Today I want to communicate something that’s important for us as a church. And I hope that you see the value of this. Today we’re going to talk about our core values. The reason we do this once a year as a church and the reason we like to do this is because, I think it’s very important for you to understand, as a church I should say, we think it’s very important for you to understand how significant your relationship with Jesus is to this valley and the difference that it can make. And we looked at last week what Jesus desired to do by building his church. We recognize that church doesn’t exist, we don’t show up to church on Sunday just to go to church. Church is not a social club. There should be socialization, some socializing that should have happened within the body of Christ, right?
But the church is not primarily a social club. Jesus created his church as a movement. And when we looked at this last week in Matthew chapter 16, we recognize this, that Jesus asked the question to his disciples, who do you say that I am? And Peter answered, you are the Christ, right? And then Jesus gives us answer. He says, “Jesus answered Peter on this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” When Jesus is referencing this rock, remember he is standing right out of this place, literally called the gates of hell. He showed me his disciples, this temple to this false god in this debauchery of worship that just takes place in this area, and it’s hewn in the to the side of a mountain. As they look at this rock and they stand in awe and all these people gathered around, Jesus then refers to himself as that rock.
And he talks about the power of his church. So he builds this movement on himself. He calls his people to carry out this movement. And when he calls us to care about this movement, he tells us really that it’s unstoppable. That not even the gates of hell will prevail against it. And when Jesus is referencing this place as a literal place, Jesus is doing so in recognition of the people that are trapped in it. They’re caught up in this false worship and Jesus is interested in rescuing their souls to see them transfer their lives from a kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. And so Jesus built this movement carried out by his church for the purpose of rescuing people. To see them become fully devoted followers of Christ. And now as you think about the purpose of the church, so is now our position in a body of Christ to be a part of this movement that God calls us to.
And so seeing your value in this is important. It’s not a question of if God has called you, but where and maybe how. And so you think about the significance of what Jesus has done. If Jesus is who he says he is, Lord, God, Savior, the very communication of his life and what he’s demonstrated for us says to us, there is a big need. I mean the fact that Jesus would take on the identity of Savior, God would become flesh and he would give his life for us demonstrates something significant here. That in order for God to do something like that, what need must there be in this world, right? For God to become flesh, for God to call himself Savior, this rescue mission must be pretty significant.
When you think about it great movements are born out of great need. And what greater need there must be than what would require God to become flesh and literally give his life for us. And so I would say this great need that we see that Jesus is meeting and creating this movement. There is no greater movement that could exist and to think about what it would require for God to take on flesh and give his life for us. And in that movement we find purpose. And when we identify purpose in our lives, it really fuels passion. Purpose fuels passion. When you find the reason for which you exist and you can live for that reason and it makes a difference and more than just a difference for today, but a difference for eternity. That should make us excited for what God called us to.
What Jesus is saying in Matthew 16 really is this idea of commissioning. And the thought of a commission is that you’ve been called for a purpose by someone’s authority. And there is no greater authority to call you than God. In fact, some refer to this as the Great Commission. In Matthew 28:19-20 he tells his disciples, go into the world and make disciples of all nations. This movement is for all people groups in which Jesus has called us to in this world. And that purpose fueling our passion for a movement which cannot be stopped at, not even the gates of hell can prevail. That’s what you belong to.
Churches have tried to simplify that statement, the singularity thought for this great commission. And you think about if a church isn’t living out the great commission, I can just tell you it’s not a healthy church. Please don’t go there. We’ll treat it more like a social club than a movement. And God didn’t create a social club. He really created an army for a purpose. Not to fight against people but to fight for them. And the thought of the gates of hell is this picture of of people sort of being trapped inside and you sent it on a rescue mission to knock down these walls of which on the authority of Christ is possible, not even the gates of hell would prevail. And then on the inside we rescue people. To see their lives transformed. And that thought of that mission statement that singularity calling, which God has brought to us, you think we’ve been commissioned for a mission making you a missionary.
Some churches try to solidify their mission statement, some do it simplistically. They just simply say, our church exists to make disciples. And that is the purpose of the church. Some add a little more to that. They say that they want to know Jesus and make Jesus known. Others love God, love people, make disciples. Connect people to Jesus and one another. We exist, how about this one, to make heaven more crowded. Helping people take their next steps towards Christ. Or to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. At ABC we really say this, we want to see your life transformed in Christ. Because we understand that if your life is transformed in Christ, God will use that to transform your relationships for Christ. Jesus wants to change your life.
And so when you read a statement like this, that even the gates of hell will prevail against it and this gives us purpose. And purpose fuels passion and we’re like, let’s do this! Let’s go to the world and make a difference for Christ. Well in thinking about this, the apostle Paul sort of took a step back from the statement. He said, rather than just run at this full speeds and just start saying things that you might regret or doing things that don’t make a whole lot of sense, Paul said it like this in 1 Corinthians 9, he said, “I have become all things to all people. So that by all possible means I might save some. I do all of this for the sake of the Gospel that I may share in its blessing.
What Paul is saying in this passage of scripture is he’s talking about the contextualization of where you live. That in order to make the greatest impact for Christ in this world, it comes with the thought of understanding the people around you and the obstacles in which they face. Just verses before this, Paul says to the Jews, I became a Jew. And to the Greek, I became a Greek. I became all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel. Paul cared about the Lord and because he cared about the Lord, he cared about people and he wanted to do what God had called them to do to best minister to the people around them. And so when you think in terms of missions minded or a mission mindset, it’s important to consider the hearts of the individuals around you in which God calls you to reach.
And missionaries are sent all around the world to represent Christ. I had a friend that went to a closed country. He started to tell me some of the things that he was learning in order to relate to the people because he loved the people there. He learned the language, he learned the culture, he learned the history. He visited the area. This was very interesting to me, but he said to me, you know, one of the things that makes people distrust you is that oftentimes, even though you might try to fit in and you might speak the language, you don’t smell the same. And that’s weird, isn’t it? You ever been in a conversation, something just doesn’t smell right, literally? And then you just sort of back while you’re like, can’t wait until this ends so I don’t have to keep smelling this. Who did that take it? Take the responsibility, right? And he said this, being a missionary, when he went over to this country to visit, he said, it’s funny, they said about Americans, we all smell the same. We smell like beef and baby powder. He’s like, I don’t want to smell like that. I care about the people so much, I want to smell like the culture. And so he started eating the diet a year before he got there, just so he could relate to the people better. That’s what Paul is saying here.
When you care about Jesus, you’re going to care about people. Because Jesus came on a rescue mission. And what Jesus loves his people. And if you love Jesus, then you’re going to love people. And in order to best love people, you’re going to learn the ways of the people around you so you can minister to their hearts as Jesus would minister to their hearts.
And so when you think about ABC’s place, making an impact in the community around us and the hearts of the people that belong here. Some of the values that we carry that we feel would help us best make a difference in the lives around us, that is the values of our church. And so if you grabbed a bulletin and there’s actually some notes inside of there that you can write. If you have a phone, you can download the Alpine Bible Church app, click on notes, and at the top you’ll find some of these values. But I want to talk about some of the values that we carry as a church that we feel will help us make a difference in the lives of people around you.
And here’s one thing I want you to know about values. Values can change. In fact, I think value should change. Because we should always be asking the question, what’s going to help us make the biggest difference in the lives of people around us? And just as culture changes, so values can change along with the culture. Now, the truth that drives them does not change. But values themselves can adapt.
When a church takes this methodology and they make it theology, you always run the risk of making yourself irrelevant to the next generation. But when you really care about the people around you, you’ll be asking the question, how can my heart best minister to the people around me as God has called me to on this mission being commissioned by him?
So when you think in terms of values, here’s our first value as a church very simplistic. We never want to forget this. We almost only even need to say this. And this should be the foundation of everything that is simply to know Christ. God’s desire for your life is to know him. God created you for relationship. God created you to belong within the DNA of who you are. And the way God has designed you. He has made you to know him and to delight in him for eternity. To enjoy not only God, but relationships around you. God made you a relational being. And so if you are new here to ABC, I want you to know our main driving force behind everything that we do is to know Jesus and to make him known. In fact, I would say this, that when you look at these values, they really relate to one another and if I just had to say the pinnacle of all of it starts here.
The reason we gather today, the reason we’re here is not just to simply have our presence on some sort of checklist so that way we get great attendance for 2019. It’s that our hearts would know God. And we would draw near to him. Paul said it like this. I love this section of scripture, Philippians chapter three. This might be one of my top five passages in the scripture. If you read this passage, Paul talks about religion. At some point in life when we start recognizing that we want a relationship with God, our tendency oftentimes as people is to jump in into religion. And Paul says in Philippians chapter three that he actually is abandoning all of that. He says, I was the most Jewish person of all Jewish people, but I forsook it all.
And he tells you why in verse eight, he says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes through the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. And this is such an important beginning point because when we talk about this list of values as a church, you can read this list as an obligation, but truthfully, I think if your desires to know Jesus, God will make these values a hunger within your heart that you don’t really have to even strive to achieve. It’s just good to know what the target is. Because when your heart just knows Jesus, I think these things become a natural outflow of your life. And Paul is saying within his life, he’s got one pursuit, one hunger. To know Christ. I could add to this list all sorts of spiritual things that you can involve in your life, like praying, serving, reading God’s word, fasting, giving, whatever. You could just come up with a list of things to do. But the reality is if your life hungers for God, you’re going to want to do the things that draw you near to what you care about. Loving Jesus.
I really appreciate as a church when we write this value of knowing Christ, we don’t just simply say Know God and leave it in some arbitrary form. No, we say very tangibly, we want to know the God who has made himself known to us, very specifically by becoming flesh, to know Christ. And so when our soul hungers for God, I don’t think you have to be told to read the Bible. I think you want to know him and so you’ll read the Bible. I think if you love Jesus, you won’t need to be told to pray. I think you’ll seek God and want to talk to God because you love the Lord and you’ll want to pray. I don’t think you need to be told to serve. I think when Jesus is the prize of your life, you want to share that with others and so you’ll serve. But knowing Christ is the primary driving force behind who we are as a body of believers. And if you want to be a great leader, you’ve got to be a great follower. You can’t lead any further than you’ve been led. You cannot impart what you do not possess.
As you know Christ, then this natural shares into our next value, which is to share the truth in love. If you’re new here, we want you to know that our church wants to be a place where you feel safe. To ask questions. There’s not anything that you’re going to ask that’s going to shock us. Nothing even personally, I don’t think that you could ask me that I’m gonna worry about. You can’t learn unless you can ask. And we’re not going to stop in the middle of your question and be like, “Oh my word. She asked that question?” That’s not who we are.
I come from a place in my life where I was very skeptical in any belief in any type of God. For me to be convinced to follow anything, it was going to have to have some logic on the basis of it. You think about this guys, we’re not just believing in things that are natural. You’re believing in something that’s supernatural, which defies the laws of logic in some ways, right?
And so you need to understand why you would springboard into a position like that. And what basis do you operate on to even begin to live that way in your life. And so when we talk about sharing truth with people, we’re not here to prove we’re right and other people are wrong. We’re not here to bash people over the head with that. We understand Jesus use truth to serve our lives and so we want to use truth to serve other people. And so when you think about the idea of truth. Truth is important because truth is a catalyst for change. Truth is the means by which we worship. Truth frees us. Truth transforms us. The word of God here is highly valued.
When we come on Sunday mornings, most of the time when we teach, except for today, it’s expository, right? We go verse by verse. So when you see someone teaching, you know whether or not what they’re saying is crazy. Or if it’s true. So the word of God, the truth of God, that’s what transforms live. It’s significant to us, but at the same time, we know that not everybody comes the to the Lord through the same way, right? As a church, we take a stand in certain ways, but we need to give people space to figure things out. Sometimes you need a place to belong before you believe and to know that at least there is a place you can ask questions and that we care about you. We’re a church that that’s for you. And so the truth is important to us. But at the same time, the way we share truth is important to us. You can be right, but to be right in the wrong way, is to still be wrong.
God just doesn’t care just about what you say. But he also cares about the way you say it. Does it come from a heart of compassion and serving? Or does it come from a heart of belittling and elevating yourself above another? In Colossians, Paul said it like this, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of your opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Good theology is demonstrated in good love. How you care for the souls around you. It’s what Jesus did. And Jesus even told us in John 13:35 people will know you are my disciples by your what? Love.
So sharing truth in a heart of compassion is important. Sharing truth in love. I find one of the best ways, I think, for people to walk in truth isn’t to simply just come to them like you’re their holy spirit and you’re there to convict them and just to share truth. But rather than just tell people what to believe, just ask them questions about what they believe. Who is Jesus? Tell me what you think about Jesus. And then just have a dialogue over Jesus. People kind of buck against those that want to come to them and tell them everything they need to do. We like to discover things on our own. And so walking life with people, asking questions rather than just demanding for their belief I think is important.
That’s why we say as a church, we like to create that space. We want it to feel like a welcoming place to to ask questions. That’s why we have things like Simply Christian on Sunday night. We understand people are coming from all kinds of different places. One of the things that church I would say in general needs to be careful with is this thought of demanding morality before people have any trust in Jesus at all. We shouldn’t be shocked when people come through our doors and they live like the world. Because all they might know is the world. And more and more than just demand their morality, according to whatever it is that we think is important to believe in, I think it’s far more important that they find Jesus. Because if Jesus becomes a part of their life, he will transform their heart. So we need be patient. Be truthful, but be patient. Paul says, let your speech always be with grace and seasoned with salt.
Number three in tying to sharing the truth with love, it’s to say this that we need to care for every soul. Every soul matters to us. 1 John 4:20. If you say that you love God and you hate your brother, you’re a liar. That’s what it says. It’s identifying that if you really love God, you’re going to love what God loves. God loves people. And so for us, every soul manners.
Suppose this morning I brought in front of you the picture of the Mona Lisa. I held it up and I said, here’s the Mona Lisa, and I described the Mona Lisa for you. And then once I was done talking about the Mona Lisa, I just threw it in the air and I drop kicked and punted it over into the corner. Oh, did you think about that? Or say on the other hand, I’m doing the Declaration of Independence. We talk about the Declaration of Independence and all of a sudden I just throw it up. And I just punted to the other side. How would you feel about something like that? It’s priceless, right? It’s frustrating. Why would he do that? That disrespect! Well, can I just tell you, people are God’s Mona Lisa. Or to America, the Declaration of Independence. There is nothing more valuable God created than a human being.
So much so, that God has given his life for people. What greater value could be placed on something than that? How beautiful it is in your life when you honor God by honoring people. By sharing truth and loving them where they’re at. Caring for every soul matters to God. Hospitality is a thought that is is huge in scripture. The way that you care for people. It’s even a qualification of an elder that they are hospitable. Recognizing that God calls us in this movement that he’s created not to fight against people, but to fight for them. Even when they’re difficult to love, we still love. We want it to, to make it hard for people to hate us. People are gonna disagree with us. People will disagree with us. Because you have a stand in Jesus. And so that means anything opposed to Jesus will be contrary to your view. And sometimes people might be opposed to our beliefs and people are going to disagree with us. We’re going to love them anyway.
Sometimes I say this, my wife doesn’t like this, but I mean this literally. I want to love the hell out of people. I want to love people so much that it makes it hard for them to hate you. You ever pass that person that you just get frustrated by, but they’re so nice. They care about me. I wish they’d do something mean so I could be mad at them for a legitimate reason, right? But as the church, God calls us, do that. One of the things in scripts that really helped me understand this.
There are a couple of stories in the gospels where sometimes our picture of Jesus is just, he’s always got perfect hair. He wears these white robes and there’s never a stain on it, right? Perfect perm Jesus and his sandals and always clean. And then there’s these couple of stories in the gospels where Jesus just goes bananas. You read these stories with him with a whip, flipping tables, yelling at people. I don’t know what he’s doing, but, but people are just like, he’s lost his mind. Everybody’s running away. Forever. I would read those stories and be like, what is going on here? Right. But, but then I finally did some study behind this passages of scripture. One of them is in Matthew 21:12, it says this about Jesus. He entered the temple and drove out all of those who are buying and selling in the temple and overturned the tables of the money changes and the seats of those who were selling doves.
And then Jesus gives a statement. I’ll read it in just a second, but it took me awhile to learn what in the world Jesus was doing here. But he’s communicating to us really how he sees people as his Mona Lisa. The temple only ever had two rooms. God’s Temple, Old Testament only ever had two rooms. Okay. But around the temple, they started building these parameters. And in the furthest point out in these parameters they built was was this place they referred to for the gentiles or for the world. And so they had, they had the inner part where people that were going to make sacrifices could go. They had different courtyards that went out from there, and the outer court yard was the place for the Gentiles. It was God’s place to invite the outside world in to see how God’s hand was moving was in this world.
And so the Court of the Gentiles eventually became this place where the Jewish community was no longer allowing the Gentile world in. They had set up all of these areas of business for the temple itself. To the point that people didn’t feel welcome. And it ticked Jesus off. And so Jesus goes into the Court of the Gentiles. That’s where he’s at in this temple, and he just rips everything out. Because he wanted his place to be a place where the world could come see the goodness of who he was. And it even says it in the next verse. Look at this, verse 13, “He said to them, it is written. My House shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a robbers den”. He refers to this in another passage as a place for the nations to pray. It’s a place to seek God’s face and to know him.
Jesus is communicating to us the importance of every soul. I don’t know if I need to remind you, or maybe it’s healthy, just to remind you of how precious it is when anyone comes through our doors here in Utah. It is not always easy for people to walk with Jesus here. In fact, it can come at a cost. Every soul that steps through our doors matters to us. And the way that we care for those souls matters to Jesus. Can I tell you, out of all the days that you serve Christ, can I just tell you the the day that’s gonna make the biggest impact? It’s today. It’s right now.
As you witnessed for Jesus throughout this world, you’re going to encounter people and a lot of times people’s hearts are hardened, but when are people’s hearts most sensitive? It’s one Sunday. That’s why people come. And so I think in any day that you choose to love deeply, any day you want to set your mind to be a light for Christ, I think it starts today in our lives. How can we best love?
And this leads me to the next point, which is to be a family. I’m going to take these just a little bit quickly, but we want to be a family. If you are new here, we want you to belong. We want to be a place that you can belong. We could set like this, in a the clever cliche, “teamwork makes the dream work.” We can’t do what God’s called us to do without each other. In fact, the way that God has gifted you as a believer is for the purpose of being able to give what God has gifted you away. Meaning the Bible talks about spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are intended to be exercise and to be given to other people in the way that God has blessed you, and so we serve one another with the gifts God’s given us. I said this to us last week, that the fruit of the spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness. The fruit of the spirit are all words of relationship. You can’t walk in the spirit without having someone to express the fruit of the spirit to. Anyone can say they’re a loving person until they get near someone else, right? Yeah, I’m great when I’m by myself. But it’s not until I’m with other people that I realize I’m not as patient as I thought I was. I’m not as gracious as I like to think I am. And you learn where you need to grow, how God’s spirit can better move in in your life.
So God created us to belong. God created us to to work through us. When one of us succeeds, all of us succeed. In fact, Ecclesiastes says this chapter four verse nine two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either either of them fall, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there was not another to lift him up.
Can I tell you? Out of all the values as a church, this is the one I carry in prayer more than any other. The reason I do that is because the nature of Utah right now is not an easy place for me. And what I mean is, we are growing so rapidly as a state, especially in this area. I feel like some days I’m just preaching to the corral or to the parade. Hi, how are you? Goodbye. Hi, how are you? Goodbye. And then people move on. Within the last 16 months, I was adding up, we’ve had over 20 families move more than a hundred miles from our church. That’s a lot of people say goodbye to. And I feel like I stink a goodbyes. I hate them. I want to be a family.
Grow in Jesus’ together. Encourage one another. If you feel like you’re not a part of a family, can I just encourage you not to just wait for people to come to you, but to try your best to connect as well. That’s the reason we have connection groups. It’s why we called them connection groups so that we saw it as a place to connect groups that we can belong to. You can’t know everybody, you can’t encourage everybody, but you can encourage somebody. Part of our worship on Sunday is just to get to know one another, encourage each other in that fellowship. Like we are completely aware that our building has limitations. It’s called soon as service is over, we feel cramped and we just sort of get to the outside and we just kind of crab walked down the hallway, right?
By the way, we just got approval to build. So that’s great. So we’ll have a different interest with a little bit more room when we come in. But because our limitations in our building are known to us, taking an opportunity to get to know each other is important. And so being a family.
Next is make disciples. The operative word is make here. We need to be intentional, about doing this. If what we’re producing isn’t reproducing, then we need to stop. And I don’t mean physically, I mean spiritually, right? But we need to see how God and the mission he’s called us into this world continues to reproduce through the world and that God has led us in. A church’s power is not in its seating capacity, but in is sending capacity. I think God measures our success not by just what we do here on Sunday, but what we do when we leave.
When we think about in terms of what God desires to do in making disciples. I like this. Do not quench the spirit. First Thessalonians 5:19, “Don’t quench the spirit.” And then when you come to know Jesus, Jesus works within your heart to make him known more in your life. And then making them more through your life. And so as God leads your life, continue to surrender to him, to allow him to work through. And we’re all the time thinking about how we can do this better, how we can make disciples better. Does your soul hunger for God? Don’t quench the spirit. Spend time with Him.
As a church I appreciate the desire we have to see people be devoted followers of Jesus or to be disciples. To grow in that hunger. Adding this year, the Simply Christian for us, we’re looking at adding a podcast here soon so you can learn while you’re on the go and growing in the Lord and it can encourage you. When we add on our new room here in the back. We just want to put in a little mini bookstore for us as a church family. We always wanting to encourage you to grow. But more than anything, that desire starts within you. And following after Jesus. And continuing to surrender your life to him, not quenching your spirit. Like what God does in us is supernatural. That spirit that works in you don’t take for granted. Let God use that to transform your life.
And when we make disciples, here’s the last one. Or there’s one more, but this was really the last one. The final one is more of a summation of all of it. It’s to change the world. We’re not an audience. We’re an army, right? Question isn’t if you’re called, but where you’re called. If changed the world sounds cheesy to you, then say reached the world. But the point is God wants us to think bigger than ourselves. We’re not about our kingdom, but about His kingdom. Some churches want to tell you how great they are. We however, just want to tell people how great Jesus is. It’s about His glory. As a church family, I like to mention for us regularly, even as we think about building what God’s called us to here, I like to remind us just in Utah County. Eight towns that have never had a mainstream Christian church. Out desire is not to make our church enormous. Our desires to reach this county. So we want to constantly be giving ourselves away for his glory. It’s not about us, it’s about him.
Philippians chapter two says it like this. “Have this attitude in yourself, which is also in Christ Jesus. Although he existed in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant and being made in the likeness of men.” So what is saying to us is our example is Jesus and the way that we live in light of this world, on mission for Christ. That we look at Jesus and Jesus gave his life. He was God in the flesh. And even though he was God in the flesh, even though he was the most important person to ever exist, even though if you walked in this room right now, he would be the most important person in this room. Jesus didn’t have the kind of character to say, hey guys, look at me. I’m the most important person in this room. Instead it says he took the form of a servant, to the point he emptied himself to death on the cross.
If we follow him, what should be our demeanor? And the attitude of our lives? Somebody compared this to me once, they said, doing ministries is like the comparison of the chicken or the pig. And then they asked me which one are you? And I want to tell you the correct answer is the pig. This is the only time on Sunday I’ll ever tell you to be a pig. I’m not trying to insult you, but I want you to think about that for a minute. Chicken or the pig? On a farm and you want to eat chicken just kind of gives an egg here and there. But a pig gives its life. Jesus made a difference because he gave his life. You want to make a difference? Use your life. What are you a chicken or a pig?
This church will see success and continue to see success as we give our lives for Christ as he has given his life for us, we think about these values. The last thing that we just want to remember to do, is to celebrate. When God changes my life, your life, or anyone’s laugh around us, as we continue to see this community grow and the impact in made in our valley. We need to celebrate. And the biblical word for this is to rejoice. Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice.” It’s that attitude of rejoicing that recognizes that every good thing that we have is really God’s. Every great thing that happens, it’s because of the Lord.
A rejoicing person is a person that recognizes in their heart that the grace of God that’s been good to their life. It’s really someone that I think that’s close to the Lord. When we’re not rejoicing it’s because we take things for granted and we treat things as if they’re owed to us rather than the gift that’s been given to us. And so this morning, this morning is a reason to rejoice. Why? God didn’t owe you today. God didn’t owe you today, he didn’t owe you anything good that you have in your life, but you’ve got it. Because he’s good. It gives us reason to rejoice.
When I think about a church making a difference in any community where it lives, here’s something I know about us. We aren’t going to be perfect. We’re learning as we go along as well. Walking with God, caring for souls around us. There are days where you’re gonna mess up. But just because you mess up doesn’t mean should quit. In fact, one of my favorite verses, I’ll just end with this here, is Lamentations 3, listen to this. In the midst of our failures, this is what God says, “The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never ceases. His compassion never fails. They are new every morning. Great God is your faithfulness.
When you think about all that God has called you to do in this world or what it means to represent God in this world as one who is commissioned on mission as a missionary. You’re not going to be perfect. And then when we make mistakes, we can come before God and just give all these buts. But God, how could you love me? But God, why would you be like this? But God, you know, how could you care for my soul? And, and his answer isn’t because of your conduct. It’s because of his character. Today he’s good. Tomorrow he’s good. And so it says on the basis of his character as it relates to us, his loving kindness never ceases and is compassion never fails, and every morning is a new for you. In Him, great is his faithfulness.
What kind of church do we want to be? A church that’s driven to know Christ, to share his truth in love, to care for every soul, to be a family, to make disciples and change the world. And along the way we want to celebrate that God who has made himself known.