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Watch 2022 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - It's Time For A Revolution - Part 2

Allen Jackson - It's Time For A Revolution - Part 2

Allen Jackson - It's Time For A Revolution - Part 2
TOPICS: Awakening

Hospitality is when you welcome people with an agenda. I don't mean manipulatively. I'm not asking you to be conniving. But hospitality is opening your life, making room for people. You learn to appreciate people and their ways, people who have life stories that are different from yours, people who come with perspectives that would be a bit new to you. And you give them an opportunity to experience a biblical worldview as you see it. Hebrews 13, "Don't forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it".

I don't wanna miss any angelic opportunities. Do you believe that? Do you believe if you could entertain an angel and they wouldn't show you their ID card? I do. I assure you, angels are amongst us. It's biblical. "Well, Pastor, I don't know if I believe that". I know, that's why I read it to you. We have to change, folks. We need a revolution, not a political one, not a military one. We need a spiritual revolution. And we've gotta stop wanting somebody else to be different and have the courage to say, "I'll change. I'll get to know the Lord in a new way. I'll become one of those people, people talk about".

I bet you've talked about some people and their faith and how they practice and what you thought about 'em. And they were about half nuts. And the things you don't understand, you tell lies about. Not always intentionally. Sometimes you just don't know and you hear a little story and you're willing to extrapolate on that and, before long, you're spreading the most horrific things. Like, I will give you a piece of advice from my experience. Don't make fun of the things you don't understand. I mean, I could take you to some biblical passages to underscore that, but sometimes you'll see God moving in a way that you're not familiar with and there's a real temptation to make fun of it, to mock it, to criticize it. I would encourage you just to put a hand over your mouth.

I've learned that the things that seem foolish to me, if I get desperate enough, I'll go get in the line with the foolish. You ever experienced that? I have. 1 Peter chapter 4, this is the fisherman Jesus recruited nearing the end of his own life, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling". What an interesting sentence. Can you imagine offering hospitality and grumbling? "Would you like to come to my house? I don't really want you to come, you're kind of stinky, I know who you are". Offer hospitality, but don't grumble about it. I mean, Peter's gotta, like, get up in their business. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms".

Acts 5, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin," that's the religious group that managed to orchestrate Jesus's execution. "Rejoicing because they'd been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name of Jesus. And day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ". If we're going to see an awakening, I believe you're gonna have a tremendous amount to do with who we are at home and house to house. We'll bring Jesus back to our dinner tables. We'll start talking about what we believe around our dinner tables. We'll have the courage to tell God's truth around those tables.

Stop waiting for the politicians to tell the truth if you don't have the chutzpa to tell it around your kitchen table. That's unfair. Don't ask somebody else to stake their professional life on a precipice of that kind of truthfulness if you're not willing to own that truth within your own family. We have been wrong, and the good news is we can change, we can repent, we can reorder our lives and realign ourselves. But that is the truth. We have wanted deliverance to come from someplace else while we continue to lead loose, rather sloppy lives. And I believe God is asking us for a change of heart. It's an exciting time. Open your home, open your heart.

Begin to see the people that you work with, begin to see the people that your children interact with, as persons who, if they don't know God, are desperate. They may not be aware of it, and it may be while you're at a soccer field, you have a conversation with them. It may be around the breakroom at lunch that you are willing to share with somebody something about your faith, a prayer you've prayed or something that's happened at church. You just open that door. "Well, I'm afraid they'll be agitated or angry". It's possible. It is possible. Imagine if I began every presentation with the things that...I'm not allowed to say anything that somebody would disagree with. Sermons would be shorter.

There was another lesson I would give. Open house was a big part of it, folks. The church was birthed from that open house. Twelve years of a Bible study in that home, and it just outgrew any place they could put it. We desperately tried to avoid a church. Our spiritual formation hadn't taken place nor really been strengthened within the context of a local church. We had to learn to appreciate church. But while we were learning that lesson, I came to understand God had us in school for another lesson. Our parents made a commitment to pray. Not public prayers, so much. In fact, the one piece of their spiritual life that I was most conscious of had an impact upon me, was the people they were when you weren't watching.

You know, most of us, when we come to church, we can get our Jesus on. I mean, it's kind of a limited amount of time and we clean up and spray up and paint up and for a few minutes you sit up, and then we go live. And I watched them, and I knew they did the Bible study and I knew that they would, you know, do that stuff. But when there wasn't anybody there, they would sit around and read their Bibles. And I thought they were nuts. I mean, they'd work hard all day. Veterinary medicine's physically demanding and they'd come in at the end of the day, and I knew what my friends' parents were doing. I knew the kind of things they were involved in, and my parents would read their Bibles. I know, 'cause then they'd wanna come talk to us about it, and we were like, "Are you kidding? Ball games to watch, there's stuff to do, and you wanna...Ephesians? I mean, for real"? We've gotta be a little bit honest.

Again, the question is how are you different than your secular friends? And I watched that and, at one point, I thought, you know, "I'm gonna have to make a decision about this 'cause I'm about to leave and they're not gonna be coming and asking me about Ephesians anymore and I'm gonna have to decide what I believe". And somewhere along the way, I realized that they had been purposely inviting us to pray as a part of their own prayers. We had a small business. It was planted, as I told you, and when business was slow, there wasn't, like, an alternative. And so they would pray. And they'd get us together and say, "We need to pray, you know? The phone's not ringing, there's no sick animals. We need some sick animals".

We were praying the blotch and the itch upon your pets. No, we just wanted those of you with sick animals to know we were present and available and willing to help. But you know, beyond that, they used to, on Tuesdays, they would fast and pray for our country. It's one of my earliest memories, and they didn't invite us to do that all the time, but I remember times they would invite my brothers and I, we were still pretty young, to fast and pray with them. That was a new concept. Most of our friends weren't doing that. And it was in a limited way. We would typically fast until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and I promise you, we'd be sitting there, looking at the clock and when it went from 3:59, we were sharpening the fork. But I understand now it was an invitation into a habit.

If we were doing a Bible study and sometimes we would do that on a Sunday morning or if we were away, and I remember one Sunday morning my dad was reading the story where Jesus turned the water into wine. I don't remember which of us asked, but one of us asked if God still did that. I didn't know we were putting anybody on the spot and the answer was, "Well, sure". So you know what one of us little Smart Alecs said, right? "Can we pray"? Now if we'd had a positive outcome, we weren't gonna get to taste it.

We'd had to have taken it on faith, but I remember my dad filling a cup and putting it on the counter where we were sitting doing the Bible study and said, "Pray away". Permission to believe God. I missed it at the time. We prayed for families. They would include us in that. We understood that families struggle, just as our own did. At one point in that journey, our grandmother got cancer. She was churched, very involved in a local church, but she wasn't a believer. Lived in another state, and my parents made more than a dozen trips to visit her while she was sick. And we were all crystal clear that we wanted my grandmother to come to faith before she stepped into eternity, and she did. Prayer was a part of who we were as a people.

We knew God had done something on our behalf. Do you know God's done something on your behalf? Or do you think you've done something for the Lord? You see, the enemy will flip the script on that. He'll convince you you've made such sacrifices for the Lord. "Do you know how many times I've been to church? Do you know how much money I've given"? He does it to all of us. Well, God didn't need my stuff. I need to break the stranglehold of materialism on my heart, and giving is one of the things that helps me do that.

I'd like to reposition your imagination of hospitality and prayer. There are things you do with available time when you've done everything that really matters to you, everything you really wanted to do or you've pursued every agenda. In that particular passage, the apostle Paul introduces them to us as work and labor. You see, the notion of prayer or even hospitality as work is a different mindset than recreation. We tend to think of prayer or hospitality as something that you do with friends for relaxation, and then you stop it when it's unpleasant 'cause, after all, the purpose of this gathering was to have a good time. And if you disrupt the good time or the enjoyment of it, either you're not gonna be invited again and we'll find somebody that makes it more pleasant or we're just not doing it anymore. But that's not the presentation of scripture.

Work is something that is done intentionally for an outcome. It's done on purpose. And you persist in work, even when you're tired. Work's not always fun. "Amen" is the word you're searching for. Look at Acts chapter 5. Says, "More and more men and women believed the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by". They were so busy, so many people, God was doing so many things that it was no longer a possibility to give individual attention and they simply said, "This is the path we're gonna take and you might put some sick people there". And God is healing them just when the apostles walk past.

"Crowds gathered from all the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with" joy at the moving of the Spirit of God. No, that's the hillbilly version. That's the inexperienced version. The actual text says, "They were filled with," what? "Jealousy". That's just wrong. God's healing his people. The Spirit of God is moving. People's lives are being oriented to obedience to God. In very public ways, whole communities being stirred, and the response of the religious establishment is to be filled with jealousy.

So the apostles who were out in front of this, you read the first part of that and you think, "Wow, I'd like to be there. God, use me like that". But you need to keep reading. Look at the next sentence, "They arrested the apostles and they put 'em in the public jail". They weren't stealing, they weren't lying on their income taxes, they weren't immoral. They're in jail because people are jealous of the Spirit of God evident in their lives. That's the revolution we need, folks. We need the Spirit of God to be more evident, more relevant, more impactful in our lives than we've ever known him to be.

But to do that, we've got to engage in the behaviors that he directed us to. We're gonna have to choose the truth. We can't live in the shadows of deception. We can't shave the truth for opportunities or use it as a manipulative thing. We can't suppress the truth. We can't be quiet when we know the truth is not being told because it would be inconvenient or it would expose us to ridicule or whatever if we acknowledge that we believe the truth. We'll have to choose the truth. We'll have to be bold enough and courageous enough to invite God in the midst of our lives.

Say, "God, I know you answer prayer. I believe you do heal. How you do that and when you do that, I've got no control of that, but I wanna be guilty of inviting you in. God, we need your help". We'll have to open our lives, our homes. We'll have to reorient our priorities. We'll have to give God a higher place in that to do list. We're all busy, we're all too busy. We don't have room for God. It's awkward, but it's really true. We'll have to make God space in our families. What are the lessons you're teaching your kids? What are they learning from you? Your kids are grown and they're out of the home, they're still learning from you.

If you missed that window when they were little and you had total authority over their lives, God can do in a day what you failed to do in a decade. Don't lose your voice. Tell them the truth. Let them see it in your life now. We've got to cultivate a commitment to prayer. It isn't convenient, prayer. "They arrested the apostles and they put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out". Listen to what he said, "'Go, stand in the temple courts, and tell the people the full message, go finish your message.'" "But you just got us out of jail". "Hush, go finish your message".

It's a different kind of courage than we've seen attached to our faith. We are so timid. "What if I ask somebody if I can pray and they're offended"? They weren't offended. They were beaten, they were arrested, they were imprisoned. Before very long, a couple more chapters, they're gonna start martyring them. We need a revolution. But not one that's fought with guns, not one that's driven by anger and resentment and belligerence. Not one that's fueled by the media. Forget the media. We need one that's fueled by the Spirit of God. We've been talking about some things. It's not new to us. We've done "Let's pray a sentence prayer".

How you can take prayer beyond the walls of the church. I hope you're doing that. Don't wait for people to give you permission. When somebody tells you there's a problem and there's a need or there's a challenge in their life, you have the courage to say, "Let's pray". Don't wait. "Give my friend strength in Jesus's name, amen". "God, I thank you that you're a God who delivers. Bring your deliverance today in Jesus's name, amen". And don't stand and look at 'em and wait for them to give you some affirming response. That's creepy. You've met those people, right? They pray for you and then they stand, all right? They give you that goofy eye or they just act strange and, "Hah, did you feel that"? "I have a feeling you're weird and I want away".

When you have that sentence prayer, just move on. Leave room for God. It isn't about us. Can't heal a gnat's wing on my best day. And then we just talked about let's talk. The courage to begin to have a faith conversation in your spheres of influence. Your best friends know the sports teams that you are the advocate for. They know the hobbies that you're interested in. They know whether you hunt or fish or cook or bake or travel. They know whether your kids are playing travel ball or if your grandkids are doing, they know the things that matter to you. Do they know about your faith? If they don't, why not? What are we doing? We've got to be different. We get to be different. What a privilege.

"So, Pastor, I've been this way a long time. They'll think something's happened to me". Yes, yes. Yes, they will. Let's pray. Let's talk. I wanna give you a new one. I've only got two minutes left so you know it's not gonna be very long, right? Let's make a difference. Now, that's about intercession. That's a different kind of prayer. That's not a sentence prayer. It's not just about prayer. Sometimes, intercession means you get skin in the game. You invest time, you open your home, you open your life, you redirect your days. We have Character Quest, a kids camp, coming up in a few weeks, and a new camp this summer for 6th and 7th graders. The volunteer sides of those are already full. The volunteer sides, and there are almost as many volunteers as students.

I tell you that 'cause a lot of those people have to take vacation time. They take their personal days to come and serve the kids. That's intercession, because it's not always fun. It's outdoors and sometimes it's hot or wet or damp. It's Tennessee, it will be humid. Intercession. In Luke 5, it says, "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed". In Luke 6, it says, "On one of those days Jesus went to a mountainside to pray. He prayed all night. And in the morning, he came and appointed his disciples. He chose the twelve".

Intercession. Let's pray, let's talk, and let's make a difference. Folks, this is not beyond us. It is beginning to happen around us. We've had people this week at church from more than 15 different states, people hungry for the gospel. I talked to a family last night. I mean, it was their first week into church, they live about 45 minutes away. But I met the kids and, after service, they were lined up by the pool. One of their children said, "I need to be baptized". God is moving. But the question is what are we doing? Are we moving with him?

Last night, we had a healing prayer. I wanna pray a little different prayer this morning. If you would be willing to give the Lord an invitation for an anointing upon your life and by that I mean will you choose the truth? Will you have the boldness to invite God into the places where he sends you? Will you practice hospitality? Are you willing to do the work that is intercession? If you'd be willing, and don't ask for it. I believe God will respond to hungry hearts. And if you're here and say, "I would like to follow the Lord in a different way, different cadence, different outcomes," I'd like to pray for you. If that's you, why don't you stand real quickly? My time's up. I gotta hush. Look at this, we're gonna start a buckle up, folks. This many people say "Yes" to the Lord, there's a revolution.

Father, thank you for your Word, for its truth and power and authority in our lives. I thank you that you called us out of darkness, that you have delivered us from the hand of the enemy, that through the blood of Jesus we have been redeemed and cleansed and justified and sanctified, that you've put our feet on a path that we might spend our days and our strength in service to you. And we stand in your presence this morning to ask for a new anointing from you, a fresh anointing from you. Holy Spirit, help us. Give us a new heart, a heart that is more receptive and more understanding, more aware, of what you're doing and of the people around us. May we have the courage and the boldness to use our words to share the truth that you have shown to us. Not to preach sermons, but to tell our God stories. That we have the boldness to be identified as Jesus people. May we be willing to take your truth into our homes and into our spheres of influence.

Holy Spirit, give us a heart for others, a love for people, the compassion for those who do not know you. Forgive us for our anger and our resentment and our belligerence. Lord, we're a people in need of healing, and we ask you today to pour your Spirit out upon us, that just as you restore our bodies, we ask that you would restore our hearts. I thank you that we will see the greatest harvest that we have ever witnessed. That we will see people coming from places and positions that we never imagined, yielding to the lordship of Jesus. Teach us to work together, to stand together, to honor one another. We thank you for what you will do, for it's in Jesus's name that we pray, amen.

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