more. It's going to cost way more than Hosea time, energy and money to love God's people in this time. It may cost you your social status. It may cost you your freedom. It may cost you even your very life. I want you to think of what it cost people to help Jews during the Holocaust. Cost. It's going to be the same, be similar in the time of the tribulation. So the love God's people in the way we're talking about here tonight, you will need to throw in your lot with them and suffer with them because you identify with them.
This is the exact opposite, by the way, of what Peter did when he denied knowing Jesus three times.
If you remember the story of Jesus being questioned by the Pharisees and the religious leaders and Peter was following behind them, watching from a distance.
And then if you remember three people in the video, three individuals came three separate times and asked Peter if he was with Jesus or knew Jesus. And Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
Why? I believe it's because he was scared, he was scared that they were going to do the same thing to him as they were doing right in that moment to Jesus.
And he wept bitterly. But Christians are called to do the opposite of what Peter did when it comes to loving and identifying with our brothers and Christian brothers and sisters in Christ, Peter didn't throw his lot in with Jesus. We're supposed to throw our lot in with our brothers and sisters.
To love and to serve them, whatever it may cost us until we're called home or until Christ comes back. Now, rhetorical question, does this kind of expression of love towards other people sound impossible to anyone? Well, let me put you at ease. It is like I'm talking about an impossible way to live life, not natural, super natural way to live.
So then we have to ask the question how if this is a possible way to to live sacrificially for the sake of another person, how is this kind of love made possible for us to do and to experience?
Well, the answer is this. This impossible kind of love is only made possible because of Jesus, there is only one way this kind of love is possible that we have the oil of the Holy Spirit inside of us. It's the only way this kind of love works, this kind of love is a supernatural kind of love only if God's love has been poured into our hearts.
So it has to come down from heaven first. God loves us first, and he loves us. And he pauses love into our heart. And he changes everything on the inside. And now with his presence in us is him living his life in us and through us as we lay down our lives to love our brothers and sisters. The way that Christ first loved us.
He loves us, we love out. But if this isn't here, don't expect anyone to love like this because this is only because Jesus is in us.
I don't know if you realize this, that not only does Jesus love us first, but he loves us first in the same kind of ways that he expects us to love other believers the same way that he's describing love in verses thirty one to forty six, only infinitely better the way that he loves us.
How is Jesus loved us like this. Like the way he's calling us to love one another in this text. Let me give you all six of them.
Jesus is the bread of life and he gave himself up for us in order to satisfy all of our spiritual hunger. Jesus gives us living water, the kind of water he told the woman at the well and John for that would never leave us thirsty again. The water of the Holy Spirit satisfies our deepest spiritual thirst.
And Jesus gives us that.
Jesus made a seat at the table with him and his family.
For us, we were spiritual orphans. We were outsiders. We were enemies of his wandering around outside the family of God. But Jesus brought us in. He brought us into his family. Jesus brought us into his home.
Jesus saw the nakedness of our guilt and shame because of our sin, we were covered by them both, but he provided robes of righteous righteousness for every single one of us to wear that cover us totally and make us acceptable to stand before the king because of what Jesus gives us, were now white as snow.
Jesus not only visits us in our sickness, which is nice to do, he took our sickness for us. By his stripes were healt. Jesus not only visit us while we were imprisoned by our own sin and in complete bondage to it with no hope of escape, he came and liberated us from our captivity to sin. He opened the door and swung it wide and made us free.
For whom the sun sets free will be free indeed. So Jesus has fed us satisfied our thirst brought us into his family, clothed our nakedness, healed our wounds and set us free.
And you know how he made all that possible for you and me, he used up all of the talents that were given to him when he went to the cross, and it cost him everything in order to provide what he's freely given to us.
And when this kind of love comes into a person's heart, they now have everything they need to love people the way God's calling us to love them and when they have what they need in a way that they can never be taken from them, they will love this way.
Now, they can lay down the things in this world to love other people. The way that Jesus has first loved them is the only way it works.
So. Let's get practical for a moment here, the family talk, family time, family discussion. How can we give ourselves to loving Jesus this way in our life today by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we do it? What does it look like? Who I want to help you analyze your life using some circles.
I put on your outline there, the diagram, the concentric circles. Let's take a look at these one of the time. The first ones, the smallest one. And it's you. The first circle is you. You answer this question. Do you have the oil? Does the Holy Spirit live inside of you? Have you repented and trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? If yes, amazing.
If not, you need to receive Christ today. But if you have the oil, if you have the spirit, if you have Christ, then you know and understand that your master has entrusted you with talents. Everything that you have in your life has been given to you for you to put in use for the sake of Jesus. So if you have these two things, if you have these two things, the oil and the talents, then you are ready to love like you were saved to love.
Well, who do I show this love to that we're talking about tonight?
There are literally millions of Christians around the world today that seems kind of impossible for us to love all of them. That's a great question, brings us to our second circle, your local church, your local church is the primary sphere, the primary sphere, not the only one, the primary sphere where you are to show this kind of love.
You don't have to wonder who to love.
You don't have to guess and pray and ask. Jesus has already given you those people is those who make up your church. Are there any of the needs we've seen addressed here tonight, present in the lives of any of your brothers or sisters in your church, in God rock church and you hope church or if you're investing in your local church?
Is anyone hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick or in prison for the gospel among you if there is.
Go meet those needs. Collectively, as a body of believers, love one another this way. But how how am I supposed to know what needs exist? Another great question. This is the timely, timely space for me to plug midweek groups, home groups, men's groups, women's groups for New Hope Church there, the men's and women's groups going on starting in October. And for a God rock, our home groups are on right now. Here's what you need to do.
You need to prioritize the time that you spend in these groups to prioritize this time in your life. You need to prioritize it over and above, almost almost anything else, because how else can you love your brothers and sisters if you don't spend a significant amount of time with them?
How else can you know if real needs arise? Unless you spend enough time together to recognize those needs or to even build up enough relationship with these people where they feel safe enough to tell you their needs and ask for help?
So I want to implore you all all go to the sign up for these groups, if you haven't already and if you are a part of these groups, go to them, but go to these group nights with a new kind of focus, go with the mindset to love.
Not primarily to be loved. Talking with Kyla between services and this is incredible math, if we all went into home group together or midweek group or men's group, a women's group, and every single person went with the sole intent that they're trying to get love, then everyone who is going is going in trying to get love. And no one's given love. But get this, if you're in a group of 10 people and every single one says, I'm going there to love people not that don't have my first and last name, I'm going to love them instead.
Now, imagine that you're doing that. But nine other people are going to be focused on loving you, that's a better deal, isn't it? You go in trying to get your week expressions of love for yourself or going into a family where everyone else is concerned about loving you.
By the way, which Jesus says this is the way the world's going to know that you're my disciples, but the love that you have for one another. This is it. You don't get you get to enjoy it. But it's an evangelistic powerhouse for the world to see that we're different than people who don't have the spirit of Christ in them.
So. Go with this new mindset, this will help you go when you're tired and busy in the week because you're not going primarily for yourself, you're going for your brothers and sisters.
All right, then you have another question, what if all the practical needs are met in our local church, then then what? Do we just kick up our feet and wait for Jesus to call us home or come back?
No, no, no, no, no, we go on to the next circle. It's also on your outline. It's the third in the largest circle. This is the universal church. This is your brothers and sisters outside your local church, both locally and abroad.
So we can't help every single Christian Christian in the world outside of our local church who needs help. We can't. It's impossible. But you know what we can do? We can help at least one of them. And by God's grace, we can help even more than that. The question is, do we have a heart to do so? I'm going to tell you something that we're doing here right now at Godschalk to try to love like this, I asked Jeff if I could share this project tonight with those who belong to New Hope and our guests.
And he said, of course, please share this.
A few months ago, God Rock Church began a fund project, a project that we are giving to as a church where where our members are giving to this project above and beyond the regular tithes and offerings. So you were called to give to the local church, but this is sacrificial giving above and beyond what any of us normally give. We're raising money for something called the Petro's Network. So the Petro's network is an incredible organization. They train and equip local indigenous pastors in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia to go into unreached villages who have never heard the gospel before and plant churches there.
And once they planted churches in those villages, they go to the next one. They keep planting them. They are they they train and equip men to do this. They're doing this work right now in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Southeast Asia. Right now, as we speak, they have men ready to give their lives for the sake of the gospel. And the only thing that they need before they go is to raise enough support to cover just the absolute basic necessities their families will have when they're gone.
Things that we're talking about tonight, food, clothing, water, basic shelter. Some of you know the answer to this, I'm not going to pull you to see if you guys want to answer this question or guess I'm going to tell you how much it costs to provide basic necessities for a man and his entire family for three years so that he can go, go and not worry about those things at home. Go and preach the gospel for three years to supply everything a family needs.
For all three years, forty four hundred dollars Canadian. Three years. And by the end of that time, they planted churches and they're fully sustainable by then. They don't they don't want to keep having the money forever. They just want to get started. We can do that. We can help meet practical needs in our brothers lives who are ready and willing to give their life for the sake of the gospel, unless you want to go to Uganda.
The ticket alone is probably forty four hundred roundtrip. Today, we've collected and we started a couple of months ago. We've collected about twenty five hundred dollars or a little over halfway there.
If you want to give to this cause, just write plainly on your giving envelopes. Petro's network and all of those funds will go directly to the cause of meeting tangible needs in the lives of our brothers in Christ doing this work. Now, again, do this above and beyond a sacrificially above and beyond your regular giving to your local church. But. But give. Once we hit our goal, we'll begin raising more money to send more men out into the harvest.
We're not trying to aim for one. We're going to do this until Jesus calls us home. This might sound this is a lot of there's a lot of talk about like man intense, like the oil and giving everything and just like dying and getting killed, like they get so crazy.
Right. It's crazy. It'd be crazy if it was crazy anyway, but it's in the Bible.
So we got to deal with this kind of stuff.
But I want to share I want to end with this Zechariah story from one of my really influential pastor in my life. I never met him before, but I watched a lot of the stuff.
Francis Chan, Francis Chan is but was a pastor of a megachurch, a mega church in California in Simi Valley. Thousands upon thousands of people came to the church with Francis Chan, spoke and pastored. He also wrote many bestselling books and I don't know a lot about but writing books. I know this, that if you write bestsellers, you make bank like big time.
And what Frank Francis just like became so stirred and convicted by God that what they were doing in the giant church with all these millions of dollars spent on the church and all this money that was coming in, this is like I read the Bible and I can't just keep I can't have this all for me. I got to give it all the way. All that's from God. He's giving it to me. I've got to give it. There are people who are dying who need basic needs met.
We've got to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. We've got to give it give it away. And so we started doing that. He left the mega church and went to plant churches in in the inner city of San Francisco. And from there, he's left now to go overseas, overseas to Asia, where he's left everything to go there. He doesn't take any money from his books. He gives it all the way. He gives it all the way all over the world.
He said some well-meaning friends and family come to him and say, Francis, like, I get the whole giving thing, you know, like, that's so good. But like, if you give it all away, what are you going to have for yourself?
What about you and your wife and your and your kids like. His response was great. He says, well, yeah, that's important. My God wants me to serve and supply my needs, the needs of my wife and my kids, that's big. But here's the thing I've known. If I give everything away, God's been perfectly faithful to me to provide for every single one of my needs up until this point.
And if I keep giving away, I have no reason to believe that he's going to stop providing for every single one of my needs.
The more I give, the more he shows himself to be faithful to me to meet those needs. So I don't see that happening. He says.
He says like, OK, well, I'll give that to you.
What if what if what if all this money comes and God gives me even millions of dollars? I give it all the way to the poor, my brothers and sisters all around the world.
I give it to them and some for some reason, God forgot about me and he forgot to provide for my needs. And me and my wife starved to death.
Can you imagine what that would be like to enter into the kingdom of glory? Giving everything you have to your last breath. And you open up your eyes on the other side of eternity and you see Jesus. How do you get here, Francis? This is not true because like your early but it was implied I gave it all the way.
I gave it all the way for you. Jesus, do you think there's can be one ounce of regret in Francis Chan's life in a trillion years from now if he gave everything up, even his life for the sake of Jesus and the mission in the gospel?
I can assure you, zero ounces of regrets and only pleasures forever more.
May God give us a heart that's a fraction of the generosity of our brother, Francis, you bite your head and pray with me. Father, thank you for Matthew 25. Thank you for your whole entire scripture. Laura, thank you for this. Your word, does it blesses? It teaches. It encourages, but it convicts and it calls. And it exposes our hearts. It opens up our hearts, Barrie. It's a double edged sword. Your words says in the book of Hebrews, right down to the inner thoughts of our hearts.
And I pray, Lord, I pray that with this exposing word and this encouraging word, I hope tonight that your people will be motivated to say to not to not go into despair and say, I can't live like that. I don't do this. I won't do this. The opposite, Lord Holy Spirit, work a great spirit and power conviction in our heart to to refresh us and to revive us to the place where we say, Lord, we want to give it all for you.
We want to utilize wisdom and sense and counsel and do it according to your word. But we want to live totally abandoned for you, God, and for your purposes.
We want to see your kingdom come. We talk about all the time. We want to see your power in our lives.
But how often, Lord, if we're honest or are we willing to give it all your powers made perfect in our weakness and it's connected to our single minded obedience to you, Lord. So work that in the hearts of your people. We're going to mess up. We're going to do it imperfectly. We're going to go back to old comforts and old ways at times. But Your Grace continually leads us to repentance. It always calls us back and leads us further and further in our journey of faith than we've ever been before.
And do that for us, God, not just individually in this in this room, but collectively as a family. Let us love one another as the family of God, as the family. Let us be equipped and purposeful in finding ways to reach outside of our church to bless the world. Give us what we need, which you have, give us a heart bent towards that God and a joy associated with that, and work it for your ultimate glory, King Jesus and for your people's deepest joy and satisfaction in this life and in the one to come in Jesus name we pray.