Tag: carl gulley

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?

Turn Your Ears On // Part One

“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the wind words, the Spirit blowing through the churches…” Revelation 2:17 (MSG)

On Sunday Lead Pastor Carl Gulley kicked off our new series, Turn Your Ears On. Over the course of the next three weeks, we are going to be unpacking the importance of hearing and responding to the voice of God.

THE VOICE OF GOD SPARKS HUNGER INSIDE OF US.

Relationship with God is not meant to look like a monologue, but an ongoing dialogue. He longs to speak to us, to give us direction, affirmation and so much more. We find deeper intimacy with Jesus when we pause and allow Him to speak.

The thought of hearing God can sometimes seem confusing. We may think that we’ll hear the audible voice of God booming from within the clouds, but often, it is much more simple than that. When we hear from God, we typically have a thought that comes into our mind and it brings a sense of peace or causes us to pause and meditate on something. Basically, if it aligns with the Word of God, we can trust that it is the from God.

GOD HONORS OUR FAITH.

When we are learning to hear God, we don’t have to live in fear of getting it wrong. As long as we are using the Word of God as our filter, we can step out in faith and obedience.

Throughout our morning, we took a look at Samuel 3. In this passage, Samuel is being called by God, and his response is, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.” Samuel eagerly responds with a heart postured to receive.

IF YOU WANT TO HEAR GOD, YOU HAVE TO START WITH SURRENDER.

God longs to speak to us, and we can be confident that what He has for us is good. So, we shouldn’t start by asking God to tell us what we want to hear. Instead, we should have the same response as Samuel, and ask God to speak whatever He wants. Because of who God is, we can trust that what He wants to say is way better than anything we can come up with.

Our understanding of the character of God determines what we hear from God. If we see God as our loving, kind and generous Father, we will eagerly wait and ask for Him to speak to us. If we see God as judgmental, annoyed or harsh, we will approach God with fear and hesitation.

Throughout our series, we will be talking about how we hear God’s voice. This week, we encourage you to ask God to speak. This may be a new concept, but hearing God for yourself really is a game changer. This week, start by asking God the question, “What do you think of me?” Wait for Him to speak and write down His responses, using the Word of God as your filter.

FOUR PRACTICAL STEPS FOR HEARING AND RESPONDING TO THE VOICE OF GOD:

  1. Wait: Be still before God
  2. Write: Steward what you hear
  3. Pray: Take what you hear back to God
  4. Obey: Quickly obey and respond to the voice of God

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

 

The Fear of the Lord is… // Part Two

This morning Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert continued our series, The Fear of the Lord is…, with a message on the blessings we receive when we fear God. Fearing God is different than the human fear we typically think of. Human fear causes us to pull away, while Godly fears causes us to lean in because we don’t want to be away from God.

Like we talked about last week, the fear of the Lord is living in awe, respect and love for God so that we joyfully obey Him in all things. While we need the fear of God, we also need the love of God. The love of God is His mercy, kindness and grace toward us as undeserving people. The fear of God is His protection, boundaries and covering.

WE NEED THE PURSUIT, COMPASSION AND GRACE OF GOD PARTNERED WITH HIS PROTECTION, BOUNDARY AND LEADERSHIP.

If we focus heavily on the love of God and disregard the fear of God, or vice versa, we will get off track. We need a balance of God’s love and of reverence and awe for Him.

EVERY ASPECT OF GOD’S CHARACTER IS FOR OUR GOOD.

Acknowledging the awesomeness of God is ultimately for our good. When we put God in His rightful place, we are blessed.

TAKE A LOOK AT FIVE BLESSINGS WE RECEIVE WHEN WE WALK OUT WITH A RIGHTEOUS FEAR OF GOD //

  1. Survival (Deuteronomy 6:24)// Out of His mercy and kindness God gives us boundaries. He isn’t trying to control us, He is actually trying to keep us away from destruction.
  2. Free from Sin (Proverbs 16:6) // Our actions don’t determine how much God loves us, but there are consequences for our sin. God’s heart is for us to walk out free of brokenness and free from sin.When we obey His commands, we find that His ways are always best.
  3. Contentment (Psalm 34:9-10) // Scripture says that those who fear the Lord have no lack. When we seek the wisdom of God, He provides us with everything we need. There is no longer striving, but total contentment and provision.
  4. Those around us are blessed (Psalm 128:1-3) // When we are right with God, we not only bless those around us, but we also pave the way for our families in the future.
  5. Intimacy with God (Psalm 25:4) // When we submit to the ways of God and lean in, we experience deeper relationship with God. When we fear God, we understand that He is a covenant-keeping God.

The fear of the Lord is central to our freedom, and it is for our good. When we partner the fear of God with the love of God, we ultimately are blessed.

IN RESPONSE //

In order to get the balance of the love and fear of God, we need to –

  1. See God for who He says He is, and acknowledge both His grace and awesomeness.
  2. Repent of anything that is keeping us from God.
  3. Read and meditate on the Words of God
  4. Obey the next thing God tells us to do

Throughout our series, we are diving into what the Bible says about the fear of the Lord throughout the week. Take a look at this card for verses to use in your time with God this week. You can also follow Jimmy on Instagram for morning devotionals centered around this topic.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

Generations Sunday

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” Psalm 78:4

This week we celebrated where we have been and where we are going with a special generations Sunday. Throughout our morning Carl Gulley shared on why we invest in the next generation, and who we are as an inter-generational church. In a culture that can be divisive, our heart is to see the Church unite the generations for Kingdom impact.

WE ALWAYS WANT TO HONOR AND INCLUDE THE GENERATIONS THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE, WHILE LOVING AND INVESTING IN THE NEXT GENERATION.

No generation is more significant than another. We believe everyone has value, and the best stage of life to be in is the one you are in. It is at the core of who we are as a church to believe in and empower the next generation. When we invest in the next generation, we are living out Psalm 78:4. Our goal is not to fill volunteer slots in the Kids and Youth Ministries.

WE WANT TO CREATE A CULTURE OF INVESTMENT AND DISCIPLESHIP.

We may not all have the stamina to volunteer with the five-year olds on Sunday mornings, but we all have something to offer the next generation. It can be easy to feel like our past mistakes disqualify us from having something to offer someone else. But actually, our mistakes give us credibility to speak into the next generation. When we are willing to invest and vulnerably share our weaknesses, we are telling the next generation –

I WANT YOU TO GO FURTHER THAN I EVER DID.

As a church, we are experiencing the impact of people who took up the Psalm 78 admonition. Many of us do not know these people, but their investment has marked our church family. Take a look at this video, and find out why they believe in investing in the next generation-

If you are interested in learning more about how you can play a part in empowering the next generation, fill out this form.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

Where Mountains Melt //
Part Four

This morning Carl Gulley shared part four of our series, Where Mountains Melt, with a message on why we worship the way we do. Some people jump around during worship, others raise their hands and some people sit quietly before the Lord. Maybe you’ve wondered which expression is correct. The truth is, each posture is an expression of worship, and there is no right or wrong way to worship.

SPIRITUAL MATURITY IS NOT ACHIEVED ONCE A PARTICULAR WORSHIP EXPRESSION OCCURS.

The goal of worship is not an expression, it is love and obedience toward Jesus. Believing there is a “right way” to worship leads to arrogance, and ultimately takes us away from the point of worship. We don’t need a particular formula or certain instruments to worship, we just need a heart directed toward Jesus.

Throughout our morning, we looked at Exodus 14 and 15. In Exodus 14, the people of Israel are finally leaving Egypt after being enslaved for 400 years. As their enemies begin closing in on them, the Lord parts the Red Sea, allowing them to get to safety. Immediately after their escape, Exodus 15 begins with the Israelites offering up a song of praise to the Lord.

WHEN ENSLAVED PEOPLE GET SET FREE, THEY ACTIVELY DISPLAY THEIR GRATITUDE.

Exodus 15 doesn’t happen without the freedom that occurred in Exodus 14. Once the people of Israel stepped into freedom, their automatic response was worship. This is still our response today. Once we realize that worship is an expression of gratitude and not a particular stance, we become the worship leaders. We are all worship leaders because we have all encountered great grace.

WE WANT OUR WORSHIP TO REFLECT HEAVEN.

Our standard for worship should not be what we are comfortable with here on earth. Heaven is our model. This morning we looked at Revelation 5:8-13. In this passage, we find John’s count of worship in heaven. Some have instruments while others are kneeling, and others are singing their own song, but all are worshipping the Lord. There is no particular formula and there are no stages of worship that we have to go through, there is just our praise that we get to give back to Jesus. When we focus on Jesus, the fear of how we look in worship falls away.

WORSHIP IS NOT AN EXPRESSION, IT IS A LIFESTYLE.

We worship when we are obedient to what Jesus is calling us to. Whether it’s in the workplace or in the Auditorium on Sunday morning, we want our lives to be a reflection of our gratitude for being set free.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Worship is about love and obedience // Is there anything God is calling you to that haven’t responded to yet? Take that next step of obedience this week.
  • Set aside space to meet with God // Set aside time each day to spend time with Jesus. If this is new for you, we encourage you to join us on Monday at noon in the Kids Auditorium for a guided hour of spending time with God.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

 

Where Mountains Melt //
Part Three

On Sunday lead pastor Carl Gulley shared part three of our series, Where Mountains Melt, with a message on choosing to worship even when you don’t feel like it. It is easy to worship when everything in life seems to be going great. Other times our circumstances can cause confusion, and hold us back from worship. Basically, we get spiritual motion sickness because everything is saying God is good, but circumstances are saying otherwise.

A CHANGE IN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES TENDS TO ROCK OUR FAITH.

We aren’t the only ones who are tempted to lose faith when our circumstances seem to be pointing to everything but Jesus. Throughout our morning, we looked at John the Baptist. In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is in prison and he asks Jesus, “Are you the One?” John spent his life preparing the way for Jesus, but in the place where he couldn’t see what God was doing, he began to question. I am sure we have all been in this position before. Jesus’ response to John is beautiful. He points John to what He is doing instead of what He isn’t.

When we are experiencing that spiritual motion sickness, there is a temptation to focus on what Jesus is not doing, rather than what He is.

WHEN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE TELLING US OTHERWISE, WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE CHARACTER OF GOD.

The cure for motion sickness is allowing your mind to come back to what is correct. The same is true with that spiritual motion sickness. We have to come back to truth, and the truth is God is good.

This isn’t always easy, but there is beauty in choosing to offer up a sacrifice of praise. When we choose to worship even when we don’t feel like it, we declare the truth of who God is, and we allow that truth to sink deeper into our hearts.

WE WERE NEVER DESIGNED TO BE AUTHENTIC TO OUR FEELINGS.

When we choose to allow our feelings to hold us back from worship, we aren’t living in authenticity. It is authentic to align ourselves with what we know is true. And the only thing we know to be one hundred percent true is the character of God.

WORSHIP IS A SLEDGEHAMMER TO THE POWER OF DARKNESS.

Like we talked about during week one, worship is our gateway into the presence of God. And in that place, we find freedom, not only for ourselves, but for those around us. We are called to stand in the gap and invite others into the presence of God so they will find freedom.

It is always right to worship, regardless of how we’re feeling. All of our problems will not all disappear in an instant, but we’ll find the presence of God. And in that place, we find freedom.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Take some time to reflect on the character of God this week, and let the truth of who He is sink in. Start by googling who God is as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and reflect on those passages.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

Where Mountains Melt //
Part Two

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley continued our Where Mountains Melt series with a message on multitasking. Some of us tend to think we’re great at multitasking while others will freely admit to being bad at it. Regardless of what camp we’re in, the truth is that multitasking forces us to quickly switch our focus between tasks. We end up losing out because we can’t devote our full attention to any of the tasks before us. And in the context of worship, multitasking doesn’t work.

OUR WORSHIP WAS MADE FOR ONE.

Our worship was made for God alone. We each have things that we value, and whatever we value most will receive our worship. We can’t split our worship between things. Eventually, one thing will take precedence over the other. God placed a desire to worship within us, we can’t change that. But we can determine what or who we worship.

Now, it isn’t bad to have money, passions, dreams, etc. God provides those things for us out of His kindness. When we shift our worship to the things God provided rather than fixating our worship on the provider, we begin to exalt other things over God.

Throughout our morning, we looked at Exodus 32. In this passage, we find the Israelites who have just been set free from Egypt. For 56 days they are at a standstill, waiting to see what is next. Just like us, something within them had a desire to worship. So, out of the gold they got from Egypt they made a calf sculpture, and that became a focal point of their worship. As we continue to read the passage, we see that they are also planning a feast unto the Lord. They worshipped the calf, but they still wanted to worship God. Basically, they tried to compartmentalize and multitask.

TRUE WORSHIP IS NOT A COMPARTMENTALIZED LIFE, IT IS AN INTEGRATED ONE.

Like we talked about last week, we are always worshipping, whether we realize it or not. Many times we want to compartmentalize our lives. We separate God, our finances, relationships, time commitments, etc. God wants to be a part of all of these areas. When we keep things separated and shift our attention, we are also shifting our affection, and taking it away from God. God doesn’t want us to surrender these areas to Him so that He can control us, He invites us to surrender because in that place we find freedom.

THE THING THAT GETS OUR ATTENTION EVENTUALLY GETS OUR AFFECTION, AND ULTIMATELY OUR ALLEGIANCE.

God is continually pursuing us because He ultimately wants our affection. In fact, our personal affection, is the one thing we can give to God that no one else can. Our affection and our worship is the thing God wants most. He wants it; He doesn’t need it. There is a war going on for our worship. Satan needs worship because it affirms his downfall. God wants our worship because ultimately, He just wants us.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Identify areas where you have compartmentalized your life, and invite God into those areas.
  • Join us on Mondays at noon in the Kids Auditorium to learn practical ways to spend time with Jesus. And set aside time every day to meet with Jesus.
  • If you are looking for some new additions to add to your playlists, check out this playlist from our worship team.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Coordinator

Where Mountains Melt //
Part One

The mountains melt like wax before the Lordbefore the Lord of all the earth.” – Psalm 97:5

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley kicked off our new series, Where Mountains Melt. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at worship and what it looks like in our lives.

Many times we reduce worship to a set of three songs at the beginning of a service, but it’s actually so much more than that.

WORSHIP IS WHAT WE’RE DOING ALWAYS WHETHER WE KNOW IT OR NOT, AND IT’S OUR RESPONSE TO THE MAGNITUDE OF GOD, WHETHER WE REALIZE IT OR NOT.

This morning we looked at the story of Joshua preparing to lead the Israelites into the promised land after 40 years in the desert. Their first challenge is crossing the Jordan River. Joshua is facing the seemingly impossible, and as they prepare to cross the river he says, “as soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it” (Joshua 3:3). He sends the Levites, the worshippers, first.

THE LEVITES ARE GREAT WORSHIPPERS BECAUSE THEY’VE ENCOUNTERED GREAT GRACE.

The Levites understood the grace of God because God redeemed them from murderers to ministers. Our revelation of grace shifts our perspective of the impossible. For the Levites, the impossible was not crossing the Jordan River. God had already done the impossible when He forgave and cleansed them of their past sin. When we are facing the impossible, our first move should be to get in the presence of God.

Worship is out gateway into the presence of God. When we take God’s presence into the impossible, we can have confidence that He will take care of the rest.

IN RESPONSE:

  • Seven-day Challenge // This week, set aside time to meet with Jesus every day. Spending time with Jesus is a daily invitation into grace. If you aren’t sure where to start, we invite you to join us on Mondays from noon – 1 p.m. in the Kids Auditorium for guided Time with Jesus led by one of our pastors.
  • Spotify Playlists // Each week our worship team will be creating Spotify and YouTube playlists for you to use throughout the week. Check out this week’s playlist here!

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Staff

 

A Message from Jimmy –

When Laura and I planted Antioch Community Church in 1999, we were honored to be surrounded by a group of friends that shared a passion for Jesus and His purposes in the earth. These marvelous comrades stepped into the journey with us to create a church community that encourages and equips every person that calls Antioch Waco home to share the story of Jesus with the unreached in our city, our nation and every nation of the world.

Throughout the past 30 years, we have seen God bless the Antioch Movement beyond what we ever imagined possible. Many of you have been personally impacted by the growth we have experienced locally at Antioch Waco, but that is just a small part of the growth we have experienced as a movement.

As our church-planting initiatives have continued to expand all over the world, I have continued to provide direct oversight at the movement level while also leading the local church in Waco. In order to continue to enlarge the place of our tent, we are expanding our leadership team in Waco so that I will be able to provide more oversight to the Antioch Movement, which includes 35 churches in the United States and more than 80 international church-planting teams in more than 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.

Very practically, this expansion of leadership allows me to provide vision and strategic direction for the Antioch Movement, which includes Antioch Waco. I will be leaning into what God is saying to us as a people and determining what initiatives to push out to all of our U.S. and international church plants. As I look forward, Carl Gulley will be implementing that vision and strategic direction deeper and wider here at the local level by taking on a more visible preaching role and providing direct oversight of our church staff.

From the beginning, Carl was one of those marvelous comrades that stepped into the journey with Laura and me. Over the years I have seen him faithfully lead and champion others time and time again. Carl has served as the youth pastor and, most recently, the college pastor, and he is excited to step into this new role as lead pastor of Antioch Waco. He is a “good man that is full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).

Please watch this short video message from our new lead pastor, Carl Gulley, about his love for the local church in Waco and his passion for leading each one of you in your pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Jimmy Seibert
Senior Pastor

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LEAD PASTOR CARL GULLEY AND HIS PASSION TO SEE EPHESIANS 4:12 COME ALIVE AT ANTIOCH WACO IN THIS VIDEO –

Vision Sunday

This morning Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert and the elders commissioned Carl Gulley as Lead Pastor of Antioch Waco. During this time of expansion, Jimmy is going to be looking forward while Carl takes us deeper and wider. As we look forward to where God is leading us as a church, Jimmy shared about the history of Antioch and reminded us who we are as community of believers.

GOD HAS CALLED US MORE THAN EVER TO LOVE HIM AS OUR FIRST LOVE.

  1. We are called to be a missional community // As a community we want to be committed to friendship with Jesus and committed to bringing the truth of Jesus to those who do not know Him.
  2. We want to revive our personal devotion to Jesus // Jesus is the only way to life, and we want to live unapologetic for who He is in all of His glory. We want to renew the exclusivity of Jesus in our hearts every day. We want to live with simple and whole devotion to Jesus.
  3. We want to live with an apostolic mission // There is nothing better than having the opportunity to live in partnership with Jesus. We want to be about His mission in our lives and in our church.

HERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT WE ARE COMMITTED TO AS A CHURCH:

  1. We are committed to the city of Waco // God wants Waco to be a city of refuge for the glory of God so that all the earth can rejoice because they see His presence being made manifest. We are committed to serving this community and raising up leaders who will share our passion for transforming the city.
  2. We are committed to our nation // We have 35 church plants that are reaching people all over our nation. There is hope for our nation because the church is alive, and we continue to see churches impact their communities all over the nation.
  3. We are committed to the nations of the world // As a people we are trained to keep our eye on those that have never heard the Gospel message. The greatest injustice on the planet is that everybody has not had a chance to hear about and know the person of Jesus. If everyone knew Jesus, injustice would be toppled from the inside out.

IN RESPONSE:

  1. Take a moment to ask God, “What would you have for me?” // Being willing to obey the next thing God is telling you to do puts you back into alignment with what God has for you. You don’t have to worry about the future; you just have to step out in obedience today.
  2. Identify areas where you can step in and serve the local body // Are there areas where you can serve the community with your gifts and talents? To learn more about all of the volunteer opportunities available you visit antio.ch/volunteer.