Sermon – The Mix: Missions (Acts 13 – 14) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 22 of 75

The Mix: Missions

Tom Sweatman, Acts 13 - 14, 1 September 2019

In this Mix, Tom takes us through Acts 13,14 and the importance of missionary work in the church.

Acts 13 - 14

13:1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:

“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,

  “‘You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you.’

34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

  “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,

  “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’

36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

41   “‘Look, you scoffers,
    be astounded and perish;
  for I am doing a work in your days,
    a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”

42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

  “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
    that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Now, 1 of the things, that inspires Christians and has inspired Christians over the centuries to go out into the world with the gospel is stories, is biographies, that they have read of other missionaries who have done the same things. And so, alongside the overwhelming need that there is, hundreds and thousands, millions of sinners lost without god and without hope in the world. And alongside the command that Jesus give his people to go out into the world and to share the gospel of himself. Missionaries are helpful for inspiring people. Biographies are helpful.

Stories are helpful for inspiring the church to grow up to go. I wrote to a friend of mine this week who's serving as a missionary out in the Middle East, and, he said this about what inspired him to go. He said mission biographies were a big part of my inspiration. I loved Carrie's example of giving his whole life and never coming back in order to take the gospel to India and Hudson Taylor's sacrifice to take it to China. And I remember crying as I read about patterns saying goodbye to his father and the amazing ministry that he had in the K before heading out to see his family die in his first year in the South Sea Islands.

I also remember the biographies of the Moravians who would get sent out with their belongings packed in coffins because most of them heading to Africa would die in the first year of disease. And some of them even sold themselves into slavery to take the gospel to new places. It may be a personality thing, but I think this is true the world is looking for something worth living for. And although it's a cliche, until you have found something worth dying for, you haven't found something worth living for. So for him, as he now serves the lord Jesus out in the Middle East, alongside the scriptures and the command of Jesus, these stories that he had read were inspirational.

And they are, aren't they? That is 1 of the reasons that we have testimonies here in the church and at Baptisms and, revive because hearing testimonies is a wonderful tonic for the church. Not only do they glorify god, because we tell of his faithfulness, not only do they witness to unbelievers, but they inspire the church. They remind us that god is present and powerfully at work through his people in the world, and they inspire us to join in. And that leads us really to the point of this service this morning.

This morning, we wanna spend time hearing about our summer mission trips for that very reason. We wanna hear stories of those who have been abroad over the summer or those who have been on camps in the UK, in order to hear what god has been doing and in order to strengthen and inspire us for the mission to which god has called us. See, often, churches on their websites will have, you know, strap lines like this, you know, fancy strap lines, which summarize what they're all about pray, send go, or something similar, but I think that's missing 1. Pre, send, go report back. Pray, send go and report back.

Because as we're gonna see in the Bible, reporting back is essential. For the health of the church and in order to strengthen them. So we're gonna see that cycle of praying, sending, and reporting back is is a biblical thing. And so before we actually hear from our summon some of missionaries, we're going to see something of that pattern in act 13 and 14. Now you might remember we actually looked at these chapters at 13 and 14 fairly recently and you can find the full sermons online.

And, if you want to download and hear about those, I would recommend that, but we're going to revisit them just parts of them today. And the first point that I want you to see this morning is prayerful sending on mission, praying and going. All the verses you need will be on the screen, but you can turn to them as well. So the first thing I want us to see is that the church prayed and they sent. Now, the book of acts is basically 1 big missionary biography.

It's a catalog of stories about mission It begins in acts chapter 1 with these famous words where Jesus says to his disciples, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. So the mission is to make disciples in the world and the instrument or the vehicle for that mission will be the followers of Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit. He will not do it apart from them. He will use them. And therefore there are going to be many stories.

And so it's no surprise that when we turn to acts 13, and find the holy spirit calling the church. What is he calling them to do to press on with the acts 1 job. Have a look at these verses from acts 13. Now in the church at Antioch, there were prophets and teachers Barnabas, simeon called Nija, lucius of cyrene, Manayan, who had been brought up with herod the Tetraq and saul. While they were worshiping the lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, set apart for me Barnovice and saul for the work to which I have called them, which as you can see later in verse 5 is to proclaim the word of god.

So the Holy Spirit is still interested in that same mission to make disciples of the lord Jesus Christ and who will be involved It is the followers of Jesus or more specifically the church who are gonna take this mission forward. So this these are the 2 focuses that are really important throughout the book of acts. The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be taken out to the nations, but it will be done so through the church. Mission is not really about the big efforts of a few individuals. It's not really just about key movers and shakers doing it in their own strength.

Mission is a team effort. And that is why Paul was so keen to establish churches as he went round his various different locations. You notice that very clearly. He didn't just want to recruit promising individuals, individuals full of talent In order for them to just go off and do it by themselves, he wanted to establish churches. They are the seed bed for future growth.

Imagine it like the Dandelion. The dandelion is in the garden. It grows. The wind comes. The wind spreads the seed.

The seed land it grows into a new plant, same DNA, and same way of spreading. That is what we find in the book of acts. Evangilism produces the church. The church grows spreads the seed and more churches are born. That is the history of the church of Antioch here in act 13.

It is full of people with amazing stories, which we don't have time to revisit here. But what we see is that this church created by the spirit of god through the word of god is called by the spirit of god to keep sharing the word of god. Evangilism produces churches and churches are the seed bed. For the gospel going to the nations. And look at their response in acts 13 verse 2 to 3, While they were worshiping the lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, set apart for me, barnabas and saul for the work to which I have caught them.

So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. In other words, they were devoted to the lord in this task. Before they sent their missionaries out to the world, they prayed. And that was not because prayer is some kind of magic formula, and it wasn't just a formality In acts 1, the mission was impossible. A small group of trembling believers have gotta go into the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.

It is mission impossible. In acts 13, just 2 workers, Paul and barnabas, being sent off into a hostile world. It is mission impossible, and so they must pray. And that is why at various points throughout the summer, before the summer, as we've been approaching our summer mission trips on prayer mates, and in prayer meetings and in services before we sent, we have prayed for these various trips and camps and people. Again, it is not just a formality, not just something we feel we ought to do, praying for mission comes from a realistic view.

It comes from a realistic view of ourselves, We are sinful. We are weak. We are cowardly. We need god's help. And so we must pray.

It comes from a realistic view of the mission. Just as it was in acts, it is still impossible what we're going to do, isn't it? We preach for resurrection to see dead people made alive in Jesus Christ. To see sins forgiven in his name, to see people saved from satan's bondage and chains and to come into the glory of the kingdom of the son that god loves. So if we have a realistic understanding of ourselves, and of the mission and of the world that we're in prayer is what follows.

And that is the model we find in the early church at Antioch, they send people out to continue with the work of proclaiming the word of god but they know that the whole sending, the whole process of sending must be saturated in prayer. And that is why every year, lord willing, we need to keep sending, and we need to keep praying with man these things are impossible, but not with god. All things are possible with god, but we must continue to pray. So that is the first part of this missionary strap line. Pre, send, go, and then in a minute, we're gonna have a think about reporting back.

So this church in Antioch that had been created by mission was called by the Holy Spirit to carry on with the same mission that the Lord Jesus had given to his disciples in acts 1 to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Now sadly, we just don't have time to look at all the incredible things that took place. On that first missionary journey, but as I said at the beginning, if you would like to know more, you can catch up with those sermons online. But we are going to go now right to the very end of that first missionary journey and to the moment when Paul and Barnnebus begin their return trip visiting the churches and the disciples that they had got to know in their travels. And the reason that they did that is because Paul had something very important to do as he returned to these churches, a very important ministry to undertake.

And so if you have a look on the screen, you will see acts 14 verse 22. This is the second point. We're gonna return to strengthen and encourage the disciples. And it should come up hopefully here. They preach the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples and then they returned to Listra, iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the disciples.

And encouraging them to remain true to the faith. And how did Paul and Barnaba strengthen them? They did it in 3 ways. Firstly on the screen. Hopefully, they said we must go through many hardships.

To enter the kingdom of god. That was the beginning of their strengthening ministry. We must go through many hard to enter the kingdom of god. Now, when Paul stands up and gives a talk on hardships, you have to listen, don't you? He was probably covered in bruises, and cuts and scars from his recent stoning, a stoning so severe that he was left for dead.

Here is a man who knew what he was talking about when it came to suffering, and he wanted to encourage these young converts these young churches by saying not that the worst is over guys and I've borne the brunt of it for you and so I've cleared the path. The persecution is done. They vented on me and you're gonna have a clear run but be prepared through many hardships. We must enter the kingdom of god. That is how he strengthened them.

By giving them a realistic view of the future. So he didn't wanna give them this airbrush view of following Jesus. He didn't want to present them with the good side of following Christ and bury the potential sufferings deep in the terms and conditions. He was honest with them from the beginning. This would have been part of his Christianity explored course.

He wanted to do what Jesus had done with his disciples and to say that before the crown of glory will come the cross and the crown of thorns. Part of strengthening these churches was to be realistic with them about the future. But secondly, the other means of strengthening was administrative, really. We're told in verse 23 that Paul and Barnovas appointed elders for them in each church and with prayer and fasting committed them to the lord in whom they had put their trust. They appointed elders in every church.

And that is a vital appointment for all kinds of reasons. These young churches needed leaders. They needed elders who could keep watch over them who could shelter them from incoming false teachers who could nourish them with the pure word of god but also so that the elders could keep them focused on the mission. You see, if the church is the seedbed of mission, it needs to have a direction and a leadership that knows that. 1 of the reasons churches need elders and leaders today is so that we can together stay focused.

On what Jesus has called us to do to take the gospel to the nations. He was realistic with them about the future, He appointed elders for them to keep them on task, but thirdly, in verse 26, there's a third way in which he strengthens these churches. Have a look on the screen with me at verse 26. From Italian, they sailed back to Antioch where they had been committed to the grace of god for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that god had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles, and they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

So this is still part of the return trip which is all about strengthening them. And alongside being realistic about the future and appointing elders, He strengthens the churches by sharing stories with them of god's grace on the Mission Field. That was how they were strengthened. And remember it must have been wonderful then because they had prayed for this mission. They had sacrificially sent them out with prayer and fasting, and so how encouraging it must have been for them to hear all these stories of god's grace.

I imagine Paul and Barnnebus were spilling over each other finishing each other's sentences, trying to recount all that god had been doing, telling them about that beggar, He'd been a cripple from birth, but the lord Jesus had come in power to heal him. And don't forget barnabas, that magician on Cyprus, that false teacher who went blind under the judgment of god so that the gospel could be shared on that island. Amazing stories, amazing stories of what god had done in answer to their prayers. And in the end, that is what Christians want to hear in a reporting back session, isn't it? What route did you take?

That's interesting. It's interesting to know that. How were your flights? Yep. We want to know that.

What was your, accommodation like? It was okay. It was not bad. But the really exciting thing for the people of God who have been praying for these missionaries is to hear what Jesus has done in the hearts and lives of people for his own glory. And that brings us again back to the point of this service.

The Bible tells us that as we hear stories of god's work, on the Mission Field, it is not only nice to hear that. It actually has a strengthening effect upon the church. It actually inspires us to think about what we could do to be part of a great mission which Christ has called us do. It has this strengthening, inspiring, fortifying effect on us. As we listen to the stories of God's grace.

So that is what we are going to do in just a moment, but first, we're gonna sing again. We're going to sing about the day when the lord Jesus Christ is coming again. And the only reason that that day hasn't come yet is because Jesus is waiting to gather in the full number of his people. So as we sing about the day to come, we are encouraged to keep going with this mission. Let's stand and sing.

So I hope you are persuaded now not only from your own experience, but from the Bible that this cycle of praying, sending, going, and reporting back is a very helpful and encouraging thing for the church to do. And, so now we're gonna spend some time hearing about the things that have been taking place over the summer, and, hasn't god been very good to us, in all the opportunities that he has given. Here is a map of some of the overseas missions that were being done, we had firstly, we had Belarus and Zambia. We'll come to those, but we also had a, a USA, trip in Minnesota and, kayak. Hire Broushawa went out to do that, didn't she?

So we had a mission out in Minnesota and, then we also had these 2 more regular ones that we've been doing Belarus and Zambia. And, we're going to think first about Belarus and the trip there. I've got a few pictures of Facebook from the team who went out. There they are. This is them at the airport in in Minsk.

So we had Dean and Chris Chris looking knackered there already. That's day 1, isn't it? Of the trip. We had Anne and Chris, Finn, Grace Hannah, and, Pete there who went out to Belarus and Rory joined them, just a few days few days later, didn't you didn't you, Rory. And, in order to hear about that, we are going to have 2 members of that team come up and share with us about the trip and about their experiences.

So grace Lee, if you are here and Hannah Dia, if you would both like to come up, we're going to hear from you 2, and, I've got a microphone here, which I, which I trust will still be working. Come on up. Okay. We're going to, move on now and think about some of the camp and missions that took place here in the UK. And, hopefully now this is working, you you might be able to see from this map that I produced.

Is that able to come up? This map, there was loads of things that people were doing, all over the country, mainly in the south and the center. And, the exciting irritation about this morning is that we don't have time, to cover all of them. But Safron was on beach mission in Bournemouth. Anna was helping at, was it an ultimate activity Camp is it called ultimate activity?

What's it called? The maze was at the maze camp in North Hamptonshire, though, in North Hampton. Multi activity in North Hampton. Abby Kimberley was probably helping at the best named camp, Madness and mayhem. In, in Darby.

Desbell and Steph Moreley were at 4 mark 1. Jackie went to Willhampton 1. There was an outreach club for disadvantaged kids in Liverpool, which Caitlin was helping at. Ben and Kerry Reed are here and were back presumably yesterday. Wednesday.

Okay. I thought it was a whole week. Isn't it? Saturday. Saturday, Wednesday, half a week.

And they were at, an ignite camp on the south coast and then we had 3 contagious camps that we were involved with contagious east, and contagious central, and contagious west. And as contagious is 1 of the big ones that we support, we're going to hear a bit about that in a moment. But first, we've got another video, to show us something of what took place at contagious contagious east. So we've heard just just a little bit, really, just a snapshot of, some of the things that, the members of the church were involved with over the summer, and some of the great, glorious things that our lord Jesus has been doing through these mission trips. And, it might be that you're sat here and you're thinking I would love to be part of something like that.

I think I could be I could be used. I hope you've seen that it's not just for experienced, people who've been around a long time. All kinds of people can get involved with these trips. And if you would like to work out or think about how you could do that, then do come and do come and see me. But, of course, as we've seen in today, today's message from the book of acts, mission is not just for summer holidays, and it is not just for a few people.

It is for all of us. The Holy Spirit calls all of his people through his word to be involved in the work of reaching the nations for Christ. And September is a good time really for all of us as Cornerstone Church, to, think about this acts 1 mission. Here we are. This is a picture from our away day, and, it is good for us to focus on this mission that god has given us.

Now, 1 of the things that we have done in the past in these kind of services is commission certain groups of people for another year and to pray for their gospel witness. So we've done it with students in the past. But this morning, we're going to pray for our youth work. For our soul and for our rooted leaders and for the young people who attend those groups because the truth is we're on the cusp of, term time, the young people are gonna be going back to their schools and colleges soon, and they are tough mission fields. Our young people are at the sharp end of the culture in many ways, facing pressures to move away from the Bible teaching on all kinds of different issues, and they need our prayers as they try to live for Jesus at their schools.

And we also want to pray for their leaders who sacrifice their time each week Friday, Sunday, 1 to 1 small groups to teach our young people the Bible in order that they might be equipped to live for Jesus. In their mission field. So we need to praise god for our leaders as well. And so what we're gonna do is invite the soul and rooted young people and their leaders up to the front and, if they would like to come now. And, can I also ask Phil Cooper and Dave Glenn to come up here and to pray for them?

No time to introduce you to all of them. But it's great. Praise God, for, the young people here and for their leaders. And, we want to pray for them and just commission them, really, into a fresh year, to serve the lord Jesus Christ and to commission our leaders in this great work that God has given them. So can I also encourage you please to, have a look at this Camry pie magazine?

This is on your share, and, do take these away with you because this is actually a special edition in many ways. It details a number of the different activities but take place throughout the week and, all of these activities are designed not only to get to know and to engage our community but to be able to share something of the great news of the lord Jesus Christ. And can I suggest that if you are a regular here, You not only take and read this, but use this as a basis for your prayers for the next couple of weeks? Each day, you could begin with a bible reading and then you could turn to 1 of the different activities, read about it, and pray that god would be pleased to use it in order to bring people to himself. If you're struggling freshness in your own devotional times, that would be a great thing to do to read and pray through that, through that, through that book club.

Father, we thank you so much for this morning. We thank you for the way you have encouraged us through your words. And we thank you for the way you've encouraged us as we have heard stories of your faithfulness across the summer. We pray that by the power of your holy spirit, you might give us grace and that you might help us as a church to arise and to press on with this great mission to which you have called us. To make Christ famous, both here in Kingston in London and indeed the world.

Help us in his name, we pray, amen.

Preached by Tom Sweatman
Tom Sweatman photo

Tom is an Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone and lives in Kingston with his wife Laura and their two children.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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