Tag: antioch waco

The Time Is Now

As I look back on 30 years of ministry, I’m overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God to answer our prayer that He would give us marvelous comrades that fear His name. He has exceeded our wildest dreams by bringing each of you into our midst.

Last fall, I began a journey with our local leaders at Antioch Waco and leaders across the Antioch Movement to seek what God has for us in 2019. After coming together, we all walked away with a deep sense of urgency.

We believe THE TIME IS NOW. This is the word of the Lord to us as the Antioch family for 2019.

Now is the time to return to our first love. Now is the time to humble ourselves with prayer and fasting. Now is the time for the restoration of broken families and marriages. Now is the time for radical discipleship and church planting. Now is the time for you to engage, be activated and live on mission.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” -Ephesians 5:15-16

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to share more about what God is speaking to us in this season. I wanted to take a moment to highlight the key elements of what we believe God is speaking to us for the year. Please take some time to watch the Five Circles of Church and The Time is Now from the past two weeks. I also encourage those of you who were unable to attend the church-wide Vision Night on Sunday to watch Lead Pastor Carl Gulley’s admonition to practically live out this calling in 2019.

In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because the people “did not recognize the time of [their] visitation.” I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is giving us a window of time to turn to Him so that we will not miss the day of OUR visitation here locally, as a movement and as a nation.

We are called to be a people like those in the Book of Acts. I believe God has deposited a few core elements to anchor our hearts with His so that we would not miss His visitation in these days as we make a way for others to enter into His grace.

Apostolic Vision of Jesus //We are called to be an apostolic people who have an apostolic vision of Jesus. He has given us an invitation to step into to the Throne Room. He’s awaiting our response in this hour. Hebrews 10:19-23 assures us that by the blood of Jesus, the way has been made and the door is open for us to not only access, but to live in His presence.

Apostolic Lifestyle //Romans 13:11-13 warns that in the time of His visitation, we are called to lay aside the things of the world that we may lay hold of Him and make a way for others. Friends, “the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life” and “the way is broad that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14). Our commitment to the apostolic lifestyle can have an eternal impact on the lives of those around us.

Apostolic Mission //The world is living as sheep without a shepherd. Our world is unraveling and removing the foundations of Judeo-Christian values from every fabric of society. However, Jesus says in John 4:35-38 “…lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest…For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored…”.

Friends, THE TIME IS NOW. The time is NOW to return to Jesus and His throne in simplicity and purity of devotion. I look forward to all that God has for us in 2019 as we fully step into the calling of the Antioch family in this time.

Jimmy Seibert
Senior Pastor

5 Circles of Church

“Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18b

The Body of Christ. The fullness of Christ. The army of God. The pillar and support of truth. The hope of the world. This is the Church.

This morning Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert reminded us of who we are called to be as the Church, and talked through the five circles of Church.

JESUS IS THE LEADER OF THE CHURCH.

We want to live completely surrendered to Jesus and with a passion for His purposes. When we are all God has called us to be, the world sees Jesus. But first, we need to be anchored to Jesus and to His people. If we are anchored deep, we are able to extend wide and reach those that God has called us to.

WHAT ARE THE FIVE CIRCLES OF CHURCH?

1.ME AND JESUS // As the Church, we want to be committed and surrendered to Jesus. Being alone with Jesus through daily devotionals, we become more like Him. We can’t get our relationship with Jesus from someone else, it’s on us to meet with Him daily.

2.TWO – THREE GATHERED // Jesus says where two or three are gathered, there He is also (Matthew 18:20). We all need two or three people in our lives that really know the ins and outs of our life. This is discipleship. We are called to both be disciples and to make disciples. Jesus uses discipleship to multiply the Kingdom through His people.

3.HOUSE TO HOUSE // Acts 2:42-27)This is Lifegroup, the house to house gatherings where we share meals, pray with one another, share resources and live missionally. As we meet house to house and see the Church that Jesus promised come alive, and we can’t help but invite others into it.

4.CHURCH GATHERED // There is something special about the whole Church gathering together. It is a place of passionate worship, a place to celebrate and declare freedom, a place for the believers to be equipped and encouraged, a place where we contend and pray for one another and a place for the broken and hurting to find home.

5.IMAPCT THE WORLD // As the Church, we are called to impact the world through every location and vocation. When we are living out the other four circles, and are anchored in Jesus and His people, we have the power to live out the mission God has set before us. It is through the Church that we are empowered to express the glory of God on the earth.

JESUS NEEDS HIS BODY TO BE AWAKE AND ALIVE.

We are the Church. With Jesus, we are the hope of the world.

Live Courageously

This morning Impact Waco director Susan Peters shared on living courageously in the midst of transition. As we prepare to transition into a new year, we have to let let go of some things in order to embrace all that is ahead. We spent most of our morning in Joshua 1:1-9; where we find Joshua stepping into transition after the death of Moses.

“BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS…”

Throughout the passage, God calls Joshua to be strong and courageous. He calls us to the very same thing. God knows we are prone to fear, and in His kindness, He encourages us and tells us not to fear.

As we transition and step into a new season, we need to process the loss of what we are transitioning from. Otherwise, we will step into the new season with fear and discouragement instead of expectancy.

IMPERFECTIONS, INTERCESSION AND INTIMACY.

Knowing that we are called to courageously step into the next season, we talked about the three I’s that will help us transition well.

  1. Imperfections // God knows our weaknesses, but they don’t cause God to pull away from us. Even with our weaknesses, God calls us up and places divine purpose within us. When we allow the enemy to amplify our imperfections, it eventually destroys us. God calls us to minimize the inner-critic so we can walk out triumphantly. Moses didn’t let his imperfections hold him back from God’s calling. Instead, he embraced humility. Humility is acknowledging our weakness, but having confidence in the God who strengthens us. Humility is not allowing ourselves to believe that we are less than. In this transition season, God is calling us to shake off the voice of our inner critic and embrace humility.
  2. Intercession // Intercession is simply praying, setting aside time to meet with God and talk with Him like a friend. Even in busyness, Moses set aside time everyday to pray and meet with God. He prayed fervently because he was confident that God would answer his prayers. What would our prayer lives look like if we believed God would actually answer us. When we fervently pray and contend for things, we can be confident that our intercession will lead to provision and miracles. This year, let’s lay aside fear and pray with courage and confidence.
  3. Intimacy // Joshua did not depend on Moses’ connection with God, he wanted his own connection with God. God is inviting us to press in and believe for more. We won’t know the new promises God has for us unless we set aside time to meet with Him and create space for Him to speak. We are not only called to intimacy with God, but also with other people. We need people around us in both victory and defeat. When we lay down our distancing maneuvers and press in, we step into deeper intimacy.

CHANGE DOES NOT EQUAL SUBTRACTION.

Stepping into something new can feel scary. It’s easy to believe that things won’t get better. But God is calling us into so much more! In Him, there is always opportunity for increase. When God asks us to let go, it’s because He wants us to embrace all that is ahead. So, as we get ready to enter 2019, let’s enter with expectancy and confidence that God has even more good in store for us!

IN RESPONSE //

  1. Imperfections: Ask God to speak fresh identity over you in this season, and allow His words to speak louder than that inner-critic.
  2. Intercession: Let’s commit to praying with confidence and faith! Ask God for one area that you can deeper pray into, and begin interceding in that place.
  3. Intimacy: What does courageous intimacy with God and others look like for you this year? Maybe it’s setting your alarm for a half our earlier so you can spend time with God every morning, or maybe it looks like committing to a Lifegroup. Ask God where He is calling you to press in this year.

The Gifts We Give // Part Four –
The Gift of A Sign

This week Vincent Carpenter concluded our series, The Gifts We Give, with a message on the gift of a sign. Just as God gave the Wise Men the star as a sign that led them to Jesus, God gives us signs to lead us. At times, the signs may seem hard to discern, but we can be confident that God is kind and desires to lead us into greater life.

Throughout our morning, we talked about things that keep us from seeing the signs God is giving us and how we can discern where God is leading us.

HOW CAN WE MISS A SIGN?

If we aren’t looking for something, it is likely that we’ll miss it. The distractions of life can keep us from all God has for us. Life at times can seem discouraging, but in His kindness, God encourages us to seek Him. If we are faithful to seek God, He will reveal Himself to us.

GOD DOESN’T JUST WANT US, HE WANTS US TO WANT HIM.

If a sign feels difficult to read, it is an invitation to pursue God. In our pursuit of God, we find so much more than direction. We also find joy, peace and love, even when our journey feels difficult.

Our own flesh and desires can also keep us from seeing what God is trying to reveal to us. We can be confident that God has the best for us, and we lay aside our own desires, we can pick up all He has for us. If we miss a sign, God is gracious and faithful to bring us back.

WHEN WE ABIDE, WE GIVE GOD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVEAL HIMSELF.

God isn’t trying to make things difficult for us, He just wants us. When we abide in Him and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we’ll understand what God is trying to show us.

HOW DO WE DISCERN SIGNS?

Sometimes what we should do next or what God is speaking can seem so unclear. That is why God calls us to walk in community. God uses His people to help us discern the signs He is giving us. He also uses us to be a sign to others. God can also use the things that cause our heart concern as a sign. If we feel unsettled about something, it is likely that God is trying to show us something in that situation.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Abide: Rather than focusing on what God is trying to tell you, focus on abiding in Him. As we abide in Jesus, we create space for the Holy Spirit to lead us. Take a look at this message Vincent shared earlier this year on abiding.
  • Ask God if there is any distractions that are holding you back. Be intentional about setting those things aside, and making space for God to reveal Himself even more to you.

 

The Gifts We Give //
Part Three – The Gift of Humanity

During the holidays many of us feel lonely, isolated or rejected. But we all want to be loved, honored and valued. That is part of our humanity. Today adult pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our series, The Gifts We Give, with a powerful call to reclaim our humanity through Jesus, and in turn, give it to others.

OUR HUMANITY IS A GIFT FROM GOD, NOT A PRODUCT OF SOCIETY.

God created mankind, and He is the originator of our humanity. When sin entered into the world, our humanity was distorted. Our distorted view of humanity can lead us to try to find our ourselves outside of God, which ultimately leads to hurting others in order to find self. God sent Jesus to restore mankind to Himself and reestablish a right understanding of humanity. In Christ, we are not only loved, honored and valued, we are also included in the family of God. We have a newfound identity as sons and daughters of God.

WE UNDERSTAND OUR OWN HUMANITY THROUGH THE GLORY OF GOD.

In Luke 2, the shepherds got a divine visitation that frightens them and awakens them to their part in God’s bigger plan. As some of the most lonely, isolated and rejected people in the world, God chose to reveal His glory to the shepherds as a way to show us that even the lowest among us are invited in. After the shepherds were invited into God’s bigger plan, they shared all that they had seen and heard with others, and “all who heard it were amazed” (Luke 2:17-18). In order to share the humanity they had been given, they first had to receive it through the glory of God.

HUMANITY LEADS US TO THE PEACE OF GOD.

Peace is not a state of mind. We can all be deceived into believing that we can find peace in economic status, achievements, relationships or power, but this is a false peace. Peace is a person, and Jesus wants us to experience the kind of peace that the world cannot give or take away. Jesus gives us peace, but we maintain peace by making peace with others. Our true humanity is our ability to accept the peace and favor of God, and turn and give it to someone else.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Start your day by declaring your restored humanity in Christ. Open up your hands to the Lord as a sign of submission as you declare, “In Christ I have peace with God. In Christ I have peace with others.”
  • Christ gave us the gift of humanity and empowers us to give it to others so that we can walk in His peace. Pray for those in your life that you need to extend peace to.
  • Make space in your life to invite others to share their part in God’s bigger plan with you.

The Gifts We Give //
Part Two – The Gift of Praise

Praise: to glorify, to worship and to value

This week college pastor Luke Whyte continued our series, The Gifts We Give, with a message on the gift of praise. The songs we sing typically end up becoming the soundtrack of our lives. We have a tendency to match our music to our mood, but what if we shifted things? Let’s let praise resound regardless of how we feel because ultimately praise brings the power of God in our lives.

THE MUSIC OF OUR LIFE MAGNIFIES WHAT WE GLORIFY.

Throughout our morning, we took a look at Mary’s response when her life didn’t play out as planned. Mary had reason to be moody and fearful, but instead of allowing her circumstances to define her response, she clung to faith. Take a look at her response in Luke 1:46-56.

MARY PAVED A PATHWAY OF PRAISE TO ENSURE SHE WOULD LAND IN A PLACE OF VICTORY.

Mary declared the goodness of God instead of complaining about her problems. When we magnify our problems, they tend to become a lot bigger than they actually are. Really, the promises of God are way bigger than our problems. When we choose praise, we magnify God and His promises instead of our circumstances.

THE CHORUS’ WE CONSUME BECOME THE SONGS WE SING.

We won’t find freedom from fear if we focus on the thing that is causing us to have fear. We won’t find contentment by complaining. When we turn our focus from our circumstances to God, we position ourselves to consume the goodness of God.

THE SONGS WE SING ARE CONTAGIOUS.

The songs that we sing not only get stuck in our heads, but they also get stuck in other peoples’ heads. Our demeanor plays into the lives of those around us. If we sit in our anxiety and continually complain, the people around us will do the same. When we allow praise to be our anthem, we make a way for others to also sing a new song.

THREE POINTS OF PRAISE //

1.Praise is not about emotion, it’s about sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15-16) // We may not always feel like worshiping, but we can’t let our emotions dictate our actions. We have to allow our praise to shift our mood.

2.Praise is a pathway to His presence (Psalm 100:4) // Dwelling on our problems does not lead to a move of God. Praise leads to a move of God.

3.Praise lifts us up out of the pit, and puts our feet upon a rock (Psalm 40:1-3) // We need to stop singing our old songs, and start declaring a new song. When we stop proclaiming our problems and start praising our promises, we allow our praise to lead us into the presence of God.

The Gifts We Give // Part One – The Gift of Silence

On Sunday adult pastor Vincent Carpenter kicked off our Christmas series, The Gifts We Give. Throughout the Christmas season, we will be unpacking various gifts that lead us to celebrating the ultimate gift of Jesus. The season is more than the material gifts we give one another.

IT IS A SEASON OF ABUNDANT JOY.

This morning we took a look at Zechariah and the unexpected gift he was given. Zechariah was promised a child, but because of life circumstances he had doubt. In his disbelief, God made him silent until he saw the promise of God come to pass.

SILENCE WAS GOD’S GIFT TO ZECHARIAH.

We all find ourselves in a season of silence. It’s those seasons of waiting for a promise to be fulfilled or for problems to be resolved. It’s those seasons when we sit down to spend time with God, but feel like we just can’t connect. Silence typically feels like anything but a gift.

SILENCE LEADS TO LISTENING, LEARNING AND LOOKING.

  • Listening // The season of silence is an invitation to lean in and listen. God longs to speak to us, but sometimes we just need to lean in, ask and wait for Him to respond.
  • Learning // Silence is never a punishment, but an opportunity to learn things about God that our life circumstances could never teach us.
  • Looking // The worst thing we can do in the silence is look at ourselves. Many times we put the focus on ourselves, and God is asking us to look outside ourselves and look at Him.

SILENCE ULTIMATELY LEADS TO BREAKTHROUGH.

The silence will not last forever. And in the midst of the silence, we can still declare what God has done and what He will do. Our declaration in the physical will ultimately lead to breakthrough in the spiritual.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Start your day off with thankfulness! When you sit down to spend time with God in the morning, start by writing down a few things your thankful for.
  • This morning we talked about the story of Zechariah. Throughout your week read the full story in Luke 1, and find out how Zechariah learned to listen, learn and look.
  • Take time to declare the goodness of God. Even if we are in the middle of silence, we can declare what God has done and what He has promised to do.

Stand Amazed

On Sunday Adult Pastor Weston Nichols shared a message on incredible pain being turned into incredible hope because of Jesus. The holiday season tends to magnify our pain more than any other time of the year. Regardless of what this season holds, the truth is that our painful circumstances tend to fall to the side when we set our gaze on Jesus.

Throughout our morning, we talked about Job and David. Both men had deep, scarring pain in their lives, but they found hope when they leaned into Jesus. David was in pain because of choices he made. Job’s pain was just a result of living in a broken world. The pain he was in was not his fault. It can be easy to believe that good living leads to blessing. But Job’s pain was not punishment, it was actually a promotion.

OUR BROKENNESS IS A PLATFORM FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED.

Whether we feel like we relate to David or Job, the reality is, we all find ourselves in pain and in need of hope. Job and David both found hope when they realized the goodness of God, and they got there through worship. They didn’t find peace with God because their circumstances were resolved, they found peace because they set their eyes on their redeemer. Anyone can worship when everything is going right, but it becomes real when we worship through trials and pain.

IF WE WAIT FOR RESOLVE TO WORSHIP, WE’LL BE WAITING FOREVER.

The purpose of our life is not self-fulfillment. The purpose of our life is to glorify God. When we worship regardless of how we feel, we give God glory because the goodness of God is not defined by our circumstances.

IN RESPONSE//

    • If you are going through pain, God wants to be your greatest comfort. Give Him all of your emotion and your pain, He wants to be there for you.
    • As you gather with friends and family this season, ask the question, “what is something you love about Jesus?” The atmosphere shifts and everything else fades away when we talk about the goodness of God.

Giving

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

This week Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert shared a message on giving. We don’t give out of compulsion, we give because God wants to set us free in the area of finances. We need the hand of God in the middle of things. When we hold on to resources that are ultimately God’s and not ours, we invite the enemy to create chaos in our lives.

HOW DO WE GIVE?

  1. We give consistently // Proverbs 3:9 tells us to honor the Lord with our finances and give Him our first fruits. We give consistently through tithing; meaning we give our first 10 percent to the Lord by supporting the local church. When we give the best first, we are trusting that God will bless the rest. Tithing is our consistent base for provision.
  2. We give above and beyond // We want to be a part of what God is doing in the world around us, and we can do that through offerings. Consider partnering with an overseas missionary or a local non-profit. When we give consistently through offerings, we get to be a part of the inheritance in the nations.
  3. We give spontaneously // This is the fun part! We don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part of the joy of giving. Without the discipline of consistency, we can’t have the spontaneity. When we submit our finances to the Lord, we can trust that He will provide for our needs and the needs of others. God doesn’t just want us to be blessed, He also wants us to be a blessing.

IF YOU’RE BORED WITH THE KINGDOM, IT’S BECAUSE YOU AREN’T ACTIVE IN THE KINGDOM.

Choosing to give is choosing to be a part of what God is doing. It is also choosing to trust God with all that we have. When we give what we have, we can trust that God will multiply it and provide above and beyond.

IN RESPONSE //

For the next six months, we want to take on the challenge of giving consistently, giving above and giving spontaneously.

  1. Tithe // Choose a local church to partner with, and commit to giving your first 10 percent to that church. It can be Antioch, or it can be another church in our city. Whatever you choose, trust that when you give your best first, the other 90 percent will be blessed. If you would like to partner with Antioch, you can do so here.
  2. Offerings // Pray and ask God for a missionary or an organization that you can partner with for the next six months.
  3. Give spontaneously // Ask the Holy Spirit how you can be a part of blessing someone else.

Trust God with your resources because He will always give you a hundred fold return.

Turn Your Ears On //
Part Two

“Oh how I love Your law, it is my meditation all the day.” – Psalm 119:97

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley continued our series, Turn Your Ears On. Throughout our series we are learning more about what it means to hear God and how we can respond. This week we talked about hearing God through the Bible. The Bible is the very written voice of God.

THE MOST PREDICTABLE WAY TO HEAR GOD IS TO READ, MEMORIZE AND APPLY THE WRITTEN VOICE OF GOD.

When we meditate on Scripture and memorize His word, we find intimacy with Jesus. Knowing the Bible is not about being a model christian, it is about knowing God.

GOD DOESN’T SPEAK ONLY  THROUGH HIS WORD, BUT HE’LL NEVER SPEAK CONTRARY TO HIS WORD.

When we are trying to discern what God is speaking, the Bible should be our filter. God will never tell us something that goes against His words. When we store up the Words of God in our heart, we give God vocabulary to speak to us.

God wants to speak to us. He wants to show us His ways and give us direction. We go to the Bible because the ways of God are greater than our own. God doesn’t expect us to make decisions on our own, He wants to be in the process with us because He knows what is best.

We also need the words of God engraved on our hearts in order to combat the lies of the enemy. When we have truth within us, the lies stand no chance.

IN RESPONSE //

This week, we want to focus on spending time reading the words of God.

  1. Read // Take a passage of Scripture to read and meditate on this week
  2. Memorize // Intentionally memorize that passage and let the words sink in
  3. Apply // When reading a passage of Scripture, take time to ask God these questions –
    1. How does this passage apply to my life?
    2. How can I respond?