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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Peter Tan-Chi » Peter Tan-Chi - Live Intentionally

Peter Tan-Chi - Live Intentionally

Peter Tan-Chi - Live Intentionally
TOPICS: Intentionally, Truth Matters

You know, we've been looking at the Book of Acts. We've already reached Acts 20, so I'll take you back a little bit. We've been looking at the book of Acts, which is the history of how the church began. Over the past few months, we've been going through it chapter by chapter, so let's do a quick overview of the church. It starts in Jerusalem, and that's from Acts 1 to Acts 8. The focus is on Jerusalem, and the protagonist is Peter. When you look at the historical book of Acts, you'll notice that there's a transition in Acts chapter 8 to chapter 12, starting in Jerusalem, where the church begins to cross cultural boundaries and barriers, starting in Judea, the whole earth goes into Samaria, and the people mentioned there are again Peter and Philip, and then in the last part of Acts, from chapter 13 to the end, it's the apostle Paul. He preached the gospel to the ends of the earth.

From here you see how the Church crossed the borders of the Middle East and came to Europe. Ladies and gentlemen, praise God! Because these men of God risked their lives to preach the gospel to us, I was thinking: How can I highlight chapter 20? That's what I discovered, I realized: We all want to live a meaningful life. You want your life to be meaningful, don't you? What I mean is: if you are a normal person, and I'm talking to a normal person, you want your life to have value, right? Many times you need role models, you need role models. You see, life is about choices, and small choices can have big consequences. I remember a few years ago, I met a young lady. She was a very charming, smart woman with a bright future. Her family was friends with mine. She studied in seminary, she was the daughter of missionaries, and then she went to the United States. She was a good girl, but she was not very cautious in her choices and actions.

You see, in life there are many choices, small choices. Suddenly one day, her parents told us what happened to their daughter. Her daughter was having an affair with a man, and I believe they had no intention of doing anything immoral. But they were careless and she became pregnant. Her entire future was affected. Small choices can have big consequences. I remember, but you may not realize it, today is my wife and I's 46th anniversary. Happy Anniversary, baby! Years ago, more than 46 years ago, I made a small choice. I took my business friends to a sermon dinner concert. It was a small choice, taking a business friend of mine to a business concert, and one of the singers was this young lady. We met. Small decisions can have big consequences.

Now we have over 20 grandchildren, isn't that amazing? It comes from small choices. The question is, are your actions and choices consistent with your life purpose? That's the challenge. You make choices every day. That's okay, but I want to remind you, are you living a life of forging ahead? Meaning: Are my choices and actions consistent with my life purpose? The question now is: What's the point of being cautious if you don't have a purpose in life? What does that Filipino proverb say? You just go with the flow, you know that Filipino proverb? In our time, it was called Hununhun. Do you still have the word Hununhun now? In English, it means that you are just drifting aimlessly, loving whoever you want. But another question is, what if your life goals are wrong? That would be worse. You are determined to be a certain person or someone, but this purpose in life is not right for you.

So this morning I want to share with you some principles about choice. So the topic of this morning's sermon is very simple. Read together: Life must be determined and enterprising. So turn to the person next to you and tell your neighbor: Go ahead in life. You know, life must be determined to make progress. Meaning, you have to forge ahead, so how do you do that? There are many examples in the book of Acts, but let me share with you: Good results... Let's read together: Good results rarely happen by accident, but are the by-product of deliberate effort. Can you please Turn to your neighbor and tell your neighbor: Forge ahead in life, yes, because good results rarely happen by chance.

So how do you make progress in your life? I will highlight a few based on Paul's example, and there are many more examples in Acts 20, but to save time you will note: Paul's life was one of forge ahead. He served God and others. He clearly set an example of serving God and others. Paul was very aggressive. He shared God's truth. He was very aggressive. Paul was very aggressive. He sought God's will. Very enterprising, Paul took great care to strengthen future leaders. are you ready? OK, let's get started. Acts 20 verse 17, last Sunday we talked about verse 16. So this Sunday, let's get started and read: Paul sent from Miletus to Ephesus to invite the elders of the church.

Now you have to remember: Paul was on his way back to Jerusalem, but he had to go somewhere first, but the Bible tells us that Paul sent people from Miletus to Ephesus for what purpose? He wanted to meet with the elders. Everyone, take a look at where we are. The apostle Paul was in Miletus, and he sent for the elders in Ephesus. This was the last of his third missionary journey. Paul had three missionary journeys to evangelize, and this was the last of them. the third time. After this you don't see Paul going to different places, he ends up in Rome, and then all of a sudden you see the book of Acts end. Because "Acts" has no ending, but Paul was in prison. "Acts" is still being written today. You and I are still completing this book of "Acts" because God gave us a command to go Go around the world and make disciples.

God gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us, and this is the Book of Acts. Paul asked... He was in Miletus, on his way back to Jerusalem, to Antioch. Why should I highlight these places? Paul was very thoughtful. The Bible tells us that when he sent people to Ephesus, he did not invite ordinary believers. He invited leaders. I want to see the elders. Paul was very attentive. Why? Do you know how far it is from Miletus to Ephesus? Can you take a guess? 30 miles, 30 miles is equivalent to from here to Shilang, equivalent to from here to Bulacan. It's not a close distance, and those people didn't have cars, so most likely they had to walk, and even if you walked as fast as you could, 30 miles would probably take you a day, and you'd walk all day to get there, and then Paul would meet them, and then they'd walk back. Home.

Friends, Paul was very intentional and he wanted to make sure that he was meeting with leaders. When the Bible uses the word "elder," it actually comes from this word: presbyter, hence the word presbyterian. These were the leaders, the bearded ones, the older ones, but the Bible uses these words interchangeably: Elders, also presbyters, comes from the word presbuteros, which is also translated overseer, which literally means bishop, so in the Bible these words are One meaning, elder, presbyter, overseer, bishop, from the Greek word "episcopal". You are in charge of a congregation. What are the responsibilities of an elder? What are the responsibilities of presbyter? What are the supervisory responsibilities? What are the responsibilities of a bishop? Pastoral, so the word pastor is really not a title, it's a function, so when you call us pastors, you're telling us what we do. What does a pastor do? Comes from the word shepherd, to shepherd, so we shepherd the flock. How many of you are pastors? Please raise your hand.

Now you all raise your hands, let me tell you: if you have a family, if you have someone in your charge, if you are looking after someone, you are a manager, you are a CEO, or you have a family, you have children, you have a small group, you are a pastor. So how many of you are pastors? Please raise your hand. Hallelujah! Lift it higher! Lift it higher! I want you to realize that now that you are a pastor, please act like one, okay? So how do you behave like a pastor? Be normal, be real, okay? Shepherding means shepherding, leading and protecting, so all of us, whether you like it or not, you are leaders, or are becoming leaders. So what are the eligibility requirements? This is just a side story, I just want you to know that at CCF we follow the example in the Bible. An overseer must... Let's read this together, so if you see any pastor, any leader that doesn't meet this standard, please let us know, OK?

The Bible is very clear: Overseers, elders, bishops, do you understand? Responsibilities of overseers, elders, bishops or pastors, please read: 1 Timothy 3:2-6 Must be blameless, please note, it is all about character, the husband of one wife only, temperate, sober, upright, cheerful Receiving guests from afar is all about character. It also talks about an ability: being good at teaching. Not drunken, not hot-tempered, not hitting, but gentle, not quarrelsome, everyone read: not greedy for money, not materialistic, the Bible tells us, read together: He must...Read together: He must manage his own Home, why? Make your children dignified and obedient in everything. This includes wives, OK? Manage your wife and your children well. To love them. Everyone read: If a person does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God? Do we understand?

So he asked the elders to come. He asked these leaders to come here, I want to see you. What example has he set? Paul was very intentional, he told the elders: Be conscious, watch me, so he was setting an example of service to God and to others, how do I know? Let's read it together. By the way, you don't have to remember multiple points. You only need to remember one point: You must be determined to make progress in life. Can you please turn to the person next to you and tell your neighbor: You must be determined to make progress in life. Life must be determined and enterprising. Don't follow the crowd. do you understand? Don't follow the crowd. Live consciously. What is your life goal? Be sure to know God's will for your life so that whatever you do is aligned with His will. Many of us are not very strategic in our actions.

Let's read together: Acts 20:18-19 They When he came, Paul said: You know how I have been among you since the time I came to Asia ... This was deliberate. In order to have an impact on people, you need to build relationships. I have been among you... do you know how many years it has been? Paul stayed with them for three years, and he impacted their lives. Next - serving the Lord, he specifically emphasized: I am with you, and I set an example: serving the Lord, being humble in everything, with tears in my eyes, and going through trials because of the murder of the Jews. Notice, he modeled service to God. How did he serve God? Be humble in everything, with tears in your eyes, through trials. This is something you and I need to learn. Today we live in a culture where everything is self-centered.

I just came back from a conference in Singapore last week, and one of the topics was: the future church in the 21st century. What challenges will we encounter? One of the speakers talked about the challenges faced by young people, I noticed something about young people, and I praise God because most of the CCF members are young people, young like us, young at heart, haha. But a lot of you are really young. I actually wanted to test this, how many of you are under the age of 40? Please raise your hand. Less than 40, less than 40, raise your head higher! Lift it higher! Look, you are very young! Lift it higher! Lift it higher! How many of you are under 30? Please raise your hand. OK, you know, there will be more at 12 o'clock, and now look at me, one of the challenges facing Christianity today is called consumerism, the consumer, so I started to really listen, consumerism.

Many Christians have this kind of thinking, all thinking about themselves, which is superficial and without depth. They follow Jesus, but it's their mindset... they haven't been discipled, they love preaching messages, I believe many of them have come to Jesus, but they've never been taught, they haven't been discipled, so they only think about themselves. What do you think of this phenomenon? You see many Christians today who go to church shopping. What do you mean by church shopping and church hopping? Do you know what they think? Let me see, this music... Oh, yes, this music is good to me, I like this music, I will go to this church. Oh, this message, oh, this preacher, it 's all about themselves, they don't have this idea: I'm going to commit myself to a body, a group of people, and I'm going to serve there. No no, they're there to take, that's the consumer's mind, that's why a lot of church growth is through transfers, that's one of our concerns.

We don't want to grow through conversions, we want to grow through evangelism, by introducing Jesus to people who don't know the Lord yet, but there are a lot of people who already know the Lord, but they are doing church shopping, listen to me, friend. Guys, why are you here? I pray that you are here because God has called you here and that you want to serve Jesus through CCF. If the mission of CCF was not aligned with the mission of God, I would not be in CCF. I am with CCF because CCF's mission is to make disciples of all nations. That's my mission. So my personal mission and the mission of the organization are aligned with the body of Christ, and I have no problem with that, but once the mission is not making disciples, if you want CCF to be the best music producer in the world, that's great, but It may not be my passion. I am a believer in good music, but I believe we are called to make disciples.

So Paul set the example, Paul said: I am a servant, I serve with tears, I serve with humility, ladies and gentlemen, there are certain qualities that cannot be taught in church, like swimming, How many of you can swim? Please raise your hand. Can you swim? Okay, how do you teach someone to swim? How do you teach someone to serve that can never be taught in a classroom? How do we teach humility? How do you teach people to commit, give, and serve? You have to set an example, take action, and experience. You know, I praise God for my wife, because my wife sets an example in service, and actually because we set an example, it affects my life, and you have to understand, by nature, I don't like to go Serve. By nature, men, wave to me, married men, just married men, please say: Hi!

You know, married men, we have this idea that our wives are supposed to be there for us, and you know why? This is our model. You know my father is a good man and my mother serves my father. My father-in-law was a good man, he was an officer, he was in the Marines, he became a chaplain. So my model is: Men are men, and wives serve men, but you know what? As I studied the Bible, I learned: There is nothing wrong with that if I also learn to serve my wife. You know why? I remember one day, because of her behavior... I have five wonderful kids, and you notice something about them, they really minister, and you know why, because what example does my wife set? Ministry, and then one day I had this muscle problem, and my wife told me: I know the cure for you. I told my wife: What can heal my shoulder muscles? She said: CMB. I thought it was a very esoteric word: C-M-B, and I said: What is that? I want to heal my muscles. She said: C stands for Carry, M stands for my, and B stands for my bag.

Carrying my bag will make your shoulder muscles stronger, haha, so now when we travel, I Will carry her bag for her, do you know why? This is called CMB. You see, by nature, I don't like to carry her bag for her, but through training and setting an example, I am learning. Do you understand? Now let me ask you: Have your children seen an example of serving others? I would watch, when I brought people to the Holy Land, when I brought people together, I would look at their children, and I noticed that the children were not well trained, they were the first to sit down, they were the first get the food, but properly trained children have a servant attitude, they won't sit down, they ask the older people to sit first, why? This is training. This is setting an example. You and I need to ask ourselves: What kind of example are we setting for our disciples, our people?

You know, many years ago, I don't know if you remember, how many of you went to the camps we used to have at DAP? DAP I wonder how old you are. We used to go to the DAP Development Institute of the Philippines and across from it was the Picnic Grove. We didn't have enough space then, so we had to go to the Picnic Grove. Back then the Picnic Grove was called the Picnic Grave. Why? There was no running water, there were holes in the screen, but we had no space, Praise God for my wonderful wife, my wife told me, honey we have to be a role model, we can't stop there, I said I was the speaker. It doesn't matter. You are the leader and we must lead by example. So we need to go to Picnic Grave, so I tell you, no one knows at night, you know there's no running water at night, you know where I pee? I peed out of the window, it was completely dark, and no one knew I was fertilizing the grass, but that's how bad the place was, but I tell you, some of the elders saw us in action, and they started to realize: Leadership is about serving, it's Not a right. You must share God's truth. You have to do it deliberately.

Paul said: Acts 20:20-21 You also know that I have not withheld anything that was beneficial to you, either publicly or in every house. Please note: Paul was very careful. Paul said: I will not refrain from saying anything that is beneficial to you. What does he mean by saying this? Please note: I teach you publicly, a large group of people, or in each person's home, a small group, a discipleship group, just like we do at CCF, large gatherings, in ordinary times we are in each person's home, exactly the same model. And testify to both Jews and Greeks that they must repent toward God and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you notice the words repentance and faith in Christ? You see, a lot of times as Bible teachers, you want to be politically correct. Sometimes when I teach truth, it may be inconvenient, and you may not like it, but you know my responsibility is to share the truth, and sometimes the truth is painful, especially when you talk about repentance, you talk about faith in Jesus, you guys See, the gospel message involves repentance and faith in Jesus. There are many people today who will talk about the gospel, but they will not teach you to repent. My friend, if you feel that believing in Christ is just another savior, and you are not willing to abandon sin and turn away from sin, you have not understood the gospel. Repentance is the foundation. God's grace will give you the power and desire to change, but you must be willing to change. Then you have to have faith in Jesus.

Note, I always don't know what the sequence is until you have definite faith in Jesus. Sometimes people first have faith in Jesus, and then they realize, Oh my gosh, I'm a sinner, and then they repent, This is a cycle. Someone once said that the Christian life is to repent every day. The Christian life is to trust in Jesus every day. This is not a one-time event. You do not repent only once in your life. Yes, once upon a time, you repented and you turned to Jesus. But after coming to Jesus, you need to repent every day, and God is speaking to you. Just last week, I told my wife: Honey, I'm sorry. She asked me a question, and I didn't answer her honestly. The Lord made me feel guilty, and I said: My dear, will you forgive me? My wife did the same thing. We ask each other for forgiveness and repent every day. I asked my wife to share with you today: about sharing from the heart. Please welcome my wife.

Thank God! Be intentional about it. I don't know about you, but sometimes you're with your friends and you don't know what to talk about. If you don't know what to talk about, ladies, I'm warning you, you just start gossiping. I suggest: before you meet Before your friends, before you meet your family members, leaders, men, you have to think: What am I going to discuss with them today? To be intentional, and I always try to be intentional about it, I think ahead, if I'm with my kids, if I'm with my sons, what am I going to talk about in this gathering? Be a blessing. If you want to make an impact, you have to be intentional about it, so can you turn to your neighbor and tell the person next to you: Live with intention. You have to be intentional about it.

You have to think: What am I going to talk about? If you're going to have lunch with your parents, you're spending time with your family, and you're going to think аbout: What should we talk about? One of the best topics I suggest is to ask them: What did you learn from today's sermon message? If they forget, tell them: Live consciously. After sharing, you have to seek God's will. You know the apostle Paul was very aware of this. He lived an example of service to God and to others. This is counterintuitive. By nature, I am selfish, so Paul made sure People will understand. Sharing God's truth is so important. You must know God's truth. This may hurt, this may not be politically correct, but that's okay, you know, sometimes you've been with your friends for so long that you've never even shared something about Jesus with them, so do it in a nice way way to share the gospel, I don't recommend that you follow my little granddaughter's lead, okay?

If you don't have Jesus, you go to hell! goodbye! No, no, there are many ways to talk about the gospel, amen? But think. Then seek God's will. You know why? This is crucial. One of our elders, during our devotions this week, was talking about the cross, and you know, the cross is the place where the will of the self dies to the will of God. You know, Jesus said: If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Many times our disciples do not understand the principle of seeking God's will. Look at the apostle Paul, how did he do it? Everyone read: Acts 20:22-23 Look! I was prompted by the Holy Spirit... The word bound has this meaning in the Greek root: enslaved, dulos. Paul said: I am bound, I am in prison, I surrender myself, do you understand? Being bound by the Holy Spirit, what does the Holy Spirit want him to do?

Everyone reads: I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will befall me there, but the Holy Spirit shows me that in every city there is bondage and tribulation waiting for me. Did you see today's question? Our Christianity is not true Christianity. We follow Jesus based on convenience. We do not follow Jesus because we firmly believe that He is the Son of God and that He is the Lord. So it is important that you seek God's will, you may ask: why? Why should you teach your children to seek God's will? It 's simple: He is God and He is the boss. He knows what is best. Do you believe God knows what is best for you?

Now tell me honestly: Do you believe God loves you? Do you trust Him to know what is best for you? Do you believe He wants what is best for you? louder please! How do you put this into practice? Simple. If you believe that God is God, He is the boss, but in addition to being a boss, He is a good boss, He loves you, and He wants what is best for you. How do I apply this? It's simple, if I'm single and I want to marry someone, and that person doesn't say yes to me, but I understand the theology, so how do I make a decision? I said, Lord, I want your will to be done, and if this guy isn't right for me, that's okay, because let's say you have someone better. It's okay if you're someone better, because you know what's right for me. Best, Do you understand this mentality of trusting God? do you understand? It's simple, understand Him, He loves you and He wants what's best for you. But what's best for you may not always be what you like, and that's a problem.

So for the apostle Paul, he didn't like this, who wants pain? You're crazy, no one wants pain, but for the apostle Paul, he loved suffering, and by the way, how many of you know this song, "Born Free," please raise your hands so I know you How old are you and do you know why? It's a mystery. Grow free like grass, Born free to follow your heart... OMG, do you think following your heart makes you truly free? Do you know what the Bible says about the heart? Our hearts are so cunning, Sometimes my heart doesn't think straight, My heart can trick me, my feelings can trick me, You know what could happen? If you just follow your heart, you will be enslaved to your desires, to something worse. True freedom is found only in following the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:16 Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Desire and appetite are not wrong in themselves. The lust of the flesh is normal. Sexual desire is invented by God. Appetite and the desire for food are normal.

However, the flesh and sin have corrupted those desires, so you must make them obey Jesus. sovereignty. Then sex becomes wonderful and eating becomes a pleasure. Did you know I love food? People who eat meat are surprised to see that I eat a lot of meat, and you know why? You eat the right kind of food, the right kind, don't always add sugar, don't always eat cake, okay? You don't want to be a slave to sugar, some of you are addicted to sugar. You know the sugar industry won't like me, but that's okay, so you have to practice discipline, you have to discipline yourself, you see, you have to live consciously, so you have to practice discipline, to say no to yourself, and say yes to God. The apostle Paul was a model of self-discipline.

Everyone reads this scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:27 I conquer my body, this is what Paul said: I conquer my body and bring it into subjection. Now tell me the truth, are you letting your body become your slave? I conquer my body and bring it into subjection, lest I preach the gospel to others and be rejected myself. Do you know how many leaders are falling away from the faith? Friends, following Jesus is the beginning, but you must surrender to Him. So Paul consciously pursued God's will. Notice that Jesus told us: Luke 9:23 Jesus said to the crowd again, "If anyone wants to come after me, will you follow Jesus"? The conditions are this: Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me. There is no other way. So don't be deceived by false Bible teachers. They tell you: follow Jesus and do whatever you want. He died on the cross for you and He forgives your sins. Some form of constraints are required, but constraints are great if you know their purpose. The purpose is to live a life that pleases God.

See what Paul said in Acts 20? He told his disciples: But I do not regard my life as precious, as long as I finish my course. Please pay attention to what he said: He said that my life is not as important as finishing my course. The ministry received by the Lord Jesus testifies to the gospel of God's grace. To the apostle Paul, the Christian life is like an athlete, like a marathon runner. He's running. It's a track. I'm going to finish my race. He said I'm going to finish my race. And ministry, which is the work, the assignments, that God has given me. My friend, what is your true purpose in life? Are you living to seek God's will and purpose for your life? For the apostle Paul, that was his top priority. What about you? Have you ever wondered what God's purpose is for your life?

You see, Paul was clear: I have a commission from God. God has given me a mission to make disciples of all nations. What about you? Has God given you a mission in your office and in your home? You see, I'm not asking all of you to resign, I'm just asking you to ask God, ask yourself, Lord, what is your will in my current position, in my current company? To pursue God's will, you will never say, I desire to do God's will more than my life. You will never do that until you experience the beauty of Jesus. You see, to the apostle Paul, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. People think this is crazy. This is not crazy if you know Jesus. If you don't know Jesus, you're crazy.

My friend, such a person is not a fool, who gives up what he cannot long have to gain what he cannot lose. I'm not an idiot. If I... just for example, if I give up this watch, if I give up this watch in exchange for something, if it's something better. If someone wants to give me something much better and I still hold on to this watch, then I'm a fool. Do you see our problem? You hold on to your life, you hold on to what you want, but God is saying: I have something better for you. The apostle Paul said: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. What would make a person say such a thing? Unless he knows the Lord, friends, let me tell you, if you don't have Christ, you have nothing. If you have Christ, you have everything. To the apostle Paul, Jesus was so real, the glory of heaven was so real, and the reward of Jesus was so real, it all meant nothing to him. For many of us, heaven is not real and Jesus is not real. The real thing is now, which is why our priorities and thoughts are all about the world.

You must know the Lord, you must know Jesus, how precious Jesus is. Finally, Paul is very focused on strengthening future leaders. Just remember one important point: live with intention. But he was focused on developing future leaders because Paul knew he wasn't going to be there forever, you know what he said? look! You have to know you won't be here forever and you have to develop leaders. Success is not success without a successor. Acts 20:25-26 Now, look! I have often been among you, preaching the word of the Kingdom of God; but now I know that you shall never see my face again. Therefore I testify to you today that if anyone among you dies, it is not my fault. Paul is saying: You know what? You will never see me again. You see, Paul knew that his death was coming. The fact is: one day you will never see me again, one day I will never see you again, this is a fact. Do you prepare your audience? Have you prepared your family? Do you know what Paul did? He prepared them.

Acts 20:27 I have not withheld from you any commandment of God. When you make disciples, when you disciple your family, you want to prepare them for the future, and that's what Paul was doing. I have conveyed to you all the will of God. Ladies and gentlemen, the entire will of God is found in the Bible. I always encourage people, please read the Bible. I read the Bible every day, do you know why? I want to know God. I want to know His will. Do you read the Bible every day? If you don't read the Bible every day, please don't tell me you don't have time. Just tell me: That doesn't matter to you. If you don't have time for spiritual practice, please don't tell me: you're too busy. No, just say: It doesn't matter to me. Because you have time to do the things that are important to you, you will make time, you will find the time.

So Paul fully preached the will of God. He said: Everyone read: Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves and take heed to all the flock. This is a great saying. Please pay attention to the order. Take heed to yourselves and then to all the flock. Many people and many leaders neglect to keep themselves secret. If you go on a plane, you will notice the flight attendants. How do they announce? In an emergency, the oxygen mask will fall off, please first... What should you do with the oxygen mask? Could you please put it on yourself first? ah! Don't put it on your child first. If you have a child with you, you have to put on the oxygen mask yourself first. Do you know why? Protect yourself, that is the whole principle of the Christian life. So I tell the leaders, I tell all of you, are you living a double life?

I warned my son a few years ago when he went to America. I said: Son, I want to make a request to you. I told my son, I said: Don't deceive yourself. Don't live one way on the outside, but secretly you have a secret life, for God knows it. You cannot lead others until you learn to lead yourself. So Paul says, stay alert. What does it mean to be vigilant? This means there is danger. Ladies and gentlemen, do you know the dangers lurking out there? I don't know about you, but you have to know your strengths and your weaknesses, and I know my weaknesses. Men, can I tell you—our weakness? Men, say "Hey"! Men, I'm looking at you, men, you have to understand your weaknesses. For us, sex is an issue, money is an issue, pride is an issue, materialism, so once you know those are your weaknesses, you have to protect them, that's why at CCF, pastors don't counsel members of the opposite sex long-term, nor locking the door, in a closed room, we don't do that. You don't travel with a girl, you don't go to lunch or dinner alone with the opposite sex, you need to keep to yourself.

So he said, keep yourselves, and then protect the flock. Who are the sheep? The whole community, what God has given you, your family, your employees, your company, I just told our leaders yesterday, I told one of our pastors, that we should protect the employees who report to us. Because they are our sheep and we need to take care of them, so guys, we have to take care of each other, amen? But protect yourself first. So here's Paul, he's preparing them for the future, and then look what he says? You have to know why your job is so important and your flock is so important, because first, the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, you are appointed by the Holy Spirit to be leaders, to be your family, your flock, your The company's pastor. It is an honor that the Holy Spirit has assigned you! Next, he told them: Pastor the church of God, and the word church means the congregation, the people of God.

Look, ladies and gentlemen, your family does not belong to you, and CCF does not belong to us. It belongs to God. I'm just a steward, let me prove to you: your family doesn't belong to you, can I prove it to you? Very simple. One day they will leave you, and one day you will leave them, so they are not forever. They are given to you to shepherd and care for them for a certain period of time. And then next, they are precious. Everyone reads: He purchased it with his own blood. The church is precious. I love the Church of God, and I care about all of you, because it's not mine. Jesus died to buy you and me. You are precious, so we should not neglect the church of God. It is precious. Once you understand the responsibilities that God has given us, you see, Paul is very thoughtful when he says: Do your job well. The church does not belong to you, it belongs to God. The church was bought by Jesus.

Have you seen the Triune God at work? The Holy Spirit has ordained you, the Church of God, purchased with the blood of Jesus. You are precious, the Bible tells us. I know that after I am gone, savage wolves will enter among you and will not spare the flock. There will also be those among you who will rise up and speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them. You see, in order to shepherd and strengthen future leaders, you have to warn them. Warn them, protect yourself, protect the flock, what should you be careful of? False teachers. A lot of people don't realize that the Internet today is very dangerous because you get all kinds of junk information that looks real. But not all of them are true in biblical terms. The most dangerous lies are those that are not obvious, and the most dangerous fabrications are 99% true and 1% false. Let me say it again, the devil's work is to raise up false teachers among us. He said among you. The Bible is clear, so you must be alert.

So see what Peter also warned them? The same idea, everyone reads: read together and prepare! rise! 2 Peter 2:1 Just as there were false prophets among the people in the past, so there will be false teachers among you. How to identify it? very simple. They secretly introduced destructive heresies and even denied the Lord who had purchased them. In other words, they will slowly but surely attack Jesus' identity, His divinity, His sufficiency. Look at Jude, because some people sneak in, look at the person next to you, no, no, just kidding, but they sneak in without being noticed. What do they teach? Let's read: Turning the grace of our God into an opportunity for lust and denying our only Lord. You see, this is very dangerous theology, so if anyone teaches you anything that draws you away from who Jesus is, from trusting Jesus to trusting something else, that's dangerous, anything, any group teaches you.

Focusing on something else, it gives you an excuse to sin, and that's dangerous. We must teach holiness that Jesus brought to us. Amen? Are our sins forgiven because of Christ? Yes! How are we forgiven? By grace, through Jesus' work on the cross, He paid the price for all my sins. Because He paid the price for all my sins, remember now: Don't continue to sin, because you have no right to sin, He paid the price for your sins. You should learn to love Jesus more than sin. But if you have sinned, the Bible says, you can come to Christ, but if you are a true Christian, you will not continue to sin, and you know why? You may fall into sin, but you will escape from sin. Something happened in my life that I don't know how to explain. Things that I used to love to do, I no longer enjoy. Will I be tempted? I was still being tempted, but something happened and I no longer enjoyed doing the things I used to do. He changed me. Does this mean I won't be tempted? No, but something happened. If you have Jesus, the same thing happens to all of us.

So he repeated: Acts 20:31 Therefore be alert... Do you see how future leaders should be prepared? Warn them, guide them, be alert at all times, remember that for three years, Paul said: For three years I did not cease to admonish each of you with tears, day and night. What is a guarantee now? How do you strengthen your disciples? Acts 20:32 Now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace; in other words, it is God, it is the Bible, it is His word that protects you, that is the safeguard. He is saying...I tell you now, you have to focus on Jesus, not on people. Why? Because people will let you down, people will make you fall. So don't fix your eyes on people, but keep your eyes on the Lord. Next, you have to focus on His word of grace. You need the Word of God. It is the Word of God that will strengthen you. Surprisingly, he said something else: He said: I have never coveted anyone's gold, silver, or clothing.

Ha! Why did he add this sentence? He's talking about false teachers, because false teachers can be identified by their motivations, they want people to follow them, why? Because they want your money, they want your support, and Paul is saying: Real teachers care about you. I have never coveted anyone's gold, silver, or clothes. You yourselves know that these two hands of mine always provide for my needs and those of my colleagues. I thank God for many of you, for the leaders of CCF, we are self-sufficient, we don't need money, why? We want to be role models, by working hard, he said, by working hard.

Look at the next verse, Paul is saying: Acts 20:35 In all things I gave you an example, so that you should work hard and help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus: It is more blessed to give than to receive. You can identify a false teacher. When he comes to your group, and then they want to pull the disciple away for themselves, in order to eventually get their money and their support, you have to be careful about anyone who asks you for money. anything. Now listen to me: Does money matter? certainly! At CCF we praise God for your support. But if a pastor asks you for money, you'd better report it to us because we don't allow it. Are we clear? We want your pastors to love you, not because of what they're going to get from you, but if you're moved by the Lord, praise God, that's why we have these offering boxes.

Can you see these offering boxes? How many do we have here? 1, 2 But look around, do you know why? We want you to give willingly, not because someone's bothering you, but sometimes we fund campus missionaries, and they're young people and they need to raise money, and that's okay. You will have a grant letter, but this is for your protection. I want to give you a living example of the importance of living consciously. As we were finishing up, I had a couple come over here, and this girl was amazing, and her father had this awareness, and she had this awareness, and before she came up, she came. I want you to see her video. She is coming up. Her name is Jane, and her husband is Dominic. How will a life of forge ahead inspire you? How do you change the world? How do you impact people? Live mindfully. Do you want to see role models who live mindfully? Well, look at her!

What an amazing story! No excuses! Her parents are determined to make progress, and she is also determined to make progress. I asked her: How many hours do you usually practice? When you see her doing all this, do you think it's easy? Self-discipline and deliberate training. She told me she had bruises everywhere. But that, my friends, is the Christian life. Do you want to rest? I'll tell you when. One day when you go to heaven, just rest. In the meantime, let's walk for Jesus and praise God! Hallelujah! Let's read together: Acts 20:36 After Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down and prayed with the people. You know, the apostle Paul was so aggressive, he believed it was important to develop leaders, and the way to develop leaders is to pray, to strengthen people by being the best example, and he strengthened them by his example, and he said I don't take advantage of you. Cheap. I believe your example strengthens us all. Have you been blessed today? Do you feel that nothing is impossible for the Lord? Okay, let's all stand up and pray.

Father God in heaven, I thank you for Jane and Dominic, for their willingness to share. Lord, I also praise you. When she was young, she dedicated her life to you. As she grew up, she did not complain and whine all the time. But as she grew up, she knew that you There must be a great plan for her life. Lord, I pray that this attitude will spread to all chapters of CCF, all Christian communities, that we are created with a purpose and that there are no accidents, no matter what we may have. No matter what the obstacles, Lord Jesus, You are always greater than our obstacles. We pray for them, please bless them and expand their realm. We pray all in the name of Jesus! Amen! Amen!

May God bless everyone! We have some pastors who will come up here. As we sing, if you have any prayer requests, the pastors will pray for you. I know some of you, God has touched your heart in some way, and you know that you are not living your life aggressively, that you have been wasting your life. If you want someone to pray for you, no problem. So as we sing our last song, can we please invite our prayer partners and their wives, pastors and their wives, who will be here to pray for you, and let me bless you all? I will pray for you all. Pastors, please come up here.

Father God! I pray now for your people here, those who are grieving, those who are discouraged, those who have no intention of living, Lord, maybe some of them have never even committed their lives to you, Today they have noticed the sufficiency of your Son Jesus, the importance of the truth knowing Lord Jesus you died on the cross for our sins, I pray for these men and women, if you are one of these people, you need Jesus, you want me to pray for you, then raise your hands, lift them high! Praise God! So many of you, Lord, I pray for these men and women who have their hands raised, that they need you, and I pray for them that they will meet you, and I pray that CCF will be more than just a place where people come to worship you on Sundays, but where they meet you on Sunday, where they can experience who you are. Here their lives are changed. So help these people! I also pray for everyone here, bless us! As we leave this place, may God's love, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the comfort of your Son Jesus, be with us forever, and in Jesus' name we pray. Amen!

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