Neighbors in the Early Church (Won’t You Be My Neighbor? series #3)
Jason White



This week, we learn about serving our immediate neighbors through seeing Paul’s example in the early church. Check out more at






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Father, we quiet our hearts. We quiet our minds. And we're listening for what you have to say to us, through your spirit, speak to us, in the name of Jesus. Amen. So about 11 or 12 years ago, Natalie and I were moving away from the first house that we had bought, when we got married, we had lived in the house for about 11 or 12 years at that point, and we had the opportunity to sell it and move into a new home. And we went through the whole process of packing everything up and hauling it off making different trips, it was just in the same community. But you know, we made dozens of trips back and forth finally done carrying off the last load, locked the door, and we were leaving the house for the last time. And I remember backing out of the driveway and having all these emotions, you remember, like the, the time that we got married, and we were we were this was the first home that we were able to purchase, I remember bringing the dogs that we had home as puppies and watching them grow up in the house and our our kids, you know, being growing up into this home. And I was just kind of going down a trip of memory lane when I was backing out. But after I backed out and I began to drive down the street, my neighbor was outside in the front yard and he began to wave at me. And guys, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had lived next to this guy for 10 or 11 years now. And I couldn't remember his name. I don't know if I ever knew his name, this guy lived 25 feet from my front door for 10 years. And I did never did care enough to actually find out or remember his name. There was humbling, as I was driving off that day. Now I know I'm speaking to an audience who's probably way better at that kind of thing than I am or it was, you probably know all of your neighbors names, you know, their pets, you know, their kids or grandkids and everything there is to know about that. But but let's put it to the test. All right, you grabbed a bulletin when you came in, you have an insert in that bulletin, go ahead and pull that out. Now, you'll see on one side of that insert that's in your bulletin, there are some squares there, there's nine different squares there and you'll see a little home in the center square that home and the center square represents where you live, right. And so you most likely have a neighbor on your right and the neighbor on your left you have someone that lives directly across from you and directly across into the right or to the left or behind you in the same way. And this particular chart was given to or was designed by some guys who wrote a book called The Art of neighboring and they traveled all over the country talking about the art of neighboring how Jesus law leads us to love and serve our neighbors. And they have people fill this chart out. I mean, they give it to them, they give them a pin or a pencil. And they have them write down the letter A, the letter B and the letter C in each of the boxes. And they say on letter A, we want you to write down the name of the person who lives in that house. And let her be next to it. We want you to write down one piece of general information that you know about them. Do they like to play golf? Do they like to paint? Do they? What where do they work? You know, just some general piece of information about them. And then in letter C, they have you write down some specific detail, right? Do you know if they're a Christian or not, and where they go to church, you just go a little bit deeper with that. And here's what they found after traveling around the country, asking people to do this over and over and over again, they found out that only about 10% of the people who try this exercise can actually fill out just letter A and know all of the names of the eight people that are around them that are represented in those boxes. And then they found out that only 3% can fill out letter A and letter B they can tell you their name. And they can tell you at least a piece of general information about their neighbor. And then it gets all the way down to about 1% of the people who can actually fill out the name, a general piece of information and then some kind of specific information about all of their neighbors there. I think the point is, is that most of us, not all of us but most of us really don't know our neighbors. We don't really know our neighbors There's the people that live 25 or 50 feet from our front door. And this is what we're going to be talking about today. This is the group of people that we're going to talk about loving and serving. As we finish up our Won't you be my neighbor series. And I want you to turn to First Thessalonians chapter two if you have your Bible or device with the Bible app on it, because the Apostle Paul is going to show us how to do that. The apostle Paul is going to show us how to love and serve our immediate neighbors, those people who live on your right or your left or across from you or behind you. Now he's going to do this in a little bit of an indirect way. Because what Paul is doing is he's writing of course, as we see all of these different letters in the New Testament, to a church that's been established in that area already, which means this, the apostle Paul had to go into that area, or someone did at some point in time, and share the Gospel, share the good news with these people make sure that they know they can have their sins forgiven, had the Holy Spirit come and dwell them and become transformed and changed. And that means that these people had said yes to Jesus at one point in time, and they had been transformed and changed. And they weren't part of God's family. They weren't part of the church now. And now he's writing back to that church. Well, in chapter two, what Paul is going to do is he's going to ask them to think back to the time that he first came, when He came on his first missionary journey when he met them for the very first time we've been when he began to share Jesus and talk to them about what the gospel the good news of Jesus was, was all about. And when he's asking them to think back about that time, he describes what that time was like, he describes how Jesus was leading him and his companions to share the gospel to the people who lived in Thessalonica. And it's through what we see here, how Jesus worked in and through them to lead him and his companions to share the gospel, where we're going to learn so much about how Jesus will lead us to do the same thing with our own immediate neighbors. Now skip down, we're gonna go verses one through 12. But I want to just start in want you to see what Paul says in verse eight to kind of set the tone for what's happening here. In verse eight, Paul says this to them, because we loved you so much. He says, We were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but get this our lives as well. Paul says, We were delighted not just to share the gospel with you, but to share with you our lives as well. Now, listen, I don't know about you, but I'm thinking it would have been much easier for Paul to just come in and share the gospel in a few words, right, he wrote the book of Romans, he could have done the whole Romans road thing, or given them the four spiritual laws and just shove the content down and just say, here's what you need to know about Jesus. Now pray the prayer. So I can go to the next town and tell more people about that. But that's not what Jesus led Paul and his companions to do. Jesus led Paul and his companions to share their lives with them as they shared the gospel with them. And we'll see a little bit more specifically about what that looks like and what that looked like during that time. But I think what we need to keep in mind is that if we see Jesus working in and through them as they moved into a community, to share the gospel with them, and do that through the means of first sharing life with them, to look for how Jesus might be leading us to do the very same thing with the people that he's put right beside us, or in front of us or behind us in the neighborhoods that we live in. So let's take a little bit of a deeper dive and see what all Paul reveals about how Jesus worked in Him and through them to share the gospel and do life with them along the way. The very first thing he says in verse one of chapter two is, you know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. And so he's writing to them the second, this time, pointing them back to that first visit, just like we were talking about saying, Hey, if you begin to think about that, you know, it didn't come without results, because your lives have been transformed. Your lives have been changed. Jesus wasn't a part of your life. Now you're completely forgiven. Now. He is a part of your life, and you are a part of this thing called the church. So he's pointing them back, think back to that. And here's what he wants to remind them about. Verse two, he says we had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God, we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. Paul says when you think back to that time, when we first came to see you, you know how hard it was you know how difficult it was for us at that time, because we had just come from Philippi, we had to flee from Philippi. Because we were scared that we would lose our lives based on how we had been treated. Because we were sharing the gospel and telling people about Jesus there. You can read more about that next chapter 16, if you want to this afternoon, but think about if Paul and his companions had to flee this particular place, because they were scared for their lives. And now they show up in a new community, think about what might be going on in your mind, if the Holy Spirit said, Okay, now I want you to share the gospel with these people. You think you might be thinking about what just happened to you as a result of doing that thing. I mean, I know I would be I'd be I'd be filled with fear, I would be scared about how they might react and what they might do to me if I start sharing the gospel in this context, and Paul says, but with the help of God, we dared to share, right, we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. And I just think that's worth noting. And because while we probably won't experience the same type of suffering that Paul and his companions did in his day, let's be honest, sometimes it can be scary, to reach out to our neighbors to want to share life with them, and to share the Good News of Jesus with them. Because we don't know them. We don't know how they're going to react, we don't know if we can trust them. We don't know how they're gonna respond and what it is that they are going to do. But what we see in the way we see Paul respond here when he says, but with the help of our God, we dare to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition gives us hope to say if I lean in, and I trust Jesus, that this really is where he's leading me, even if it is a little bit scary, then he'll provide what it is that I need to be able to carry that out. I'll never forget at a previous church when an elderly couple came up to me and began to share how, how they were walking around their neighborhood one time how they were just walking around for some exercise, they saw a younger couple out in their neighborhood. And to say that this older couple that were part of our church, and this younger couple were completely different, would be a vast understatement. I mean, we're talking night and day, they could not have been more different. We're talking about an elderly couple, and the guy who showed up at our church every single Sunday with a coat and a tie on. And he was very soft spoken, and well mannered and just extremely conservative in his approach to everything in life. And we're talking about a younger couple, who absolutely loved to tattoo every single part of their body, to pierce any part of their body that could potentially be pierced and put things in the piercings. And they could not have been more different. So you can imagine how when they saw them, and they felt led by the Holy Spirit to maybe engage them and talk to them and get to know them as their neighbors that they might have been a little bit intimidated, right. You don't really know people and you don't understand certain things about what makes people do things and how they, you know, express themselves and and they were pretty intimidated and scared to do so. But they felt the Holy Spirit compelling them to, to get to know them. These are your neighbors loved them. So if you can serve them, invite them to church, right. And so they entered into it, they trusted God with that. And they began to get into a conversation, they began to find out more about them. Eventually, they did invite them to church. And guess what? They said yes. Now their fear was, oh my gosh, how's everybody else in the church gonna treat them whenever they actually come? Right? Because they're going to stand out and look a bit different. But they came, everyone in the church welcomed them in well and received them and you know what? They stayed. They continued to come. They eventually join the church. He became one of our leaders, he actually became a deacon, he actually became the Chair of our deacons at one point in time, and she became involved in the student. I mean, the kids ministry couldn't be a a more servant hearted couple that was in the church who loved Jesus with everything that they had. And this was all because someone felt compelled to reach out to their neighbors and overcome the fear that was associated with that, by trusting the Lord would provide if he was really leading them to do this. You and I think about the same kind of thing with our neighbors. Remember what Paul says here and how the Lord met him where he was in the face of strong opposition to carry out what he was asking them to do. He'll do the same aim for you. And I, verse three, Paul says for the appeal we make does not come or does not spring from error, or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. Now that may seem a little bit odd that Paul's having to point out, Hey, you remember back to that first time just know we weren't really trying to trick you, right? You're gonna, what's that really all about? Well, it was pretty common in Paul's day and age in certain cultures, and especially here within Thessalonica. For kind of these traveling philosophers, they would they would stop by different communities and just go from town to town and, and they would share things with people, basically, whatever it is that they wanted to hear, to, to conform to popular opinion around the time and kind of use flattery for financial gain. And in other words, there are a lot of people who had kind of impure motives, their teaching was false. They were trying to deceive or trick people just to get something out of them. They were charlatans, they were frauds, they were con artists, if you will. And so the Thessalonians we're used to having people like this come through, in evidently, since Paul had come in that first visit, and then had left there were some people who were telling them hey, you know, that poor guy, you know, that poor guy that you were listening to? And that you guys, you know, you guys fell for his tricks. He was nothing but a charlatan, he was nothing but a fraud. And now you guys have formed this whole thing around someone who was just a traveling philosopher, trying to be greedy and get something from you guys. And Paul says, no, no, no, no. If you remember back and you think about this, know that we were not trying to trick you that our message does not spring from air or impure motives. And you'll see him continuing to go back to this, giving them more details that reinforce that their motives were pure and good. As a matter of fact, he says it next on the contrary, verse four, we speak as those approved by God, to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people, but God who tests our hearts. He says, Listen, we don't answer to you anyway. Right? We're not showing up trying to please you, God's the one who entrusted us with this message to carry it out. And so it's him that we're responsible to not you, verse five, he goes on and says, you know, if you're thinking back to that first visit, you know, for sure that we never used flattery. Now, the thing you need to know about this word, here, the way it's written in the original Greek was it doesn't just refer to, you know, like trying to butter someone up, right? You're just trying to say something nice to them to get them to like you. What Paul's talking about here is the practice of tailoring truth, to fit a popular opinion, the practice of tailoring truth to fit a popular opinion, this is what the charlatans did those who would come in and visit the community and they would they would twist the truth to fit popular opinion for financial gain. And, and then it would run off, right? And Paul says, If you think back, that's not what we did. We shared the truth with you, even if it was an unpopular opinion at the time, which it was because it almost got him killed in the last place for sharing that truth with people. So once again, as we see this as the way that Jesus led them when they showed up, I think you and I can look for and trust Jesus to lead us to share the truth with people as we share our lives with them. There is sometimes in has been some attempts to water down the truth, if you will, to water down the gospel to make it fit a little bit more within cultural opinion so that people will maybe except it a little bit more. And Paul says Listen, this is not a part of what it was that we were doing. And this is not a part of how he will lead us He will share a will lead us to share the truth so that people will know what they're really up against to know the honest truth, right? It's the best thing for them, especially if we're doing it in love. So Paul says you know that we never use flattery. Verse five, he continues and says, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed. God is our witness. He says, We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else. Even though as apostles of Christ, we could have assorted our started our authority. So Paul says, Listen, we had kind of a right to be supported financially from you. But because we know that that there were people who were coming in and used to taking advantage of other people, we gave up the right to be paid even when we came here and he'll talk a little bit more about that as we go Verse seven, he says, instead, we were like young children among you just as nursing, just as a nursing mother cares for her children. So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well. This was the verse that we started with. And now, even as we've gone on, and you see a little bit more of the context, here, we see how, how Paul was, was trying to get them to remember what that first visit was really like. And their motives were like, so that they would have assurance that they were not like those traveling philosophers that would pop in and out. He said, if you remember back, you'll remember how much we really did care for you that we cared for you in the same way that a nursing mom cares for her kids. This is how much we loved you and we shared our lives with you. We moved in and did life with you. We didn't come in, share the content and then leave, we moved in, we became neighbors, we became friends, we shared life together. Think back and this is what you'll remember. Verse nine, he says, Surely you remember, brothers and sisters are toil and hardship we work day and night in order to be a burden not to be a burden to anyone while we preach the gospel to you. So this is where he is expounding on what he had just said a couple of verses earlier, right? He says we didn't come in and even ask you for any money. As a matter of fact, to make sure that you didn't associate us with all of those other people, we worked for a living. We know from the book of Acts 18, that Paul made tents. He may have come in and he and his companions may have may have made tents for a living and to earn an income while they were there and to provide for all of the things that they needed to live in this community and be neighbors with them and share life with them. And listen, by the way, speaking of work, next week, we're starting a new series on work where most of us spend the majority of our time throughout a week and how the gospel transforms the work that we enter into each and every single week. And so, hope and pray that you'll be here next week as we launch that new series. But Paul says, Hey, remember, there were pure motives. We even ask you for money, we worked alongside you and provided for our own means. But notice this, Paul says we worked night and day in order to not be a burden to anyone while we did what we preached the gospel of God to you. I think this is worth noting, because there there is kind of this opinion among some of us as Christians that if we just befriend people, if we just show up, and we're nice to people, and we're neighborly to people, then all of a sudden, they're gonna fall on their knees and confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior, because we were nice to them. It's not too big for God to accomplish, certainly could open the door to get someone thinking why someone was nice to them. And he could do that. But I would be willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of people just because we do something nice for them, and don't say any words about Jesus or the gospel or anything, are gonna fall on their face and go Jesus as Lord. Paul says, while we worked alongside of you, while we shared life with you, we talked about Jesus, we shared the gospel, we brought his name out, we said, He is the way he is the truth. And he is the life and there is no other way to the Father except through Him. And He communicated this to them. And so if we see this as how he was leading Paul, and again, he works in and through us to love and serve our neighbors to share life with them, we have to look for as we're sharing that life, when he's opening the door for us to also share the gospel to talk about Jesus to share our testimony and what he's done to change our lives to invite them to church and how they can trust Him as their Lord and Savior. And listen, that there's somewhere in between, like, you know, I don't think that means we walk up to somebody's front door if you've never met them and say, Hey, I'm so and so. And what's your name? Oh, by the way, if you died right now on the spot, do you know where you would spend eternity? And let's make sure we go in and we tell them everything there is to know about Jesus, get them saved right there on the spot. I mean, okay, the Lord could lead us to do that. Maybe every now and then again. I'm not going to put him in a box and say that never happens to share the gospel with someone directly on the spot. But I'd be willing to say this, that especially in a culture where people are very skeptical of Christianity and Christians and people showing up on their doorsteps and what they want from them, that they're more willing to think if that's our approach, that we're just simply there to convert them. And we don't really care anything about them. We just want to show up so that we can feel better about ourselves, having said something to you about Jesus. And if you say the prayer, that's even better, but we don't really want to share life and spend any time with you. They want to know first, that we really love them that we really do care about them. And then he softens hearts to be able to share the good news with them along the way, in the same way that he did with Paul. He goes on in verse 10, and says, You guys are witnesses. And so as God of how holy, righteous and blameless we were, among you, who believed again, this isn't Paul being self righteous about himself. He's trying to compare you guys know the traveling philosophers. You know what they did? They came in and took advantage you and then they they ran off. But if you remember back and you think, Paul saying, He's not saying this in and of himself, Paul is always talking about his union with Christ for me to live as Christ. Paul said in Philippians, right. And so he's always talking about he is blameless and holy and righteous just because of Jesus in him and his work in and through him. So they were seeing Jesus's holiness, Jesus's righteousness, Jesus's blameless this through them. In other words, he's trying to get them again to see that there was a pure motive there. And this wasn't some sales pitch. Again, our neighbors can smell a sales pitch a mile away, which goes back to what is our motive? What is our intent, right? He goes on in verse 11, it says, For you know, that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God calls you into his kingdom, and glory. Paul says, Jesus led us to encourage you, to support you and give you confidence in and trust in Christ. He led us to comfort you, right? He's thinking, think back, guys, you were going through real life problems. You had stuff happen, people died, you lost loved ones, you lost jobs, you suffered while we were with you, and we were there to comfort you not taken advantage of you, we were there to encourage you and, and comfort you. And Paul says that Jesus led us to urge you as he encouraged them and and comforted them. He persistently pleaded with them to consider Jesus being the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE and that no one comes to the Father except through them. Right. I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's done in love. It's an encouragement, and I'm here to serve and love and share life with you. But man, I am urging you to consider Jesus, he's changed my life, and he can change your life too. If you're not there yet, that's okay, I'm still going to show up and love you, you're still my neighbor, you're still my friend. But buddy, I'm just urging you to consider it continue to consider Jesus because he can change your life. Paul was urging them along the way as he shared life with them. He will use us to urge our neighbors to consider Jesus being the WAY the truth and the life as well. So we should look for Jesus to use us to encourage our neighbors, our neighbors are going to need to be comforted. They're going to go through suffering, they're going to go through failures and experiences in their own lives, their families lives, their kids lives. And Jesus can use us to be a source of comfort to them right there in their time of need. And while we're doing that, urge them to consider Jesus and point them to him overall, in everything that we're doing, we see so much in these 11 or 12 verses about how Jesus led Paul and his companions to share the gospel with those in this community. And basically, Jesus led them to move into the neighborhood to become neighbors, to share life with them to encourage and comfort and support and urge them to consider Jesus since So, what about you? How's Jesus leading you to love and serve your immediate neighbors around you? How's he leading you to encourage them to comfort them to urge them to consider Jesus I told you earlier about my experience of moving away from my house and and how I couldn't even remember the guy's name. You know? 10 years, I don't even know the guy's name right and, and as I'm driving away, God's just really working on me. And what I hear him saying is, Jason, I want it to be different this time. I'm putting you in this particular area, where you have a mission field that lives 25 to 50 feet from your front door. And I want to use you to be my witnesses, to be my witness to those who are right there. And so the way that played out in our lives and the way Jesus worked is that each time we've moved, we've made it a point to take something that we could give to them some cookies or other kinds of treats and just go knock on the door. Natalie, me, Eli, Eva, the whole family shows up on the porch. And we just introduce ourselves and say, Hey, we're your new neighbors. We just moved in excited about being in the neighborhood, what were your names? What are your kids names, again, look forward to getting to know you just something that's short and sweet. And if you know me, my memory is terrible. I mean, I could meet you and five seconds later walk away and go, I couldn't remember what they said their name, we're right there in that same conversation. And so Eva's our name. Remember, in the family. And so we're always going Eva, you got to be on girl, you got to make sure you're remembering every name is coming through here. And as soon as we walk off, I'm pulling out my phone, I'm going what was their name, maybe. And I'm writing them down on the way out so that they're not seeing me, I can't tell you how many times that has come in handy. Because now the Lord's just saying that just look for opportunities. So it's an hour outside, we're playing catch, we're doing whatever somebody comes out to get the mail and I'm able to go Hey, John, what's up neighbor, you know, and actually call them by name and then enter into conversations and get to know them. And that's led to a lot of different opportunities. One time when we moved we we did that. And he he led us to take a step further and even do kind of a block party. And we're not big, like, you know, life of the party neighbors. Let's get everybody together. And don't feel like we're great at that kind of thing. Always. But we Okay, the Lord's leading us to get to know our neighbors a little bit. Let's get them all together. And we just grilled some hamburgers and hotdogs and spent some time getting to know a few of them in one night. And it was really cool. Because there was a connection made between the person that lived right next door to us. They had a teenage daughter at the time and really seemed to kind of connect with with Natalie. And a few weeks later, I don't know six to eight weeks later, all of a sudden get a knock on our door. And I get up and I answer it and it's it's her she's at our front door. And she said Hey is is Natalie home and like, yeah, she's here and went and got her and she went in and she just she just as a teenage girl and what teenage girls go through some times one of the one of the talk and she felt like based on the connection that was made that night that Natalie was someone that she could trust. And Natalie just loved her and encouraged her and supported her and pointed her to Jesus. And eventually, later on she she did come to know Jesus and her life was transformed and changed. And she got on fire and even traveled all the way over here to Pine COVID spent her whole summer serving at Pine Cove and sharing Jesus with her families. And and you know, none of that would have ever happened if the Lord hadn't slapped me across the head with a ton of bricks or like a ton of bricks going, you don't even know your neighbor's name after living next to him for 10 years. This is how he's led in us as a result of that at different times. And we certainly haven't been perfect could have done a lot better. A lot of times, I'll be honest with you. I mean, we've lived in the house that we're in now for a year and nine months. And we've gone out and we've met all of our neighbors and I'd know him by name. And I see him out and I do all those things. But he's been kind of laying it on my heart for the whole time that we've been here to do another one of those kind of block party things to really get everybody together and know and guess what? We haven't done it, then there's certainly been seasons of life where there's been so much busyness or health issues that were going on that would just prevent us from realistically really being able to do that well. But to be honest, there's a lot of times where I'm just coming up with a lot of excuses, because I wanted to just sit on the couch and watched football and not talk to anybody. You know what I mean? And so when we're thinking about next steps, and we're thinking about the way the Lord is leading each one of us to love and serve our neighbors, we're we're asking the same thing. And that's certainly one of the next steps that I know he's leading us to take and we're praying about him and preparing us to carry those out. But I'll just ask you again what's what's he leading you to do? Is he is he leading you to knock on doors and at least make sure you know the names of your neighbors through a block party, invite them over for dinner one by one, serve them through some act of kindness. I don't really know I'm not your Holy Spirit. But I trust that you will have a converse question about how he's leading you. If if this is truly from the Lord, which I think it is, I mean, I spend time praying and asking what the Lord wants me to talk about each and every Sunday. And I trust that he's the one that laid it on my heart to play a role in how he's leading me and us as a church, that this is something he wants us all to enter into, and ask the question, What is my next step to love and serve the neighbors around me, and just think, think about what could happen. I mean, even if you've just got five or six neighbors, if we all have five or six neighbors, there's been 300, or more of us that have been on this campus today, worshiping, if we all go out, and start being intentional about loving and serving five or six of our neighbors, I mean, we're getting into the 1000s, as far as numbers of people whose lives could be transformed and changed. We've talked about wanting to see our city change, and God to really do something in there. And in, you know, a lot of times our mind goes to some Billy Graham, big, huge football revival kind of thing. And those are great, but but maybe it's as simple as Jesus is just wanting us to ask our neighbors won't. Won't you be a neighbor? That's the key to transforming and changing the city that we live in. So can we do that? Can we ask our neighbors? Won't you be my neighbor? I think we can. And I hope we will. Father we are grateful for the way that you provide for us. For most, or all of us, you have provided a place to live. You put a roof over our head so that we can go home and have a place with our families and sleep and rest and get some peace and quiet every now and then and and it's good the way you take care of us. But Father, we recognize that while those are all things you want to do with our homes, that you also put us right there for a specific reason, because there is a mission field of people that you want to use us to reach. So I pray that you will keep our eyes open our ears open, to see me needs to see how you're leading us to take next steps to love and to serve the people that we live so close to every single day. And I pray that you would soften hearts and open up doors as we serve and love them to share Jesus with them that they might be receptive to taking a step of faith and having their lives transformed and changed as well. Father, there might be some today who are hearing me talk about how Paul showed up and sharing the gospel and us sharing it and someone here or someone online is going you know, I've never received the gospel. I've never taken a step of faith. I've never had my life transformed and changed because of Jesus. And maybe for them. That's the next step that you're leading them to take this morning first before loving and serving their own neighbors is to allow you to love and and serve them in a way as they proclaim you as their Lord and Savior. So I pray that you would continue to open up anyone's heart right now in this moment who you're leading to take a step of faith, to have complete forgiveness, to be adopted into your family and have the assurance of eternal life being spent with you. We make ourselves available to you to respond. However, you're leading us right now, in this moment during this time of invitation. Jesus saying amen