TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, November 29, 2020 | God Called

 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Give Him praise this morning. We worship you, Jesus. Amen, and amen, and amen. Man, that's a great song, isn't it? Such a great song. Are you happy in the Lord on a Sunday morning? We are so glad to see you. So good to be in the house of the Lord with you. I want you to pray with me. Father, we thank you so much for your presence. We thank you for your grace. We thank you for your favor. Thank you God that we get to have moments just like this one, where that we gather together in your name, and you show up in the midst. God, you show up to save you show up to heal, you show up to deliver. And we receive all of that and more too. God, if there be anybody this morning that needs encouragement, I ask you, God, do it right here right now. Anybody, God, that just needs to be reminded that you are for them, and that it doesn't matter what's against them. Lord, reveal yourself to them in that way right now. God, thank you that we don't have to leave this moment the way we came, in Jesus’ name, this church said, amen and amen. Well, how about you look over a couple of people and let them know you are in the right place at the right time on a Sunday morning. Hallelujah. Amen.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's been a great morning. I've had the privilege to travel across the locations. I was actually a little bit tardy in getting here to this location this morning because of just the Lord moving there in Columbia. And I believe that God has got something special for you today. I don't think you got dressed up for nothing. I think that the Lord intends to visit you and to do something in your life that causes you to leave different than you walked in. You do realize that's the kind of God we serve, amen? Amen. I want to thank you guys for continuing to serve in the community. Over the last couple of weeks, you guys have literally helped hundreds of families. Two weeks ago, you guys were giving away the food boxes, this week you were providing the community meals. A lot of those community meals were delivered, and we had a family that shared this picture with us, and I wanted to share it with you guys; they gave us permission. Isn't that precious? And that family had received one of the community meals. And they were impacted by it, blessed by it, thankful for it, and they sent us the picture of that little fella enjoying the meal. And you guys made that happen. And I just want to say thank you for continuing to meet needs. As you think about your giving this morning, today, when you leave the building, there's giving stations that are set up. If you'd like to give you can, or you can mail your giving to PO Box 399, Columbia, or you can go to 3trees.com, and there's a giving link there. You can follow and worship the Lord in that way. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I do want to also say this to you. If you go to 3trees.com/connect, 3trees.com/connect, you're going to find a variety of links there. And they're all about helping you get connected, helping you take your next step. Even if you'd like to be baptized, you can communicate it through the links on that page. So keep that in mind today. If the Lord does something in your life, you feel like you're supposed to take the next step, please visit that page and communicate that to us. We want to celebrate with you, and we want to pray with you. I get to preach this morning. I get to preach. And I'm excited about that.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

 I’ve been meditating on a couple of verses of Scripture all week long. And they have impacted me greatly. And I feel like that the Lord has given me some things to share with you guys. And I'm just believing that it's going to impact you. I'm believing that it's going to enhance your walk with the Lord. And I want you to look with me at Luke 9, and that's a little bit of a change up for the guys in the back. I was going to start with Mark 3, but I’m going to start with Luke 9 instead, and then we'll go to Mark 3. I’m going to read two different passages, one from Luke 9, one from Mark 3. Luke 9:57, “And as they were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. And Jesus replied, foxes have dens and birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Then He said to another man, follow me. This man replied Lord first let me go and bury my father, and Jesus said to him, let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. And still another said, I will follow you, Lord. But first, let me go back and say goodbye to my family. And Jesus replied, no one puts a hand to the plow, and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

 Now, what I want you to notice in Luke 9 is that Jesus is having a conversation with three different people, and each of those three people received an invitation to follow Jesus. And then what Scripture seems to lay out is that for different reasons, these men chose not to accept the invitation to follow. And instead, they walked away from a relationship with Jesus. Now I want you to go with me to Mark 3, and when we read Mark 3, I want you to view it with this background in mind, this context. That evidently, as Jesus was walking the earth, He went to a number of people, and He invited them to follow Him. And then there's this growing collection of followers, hundreds perhaps, of people who have said, yes, I want to follow Jesus, I'm gonna go wherever Jesus goes. And it's from this group of followers that we then see that Jesus calls 12. So, many have received an invitation to follow, and now He's about to call 12 out of the followers. Look at this, verse 13, “And Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those that He wanted, and they came to Him, and He appointed 12, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach, and that they would have authority to drive out demons.”

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

 I think what we're all going to experience in our relationship with Jesus is that He's going to give us an invitation to follow Him, and that as we begin to follow Him, He is then going to have moments where that He calls us to that next level, that it becomes about we are here, but He is calling us there. And how we handle the invitation to follow, and how we respond to the call to the next level is going to have a lot to do with how much we experience of the presence and the power of God on earth being made manifest through our lives. And so the last couple of weeks, we've been in a series called “Jesus Said It”. And we're going to continue that series today. But I'd like to talk on the subject of God Called. God Called.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert 

Father, I ask you to help me to teach and to help me to preach, and God asked you to use this moment for your good. Lord, let your kingdom come, let your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Bind spirits of hindrance, bind spirits of distraction, and God loose me through the special grace and the function of your anointing that yolks would be destroyed even as the Word is declared. And that God, we would all take that next step in you, whatever it might be. May we respond to your calling today, in Jesus name, and this church said, amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

A couple of weeks ago, I wasn't feeling real well, and I was trying to get some rest. And I finally realized that if I was going to truly rest, I was going to have to get the teenager out of my house.

Mandy and Natalie had went to take care of some other things, and it was just me and Dawson there. And Dawson is, to say the least, active in our house, in fact, some might say hyperactive, and I thought I need to come up with something for this boy to do outside. And so I got up and I kind of started looking at the wind and looking in the yard and I thought that what is a project that I can assign him to. And we got a big oak tree, and that oak tree likes to shed leaves, and the leaves were beginning to cover the majority of our backyard. Most of our landscape was just avalanched by the leaves, and I said Dawson come here. I said I want you to go outside. I want you to get the side by side, and I want you to start filling it with these leaves, and then I want you to take it to the other side of the gate, out there to the burn pile in the field, and I want you to dump the leaves. He went outside, and he began facilitating his task and his assignment, and it wasn't very long until I fell asleep. And then I was awakened, sometime later, by my phone vibrating. I look down at my phone and I'm receiving a phone call. It is from Dawson Gilbert. “Hello?”

“Um, Dad. Uh, Dad? Um, the horses are out.”

I said, “Dawson, what do you mean the horses are out?”

“Well, Dad, they're out.”

“Dawson, how did the horses get out?”

“Well, uh, Dad, I left the gate open.”

I said “You, you left the gate open?”

“Yeah.”

“How did you leave the gate open?”

“ Well, I was, you know, it was just kind of easier going back and forth to just leave the gate open as I was dumping the leaves, and I guess the horse got out. And Dad, it won’t listen to me. Like, I'm calling for it, but it won't, it won't come.”

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I got up, and I just, I wasn't feeling real well, and I look outside and there goes a horse just darting through the yard headed towards the highway. Dawson in hot pursuit, calling, Misty. And then I realized I'm gonna have to get the bridle, and I go get the bridle, and I'm trying to get the horse calmed down. It was extremely spooked. And I'm trying to get close enough to the horse to try to lead it back to a place of safety. And I'm just calling, Misty, Misty, Misty, calm down baby girl, calm down. Misty, Misty. And about the time I would get close enough to the horse to try to bridle her, she would take off again. This went on for an extended period of time, like chasing that horse all over the yard and trying to keep it out of the road, and trying to keep it from running through the neighbors yards. And I am in the middle of calling out to this horse over and over again, and finally it just hit me, this is a lot like pastoring. I wonder if it's how God feels sometimes. That He calls out us, and He fully intends to lead us to safety and to get us out of harm's way and to make sure that we're in a place where that we're protected, and for whatever reason, we just run buck wild in the exact opposite direction. If we move at all. Like, I wonder, like how many times that God has called us, invited us in to something, and yet we just didn't respond. See, the thing that sticks out to me in Mark 3:13, is it says “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those he wanted and they came to Him.” It is so simple, but yet it is so profound that Jesus called to them, and they came to Him. That when Jesus calls to us, our response is to be that we come to Him. When Jesus calls, it is basically saying that we are here, but He is calling us there. He calls and we come. He calls, and we move in the direction of that thing that He is calling us to. I've thought back over my life at moments where that I feel like I've experienced the calling of God. And one of the takeaways that I get from that reflection is that we're rarely if ever going to get to hear the audible voice of God calling us. But what we do get to experience is that feeling of God calling us that sense that we are here, but He wants us there. This unction that there is some kind of movement that He desires from us, that He wants us to reposition ourselves. He wants us to re-align ourselves. We are here, but He is calling us there.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The first time that I ever experienced the calling of God actually came in the form of an invitation to follow Him. We were in a little country church that I grew up in, and I was seated on the front row, and our church was having a revival. We had an evangelist and someone that traveled and shared Gospel messages. And on this particular day, as the message was concluding, the Gospel was presented in an extremely clear way. And at seven years old, I realized I was a sinner, and that I needed a savior, and that the only way that my sins can be addressed was if the blood of Jesus was applied to them. And as the altar was opened, like, I just sensed that I was standing on the front row, but God wanted me in the altar. And I remember responding to the front of that building and bowing at that little altar. And I remember being so aware of my sins, and so in need of a savior, that I began to weep uncontrollably as I just felt God calling me from being a sinner to experiencing salvation. It was in that same little church that at the age of 12, I was sitting in Sister Eva Ray's Sunday school class, and I don't even remember what she was teaching that day. But I remember that I began to sense that God was calling me to someday preach the Gospel. And I remember it was like, the whole room disappeared. It was like nobody was even in the room except just me and God. And  I remember Him dealing with me that He wanted me to begin to prepare myself to someday preach the Gospel. I could take you to the place in that church building at that little table at that seat number two, right next to Sister Eva Ray, where I felt God call me. At the age of 18, on my way to college, I was driving the Cumberland Parkway, and I just sensed that somewhere around mile marker 82, I was supposed to pull the car over. And I remember as I pulled the car over that, I just knew that God was dealing with me. And I remember that I sensed I needed to take the book bag and move it out of the passenger seat and put it in the backseat. And when I did, it was like Heaven sat down in that car with me. It was some kind of a Damascus Road experience that to this day, I still do not know how to fully explain. But I knew that in that moment, God was calling me that when He saved me at seven, and He had revealed that He wanted me to preach that at that moment, at 18 years old, He was saying, I am ready to activate this thing in your life. Like, I am ready for you to finally start taking these next steps. Like now is the time. And two weeks later, on December the 13th 1998, at 6:30pm on a Sunday night, I preached my first sermon. I’ve thought back of how gracious my childhood pastor must have been to have allowed me to preach so quickly. And what a kindness he must have extended to me, and I look back and I think in some way, even the Lord must have been just orchestrating some of that grace and some of that favor to help me get into this place of understanding that He really was calling me. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I can take you to the place that I was standing when at the age of 20, I knew that God was calling me to come to South Central Kentucky and plant a church. I remember, 27 years old, 2007, this was just a parking lot. And I was standing in a gravel parking lot in the middle of the day, and I felt like God revealed to me that our church had it backwards, that we were a come and see church, and that He was calling us to be a go and tell church, and that we were to become activated in our community. And we were supposed to find needs and meet them, and find the hurts and heal them, and that we were to launch Captivate Outreach Ministries. I remember being 30 years old, 2010, God dealing with my heart that we were supposed to build this building. Like. I knew that we were called to build this auditorium, and we didn't have the money, and we didn't know how we were going to afford it. We had no clue how we were going to pull it off. But I just knew that God was calling us to put a shovel in the ground and believe him for the miracle that has become this facility. 34 years old, I remember God dealing with my heart, calling that 3trees was supposed to partner with Living Grace Church in Campbellsville. And that was to become our first multi-site location.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I remember 2018, coming off an exit ramp in Columbia, Kentucky, next to Walmart, and like being stopped in my tracks, and knowing that God was calling us to that shopping center across the road. To go into that zip code and to launch a ministry that would minister to Colombia. Over, and over, and over again, in my life. I can point to those moments where I just know that He was calling me. I was here, and He was calling me there. And I'm sure that you can point to some of those same kinds of things in your life. And maybe it always hasn't been big things like build a building that you can’t afford, or step out and launch some kind of ministry. Maybe it's been other moments where it was just simply that you were here. And you knew that He was calling you there to pray with that person. You were here, but you knew that He was calling you there to be generous in that situation. Like, you were here, but He knew, you just knew that He was calling you to go make a difference for those people and what they were going through.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

We had a testimony that was shared with us over the weekend. It was a lady named Tammy, and she said, “I just wanted to say thank you for letting me be a part of doing the Lord's work the last couple of weekends. There's no greater feeling. And I love it. And if you need me to help with anything, just let me know. I'm willing to help anytime. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in any way I can.” She said “I was a little nervous when we went to the apartments, and we began to minister. I'm more of a quiet person, especially at first. And honestly, I've never prayed with someone about their needs. I pray for them quietly in my head. And and yet, it felt really good to be able to do this. And to be able to ask them if there was something we could pray for them about and to pray with them was amazing.” You know what she's saying? She was saying, I was here, and God was calling me there. That I was in this spot, and yet I sense that God was calling me to a different way of ministering and, He was calling me to actually pray with somebody and to pray out loud, and to agree with somebody that God could bring change to their life, that God was calling. And she was  saying that when she responded like it brought a feeling that just was indescribable in some ways. Other than the fact that I sense God involved in my life right now. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, when it comes to responding to the invitation to follow Jesus, and when it comes to responding to the calling of God, to go to that next level, in your understanding of His purpose for your life, I've discovered that it is always going to be associated with challenges. Like, anytime that God calls you, it's going to challenge some part of you. One of the things that I've learned even through reading Luke 9, and in my own experience with God, and I'm sure some of you're gonna be able to testify the same, that God's calling will challenge your desire for comfort. In Luke 9:57, they're walking along the road, and a man said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. This dude is all in. He is ready for it. He's signing up, let's do this thing, Jesus. But then you sense that Jesus deserves what's in his heart, Jesus discerns his thoughts and his intentions, and he says this to him, foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of man doesn't have any place to lay his head. And you get the impression that the guy says, well, then it's not for me, and he walks away. He was invited to follow Jesus. And because it wasn't going to be comfortable. He said, it's not for me. Like how many times have there been that moment when we sense like, God was pulling us forward. God was calling us forward. God was moving us from here to there. And yet because we knew it wasn't going to be comfortable, we came up with an excuse. We came up with a reason. We came up with something that said, I guess it's just not for me. You know, that's what, that's what Tammy was saying. She was saying that at one point in my life, this was awkward, at one point in my life, this was uncomfortable, but I have discovered if you will respond to His call, that there's something that comes on the other side of responding that's worth more than a comfort the world can give you to begin with. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, that's really the message that God wants you to get is that you don't find comfort in this world, but that you find comfort in the Holy Spirit. That's who the Holy Spirit wants to be to you. We all want comfort. We all desire comfort. We Buy Houses based on how comfortable they are. We buy cars based on how comfortable they are. Some of us buy clothes based on how comfortable they are. You bought your last pair of shoes based on how comfortable they are/ Like, we desire comfort. And yet to respond to the calling of God, that comfort is always going to be challenged. Another thing that you see in Luke 9 is that God's calling will challenge your desire for plan B. Anybody like plan B? Listen, I'm an analytical person, and anybody that knows me well will tell you that not only do I like plan B, I like plan C, I like plan D, I like to have 14 contingencies. Am I making sense to anybody on a Sunday morning? Anybody like to have a backup plan, where you'll be willing to, like I'll do it, but I'm going to need to know there's a backup plan. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

In Luke 9, what you actually see is Jesus challenges this man's desire for plan B. And it's not that plan B is always wrong. It's not that God is always against plan B. It's that there are going to be moments, however, when responding to God's calling that you may be required to lay plan B on the altar. I want you to see this in Luke 9:59, “He said to another man, He said, Follow me.” He's inviting him to follow. But he replied, “Lord, let me first go bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Does that not sound insensitive? I mean, that sounds like kind of harsh and a little bit ruthless that Jesus would say something like that. But I think what was happening here is that in Hebrew culture, when the father passed away, the firstborn son had to be present at the funeral in order to receive the inheritance. And I think Jesus, sensed there was something in this boy that wasn't really all in. There was something in him that was like, I need to know that I got the inheritance in the bank, I need to know that I got plan B covered so that this thing of following Jesus doesn't work out. I've got some contingencies. And Jesus says to him, for you, I'm not going to allow this to happen. For you, I need to know that you are all in because if you're not, you're not in at all. And so I don't know about you. But I've got a feeling that there are many of you in your lives that there have been moments where God dealt with you about plan B. And that there's been moments where you were sensing God's calling and yet, plan B kept getting in the way, like, I know, I've been through that in my own life. And one of the things I'm really grateful for, that God dealt with me early in my ministry in my life about plan B is because it helped me with the third challenge that I see in Luke 9. This is what I see. God's calling will challenge your desire to quit. God's calling will challenge your desire to quit. Look at this, Luke 9:61, “And still another said, I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family. And Jesus replied, ``No one puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Just look at somebody and tell them don't quit. There's going to be days when you want to quit praying, there's going to be days when you want to quit being generous, there's going to be days when you want to quit being intentional about the Word of God, there's going to be days when you want to quit the calling of God that's on your life, but I came to tell somebody under the unction of the Holy Spirit this morning, do not quit.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Jesus looked at these men that had chosen to receive the invitation to follow Him and and He's calling them, and as He's calling them, He's inviting them from here to there and they got to make a decision to move and I'll guarantee you there were moments when they felt like quitting. In fact, I can prove to you that there were moments when they did quit. Simon Peter, hey, Jesus, I'm all in man. Call me. I'll leave the nets, I'll leave the boat. Jesus me and you we are bros for life. We got this. They're in a boat. Everybody's in the boat. And Simon Peter steps up, he's like Jesus I so want to be with you that if you're out there on the water, you just tell me, you call me I'll come. I'm coming, Jesus. And Jesus calls him even in a moment when he's in the boat. Simon Peter, he leaves the comfort. He gets out on the water. He ain't really got a plan B, and somewhere in the middle of it, he starts looking at the storm and he quit, and he sunk. But  aren't you glad to know that when he was at a point of demise and he was at a point of failure, and he was at a point of it ain't working out that Jesus reached further down than he was able to reach up, set him back on a solid firm place in his life and gave him the ability to keep following. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

See, that's something you need to understand about the gifts and the callings of God. Scripture tells this, the gifts and the callings of God go without repentance. It means that God will never recant the calling on your life. That if God calls you, He will never say I got the wrong address, or I dealt with the wrong heart. That even when you mess up, and even when you fail, He says the calling steal remains. Reach up, let me take your hand, and I'll show you how to do this thing. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So Mark chapter 3. Last night, I set my family down at the table, and I said, we're going to go through this verse. Let's take a look at it. And I said as we go through it, I want you guys to tell me what you see. Like, when you read this verse, I want you to tell me what was Jesus calling them to? So we'll go back, for the guys in the booth, to the first text I read, Mark chapter 3,  that version of it. Verse 13, “When Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him, He then appoints the 12, that they might be with Him, that He might send them out to preach, and that they would have authority to drive out demons.” I said, okay, now tell me what did He call them to? Dawson and Natalie said He called them to preach, and He called them to drive out demons. I said, read it again. Verse 14, “He appointed the 12 that they might be with Him, that he might send them out to preach, and that they would have authority to drive out demons.” I said, What did He call them? He called them to preach. and He called them to drive out demons. I said, wait a second, you can't just read the Bible, you got to read the Bible. What did He call them to? He appointed the 12 that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and that they would have authority to drive out demons. He called them to preach and He called under about demons. No, that is not what He called them to. That is a part of what He called them to. The first thing that he called them to, was to be with Him, then preach and drive out demons. So when you're trying to figure out what it is that God's calling you to, if you're wrestling maybe with a call to preach, or maybe is God calling you to serve in a new way, or is God calling you to help clothe the naked or to feed the hungry? Is God calling you to help with the prison ministries? Is God calling you to serve in babies or kids or, I mean, what is God? When you're trying to figure all that out, what you need to understand is that in Scripture, there is the Law of First Mention. And that means that whatever is mentioned first is the most important thing. And when Jesus called them, the number one thing He called them to was be with Him. And if you will focus on just being with Jesus, having relationship with Him, going beyond religion, going beyond a form of godliness, going beyond approaching God like he's a checklist on Sunday morning. But if you will really just be with Him, nurture your prayer life, nurture your worshiping, nurture your reading of His Word, you're going to discover that over and over again, just being with Him settles so much about getting the next step right.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Years ago, years ago, I felt led to call one of my fathers in the faith and I said, I feel like you're supposed to come and you're supposed to speak to those in our church that feel called to a public preaching ministry, so he came. We had about 15 people. And as he came into the room, he walked around to each person, and he laid on the table in front of them a book called The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer. And then, as he began to teach, he took us to Mark 3:13-1. And he said, many of you are in this room today because you think the number one thing that God has called you to do is to preach, and you are wrong. And others of you, you're in this room because you think the number one thing that God has called you to do is take authority over some devil somewhere, and you are wrong. The number one thing that God has called you to do is to be with Him. And if you will spend your life pursuing Him, everything else will take care of itself. And from that time until now, I've read that little book about 25 times. There was a point in my life where I'd read it so many times that I could quote entire pages of it consecutively. I think God that somebody taught me early on, that the number one thing you can learn about following Jesus and responding to His call, just be with Him. Just be with him. And on the day that you want comfort, you'll overcome that challenge, because you so value being with Him. And on the day when plan B's screaming at you, and on the day when comfort and all of those things of just wanting to quit, you'll never let anything take away from you that desire to be with Him more today than you were yesterday. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

They're going to play some music, and as they do, I want you to see one final passage of text.

And in this passage to text, what I see is a guy by the name of Paul who overcame comfort, perpetually cancelled out plan B and just refused to quit. They put him in a prison, and he said can I have a pen and a piece of paper. I'd like to send a message to the churches that I lead. I may be behind bars, but I'm not quitting. They left him shipwrecked. He's in the ocean for an extended period of time not knowing if he's going to live or die. And as soon as he hits shore, he said, where's the town, I got some things I need to preach. He went into a city and he tried to preach the Gospel and they didn't like it. They pulled him out of the city. They beat him, they stoned him, they left him for dead. The man woke up from being unconscious, dusted himself off, wiped away the blood, went back into the exact same city and started preaching again. You know what happened in Paul, he removed the quit option. He realized there was nothing worth more than being with Jesus. And maybe it's time for some of us to look at the difficulties around us and just decide quitting on my relationship with God is not an option. I'm gonna keep taking the next step. I'm gonna keep serving with everything in me. And if Beulah don't like it, and Freddie gets upset about it, and somebody says something mean about me, and something happens with the government or the politics, or this or that, that makes me question, I'm going to keep serving God come Hell or high water because being with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Paul was in prison for his faith, and this is what he wrote about the calling of God. Philippians 3:2, he said, “Not that I have already obtained all of this that I talk about, or that I've already arrived at the goal that I've communicated, but I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus Christ took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it yet. But one thing I do, I forget what is behind me, and I strain towards what is ahead. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Would you just look over somebody and tell them God is calling you. God is calling you. God is calling you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I pray that this auditorium becomes Sister Eva Ray’s Sunday school class for somebody. I pray that somebody has their Damascus Road this morning. I pray that somebody makes that decision to say, Jesus, if you'll invite me to follow you, then Lord, I'm coming. I'm coming from here to there. I'm moving if you're called, I'm gonna follow you. And God, I want you to set me up for the callings and the purposes, and the assignments that you're going to have for me in the earth. I want to make a difference, Jesus had not just in a way that man says I'm making a difference, but that I would have the approval of Heaven on my life.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I’m going to ask every head to be bowed every out to be closed. Father, there are people under the sound of my voice, that they need to respond to the invitation to follow you. That father, maybe for the very first time, they need to just say, I'm going to follow Jesus. I am deciding today that I'm going to follow Jesus. I realize that I'm a sinner that needs a Savior. I realize that I'm a soul that needs the Lord of my life to take authority. I need to finally bow before the true King of kings, and go all in and receive the sacrifice of the blood of His cross and Calvary over my life to wipe my slate clean. Jesus, I want to follow you. And I thank you that you are willing to forgive me of my sins, I thank you. This is somebody’s prayer this morning. This is somebody pouring their heart out to the Lord. God, I thank you that you give me a second chance and a third chance and that Father, you would forgive me of all those mistakes that would be accounted to my record in Heaven, tand that you would just today let me know that the eraser of your blood is being applied. God, I receive it. I receive it in Jesus name. God, somebody else, they need to hear your voice. They need to sense that you are calling them. They need to feel that function in their heart, that you're moving them from one place to the next. Let them just know God what it is to be called. To be called. Thank you, Lord. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

As you're in a mindset of prayer, I want you to visualize something with me. I was reflecting on this passage of text last night. It really got in my heart. In Isaiah, chapter 6, God speaks from His throne, and the impression is given that He speaks across the whole earth, and He asked a question. He said, “Whom shall I send?” And then what we discover is that even though God has spoken this across the whole earth, only one man responds, his name is Isaiah. And he throws his hand in the air, and he says, Lord, here am I, send me. It sounds to me like that God was issuing a mass invitation, that He was issuing a calling that went to the North, the South East in the West, but nobody was tuned in to hear it. It makes me think about a satellite, and how that a satellite will beam down a signal from outer space. And it might even touch the whole earth. But the only way you can process that signal is you've got to have a receiver that's tuned into it. And if you'll tune that receiver to that signal, you'll be able to visualize it, to see it, to experience it. I just wonder what God is speaking over your workplace, and He can't find anyone who will tune the receiver to hear what He's saying. I just wonder what God is calling for in our community, and He's just waiting for that one to finally give Him a receiver that wants to hear the calling. What's He saying that you haven't been hearing? Be with Him today. Be with Him today, and let Him speak. Let Him call let Him invite, and make that decision in Jesus’ name.

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