This is part 1 of a 4 part study in which we address two questions.

1. Why are we here?

·       Why did God establish Jubilee Community Church?

·       What is our purpose and direction?

2. Why am I here?

·       Why did God lead you to this church?

·       What is His purpose for you here?

Our 4-Part study is taken from Jesus’ words which are recorded in Matthew chapter 11.

Matthew 11

28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

“Come to me…”

1. Why are we here? Why did God establish JubileeCommunityChurch? What is our purpose and direction?

Jubilee was created by God because there are lost people in the world who need to be touched by God’s love and grace.

Here is our second question.

2. Why am I here?

·       Why did God lead you to this church?

·       What is His purpose for you here?

God has led you here because there are lost people in the world who need to be touched by God’s love and grace.

The Bible tells us that God is greatly concerned about people who don’t know Him. We are told that God has a genuine love for mankind.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

We know that the Lord is going to return, and there are times when we wish He would hurry. This world is a mess, and we want the Lord to get us out of it. Peter explains to us that there is a reason He hasn’t returned yet.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

It is not just a matter of God wanting people to repent. He wants to bring them into His family.

1 John 3:1-2 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

God desires everyone to be a part of His family, and He has a plan to make that happen.

There is a fictional story of a conversation between Jesus and Gabriel which is which takes place after Jesus returns to heaven.

After Jesus ascended to heaven, the angel Gabriel approached Him and said, "Master, you must have suffered terribly for men down there."

"I did," He said.

"And," continued Gabriel, "do they know all about how you loved them and what you did for them?"

"Oh, no," said Jesus, "not yet.  Right now only a handful of people know."

Gabriel was perplexed.  "Then what have you done, to let everyone know about your love for them?"

Jesus said, "I've asked Peter, James, John, and a few more friends to tell other people about Me. Those who are told will in turn tell still other people about Me, and My story will be spread to the farthest reaches of the globe.  Ultimately, all of mankind will have heard about My life and what I have done."

Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical.  He knew well what poor stuff men were made of.  "But what if Peter and James and John grow weary?  What if the people who come after them forget?  What if way down in the twentieth century, people just don't tell others about you?  Haven't you made any other plans?" And Jesus answered, "I haven't made any other plans.  I'm counting on them."

God has a plan for reaching into the lives of others, and it is important for us to understand the process. Paul explains the process to us in 1 Corinthians 3.

1 Corinthians 3

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Paul uses the process of farming to describe what happens in a life that experiences change. There is a process similar to cultivation, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. God uses different people at different times to do different things. Jesus explained that it was a team effort.

John 3

35 Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 

36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 

37 For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 

38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."

This is not a process that God has just called a few people to be involved in.

God has called you to participate.

Where do we start?

1. Pray

·       To be used

I love the account of the call of Isaiah, He sees the throne of God, listen to how he responds.

Isaiah 6

5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged."

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

Asking God to use you is saying to Him, “Here am I! Send me!”

·       Heart preparation

We need God to do the ground work, to go before us, preparing people internally for what you will speak to them. We need God to always go before us like He did for the Israelites.

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

We need the Holy Spirit to prepare the heart.

·       Wisdom

We need to know the words the Lord wants us to speak, because it varies.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…

2. Look for opportunities

Because ministry is not limited to what happens within the four walls of the church, we always need to be ready!

·       Opportunities can happen anywhere

There is an account in John 4 which tells of Jesus going out of His way to interact with a Samaritan woman.

John 4

3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

4 But He needed to go through Samaria.

5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 

8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Jews had no dealings…but Jesus did!

·       Opportunities come when we are obedient

When Jesus sent His disciples out, He said, Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

That is exactly what they did, look at Acts 8

Acts 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

·       Look for the doors that God opens

When Paul was writing to the Corinthians, he spoke of the open door he had in Ephesus

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Jesus promised us that He would be the door opener.

Revelation 3:8 I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it

3. Trust in the supernatural work of God

We are not part of a manmade kingdom. The church is not just a service club or a social organization. We are part of the Kingdom of God, that makes us incredibly unique because God works supernaturally here.

·       The Holy Spirit works

He is the One who brings conviction to those who are lost.

John 16:8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”

·       God confirms the word

As the word is preached, God puts His seal of approval on it by confirming it with signs.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.

·       God opens the hearts

Listen to the way God worked with Paul when he entered Thyatira.

Acts 16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia  heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

1. Pray

2. Look for opportunities

3. Trust in the supernatural work of God

Remember our second question?

Why am I here?

The answer:

God has led you here because there are lost people in the world who need to be touched by God’s love and grace.

I want to give you a tool that will help you fulfill that purpose of God.

I want you to take one of these hands, and on each of the fingers I want you to write a name. This could be the name of a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor, a relative, someone who doesn’t know the Lord, but you are going to pray for them every chance you get. The wonderful thing about this is that in just a couple of days you are going to have this prayer list with you all the time. When you look at your thumb, you are going to remember that person. As we continue to pray for these we will be able to put the fingers of our hands down as those people come to know the Lord.