If we truly love God we serve him and each other. That commitment leads to what we talked about last Sunday––values that we live by. Compassion was a huge drive in Jesus’ commitment to the world. His love brought him here to save us. That’s called compassion. Compassion is love in action.
Love is the commitment, compassion is the action.
John 3:16 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
Compassion: “This is how much God loved the world” Love is attached to commitment as described in “this is how…” God is saying, “Let me show you… This is how…”
Commitment: “He gave his Son, his one and only Son” He didn’t just love or have compassion due to a feeling, he gave something for that love. He gave the most precious thing. He gave a piece of Himself… His Son!
Concern: “this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
When you are filled with concern for people and you want to be part of the solution, you don’t care what others think. You don’t care who is watching and who is not. You don’t care what others are saying! You just go!
There are more people in spiritual danger, then there are Christians concerned.
So why did God have compassion and commitment towards humanity?
Because he was concerned!
“this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
Self-concern (Self-centeredness) is dissolved when we are concerned for others.
When you are on a rescue mission, you are not concerned for yourself. Your concern has shifted from you to others.
What is Jesus concerned about? PETER’S CONCERN WAS JESUS’ CONCERN
1 Peter 5:8-11The Message (MSG) Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!--will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
Peter had the same concern Jesus did… People and their spiritual state.
The devil wants to pounce on you. Stay focused on Jesus, stay alert! Peter was concerned when he wrote this. He was concerned for the believers. He was telling them to stay alert. Peter was on Mission!
Question: Since you have been a Christian, has your concern shifted? Or all you are concerned about is what God can do for you? A consumer mentality.
When we can change from what I want, to what God wants, then that’s when we begin to be ON MISSION. God’s mission!
This same Peter who wrote to the church in the previous verse, was not always concerned about what God wanted, or even by others! Jesus even called him Satan! That’s because, anything that gets in the way of God’s mission is acting on behalf of Satan himself.
3 Reasons why we don’t do the mission:
• Feelings (I don’t feel like it)
• Status quo/Apathy (It’s fine the way it is) (why change?)
• Fear of others. (What will they say?)
These are all self-centered reasons. The only person who we are concerned about with these reasons is us… Not others.
Peter was letting his feelings, status quos, and probably his fears of dealing with soldiers and what others would say, get in the way of Jesus’ mission. This is a different Peter than the one from our last scripture who wrote, when things get hard and difficult: “Keep a grip on the faith.”
What kind of Peter are you?
The one concerned over your feeling, status quo, or fear for others. Or the one that is concerned for others?
What do you have to jump over, in order to bring someone to safety?
Who Are you concerned about?
There are a lot of people drowning around us. There are a lot of people who are going to tell you to keep the status quo. To let someone else do it. To do it whenever you feel like.
What I’m trying to tell you all is this: The mission of God is about saving people, PERIOD! It’s about bringing a life saver to people… Some people are going to want it, some are going to wave it off, but only those that are concern for others, will jump and take on the mission.
Are you that person??
Have you ever been part of a sales pitch that turned from compelling to scary and bizarre? A sales pitch where the person turns manipulating to get you to buy something?
Unfortunately, the church is famous for similar actions.
God’s message becomes a message of manipulation, not of salvation, when we have hidden agendas.
This is the reason why it has gotten increasingly difficult to tell people about Jesus, and even more so, to stay on God’s mission. The mission of God, or Missio Dei, is the idea of God’s nature and expression. It is who He is and What God reveals to us… To save the world...to extend grace to the sinful… To bring an alternative to living life for ourselves and without purpose.
This is not an activity of the church but the actions that prove that we are the church.
This is the reason we must ask ourselves if we are acting on the mission of God, or are we just going to church?
Are we giving everything we’ve got to be a church that gathers, grow, give and go? A church that loves to gather in fellowship, worship, and service to others?
A church that, due to their spiritual maturity, has seen their responsibility to fund the mission of God in this community… Our mission to help people who are far from God, experience His hope. Because of that growth, and generosity we can GO and make more disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world!!
Ask God to help you carry out His mission and what values you need help with.
It could be compassion, it could be grace, mercy, service, giving, empowerment, or encouragement.
If you have no values, you have no purpose.
Will you live for your own goals, comfort, and pleasure, or will you live the rest of your life for God’s glory?
Jesus expressed His own mission in Luke 4:18 when He read from the scroll of Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
A big fundamental principle of God’s mission: TO EXTEND COMPASSION
If the mission of God doesn’t sound, look and acts with compassion, it is manipulation, NOT the mission of God.
John 3:16 is a description of God’s love.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
1: God’s compassion is Extravagant! “God so loved”. His love is so infinite, it’s everlasting. So Incomprehensible that it passes knowledge and so indiscriminate that it would be given to the least worthy, sinners.
2: God’s compassion is Exhaustive - “the world”
3: God’s compassion is Expressive – “that He gave”. The cross was the demonstration of God’s Love.
It was always God’s plan to pass the mission on to the church. Not to accomplish on its own, but to commit to it, invest themselves in it, and faithfully carry it out. "Just as the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you" (John 20:21). "Just as You sent Me into the world, even so I sent them into the world (John 17:18).”
When people ask, why do I need to go to church? Tell them, because God has a mission that is too big for one person to carry it out. Because if you are not living for this mission, you are not living for Christ.
Proverbs 14:12 The Voice (VOICE) 12 “Before every person lies a road that seems to be right, but the end of that road is death and destruction.” Just because it seems right, doesn’t mean it is… We all need Jesus!
Join us Sunday at 10:15 am and let’s continue on God’s mission together!
WE HAVE MOVED!
This should not be a surprise to many since its customary for our ministry, from our inception, to move every year. Moving 4 times has not been very fun. We have moved from a church in Waukesha, to a Night Club in Milwaukee, to a condemned warehouse in the South Side, to a borrowed church space in downtown Milwaukee.
In all these moves God has been more than faithful and gracious to our nomadic church. Though there’s a huge spirit of adventure in our ministry, all these changes have been frustrating and in some instances heartbreaking. Since we started UP Church, all we have ever wanted to do is serve this great city; simply, because we love it. We started with the idea that we were going to serve the Walker’s Point community and the doors closed there. From there, we stopped the idea of a focused area and thought that our motivation was then going to target the South Side of Milwaukee. That was short-lived when we were required to move abruptly from our location in the South Side and ended up in the northeast side of Milwaukee (Downtown area). I used to joke that if you can find where our church is you can worship with us!
In the midst of these moves, God kept reminding me of an axiom that we often use in our ministry, which is that we are a “movement of hope.” That is literally, what we are doing––moving and dealing hope everywhere we end up. Today, I’m excited to say that we are no longer intimidated by being moved because no matter where we end up, we are going to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to that community. And because we have moved to different spots of this city, we have been able to break through the lines of segregation and reach this multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational city.
I’m excited to announce that the time of being a nomadic church is over, for God has provided! In July–exactly 3 years after we started the ministry–a building that belonged to Aldersgate United Methodist Church became available as the faithful servants of that church could no longer keep up with the demands of maintaining the edifice. The Wisconsin United Methodist Conference decided to transfer all the assets of the building to our growing congregation and we became proprietors of a 200-seating worship hall. This building is located on 8801 W. Lisbon Ave. Milwaukee WI 53222.
We renovated the building and moved on October 8,2017! We had an amazing service with our church family! (See Pictures Here). We believe that God intended for us to call this area home. We are going to continue to break barriers by helping people who are far from God experience His hope regardless of race, social or economic status. God is giving us an opportunity to go into a new community and neighborhood that needs a judgement-free community of faith and a fresh expression of ministry. We love this challenge and hope that many in the Northwest side of Milwaukee will join us in this great movement of hope to the city of Milwaukee. Join us for our Grand Opening and Harvest Fest, schedule for October 29th at 10:15AM!
The best is yet to come!
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