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So once upon a time, Jesus invited 12 men to go on a journey with him. He offered to guide them, he offered for them to be able to learn under him, for them to be able to grow under him, for them to be able to even participate in what it is that he was going to be doing throughout the world. And these 12 men accepted his invitation, they said yes to this journey of going through life with Jesus. And it wasn't too long into their journey that these men discovered some various things. Number one, they discovered that real life like real meaningful life is actually found in him. They discovered that he gave them a family to belong to people to connect with, they discovered that he allows them to even play a role in the family and to participate in family life and to build up and edify and support and encourage each other. And so this journey that they had started on and that they were learning along with him was really great. They were experiencing him and all of these new things that he was showing them and, and teaching them until one day, he decided to share with them that he was going away. As a matter of fact, he wasn't just going away, he was going to die. But he said that, hey, don't worry, because this is actually a good thing, it's actually going to be for your benefit that I'm going that I'm actually going to die. This was all very confusing, of course to them. But the reason he told them that was because of the fact that after his death, he would be resurrected. And after he ascended back to heaven, he would send the Holy Spirit. And so it would be this kind of situation where they wouldn't just have the opportunity to to be with him physically, but they would actually have the opportunity for him to be dwelling in them spiritually, bringing them life, real life on the inside and flowing from the inside out. And this, of course, is exactly what did happen. Jesus did eventually go to the cross, He was resurrected from the dead. And after he ascended to go back to heaven, he did sin, the Holy Spirit. And these disciples, these men who had spent three years with him, we're now filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in dwelt them. And now they were experiencing his life in a different way. They had real meaningful life on the inside, they were they were connected to each other in a different way. They were with each other over those three years. But now they were like really spiritually connected to them in a in a different way, even better than it was before they now had these new spiritual gifts, things that they didn't even have before the Holy Spirit came to dwell in them. And now they were channeling them and being empowered by them to invest in this new life that they all began to share together. And, of course, I mean, it's filled them with so much joy, they were so happy to be experiencing the life of Christ and this new family life that they had, and being able to use these gifts to serve each other. And so So one day, one of them said, hey, you know what, while we're worshiping together, and we're learning together, and we're supporting each other, and all of these things that we're doing, it's so good, what if we just stayed here, and like, did this forever. One of them said, that's not a bad idea. This is good, we have this new life in Christ, and we're, we're connected to each other now. And we're supporting each other and caring for each other. And so let's do that. Let's just stay here and keep worshiping and keep praying and keep eating together and keep fellowshipping together and keep investing each other. And so they did in life was really good for them each and every single day. And then they died. The Right. I mean, this, of course, is not actually what happened. This isn't the story of the disciples but but seek with me for a moment, if it had been if they had received this new life in Christ, and he had led them to actually join in and participate and connect in real life with each other and he had given them these new spiritual gifts to invest each other and build each other up and they just sat there and continued to do those three things it would be really good for them be tragic for the rest of us. We wouldn't be sitting here today did they would have died and they would have gone on to be with Jesus and throughout all of eternity and Heaven one day and and ice and everyone else who came after them. Tough luck.Thank goodness, this is not the story of the disciples. But but you know, often times I don't know if you're alive. So I've been like this at times, I wish our experience could be like the one I was describing that the disciples could have, right one where we we get together and maybe we continue to worship like we're doing now. And that was that was really great to be able to, to just get into the worship, and we're, we're with people that we love right now and, and emotions begin to get in volved. And we're experiencing the life in Christ that we have, you know, together and and at some point in time, a lot of us tend to think, man, wouldn't it be great if we get to stay here and just keep doing this forever. And it would be great to be with the people that we love and enjoy the life that we have in Christ in all of these different ways. But then one day,we would all die. And the church would die off with this. Tragic that would be.So thank goodness, it wasn't the story of the disciples. Because again, you and I wouldn't even be here today if it was but it begs the question it makes you wonder, why wasn't that their experience? I mean, if sometimes we're tempted to kind of think those things. Why wasn't it very experienced to receive this new life and Christ have all these really great things going on together to just continue to meet together and hold it into themselves and enjoy it for ever? Well, the reason is because Jesus had given them a new heart that now reflected his heart for the last, the moment that the Holy Spirit came to indwell them, he gave them a new heart, in that her new heart was now a reflection of his heart, which is for lost in helpless people. This is really the whole reason that Jesus came was to give us a new heart. Remember, this wasn't just about our sins. This wasn't just about us being forgiven and and going to heaven. One day, he came to give us a new heart to all over scripture. It's even in the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel, God used him to declare that this is what was going to happen one day that this is what he was going to do. Look at what it says in Ezekiel chapter 36. Before we get to that Luke passage I told you to turn to, he says, I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols, I will give you a new heart. See, that's where I got it from is right there in the Bible. Right, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you are removed from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit in you. So God was working through the prophet Ezekiel to show and reveal that this was what he would be up to that this was his plan. And then one day when Jesus came on the scene, he continued to communicate these things. You may remember in John chapter three, when he was having a conversation with Nicodemus, he began to talk about the need to be born again to the born not not of flesh, right, but spiritually reborn to receive a new heart, one that was regenerated by God Himself. And this, of course, is what happened. What we see in Ezekiel, what we were saying he was prophesying was going to happen when they actually happened to the disciples in Acts, chapter two, all that stuff that we just said about Jesus leaving and sending the Holy Spirit, it was for him to be able to come to indwell them and give them this new heart in this new heart in this spiritual union that they now have with him, is a reflection of his heart. And if there is one thing we know, is true about Jesus's heart is that again, he is for lost and helpless people. This is all over the Gospels, the writers of the Gospels who communicate to us and wrote down the stories of Jesus's birth and life and death and resurrection and ascension. I want to walk you just through a few of the things that Luke says about him right at the beginning of Jesus's ministry right after His baptism and his temptation in the desert, beginning of verse 16. Here's what Luke tells us about Jesus says that he went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, unrolling it, he found the place where it is written, The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me listen to this, to proclaim the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Verse 20, then he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down the eyes of everyone. Luke says in the synagogue were fastened on him, verse 21, He began by saying to them today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. This Luke's communicating to us how Jesus stood up to announce his mission, to announce what it is that he had come for, to serve the poor, to heal people to free people from oppression and bond is to proclaim and offer grace and life to all who would receive it. And all of these things that he came to do were, of course, a reflection of his heart. And if you look at these things as a whole, you see that Jesus'sheart was for lostand helpless people. So Luke communicates this Jesus's announcement that this is what he came for. This is his heart. This is his mission and what it is that he's going to do, and then guess what Luke starts to do right after this. Show us how Jesus carried out that mission that he had just announced about, right. And so right after this, as you get into verses 31 through 37, Luke tells us that He healed the man who was demon possessed in verses 38 and 39. He talks about how he healed Simon's mother in law, verses four, verse 40, how he healed a bunch of other people with various kinds of sicknesses in verse 43, how he began to preach in the synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, Luke tells us, he stood up and made an announcement. This is my heart, I'm for lost and helpless people, this is what I'm going to be doing. And then Luke immediately shows us how he starts to do that. And then chapter after chapter after chapter, Luke is communicating how Jesus went on to serve the poor, to heal people to set people free from bondage to proclaim the good news. This was his heart. This is what he came to do. By the time that Luke gets to chapter 15, he even makes sure that we are aware of some of the things that Jesus was teaching, not just some of the things that he was doing, but exactly some of the things that he was teaching to communicate the heart that he had for lost in helpless people. By the time we get to Luke chapter 15, he tells us that Jesus told three different parables, one of the about the lost sheep, one about lost coin, and one about a lost son. In each of the parables, it's the exact same thing. It's about the pursuit of whatever that thing or that person was, who was lost. And then when that person or that thing was found, there was a celebration, there was a party. And it was all to describe this as the heart of God, His heart is for lost and helpless people and he pursues lost and helpless people. And when he finds them, there's rejoicing in all of heaven, because this is a reflection of his heart and who he is. few chapters later in chapter 19, after telling the story of how Jesus rescued a lost man named Zacchaeus, he records Jesus is saying that the Son of man, a reference to himself, came to seek and save the last. Jesus says, I came, I came to seek and save the last. So why go through all of that, why? Make sure that we understand Jesus's heart and what he communicated about those things. It's important because of what we said earlier about the disciples. Remember, he said, Now go and wait until you receive the Holy Spirit. And then once they received the Holy Spirit, now, they had this new heart, there was a reflection of Jesus's heart for lost and helpless people. So guess if the disciples now have a heart for lost and helpless people, guess what we should see in theirlives?The pursuit of lost and helpless people. In Luke, after he writes his gospel that we have in our New Testament Bibles called the Gospel of Luke, he wrote part two, guess what part two is? The book of Acts, right? Luke is the author of the book of Acts, and it's the Acts of the Apostles in all of the acts of apostles, if you go and read all throughout, that are a reflection of Jesus's heart for lost and helpless people in their pursuit or his pursuit in them and through them for lost and helpless. People are right after the Holy Spirit came right. They received new life in Christ. They were connected to each other in a real spiritual sense. They were having spiritual gifts and invested they haven't been able to invest in each other in this new life. But guess what the very first thing that the new life that they had Christ that the Holy Spirit led them their guide to do right there in that moment, to not hold on to it, to not form walls and build up and make a holy huddle and keep it to themselves. The very first thing that the spirit guided them to do was to look around and notice the lost and helpless people standing right before them, and to have their hearts broken for them, and to share this good news about life in Christ, that all of these lost and helpless people who had witnessed the Holy Spirit coming to indwell them could be theirs as well, how they could be found, right? And so So Luke tells us this. And of course, he does tell us at the end of Acts, chapter two, after 3000 of them do come to know him and now have life in Christ and are connected together and have the spiritual gifts too. He does tell us about body life. He does tell us that the spirit guided them to discover more and more about their life in Christ. He does guide them into real family life together, he does guide them to use their gifts and abilities within the church. But then when you get to chapter three, guess what you begin to see. The apostles and the church going in healing people serving the poor, seeking out those who are lost, sharing the good news with more and more people in the church continues to grow, the darkness gets pushed back a little bit more the kingdom begins to advance in grow. This is the work of Jesus's heart, that He has given them in a new spiritual union with them in a way that he expresses his life now through them on the mission that he has to rescue the lost and helpless people throughout the world. Now, that's all good and great that Jesus has a heart for lost and help people. It's all good and great that that was part of the disciples experience and whatever it is that he did in them, but what in the world does that have to do with us today? I'm so glad you asked. Because anytime that we receive Jesus into our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. And we are given that same new heart as well, which is a heart that is for lost in helpless people throughout our world. So when it comes to this message series that we've been calling next steps where the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, and now becomes our guide. And we're looking for ways that he leads out in our lives that he takes steps as we're on this journey with him in his inviting us to take the steps with him. And for him to empower us to even be able to carry out these steps, we can expect him as we've been saying, over the last three weeks, to discover life in Christ, to continue to take steps of discovering more and more becoming more and more aware of all the life of Christ that we really do have and possess in our new union with Him, we can expect him to continue to lead us to take next steps of really connecting with family because he's connected us together in a way that we our brothers and sisters in Christ, and families do life together. And so we look for ways that he's going to lead us into that family life and to support each other and encourage each other, we can expect him as we talked about last week, to use the life that he's put in us to invest in the church through through membership and being a part of the church through praying for the church to give to the church and to serve in the church. But today, as we're closing out this series, we have got to see because of what Scripture communicates that if the Holy Spirit is living in us, and really is our guide, that we expect him we can expect him to lead us to express life in the world. Jesus puts His life in us to live his life through us to be able to reach a lostin a dying world around usto make sure that they don't miss out on the life that He came to give them. We can expect Jesus as our guide and our Holy Spirit to lead us to love to serve the last to be a part of what it is that he's doingin our community outside of these church walls.And so here's the deal. If this is an expectation, if this is the kind of activity that we see in Scripture, the Holy Spirit doing, then we should see a reflection of that spirits activity in the life of the church. And guess what? We do? We do see a real flexion of the Spirit's working to lead us to express life to the world outside of these church walls. I was having a conversation with Kurt Catchings one day he was telling me about a conversation that he had with a co worker and his co worker named Holly, I believe, had invited him to come on Wednesday night to the juvenile detention center. Because like, I don't know what you're getting me into. But I'll say yes, one time, right. And so Kurt goes with Holly to the juvenile detention center. And he watches as Holly loves on these kids who are in jail kids that come from a broken home kids who have obviously committed a crime, who don't know the love and the grace and the mercy of Jesus Christ, the life that is available to each and every single one of them. And he watches as Holly loves on them, and serves them and shares the good news about Jesus with them, and how they can have hope in their lives because of him. And Kurt says, I was hooked. I was hooked immediately on what it is that the spear was doing in her and through her. And guess what, just about every single Wednesday night now you won't see Kurt around here and one of our Bible studies because guess where he's at, at the juvenile detention center, because the Spirit who lives in him, grabbed a hold of his heart, because he has a new heart for lost in helpless people and said, I want to use you to pour my life into them the same way that I'm using Holly. And Kurt said yes to that.The darkness is being pushed back a little bit more in these kids lives, the kingdom is beginning to advance because he's deposited his life and one of us to be expressed through him in this way.In 2011, many of you know Joel Inge, and Joel was led by the Holy Spirit of the Holy Spirit was was breaking his heart for students who quote, were falling through the cracks. And as he felt the Lord breaking his heart and feeling for those who are just being being lost through the cracks, falling through the cracks at school, he felt the Holy Spirit whispering to him saying, I want to use you to start a school, a Christ focused life skills School for the students who are falling in the cracks. And you're like, I don't have any money. I don't have any help. I don't even know how to do that. But spirit, if you live in me, and you're guiding me to do this, then I'm gonna allow you to express your life through me to see where this goes. And he said, Yes. And Jesus began to pour in and through him and open up all kinds of doors to be doing different things. And in 2014, the school opened up and now there's a new land. And there's new buildings that are all over the place. And there's tons of new students who have been falling through the cracks in the original public school system or in other ways. And now they're being served in a different way. And they're infusing the life of Christ into these kids in a hope that they can now have because of a relationship with him. It's an opportunity that's brought a lot more of us the chance to be a part of what God is doing in our community and the lives of the students and he's using people like Kathy Jackson and Susan weber and Nancy Kirkpatrick and Eddie Franks to teach and use their knowledge and awareness of certain things. In this particular school setting. He's using people like Laura Rocco to volunteer in the office and lucid Juneau, to volunteer as an accountant. He's using people like Clint Rocco to volunteer as a PE coach and actually the entire Rocco family who go out there and help maintain the ground and mow and keep things nice. He's using people like Steve Kirkpatrick and Ben cave and Carrie Bickerstaff, and John Juno, and probably a number of other people who I just don't have time to listen or to list this morning in ways to express his life through them to love and serve helpless kids and to share the gospel with them. In the darkness, is being pushed back a little bit more in our world and his kingdom is advancing a little bit more in in through our people. Last spring, I was invited to attend a Salvation Army celebration luncheon by two of our members Jeanette Pritchett and Madeline Parker and I, when I was there, I had the opportunity to watch an incredibly powerful video of a woman who is Jesus who Jesus had transformed her life through the different people and volunteers in what he was doing through the organization called The Salvation Army. And it was incredible to see the transformation in her life that Christ had had made in her but how he had done on it through people who had made themselves available for his life to be expressed through them in this way, and Madeline and Jeanette anytime they talk about what God is doing in this, their faces just light up. They love talking about what God's doing and how how many lives are being changed and how he even led them as their guide to make themselves available to take a step into what God was doing in this world to allow his life to be expressed in them, and through them to impact these people. Johnny Burchfield, who's one of our deacons and runs, our Men's Ministry was contacted a while back from someone at our hand up network. And he said, they started getting some calls from people in our community, who are our handicap and were poor and didn't have a lot of resources and they had fallen behind with their house and their property and where it is that they lived. And they were at a code and they were getting fined. And they didn't have the means or the ability to be able to fix the different things. They were about to even be evicted. And Johnny receives a phone call and he says, Hey, can you help. And Johnny and powered by the Spirit and led by Him as the guide said, Yes, and he began to rally some guys who would go over and help these people. And we've had the opportunity three or four or five different times now to go show up at someone's house at 8am on a Monday morning, and you see about 10 Guys from colonial Hills who have taken a Monday morning off of work to be able to make themselves available for the life of Christ that dwells in them to be used through them to serve the loss in the helpless in this way and open up doors to share the gospel in the darkness is being pushed back a little bit more. And the kingdom is being advanced. Kerry kitchens is working with Christian women's job corps. And I just want to read to you some things that she says about that. She says I've been with this particular group for around three or four years, and I teach a class called jobs for life. It's for women who are needing to be equipped with the skill set to either obtain a new job or increase their value, to put them in a better position at their current job. But really Jason, it's a class that talks about how God desires for us to embrace and live out this abundant life that is found only in Christ. So these ladies get to hear each and every week, how much God loves them, how much he values them for who they are, and how his love is not based on their past, or their performance. She says I absolutely love those ladies, when I first observed the class thinking I was just there visiting laugh out loud, I walked away thinking I don't care if I need to scrub the toilets for them. I just wanted to be a part of what God was doing there.That's what we're talking about. The Holy Spirit whose heart cries for lost and helpless people will grab a hold of our hearts for someone who is lost and helpless and say I want to express my life that I've given you, through you into them so that they can be found. That leads us to say, I don't care what it is to do it. If it's scrubbing toilets, I just want to be a part of what you're doing in the world. God, I don't want to miss out on that. And this is a normal part of the journey with Christ.As we journey with him on this thing called life.He leads us to discover this life in him. He does lead us to connect with real family and to be a part of the life together he does lead us to invest and use our gifts in the body. But he also leads us to express the life that He's given usto a lost in a dark world outside of these church walls. And this is how the Spirit is leading many of us at Colonial hills to express life in this world. But the question is, how is he leading you? How is he leading you to express his life to a lost and dying world around you? Because there's something he wants to do in and through you. Not just those I mentioned a second ago. There's something that he wants to do in and through us as a church as well. We've actually been talking about John 738 a lot throughout this series where Jesus says Whoever believes in me as Scripture has said rivers of living water will flow from within them. I was reason we've been talking about that is because this past summer early In the summer or late spring I was, I was sitting on my back porch. And I was just sitting there for hours that morning just trying to be still, and trying to listen to what the Holy Spirit was laying on my heart about where we were going as a church and how he was leading us. And John 738, is what he kept laying on my heart, whoever believes in me rivers of living water will flow from within them. And I kept getting this picture that he was putting in my brain about how how that water is used to quench our thirst, to lead us to a place where we can stop looking around for all the life that we feel like we're missing it times out in the world, because we have it in him. How thatlife that those rivers of living water that begin to flow through us to to connect us together as a family, that there's a way that that water flows through us where we experience real family in a place to belong. And people didn't know when for people to be able to know the real us how the rivers of living water flows through us to be able to invest in each other and and build up and edify the church. pictured as I was meditating on this, and just given Jesus some room to go wherever it is that you wanted to, I began to picture these rivers of living water.Not just like, flowing in and through us in the church. Not just like, this lakethat we're all partying on right here and growing together and discovering more life in Christ and connecting with other and investing each other but in ways that the living water was then flowing out of us as we leave each and every single Sunday as the church. And you may even remember, some of you were here this summer, we were in a Roman series. And this was what God was laying on my heart for this fall. But I was so excited about it. It was on my brain, I didn't even expect that had been written down to say anything about it. But I began to talk about rivers of living water and our our Romans message series at the end of it and how how one day maybe we can we can see rivers of living water flowing all throughout our community because of the life of Christ being expressed in us and through us to participate in what it is that he's doing in this world. Aaron went back and grabbed the audio from that and made a short little video on where the Lord is leading us next. While I think he wants to use this to express life in what he's doing in our world. Socheck out this short video filled with his life, Jesus sends us out as the church.He puts the rivers of living water in us, right? And then he sends us out as the church could could we trace any rivers of living water from 7330, South Broadway to your neighborhood? When you leave here today? Could we trace any live rivers of living water from 7330, Broadway to your places of work, to to, to your schools to your sports teams, can we find living water that's running through our city because we're allowing Jesus to use us to express that likemy hope and my prayer, and will look out one day that we could put a drone up in the air, and that you would see so many rivers of living wire running through our city.So let's do that together. First and foremost, to serve our neighbors. So there's certainly a recognition that the Holy Spirit who lives in each and every single one of us, may lead us to be participating with him and what he's doing in the world, in our schools, and our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, through these local mission partners and all of the above, right, and we want to be open to how he's leading us in all of those ways. But one of the ways that we're going to talk over the next three weeks about how the Lord wants to express his life in us and through us is to love and serve our neighbors. And so we're gonna be talking about this over the next three weeks, but we're not just going to be talking about it, we're actually going to participate and make ourselves available for what the Spirit wants to do in us and through us. And so beginning next week after the message all week long, we're going to be participating in asking the Holy Spirit to lead us in acts of kindness. Because really, you could you could view the entire community if you use the term neighbors loosely as our neighbors right. So we're going to do acts of kindness as the Spirit leads in empowers us to people all throughout our community for a week when we come back the following Sunday. They were going to talk about how the Lord will lead us to love and serve our neighbors within this neighborhood that's built right around the church. I don't know if you've gone out the back way ever before or not. But you will notice if you do that we have built this church into a neighborhood. Like we have neighbors right here. So I think that the Holy Spirit living in us, who is our God and wants to express that life through us will lead us to love and serve the neighbors that live right here in this community. But then we're going to talk about how the following week the Lord sends us out as the church to love and serve our neighbors in our own immediate neighborhoods.For as long as we live there, it's gonna be awesome. If we all participate will you be a part of that?Can you imagine if we, we really, as colonial Hills decided to I'm going to show up every Sunday during this series, I'm going to make myself available to how the Spirit wants to use me to participate in acts of kindness and serve the neighbors back here to serve my own immediate neighbors. Can you imagine the number of people that will be loved and served all throughout our community? If we all participate in this together? Can you imagine that everyone in the church would no one in the community would know who it is that we are Coney hills? Oh, yeah, I know you guys. I know that church, because you guys are the church that's in this community, for the people in this community.Imagine what the Spirit can do in us and through us. If we all show up, we all make ourselves available to participate with him, and what he's doing in our world to push back the darkness a little bit more, to advance his kingdom. It's my prayer and my hope that we will be open and available, that we will be able to trace the rivers of living water flowing all throughout our city leaving from this place that we've gathered today. Because of what it is that he's done in us and through us, with the living water that he's put inside of us, let's pray, Father, thank you for the opportunity. Not just to have your life and experience your life not just to,to have a family to belong to, which is great, we thank you for that. We thank you that it's even not just an opportunity to participate in what you're doing in the church, but to be involvedin what you're telling the world. They are incredible God that you give us the opportunity to participate with you to pushback and darkness in this world. To advance your kingdom. We recognize that you do it we're just the instrument in your hands. But what a joy, what a privilege to see the life that you've given us flow through us in a way that can bring real meaningful life to others. So Lord, I am praying that you will work in us and through us to love and serve our neighbors over the next several weeks. Would you break our hearts for lost and helpless people, because you've given us a heart for them. And so we're looking for how you want to lead usto the lost and the helpless. Lord, I'm praying that you will work powerfully in and through us. Praying that people will come to know you. And pray to people who are lost will be found.Praying that people who are in such darkness and bondage andloneliness and depression would be freed from that because of what you do to express your life in us and through us.Father, I know that there might even be some who are here today who want to be a part of that.But I've never said yes to you. rivers of living water aren't even in them to be able to flow through them. So I pray that you would continue to open up their hearts and minds to see the love and the grace and the mercy you have for them the life that you're offering them right now in this moment, to be received first and foremost, to fill them up and quench their thirst and then to invite them to also participate in real meaningful purpose driven Kingdom minded stuff. Lord as we enter into our time of invitation and your time of response, we make ourselves available to you. Would you lead us to respond in this moment? However you're leading us to respond. In Jesus name amen.