Neighborhoods to Nations PT. 3 - The Wake-Up Call of World Missions

It Is Important To Remember The Mission Of The Church.

Tim Lundy
Nov 1, 2020    39m
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Sometimes we need a reminder, a wake-up call, to remind us of the missions of the church. This inspiring message serves as a reminder of what we are called to as followers of Jesus Christ, and challenges us to look to Jesus to find what mission he is individually calling us to. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:17 Hey Venture. In light of the election this week, I want to take a moment and just open in prayer. I would encourage you exercise your right to vote, we all should vote. It's not too late to register to vote, you can even register now in the state of California and vote. So make sure that you're informed, you're praying about it, you're voting. And then for all of us, no matter how it turns out this week, let's trust God, let's look to him and remember that he is sovereign.

Tim Lundy: 00:47 Will you pray with me? Father, we do thank you that you were the King on the throne. We do pray for our country this week. We pray for the elections. I pray for safety. I pray that everyone who votes, their votes will count. I pray that you will weed out any corruption. Lord, I pray that you will bring peace, and that your church would be the people at peace. Lord, I pray that you would keep us unified Lord, I pray that we would live as people of faith, recognizing that you are our King, and we are citizens of your kingdom. And so Lord, we lift this week, we lift this election, we lift all of it before you thanking you that you are in control, and that we can lay all of this at your feet. And we pray this in Christ' name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: 01:37 Well Venture, I love this time of year, there's so many things about it. And I'm not specifically talking about Halloween per se, I don't really like Halloween. I'm not talking about the election, ready for it to be done. I'm not even talking about the fall weather, I love that, I love the leaves changing. I'm not talking about sports, as much as I love college football, and football, and baseball, I could talk about that quite a bit if you got me going. I'm talking specifically about faith promise. I'm talking about the fact that we take a series every year, we take a few weeks and as we finish it up this week, I was just thinking about how much I appreciate this every year.

Tim Lundy: 02:18 You know, I grew up in a church like Venture that took global missions very seriously. There's a lot of support, and so every year we would take time and you would connect with the different missionaries, we'd have missions conferences. And just hearing what God is doing, just hearing how he leads people, hearing their stories, for me every year, and I think as we do it this year, it's kind of a personal wake-up call. Now, when I use that term wake-up call, I realized a lot of you that are younger, you may not even know what I'm talking about. You know, now in the age of cell phones and so many other things, when you go to a hotel, especially years ago, you'd check into a hotel, you'd get a wake-up call in the morning. And you call down, and they'd have the service. And I don't know about you, it's always nice, in a nice hotel. I can think of several times when I'd be traveling East, and so you're already off on your times, and you're heavy asleep. And if I'm alone, it's a good hotel, and it's a comfortable bed, and you can crank the air way down, you're not worried about the electric bill, and you close the blinds, the block-out shade. And as you're in that sleep, and that stupor, kind of that la la land, suddenly there's this wake-up call. It's kind of alarming, and you kind of reach for it and you pull it over. And you know, if it's a nice hotels, hello, Mr. Lundy, this is your wake up call. And then ultimately they started using computers, you didn't even get a real person, I'm not sure they do it anymore. But that sensation that breaks you out of that stupor, out of that sleep.

Tim Lundy: 04:00 And I think about that, because it's easy for me, maybe for you as well, in life to kind of just settle into a routine. To kind of get focused on my issues, especially a year like this year, when there's the pandemic, and there's struggles and challenges for the church, and challenges for people, and all that's going on with that. I can get kind of so head down, head focused, kind of in my own stupor in a way. And it has been so healthy to just take these weeks, to hear, to see, to remember again, to get a wake-up call.

Tim Lundy: 04:44 So I'm going to tell you this week, this message, you know, some weeks we like to dive into a deep passage and really teach through it. Some weeks, it's about encouragement, or maybe some practical life skills. This weekend, this message, it's pretty simple, it's Wake-up Call Sunday. It's Wake-up Call weekend. It's wakeup call to remember, not just missions, but the mission. That's the thing about missions, that's the thing about when you focus on it, it helps you focus on God's mission to planet earth. And to wake up to it again, as you think about it, as you think about people and life. Look at this verse in Proverbs 14, it's interesting as we think about this mission. Proverbs 14 describes everybody on the planet in this way, it says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." There's a way that seems right, and he's not just talking about men, so it's not just men that get fixated on the only way, he's talking about all humanity. There's a way that seems right to each of us, but the end of it is death.

Tim Lundy: 05:56 Now notice what he's not saying, he's not saying that we all agree on the exact same way, he's not saying that we see things exactly the same. We certainly experience that right now. There's a way though, that each one of us, intuitively, we have our internal GPS. And our GPS is leading us in life that we feel like, okay, this is the right turn, this is the wrong turn, this is the right way I need to go, and that looks a lot different for different people. For some people that way, it looks like a life of hedonism and partying, but it's still the same end. For some people that way, is a way of religion, where they're trying harder and they're trying to match up. But here's the reality for every single person, here's what every person on the planet can say to themselves. You see in this note here, my way of life is death. No matter how good it looks, no matter how real it feels, no matter how right I may think it is, internally for every single person that is a path to death. And when he's talking about death, he's talking about eternal death. He's talking about death, where you're separated from God, death with eternal impact in it.

Tim Lundy: 07:18 And there's a part of that, even though I read the principle, it's hard for any of us to believe. Because the reality is, we all trust our GPS. We might believe that about someone else. I can look at their life, and I can look at the choices they're making, and I go, yeah, I can see where that's leading. But to embrace the reality, that every single person on the planet, this is true. And how could that be true? Well, wake up call, you're screwed up, I'm screwed up, sin screwed up everybody, sin messed with your GPS. And so no matter how right it feels, this is the same destination for each person.

Tim Lundy: 08:04 But look what Jesus does, he intervenes in that destination for each person. Look how Jesus puts it, he says, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" So Jesus is looking at people, and he says, you may be on a successful path, you may look like you've gained everything, you literally may have gained everything in the world. You could be as rich as Warren Buffet, you could be as good looking as, I was going to say Robert Redford but he's probably too old to be considered good looking, Brad Pitt, you could be as athletic as LeBron James, or successful as Zuckerberg. Pick anybody you want, you could have everything in the world. Jesus says you could have it all, but is it worth your soul? You just start on this cosmic level, when you look at every person's life. That every person, whether you realize it or not you are on a path, and your path leads to death. And Jesus says it doesn't matter what you gain along the way, is it worth forfeiting your soul?

Tim Lundy: 09:27 But notice what he does, he reverses it. So if you go back to that statement that every person makes, every one of us needs to make the statement, "My way of life it death." Whether I like to admit that or not, it's death. But then look what Jesus says. Jesus looks at it and says, "My Death is the Way of Life. It's the exact reversal, and it's so counterintuitive to everything that comes natural to us. But then he puts this point to us, and here's the point of it, if you want to live, then you have to die. And if you die, then you will live. See again, that doesn't compute with the internal GPS, it doesn't compute with the internal CPU. I mean, our CPU says, if you want to live, you better go grab as much life as you can, you better avoid death, you better avoid anything wrong, you better pull back from that. And Jesus looks at says, no, my death is different than anybody else's death. If you'll embrace my death, the path that you were on that was going to lead you to death, suddenly becomes a path of life. And even though that may seem counterintuitive, guys, that is the mission.

Tim Lundy: 10:52 And even as a pastor, I'll just be honest with you. I know these principles in my head, I know this is true from a principle sake, I know it's true from a belief sake, but it is easy to live life every day and to kind of get into that stupor, and kind of lose perspective, and lose the reality of what really matters. That's why you need a wake-up call, that's why you need truth at times, and that's why you need a perspective change of what God's doing.

Tim Lundy: 11:30 You know, there's two groups that as a pastor, that when I deal with them, they really know this reality as much as anybody else, this is just something vague for them. And here's the two groups I'm talking about. The first group are those that are facing a terminal illness. You know, as a pastor, I've got friends, even right now, people in our church that I interact with and pray for, and some of them are facing down cancer, some of them are facing down different illnesses. And you know, when you find yourself in that situation in life, when you don't have a lot of road left, you get real clear about the destination. And it's amazing how it washes away all the stuff that we can get caught up in, it's amazing the clarity that comes with it. It doesn't make it easier, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Because, you know, I always walk away from those conversations, those times of prayer, and those are wake up calls for me. Because as I listen to them, as I talk to them, as I pray with them, as we go through God's Word together, it's just this amazing clarity around what really matters in life, especially when it comes to eternity.

Tim Lundy: 12:51 You know, the other group that I find has that clarity? It's missionaries, that's why I like talking to missionaries, I like rubbing shoulders with them, I like hearing about what God's doing. And again, I'm not saying that they're on a pedestal or above anyone else, but there's something about the fact that they are out there, often on the front lines, dealing with hard situations, sometimes dealing with hard context with it. And they have this amazing clarity about life, and death, and eternity.

Tim Lundy: 13:30 You know, over the last several weeks, whether it's been our Wednesday night prayer time, or in our services, or just hearing the different stories. When you hear the stories of a guy like [inaudible] and what they're dealing with in Beirut, and not just with COVID, but also the explosion, with also all the disappointment in that, there's this clarity of what really matters, and why we're here. I think of other missionaries, Ted and Judy Olson, and these churches that are being planted up in the Himalayas, up on a mountain side, where the oxygen is so thin. And the partners that are going there to take the good news to a village that has never heard the name of Jesus Christ. I'm going to tell you, you hear about that, it gives you clarity. I think of Sam and Rebecca Niblick, as Rebecca struggled with COVID, as they minister and pastor there, as they're in France. And if you follow the news right now, France is dealing with issues of terrorism, of attacks that have happened, the tensions of that on top of COVID, and you hear the reality around that. I think of pastor Israel down in Mexico, working with young men and getting them out of the cartel, and trying to launch an orphanage there. I think a pastor Saji John as we heard a couple of ago, what God's doing through him as they rescue women and young girls out of sexual slavery, out of prostitution. As they step in, and they look for ways to intervene, and you just hear those stories and you realize, man, that's life or depth. There's a clarity that comes with it.

Tim Lundy: 15:10 I tell you for me, one of the biggest wake-up calls, is every week I get to be a part of our COVID Relief Team. You know, you have graciously given as a church family, $300,000. And we work every week, we meet as a team, we hear the different stories. We look for the ways, how can we use this money to help people in the worst crisis? And Danny Sanchez is one of our missionary partners, and Danny lives and he works over on the East side, he works with the schools, he gets referred a number of these cases. So Danny brings them to us, and guys, I'm going to tell you, every week as we review it, they're often tears as we're just hearing the stories. When you hear about a young dad who dies of COVID, the mom's out of work, and they've got kids. And they don't know whether they're going to pay the rent, and how they're going to put food on the table. When you hear the story of family after family, many of them wanting to work, many of them trying so hard, and they've been waylaid by this, or let go by it, or suffered directly from it. And every week, man, I am so thankful for your graciousness, as we as a church can step in and go, hey, let's pay their rent, hey, we got to get them some food, hey, they've got medical bills that need to be paid. You are on the front lines of supporting that.

Tim Lundy: 16:34 Because you know what I love about Danny and his wife Abigail, every time that we talk about that support, every time those stories with it, it's not just money. And over and over Danny goes, man, I got to pray with her. Hey, they came to Christ, Hey, I'm doing a Bible study now, and those apartments all around, they're joining the Bible Study in it. And I always walk away from those conversations, you know what it is for me, it's a wake-up call. It's a wake-up call of what really matters, of how do we let go of our life in order that we can actually gain it.

Tim Lundy: 17:15 So what does it look like to die to live? What does it look like to die like this? Jesus, isn't asking you to physically die. Jesus isn't asking most of us, he's not asking you to go to a foreign country, or be involved in that. But he is asking every single one of us, every one of his followers, he explains for us explicitly what this looks like. If you go to the verse before, look what he says in verse 24. "Jesus told his disciples if anyone would come after me." So if you're going to be a Christ follower, if you're going to live out the verses that follow right behind this where he says, if you let go of your life, you'll get it. Here's how you do that. Three ways, one, "Deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Tim Lundy: 18:05 Look at the first way, you die to yourself, that's what it means to deny himself. You look that internal GPS, that internal CPU, that way that you've processed life, that way that comes naturally to you, that way that maybe when your anxiety comes, that way that when you're making a decision and God's telling you to step out, and you go, Oh man, I'm going to pull back. Jesus says, don't listen to you anymore. Because remember you and me, remember point number one, hey, wake-up call, we're screwed up, sin screwed up the whole system. But when I come to Christ, when I make that choice and I go, okay, I'm not listening to me, I'm looking at him. Do you know what he does in that? He gives you a new GPS, he gives you a new CPU, he actually places the Holy Spirit in you, he actually changes your heart from the inside out. But it is a process, daily, of choosing to listen to him, of choosing to trust him.

Tim Lundy: 19:16 You know, I think if there's a breakdown of anything at all in our culture right now, it's a breakdown of trust. Nobody trusts anybody anymore, we don't trust the news, we don't trust the politicians, we don't trust authorities, a lot of people don't trust churches, can't trust parents, can't trust bosses, can't trust corporations. Can't no one trust anyone, and frankly, there's good reason why. And you can get in a mindset, especially some of you as you young people, where you don't even trust God. I'm going to tell you that is a express lane to hell on earth, when it's broken down to that level. And if you do nothing else, if you could come to that place, that you would stop trusting you, deny yourself, and trust him.

Tim Lundy: 20:13 As we look at the second point, how he tells us to die, die to your reputation. Die to your reputation. Now, why do I say that? This line right here, he says, deny yourself, so die to self, take up his cross. Each individual that's a follower of Christ, it's not just he died on the cross alone, we also take up the cross, we're identified with his death there. Now the cross today, we wear it as jewelry, it's a cool symbol, people have tattoos of it. Back in that day, when he said this, especially to a Jewish audience, the cross was shameful. You didn't want to be associated with the cross in any way, but Jesus knew how pivotal the cross was going to be in human history, Jesus knew that his death on the cross was the only thing that was going to bring life. And part of what he's looking to each one of us, he says, the way that you do this, you've got to die to your identity, you've got to die to how you're known, you've got to die to everything else, and embrace that you're now identified with me. We've got to be willing to die to our reputation.

Tim Lundy: 21:23 And I'm going to tell you, I think this is important today, because Christianity is becoming less popular. You know, there was a day of cool Christianity, we kind of had our window there. But if you're going to embrace Jesus Christ, if you're going to embrace...And when I say that, I'm talking about the Jesus Christ of scripture. If you're going to embrace the Christianity, as it's taught in God's word, if you're going to embrace that this is actually the rule of life, this is the living Word of God. If you're going to embrace this defines our ethics, and our morals, and our sexuality, and everything about it. The more you stand for that today, man, you're going to have people who reject you. And here's what Jesus is looking, he says you with me, you with me? See, we have to be willing to look at it and go, I don't care what it costs, I don't care what other people think. I'm with him, no matter what.

Tim Lundy: 22:22 There's a third part with it, you die to being in control, this may be the hardest one. It seems like a simple phrase. look at it. He says, take up the cross, and then look what you do, you just follow me. Now as you hear that you go, okay, yeah, I can do that, I'm a follower of Jesus. Do we really know what we commit to in that moment? What we're saying in that moment is, Jesus, you get to be in control. You know when we were little kids, we love playing the game, follow the leader. Remember the game, one person's the leader, everybody lines up, whatever they do, you've got to go wherever they go. And everybody likes playing the game, but, here's the key, everybody likes being the leader. I mean at some point, if you play the game, you want your turn that I get to be out in front, I get to set the pace, I get to decide where we're going. And here's what Jesus is saying to each one of us, man, instead of you being in control, instead of you being the leader, instead of you setting the pace, here's what I'm asking you, you just follow me. And you look at that and you go, well, how long Jesus? Oh, the rest of your life. Where Jesus? Wherever I take you. I'm literally in control, setting the pace, setting the direction, taking you wherever I want to take you, and you've got to trust me and follow me

Tim Lundy: 23:51 Now again, as a concept, I love that. Oh, I love that I'm following Jesus. As a reality, man, my internal CPU, my internal GPS, goes, Ooh, I don't know about this, I don't like this. and yours doesn't either. Do you know why? Because remember, point number one, wake-up call, we're screwed up. See our way leads to death, His way leads to life. And so here's the thing that you can know with Jesus, no matter where he leads you, it's always to life, it's always for your best, that it'll be some places you never expected to go.

Tim Lundy: 24:32 I mean, again, I'd encourage you to talk to our missionaries. I spent a couple of years overseas, I never expected to be led there, but Christ led me there. I talk to our missionaries now some of them are in contexts, they are in countries, they're in places. And if you hear their stories, it's not like they all grew up and went, Oh man, I can't wait to go there, God led them in ways, and sometimes it's hard decisions. Now, as I say that, that scares some of you, you're going, yes, Tim, this is exactly what scares me, the last thing I want to do is be a missionary in some country somewhere. And the reality is, God's probably not going to lead you there, but for many of you, do you know what he's going to do? He's going to lead you back into your marriage, and tell you to stay committed. He's going to lead you back into your office, and tell you to double down in your work, and be a light there. He's going to lead you to be a presence across the street, and to get to know your neighbors. He's going to lead you to invest in somebody else life. See, for all of us, He's called all of us to go on mission, some of it global, some of it local, all of us are a part of it. The question is, will you follow him? Will you trust him?

Tim Lundy: 25:46 As we close out, I want to give you three specific applications to this. I talked about this in general, but three ways that you can do this, to die to self, to die to your reputation, and to die to being in control.

Tim Lundy: 25:59 The first one, to die to self. I can't think of any better way to wrestle with self, to wrestle with your own intuition, to wrestle with some of the things we find security in, then to call you specifically right now to make a faith promise pledge for next year. To get your faith promise card, and fill it out. Or to go online, and fill it out. And determine, by faith, what am I going to give next year that supports all our missions. And when I call you to that, rest assured, that's the money we give it away. Whatever's pledged, we give it away, it goes to missions, it goes outwards. We don't take care church deficit, or anything else we've been talking about, this is purely outreach, and it goes to that. And as I say that, I want to challenge you to step up by faith and make a pledge.

Tim Lundy: 26:56 Now I know as I say that, probably inside your wrestling. There's party of you that goes but, yeah, but Tim, there's a pandemic right now, and you know, it probably would be wise to kind of pull back a little bit. We got an election, I've got to see what happens with the markets, I got to see all this going on, it just doesn't feel right to make that kind of pledge. And I would say, of course it doesn't feel right. Remember point number one, we're screwed up. And in our thinking, you know what our thinking is, I better hold on to as much money as I can. I'm going to tell you if there was ever a time, a pandemic is a perfect time to double down and give that much more. In a time period where we're having to come face to face with our mortality, in a time period where we have needs around the world, and God's opening doors up through. It in a time period when we look at it, and we realize money's not going to give me security, politics aren't going to give me security, all the things going on in the world, they're not providing any security. I can't think of a better thing to do with your money, then give it for the kingdom, and know that it impacts eternity. Don't listen to that little GPS that scares you, listen to the Holy Spirit. And when I say that, I really mean that. I mean, sit down and pray, and ask him, God, what do you call me to give? I don't want you doing it out of emotion, I don't want you doing it out of guilt, but I want you to get in the game and I want you to specifically give. And the moment, I'm telling you this works for me every year, when Lee and I make this pledge, and it's a die to self, it's a die to self moment. Because I look at the amount and I go, oh man, I can do a lot with that, but then in that moment, God says, Oh man, just wait and see what I'll do with it. And it's always the best investment we ever make.

Tim Lundy: 28:52 Second thing, I just call you to, die to your reputation. And here's all I'd ask you on this one, when's the last time you shared the good news with someone? And I'm not just talking about your actions, or your deeds, or kindness, we want to do that. I'm literally talking about with your words, when's the last time you told someone about eternity. When's the last time you had the courage to tell somebody, hey, you know your whole way of life, it leads to death, and not just death here, but eternal death. But man, I have a savior who's reversed that, and his death leads to life. When's the last time you were bold enough to share that. And again, I know you hear that and you go, yeah, but Tim, tensions are high right now, and you know, there's a lot, and people get really offended by that. And I want to go, well, of course we feel that way, again, that's our GPS talking.

Tim Lundy: 29:50 It's interesting to me, we're not too worried about offending people when it comes to politics. I mean, I'm hearing everyone, everyone is like, you should vote for X, or you can't vote for X, or I have to vote for X, or X is the only person. I mean, we're very vocal about who we say we should vote for. And again, great, I’m telling you should, it's your right, all those things, I'm not against that. But do you realize the moment you say those statements, you've offended half the country, no matter who you're voting for, or who you're promoting, or who you're with, half the country looks at that, and in that moment, they're offended. Now, am I telling you to not say those statements? No, I think we need to speak up right now. I think we got to stop getting so offended by people who disagree with us, and people who vote different than us, but I'm not in any way telling you to be quiet about that. But here's what I am asking you, are we as passionate about sharing the gospel as we are passionate about that? Because here's the reality guys, the election this week, it really is important because it's going to determine a lot of what happens in our country in the next few years.

Tim Lundy: 31:00 But do you know what the gospel does? Guy's the gospel determines eternity for people. And I'm not telling you to be quiet about this, but can't we be as passionate about sharing this truth? Don't we care enough about it? So the question I have to you, when's the last time you personally shared with someone, developed a relationship with someone, prayed for someone, moved into that, and you actually told them how they could get off of the path to death, and get onto the path of life.

Tim Lundy: 31:41 The other thing I'd just say, die to being in control. And this one, it may feel a little mystical to you, but honestly, believe God moves in these ways. Here's all I would ask you to do, would you sit down and get quiet before God and renew with him again? Hey Jesus, I'm going to follow you, so where are you leading me, and ask him to show you. For some of you, he will lead you out. Some, you need to go on a mission trip at least, you need to get out of this country, you need to go see what he's doing. For some of you, he's going to lead you to connect, maybe with one of our missionaries, to pray for them and support them. For some of you, he's going to lead you across the street, and you need to knock on that neighbor store and befriend them, and be the missionary to your neighborhood. For some you, he may lead you to become a missionary in another country or in another place. I'd love to see Venture being a place that we continue to send out more, and more, and more and more. See it may be across the seas, or just across the street, from neighborhoods to nations, but trust him and follow.

Tim Lundy: 33:01 You know, close with the story of a guy, one of my favorite stories, a guy who became a missionary in a location he didn't plan on. His name was Terry Lane, he lived in Jacksonville, Florida. He had a cabinet making factory, and they were doing so well, they built a new plant, they had about 40 employees in it, 25,000 square feet. He found the perfect lot, but from the moment they opened it, he regretted the decision. Because every day they would come in, and there'd be graffiti on the walls, and there'd be broken windows, bullet holes in the side of the building, one day they found a car incinerated in the parking lot. And as the police came out, they finally asked him, they said, why in the world did you build your factory next to the rock? He goes, what are you talking about? And the police officer pointed out, and he goes those apartments over there, the Cleveland Arms, we call it the rock. More crack cocaine is sold in those apartments than any place else in Jacksonville, there's prostitutes, drug dealers, as police officers, we don't even like going into it.

Tim Lundy: 34:06 Terry said he walked into his office after hearing that, and he was frustrated with God. He's like, God, I thought I was following you, I thought you led me here. What's up with this. And in that moment, God said, Terry, you just trust me, don't look at the crime, don't look at the damage. And he heard these words, distinctly, look at the children, just look at the children. So Terry changed his perspective. The next day he came, he bought some basketballs and he wrote, Jesus loves you, and Mr. Terry loves you, and just threw the basketball's over the fence into the housing project. A few days later, he came and he heard one of his tractor trailers out there, some voices underneath it, some little kids were under it. And as soon as he came, one of them said, oh, it's the man, it's the man, and they started to take off running. And he said, hey, hold on, would you guys like a cold drink? And they all kind of stopped, they didn't know if they could trust him. And walked into the warehouse, went to the soda machine, he took the key and opened it, and their eyes widened as he started handing out sodas. The next afternoon, it was 16 kids that showed up. And one of them said, hey, where's the man with the key. And then it went from sodas, to where they were about 35 kids who would hang out, he took a part of the warehouse and created an area where they had kind of an afterschool club, they had coloring books, they had tutoring, they had things that were going on. And he kept investing in these kids that he said, all of them, most of them came from homes that were broken, most of them had no parents, nobody was involved.

Tim Lundy: 35:45 You know, 10 years later, Terry sold his half of the company to his partner. Because at this point he had requested from the Cleveland Arms, if he could have one of those apartments, he could do life there. He created an after-school ministry tutoring program. He watched his little kids, went all the way through, and were able to graduate and go to college. He watched as they came to Christ and there was this transformation, listen to his words in it, I love the way that he concludes. He said, "There's so much to do, but I'm excited and grateful for the direction God chose for me. My wife and I have gone from enjoying a six-figure annual income, to subsisting on 12,000 a year. But God faithfully meets every need, and the rewards are incomparable. Nothing can replace the joy of having a little child crawl into my lap for a hug and say, Pastor Terry, and hug me around the neck. Or to see a young man who has been rescued from a potential life of dealing drugs, look me in the eye, shake my hand with a firm grip, and say, thanks, PT. That's my reward, because I listened one day when God said these words, look for the children, look to the children."

Tim Lundy: 37:09 Guys, I don't know where God's calling you, I don't know where he's leading you. But I think if there was ever a time to reverse the way we normally think, to not listen to the fears, not listen to what comes naturally, to be willing to make that great exchange and go, okay, I'll die to live. I'll take you at your word, Jesus, I'm going to choose to die to self, and I'm going to stop worrying about my reputation, and I'm going to go wherever you lead me, no matter where it is. You get to be the leader, and I'll follow you. It's a wake-up call, it's the best wake-up call in life, because he's taking us out of a spiritual stupor, into the reality of what he's doing in his kingdom.

Tim Lundy: 38:05 Let's pray. Father, thank you. I thank you for this time of year. I thank you for our missionaries. I thank you for the stories. I thank you for the wake-up call. I thank you for the reality you've called us to, I pray that you would mobilize us as a church. I pray for each person here, maybe someone who's hearing this that has never taken you at your word, that they're holding onto their life for all they can. Would you give them courage right now to let it go, to trust you, to embrace the life only you can give. Lord, would you give us courage to die to our self in a new way? Give us courage to be identified with your cross. Give us courage to follow you right now, today, no matter how you're speaking, no matter where your calling, that everyone who hears this would have the courage to follow you, and trust you, and wake up to this life of what you're doing. We pray this in Christ' name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600