Called To Live The Mission

Answering the question, "What is the mission of the church?"

George Wright
Jan 26, 2020    44m
In this sermon Pastor George Wright explores the question, "What is the mission of the church?" He shares scripture to teach us that mission of the church is to take the message of the gospel that we have received to those who have yet to hear it and believe it. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

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.

George Wright: 00:00 I'd like to invite you if you're willing and able to stand with me as I read from the Word of God. And the reason why we do this, if you're joining us online right now and you're hearing me talk about standing, or if you're new and you're wondering why are we all standing for the reading of God's word? We do this every week at the beginning of our message so that we can be reminded when we gather together as a people of God, we are gathering together, standing on the foundation of God's word. Coming under his authority and standing on the foundation of what God says is right and good and true. So this is the word of the Lord, given to us that we might see and understand who God is and what he has done for us. And as we're looking at today, what he has invited us to be a part of as the church.

George Wright: 00:49 So Ephesians chapter 4 beginning in verse 11, the Word of God says this, "He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." The scripture says that the church exists with leaders in place to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, and for the building up of the body of Christ. To that end, we want to ask God to speak into our lives and reveal to us what he wants us to see here this morning through his words.

George Wright: 01:35 Would you pray with me? Heavenly Father, it is a privilege as we now stand before you at the reading of your word, to recognize that this divine inspired inerrant word has been given to us. That we might see who you are, and know what you've done, and recognize the invitation that you have laid before us. And so Father, in the power of your Holy Spirit, we ask that you would speak into our lives. There are some today who have yet to receive the invitation to follow Jesus, and we pray that there will be some today who would make that decision, who would step out on faith through your prompting as their eyes are opened to the good news. There are some among us here today needing encouragement, needing to have an opportunity to be reminded of the hope that we've been given through Christ. Lord, lift our hearts, lift our eyes to see you, lift our spirits to recognize what you are revealing to us, and have your way among us for your glory. This is our prayer. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. You may be seated. I want to thank you for standing.

George Wright: 03:05 As we step into these verses here this morning, these verses really are asking us to consider a question about the church. The question is very simply this, how do you view the church? What do you think of when you think of the church? Is it a building? Is it a place that you go once a week or a couple of times a month? What is the purpose of the church? And why do we gather? And I was talking to someone just a couple of weeks ago who's not a church person, and they know I am a pastor. And so they asked me, okay, so when you preach, do you wear one of those microphones around your ear like a rock star does? Like, well, I mean I guess I do wear a Justin Timberlake mic, yeah, I mean that's pretty cool right? No, they looked at the church, and they were asking, is this about a performance of someone up on stage? The way I would go to a concert, the way I would go see a play, is this is this about a group of people who are gathering to be entertained? Maybe you feel that way when you think about the church. There are many people who view the church as a commodity, a distributor of religious goods and services. Where you have a need that needs to be met, and so you come to the church to try and have a need met, so that then you can just go on with your life.

George Wright: 04:37 How do you view the church, a place, a building, a people? How do you see the church? Many people look at the church as this place, and this provider of goods and services. And when we do that, whether it's viewing the church through an entertainment lens, or viewing the church through a commodity lens, it means that we start to look at the church as a place where there are some professionals who do the work, or some professionals who entertain, or some professionals who provide something that we might need. But for us who attend, for the audience, so to speak, or the congregation, it's just a place where we sit and observe. Is that the church?

George Wright: 05:27 The Word of God gives us a very different picture all together, and what scripture is calling the church to be about is certainly a higher calling than just an institution of commodity, or an institution of entertainment. The Word of God here in Ephesians chapter 4 reveals that the church is to be a place where the people of God are equipped, are empowered, are prepared for the of the ministry that God has called his people to be about. That's what we refer to as the mission. The apostle Paul is saying, yes, there is leadership in the church that has been anointed and appointed by God. But that leadership has been anointed and appointed not to entertain, not to do all the work, that leadership has been anointed and appointed to empower and equip the people of God for the work of the ministry. The church is to be an army, an army of the people of God, who have been sent out into the battle, that is the world around us. The church is to be a place where people are equipped with the gifts that God, through his Spirit alone, provides in his grace and in his mercy to take the message of the gospel that we have received to those who have yet to hear it and believe it.

George Wright: 07:02 This word equip in Ephesians 4, is a very powerful word, it shows up and different places throughout the scripture. It's got a really beautiful root meaning, and I'm going to show you another example of where this word shows up. It's actually translated in English a different way in Matthew 4, but it's the same root word through which we translate the word equip in Ephesians 4. So turn to Matthew 4, this is a passage of scripture that we referenced briefly on Friday night at our deacon retreat this weekend. I want you to know, you may not even be aware that we have deacons here at Shandon. But we have a group of men, a group of men who are serving in this role of the diaconate here at Shandon, that are faithful servants of Christ. They are following Christ with their life, and they are serving this church in beautiful ways. And we got to experience this great night of fellowship and encouragement, as we were talking about some of the things that God is doing in our church. Be grateful, be grateful, for the men who are serving as deacons here at Shandon. And Matthew 4 was the passage we referenced, and this is what it says as Jesus calls some of his first disciples. Verse 18, it says, "While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen." And just in a little personal note here, I love this verse for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons I personally love this verse is I also have a brother named Andrew. He's two years younger than me, and he is the greatest fishermen I've ever known, and that's the truth, he's an incredible fisherman. I'm like, man, he is biblical, that's awesome, so cool. It says here, "Jesus said to them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And immediately they left their nets and they followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father." What a great name, and this is what the scripture says, "They were mending their nets." Mending their nets, this is the same root word to which we translate the word equip in Ephesians 4. Equip, mending. And it says, "He called them and immediately they left the boat and their father, and they followed him."

George Wright: 09:38 Now there is some beautiful significance in this root word that is translated in Ephesians 4, equip, and in Matthew 4, mending. What is the scripture revealing? Why is this so important? Well, the language of the Word of God is showing us as Jesus calls his first disciples here in Matthew chapter 4, that they are being called into a season, so to speak, of preparation. As they follow Jesus, they will be prepared to do the work of the ministry, to no longer just be fishermen, but to be fishers of men. As they follow Jesus, this is discipleship, they will be equipped, they will be empowered, they will learn, they will be mended, so to speak, and prepared for the task, for the calling, for the mission that is being laid before them. When Jesus calls these first disciples who are mending their nets, he's calling them so that he can mend them, and equip them, to live the mission.

George Wright: 10:51 But not only that, we see here in this language something that I'm reminded of through a statement I've heard for most of my life. Many of you know that my dad is also a pastor, and I've heard him say this about the church, the church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners. I've heard my dad say that many times. What does that mean? Well, hotel is a place that you go and stay, where hopefully the staff treats you well, and serves you as you stay there, and you are comfortable as you stay there. Especially if you're in a nice hotel, being served by nice well trained staff hospitals. Also a place that you stay. The hospital has a very well trained staff, but you know what happens in the hospital when you stay there, you may not be real comfortable. Because the role of the staff at the hospital is not just to make you comfortable, the role of the staff at the hospital is to mend you, to help you mend, so that you can go back to your life. And that's certainly what we see here in this language being used to describe the work of the church, and the work of the disciples. This mending, this equipping, this preparation to go back out and to live the mission. We gather to be encouraged, to be inspired to the divine Word of God. We gather together to be equipped. We gathered together to be prepared, to be mended, to go out and to do the work of the ministry.

George Wright: 12:41 You know there's a beautiful gift in this truth as well, to anyone today who is here that says, you know, I really don't know if church is even my thing. I really am not sure if I should be here. I really don't feel worthy to be here. In fact, I feel somewhat unacceptable because of some things that have happened in my life, or some things that I have done or experienced. If that's you today, please don't miss this. The church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners. If you feel unworthy and unacceptable, don't miss this, you are in great company here today. Because everyone among us knows what it means to feel unworthy and unacceptable, and the good news of the gospel, the good news of what Christ has done for us in showing us that he is the one who equips and empowers us, reveals to us that when you trust in Jesus, he is the one that mends, he is the one that repairs, he is the one that prepares for us to do what he has called us to do. You are invited, you are invited to be a part of what God is doing through his people, the church. This is a hospital for sinners, where we need to be encouraged through the Word of God and through the Spirit of God, to live out what we say we believe.

George Wright: 14:28 I love this quote from our President of the Southern Baptist Convention, J D Greear. He says this, "The gathering of the church is preparation for heavenly battle. We huddle together for a few minutes each week to worship God together, and to build each other up so that each of us can more effectively run the missional play throughout the week. We gather together as a church to be equipped and prepared to go into the world. This is our mission, to leverage who we are, and what we've been given, for the sake of the gospel wherever we are and wherever God takes us."

George Wright: 15:14 Look back at Ephesians 4 verse 13, the scripture then says, after it reveals the role of the church and the leaders in the church to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. The apostle Paul writes, that we all would attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Here we're seeing the scripture start to talk about a mark of Christian maturity. The evidence of spiritual growth among the people of God, is this desire to maintain unity of the faith for the sake of the mission, built on the knowledge of what God has done for us, who he is, and what he has called us to be about. The scripture is saying, yes, unity in the body of Christ reveals maturity among the people of God. But how many of you know that there is a significant difference in growing older and growing in maturity? Right? Big difference. My grandfather, George Wright Senior, who went to be with the Lord last year, graduated to heaven last year, had this list of power packed phrases that he came up with, that he loved, that he wanted to quote on any occasion that he could. These were pillars for his life. And ta his funeral service last year, everyone who attended was given a copy of these power packed phrases to remember that the power of the words that our grandfather spoke. One of his power packed phrases was this, you are only young once, but you can be immature indefinitely. And then he would just laugh. You're only young once, but you can be immature indefinitely. And it's sad, but true, how often this is the case for people in the church. There's a lot of folks that grow older while they're in the church, while they're a part of the church, but very few grow to be more like Christ. There are many that age as a part of a church, but there are not as many who grow to become like Christ.

George Wright: 18:03 Verse 14 of Ephesians 4 says, "We strive for this unity in the faith, and strive to grow into maturity." Here's the verse, "So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves." One of my favorite memories of our oldest daughter, McKenna, when she was just a little girl, she was our only child at the time. Oh, how simple life was back in the day, how peaceful. I remember McKenna as a little girl sitting in a high chair in our kitchen next to the kitchen table, learning how to feed herself. As you who have kids have experienced, I mean this can be really pretty comical, right? And McKenna, as she was learning to feed herself with the food that was on the tray of her highchair, quickly realized as kids often do that there is some food that I really like the way it tastes and I'll eat that food, and then there's some food that I don't like the way it tastes is so I've got to get rid of it somehow. Right? Somehow it gets spread around the high chair, maybe it ends up on the floor. Well, McKenna caught on pretty quickly that our dog, who was very intelligent, had learned to sit underneath her high chair during meal time. And she realized that the food she did not like to eat, was food that our dog loved. He must've been a vegetarian, because she hated the vegetables, and he would eat them all. And so she would try to be sneaky, as we were sitting at the table with her. Thinking if I don't look at mom and dad, and I just put the green beans down to the side for the doggy, no one's going to see. I don't want to eat this. It doesn't taste good. I don't want to eat the things I don't want to eat, I only want to eat the things I want to eat. But here's the deal, that's just a sign, but as a little girl, she needed to grow up and understand at some point that there are some things that you need to eat because they are beneficial, they are good for you. Even if at times, they're not what you want to eat.

George Wright: 20:22 Why did I say that? Because those who grow up in maturity in the Christian faith, those who are no longer children tossed to and fro by the waves, are those that recognize that everything that the Word of God lays before us needs to be something that we eat. The things we often don't even like to hear. The things that might feel like a rebuke, or my feel like correction, the things that actually might go against some of the things that we feel or see in the culture around us. That's truth that we need to eat. Those who are mature don't just eat what they want to eat, they eat what they need to eat, because they recognize the gift that God has laid before us in his word. Are we living as children, just trying to turn the word into what we want it to be, just picking and choosing the things we want to believe? Or are we growing in maturity in the faith, and and growing as a disciple of Christ, eating what the Word of God says? Becoming more like Christ, so that we're not tossed to and fro by the waves.

George Wright: 21:39 The apostle Paul then gives us this three part warning of how this often plays out in people's lives. Those who are tossed to and fro by the waves, those who do not grow up in maturity, in the faith. There's this three part warning laid before us in this verse. What does he say first? He says, "By every wind of doctrine." We talked some about this last week. Well, here it's like Paul is reminding us that kids, those who are immature, can be so gullible, can be so easily deceived, right? I mean, those of you who have little kids, you know, they'll believe anything you say if you just hold a lollipop in front of their face. Right? And Paul's giving us this warning here through the Word of God saying, unless you grow in maturity in your faith as a disciple, unless you begin to understand what the Word of God actually says, then you will be tossed to and fro by the waves. As any popular spiritual teaching comes around that contradicts the Word of God, you will be tossed to and fro, you will be susceptible to believe that which is not true at all.

George Wright: 23:00 The second part of this warning is, that many are tossed to and fro by the waves instead of growing up in maturity in the faith, because of what the scripture calls human cunning. What is this all about? What is human cunning? I would describe it this way, human cunning is using spiritual means, to achieve a selfish end. It's using positions of spiritual influence, or power, to get people to perform a certain way, not for the glory of God, but for that selfish intention of the one who is cunning. It's acting spiritual to what you want, twisting the truth to achieve a desired result that does not line up with the heart of God. Human counting, is manipulation of the Word of God, using the Word of God to get something that we want that is actually outside of the Word of God. How do you resist human cunning? You know the Word of God. You grow up in maturity, in the faith, as a disciple of Christ. Recognizing the beauty, and the life, that has been given to us through God's word.

George Wright: 24:26 And then Paul lists this final warning, the craftiness in deceitful schemes, again like human cunning, craftiness and deceitful schemes, is any agenda that is other than the mission of God. Any agenda that does not directly points to God's agenda, and God's purpose. And you reject the craftiness of deceitful schemes, by growing in maturity in the Word of God.

George Wright: 25:02 The beautiful gift of the scripture, is that does not leave us hanging there in this warning. The scripture then in verse 15, begins to talk about three specific ways that we can grow up in maturity and in Christ's likeness. Three specific ways that we can grow as a disciple of Christ. Look at what verse 15 says, verse 15 says, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ." What are these ways that we can grow? Number one, we see the scripture say, speaking the truth in love. Speaking the truth in love, is the Jesus way. Speaking the truth in love, is the heart of the Word of God. I mean, certainly we can recognize that speaking in love, without speaking the truth, is actually a decision to walk away from the truth altogether. Think about it like this, f someone's life is in danger based on how they are living, or what they are doing, and you just don't want to hurt their feelings, you just want to be loving to them, so you refuse to speak the truth. Is that loving at all? Of course not. If someone's life is in danger, they need to hear the truth. But at the same time, speaking the truth without speaking in love is a decision to speak in such a way that the truth cannot be heard on many occasions. Yeah, we can say the right thing the wrong way, and provide an invitation for people to miss the truth altogether.

George Wright: 27:02 I love the example we see in Jesus. He was the master of speaking the truth in love. He delivered hard and convicting truth, with incredible compassion, so the truth could not only be heard, but the truth could be received and lived out in the power of God's grace. And one of my favorite examples of this is in John chapter 8, you may want to turn there. You may be familiar with this story if you spend any time in the Word of God at all, but in John chapter 8, this is the woman that is caught in adultery. And in this story, in this example, what we see is this woman who has been brought by some religious leaders to Jesus, we have no idea where the man is. It takes two to tango, you realize that, right? But only the woman is brought before Jesus, and the religious leaders brought this woman before Jesus, because they're trying to test him, they want to trip him up. They're trying to prove that he's not who he says he is, they're trying to prove him wrong. And so they realize that if Jesus looks at this woman, and says to them, hey, y'all are being mean, let her go, show her love. They could say, look, Jesus doesn't believe in the law, because the law says that this woman should be stoned for what she has done, the law says that because of this act of adultery that this woman has been caught in, she no longer deserves to live. And so if Jesus says, no, no, no, don't kill her, Jesus could be accused of going against the law. And the religious leaders could say, see, he's a heretic. He doesn't believe the Word of God, he doesn't believe the law of God. If Jesus turns and says, yeah, give me a rock, let's kill this woman for what she has done. Then the religious leaders could turn to everyone who has been following Jesus in his compassion, and his love, and his kindness, and they can say, see, Jesus is not loving, he's not gracious, he's not kind. He just killed this woman because she did something wrong, what kind of compassionate leader is that? They thought they had Jesus right where they wanted him., they thought they had Jesus trapped.

George Wright: 29:26 And if you're familiar with this story, Jesus responds in this beautiful way to the religious leaders. He says, "Those of you who are without sin, should be the first ones to pick up a rock." If you're here accusing woman, then one who has no sin, then go ahead and grab a stone. And then I want to pick it up in verse 10, because this is so beautiful, we'll put this on the screen, you can see this in the scripture before you. Jesus looks at this woman, and the Bible says he stood up and said to her, woman, where are they? Where are they? Has no one condemned you. Listen to this, speaking of the truth in love, verse 11, she said to him, no one Lord, and Jesus said, neither do I condemn you, from now on sin no more. Neither do I condemn you, the love and grace of the savior poured out on a sinner, who is totally and completely undeserving. That's beautiful, but at the same time, Jesus says, now if you're going to receive this grace, and believe this gift, and trust in me, and follow me, there are some things in your life that are going to begin to change. Go and sin no more, don't go back to your old life, don't go back to the way you were living, and just think, okay, I made this one time decision and I'm good to go. I got my fire insurance, I'm off the hook. No, Jesus says, look, if you truly believe this, and truly receive this gift of love and grace that is being offered to you, it will begin to change your life. So go and live in a different way in light of what you have received in the beautiful gift of the gospel. That is speaking the truth in love, and that's what the people of God had been called to do as we grow in maturity.

George Wright: 31:33 The second thing we see here in verse 15, is that specifically, we're to just grow up in every way. Oh, we're going to stop acting like we are spiritual infants or spiritual children, where to grow into maturity, not believing the deceitful human cunning that comes around us, not believing false doctrine that so often is brought before us, but growing up into the grace we have received. So that we can say, I know because of the grace of God, I'm not what I used to be, but I know in the grace of God, I'm not what I'm going to be. But as long as I am breathing, as long as I am alive, as long as I'm following Jesus here on this earth, I'm going to be growing. I want to be more like Christ. This is not a perspective of someone who says, Hey, I'm mature enough, I've already arrived, I'm more mature than the other people I see around me, so I can just stop right here. No, no, to grow up in every way, is to continue to mature in Christ, to trust there is more grace to be received in the good news of what God has done. You know, it strikes me as I think about verse 15, growing up in every way. That the most mature followers of Jesus that I know in my life, also just happened to be the humblest followers of Jesus that I know. Because the closer you get to Jesus, the more you grow to become like Christ, the more you realize your need for his grace.

George Wright: 33:22 Third, and finally, in verse 15 we see this beautiful truth, "We're to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ?" What is this saying? It's saying, that as you grow in maturity, in your faith, you live like it really is all about Jesus. You don't just say, it's all about Jesus. You don't just sing on Sunday morning, it's all about Jesus. But a mark of Christian maturity, is living your life like it really is all about Jesus. For he is the head of his body, the church, and a body without a head is lifeless.

George Wright: 34:04 I want to give you an example of this in the Old Testament, from a story that you may be familiar with, and we're going to close up with this, but I just absolutely love what we see in this story of David and Goliath. You're probably familiar with that story, right? David takes the stone, puts it in a sling, slings it over his head and hits the giant Goliath between the eyes in the forehead and he falls down dead. Amazing, kill the giant. But then look at what happens after, First Samuel chapter 17, this is in the Old Testament. You may want to turn there, First Samuel chapter 17. If you're new to Bible study right before Second Samuel, okay, I'm going to just give you a little help there. This great story, this great story of David killing the giant Goliath. But it says in First Samuel chapter 17 verse 50, after David hits Goliath with the stone, look at what it says, "So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone. He struck the Philistine and killed him." Great, the Giant's dead.

George Wright: 35:21 51, "There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine. And took his own sword, Goliath's sword out of the sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it." David killed him twice, that's serious death right there. Killed you once with a rock, killed you a second time with the sword, you're gone brother. That's good stuff. But look at what it says, "When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled." Why in the world does David, after killing Goliath with a rock and a sling, run over and grab a sword to cut off the head of someone who is already dead. And why does the Bible tell us about it? Did he really need to kill him twice? What in the world is taking place here? Listen, don't miss this, a body without a head is dead. Am I going too fast? A body without a head is lifeless. And when the head warrior of the Philistine army, who is mocking God's people, lies headless on the battlefield, the Philistine army knows their time is done. Because a body without a head, is a lifeless body. And in this incredible example, in the details of what scripture reveals, please hear this, we are getting this beautiful picture of Christ at the cross. As Jesus, the head of the church, the head of his body, dies on the cross. It appears in that moment, that the head of the church, before the church is even getting off the ground, is being destroyed and so this church will never make it. It appears the evil has won the day. But as we know and believe through the Word of God, as we celebrate in the people of God, we recognize that the cross is not the end of the story for Jesus. And three days later, you can get excited, Jesus rose from the grave. Three days later, Jesus defeated sin and death. Do you know what he did? He cut the head off of sin and death. And so that when you and I, when you and I, trust and believe and receive in faith what Christ has done for us, we are not powerless. But we stand in the resurrection victorious power of the head that is alive, because our God has risen from the grave. Amen.

George Wright: 38:38 What does that mean to us as we close? It means a church that does not exalt Jesus in every way, above all else, and live to advance his mission in all that we do, leveraging who we are, and what we've been given for the sake of the gospel, wherever we are and wherever God takes us. A church that does not exalt Christ, a church that does not seek to live the mission in all that we do, is a church that is headed for beheading. A person who calls themselves a Christian, who does not seek to grow as a follower of Christ into maturity. A person who calls themselves a Christian, and does not live as if Jesus really is what it's all about. A person who calls himself a Christian, and does not exalt Christ with their life and does not live the mission that God has called his people to be about. Is a person that is actually lifeless and powerless, just wearing a brand that says Christian, without any authority or victory at all. Christ is the head of his body, the church, he is the power, he is the life, and the more we grow in maturity and the more we are focused on exalting Christ above all else, the more we see God at work in ways that are so clearly not about our strength and our power, but all about what he is doing to advance his kingdom through us for his glory and for our good, this is what the church is about. This is what I want to be about. This is the legacy that we have here at Shandon, and this is the vision of where we are going. To be a people who leverage who we are, and leverage what we've been given for the sake of the gospel, wherever we are, right here in this city, in our neighborhoods, in our offices, in our classrooms, on our campus, and wherever God takes us. To God be the glory. May Jesus be exalted through us, that the world may see Christ is alive in the people of Shandon. Praise be to God.

George Wright: 41:19 Let's pray. Father, we need you, we need you, we love you, and we are so for what you have done. What we get to experience here as a family is not what we deserve., what we get to be a part of in your invitation to live the mission, that's not something you owe us at all. What a privilege it is to be called a son or a daughter of the King. What a privilege it is to be invited into a mission is so much bigger than ourselves. What a privilege it is to be a carrier of the very gift of life, that has been given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Please Lord God, as we look to this new year, and this new decade, Lord, use this church, your church, the people here at Shandon, use us for your glory, to take this beautiful gift to the world that so desperately needs to see it and hear it and believe the head of our body is alive. There is no grave that could hold him down, he is alive, and he has cut the head off of sin and death through the power of his resurrection. Lord, may we live in light of this beautiful gospel, and may you use our lives for your glory. Finally, Lord, as I pray, if there is any among us who have yet to receive this gift of grace, this beautiful, good news of what Christ has done. I pray, Lord God, in the power of your Spirit, that you would open their eyes, that you had prompt their hearts even now to recognize their need for the savior. Lord, I pray that today would be the day that there would be some that would step into life, to the good news of Jesus Christ. Lord, we thank you for what you have done, we thank you for your grace and mercy over us, and we thank you for your provision for your church, for your blessing on this church. And we pray, Lord God, that you would use us and even greater ways as we seek to follow after you, with Christ above all. It's in the name of Jesus' we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206