Go: Live Eternally Today! (Week 3)

“Filled Up to Go Out!”

Acts 1:7-8

When you are going to drive your car out of town on a journey, what are two things that you need to do to make sure your car will make it to the destination? You need to fill it up with gas AND you need to know where you are going! This is even more true when you live the Great Commission life. You need to fill up to go out. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit!

 

The Holy Spirit is both your power source and your guide along the way. As I teach this to you this morning, I really want you to think about the yoke imagery of Jesus Christ from our REST series, based on Matthew 11:28-30. During that series we learned that we are to get in the yoke with Jesus and learn from Him and become like Him. In doing that, we find that His yoke is well-suited (“easy”) because it is uniquely fitted and the burden is light. It is the Holy Spirit working in and through us to do the work Jesus is guiding us in as we submit to the direction and guidance of the senior ox, Jesus, in our oxen team. Learning to walk in the Spirit is learning to submit to the easy yoke of Jesus! We are called to live our whole lives in rhythm with Jesus, in His yoke and under the power of His Spirit. Jesus taught us this will give rest to our soul!

 

Last week, we learned that the Holy Spirit empowers real people to have a real faith to make a difference in real history! Jesus calls each of us to “real-life” missions. In the same way that He sent those first seventy followers on a real-life training mission, so Jesus is sending you out to make a real impact! While some people use a passport to get to their mission field, a passport is in no way a prerequisite to live on mission for Jesus! What is a prerequisite for you to bear fruit for Jesus Christ on the mission field is the filling of the Holy Spirit!

 

In the Scripture lesson for today Jesus tells His followers to fill up to go out: Acts 1:7-8 narrates, “[Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

 

Jesus is calling us to go be His disciples in real tangible ways with real people in a very real community that needs hope. We are not called to be doomsdayers, but hope-bearers!

 

According to Acts 1:7-8, there are no boundaries to sharing the gospel: We are not to worry about times or seasons of history, whether culture is friendly and accepting of our message or hostile and denying it! Whether those in authority are for us or against us and regardless of whether the laws of the land forbid or permit. Also, we are not to let nation-state boundaries or imperial policies prevent us from living as citizens of Heaven here on earth. In short, as the sermon series title says, we “Go: Live Eternally Today!” In the New Heavens and New Earth there will be no closed gates as all whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life will enter and dwell in the House of the Lord forever (Revelation 21:25-27; Psalm 23:6; John 14:1-6).

 

Don’t close out people that God won’t close out! We are to be a witness to all people!

 

Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-20) and Jesus’ promise of Acts 1:7-8 directs and empowers us to go to every corner of the earth sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, starting where you are and as you go along the way. Your mission field begins in your Jerusalem! The “Jerusalem” of Acts 1:8 is your current location. Real-life discipleship happens in real-life mission opportunities every day where you are. You grow in  Christ by being faithful here. Faithfulness is not for some far-away place. Faithfulness begins at home, but it doesn’t end there—Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth!

 

The mission of God begins around your kitchen table, but it must leave the front door of your home and go to work with you, go to the store with you, go to school with you, go on vacation with you, go on work trips with you… As you go, live out the Great Commission by making disciples, immersing them in the presence and power of the Trinitarian fellowship, and teach them in word and deed all that Jesus has given us to find abundant life and rest for our souls.

 

Are you willing to go? How can you look for everyday life opportunities to go? Maybe you are already going and didn’t realize it…maybe you could start this week!

 

Before you leave today and go into the mission field of our communities, I want you to know something important: Jesus insists that you shouldn’t go alone! In Acts 1:8 Jesus promises, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

 

Don’t go out alone! As you go today into the real-life discipleship of being on mission as you go where ever you go, you are not to go alone or in your own strength. Jesus has given you His Holy Spirit to go with you. Some of you may remember this image that I have shared with you in a previous teaching on the Holy Spirit:

 

Jesus teaches us that Holy Spirit is our Helper which is why He tells to not go without Him![1] Honestly, Jesus knows that we can’t get to this destination without both a full gas tank and a Helper to get us there. That is why He gives us the image of getting in easy yoke! So that we are connected to Him because it is through our relationship with Him that we are filled with the Holy Spirit—the Helper, and not just once at the time of our conversion when we are sealed for the day of judgment, but we are to be daily refreshed with the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The Mission Field, even in your own local community, is like going on a backcountry fishing trip. You don’t always know where the best fishing hole is and which bait to use on different fish. The Holy Spirit is like a fishing guide who knows the lay of land, where the fish are, how and when to fish for them, what bait works best, etc. Who would hire a fishing guide to take them into the backcountry of the wilderness where there are chains of lakes just waiting to be fished, and then not listen to what they say? A good guide takes a novice and helps them be successful in why they went in the first place: to catch fish! The guide is key—the guide teaches and then reminds of what He has already taught as he guides you into action! Don’t go alone!

 

I use the fishing imagery because Jesus used it first. In Mark 1:17, Jesus invites and promises, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

 

Why did Jesus promise you the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8?  TO MAKE YOU BECOME…  It is the promised work of the Holy Spirit to fulfill in and through us the promise of Jesus Christ to all who follow Him! This is what Paul meant when he stated in Philippians 2:13, It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

 

This is why Paul can say to us in Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Because Paul knows that to be a Christian is to have the Holy Spirit and it is through the filling of the Holy Spirit that God brings us to completion, one day at a time. It is a process that you cannot go at alone! We each must go on the journey God calls us to, in the yoke of Jesus!

 

As Paul rebuked the early church followers who thought they could do the Christian life apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. From Galatians 3:3, Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” We can’t abandon the Helper once He gets us to the right fishing hole.

 

Paul says in Ephesians 5:17-18, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Listen to a pastor clearly explain what this means:

 

To be filled with the Spirit means to have the Spirit pervading, saturating, and infiltrating us with His holy and glorious presence in every chamber and corner of your being, leading and influencing every purpose, every affection, every thought, every action, every utterance. That’s what being filled means. The tense of the verb is the present, which indicates that the process of being filled must be continuous and constant. So another way of saying what Paul is saying is this, “Be continually getting filled.” In other words yesterday’s filling will not do for today. We must be like a cup that is kept full of water by being kept constantly under an ever-flowing faucet. Notice the word “with.” If we literally translated the passage it would read, “be filled in the Spirit.” The thought is that every part of the believer’s life is “in the Spirit.” If we are believers in Christ we are “in the Spirit.” That means the Holy Spirit surrounds us and rests upon us with His glorious and holy presence. Paul’s thought is to let this water of life to flow in and through us to expel and push out everything else until we are completely full of the Holy Spirit.[2]

 

You have been chosen and saved by God’s grace and it is that same grace of God that is working in you that empowers you to live as a witness of God to our world, starting in our communities. The question is not whether or not you are called to be a missionary—if you have been saved, you have been called! The question is are you being filled up to go out? It is the Holy Spirit of God within us that compels us to go and guides us along the way.

 

Don’t go alone! Don’t leave this place without being filled with the Holy Spirit!

 

How? By asking God! Jesus taught us this in Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

 

Ask God to immerse you with His presence and His power in every part of your life; hold nothing back; surrender it all and come to Jesus with all your weariness and all of your burdens.

 

You can teach people what you know, but you can only replicate what you are! Are you immersed?
 
Listen to the message here:
 
 

FOOTNOTES:

 

        [1] John 14:16-17, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:25-26, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 15:26-27, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 16:7-8, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:13-15, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

[2] Pastor Tom Preble’s 2019 sermon, “Devotion to the Essentials Gives Birth to Revival Families”.


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