Preacher: Josh WhiteAt the Western I want to give you an update on what is happening with our relocation project and before I say anything else I just want to say and I've mentioned this to some of you before that I have never been a part of something so so big and so complex as a possible relocation project and have done so little work to make this happen so this is kind of I guess more confirming I think for me and I think the board and the second thing I want to say before I give you some of these details is the best thing about this so far over these last four months about four months is how well the board has worked together and the unity that the board has had throughout this entire process as we've talked and as we discuss things and and look at all the options we have had an incredible amount of unity and every time the board decides something it is completely unanimous and as we move forward it's been just been really great to see and so here's sort of a recap of what has happened so far so in the summer what we did is we had a group of people that were we met together and we were going to talk to our neighbor who is right over there I got it right this time he's over there or next door neighbor and we sat down with him I think it was going to Thursday night we said hey we don't want to consider possibly buying your property and renovating it and building something over there well the next day Bennett sends me a link to a church that's for sale in the area and as we look at this we realize you know what this this is probably a better option it's cheaper faster and ultimately a nicer facility than anything that we can do and sold the board said you know we need to we need to actually see if this is a possibility and as the board met every time that we talked about this we felt that the best approach would be to say we will only pursue this if.Not We're going to make this happen we're only going to pursue this if certain things happen and so the first thing is we made an offer to the other church and that offer was contingent upon our current visually approving it and then also we would have to sell our building first we didn't want to be in a situation where we had two mortgages and so the. Cept our offer and then when we had our vote I remember the we only needed sixty six percent for it to pass and we were thinking well you know how do you know what percentage do we really want I think we're talking we want to the least eighty percent for us to move forward and we got ninety three percent and so we were very encouraged by that and then we took the pledges at the same time the monthly pledges came in very strong and we obviously the budget is going to increase and moving into a larger facility the Monthly was very strong the down payment wasn't what we were hoping for and the main reason why we wanted a large down payment and we still want a large down payment will do this in the next several weeks is because in five years from now we're going to have to go from seller financing to a commercial loan and so we were hoping that if this were to happen we would want to already be in this comfort zone so in five years from now we wouldn't have to worry about anything like that so we saw some work to do on the down payment but as far as right now the monthly is very strong so we're definitely able to to meet those needs so as our board was discussing this we felt that OK if someone makes an offer on our church how are we going to decide if we're going to accept it or not and the board felt and we unanimously decided if we get a full price offer full price offer we feel like God is saying take the next step and so we made that decision and then two months went by and we heard crickets nothing was going on nothing was happening some churches were coming in taking a look at the property I remember the realtor called me about two weeks ago and he said Hey I just want you to know couple churches are really interested in you might be getting some offers Well two Fridays ago we got an offer from a church Our building is listed at eight hundred ninety five thousand which is over what the estimated value is and the church offered us eight hundred thousand and they wanted to move in and three weeks and so when we heard that you know without really maybe we're going to move maybe this isn't going to have and so we thought well you know we have to answer them ironically we had our board meeting our monthly board meeting was Monday night which was last Monday and so we were thing. And we're going to be prepared to maybe make a counteroffer and see what happens well Monday came and another church made an offer it was a full price offer and they said that we could move out in mid January on Tuesday a third offer came in for eight hundred twenty five thousand and I can remember the movie dates and so what we did is the board knew that the first offer was the best offer because it was all cash no appraisal needed no survey needed so we went back to the first people and we said we will gladly sell your church the syllabi if you raise it to full asking price and you let us move when we are ready to move not in three weeks in mid January and they said OK and so on Wednesday we opened escrow and so here's here's where things are at so these are some of the key dates this is what's going on next we are now in a twenty day inspection period they've put I think it's twenty five or twenty thousand dollars down on our property one of those two and after the twenty days if they back out for any reason it's revokable we could keep the money so basically we have about fifteen days to know if they are serious and they're going to move forward and so if that happens if they're serious at the inspection period goes and the offer is still there then what we're going to do is make sure that we go over to the new facility on twelfth Street we'll do our own inspection we'll make sure that we so want to move forward and so if all of these things continue to move forward here are the key dates we will close on this church property Friday January twelfth and we have about four or five days to move out they'll take possession after that and so our last service here as of right now would be Sunday January fourteenth that's an eight weeks from right now and so that's after the holidays all right after the holidays and our first service over there will be January twenty first and so we're going have about five days to move everything from here to the new new church and the greatest thing is it's not in July it's going to be in January and it's actually you are Martin Luther King weekend so people are. Have Monday off and so the timing literally could not be any more perfect if this goes forward another thing about this is when we start taking the pledges we stole due we didn't want to start taking the pledges either the down payment or the monthly pledges and tell this is going to actually happen and so if this continues to move forward well ask everybody to bring in the pledges on Sunday January seventh that's when we want people to start doing that also and you'll be hearing updates probably every Sunday from now on out but because in January if we do move to the new location we will only be in one service and so starting in January we'll go back to one service so our schedule will be nine o'clock were shirt a Sunday school for everyone and ten thirty one worship service for all of us and so the last two Sundays that we have together all of us will be together OK so that's something that we're kind of we're looking forward to and we're planning and finally you know again this is this is not a done deal but we are definitely one huge step closer and I have never been a part of something so significant and have done virtually nothing to make this happen and so the board feels that God is continuing the open the doors and so as he continues to open the doors we're just going to continue to walk by faith and do this and finally my last thought on this is from a ministry perspective than a ministry standpoint I think our church is really at a place where we're we are ready for something like this and I don't think it's a coincidence that right now we are going through the series on the four chairs because in a way I've been thinking about this especially this last week this move of relocating is something similar to us as a church moving from a chair three type ministry to a chair for type ministry and I'm going to talk about that a little bit today but before we do that I want to just take a moment and let's pray let's pray about the social whole situation.We just come before you and we're we're excited and more humbled but your involvement in our church and I know our church is about forty years old and we've been in this facility this location for the last twenty years but Lord you have done some wonderful things through the ministry of Grace Bible Church of Phoenix and we believe that the future is bright and so we just continue to ask and pray that you will make it very clear to us and give us wisdom and unity in the face about the direction that we're supposed to go and father we want to continue what Jesus started or that we mean that we want to share the good news of your salvation for us through the death and resurrection of your son and we want people to grow in their faith and we want people to serve you and we want to invest in people who are going to repeat that process and so Father as we study this message that you believe your son and he showed us how to make disciples I pray that we will take it to heart and see where we're at both as individuals and as a church and we will commit ourselves to this method of ministry of making followers of Jesus Christ and it's in Christ name we pray Amen. Well this is our last Sunday on this series of our mission and our values as a church and so hopefully by now you know our mission is you've probably heard me say it so many times you can repeat this but we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching and encouragement of God's word and so those are the last couple months we've talked about all of our values our values our Bible teaching preaching our values our healthy relationships and by that we want to see people have developed their intimacy with God their community with people inside the church and their influence with people outside the church we want to be see people be involved in faithful service and we want to see discipleship take place and so the last four weeks what I've been doing is I've been using this book by Dan Spader as a great illustration or a great example of what it means to disciple So for. Them to become a follower of Jesus Christ and for those of you who have any here in these last three weeks I hope that you see how this is this illustration of these four chairs it's how it's biblical it's very practical it actually mimics normal human life of development and growth but it's really just helpful for us to kind of analyze and evaluate we're at where each of us are out as a follower of Jesus Christ ourselves and I all I honestly think that in some ways churches go through these steps in stages as well I going to church first for itself when it is a brand new church plant they are really good at reaching out to people and share one and seeing people come to faith and there's that church grows and matures itself it moves through these stages and steps but what I want to do is I want to recap what each of these four chairs mean the first chair is for those who do not believe they do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and so the issue that Jesus gave to the people was come and see and so cheer on is that issue or that challenge given to the world to come and see who I am and so that's chair one chair two is for the new believer and the new believer has some very specific needs they need to learn a lot of identity issues in who they are in Christ they need to learn how to walk the Christian walk how to talk how to feed themselves how to clean themselves how to do all those things and so the issue that Jesus gave out in the challenge he gave out to the followers was follow me and so the issue or the challenge and chair two is to follow me. And for chair three and this is what we talked about last week Cheers three is probably the most difficult because chair three is all about the worker and this is when Jesus should the challenge come follow me and I will make you fishers of men I will put you out into a harvest field because there's a lot of work to do and the worker. There are some challenges for the worker there is costs involved there suffering if you're a follower of Christ and you want to serve him there's going to be suffering very many different types of suffering there's also pruning but there's also great benefits there is joy when you focus on Jesus Christ just like Jesus he focused on the joy of.Sitting at the right hand of the father after he was done and when a worker has been in chair three for a while it's not God's desire for them to say you know what I've put in my time I've done my job now I get to go back to chair to and relax and let somebody else feed me that's not what Jesus wants us to do what God wants us to do is for us to want to cheer for so chairs three their focus is people and share one church to their to look at the people and share one and try to get them to understand the relationship with Jesus Christ and then look at Chair two and if eed them and let them understand these identity issues cheer for their focus is to move people in chair one inch or two into chairs three each so that they can focus on chair one in church too and so chair four is all about multiplication and the word Jesus says to his disciples I want you to bear much fruit Let me read that passage for you. This is in John Chapter fifteen and this is the last week of Jesus' life on earth and he's talking to those that are very close to him his disciples and he says in John fifteen verse five.I am the vine in your the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing. And then in verse eight it says By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples Well what does that mean to bear much fruit what does Jesus talking about what kind of analogy is using here here. What he's talking about bearing much fruit fruit is people and so would Jesus saying I want to see you make an impact in a difference in the life of people to see them go from chair one chair to Jesus didn't actually say chair one chair two Chair three but you that's kind of an illustration that we can understand I want you to turn over to Luke Chapter six I want you to see a couple things here.Luke Chapter sixbeginning in verse forty and we're saying that this is Jesus' message and so we're going to actually see Jesus at work.Some of the things that Jesus said and did to his disciples speaking of getting people into church three and even in the church for Luke Chapter six beginning in verse forty.Jesus says thisLuke six forty Jesus says a disciple is not above his teacher but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher the word for fully trained his car to read so it can also mean he quipped And so Jesus goal is saying this I am training you and I want you to be fully trained fully equipped and when you're fully equipped you're not going to be my my student you're going to be like me the teacher and so Jesus saying My goal for you is for you not to stand here three but to move on the chair for we're look at several examples of this chair for type behavior but first I want you to go from Luke Chapter six go to Luke Chapter ten.Luke Chapter ten and this is a this is a great one because here we see Jesus taking some of his disciples and in this chapter he's moving them from chair to in the chair three he's having them be not just people who are learning about him but now he actually puts them to work he sends them out into the harvest field so this is Luke Chapter ten verses one and two.Says after this the Lord appointed seventy two others and sent them on ahead of them two by two into every town in place where he himself was about to go and he said to them the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest go on your way Behold I am sending you out as lambs into the midst of wolves and so Jesus saying you're going to be a worker I'm sending you out into the harvest and when they came back it's interesting what happened basically they came back and said Jesus you can't believe what album we were out there working for you out of the harvest field even demons submitted to your name they were all excited about this what happened when they're out there working for Jesus and this is out Jesus responded look at verse twenty one.This is the response of Jesus after the workers came back after experiencing life and cheer three twenty one it says in that same hour he read joist in the Holy Spirit and said I think you Father Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding it revealed them to little children yes father for such was your gracious will you know the interesting thing about this passage is this is the only place in all of the Gospels where it says that Jesus was full of joy or he rejoiced this is it this is the only place and think about the context Jesus was full of joy when the workers came back and celebrated that they had done his work Jesus is now in cheer for excited about moving people into chairs three and you know what that's when we as a church should also read Joyce and that should be the goal of every church every believer to get to the place or we are helping others become those fishers of men right now what I want to do is just a huge introduction I actually want to get into the sermon notes and this is not going to be another half hour don't worry about that but now. When we talk about chair for we can say that a chair for a person is someone who develops others into disciples developes others or excuse me to make disciples chair for is about developing others to make disciples and so what must a person do to move in did share for well I'm going to give you three things that someone cheer for they must commit to all right the first is this someone who wants to be in chair for in other words they want to help other people be make disciples someone cheer for must commit to being themselves a living example they must commit to their life modeling to others what it means to be a fully committed fully developed follower of Jesus Christ turn your Bibles over to first US alone in chapter twoin the first one in Chapter two what we do is we see Paul talking about his role and I'm going to use this illustration Paul is basically saying when I was with you people in Thessalonica I was acting from chair for that's what Paul is saying I intentionally made my life a living example for you so first Isolani in Chapter Two beginning in verse six so this is Paul showing us that he is using this message as well first of all means to six Paul says nor did we see glory from people whether from you or from others though we could have made demands as apostles of crisis but while we were gentle we were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children so being affectionately desirous of you we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves because you had become very dear to us and so Paul a saying I gave you not only instruction but I gave you my own life and no studies using the language of a parent to a child that's the greatest way for us to understand what chair for is like you showing you model behavior like a parent does to the child person.For you remember brothers are labor in toil we works night in day that we might not be a burden to any of you while we proclaimed you the gospel of God You are witnesses and God also how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct towards you believers for you know how like a father to his children we exhorted each of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you into his own kingdom in glory so Paul was committed to these people of being a living example he lived with them and he showed them exactly how to walk now let's look at the results of Paul's work among those in the. Nika turn back to chapter one.In chapter one Paul is encouraging them because they they took Paul's example and they use it themselves versus alone in chapter one beginning in verse two.Paul Reiser them and he says we have thanks to God always for all of you constantly mentioning you in our prayers remembering before God and Father your work of face and labor of love and steadfastness of hope and our Lord Jesus Christ for we know brothers loved by God that he has chosen you because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake and you became imitators of us and of the Lord for you received the word in much of flexion with the joy of the Holy Spirit so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and K.-I for not only as the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and they carry K.-I but your facing God has gone forth everywhere so that we need not see anything for they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living in true God and to wait for a Son from heaven whom we raise from the dead Jesus who delivered us from the rest to come in so this power of a godly consistent example it's going to bear fruit we saw that with Paul and his example to the Festool and I can see and then how they modeled Paul's behavior to other people in one of the things I'm most grateful about our church is all the little kids running around in the hallways at our church in need like NEED had sometimes you going to you know you're going to bump into you they have this church a whole bunch of adults who I believe are committed to modeling to them consistently over the years what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ that's what they need and that's what we need to do as a church. So I want you to all understand that your example and not only to them not going to look at but to everyone here your example is powerful but it needs to be consistent and it needs to happen over years and years and years for a long time and so this is one of the things that a person must commit to if they're going to be in chair for and out as a living example the next thing they must commit to is point number two they must commit to have an intentional investment intentional investment in other words they need to be able to say this is the person or this is the group that I'm going off to and be very specific about it a turnover in your Bible so Titus Chapter twoTitus chapter two.And in this passage we see Titus or Paul telling Titus which groups are supposed to teach which groups what now the words the saying I want you to make an intentional investment in certain people's lives. So tired Chapter Two beginning in verse one.Paul says but as for you teach what accords with sound doctrine older men are to be sober minded dignified self controlled sound in face in love and instead fastness older women like wiser to be reverent in behavior not slanderers are slaves to much wine and here's what he says they are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children to be self controlled pure working at home kind in submissive to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be reviled you see how specific Those instructions are very intentional and see how practical those instructions are and so they teach through example let's keep going for six.Likewise urge the younger men to be self-control show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works and in your teaching show integrity dignity and sound speech that cannot be condemned so that an opponent may be put to shame having nothing evil to say about us and so what we see here is a genuine concern by believers towards developing other believers you don't find a Paul saying again after you've served in chairs three for this time go back to chair to he's just saying what you need to do is don't find someone that you can invest in find a specific person find specific groups of people that you can do that and so Paul is encouraging Titus to pick out those people and give them the vision for multiplication. I hope you see this in the Word of God I hope that I mean this is kind of clear it's not rocket science but more importantly. Has anyone ever done something like this to you. Again older person in the face and whether they're actually chronologically older than you or maybe that doesn't really matter but someone who came along side you took a genuine specific interest in you and just kind of walked you through what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ if someone has done that to you that probably made a huge difference in your life and here's the other question for those of you who consider yourself maybe at least a chair three or chair four Have you ever done that to someone else. RE said you know what I see so much potential in this person I'm just going to come alongside them in needs to be an intentional investment and we don't have to worry ourselves by thinking we need to reach every single human being on the face of the earth if everyone were to say I'm going to invest in this person or these couple people see what a difference that would make within the church and also in the life of those people.So that's the second thing that a person needs to commit to intentional investment and finally there must also be a commitment to this vision for multiplication specifically moving people into chairs three so chairs three people what they do is they work after going towards people and share one in share to ensure one they tell them about their needs their spiritual needs a period person sure through a look at the person in church to and they tell them about their identity and who they are in Christ a person chair for what they did was try to move more people into chairs three they try to find more people and move them into that position where they're going after cheer to ensure one people I want you to go over to chapter two of the second or second term of the Chapter two verses one in general.And this is the a very specific instructions that Paul gave to Timothy. Second Timothy Chapter two.So I can give the Chapter two verses one into.Making sure I have the right reference or yes I do so you. Timothy Chapter two verses one and two Paul says it's him of the you then my child be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ Jesus and what you have heard from mean in the presence of many witnesses in trust to face full man who will be able to teach others. You see what Paul is saying you've seen this in me and so I want you to entrust this in other people who are going to intrust it to the people coming up after them and so Paul is saying this is the model for ministry Timothy I want you to do this and so Timothy basically poll saying Timothy I want you to go make more fishers of men I want you to go after people make fishers of men and so this is the message that we see that Jesus used in making his disciples we see this is the method that Paul uses he went on his missionary journeys and this is the instruction I think that we as believers have that should be the message that we adopt as a church for making disciples that's how life works and this is how Ministry should work as well our goal as a church should not be to get as many people in chair to and to get them to know as much about the Bible so they can answer all the questions the right way all right that's not the purpose of church that's what purpose is for chair to only begins there we want them to move on so that they serve and they also invest in others well where do we do this in church where do we do this whole process of discipleship you know sometimes it just happens naturally over the years but we have had a few ministries that are very specific about doing this in fact one of the ministries It's called apples of gold it's based on Titus chapter two or it says older women train the younger women so we've done that we've also done some discipleship with some of the younger men in the church I'm also man months what I've done Man Month had some guys learn how to preach and teach I've kind of done some of that but you know I think the best thing our church is ever had for Seen this disciple discipleship process continue to develop is a youth camp.For those of you or a camp you're like oh yeah I can see that because in camp what you do is you have all the kids the kids are in chair one chair to write and then eventually what you want to have a some of those campers they grow up and they say OK now it's my turn I want to be a counselor and when they become a counselor they're moving from chair two to cheer three and we have so many of the young people in our church and the kids in our church who have gone through a West Coast Grace youth camp and a lot of the young adults and adults in our church here today serving went through camp and so it's been one of the greatest things that we've had for our churches made an impact on our church one ministry that we are going to grow and develop in the coming months and years is Homebase small groups I think that you've heard me talk about this but here is our plan for small groups in January and February what we're going to do is run have an initial group we're going to train leaders how to manage and run a small group and then in March April and May kind of coming up towards a Memorial Day we're going to ask everybody in the church to try a small group and it will probably be for about eight weeks or nine weeks or ten weeks and then we'll take the summer off so all go hide into our air conditioned homes and we won't come out until the fall and then in the fall we want to do is we want to launch home based small groups for the entire church and I want to try to emphasize something about small groups I want to tell you about the power of small groups in small groups Homebase small groups you have a stronger sense of community you know when people come to the church right now we're hoping that they can get connected to other people but when you get involved in a smaller group of people you're truly going to get to know them and it's going to be an incredible encouragement for people also if people are in small groups it's the best first line of congregational care a lot of times people can just fall through the cracks you mean you don't know what's going on in people's lives but if someone is involved in a home a small group those ten or twelve people that they see on a weekly basis they're going to be there to support them and encourage them and also. In small groups I think it is easier to help people move up in chairs in that type of ministry mainly because it is so personal and it is so consistent in fact I think developing small group leaders to reach new people might be the best form of discipleship that any church can ever have a small group ministries home a small group ministries are doing their they're doing phenomenal things in different parts of the world here in America people just need to make a commitment to carving out time in their schedules and so we want to do that as a church and as as I'm thinking about a home a small groups who kind of thing about this for a while and that's possibly relocating I kind of see God's timing in all of this is kind of exciting for me as a as I look at this I think God has brought our church to this point on purpose and I feel like we're a church a kind of constantly hovers between chairs three and share four and we don't have enough ministries right now for everyone to move in the chair three inch or four and so I see us moving possibly relocating from this building to the next building it's going to give us more opportunities to move people from chair to the chair three and these home base small groups from chair three to chair four and I just see how God's been working in the life of the church over all these years and and I think it's pretty exciting so this relocation project is not only about us getting a bigger facility or a nicer facility and it's going to be a lot nicer but it's going to provide more opportunities for this discipleship process to take take place and that has to be our mindset that has to be the reason why we're doing this otherwise we shouldn't do it that's got to be why we're doing this well you know kind of wrap this up I think this move thinking about relocating I'm I'm excited I'm also scared if you're not scared than you're not thinking correctly I think there's some scary things about it but you know as I've seen this unfold I just have this peace that God is he's been opening these doors for us and more importantly my excitement for what this will mean is for. As our ministries are the most exciting thing for me well I hope you have learned something and using this illustration a series of the four chairs and if you haven't necessarily learned anything new I hope that you have been inspired like I have been inspired just to seeing how important it is for us to commit to making disciples and for those for as Jesus did and for those who followed after him Well I'm excited for the future of our church and the Maison main reason for that is because I'm excited about the people in our church and I think we have a tremendous future no matter where we are but as we grow we must turn around and invest in those who follow after us both the kids and the people God brings into our path and so let's close in prayer and commit ourselves to this model of ministry let's prayDear Lord I thank you so much for the consistent ministry that you had here Grace problem church of Phoenix over these last forty years and I don't think that you make any mistakes father I think we are exactly where we should be in terms of time location the people that are in this church and Father we see so many people in this church that have wonderful gifts and abilities and you want them to use and develop them and so no matter what happens Father I pray that you'll help us as the leaders of this church to be creative and create opportunities for more Ministry more disciple making a place Father we just we just leave this in your hands this relocation project it's been neat and wonderful to see you open these doors and Lord them if you continue to open them help us all to have faith. That you are providing for us and things will be OK and that we can move forward and also Lord more importantly than that help us to know who we are as a church we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ to help us Lord be committed to that we love you Lord Jesus we praise Christ.
Preacher: Josh WhiteThe to do is I want everyone here to think about the most difficult thing you have ever done in your life not the most painful thing that you've done I'm not talking about something that happened to you but based on your decision the most difficult thing that you've ever done so maybe Here's some examples of that some of you may have. Found it very difficult to get through college going studying those four years or six years or eight years or however long it took you to do that.I know there's lots of moms here and so I'm sure near the top of every mother's list would be giving birth to a child I would be very difficult painful thing you've done I think I'm physically for me the answer isn't even hard to come up with back when I turned forty when I when I did the grand canyon rim to rim to rim I have never in my life one of the quit something so bad when I was at the very end it was so very difficult but all of us have gone through something very difficult that we chose to go through in our life and so if you're thinking of something right now here's a follow up question. Was it worth it.Wasn't worth it something difficult that you did and you got through to the other side can you look back and say that was worth it it was really tough to do this but it was worth it. The longer all of us live we realize that some of the best things in life can only be experienced on the other side of effort you have to do the work in order to enjoy something and so today we're talking about cheer three All right we're in the series on the four chairs and you know as as these are up here last week my dad was here and you'll notice these are different chairs right the only reason for that is I got lectured by my wife for using the chairs at the kids' need so we looked a little kids out those years and now we're using these and my dad was here last week and he said what was up with the four chairs and I said well we have visitors sit in those she. There's And we grill them and ask them questions and he was all there is like I'm not going to have you sit up there at least not on your first visit No I'm kidding I'm good we would we'd never do that but these are the four chairs I mentioned a couple weeks ago what I'm doing is I'm using this book by Dan Speight or it's called for chair disciple ing and this is just a great way for us to kind of see the progress that a believer goes through in their development and their maturing processes as someone has a relationship with Christ and so the first chair represents someone who does not have a relationship with Christ and as you go through the Gospels you see Jesus issued four different commands to the people that were around him and the first one was come and see come and see who I am see if I am the Messiah as I claim to be and so that's the first chair the second chair is what we talked about last week is the most fun it's the most fun chair it's for someone who says I believe Jesus is the Messiah I believe he died on the cross and rose from the grave to give me the hope of eternal life and so someone passes from chair one the church to now they have a relationship with him and that's where Jesus issues the command follow me so come and see now follow me follow me because I am the Son of God I am your savior the third chair is for the workers it's the people who are now putting their face into practice and chair three is the hardest chair this is the most difficult chair and this is where Jesus should the command follow me and I will make you fishers of men follow me and going to put you to work and then the fourth chair which will look at next week that's the chair when someone is now able to see the fruit of their labor the multiplying stage and that's where Jesus says follow me and you will bear much fruit and so this is this is the most joyful share so this is the this is the funnest easiest this is the most difficult and that's the one where we experience the most joy Well last week when we talked about his chair to an. The needs of someone in chair two when someone's in chair two they've made their decision accept Christ this is what they need to do they need to learn and they need to learn who they are specifically their new identity in Christ now they are not a son of this world their son or son or a daughter of God That's what they need to learn to need to learn how to walk as opposed to the ways of this world to walk according to the ways of God They need to know how to feed themselves how to talk how to clean themselves and so once a follower has spent enough time learning these things eventually it's God's will for them to move to the next chair and to start putting their face into practice I want you to open your Bibles to Matthew Chapter four.Matthew Chapter four and this is where we see Jesus making this transition with some of his followers Matthew Chapter four beginning in verse eighteenMatthew Chapter four beginning in verse eighteenit says as Jesus was walking beside the sea of Galilee he saw two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew they were casting a net into the lake for they were fisherman come follow Me Jesus said and I will send you out to fish for people and at once they left their nets and followed him going on from there he saw two other brothers James the son of a seventy and his brother John they were in a boat with their fathers of of the preparing their nets Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him I think I mentioned this last week. At first glance it almost appears as if this is the first time Jesus met these young men but actually it's not this is about eighteen months into Christ's ministry and so these men had known who Jesus is they had listened to him teach they had seen his lifestyle and so after about eighteen months a year and a half of them being in chair two he says OK now you know I'm the messiah come follow me and I'm going to put you to work I'm going to have you do the things that I am supposed to do and so Jesus challenge them to get to work and so what we're going to do is we're going to talk about your three today and we're going to do three things we're look at three things we're going to really define what chere three is we're going to look at the cost of being in chair three and then we're also going to look at the benefits but let's start off by drilling defining and discussing what cheer three is and if you're in Matthew turn over to Matthew Chapter nine.Matthew Chapter nine beginning in verse thirty five.Matthew Chapter nine beginning in verse thirty five.So this is a little bit later in Jesus' ministry his disciples are now with him and they are they have been made in to be fishers of men and this is what Jesus says to them Matthew nine thirty five Jesus went through all the towns and villages teaching in the synagogues proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness and so Jesus is out there and he's targeting people and share one right in his disciples are with him verse thirty six when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd then he said to His disciples the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send our workers into the harvest field and so that someone in chair three someone who says there's a lot of God's work that needs to be done in the world and I'm going to let God use me and my gifts and abilities to do that so chairs three is the workers you know I read for you last week or the week before the parable of the talents where the master called three of his servants and he gave two one five talents to one three and two one one he had a relationship with them obviously and all of them all two of them specifically knew exactly what they were supposed to do when they were entrusted with their master's possessions all to all just read this for you Matthew twenty five were sixteen it says the man who would receive the five talents. Went at once and put his money to work and gained five more so he worked as soon as his master said here's my here's my money this is the think there's a my resources the first thing he did is said OK he masters coming back I better get to work I need to put these things to work and we see the benefit what happened when the master returning. Twenty one it says his master came back in his mass replied Well done good and faithful servant you have been faithful with a few things I will put you in charge of many things common share your master's happiness so chairs three is for the worker the worker the one who says God isn't trusted me with these things now I'm going to do them and so chair three is about when we put our face into action chair two is all about learning and gaining the knowledge cheer three is where we put the knowledge into practice and this is kind of the difference between someone who is going to a high school going to college learning about their degree and then chairs three is when they get the job or they get their internship maybe some of you are you kind of went through a process like that you were in college or getting a degree getting some training and then all of a sudden they say OK now you have to go do it and you stop thinking about it now you actually have to go do it that's what chair three is is all about I want you to turn over your bible sufficient to.Fusions to eight nine and ten.Is probably my favorite passage and I have lots of favorites but this is probably my favorite.And then here we can see both chairs too and chairs three.He seems to eight nine talks about our salvation.He says two eight nine says For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourself it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast if you're here in chair two it's because you've accepted this free gift but there is a tenth verse where you verse ten for we are God's handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do and so God's desire is for people to understand who he is and then to put their face into practice and so chairs three. Is building on chair two we never fully throughout our entire lives we never fully are going to completely be done with here too we will always be learning and you and usually you know it sometimes it gets to the point in your face where you're probably learning new things every now and then as opposed to all the time but then you were reminded of things from before all the time someone unsure three they're still needing to be reminded of how to walk and how to clean themselves and how to talk how to do all those things but chairs three you know if you think about it from the standpoint of the the normal earthly development of all of us this would be the late teen years the college years and the early adult years that's where you're really learning who you are seeing your identity and finding your place in the world that's sort of what chair three is all about and this is where you do hard work school is hard work right if you've gone through school this is hard paring scene is hard work parents can I get an amen from that especially when the kids are a little on your job especially when you start your job for the very first time it's hard work chair three is hard work can you relate to this not spiritually but can you really. To cheer three in your life I'm looking at the audience today and most of you are not here OK you're you're not in elementary school you're now in chair three and you've been living life long enough that you realize this is hard there's a period in your life where everything is hard especially our parents and kids I remember. I remember the moment when we moved from one chair to another chair when it came to parenting our kids and it was when Jackie was able to open the car door get in herself. Put her seatbelt on herself and close the car door I remember the moment that happened sitting in our garage and I thought whoa we are now in a new stage of parenthood there was just a really good moment kind of a new stage in so I'm sure you can all probably relate this in your own life but can you relate to this in your spiritual life. Can you relate and recognize at some point you were no longer just the student but you became a teacher. You were no longer someone who was being served by others but you said you know what now it's time for me to serve I remember for me when I made that that switch at least for the very first time was when I was in high school and at my church and we actually did our own junior camp and I remember I was a camp counselor and so is the first time that I was actually in a position where I'm serving others instead of being served so this is the normal process that we go through and so that's what chair three is it's the working stage now let's talk about what it cost and this is not the fun part of the sermon because it's going to cost quite a bit the first thing that it costs to be in chair three is suffering. If you're going to sit in chairs three you're going to suffer. Some suffering might be physical especially from believers who are in different parts of the country in the actually get persecuted for their face but suffer. Being on an emotional and maybe even a spiritual level should be expected because we are living in a sin polluted world and if you're trying to serve Christ to make a difference for him you will suffer or I want to look at it just a couple of verses in fact we're not going to look at all the passages that say if you're a follower of Christ you're going to suffer because then it would be really depressing and everyone to go home scared so we're just going to look at a couple of these are right but the first one I want you to look at his actions after nine.And I've always looked at this with a smile on my face but this week it kind of took on a.I saw it kind of in a new light Acts Chapter nine beginning in verse fifteen. And this is directed at the Apostle Paul this is what Paul went through in his conversion Paul went from chair one straight to chair three pretty much just because of his knowledge and what he knew of the Bible and in Christ took him into the wilderness and explain things to him but in Acts Chapter nine beginning in verse fifteen talking about Paul it says and the Lord said enter nighest go this man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel verse sixteen I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. I used to think this was maybe some way of Jesus paying back Paul for him persecuting the church but I don't think so I don't think Jesus paying him back he was saying I am the Messiah and I'm calling you to serve me and you're going to learn what it means to be recognized and identified with me and you because you're going to be such an incredible servant of Christ you're going to suffer Jesus before he was glorified said he had to suffer he had to go through this world and suffer all read this passage for you this is in Luke twenty four twenty four Jesus saying he said to them how foolish you are and how slow to believe all the prophets and spoken. Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory and beginning with Moses and all the prophets he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself and so suffering for Jesus that came before the glory and this is true for us as well read this passage this is second Thessalonians verse chapter one verses fourth or six it says therefore among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and face and all the persecutions and trials you are enduring all this is evidence that God's judgment is right and as a result you will be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you are suffering if you're in God's will and you're serving him you're going to suffer I want you to look at this one go to Philippians chapter onePhilippians chapter one.This isn't necessarily a verse to share with somebody still sitting in chair one but that's true Libyans chapter one beginning in verse twenty nine will converses twenty nine thirty.Philippians one twenty nine and thirty says. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had and now hear that I still have another one I'll just read this second Timothy one twelve to the end of this gospel I was appointed a Herald in an apostle and the teacher that is why I am suffering as I am this is no cause for shame because I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day Paula saying I'm suffering but it's OK because I know the one that I'm suffering for and I know what he's promising to me some day so Paul is saying cheers three is hard but it's worth it I know it's going to be worth it and so chair two or chair three sounds difficult and it isn't so the temptation is wow I don't want to suffer so I'll just go ahead and all stay and share to others stay here and I'll just be it let somebody else feed me and do all the work or if there's some way that we could magically jump from chair to chair for maybe we'd all want to do that but that's that's just not how it works and so cheers three that one of the costs is there's going to be suffering another one of the costs is there is going to be pruning. I want you to turn over to John fifteen verses one and two you're going to be pruning if you're serving Jesus Jesus will want to make you more if fact of as his servant and sometimes he needs to remove things from your life so that you can bear more fruit John fifteen. Verses one into.Jesus talking to his disciples and he says. I am the true vine and my father is the gardener he cuts off every branch of me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful and so if you're in chair three and you say I'm a follower of Jesus Christ you should expect at some point in your life God might take something away because it's a weight that you're carrying that you don't need to carry or you might change something in your life so that you can bear more fruit God wants us to be as effective as we can and so sometimes he prunes us so that we can bear more fruit another thing about Chair three it costs laboring costs our time and our effort that's what Jesus said I went to his disciples when He says the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few… a lot of the harvest therefore to send out workers into the harvest field and what does a worker do when they're out there in the harvest field they don't stand there and tax you know they don't stand around and and watch everybody else work they're out there and they do the labor so cost the cost is there is laboring Have you noticed I'm sure it's been like this throughout all of human history but have you ever noticed that our society especially is very adverse to labor they don't want to work a lot of people they want other people to work for them and they want everything to be given to them for free and I'm not trying to make any kind of a political statement I'm just this is just reality people want other things they want it would be done to them and for free and and people feel entitled listen when it comes to your salvation of myself ation there's nothing that we can do to be saved there's nothing we can do salvation is not by our works but just think of how much work other people had to put into you being saved specifically Christ. Think of the things that Jesus had to do the work that he needed to do in order for you to be saved and not only that. Think of the things that other people had to do so that you could hear about what Jesus did for you you could only hear about this if someone is in chair three doing the work and so God has called us to accept this free gift and then he says now do the work so that other people can hear that salvation is a free gift so that's the cost of chair three all right there is a cost. Is it worth it it is it is worth it now let's talk about the benefits once you go over to Hebrews Chapter twelve. Heber of Chapter twelve.Beginning in verse one and this is another one of my favorites and I'm going to read this and this is a great way for us to view the things that Jesus did in order so that he could provide for us salvation is leaving us an example to follow because we are followers of Christ and so when he verse twelve vs one through three it says this.Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight in the sin which claims so closely and let us run with and Durrance the race that is before us and listen to what association pursue looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and his seat at the right hand of the throne of God How did Jesus get through the hard work he was focused on the joy that was set before him he knew that it was temporary The suffering was temporary but there is going to be this joy that he was going to be able to experience. You know where do we experience this year where you know I'm going to get a little personal right now just talking about how I experience joy in serving Christ and and as I share my own experience the things that I focus on I hope everyone in here is able to relate and say I I I. Experience that to so the way that I experience joy when I'm sitting in church two is when I really see God working through me that's a very humbling experience I happens in several different ways but every now and then when someone says you know when you said this in that message you know God really spoke to me and it's probably some obscure thing that I didn't even plan on saying and it's it's very humbling to know God really does use you if you put yourself in a position to be used by Him He will use you so I experience that and I'm sure most of you do as well if you're serving. Another way that I experience joy is when I see God working through my weaknesses. Not just the things that I enjoy doing that I feel excited and confident but I'm not going to share with you what my my weaknesses are as far as my my role as the pastor is concerned if if you've been at this church long enough I'm sure you know them but you know we're on hold all perfect but every now and then if there's something that I'm supposed to do and it's not the thing that I feel comfortable doing it's not something that I would naturally want to do but I show up and I do it and I see God's faithfulness and. And I see the goddess saying I don't need you to be good at this I just need you to show up you just have to be there and let me work and that was very humbling when that happens so that's the time when I experience joy another time I experience and I focus on the joy that God has given me is I have noticed over the years that I have my ability my my in durance is increasing if that makes sense my ability to endure is increasing. For the first several years of my my first pastor earliest the first few years you go from chair to the chair three in and studying in school it's all about theory and and you have this idea of this is what church should be like and this is how everyone should act in this so everyone should live their life and if everyone does that it's going to be just amazing and guess what. It's not like that church is difficult church can be very difficult so I remember the first few years and I'm certain every pastor goes through this. I thought this is hard Why can't people do the right thing and am I really should i really do this or maybe I should just quit and find find another job and just those thoughts go through my mind and they used to and they go through everyone's mind but as it as I've allowed all of my ideals to be completely shattered now I can appreciate ministry for what it is and and now when I'm in a situation that that it's not as it should be and when I'm frustrated with the person or or some kind of a problem I'm able to look at it and say you know what. That's OK It's OK if this problem exists it's OK if this person is is acting this way it's OK because that's just today and tomorrow it might be different and so God has given me over the years just this ability to see that the present isn't nearly as important as the big picture and as you're in chairs three the the benefits are God increases your insurance. If you don't give up he will increase your insurance if you don't give up I also get to experience joy in knowing that when I serve it's meaningful and it has everlasting value and that some day I'm going to stand before Christ and I'm going to be rewarded and if you're here today and you're serving you're saying you know what this is hard I'm tired.There are benefits and you need to focus on the joy in First Corinthians fifteen I want you to look at this this last first we're going to look at today. We're not done yet but this is the last verse first Corinthians fifteen fifty eight this should be underlined in your Bible especially if you consider yourself to be sitting in church three.First Corinthians fifteen fifty eight.Says their form. My beloved brothers be steadfast in moveable always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain if you're in chair three and you decide to serve Christ in some way no matter how it is no matter what it looks like whether it's in the church or outside of the church because not everything that we do for Christ is in in a local church I think you realize that but if you are going to stand in church censure three be immovable always give yourself to this work because it's not in vain. I want to show you a video right now some of you probably have heard the song before it's kind of an old song it's in there the guy's a look at me they're all kind of confused on this is a song by Ray voles saying thank you for giving to the Lord again this is an old song now you're going to see the video and I'm going to warn you I'm not showing you this because the video is really flashy it's old so don't get caught up on the graphics are right I want you to listen to the words all right and I don't know if it's going to be like this someday Well listen to the words of the song OK we're ready.You're in chair three it's going to be worth it this life and we don't know what it's going to be like in heaven but I'm sure we're going to know the people that we touched whether we knew it or not. The longer you sit in chairs three and you keep working the more people in chairs one and two you're going to effect and it's going to make an eternal difference for them.There's one last thing I want to say about your three and that's the big danger that is involved here three. It's hard. Chair three is hard in unless you have this internal perspective the know that there is this Fourth Chair what happens to people in chair three is they say you know what it's too hard.I want to go back to chair two.And they'll say I've done my time I've served I'm done it's too hard I'm going to go back to being served by other people that's not what God's will is for our lives you know I'm at this conference this last spring when Dan Spader was talking about this and he actually meant and he said just what I said right now a good friend of mine a pastor a friend of mine he's in a really hard church he's not in Greece about which are to be. He's in a hard church he's in a church where everyone's unshared to him and he's one of the only people in here three and I remember him saying you know Josh I might just go back to secular work and this is too hard maybe I'll just take some time and I'll go back and I'm just listening to Iman mean what do you say to somebody who is just that frustrated that discourage and when Dan Spader said that don't give up don't go back to chair three Afterwards he said to me he said I feel like God was speaking to me I'm not giving up I'm not going to give up there's something on the other side of this so if you're unsure three Keep going it's hard to cherish three is hard you know what it was hard for Christ. Cheer three it was hard for the Apostle Paul cheeriest three is going to be hard for everyone but it's worth it and so if you're here today and you're still in chair to strap on those boots let's get to work let's get to work and if you're in chair three Don't give up it's worth it it's worth it today and it will be for eternity so let's ask God to give us all the Endure Ince and also the eternal perspective we need to keep serving the Lord this break.Dear Lord I thank you so much. For giving us this unique perspective on this process of discipleship and the insight that you gave to Dan Spader that I'm able to to relay and share with everyone here today and it's so it's so wonderful to be able to see the for the progress that each of us goes through and there's a process to us being made into your image so I pray for everyone here Lord a grace publisher to Phoenix I know we have so many people who serve we have so many people in chairs three. Help us to just enjoy the benefits of charity three help us to be an encouragement to each other no one should be in chairs three alone we have people that that we serve alongside of and so I thank you so much for creating such a positive environment or we can do that and for those that are at that stage in their life where they are serving help us to focus on those that are not yet there so that we can encourage them to serve as well Lord our desires to be shining lights to this world around us Lord there is there is a harvest all around us even here in Phoenix and you need workers and so Lord I say is as the pastor of Grace about what you're to Phoenix here we are send us we want to be used by you for your honor and glory or thank you so much for this high calling that you placed on our lives we want to do. The best that we can and show your faithfulness in price and we praise him. And I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship with all the Spirit be with you all a myth.
Preacher: Josh WhiteOver over the years you've probably heard me talk about my absolute love of social media so it should not surprise any of you that I and I have a Twitter account how many of you are on Twitter is going to go on Twitter about a third of you on this side of the room is on Twitter all right why am I not surprised so I have a Twitter account however I want to tell you how many followers I have I'm really proud of this and last anyone from the first service now is following me it's probably going to the same number but I have are you ready for this year to be impressed I have thirty four followers that's it and it's probably a good reason because I have never tweeted in my entire life I have never tweeted I am a non twittering tweeter There were however if you want to say that and I think there's a couple reasons for that I think the first maybe they're the only reason is anything that I think is valuable and worth saying I say on Sunday mornings at nine in ten thirty and then I've got nothing else to say for the rest of the week so you are listening to all those things I feel are important to say but for those of you that are on Twitter you know we follow people you know you can follow someone on Twitter and you follow them because they have opinions and thoughts or maybe some experiences that you find maybe interesting and you say you know what I'd like to hear what this person says about the subject and I'd like to see what they're doing in their activities and and so at the very least you follow people on Twitter because on some level you find them fascinating or interesting.It doesn't necessarily mean that you like them or that you want to act like them or that you agree with them but you find that they are interesting.So is that how we should think about the people who follow Jesus Christif you're a follower of Jesus Christ is that the way that we should think of Christ someone who's just interested you know our church our we have a mission statement and that is to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ of the teaching and encouragement of God's word and so how many of you are followers of Jesus Christ you know on Friday I looked on Twitter to see of Jesus Christ had his own Twitter account and he does so I started following on Twitter and then I read some of his tweets and I'm pretty sure it's not the real Jesus so I might and follow him at some point in the future I don't know there is nothing bad on there it just kind of is this is obviously not Jesus but when. That's right it's so surprising I think he everything that he wrote isn't here already but when Jesus told His disciples He said follow me we have to understand that that he was asking them to do so much to do so much you know and before me I have these four chairs last week we started kind of a series on our value as discipleship as a church we have for values and we're talking about discipleship and a book that I told you about a man by the name of Dan Spader who is a conference speaker that I when I listen to him this last spring he wrote this book called for chair to cycling and it's about the four commands or the four challenges the Jesus issued to his followers so that they would progress in mature in their relationship with him and so what we're doing is we're looking at each of these chairs and hopefully will do as we go through this as each of us will just seriously consider which share or which stage in your development you are with Jesus Christ and then also ask yourself the question What is it that I need to do what are the things that I need to do or incorporate in my life so that I am moving from one chair to the next and so the first chair represents pretty much everyone that is ever been born These are the people who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and so the issue of the Jesus challenge to the people in sitting in chair one is to come and see. And see who we is explore find out if Jesus truly is the Messiah because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God And so the issue or the challenge the Jesus issued to the people in the world was come and see and so that's the first chair now so we talked about last week and Jesus goal is to get people to get up out of chip one and move into a chair to where they are a follower of Christ and so that's where Jesus told the disciples the people who had decided that he was a Messiah to follow me and so this is the challenge of Jesus issued to those ensure number two and share number three maybe the best way to describe the people that are in share number three are the workers that's when Jesus told the disciples follow me and I will make you fishers of men and so that's share three where someone says I'm a follower of Christ I know who I am and I want to serve Christ with the gifts that he's given to me and then when you get to a chair for this is when Jesus said to His disciples that they are now his friends and they know they his master's business and these are the people that are now multiplying their efforts and Jesus said You will bear much fruit and so chair fours for those people who are bearing much fruit and trying to invest their lives into those who are decidedly not disciple making Well last week what we did is we talked about the people in share one who are curious and the Bible says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and to move them from chair one which has no life no hope no redemption no grace no forgiveness and move them to chair two and so Jesus issues this challenge for those who are curious about him to follow me and so that is what we have and share number two but when he says follow me it's not him saying just find me fascinating and find the interesting Jesus that is actually asking them to change their lives. A couple times in Mark where he was talking to his disciples listen to what he says to them as he says to follow him.In Mark eight thirty four it says in. In calling the crowd to him with his disciples he said to them if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever would save his life would lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospels will save it so that's that's a pretty bold statement whoever will come after me must deny himself in other words say there's something about the former way of my life I need to leave behind me and I need to have a new way of living and Mark ten beginning in verse twenty one Jesus is how do you conversation with the the rich young ruler for those of you who are familiar with that story he came up to Jesus said What must I do to be saved he thought that he was he thought that he was already justified and because he was carrying out the two greatest commands and Jesus looked at him the rich young ruler and said to Mark ten twenty one and Jesus looking at him loved him and said to him You lack one thing go sell all of you all your possessions all you how they give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then come follow me so Jesus saying if you want to be my follower it's going to cost you something everything in this life that you hold as valuable and meaningful you're going to have to set it aside and realize that there are some new things that you're going to have to learn if you're going to become my follower that the Greek word for follow is the word.And it literally means to come behind someone or to actually follow in their footsteps to walk just like they're walking right behind them and in fact in First Corinthians eleven one you'll notice this is the first one on the cover of your bulletins Paul says this is another word that sometimes translated followers think the energy translates as follow but in First Corinthians eleven one Paul says be imitators of me as I am of Christ and this word this Greek word for imitator is the mess this and that is the word that we derive our English word mimic from Sochi. Jesus saying I am mimicking Jesus is so you mimic me pattern your life the way that I live mine. So as we go through each of these chairs what we're going to do like we did last week we're going to look at the needs of the people that are sitting in that chair to help move them from that chair to the next chair and kind of as a review on last week what we did is we talked about the people and share one they have three needs in order to move from chair one to church to the first need is they need to know their true condition apart from Christ they need to truly know that there apart from Christ that their sins have not yet been paid for they need to understand that the second thing a person unsure number one needs is they need for us you and me who are in chair two or three or four to remember what our condition was like before we followed Christ we need to understand and let them have that passion so that they can understand us and also a person and share one needs us to invite them to come and see who Jesus is well now let's talk about share number two and the needs of a new believer I think are some of the best and most exciting things about being a believer in Christ honestly when we look at these three chairs chairs two three and four Number two is probably the most fun all right going to be honest with you number two is probably the most fun this is sort of like the honeymoon stage all right share number two should be described as fine it's fine and share to share three. And you can't you have to show up next week even when I'm going to tell you cheer three is the most difficult chair three is the hardest chair but when you get the chair for you have the most joy you have joy and share for all talk about those next week but the warning that we're going to look at today is for people who are in chair two it's so fun it's so comfortable the risk is that we stay there and we never progress in our faith and we say. I like it here I like this year I like learning about who I am in Christ I like all the attention that's been given to me I like learning these new things I'm just going to stay right here and they never progress and the Bible warns us about doing that so we're going to do is we're going to look at the five needs of a person in chair two and you can follow along in the sermon notes but our chair two disciples need to know these five things and this is all about gaining knowledge chere Number two is about knowledge and information on the first thing someone in church needs to know is who they are.They need to know who they are or specifically who's they are a person and share to a new follower of Christ needs to understand their true identity for further development as a follower of Christ you know there's a couple things in the Bible to teach us about being followers of Christ the first thing it teaches us is that a person who has moved from chair one to chair to someone to place their faith in Christ the Bible calls them a new creation the old is past the new is come we get that in second Corinthians five seventeen Paul says to those in Corinth he says Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is past Behold the new has come.A person in cheer two they are redeemed and once you learn what redemption means it's exciting to see you know God bought me back out of slavery to send a person in church who is justified all their sins have been paid for in Christ's righteousness has been imputed to their account a person in church to the Bible says that we are literally Co errors with Christ and so that's fine and then succeeding to learn all of those new things about ourselves on First Corinthians Chapter six although I had read this passage for you in a V. as you go through the different paths or the different books of the Bible you realize that the policy came to people in different different chairs I think the people in Corinth got stuck in chair two they didn't do a really good child getting to chair three or four but he says to them and chair Number two he says to them in first Corinthians six nineteen or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God You are not your own for you are bought with a price so glorify God in your body and so everyone in SHARE TO needs to under did understand and they get to experience the joy of discovering these new things about themselves and this is fun especially when you're learning something for the first time how many of you remember that time in your faith where everything was new everything was new and exciting now sometimes if you've been a believer for a long time you learn something something new every now and then but usually we're just reminding ourselves of certain things but someone who is in chair Number two it involves learning new habits it involves learning a new way to think in the process our thoughts and learns developing a new way of interacting with other people and so the person in share number two they need to learn who they are because they have a new identity the second thing that a person in church who needs to learn is how to walk they need to learn how to walk once you open your Bible strophes in chapter four.He's in chapter four if you study the Bible you notice that there is a seam that goes all the way throughout it there's a lot of phrases that say that we are to walk a certain way and obviously that is kind of a metaphor for talking about the way that we're going to live so a new believer in Christ needs to learn how to walk or or how to live if he's in ZF or verse one.Paul says to them and he says. I therefore a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in a manner wording of the calling worthy of the calling to which you have been called so Paul's telling them your calling or your identity is that of a child of God And so you should walk or live in a manner that is worthy of that you know there's other passages all throughout the Bible that kind of say the way that we walk should be in accordance with God's word I'll read a couple of those for you Psalm one hundred twenty eight one says bless it is everyone who fears the Lord who walks in his ways also Hosea forty nine it says whoever is wise let him understand these things whoever is discerning let him know them for the ways of the Lord are right in the upright walk in them but transgressors stumble in them want you to turn over the first John chapter one.Words in your bible first John chapter one.Talks about the importance of walking in the light first John chapter onebeginning in verse six.John writes to these believers and he says of them are strong one six if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not participate in the truth but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. So as you read these passages I think it's pretty clear that the Bible is really giving us a choice we get to choose if we are walking according to the ways of this world or for walking according to the ways of God And so a new believer has to make a decision and say you know what I'm not going to do the things of the world I'm going to walk in a way that is in accordance with God's word and you know hopefully for everyone here I hope that you place your faith in Jesus Christ and hopefully as you grow in you mature over over the years you start to see a change in yourself and maybe other thoughts and patterns and activities that the world will run after you look at those and they might have seemed enticed senior or exciting at some time but have you ever noticed there's some things that maybe a one time more exciting for you but now you look at them and you're sort of repulsed by them so you know I just I don't want to go down that path I don't want to think those thoughts I don't want to act that certain way because it's going to take me away from God This is what a person and chair to needs to learn and so hopefully all of us have gotten that point we say you know I have a decision in this life and I need to learn to walk in the ways that the Lord is guiding me and so a follower of Christ should mimic the walk of Christ meaning they should live in a way that is easily distinguished from the rest of the world now the third thing that a new believer needs to learn is this they need to learn how to feed themselves they need to learn how to feed themselves you know it's fun watching a child grow and develop especially you know from from infancy and and when your kids are a little bit older the a sort of forget that but thing. About the stages of development that every human being goes through when it comes to feeding first when they're an infant they don't feed themselves right they're completely dependent on someone else to feed them so it's mom or the bottle or eventually you start taking the food and you cut it up in really little pieces and you stick in front of them and they use their hands and they just grab their hands and they shove it in their face and then eventually they use utensils and it's kind of fun eventually you know hopefully they grow up when they're able to use a fork and knife and a spoon and know the difference between the three but you know one thing I love about watching the kids and we did this with our kids I think we did with all three and I think everyone does this but you know when someone's turning one their first birthday I think is a bit like a universal law you're supposed to put a big piece of chocolate cake right down in front of them and just let them just take it and shove it in their mouth and just make a big mess of themselves and rub it in their hair and it's kind of fun to watch a one year old do that right to feed themselves it's really cute it's not cute when a fifty year old it's like that right they should learn how to sew so you guys if you're fifty don't do that yes.Someone's getting called out right now.You know eventually everyone needs to learn how to feed themselves and you know you talk about looking at our kids it's kind of neat when they're able to to make certain things and right now most of the things that they can make can feed themselves consist of pulling the the box of cereal out of the Cabinet you know putting it in the bowl I know Jackie is really good at making cheese case ideas and you know they can put the the chicken nuggets in the oven I remember before I moved out after I graduated from high school I was ready to you know be out on my own and I remember I learned how to fry an egg and I thought oh now I can fry an egg I can be out on my own I don't need anything else I can have cereal I can make looked at Newell's of sauce and I can make my I can make my own eggs you know being able to feed yourself and life is obviously it's a necessity but the same is true when it comes to being a follower. Jesus Christ.During stage sure in chair two it starts off with being fed other people are usually feeding you they're teaching you the truth but eventually all of us need to grow up to the point where we realize you know what I can do this myself I don't need to wait until Sunday I I can feed myself God's word and I can grow and and enjoy the nourishment of that once you open your Bibles the second Timothy Chapter three.Second Timothy Chapter Three beginning in verse fourteen.You just kind of understand the context here this is the Apostle Paul speaking to Timothy and Tim of the is the pastor of a church an emphasis at this time and so Paul is in chair for talking to someone who is at least in chairs three probably three and four a little bit and he's telling him to do something that he learned in chair to all right so this is something that the things that we learn and share too we never outgrow them and we never fully leave chair to but usually that's the foundation that we build our lives on so listen to what Paul says to Timothy about feeding himself so intimately three fourteen. But as for you continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed knowing from whom you learned it and here is referencing Timothy's mom and grandmother they mimics follow True Faith in God and so Timothy learned that from them verse fifteen and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through facing Christ Jesus all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness of the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work so this is telling us when we open up God's word and we feed ourselves then you and I as children of God we will be equipped for anything that God gives to us to handle and so every believer should come to a place where they simply want to open up God's word and soak it up we don't need to wait till Sunday in fact we should be feeding ourselves God's word throughout the week so that when we come together we are prepared to share what we have learned with each other so that's the third need of someone unsure number two they need to learn how to feed themselves the fourth thing that they need to learn to do is they need to learn how to talk they need to learn how to talk and by that I don't mean they need to learn all the Christian phrases all right and all phrases that we say in church that other people and share one they have no idea what we are saying they need to learn how to talk in other words they need to learn how to talk in such a way that they are giving grace to the rest of the world open your Bible to collage in chapter four.Kolache in chapter four this is a great verse I think everyone should I just underline in the Bible if you don't have it underline cautions chapter four beginning in verse fiveis mainly talking about the way that we interact with others people in church who need to learn this cautions four verses five and six Paul says walk in wisdom towards outsiders towards people and share one making the best use of the time and then verse six says let your speech always be gracious season with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. I think that phrase has been forgotten Look at verse six let your speech sometimes be gracious that what it says no it says always be gracious this is this is so powerful in the world today our world is filled with so many negative things being said so much negativity and if you decide as a child of God you're going to learn how to talk the way God wants you to and if you let God's grace poorest through you to the world around you people are going to notice that God wants us as His children to build people up to build up the body of Christ and our words are the main way that we can do that and so God wants us to be this this conduit through which God's grace flows into the world and so a person in church who needs to learn how to talk that's the forcing of the fist thing there's more but risk to look at five for today the fisting a new believer needs to learn is how they clean themselves they need to learn how to clean themselves because people get dirty and messy you know here in church it's really cute to see the progression of the little kids as they get older but you know what also happens when they get older they get stinkier they really do you laugh but it's true and we have a one as proof you don't want to we got three three age groups we've got the little cubbies and that's some ages four and five three and four little cute how these are adorable and they smell like cinnamon and sugar and they're just wonderful they don't stink they're just. They're just absolutely wonderful Those are the Cubbies The sparkies That's kindergarten first and second grade they're still cute you know for the most part and then you get to the T.N.T. kids especially the T.N.T. boys this is grades three four five and six and so all we have is we have game director Matt Bennett he gets these kids to run around in circles and then we put those boys in a room and we close the door and it's.All over the doors from time to time love people know how much time we have and you walk into the room your wall guys got ten minutes let's open the doors and let's air this thing out they stink.Sorry Titus it's true you stink. I'm just here to tell you the truth so my hundred nineteen so I'm one hundred ninety nine it says this How can a young man keep his way pure. By guarding it according to your word was my whole heart I seek you let me not wander from your commandments I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you obviously I'm kind of joking in saying that little kids think of course you know they stink we all stink but from a spiritual perspective all of us at times do things that make us on clean we can be washed by the blood of the Lamb we can be regenerated we can be redeemed but in this life we can find activities that are going to get us dirty and so we need to learn how to clean ourselves you know a great example of this is the prodigal son for those of you who are familiar with the story the prodigal son who was the son of his father thought that life would be better off in a foreign country and so he said Dad I'm leaving giving my inheritance and he went off and he spent his money on wild living and eventually he got to the point where he realized you know what this this was a big mess there's nothing here and he found himself in with the pigs he was in with the pigs and he notices the things that the pig. And he's saying I wish I had them for myself and then there's a phrase that I love one of my favorite phrases that the whole Bible gives us it says that when the prodigal son says when he came to his senses like he woke up and he realized what am I doing here I don't belong here this is not my identity he says I'm going to go back to my father maybe you'll forgive me and so he decided to get up and go back to his father and to clean himself up now does what a person in church who needs to do because they're going to make a mess every now and then hopefully not every day but you're going to make messes you're going to get into the things of this world and hopefully you say wait a second this isn't my identity this is not the way that I'm supposed to be walking and so a person in church to needs to learn how to clean themselves. So I gave you five things that a person share to needs to learn how to do and how many of you can relate to these you know hopefully everyone can say yeah I remember the first time learning who I am I remember learning how to walk how to feed myself I learned member all those things and hopefully all of us are reminded of that all the time and we realize we never fully leave chair to it's just the foundation upon which we kind of build the rest of our lives you know as it is we're going to get into chair three and chair for next week it's very important to notice that chair to takes time you can't progress from chair one to chair to chair three just overnight it takes time and something I'll talk about a little bit more next week but after Jesus spent his time with the disciples before he said to them follow me and I will make you fishers of men those disciples had spent almost two full years with him before he said that he didn't say to them upon meeting in the first time come follow me and I will make you fishers of men he said Come follow me and after they followed him for about two years then he said to some of them follow me and I will make you fishers of men. It takes time it takes time to move from chair two to cheer three and you cannot rush it this is a big responsibility when you become a worker of Christ in fact it's interesting I'm in first Timothy Paul is telling Timothy to look for the qualifications of someone who should be an elder or an overseer in the church and in first some of the chapter three verse six Paul says to Timothy he says verse six he meaning the man who you are considering to be make it an elder an overseer of the church he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up with concede and fall into the condemnation of the Devil In other words he must not have been in church.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell everyone knows that Tuesday is right.You think you do. How lean is Tuesday of course and all the kids are excited about that but how we know it has become something different for me since I moved here to Phoenix you know growing up in Washington State in moving to Michigan on Halloween always meant dark and dreary and leaves on the ground in cold and sometimes snowy and growing up in Spokane you know if you went out trick or treating you had to put on ice snow pants you know because it's going to be really cold but now that I'm an adult and I don't do trick or treating and I live down here how we in has now become the official irrefutable guaranteed end of summer right that we can now we can say it's over you see the forecast this year for this coming week we're going from the ninety's right through the eighty's straight to the seventy's and I'm not complaining that's great but actually how we mean we use that phrase to describe October thirty first but I hope all of you realize there's a more significant meaning to to October thirty first it was actually this is pretty neat this Tuesday October thirty first it's now five hundred years exactly sense Martin Luther nailed the ninety five species on the door of his church. Martin Luther was in August Indian monk and he was upset with his church not his local church but the church at that time there was essentially one denomination the Catholic Church in Catholic just means universal and he was upset for a few reasons and not only Martin Luther but a lot of people there was kind of this groundswell of.Anxious and some distrust of what was going on but there are a couple things that were going on that he was very upset and he was upset that the Catholic Church said that the pope was on equal footing with God and they could issue these decrees and they would be on equal footing with God and also the church at that time the Catholic Church that at that time was selling these things called indulgences. An indulgence they believe is something that you could buy and it could buy your way out of Purgatory sooner or completely altogether and so Martin Luther and some other people there say no no wait a second that's not in the Bible there's nowhere in the Bible where it says that and so he ninety five different reasons why he was upset and so on this day Tuesday five hundred years ago it officially began or as historians say it officially began the Protestant Reformation it's five hundred years ago this Tuesday there's a passage of Scripture that really inspired Martin Luther I'll read this for you but you can turn there if you'd like it's found and Romans chapter one.Chapter one Verse sixteen seventeen and there are these two saying is that really kind of come out of the Reformation that are attributed to Martin Luther although I'm sure he's not the first person to think these things or to say these things but he's kind of getting the credit for this but he's the one who kind of quoting the phrase Sola Scriptura and so Lafayette a meaning only scripture no other source of authority and only faith works cannot get you into heaven and that's what we can to get from the Protestant Reformation those two thoughts and he gets that from Romans Chapter one Verse sixteen seventeen Romans one sixteen and seventeen says for I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek for it is the righteousness for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith as it is written the righteous shall live by faith no works in there at all righteous will live by faith and that's the power of God for those who believe in so this Tuesday before all of you get into your sugar induced coma or maybe some of you will do that just remember how five hundred years ago God used this man and there were obviously other people but then he's kind of like. The one that struck the match is the one that kind of gets created and used to me and to get his church back on track the true body of Christ church and so that's something that we can kind of celebrate this coming Tuesday and if your friends and family members don't know about that now you can share that with them well we are now two thousand years into this movement called Christianity and there is one thing that has not changed at all in those two thousand years and that is what God desires to see happen in the life of every human being and what God wants to see is someone come to a knowledge of their sinfulness and their need for salvation and forgiveness and the place their faith in His Son and then for them to grow and to become mature that's what God wants for us and there is a process that we kind of attribute to that that there are a word or a phrase that we use to describe that process and we use the word discipleship to describe that process of a person becoming saved and growing and maturing in their faith you know we're finishing up our series now on our mission and our values as a church and I'm going to spend a few weeks talking about discipleship because when we say that we want someone to become a follower of Christ get to realize that there is a beginning and then there is a goal to that process and that goal is for us to bear fruit and to do that for God Well fortunately What's neat is you can Lakshmi read the life of Christ in the Gospels and not only did Jesus come and provide for our sins but he actually is this making a lot of noise he is going to bothering me to a better yeah OK So Jesus is not only providing for our salvation but what he also did this is the neat thing he actually left for us a model to follow and there's some specific steps that we can take with people to bring them through this process of discipleship So what I'm going to do is I'm back at the pastors conference this last spring there was a guest speakers name was Dan Spader and he's kind of the guru on disciple making. And he shared with us from his book for a chair disciple now the kind of answers why there's four chairs up on the stage some of you are probably wondering why are there four chairs up there there's no one sitting in these chairs and so during the conference he talked about how God has this plan to move us from one chair to the next chair and God desires us to be in the fourth chair and in just a few minutes I'm going to describe what each of these chairs mean and then we're going to spend the rest of today talking about share number one but before that we every now and then we have some missionaries a kind of give video updates and so we're going to see one from frosting Kathy Hanson. Kathy Anson are now in Bolivia they were here back in January and so here's a here's an update but I'm and I'm showing this in the middle of the sermon instead of before because as I watched this video this last weekend and I'm thinking about my sermon series here and say again this is this is the epitome of a description of someone who is in the fourth chair and you know the force here is get but frosting Kathy Hanson have devoted their lives to training people so that they can go out and be involved in the disciple making process and so it's only about three and a half minutes so let's just watch that update and then we'll kind of get into the rest of the the message here were or.Who.We are with.The first part of.The crew has been really big.For. Me and that. Means the location. You know a lot of friendships. Were never really.Who were just children growing up there I want them.I would desire to serve.Them and mourn with the doctor's office sitting.On a bicycle.And young men and women who are interested in action should accept them for us because one of our goals here this was for Trade Center to train then and women who work in churches as well as missionaries in other countries around the WM When.I have been there with a couple. Who are interested growing in their understanding of God's word and doing that weekly basis but often by some of them still.Seminaries from only denominations is the cruise and. Accomplished as far as their god for the opposition is concerned so we were able to talk to some of the issues and explain it is you.Who are growing the understanding I'm sure.I have traction and you know I can take.It.Away and women.A secondary go of what we're doing here work you know North nation office.One one of our pastors.Were saying and that was a number of years ago and so I'm preaching a weekly choir with just there is here are some good crews and there is a. Systematic Theology right now dispensation.And perforation for them to become what they want to reach your profession of systematic You know if you look at the British scientists in their press the Jews of scripture one of these pastors is teaching the same thing we are teaching.It is trash the next morning and so you want it there and.You would like to start doing that for the first three years after my wife so you can use those two.We have the technology to be able to do that you can hear from them I appreciate them so much they really meant a lot to me and my life you know that building that they talked about. Actually adding on to back in two thousand quite a few years ago a group from my church back in Michigan went there and we helped build that building and so I remember putting the bricks one hundred the great putting all the cement on there so that was a lot of hard work but did you notice how they were talking they were talking about investing in the lives of other people who are investing in the lives of other people and that's.All about so here's here's these four chairs the four chairs that represent the four stages of development in a believer's life and they're based around four different challenges that Jesus said to his followers and so what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you these four challenges that Jesus gave to his followers and then look at this method the first one chair number one. Is when Jesus said this is based on John one thirty nine he said to those in the crowd he said.Come and see it is kind of an invitation to find out who Jesus is and this is an issue or a challenge given to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ and so there's a difference between those that are in chair one and chairs two three and four chair one person is someone who has not yet a relationship with Christ and invites them to come take a look at him and say Come and see who I am the next thing he says this is for someone to.Follow me not just come decide who I am but follow me pattern your life after me and this is to describe someone who is new in the face kind of a new believer the third thing Jesus said and this is.Jesus said to His disciples follow me and I will make you fishers of men and so that's the next chair that's the. Step someone who is not only a follower of Christ but they realize that there is work to do and so they want to become a worker or a servant to help build up the body of Christ and the fourth chair is based on Jesus is statement to his disciples and we're going to look at this passage in just a minute but in John fifteen sixteen he says to his disciples Now I want you to go and bear much fruit and so the person who is in chair for is someone who is interested in investing in those who are going to invest in others and so this is the method that Jesus used and this is a timeless method and it's a highly relational method in fact if you look at this Jesus said this to people that he knew very well he wasn't just walking up to strangers for chair two three and four and talking to them that's for chair one but this is a highly relational method and this is kind of the discipleship process or method that we could be you should be using and as we go through these four chairs what I want everyone to kind of do over these next through today in these next three weeks is I want everyone here to do or seriously consider which share you are in you know where are you at in this process and consider what it might take to move to the next step or move to the next chair I want you all to go to John Chapter fifteen right now what I wants to do is kind of look at what the fourth chair looks like John fifteen beginning in verse fourteen.And I have to kind of paint the context here because that's extremely important and so this is said during the last week of Christ's life on Earth this is before his crucifixion this is during his last week and he's saying this to the disciples who have followed him and whom he has trained to be fishers of men he's saying this to them right before his death resurrection and ultimately his ascension and so this is what he's saying and this is the challenge for them to move from chair three up to cheer for you says this John fifteen beginning in verse fourteen. He says you are my friends if you do what I command I no longer call you servants because that's chair three because a servant does not know his master's business instead I have called you friends for everything that I learned from my father I have made known to you. You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit fruit that will last and so this is the last thing one of the last things that Jesus says to his disciples to move them from chairs three to chair four Well let's start of the beginning though when someone is born they are born sitting in a chair or number one everyone who has ever lived on earth has started off in chair one a chair one represents the person without Christ you're here today whether you're in that chair or not hopefully you've already moved on but you were born sitting in that chair and here's the thing that we have to understand everyone who dies still sitting in chair one will spend eternity apart from Christ and that's something that we have to understand and that's kind of a passion that we need to develop and so the best way for us to help someone move from chair number one to cheer Number two is by responding to their needs and those needs of the say. Aim for every single human being for all time and so I'm going to give you three things that the person in chair one needs and some of the things that we can do to help them so the first need of a person in chair one is this they need to understand their condition without Christ. For someone to move from chair one to church you don't have a relationship with Jesus they need to fully understand who they are apart from Christ want you turn your bible straight fusions chapter two.Chapter Two beginning in verse one.Fusions Chapter Two beginning in verse one and this is a description of someone who you know according to our example is sitting in chair one to one it says.And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked following the course of this world following the prince of the power of the air the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh carrying out the desires of the body in the mind and were by nature children of RAS like the rest of mankind so this passage is a description of someone who does not yet have Christ I mean think of all they think the things that it says in it like a verse when it says that they are dead a person is in chair one they are dead they have no spiritual sensitivities they are not aware of God It says that they follow the ways of this world they don't have their own goal they don't have an eternal perspective they just want to find out what they can get from this life they follow the graving there the cravings of their flesh they follow their own desires and thoughts ultimately this is someone who is in bondage to the flesh in the things of this world and also in verse three it says something this kind of shocking it says they were by nature the interview says object of God's wrath that's a description of someone who is in chair one and this is not good but there is a solution you know there's another couple descriptions of people that are in chair one in Second Corinthians I want you to turn there in this is a good one I think all of this should be aware of what the Bible is saying in this passage second Corinthians four four.Second Corinthians four verse four.It says this is a description of a some people that are unsure one the description is that they are blind they are blind Sangar the INS for force as the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the law. Of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ who is the image of God And so the Bible says that a person in chair one without Christ their blind faith in the god of this world the they are the ruler of this world has blinded their minds so that they cannot see another description of someone and share one is that they are lost in Luke Chapter nineteen verse ten it says For the Son of Man came to seek and save the last and so here are some descriptions talking about a person that's in chair one in in this book advance Peter wrote about a person and sure one and I can't say better sorry when I just read his quotation It says the people who sit in chair one are not simply nice people who need a little bit more life they are spiritually dead people who are incapable of knowing God through their own efforts and so the bottom line is until a persons knows where they are they will have no idea of how to get where they're supposed to be and so that is a description of someone who is in chair one and so that's their need they have to understand that they need to know that they are a sinner and lost so here's a second need that's the first thing the second need and this kind of puts some responsibility on our shoulders a person in chair one needs for us to remember our condition apart from Christ they need someone in their life in the you and me who remembers that we two without Christ are not at all any different than them once you go over to your bible says Titus chapter three.Titus Chapter Three beginning verse three.Titus Chapter Three beginning in verse three it says it's kind of a good reminder for us. For we ourselves were once foolish disobedient led astray slaves to various passions and pleasures passing our days in malice and envy hated. By others and hating one another.If you are no longer in share one remember you are absolutely no better than anyone in anyone else in this world the only difference is that we have accepted the reality of who we are we've taken hold of the grace of God is given to us and thankfully by the grace of God we can put our hope in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the only difference is they haven't done that you know just in talking about someone who's in chair one if you've been in chair two or three or four wherever you're out in the process if you have a relationship with Christ over time there seems to kind of be like maybe a separation between us and them we start using those kinds of phrases and so how do you feel about someone who is in a chair one what is what is your I mean honestly I don't want you to actually say it right now but I want you to consider this how do you really feel about someone and share one there's some options do you view a person and share one as people who we should avoid. In other words they might be a bad example they might kind of lead you astray so people that we need to avoid or do you see people in chair one as enemies who need to be destroyed and I'm talking specifically of maybe other religions. Like I don't know how many of you know Muslims I know we're live in America we live in Phoenix Arizona we don't rub shoulders with people of different phase but how many of you think of Muslims and think that there are enemies that need to be destroyed. Or do you see them as someone who needs to know the truth there's a huge difference remember when Ben Anderson was here this past spring we were two are actually the summer we were talking and he said you know in Singapore he comes across Muslims all the time and he was saying you know Joshua they're just like us they're concerned about their marriage their concern about their kids what kind of education they're going to get their concern about retirement they're concerned about all these things they just have a different perspective on what truth is and they need that truth just like us. The way that we should view a someone who is in chair One is they are a person who still held captive and they need to be found that's how we should really consider them. Because of as an example along those lines how many of you here have more than one credit card most of you are probably going to raise your hand well we in our household we have three we have our Costco card so you probably have that we have an Amazon card for all of our purchases on Amazon Prime and we have another card but those are imagining your you have four or five or six credit cards or however many it is and you open up your purse your wallet one day and you realize that one's missing. How do you respond do you say oh no big deal I've got a few more I don't need that one it's OK if that's lost or universe find their way absolutely not you're going to tear the house apart you're going to pin your kids up against the wall and say did you take my credit card you're going to go in your car you going to look under the chairs of your your get you have to find a credit card you go to Def-Con five if you lose a credit card right because you don't want your credit to be you know once people spending your own money you know that's the kind of passion an urgency we should have for people who don't yet have Christ that's the passion and urgency God has for those people want you to go in your Bibles to first Timothy Chapter two.Verse Timothy Chapter Two beginning in verse one.We see the love that God has for all people first Timothy Chapter Two beginning in verse one it says. First of all then I urge that supplications prayers intercessions and thanksgiving be for all people for kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life godly and dignified in every way this is good and it is pleasing in the side of God our Savior who desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth for the. As one God and there is one Mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all so this is God's heart he wants all of us to come to our knowledge and so for those of us who have moved on from chair one we need are they need for us to remember what our condition was like without Christ as well so that's the second Eden the third need is a person in chair one needs us to invite them to come and see they need someone to invite them to come and see who Jesus is go back to that passage in Titus Titus chapter threeI want to go on we stopped in verse three.But will just keep reading this time Titus three starting in verse three again. It says For we ourselves were once foolish disobedient led astray slaves to various passions and pleasures passing our days in malice and then the hated by others and hated one another but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared he saved us not because of works done by us and righteousness but according to his own mercy by the washing of regeneration or a new will of the Holy Spirit whom we poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior So that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life people in share one need someone to invite them to come and see who Jesus is and look at the description of Jesus says but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared Jesus is a good and loving God They need to come and see who Jesus is they need someone to say Come and see what mercy is like if you have a relationship with God you know what mercy is Mercy is when you don't get what you deserve and what we deserve is exactly the same as what they deserve and so they need to see what it's like to have mercy and what it's like to have forgiveness it says in this passage that we are justified justified means your debts are wiped clean and God actually gives you the righteousness of Christ.Come and see what grace is like come and see what hope is like listen if you are not in share one in your own chair two or three or four you have a relationship with God You and I we have hope there is no hope none in share one they need to know what hope is like you know just this year we've had a lot of people pass away in our church this year and it's been hard it's been hard to see that and you know this last Friday. Something that's not supposed to happen app and I don't child died. But Jason in Janine they have hope for the rest of this world without Christ they don't have a hope but they haue hope they have hope that they can see and spend eternity with their baby boy and if your spouse has died this year you have hope you get that hope in the world needs that hope and they can't have it if they're in share one and so they need us to say Come and see the hope that you can have in Jesus in the good news is we can make that invitation and the responsibility is not on our shoulders to make someone accept and believe that's between them and God and the greatest thing is the Holy Spirit is bald in this process of the Holy Spirit's job is to drop people to Himself Let me read a couple verses for you John six forty four it says Jesus says no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up on the last days that kind of takes the pressure off us we can make the introductions and then it's between them and the Holy Spirit also the Holy Spirit's job is to convict the world of sin in John sixteen eight in following Jesus said and when he comes talking about the Holy Spirit he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment concerning sin because they do not believe in me concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.You know the thing about Chair One is it's the most popular chair.There are more people in chair one than the rest of the chairs it's the most comfortable chair but there is no life in chair one and people need to see who Jesus is come and see who Jesus is and go to the next chair so what should we do with this you know if you are here today and you have moved on from chair one to chair two. What part of the discipleship process thinking of people in your life that are sitting in still in chair one what's the most um intimidating part of that process you think you know I know that I have some friends and family members and they need to know Christ and I know I should be talking to them and you're probably really intimidated and I think the process involves kind of this continuum you know in John it says that Jesus came into the world full of grace and truth and I think all of us based on our personalities in our the way that we've been our makeup is we kind of tend to gravitate towards either grace or truth generally speaking and so you might say you know what when it comes to disciple ing the people who do not yet have a relationship with Christ I can love them and I can come alongside them and I can show the mercy and grace I can do that but don't tell me to share any Bible verses with them because that just terrifies me and you might be the opposite you might say I don't like the touchy feely stuff you know but I know scripture and I can share with them truth we're probably also more in that on that continuum wherever you are go with the hot go with your strength understand that GOD will put you in the life of someone who will have that need and you can speak to that need trust God in this process but make yourself available for this process and if you're here today that's something that all of us should be doing but if you're here today and you're realising. You're still unsure one.You don't have a relationship with God What are you going to do about that you realize that you don't have hope because you have been trying to do this on your own Well today might be the day when you accept the call that Jesus is giving to you right in this moment to come and see who he is come and see the mercy and the forgiveness and the grace that can be yours and if you're unsure one and you don't have hope but you want it you can't right now so I invite you to pray this prayer but like everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes.And if you want to become a child of God and how this whole just simply. Pray this prayer to God and He will hear you say dear God I know I'm a sinner.And I believe you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. Right now I place my faith and his Does Death and Resurrection alone as the source of my hopeif you prayed that prayer for the first time today or if you've ever done that you are now a child of God and there is so much more to learn and experience. And will spend the next three weeks looking at just that let's pray Dear Father I thank you so much for revealing to all of us the truth about our sinful condition apart from you and Lord your desire is so much more than just us accepting your son his death and resurrection as are the means for our salvation you don't want us to just go from spiritually dead to spiritually alive there's so much more and so lord over these next three weeks I pray that as we talk about what it looks like to be a child of God and to be a servant of God and someone who might potentially bear great fruit for you I pray that you will really inspire us and encourage us and realize that there is a method and a process that goes along with us maturing in our relationship with you and so Lord I I pray that you'll bless me as the one who's I'm sharing these words in these these concepts I pray that you'll bless our church that we will be very committed to practicing this value for all the people that you bring into our midst Lord we love you and we want to carry on this process that you modeled to us in your perfect Son Jesus Christ and it's in his name we pray Amen.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWith what happened last year anyone knowwe have now been at two services for one full year that went by really fast so so it's good to see. I don't know if it's good that time goes by fast but I guess in one way it is well last week you know I got up here and I made a rookie mistake I can't believe I did this I said I thought summer was going to be over what a fool want to end this soon as you think you know it's going to happen and so if the weather forecast said it was going to be in the ninety's you know here in Phoenix you're excited when he gets out of the hundreds and then we're really excited when he gets out of the ninety's eventually but you know I'm eating my words and that's that's the danger of speaking in public right soon as you say something you can't take it back and you can be proved wrong and insured that's pretty significant So I'm very careful with what I say I'm glad that we're not under the law we're under grace because you know what happens to false prophets of the Old Testament you stone them to death so. We're not going to do that when we are in a series about church and we've been talking about our mission statement our values our mission statement here the reason why we exist is to help people become committed followers of Christ through the teaching and preaching of God's word and we've talked about what a follower of Christ does a follower of Christ fulfills the two greatest commandment some might be the best and easiest way to describe what a follower of Christ does that means we love the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and strength and we love our neighbor as yourself and so we've been talking about that healthy relationships these past three weeks and the phrase that we're borrowing from another church says that we want to see people develop intimacy with God community with insiders and influence with outsiders next week we're going to look at another value of ours faithful service and we're doing that in conjunction with our ministry Farrah's So there's kind of a methodology it's madness and so we'll talk about faithful service how God has made us to serve him in some special way and then you can have an opportunity possibly to think about how you. Get involved in our church but today we're going to talk about our most important value as a church and that is the foundation upon which we do everything at our church and that value is Bible centered cheating in preaching and so why is the Bible so important why do we call ourselves Grace Bible Church so this morning we're going to look at three main passages that the Bible teaches us about the Bible itself and I want you to open your Bibles for the first point to second Peter chapter one.Second Peter chapter one.And this is the first reason why we value Bible center teaching and preaching and the reason is this the first reason is because God wrote this. We value the Bible because God wrote the Bible so first Peter second Peter virtue after one beginning in verse nineteen.It says and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns in the morning star rises in your hearts knowing this first of all that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone's own interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit and so we have here in the Bible are the words of God as he spoke through men in the Holy Spirit you know we live in a in an age an interesting age and it seems like the last maybe fifteen twenty years that this is really become true we live in the age of information overload. Anyone who has an opinion about anything has multiple ways to share their opinion with the world we have Instagram Twitter Facebook. You Tube and there's probably another twenty five ways for people to to let the world know their opinions and honestly part of that's really good some people have some really good ideas and it's great that they have all these these platforms in these ways to to let the world know also there's also a bad side to that there's a lot of misinformation out there and people can be spreading that and if you want to you can read about people's opinions all day long every day and you'll never get your if your fill of it you know something going to kind of goes through my mind when it comes to us and our own our own ideas and our own thoughts as human beings we are finite and we're very limited in or understanding of what's going on in the world we see things every one of us sees things through our own lens all of us live in a specific time. And a location and we are all a specific gender specific age and so we all have these these limitations. That's why God's word is so important because God spoke to us and his voice is three of human limitations he is the creator and so he knows how things are supposed to be so when we read His word we're getting the most pure form of wisdom on earth you know I'm very encouraged whenever we have someone visit the church and they make a comment like this you know it's so nice or strange to go to a church that actually teaches the Bible and I'm shocked that we actually get those comments I think you know what are the other judges doing my of my opinions are probably as good as really nothing that's why I don't come up here and talk to you about my opinions that's why when we go to Sunday School classes we say OK open your Bible so this page God wrote his word and so that's why we value Bible center teaching and preach and so that's the first reason why that's our most important value because God wrote it the second reason is because the Bible is a spiritual book. The Bible is a spiritual book. You know there's a lot of good books out there I didn't really like reading when I was younger and when I got into college and especially after I love books and I love reading good books and I'm sure many of you probably have a list of your favorite books your favorite all time books you know I went on and I was kind of curious you know one of the best selling books of all time and so I googled it because you know how it's where all the information is and I think this was on with a P.D. and I can't verify how accurate this is but it came up with the top ten books of all time and so I'm going to give them to you OK and executing the Bible because you know spoiler alert it's by far the popular most popular seller of all time but can anyone tell me what you think according to the source either and don't google it get off your phones right now. Anyone tell me what they believe is the number one selling book of all time I'll be shocked if you know this it was written in sixteen or five.Don Quixote five hundred million copies I remember learning about Don Quixote when I was in Spanish class and all I remember is he was a crazy guy that attacked a windmill That's all I remember about Don Quixote second leading again according to the source Charles Dickens book from eight hundred fifty nine A Tale of Two Cities two hundred million books Jr Tolkien he wrote a couple books in the top five both of them Lord Of The Rings and then also the Hobbit hundred fifty in the one hundred million French book the little princesses number four never heard of that and number five a very recent book series Harry Potter that's in the top five of all time you know these books are popular for good reasons their own imaginative their They're full of the drama they're very inspiring you know they're kind of captivating but they can't do what the number one selling book of all time can do it cannot transform someone from spiritually dead to a lie.This book has. Words of Life and in fact speaking of how many books or how many copies of the Bible there are a one source said that between the years eight hundred fifteen and one nine hundred seventy five over two point five billion copies were printed. That's just those years and since then about an additional five billion copies have been printed and in this day and age of think it's almost impossible because everyone now they have it on your phone you have it on your i Pad and all of those and how many of you here have at least one the Bible for every person in your house in your house most of almost every single person I was in my office and I was counting all the bibles they have in one of my bookshelves I have twelve Bibles in my bookshelf right there plus this in plus the ones at home and so we have we have so many Bible so many so much access to the Word of God I want you to turn in your Bibles to Hebrews Chapter four.Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve.And this is probably my favorite verse in the Bible about the Bible Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve this is I think the verse it's printed on your bulletins this is what the Bible says about itself.Says for the Word of God is living an active sharper than a two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit of joints and to morrow. In discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart and no creature is hidden from his sight but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. You know the Bible it says it is so true you read this and how many times have you read the Word of God and it just kind of pierced you to the heart it exposes your wrong thoughts sometimes even your wrong actions but more importantly it can motivate us and it can give us hope and why is that it's because it's true God gave us the word of God and it's true and it's a spiritual book and so we can base our entire lives on the truthfulness and the timelessness of God's word so that's why we as a church value Bible center teaching in preaching and the third reason is we're going to spend the most time on this the third reason why we value Bible is we have this valuable center teaching preaching is because the Bible is useful it works when you read it and you put it into practice it makes a difference in your life if God wrote it in a spiritual then it has to be useful if it didn't work people would read it and it wouldn't be the most widely read book of all time when you open your Bibles to second Timothy Chapter three.Second some of the chapters three in all these passages that we're looking at today or are fairly well known in common and I'm sure that there are some Awana kids or former WANT TO kids are like yeah I memorize this verse I know this verse I have it memorized second simile chapter three verse sixteen and seven. This is why we value the Bible same time of the three sixteen seventeen says All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and quick for every good work and so the Bible is described as many things in this verse so let's take a look at them in the first thing it says is the Bible is profitable and this word means that it's serviceable it's helpful it's advantageous and this means more than just the fact that it is true and it has correct information in it it's actually helpful to us like a guess an example of the difference between truth and truth that is helpful in this day and age we no longer pull the maps out of our glove compartment right now you know you we have G.P.S. and if you want to know where you're going to try to go you can put on your phone you can look up on the computer and you can say this location I'm trying to get to it's it's at this point in this location on the earth that is a truth. Sometimes the truth is not very beneficial but the G.P.S. will actually say not only is this the location but this is how to get there and how that's beneficial it will say this is the fastest route that you can take or this is how long it's going to take you to get to that route and if you make a wrong turn it will know reroute you and so there's a difference between just how the truth the truth that is helpful and the Bible gives us truth that is helpful in the benefits us you know this word for beneficial it's used a couple other places in the Bible one is in first Timothy I'll read this for you first of the four verses seven through nine and it says have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths but rather train yourselves for godliness for while bodily training is of some value Godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the. Life to come the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance so this teaches us that when you put into practice what God's word says it values it benefits us in every possible way so this is the reason why we value the Bible it's true it's timeless the teachings and here they work and they work in a way that is profitable or beneficial to us and also to the four ways that Paul says we can benefit from them look again a verse sixteen that says All Scripture is breathed out by God and it's profitable for let's take a look at all for these for teaching for reproof for correction and for training in righteousness now the word here for teaching is the Greek word.And it kind of has the idea of teaching or giving instruction or precepts or doctrine and so maybe a good way to think about this is this is this is talking about more than just facts it gives us truth and it's important for us to recognize the difference between that a fact can be temporary.A truth is timeless and it's eternal life for instance the fact is that you at this moment in time way very specific weight right but Thanksgiving's coming that fact is probably going to change right or right now the fact is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a twenty two thousand eight hundred seventy one points that fact is going to change as soon as the market opens on Monday morning so a truth is something that is based on how God designed life to work and specifically truth about relationships our relationship with God our relationship with other others and so truths are timeless and when we turn to God's word so we can learn about these timeless truths and so the world is rejecting the idea that there are truths in God's Word that are timeless because what do we always hear people say well Times change times are changing so that no longer applies you know what you. Used to be true at a certain time but it's no longer true today are we dealing with facts are we dealing with truth God's principles don't change and so if truth not facts but if truth changes over time then what does it tell us about the Bible it's not useful it's not profitable it's not beneficial at all but the opposite is true and this is what we believe if truth does not change because truth is given to us by an all powerful creator then it is in the Bible and by reading and believing the truth it will benefit us so what are some truths that the Bible teaches us there's obviously many but I'm going to give you one verse that has maybe the two most important truths in the entire Word of God and Romans three twenty three and twenty four you can turn there if you like Romans three twenty three and twenty four but in this verse we have two truths that are.Of eternal significance the first truth is Romans three twenty three for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God That is a truth every single human being born into the world because they were born through a man and a woman they are sinners and they fall short of God's glory and that's a problem that truth should cause us to say Oh so what are we supposed to do when the very next verse it gives us another truth verse twenty four and we are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propane by His blood to be received by faith and so those are two truths that we cannot save ourselves we are sinners but the God saved us through the death and resurrection of his son so when it comes to truth the Bible is useful for that so where do you turn to for truth you know you know we always go online and there's T.V. shows. And there's all different things that we can look to but there is a Creator and God is given us he's made life to work in a certain way and he is filled the Word of God with truth and so the Bible is profitable for teaching or learning truth this verse also tells us that it is also profitable for reproof or rebuking and what this word means is something that by which a thing is proved or tested All right so reproof means if something is true you'll be able to prove that it's true if something is bad ish there should be proof and evidence that it's bad if something is good there should be proof and evidence that is good or some of the truth of the Bible gives us a sense do not lie do not steal do not give false testimony do not cover it. Has anyone in your life ever done any of those things to you.Probably so and how did you feel about it in her it probably heard it kind of affected your relationship.Do you think people two or three thousand years ago if someone lie or they stole from them do you think that they were affected the same way that we are affected today when it happens absolutely it's because truth can be proven and so that's one way that we can look at the Word of God and say it's good for reproof it will prove that it is true it is a kind of house and self-evidence another way that the Bible is used for reproof to confirm something not just the moral aspects of the Word of God but the prophecy you know last week I stood up and I prophesied that were done with summer and I was wrong right well you know how many times in the Word of God God said I will do this and you can turn the page and you can see he did exactly what he said he was going to do and so through the prophecies we see that the prophecy the Word of God is good for reproof in fact I'm going to give you some approximate numbers there are approximately two thousand five hundred prophecies in the Word of God. Twenty five hundred and about two thousand of them have already been fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so there's about five hundred that have yet to be fulfilled and so if about two thousand of them have been fulfilled just like God said that they would. How should we look at the other five hundred they're going to be fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so we can use the word of God in the prophecies for reproof and so God's the Word of God is profitable for that the fulfilled prophecy show us the accuracy of God's word God's moral law reveals that humans were designed to live in a certain way and when we do that we benefit and when we don't we obviously we suffer also in this verse that says The third way that the Bible is profitable it's profitable for correction and correction isn't so much replacing wrong information with right information this idea is to restore something to an upright or the right state and so the bible is good for correction sort of like a cast is good for correcting a broken bone or braces are good for correcting the crooked teeth and the purpose for the Word of God correcting us is never to humiliate us or to degrade us it's always to do just the opposite it's always about correction about improvement you know in English and six one it tells us that we are to help correct each other using the word of God says brothers if any of you is caught in any transgression you who are spiritual should research store him in the spirit of gentleness keep watch on yourself lest you to be tempted Well if someone is caught in the scent how do we know it's a sin Well that's where we go to the Word of God and usually people know that they're caught up in sin because their life isn't working the right way and then we can take God's word and we can say this is how we should change the way that we're thinking or acting so that so that we are restored to that correct position in another way talking about a correction so important and how many of you have a swimming pool. We have a swimming pool thing almost every house every other house has a swimming pool maybe not many of you well we're discovering we've we've lived in our current house for about three and a half years and our pool is our fourth child it requires constant attention and constant maintenance and a pool has it's kind of like life it dabs to its surroundings it's always changing and adapting well we're having some issues with our pool and everyone eventually gets some issues with the pool and so last I think it was last week maybe even on Sunday or Saturday I think Saturday I took a bottle of water imputed out and I filled it full of our pool water and I brought it into Leslie's pool supply and I said Soames wrong you know so they did the test analysis they go yeah you got some you got some issues here's what to do they told me exactly what to do and they said go buy these chemicals and pour them into the pool and so I left school supply and I had one of two options I could ignore what they told me to do and I could hope that on its own the pool would resort and self to the perfect human condition how many of you think I did that.Good I'm glad you could raise your hand or I could do exactly what they told me to do and I did and so hopefully our pool is in much better shape you know this is what the Bible does for our lives. Have you ever experienced the corrective benefit of the Bible and I know there's the obvious when you're doing something and it's a sin you're OK It's obvious you sent by think more of the correcting. Application of the benefits that I've experienced or maybe some of you have experienced is sometimes our stinking gets off track and we start thinking about life or relationships a certain way and then you read the Word of God in the Word of God says no that's not how things are supposed to work and so when you align your thinking with what the Bible says then life just starts to work better again when we look at the Word of God and we base our thinking and our lives on the Word of God then we're experiencing the corrective nature of the Word of God So the Bible is. Profitable for teaching for reproof for correction and then also for training in righteousness and this is dealing kind of with like disciplinary correction and sometimes maybe even like instruction or even kind like a nurture maybe one way that we can look at the Word of God as the Bible is kind of like the shepherd staff and the shepherd uses his staff to keep the sheep safe and together in and out of trouble sometimes and in kind of moving in the one direction moving forward want you to turn your Bibles to Heber Schefter twelve.Hebrews Chapter twelve.This is a passage of Scripture the talks about how God will correct us. Or train us to share in His Holiness because he's a loving God and he uses his word to do this sometimes Hebrews Chapter twelve beginning in verse five.He was twelve beginning of verse five says my son. Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him for the Lord disciplines the ones he loves and chastises every son whom he receives the giver seven it is for discipline the Jew have to endure God is treating you as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline if you are left without discipline in which we all participated then you are illegitimate children and not sons Besides this we have had earthly fathers who just won us and we respected them shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live for they disciplined us for a short time as that seem best to them but he disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness for the moment all discipline seems painful rouses than pleasant but later evil to the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it and so that's that same word the training of the Word of God How true is this how many have been disciplined for any reason if you look back on it you say I didn't like you have the time but I'm so glad that that happened it took place you know besides this word of training in righteousness always carries with it a very positive meaning it means that the continual training will get you to the place that you want to go if you want to become a certain person in life you have to go through strict training if you want to be a doctor you have to go to medical school you have to be trained if you want to be a chef get to go to colon area school you have to be trained if you if you want to be anything in life you have to go through the training the Bible gives us is given to us to train us so that we can be shaped into the image of Christ and so looking at these verses I know that we looked at three main verses and some other verses you see the Bible tells us how important it is in a think it proves itself to us there is no other source of information. On earth that does what the Bible does and that's why we value Bible central teaching and preaching so much and our church what I want to do is I want to close by looking at one more passage I want you to turn in your bible says second sympathy chapter four.Second Timothy Chapter four and this is a verse that I take very seriously as a pastor and one of the verses I think I'm the kind of motivated me to go into ministry just because I believe that the Word of God is is God's work for us and that we need to hold fast to it one second to the chapter for this passage teaches us just how true it is and how Porton it is to follow. So let's read this passage and then we'll close second Timothy Chapter four beginning in verse onePaul says I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living in the dead and by his appearing in his kingdom preach the Word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience in teaching for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having inching years they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. You know this is been happening for decades in for centuries and for millennia people are wandering away from the truth and what I hope will happen on an individual basis is when people wander away from the truth and they wonder to something that they think is going to be give them happiness that they will eventually realize that it's not what they were hoping it was going to be sort of like the prodigal son he thought he was going to find happiness somewhere else he got there he said this is not it and so my hope is that the body of Christ got to use the body of Christ and specifically us here Grace about what church of Phoenix now we will be so committed to being followers of Christ in fulfilling the greatest commandment that when people come in contact with us they will see that our lives they work not that they're perfect but that they work and they work because we are basing our lives on the Word of God and that's when we can share with them the foundation upon which we are building our lives which is God's word. So let's thank God for giving us his word and ask him for the courage and the wisdom for us to put into practice this break.Your father we thank you so much.We humbly come before you and we thank you for giving us truth in the form of your word and you wrote it down so that we wouldn't have to guess what you told us and Lord I'm as we sit here in the year two thousand and seventeen we can see how your trews are timeless and in the person of year all the trees that are in here the truth about how we're supposed to relate to you and to each other lord they're timeless and so it gives us this firm foundation upon which we can build our lives Lord I pray that as a church as we make this are our most important value the value upon which we build everything else in our ministry and that we will reap the benefits this harvest of righteousness if we are very committed to being trained by your holy word so Lord I just pray your blessing upon our ministry that as we hold fast to your word and as we teach it that it will yield the results that you desire from us Lord we love you and we give ourselves to you for your service with this we pray in Christ's name Amen.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWith what happened last year anyone knowwe have now been at two services for one full year that went by really fast so so it's good to see. I don't know if it's good that time goes by fast but I guess in one way it is well last week you know I got up here and Imade a rookie mistake I can't believe I did this I said I thought summer was going to be over what a fool want to end this soon as you think you know it's going to happen and so if the weather forecast said it wasgoing to be in the ninety's you know here in Phoenix you're excited when he gets out of the hundreds and then we're really excited when he gets out of the ninety's eventually but you know I'm eating my words andthat's that's the danger of speaking in public right soon as you say something you can't take it back and you can be proved wrong and insured that's pretty significant So I'm very careful with what I say I'm glad thatwe're not under the law we're under grace because you know what happens to false prophets of the Old Testament you stone them to death so. We're not going to do that when we are in a series about church andwe've been talking about our mission statement our values our mission statement here the reason why we exist is to help people become committed followers of Christ through the teaching and preaching of God'sword and we've talked about what a follower of Christ does a follower of Christ fulfills the two greatest commandment some might be the best and easiest way to describe what a follower of Christ does that means welove the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and strength and we love our neighbor as yourself and so we've been talking about that healthy relationships these past three weeks and the phrase that we'reborrowing from another church says that we want to see people develop intimacy with God community with insiders and influence with outsiders next week we're going to look at another value of ours faithful serviceand we're doing that in conjunction with our ministry Farrah's So there's kind of a methodology it's madness and so we'll talk about faithful service how God has made us to serve him in some special way and then youcan have an opportunity possibly to think about how you. Get involved in our church but today we're going to talk about our most important value as a church and that is the foundation upon which we do everythingat our church and that value is Bible centered cheating in preaching and so why is the Bible so important why do we call ourselves Grace Bible Church so this morning we're going to look at three main passages thatthe Bible teaches us about the Bible itself and I want you to open your Bibles for the first point to second Peter chapter one.Second Peter chapter one.And this is the first reason why we value Bible center teaching and preaching and the reason is this the first reason is because God wrote this. We value the Bible because God wrote the Bible so first Peter secondPeter virtue after one beginning in verse nineteen.It says and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns in the morning star rises in your hearts knowing this first ofall that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone's own interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit and so we havehere in the Bible are the words of God as he spoke through men in the Holy Spirit you know we live in a in an age an interesting age and it seems like the last maybe fifteen twenty years that this is really become truewe live in the age of information overload. Anyone who has an opinion about anything has multiple ways to share their opinion with the world we have Instagram Twitter Facebook. You Tube and there's probablyanother twenty five ways for people to to let the world know their opinions and honestly part of that's really good some people have some really good ideas and it's great that they have all these these platforms inthese ways to to let the world know also there's also a bad side to that there's a lot of misinformation out there and people can be spreading that and if you want to you can read about people's opinions all day longevery day and you'll never get your if your fill of it you know something going to kind of goes through my mind when it comes to us and our own our own ideas and our own thoughts as human beings we are finite andwe're very limited in or understanding of what's going on in the world we see things every one of us sees things through our own lens all of us live in a specific time. And a location and we are all a specific genderspecific age and so we all have these these limitations. That's why God's word is so important because God spoke to us and his voice is three of human limitations he is the creator and so he knows how things aresupposed to be so when we read His word we're getting the most pure form of wisdom on earth you know I'm very encouraged whenever we have someone visit the church and they make a comment like this youknow it's so nice or strange to go to a church that actually teaches the Bible and I'm shocked that we actually get those comments I think you know what are the other judges doing my of my opinions are probably asgood as really nothing that's why I don't come up here and talk to you about my opinions that's why when we go to Sunday School classes we say OK open your Bible so this page God wrote his word and so that'swhy we value Bible center teaching and preach and so that's the first reason why that's our most important value because God wrote it the second reason is because the Bible is a spiritual book. The Bible is a spiritualbook. You know there's a lot of good books out there I didn't really like reading when I was younger and when I got into college and especially after I love books and I love reading good books and I'm sure many ofyou probably have a list of your favorite books your favorite all time books you know I went on and I was kind of curious you know one of the best selling books of all time and so I googled it because you know how it'swhere all the information is and I think this was on with a P.D. and I can't verify how accurate this is but it came up with the top ten books of all time and so I'm going to give them to you OK and executing the Biblebecause you know spoiler alert it's by far the popular most popular seller of all time but can anyone tell me what you think according to the source either and don't google it get off your phones right now. Anyone tellme what they believe is the number one selling book of all time I'll be shocked if you know this it was written in sixteen or five.Don Quixote five hundred million copies I remember learning about Don Quixote when I was in Spanish class and all I remember is he was a crazy guy that attacked a windmill That's all I remember about Don Quixotesecond leading again according to the source Charles Dickens book from eight hundred fifty nine A Tale of Two Cities two hundred million books Jr Tolkien he wrote a couple books in the top five both of them LordOf The Rings and then also the Hobbit hundred fifty in the one hundred million French book the little princesses number four never heard of that and number five a very recent book series Harry Potter that's in the topfive of all time you know these books are popular for good reasons their own imaginative their They're full of the drama they're very inspiring you know they're kind of captivating but they can't do what the numberone selling book of all time can do it cannot transform someone from spiritually dead to a lie.This book has. Words of Life and in fact speaking of how many books or how many copies of the Bible there are a one source said that between the years eight hundred fifteen and one nine hundred seventy five overtwo point five billion copies were printed. That's just those years and since then about an additional five billion copies have been printed and in this day and age of think it's almost impossible because everyone nowthey have it on your phone you have it on your i Pad and all of those and how many of you here have at least one the Bible for every person in your house in your house most of almost every single person I was in myoffice and I was counting all the bibles they have in one of my bookshelves I have twelve Bibles in my bookshelf right there plus this in plus the ones at home and so we have we have so many Bible so many so muchaccess to the Word of God I want you to turn in your Bibles to Hebrews Chapter four.Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve.And this is probably my favorite verse in the Bible about the Bible Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve this is I think the verse it's printed on your bulletins this is what the Bible says about itself.Says for the Word of God is living an active sharper than a two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit of joints and to morrow. In discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart and no creatureis hidden from his sight but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. You know the Bible it says it is so true you read this and how many times have you read the Word of God andit just kind of pierced you to the heart it exposes your wrong thoughts sometimes even your wrong actions but more importantly it can motivate us and it can give us hope and why is that it's because it's true Godgave us the word of God and it's true and it's a spiritual book and so we can base our entire lives on the truthfulness and the timelessness of God's word so that's why we as a church value Bible center teaching inpreaching and the third reason is we're going to spend the most time on this the third reason why we value Bible is we have this valuable center teaching preaching is because the Bible is useful it works when youread it and you put it into practice it makes a difference in your life if God wrote it in a spiritual then it has to be useful if it didn't work people would read it and it wouldn't be the most widely read book of all timewhen you open your Bibles to second Timothy Chapter three.Second some of the chapters three in all these passages that we're looking at today or are fairly well known in common and I'm sure that there are some Awana kids or former WANT TO kids are like yeah I memorizethis verse I know this verse I have it memorized second simile chapter three verse sixteen and seven. This is why we value the Bible same time of the three sixteen seventeen says All Scripture is breathed out by Godand profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and quick for every good work and so the Bible is described as many things in this verse so let'stake a look at them in the first thing it says is the Bible is profitable and this word means that it's serviceable it's helpful it's advantageous and this means more than just the fact that it is true and it has correctinformation in it it's actually helpful to us like a guess an example of the difference between truth and truth that is helpful in this day and age we no longer pull the maps out of our glove compartment right now youknow you we have G.P.S. and if you want to know where you're going to try to go you can put on your phone you can look up on the computer and you can say this location I'm trying to get to it's it's at this point inthis location on the earth that is a truth. Sometimes the truth is not very beneficial but the G.P.S. will actually say not only is this the location but this is how to get there and how that's beneficial it will say this is thefastest route that you can take or this is how long it's going to take you to get to that route and if you make a wrong turn it will know reroute you and so there's a difference between just how the truth the truth that ishelpful and the Bible gives us truth that is helpful in the benefits us you know this word for beneficial it's used a couple other places in the Bible one is in first Timothy I'll read this for you first of the four verses seventhrough nine and it says have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths but rather train yourselves for godliness for while bodily training is of some value Godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for thepresent life and also for the. Life to come the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance so this teaches us that when you put into practice what God's word says it values it benefits us in every possible wayso this is the reason why we value the Bible it's true it's timeless the teachings and here they work and they work in a way that is profitable or beneficial to us and also to the four ways that Paul says we can benefit fromthem look again a verse sixteen that says All Scripture is breathed out by God and it's profitable for let's take a look at all for these for teaching for reproof for correction and for training in righteousness now the wordhere for teaching is the Greek word.And it kind of has the idea of teaching or giving instruction or precepts or doctrine and so maybe a good way to think about this is this is this is talking about more than just facts it gives us truth and it's important forus to recognize the difference between that a fact can be temporary.A truth is timeless and it's eternal life for instance the fact is that you at this moment in time way very specific weight right but Thanksgiving's coming that fact is probably going to change right or right now the fact isthat the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a twenty two thousand eight hundred seventy one points that fact is going to change as soon as the market opens on Monday morning so a truth is something that is based onhow God designed life to work and specifically truth about relationships our relationship with God our relationship with other others and so truths are timeless and when we turn to God's word so we can learn aboutthese timeless truths and so the world is rejecting the idea that there are truths in God's Word that are timeless because what do we always hear people say well Times change times are changing so that no longerapplies you know what you. Used to be true at a certain time but it's no longer true today are we dealing with facts are we dealing with truth God's principles don't change and so if truth not facts but if truth changesover time then what does it tell us about the Bible it's not useful it's not profitable it's not beneficial at all but the opposite is true and this is what we believe if truth does not change because truth is given to us by anall powerful creator then it is in the Bible and by reading and believing the truth it will benefit us so what are some truths that the Bible teaches us there's obviously many but I'm going to give you one verse that hasmaybe the two most important truths in the entire Word of God and Romans three twenty three and twenty four you can turn there if you like Romans three twenty three and twenty four but in this verse we have twotruths that are.Of eternal significance the first truth is Romans three twenty three for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God That is a truth every single human being born into the world because they were born through aman and a woman they are sinners and they fall short of God's glory and that's a problem that truth should cause us to say Oh so what are we supposed to do when the very next verse it gives us another truth versetwenty four and we are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propane by His blood to be received by faith and so those are two truths that we cannotsave ourselves we are sinners but the God saved us through the death and resurrection of his son so when it comes to truth the Bible is useful for that so where do you turn to for truth you know you know we alwaysgo online and there's T.V. shows. And there's all different things that we can look to but there is a Creator and God is given us he's made life to work in a certain way and he is filled the Word of God with truth and sothe Bible is profitable for teaching or learning truth this verse also tells us that it is also profitable for reproof or rebuking and what this word means is something that by which a thing is proved or tested All right soreproof means if something is true you'll be able to prove that it's true if something is bad ish there should be proof and evidence that it's bad if something is good there should be proof and evidence that is good orsome of the truth of the Bible gives us a sense do not lie do not steal do not give false testimony do not cover it. Has anyone in your life ever done any of those things to you.Probably so and how did you feel about it in her it probably heard it kind of affected your relationship.Do you think people two or three thousand years ago if someone lie or they stole from them do you think that they were affected the same way that we are affected today when it happens absolutely it's because truthcan be proven and so that's one way that we can look at the Word of God and say it's good for reproof it will prove that it is true it is a kind of house and self-evidence another way that the Bible is used for reproof toconfirm something not just the moral aspects of the Word of God but the prophecy you know last week I stood up and I prophesied that were done with summer and I was wrong right well you know how many timesin the Word of God God said I will do this and you can turn the page and you can see he did exactly what he said he was going to do and so through the prophecies we see that the prophecy the Word of God is goodfor reproof in fact I'm going to give you some approximate numbers there are approximately two thousand five hundred prophecies in the Word of God. Twenty five hundred and about two thousand of them havealready been fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so there's about five hundred that have yet to be fulfilled and so if about two thousand of them have been fulfilled just like God said that they would. Howshould we look at the other five hundred they're going to be fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so we can use the word of God in the prophecies for reproof and so God's the Word of God is profitable forthat the fulfilled prophecy show us the accuracy of God's word God's moral law reveals that humans were designed to live in a certain way and when we do that we benefit and when we don't we obviously we sufferalso in this verse that says The third way that the Bible is profitable it's profitable for correction and correction isn't so much replacing wrong information with right information this idea is to restore something to anupright or the right state and so the bible is good for correction sort of like a cast is good for correcting a broken bone or braces are good for correcting the crooked teeth and the purpose for the Word of Godcorrecting us is never to humiliate us or to degrade us it's always to do just the opposite it's always about correction about improvement you know in English and six one it tells us that we are to help correct eachother using the word of God says brothers if any of you is caught in any transgression you who are spiritual should research store him in the spirit of gentleness keep watch on yourself lest you to be tempted Well ifsomeone is caught in the scent how do we know it's a sin Well that's where we go to the Word of God and usually people know that they're caught up in sin because their life isn't working the right way and then wecan take God's word and we can say this is how we should change the way that we're thinking or acting so that so that we are restored to that correct position in another way talking about a correction so importantand how many of you have a swimming pool. We have a swimming pool thing almost every house every other house has a swimming pool maybe not many of you well we're discovering we've we've lived in ourcurrent house for about three and a half years and our pool is our fourth child it requires constant attention and constant maintenance and a pool has it's kind of like life it dabs to its surroundings it's always changingand adapting well we're having some issues with our pool and everyone eventually gets some issues with the pool and so last I think it was last week maybe even on Sunday or Saturday I think Saturday I took a bottleof water imputed out and I filled it full of our pool water and I brought it into Leslie's pool supply and I said Soames wrong you know so they did the test analysis they go yeah you got some you got some issues here'swhat to do they told me exactly what to do and they said go buy these chemicals and pour them into the pool and so I left school supply and I had one of two options I could ignore what they told me to do and Icould hope that on its own the pool would resort and self to the perfect human condition how many of you think I did that.Good I'm glad you could raise your hand or I could do exactly what they told me to do and I did and so hopefully our pool is in much better shape you know this is what the Bible does for our lives. Have you everexperienced the corrective benefit of the Bible and I know there's the obvious when you're doing something and it's a sin you're OK It's obvious you sent by think more of the correcting. Application of the benefitsthat I've experienced or maybe some of you have experienced is sometimes our stinking gets off track and we start thinking about life or relationships a certain way and then you read the Word of God in the Word ofGod says no that's not how things are supposed to work and so when you align your thinking with what the Bible says then life just starts to work better again when we look at the Word of God and we base ourthinking and our lives on the Word of God then we're experiencing the corrective nature of the Word of God So the Bible is. Profitable for teaching for reproof for correction and then also for training in righteousnessand this is dealing kind of with like disciplinary correction and sometimes maybe even like instruction or even kind like a nurture maybe one way that we can look at the Word of God as the Bible is kind of like theshepherd staff and the shepherd uses his staff to keep the sheep safe and together in and out of trouble sometimes and in kind of moving in the one direction moving forward want you to turn your Bibles to HeberSchefter twelve.Hebrews Chapter twelve.This is a passage of Scripture the talks about how God will correct us. Or train us to share in His Holiness because he's a loving God and he uses his word to do this sometimes Hebrews Chapter twelve beginning inverse five.He was twelve beginning of verse five says my son. Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him for the Lord disciplines the ones he loves and chastises every son whom hereceives the giver seven it is for discipline the Jew have to endure God is treating you as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline if you are left without discipline in which we all participated thenyou are illegitimate children and not sons Besides this we have had earthly fathers who just won us and we respected them shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live for they disciplined us fora short time as that seem best to them but he disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness for the moment all discipline seems painful rouses than pleasant but later evil to the peaceful fruit ofrighteousness to those who have been trained by it and so that's that same word the training of the Word of God How true is this how many have been disciplined for any reason if you look back on it you say I didn'tlike you have the time but I'm so glad that that happened it took place you know besides this word of training in righteousness always carries with it a very positive meaning it means that the continual training will getyou to the place that you want to go if you want to become a certain person in life you have to go through strict training if you want to be a doctor you have to go to medical school you have to be trained if you wantto be a chef get to go to colon area school you have to be trained if you if you want to be anything in life you have to go through the training the Bible gives us is given to us to train us so that we can be shaped intothe image of Christ and so looking at these verses I know that we looked at three main verses and some other verses you see the Bible tells us how important it is in a think it proves itself to us there is no other sourceof information. On earth that does what the Bible does and that's why we value Bible central teaching and preaching so much and our church what I want to do is I want to close by looking at one more passage I wantyou to turn in your bible says second sympathy chapter four.Second Timothy Chapter four and this is a verse that I take very seriously as a pastor and one of the verses I think I'm the kind of motivated me to go into ministry just because I believe that the Word of God is isGod's work for us and that we need to hold fast to it one second to the chapter for this passage teaches us just how true it is and how Porton it is to follow. So let's read this passage and then we'll close secondTimothy Chapter four beginning in verse onePaul says I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living in the dead and by his appearing in his kingdom preach the Word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke andexhort with complete patience in teaching for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having inching years they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and willturn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. You know this is been happening for decades in for centuries and for millennia people are wandering away from the truth and what I hope will happenon an individual basis is when people wander away from the truth and they wonder to something that they think is going to be give them happiness that they will eventually realize that it's not what they were hoping itwas going to be sort of like the prodigal son he thought he was going to find happiness somewhere else he got there he said this is not it and so my hope is that the body of Christ got to use the body of Christ andspecifically us here Grace about what church of Phoenix now we will be so committed to being followers of Christ in fulfilling the greatest commandment that when people come in contact with us they will see thatour lives they work not that they're perfect but that they work and they work because we are basing our lives on the Word of God and that's when we can share with them the foundation upon which we are buildingour lives which is God's word. So let's thank God for giving us his word and ask him for the courage and the wisdom for us to put into practice this break.Your father we thank you so much.We humbly come before you and we thank you for giving us truth in the form of your word and you wrote it down so that we wouldn't have to guess what you told us and Lord I'm as we sit here in the year twothousand and seventeen we can see how your trews are timeless and in the person of year all the trees that are in here the truth about how we're supposed to relate to you and to each other lord they're timeless andso it gives us this firm foundation upon which we can build our lives Lord I pray that as a church as we make this are our most important value the value upon which we build everything else in our ministry and that wewill reap the benefits this harvest of righteousness if we are very committed to being trained by your holy word so Lord I just pray your blessing upon our ministry that as we hold fast to your word and as we teach itthat it will yield the results that you desire from us Lord we love you and we give ourselves to you for your service with this we pray in Christ's name Amen.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell I'm feeling a little bold today so I'm I'm going to call it you ready. Time of death for summer two thousand and seventeen Oct eighth nine twenty nine A.M. There it is done.Yes cannibal How do you think that we're safe I think that this might be the year you check the weather in and we only have just a couple more days that are going to reach the ninety's in the morning did you walk out this morning that was little cooler I mean we're almost there so I'm excited I'm sure you're excited I love fall fall is by far my favorite time of the year I think everyone in Phoenix probably would agree that we have what we like we like that and one of the things I like about Paul is my wife really gets into fall I guess Renee she and Jackie They brought out some of the decorations which is what ladies do I guess and just put in pumpkins and leaves all around the house and all right whatever but the thing that I like more and more about the mood that she gets in is she likes to do all those baked goods those fall baked goods Alberto's like that's right so yesterday she's like I'm going to make pumpkin bars and she needs these really good pumpkin bars and has a sly cream cheese frosting on it is really good and so I'm going to give you the ingredients to my wife's pumpkin pie recipe you don't have to write this down OK but I'm going to give it to you right it's one cup of all boil two cups of sugar one can a pumpkin three eggs two cups of flour one teaspoon of baking soda to keep teaspoons of baking powder half teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of cinnamon so she takes all that stuff she puts it in she mixes it up she puts it in the pan she puts it in the oven and we're like we're get excited you know twenty more minutes you know ten more minutes and we can smell it and we're getting excited the alarm goes off she runs out she pulls it out and she looks out and she says I'm watching football and I hear her in the kitchen boy this looks different. And did I forget in the ingredients so she walks over and she looks at the. Greetings and she's kind of going through step by step and she goes Oh I forgot something now all those things that I told you besides the obvious can a pumpkin she put that in there she she forgot ingredient What is the most important ingredient of those do you think it needs to be in pretty much every big good.The flour she forgot the flour so basically looked like pumpkin flavored oatmeal it was just like sludge and we're like is it still good kids should we try and so I was like oh we're not throwing this away yet so Kyle tried it that you know we're throwing it away it wasn't very good so we scooped it in the garbage no big deal if you know she'll make another one that's fine I'm really glad she did it because now I had a sermon illustration so I really appreciate that she did it just for me but I as I thought about that missing one ingredient you can get so close and if you miss that one ingredient. It's worthless.We go through this life and we can have so many different experiences some are bad but I would say most of life is good at least maybe that's the way I choose to look at life in someone can go through their entire life and have all these wonderful positive encouraging experiences but if they forget the one most important thing in this life at the end of their life it's going to be absolutely tragic and that one thing is Jesus Christ without Jesus Christ in our life at the end it's going to be tragic and for those of us who have Christ in our lives it's important for us to share that with others so that they can have the hope that we have all right now we are going through our mission statement and our values and we are talking about our values you know our mission statement I've been repeating this for the last few weeks it's developing committed followers of Jesus Christ of the teaching and encouraging to God's words word and we have for values that we as a church say in order to develop follow. And price were in a practice these things were not healthy relationships practiced discipleship of Bible center teaching and preaching and faithful service and so we do those and a couple weeks ago I mentioned to you that I came across a pastor that I really admire in his church they they talk about what a follower of Christ looks like and they say and maybe this is the the easiest way for us to understand this if someone is a follower of Christ what do they need to do and God gives it to us very simply through the two greatest commandments obviously it's a little bit more complex than this but a follower of Christ is someone who's going to love the Lord their God with all their heart soul mind and they will love their neighbor as their selves and so that's what we've been talking about these last couple weeks and will continue today and when we talk about as a church we want healthy relationships we're talking about our relationship with God the Father with each other and with those that are outside the church and this phrase that I'm borrowing from on this pastor's church and you Stanley in album in Atlanta Georgia he says this he describes it this way and I like it so I'm borrowing it I'm going to use it here he says that they want people to grow in their intimacy with God in. Their community with insiders so we talked about last week and their influence with outsiders and so last week we talked about what it means to build our community among us inside the church and the things that we do is we use our words we use our actions and we also use our presence we need to show up and be there for each other but today we're going to talk about growing our influence with outsiders or those who are outside our church and specifically those who might not have a relationship with Jesus Christ yet now as we begin to talk about this I'm sure everyone here would agree that sharing our face whether it's through our words or our actions and evangelizing the loss is an extremely important thing for us as believers to do right. I think everyone would agree and yet we also get terrified thinking does this mean I'm going to go have to knock on doors and I'm going to have to confront people on the street no not necessarily so I'm hoping that through today's message that all of us will be really encouraged and inspired to make this something that we are intentionally doing in our lives but the people who do not yet know Christ and so today we're going to do a couple things we're going to look at why this is our responsibility why God tells us that this is a ministry that is given to us and then we're also going to look at how we should go about sharing our face and we're going to use a really great example from God's word There's a many examples in there but we're going to look at one from the Book of Acts But first before we really get into this before we look at our first passage just let me ask you this question a couple questions are how do you know when you meet somebody for the first time how do you know if they are marriedusually that's a good indicator right if they have a wedding ring on chances are most likely they are married how do you know if someone is an Arizona Cardinal football fan.There's a trick question their hair is falling out because there's no I usually probably have Arizona Cardinals shirts on there talking about the games are excited about it on the how do you know if someone is a the going. They'll tell you Don't worry about it they will tell you OK.All right and how do you know how do you know if someone is a follower of Jesus Christthat's an important question is it and there's many different answers but the question that we need to ask ourselves is if someone is known as a follower of Christ is that a good thing or a bad thing is the example that they're setting to the world is that good so what I want you to do is I want you open your Bible to second Corinthians Chapter four.I have quite a few verses that we're going to look at today most of them I wrote down in your sermon also you can kind of follow along but as you are turning a second Corinthians Chapter four I'm going to read just a couple quick verses.And I'm going to ask and I'm going to answer this question the question is why should we grow our influence with outsiders and the answer to that is because God has chosen to shine the light of His truth through us to the world God has chosen to use you and me to shine the truth to the world and we see this we love the principle of this in just a second but I want to read a couple verses for you before that in problems for sixteen.It says but the past of the righteous is like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter and tell whole day the way of the week it is like deep darkness they do not know over what they stumble if someone is a follower of Christ if there are a believer in God their life should exude brightness there should be wisdom in the way that they live their life Another one is found in Matthew in fact in most of the gospels you find us now with a little song maybe some of these saying as a little kid this little light of mine I'm going to let it shine hide under a bushel No that comes from Matthew Matthew is one of the places where we read this Matthew five fifteen it says nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand and it gives light so all in the house in the same way let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. But also guard or verse for today which seven Christians beginning in chapter four.And this is talking about Paul Paul is kind of defending his ministry and so the primary application is this is what policy and God has called him to do but the application is for us as well we have this same ministry that God gave to Paul seven grantees chapter four beginning in verse onetherefore having this ministry by the mercy of God We do not lose heart but we have renounced disgraceful underhanded ways we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word but by the OPEN statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our Gospel is veiled it is veiled to those who are perishing in their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God and then he says this verse five for what we proclaim is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord with ourselves as your servants for jesus sake for God who said Let light shine out of the darkness as shown in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and so Paul is saying this is the message that all of us should get is this all of us go through life and we are all proclaiming something most people go around proclaiming themselves a Paul says God has given me the gospel the truth so that my light will reveal the truth of him this is God's calling on his life and our life as well look at verse six again or six As for God who said Let light shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that's us we are the light in the darkness.So I try to get personal here how many people in your life in your sphere of influence whether it's family friends coworkers really you know whatever it is you do on a daily basis how many of them know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ how many of them know and just as important if they know are you make. Ensure that your life is a good representation of follower of Christ and as a pastor it's very difficult for me it's been very difficult for me to say you know this is how I'm doing this is so I'm being a good example to nonbelievers because you know if you're a pastor you usually spend almost all your time with people who go to church and so I finally have something in my life it's crossed it going to the gym it's been about twenty years since I've had something like this in my life where I was around other people who don't know Christ that was back in college when I worked at different restaurants a number of I think I've told you when I worked at the I helped me and another pastor friend of mine John Lauder they called us the Bible boys that I hopped and you were just trying to be a good example and so finally now I have crossed it and I'm around people I try to go on there about four or five times a week I've been pretty consistent in doing that and depending on my schedule you know whatever's going on at church I'll either go in the morning or the afternoon and I'm seeing some of these people three or four sometimes even five times a week and eventually as you're meeting with these people and you're working out together you start talking and eventually they find out what I do for a living it's not the first thing that comes out but eventually they find out that I'm a pastor and I'm hoping that by that time that they ask me what I do for a living that I have at least set a good example for them and then I'm very encouraging and so I make it my mission when I'm eating with people you know well somebody for the first time go up shake their hand hey how do you do when I'm trying to be an encouragement to them because soon as they find out that I'm a pastor then I want them to say wait a second that was a nice guy in oh by the way he's a pastor. And and I really need to watch how I act there because they all know I'm a pastor like for example this last week we had this workout. A warmup and they usually don't do this I think this is on Wednesday I'm not going to Zach and Ashley because they go to the same cross a place that I go to and and what we did is we did this warm up and we tried to get from one side of the room to another side of the room and it was the lava game was kind of done. Number the law again when you're a kid you go from one side of the room to the other and you can't step on the carpet Otherwise you're dead Well they decided to do that is kind of silly they put us into teams of four and each of us had a ten pound rubber weight like this big and about like that thick and as he was a four you'd take the weight and you would put it out and then all four of you would have to go and you get to the side of the room and as he's explaining this he says now you can't step on the floor because it's law if you step on the lava you're dead and you have to start over well everybody was kind of standing off the lava and for some reason I was standing in the log and so our coach said and look at Josh Josh is standing in a lot of us so Josh should be dead but it's OK because he's a pastor and he said that he actually said that and it was funny and we all laughed but it was just so interesting in his mind not all the dots are connected yet but in his mind he has a relationship with God there is life after death so he'll be OK if he dies there's a really interesting they're watching me and they're watching Zac and Ashley two of them they're hedging other people and that's it that's a good thing and as I get to know these people I really have developed a heart for some of them and it's great as I'm talking to some of these people some with.Some more than others because I see them more often and how would that leave me alone you try this kind of hard.But I'm talking to some of them and some of them will ask questions for me and the questions they progress they've started asking hey where's your church oh yeah OK you know you know where that is you know what time are your services we actually had someone came from our cross that I think actually invited someone you know she was here a couple weeks ago I'm hoping that eventually those conversations will get to so why are you a pastor you're going to deepen those those questions I'm very grateful and excited that I have a genuine mission field what about you.I know you probably don't go to cross with some of your. But you all probably have a job you work go to school for those of you who work how many of your coworkers know.That you're a follower of Jesus Christ.Is that ever come up how about kids I know in high school and junior high in elementary school I guess although measures to all kids are there out here I think the main goal is to get out alive or wants to just survive junior high and high school and everyone wants to just fit in and so sometimes there's a temptation when you're in high school or junior high to compromise your face so that people like you but let me just say this to those of you who are in that situation the people that you're trying to impress right now.In just a few years you're probably never going to see him again so leave them an example of what a follower of Christ is don't try to to get them to like you by compromising your face.Well what is a good way for us to make sure that our light is shining among those people in the world one of my favorite verses is in Philippians chapter two and you can turn over there really quick flip in chapter two.Beginning in verse fourteenI wish it was just this easy but at least it begins here Libyans to beginning in verse fourteen says Do all sayings without grumbling or disputing. That you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine is lights in the world so all we have to do to be shining lights is did not argue and complain no obviously there's a lot more to it but there's something very significant about this the Christian life is about unity and fellowship and peace and a person who is constantly grumbling in disputing and complaining they are working against of those things that the Christian life is about a person who's always arguing complaining they're they're interested in themselves not about creating unity among other people but when we do find a person who who lives like this in a selfless they truly shine is lights in this world and when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and to control our lives is as opposed to the flesh that's what happens and the light God shines in us will shine into the world around us so so this is why this is why we are to shine his lights or why we are to build our influence with outsiders is because God has chosen to shine the light of the truth through us well now let's talk about how how can we do this how are we supposed to build our influence and let me give you two forms of strategy and the first is this The Bible tells us in a couple different places and I want you to open to both of these the first ones and cautions in the next ones and first Peter but the Bible tells us one strategy for building our influence with outsiders and being able to share the gospel with them is this the first says we need to be ready to answer their questions we have to be prepared to explain why we are a follower of Christ. In cautions Chapter four verse five. Paul says this. Walk in wisdom towards outsiders making the best use of the time let your speech always be gracious season with salt so that one so that you may know how you want to answer each person and so Paul is even saying as you're out there dealing with people that are outside the face be very careful how you speak to them make sure there's always season with grace first Peter think this is an important one hopefully you've heard this before first Peter chapter three beginning in verse fifteen.First Peter three fifteenthis passage says but in your hearts on are Christ the Lord is holy always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you you do it with gentleness and respect and this is this is a good question if someone were to ask you why are you a follower of Christ are you prepared right now to answer them and you might say well I have got a few different reasons and some of you probably heard the phrase you need to have your elevator pitch ready you know if you're in the elevator or somebody got two minutes with them what would you say and I'll tell you what I would say to somebody and maybe this is probably changes over time because there's many reasons why I'm a follower of Jesus Christ but if someone were to say why are you a follower of Jesus Christ I'd probably say something like this the main reason or the first reason I'm a follower of Jesus Christ is because Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament proving that he was sent by God to die for our sins that's probably the first thing that I would say and that's the foundation upon which my faith is built Jesus is the fulfillment of those prophecies and I'm hoping somebody might say What are you talking about how ill and go to another question What do you mean prophecies and then I can have a chance to explain will the Old Testament was written four hundred years before Christ was even born and Jesus fulfilled according to some scholars say up to three hundred fifty three prophecies in the Old Testament and that might get someone thinking I want to know a little bit more about this but that's why I believe Jesus is the Son of God because he feel fulfilled those prophecies and so that's one of the ways that I would answer a person if they asked me and I actually want to look at some of these verses and I should I put in your sermon notes some verses so that if you're not prepared maybe you could use these verses to be prepared because maybe this week this is how it usually happens you hear someone say something and then that week you know you have a chance to do something sometime this week maybe somebody in this room might be asked by a for. And or a family or coworker hey why are you a follower of Christ or why do you go to church and now hopefully you'll be prepared on the verses that I want to highlight the first and most important one I think is first Corinthians fifteen I want you to turn to that one with me and I'll just read the other ones or at least reference them.First Corinthians fifteen verses one three or fourthis is this is an extremely important passage this tells us how a person is saved and what essentially is the gospel that saves us and it deals with the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled Paul says in First Corinthians fifteen beginning in verse one. First Corinthians fifteen one. Now I would remind you brothers of the gospel I preach to you which you received in which you stand and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preach to you unless you believed in vain For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received they Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures those are the prophecies that he fulfilled it was in the Old Testament that he was going to die for our sins first for that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures Those are all prophecies that Jesus fulfilled and if a person believes that the death and resurrection of Christ they are saying that's what Paul says there are other verses I think that are extremely important to share all my I put that in their acts four twelve John three sixteen and seventeen Romans eight ten nine ten and the Fusion's two eight nine.I think Acts four twelve as I like Khalid very forward it is it says and there is salvation and no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved but I leave those in there in the Bolton or in the sermon notes for you to have reference and maybe you could underline those in your bible or on your phone I don't know how that works I'm sure there's a there's a way you could do that but that's the first way that we. Help build our influence with others and really be prepared to share our faith and that's we are prepared to answer that question it's the second thing and the second strategy is this. Chances are someone in your life might ask you this question but chances are just as great probably even greater that they're not going to ask you a question and so the second strategy is you. Ask them a question you start a conversation. In our Thursday morning men's Bible study we just went through a portion of X. and I want to highlight a couple observations that we made from Acts Chapter seventeen so open your Bibles to Acts chapter seventeen this is the last passage we'll be looking at out of the Bibleand here in Acts Chapter seventeen this is really interesting this is Chronicle ing Paul's journey and he meets with three different groups of people that's when I call Bria and those in Athens and all three groups respond completely different to the Gospel that Paul presents and I'm not going to worry about the other things for this morning well just look at the book of or his encounter with the people in the city of acids and any give you the observations that we made this last Thursday morning and so as we go through it you'll be able to see them the two observations that I made and this is the way that Paul kind of introduced the truth to them the first thing that he did was he started off with something positive and he actually complements the people in Athens it kind of opens their ears in their hard to whatever he's going to say so he started off with something positive about them and the second thing is he found some common ground that they both agreed with so this through that common ground he can present the truth. So let's read Paul and his dealings with those in Athens Acts Chapter seventeen beginning in verse sixteen X. seventeen sixteen so just notice Paul strategy here.Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols and so you reason in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons in the marketplace every day with those who happen to be there some of the epicurean and still a philosopher is also going to burst with them and some said what does Babel wish to say other said he seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities because he was preaching Jesus on the resurrection and they took him and brought him to the area opposite saying May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting for you will bring some strange things to our ears we wish you no therefore what these things mean now all the Athenians in the foreigners who live there would spend their time in nothing except telling our hearing something new and now listen to Paul strategy he starts off with a compliment verse twenty two So Paul standing in the midst of their obvious said men of Athens I. See that in every way you are very religious and it's hard to pick this up from this verse they'll do it was there on Thursday morning and he said that this word for religious is good is a very positive sense and so Paula say hey man you all are brilliant people you realize that there are there is a power outside of yourself and so he complements them how many times have you had a conversation with someone and they complimented you at the very beginning and it made you want to listen the more I write that happens all the time now if someone starts a conversation with you and they say then you're really dumb you are you know listening also they say probably not so Paul says I see that you're very religious he's given them a compliment and now he finds this common ground upon which he can present the truth verse twenty three.So as I pass along and observe the objects of your worship I found also an altar with this inscription To the Unknown God was there for you worship is unknown this I proclaimed you and so Paul is saying hey I believe in a power higher than me too and now let me tell you who this unknown God is and this is what he says the God who made the whole world and everything in it being Lord of Heaven and Earth does not live in temples made by man nor is he served by human hands as though he needed something anything since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything and he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth having determined a lot of periods and boundaries of their dwelling place that they should see God and perhaps feel their way towards him and find him yet he is actually not far from each one of us for in Him we live we live and move and have our being and even some of your own poets have said for we are indeed his offspring. Being then God's offspring we ought not to think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone an image formed in the art of the magination man the times of the ignorance got overlooked but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the. World in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead and when they heard of the resurrection of the dead and some mocked but others said we will hear you again about this so Paul one else in their midst but some of the men joining him believed among them also were Dionysus the area up a guy and a woman named the Maris and others with them so democracy isn't in the first service today but apparently she was there so she she knows who tall is. Oh she's in the second service a good I'll say that too but listen this is a great method a positive approach usually works so well he says I see that you're religious you realize that there's something else out there and then he says Now let me tell you about this thing that you don't understand this God that you worship is the one true God and he brought around and shared their face with them you know for us what is some common ground that we can use in talking to our friends and family members. Obviously as you're you're meeting with people that you know you're having you have subject to come up and sometimes maybe you can work work in a spirit of conversation but one thing that's been happening just so much lately I think is a good way for us to bring in the Gospel or all of these tragedies that are happening I mean just this last week the shooting in Las Vegas and we have the earthquakes in Mexico and we have the hurricanes and people are dying how many friends and family members do you talk to people who do not know Christ and you talk about these things and we're all going to feel compassion and outrage over all of these tragedies one thing that you can say one thing that I can say to them is as you're talking about this so you know what those things happened far away from here but eventually something might happen in Phoenix and if it happened to you and you were part of a tragedy. What happened next to you.That's one way to bring that common ground so you're. Causing them to think about their eternal existence that's something that you can use just as an example. Where God clearly wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves and that includes us inside the church our church family but also includes outsiders people who don't yet know Christ and one way we can do that is to be intentional about growing our influence with them in the hopes that God might shine His truth through us was we've been going through this this morning I wonder has God put any person on your heart or in your mind someone you know that if they were to die today they would not spend eternity with them and you care for that person because they're your friend. Maybe God's leading you in prompting you to start a conversation with them. I just hope and pray that all of us will be willing to do that if necessary Well if you're here today and you've placed your faith in Jesus Christ you have the hope of eternal life and a relationship with God right now and that gets us through this life and into the next and God has chosen to share this hope with the world through you and me so let's I was God to give us the courage and also the opportunities to be used in this way let's bring.Joy to thank you so much for revealing to us the truth of our sinfulness and the solution which is the death and resurrection of your son or we thank you so much for sending him into the world and giving us this knowledge we thank you for the people that were in our lives that shared this message that we can have the hope of eternal life and Lorida you want us to love our neighbor as ourselves and we know all of us have people that we know that don't have a relationship with Christ and so help us to be very aware and conscious of this this ministry that you've given to us you want to shine the light of your truth through our lives and so help us to be intentional by growing our relationship with those outside of the church so. That lowered in your grace and in your time if that if it's your will that they might be led to Christ and we might become a part of that process that is our prayer as individuals and that's definitely our prayers a church here of grace by the Church of Phoenix I pray this in Christ me in that.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell I'm glad that we're still having church today with you know so many ladies gone there I guess there's thirty six up there at the retreat and you know I have to admit the Sundays that I'm most curious about when they you know I don't know what I'm going to expect when I get to church in the morning our Memorial Day Labor Day And this Sunday when all those ladies are gone but I look around and I see that there's quite a few ladies retreat survivors So if you're one of them raise your hand and there's a couple of us are going to be a support group meeting afterwards and we'll talk about how difficult it was to raise our kids when our wives were gone.Half half joking you know which was Christian being gone this week and she's one of the ladies that are up there I obviously get to appreciate all the things that she does around the house and especially on Saturdays Saturdays she does a lot of chores and so she said Now before I go I'm going to write down a list of everything that I would like you guys to do while I'm gone and it was it was a good list it was like doing dishes you know cleaning up rooms and stuff like that and also doing vacuuming this thing right here and she also had us to do laundry and that was the thing that kind of made me the most nervous it's like I remember every Saturday she spent like the whole day doing laundry and so I thought this is going to be tough and so I went over to our washing machine and it dawned on me it's been a long time since I've had to do laundry you know I did it all through college and I would survive and so I'm looking at the washing machine and we've got there's a new washing machine we got a couple years ago and I'm like oh great I don't know what the settings are should I just stay with the current settings What should I do and you know how much look detergent do I put into the load and I was a little bit nervous about this I knew I could figure it out but then my son Caleb came to the rescue he came in the laundry goes oh yeah mom taught me how to do this and so he put everything in there put it in there it was great so any of you guys need to rent out my son for laundry Zacky OK Talk Talk to me talk to me later well. Right now we're in a series talking about our mission as a church and hopefully you've heard me say this enough times that you almost have memorized by now but if you don't our mission here agrees about the Church of Phoenix is developing committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching in encouragement of God's word and so when we say that that's what we're trying to do develop committed followers you have to ask yourself the question what does a committed follower do if you're following Jesus what are the things that you're supposed to do and fortunately for us in the Bible tells us what we're supposed to do and the best way to describe what a committed follower does is that they will fulfill the greatest commands to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength into love your neighbor as yourself and what that looks like is obviously very varied many different ways to do it and as a church what we've done is we've said there are four values that we say help us develop committed followers and we've listed them as a bible center teaching and preaching discipleship faithful service and healthy relationships and right now we're going to be talking about what it means to fulfill the greatest commandments in terms of having healthy relationships and so last week we looked at the greatest commandment how what it means to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul in your mind and today we're going to talk about loving your neighbor as yourself and we're going to break that down into two different groups the people that are inside the church church family and those that are outside and you think what wait a second are we supposed to split people up like that well the Bible actually does make that distinction of loving our neighbor in kind of makes a distinction between those that are inside the church family those that are outside all read this verse for you you don't have to turn there but English and six verses nine and ten the possible writes to us and he says and let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if. Do not give up so then as as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are of the household of faith and so here we have the Apostle Paul is basically saying do the second greatest commandment Love your neighbor as yourself and then he says but paste special close attention to going above and beyond with those that are of the household of faith and so as a church I'm going to be borrowing a phrase that I learned from another password a different church I think I told you this last week Pastor Eddie Stanley he's out in Atlanta is Father is Charles Stanley and at their church they say how they fulfill the two greatest commandments they have this phrase and I know I can so I'm borrowing from them they say that they want people to grow in their intimacy with God community with insiders and influence with outsiders so that's how we fulfill the greatest commandment last week we talked about our intimacy with God Next week we're going to talk about our influence with those outside of the faith but today we're going to focus on each other how can we love each other and more specifically how can we build community as believers here and I'll admit you know last week I told you that the sermon that we did last week on loving the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength that's a difficult one it's a difficult sermon to preach and some sometimes a difficult commandment to fulfill because we can't see God we can't put our arms around God we can't do specific things for him but this one weekend. When he says The love your neighbor as yourself I'm looking directly at my neighbor's you are the ones that I'm supposed to love and when you look around the room you say OK these are the people that I'm supposed to fulfill this and so. It's kind of frustrating in maybe this is just me being a guy but if you have no control over something it can be very frustrating and there's a lot of things about. Earch that can be very frustrating in other words we can't I can't make anyone.I can't make anyone follow God's word I can't make anyone stop sinning I can't make anyone understand the truth I can't make anyone agreed to get along with other people but there's one thing that we can do is we can all decide to treat each other in such a way that our church will be a warm loving and empowering church that will build each other up and that's what this passage in the sermon is about this morning so what does it look like to love your neighbor as it relates to building community with insiders Well let's start off by reading from the book of turning the Bible so the Book of you fusions chapter four.If you chapter four and we will begin reading in verse elevenand the thing I appreciate about this chapter especially is if you ever want to know what the purpose of the local church is this is the passage you should go to you know why do we need how do we know we're doing what we're called to do if Chapter four really gives us the marching orders for the church really shows us what the purposes so if he's in chapter four beginning in verse eleven this is the purpose of the church.It says and he gave meaning Jesus he gave the apostles the prophets the Evangelists the shepherds in the teachers for this reason. To equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the face and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried or about by every wind of doctrine by human cunning by craftiness and deceitful schemes and so here is specially in verses twelve and thirteen it says The point is that we all contribute here in a local church setting so that we are all built up and that we become mature and a mature person is going to be able to distinguish truth from all the lies you're going to see out of there in the world well to keep reading in verse fifteen. Says rather speaking the truth in love we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head into Christ from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love so I like that last phrase especially when each part is working properly it makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love so that's why we do this so that we become mature so that we get built up well how do we build community and how do we help each other become mature well for this morning what I'm going to do is I want to give you three things that we can use to build each other up and create community with each other all right in the first thing first thing that we can use is our words. The Bible says that our words are very powerful and our words can either be you. Soused to build someone up or to tear someone down now can you think of someone in your life that you really like being around because soon as you're in their presence they usually kind of give you a compliment or say something nice to you and and you knew you go away and you're kind of a motivated little inspired and we like to be around those kinds of people right and how many of you can think of a person that you know when you're in their presence you have to say you're walking on eggshells you have to be careful what you say and what you do because if you step out of line they're going to come down on you right we probably all know at least one or two people like that well the power of our words is something that God is telling us about and we can use them to really build each other up let's keep reading and.Go to fusions for verse twenty five.If you choose for verse twenty five and Paul is telling us that we really need to watch the words that come out of our mouth and how we can build each other up with them so if he says for beginning in verse twenty five it says.Therefore having put away falso to let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are all members one of another so obviously this is speaking about us here in the church verse twenty six. Be angry and do not sin do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil let the thief no longer steal but rather let him labor doing honest work with his own hand so that he may have something to share with anyone in need of verse twenty nine is a key verse here let no corrupting top come out of your mouse but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear and do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed for the day every… ssion let all bitterness and rason anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice be kind to one another tenderhearted forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you you know this is the kind of passage that we should probably all read every single day right just kind of get it into our hearts and our my. But verse twenty nine is kind of the key verse here and I read from the E.S.B. but I like how it says it in the end i the a little bit better so I going to read this again from the N.I.V. it says the interview for verse twenty nine says Do not let any and the wholesome talk come out of your mouse Wow That's that's a hard one isn't it but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen you know that word for and wholesome or in the E.S.B. it says corrupting the the Greek word actually means something that is rotten in putrefied.So don't let any rotten words or putrified words come out of your mouth and when it's dealing with relationships it means something that is unfit for use it is it is worthless there are words that can come out of our mouths that are absolutely worthless and they do not benefit another person instead the words that come out of our mouths should be used to build people up and the Greek word for that is a quite a May and it means the act of one who promotes another person's growth in Christian wisdom piety happiness and holiness and the thing that I like about this verse so much it when there are so many things in our face that we cannot control this is one that we can we get to choose the words that come out of our mouth and we can choose to intentionally build other people up.A good example of this I'm going to talk about Cross Fit totals that can actually be frozen in time across and they go to my of my same cross with Jim and so I think you'll appreciate this as well but the biggest difference between cross fit in a regular gym is well there's a few differences but the main one is when you go to Cross Fit everybody does the workout at the exact same time you see if you go to a gym then everyone kind of does their own thing but it cross fit you've got about like an hour long class and everybody does the same thing and so a couple things that that will do. Is it creates a lot of competition in a mean that in a good way because you'll see somebody else and say well they're about my size OK I have to really work hard so that I can beat them every now and then I'll be working I was back in just this last week Zak's like I'm going to beach in today's workout I'm like no you're not you say yes I so kind of like that kind of competition Another thing is it really builds camaraderie because you're suffering with other people and suffering produces that compassion and so you really start cheering each other on and say OK you can do this you finish make sure you get this done.There's something that at our gym at our crossroad box that is really neat and I want to share that with you where we work out there was a room at the back of the area where parents can bring their kids and they can have the little kids in there so they're working out and there's this big window in the coach of our cross a box he puts every month if you if you set up P.R. which is a personal record you write up on that window what your records or it means like if you lifted a certain amount of weight that's the most weight you've ever done you put that out there or if you did a certain skill you put that out there and it's really encouraging because the beginning of the month it's completely clean there's nothing up there but at the end of the month it's filled with everybody who made improvements and so this last month month of September I had three P.R. is up there and that's not saying much because it's usually the first time I'm doing anything so the first time you do a left you just had a P.R. So you know it's not a big deal but I had three P.R.'s up there in a labor day I set a P.R. for a power cleaning power cleaners where you pick the weight up off the ground you bring it to your chest and then I said another P.R. for a squat and something else maybe I'm saying you had three three hours and this last Friday we had the work out of the day was to set basically do your best P.R. for powerfully and so I set my P.R. in Labor Day and then I beat it by ten pounds this last Friday and after. As I was really excited I mean it's motivating when you set up P.R. and so I went over to the board and I crossed out the old weight and I put the new way and I was kind of feeling good about that and then one of the guys that I was working out with he said and he was embellish ing but he said man Josh you're going to need a window for all of your own window for all your pee Harz And of course he was just teasing me and I only had three up there but it was at that moment when he said that it's like all of this adrenaline shot through my body it's like that's it I'm going to go do something else I'm going to listen or ways I want to set a new P.R. but look at this first again says Do not let any on wholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen you know in that moment those words even though he was just kind of joking around it built me up and it was perfect for that occasion he could have said a lot of other things he could have said all those great as you said a P.R. But you're not nearly as strong as these five other people I mean now is that those kind of going to your statement he could have said that or he also could have said that's fine if you set a P.R. for your power clean but you're really horrible at this event this event and this event he could have said that and that could have been very true but in that moment he chose the words that came out of his mouth were going to build me up and that's it was very motivating.I was thinking to myself you know we should have something like that here church I don't know how what that would look like I don't think that we should write on the windows and and how do you how do you do P.R. is for a church you know the most Bible verses read or the most prayers in a day and I don't know what your the most the most amount of time that you went without getting angry or how beginning your thoughts I don't know what a P.R. will look like in a church we're not going to do that however I think one thing that we can do what our church that's something similar is.You look at your bulletin and our Bolton is full of people who are here Vala. During their time and working to build this church.And so every Sunday that we come here you see someone doing something whether it's being a praise prompt or appear leaning in a van someone out there working in the kitchen someone working in the nursery thank them for what they do that's something that we can do we can build each other up you know speaking of. Of cross with this kind of goes along with what I was just talking about one of the coaches there his name is Chris and he took an opportunity to remind everyone at Cross Fit that there one of the things that they're supposed to do is to really encourage each other and so on on the toss Cross Fit Facebook group he wrote this kind of as a reminder to encourage people to be encouraging and so he wrote these words to everybody he said and not as a kind of a critique but just kind of as a reminder he says today is a great opportunity to improve on something I've noticed we are somewhat slacking in a lot of times when we will have a work out there designed when everyone finishes at the same time but today is a rounds for time where many people will finish at different times we need to be sure that we are supporting every member until the final person finishes the work out this doesn't mean that you have to be some sort of exhausted cheerleader but rather to simply wait until everyone is done to put away your gear wait to go pack up your things and leave wait until everyone has done to start to cash out together it's very distracting in discouraging when these things are happening and you're among the last trying to complete the work out we've all been there we can do better and so he wrote that to a bunch of athletes across it saying let's stay around and let's encourage each other and all the people their comments afterwards are like all thanks for the reminder all do a better job next time and I was just thinking a gym or across a box or whatever you go to if we can recognize they are the power of encouragement in being supportive when the results are mainly physical and temporary how much more important is it for us to encourage each other here where the results are spiritual and eternal.And the greatest thing is it's our choice we get to choose to do this and I think all of us would agree that this is the kind of church that we want to be a part of right and honest and I'm not preaching a sermon because I don't think we're doing a good job with this in fact I think we're doing a good job but it needs to be intentional because the opposite of this is a very obvious and very discouraging backing glaciations all read this this passage from five fourteen and fifteen it says but the whole law is fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself but if you buy in devour one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another and not so easy for us to be nit picking and complaining criticizing and again it's our choice we get to choose this can any of you think of a time when you left church or inspired and motivated and kind of excited about your face if so there were probably some encouraging words directed at you that Sunday and that's something all of us get to choose to do now before we all run out and say OK I'm going to give five compliments every Sunday at church which is a great great idea we have to realize loving your neighbor that it's more than just words sometimes more than words are needed and so the second thing that the Bible tells us that we can do to help love each other is this not only should we use our words but we also need to use actions we need to use our actions and there are several passages in the Bible there really teach us how to treat each other one of my favorites is in Romans Chapter twelve so let's go through Romans Chapter twelve. And there's a string of verses here there really tell us how we should be treating each other within the Body of Christ aromas Chapter twelve beginning in verse nine.Romans Chapter twelve beginning in verse nine.It says Let love be genuine a… what is evil hold fast to what is good love one another with brotherly affection outdo one another and showing honor Do not be slothful in zeal be fervent in spirit serve the Lord rejoice in hope be patient in tribulation be constant in prayer contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse them rejoice with those who rejoice weep with those who weep live in harmony with one another do not be haughty but associate with the lowly never be wise in your own site you know there's a lot in there but what I want to do is I want to highlight just five of these phrases because they directly deal with us and how we treat each other so the first phrase is in verse ten or it says that we are to love one another with brotherly affection why are we supposed to do that from a practical standpoint I think the best way to realize why we're supposed to love each other with brotherly affection is the same blood that Christ shed on the cross to cover my sins and wash me from my sins is the exact same blood that Christ gave to you to wash you of your sins so the Bible says that we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we are of the same blood and we are forever members one with another and so that's why we can do this because we are all children of God The second phrase verse ten says that we are to outdo one another in showing honor and I like this this is good this is great we are to outdo each other we usually want credit for ourselves we want people to recognize us right well what happens if if all we're doing is trying to get everyone to recognize our accomplishments then no one's going to be recognizing anyone else's so could you imagine a church where everyone is trying to outdo each other in showing honor everyone giving genuine heartfelt compliments to each other you know the Greek word. For outdo it means to go before and shoulder way or to lead in doing this and when it says on our honor as if there is just some kind of a value in the thing and so this is telling us to go out of our way to lead in showing others how valuable they are this means that we all need to be ready and waiting to show someone how valuable they are that we are ready for this that we're anticipating these moments listen if you are looking to get on or to another person you're going to be too busy to buy in devour them just like that passage English and says Right next phrase in verse thirteen. It says contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality so when we are contributing to people it really makes us think think less of ourselves and and if we're thinking less about how to help other people than we're usually thinking about ourselves and sometimes we need a break from being consumed with our own problems and so contributing to the needs of the saints is a very healthy and mature thing to do for a phrase here in verse fifteen says Rejoice with those who read Joyce and weep with those who weep and I think that this is a true sign of maturity and immaturity person sees how everything in the world impacts them and them alone it's all about themselves but a mature person gives themselves permission to feel what another person is feeling like how many of you here enjoy it when you have good news and you share it with another person and they they turn it around to talk about themselves like for instance if you if they got a promotion or a raise at work you know you're excited about that right hey hey I got a raise at work how would you like it of the person you said that to said you got a raise I you know ever get a raise and I have more deserving of a raise in a promotion than you are you know you were not going to be very excited to share that information with someone or you want someone to say it's oh that's great. School celebrate let's go get lunch and you're buying because you got the reins.That's how we should be responding rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who we furthest fifth phrase here we're sixteen live in harmony with one another it means that we all have a responsibility to do those things in our relationship that allows us to live in harmony and you look at all of these commands these five commands in this this batch here in Romans Chapter twelve and all of them are our choice we get to choose to do this and when we do these things we build each other up you know if there's a lot of other things in the bible let's say that we're supposed to do for one another in fact if you're bored one day you can go on Bible Gateway dot com and then type in the search field one another and you can come up with a great big list of things that we're supposed to do for one another all kind of highlight some of those we've looked at some of them say they are ready but we are also to welcome each other instruct one another greet each other care for one another comforting each other agree with each other serve one another bury chuggers burden speak the truth and love encouraging each other we've looked at that and the last thing that the Bible tells us to do to one another is was to kiss each other greet each other with a kiss we're going to let that be cultural OK we're not going to do that all right we don't have to do that airing handshakes or No No kissing here one last thing that we need to do we can do to build community is this First we can use our words we can use our actions but we also use our presence meaning we show up that's how we build each other up we can't have community with each other if we don't make being together a priority last verse I want you to look at isn't hubris ten years ago in your bible say hubris Chapter ten verse twenty four.Years ten twenty four and actually verses twenty five as well.He was ten twenty four and twenty five.This passage says. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near the word for stir up some of your translations I might say provoke the Greek word is Parekh some US and it means to incite or to irritate. So we're actually told to irritate each other all right considering how to irritate each other towards for the good for love and good works you know you know who is really good at irritating each other siblings siblings know how to irritate each other and you know why they know how to irritate each other because they're around each other all the time. You and I won't know how to provoke each other and thus we spend time with each other and it kind of goes like this do you know the spiritual gifts and passions of your closest friends within the family of God. If you do then when you see an opportunity and you know that matches their spiritual gifts that's when we provoke them hey that's something you should do that's an opportunity for you to do because I know that you would be really good at it and so irritating each other you have permission if you irritating someone say Hey Pastor said I'm supposed to irritate you about this but you know what we can use our words to build each other up we can't use them if we're not around each other and we can't use our actions if we're not around each other and so we need to use our presence as well well you know I get excited about this topic because it's finally something that we can control again there are so many things in church that we can't control we cannot make people come to church we can't make people become say there are so many things that we can't do but we can all choose to value making. Church a place that we will all be built up and no matter what our budget looks like no matter what our attendance is like what our programs are like or no matter where our location is we get to choose to make this the most positive uplifting encouraging family of believers that we possibly can this is the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself what I want to do as we close is I want to simply read the definition of love from the Bible first Corinthians chapter thirteen and as I read this definition I want you just spend time thinking how this relates to you and your relationships with other people and really commit yourself to exhibiting true love to your neighbor so let me close by reading from first printings thirteen.It says Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy your boast it is not arrogant or rude it does not insist on its own way it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrong doings but rejoices with the truth love there's all things believes all things hopes all things endures all things love never.Disclose and prayerjournal I thank you so much for this passage and I thank you for the local church you created the local church as a place for us to be built up and to become mature and you've given us the responsibility this blasted responsibility of building each other up and so Lord my prayer for this morning is for Grace Bible Church of Phoenix those who call this their church home that we will all accept this responsibility this great on privilege to build each other up to outdo each other in showing honor to look for ways that we can provoke each other towards loving good deeds the Lord you want us to become mature and you give us what a wonderful way to to to be a part of that in our brothers and sisters in Christ in their lives so Lord help us to be this kind of church that will love our neighbors as ourselves and be a exam shining example to the world around us oh lord next week as we talk about how we can be. Showing our influence among those that are outside the church I pray that even now you'll certain length upon our hearts in our minds people who might not have a relationship with you but they do and and that we will consider how we can build our influence around them so that you might use it for your honor and glory but until then I pray that you're just dumb people safe and always have a wonderful productive we can bring us back safely next week so we can worship you then in Jesus' name we pray.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell a couple of weeks ago I wrapped up our series on the Holy Spirit and before I get into the next book that we're going to be going through as a church I'm I wanted to take a break kind of in the fall here and do a series on our mission as a church and our values and so last week what we did is we talked about what our mission is as a church and for those of you who don't have a memorized yet you know we don't need to worry about that our mission is not for everyone to have our mission statement memorized but our mission is here church to say we are developing committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching encouraging of God's word it's the last week we looked at what it what I committed follower of Jesus Christ looks like and it's someone who imitates Christ both with grace and truth the things that we know and then also the way that we live our lives and so if we're talking about an imitator of Jesus Christ or a follower of Jesus Christ you have to ask yourself what does what does that person do you know how do they live their life what does what does an imitator look like and fortunately the Bible gives us a really great example of that Jesus told us as did Moses back in Deuteronomy and we're going to look at this pretty quickly a follower of Jesus Christ will do and practice the two greatest commands to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself and so that's what we do is followers of Jesus Christ and as we break that down and we say OK if we're going to love God and we're going to love our neighbor as ourselves there are certain things that we're going to practice and so we have four values as a church and today what we're going to do is we're going to look at the value of healthy relationships and so I'd like you to open your Bibles actually back to Deuteronomy Chapter six. Going to go in the Old Testament today and you'll notice on your bulletins or your sermon that I have several other passage from for you that I want you to look at as well but in Deuteronomy Chapter six this is kind of work begins and we're going to look at this the first time when the greatest commandment was given before that I want to kind of. There's a new phrase that I'm going to probably use quite a bit more often and hopefully this will be something that we kind of think about a lot but when we talk about the two greatest commandments. You know what exactly does that mean how do we do this we're going to develop healthy relationships with God and other people and if you come across somebody who has said something in a very good eloquent way you take what they said and don't try to reinvent the wheel right so I have a I have several different people that I like to read I'm somewhat different authors a pastor that I really enjoy learning from his name is Andy Stanley some of you might know his father Charles Stanley he's been on the television for years and years and years and years well and he stay on these probably in his early fifty's now and he passes a church in Atlanta Georgia called Northpoint church and he came up with this this phrase to describe how what it's like to put into practice the two greatest commandments and this is what he says and since I can't come up with a better phrase I'm going to just use this myself OK but I'm going to give him credit at least so this is how we describe doing the two greatest commandments we want people to grow in their intimacy with God.Their community with insiders people within the church and their influence with outsiders that's how we fulfill the two greatest commandments next Sunday we're going to talk about having community with insiders people within the church and their influence with outsiders but for today we're going to talk about how we grow our intimacy with God And so if we're all here in Deuteronomy Chapter six let's begin reading and we'll start off in verse one during the chapter six beginning in verse one and so this is what Moses said to the Israelites as they're getting prepared to enter into the promised land he says now this is the commandment the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. That you may do them in the land to which you are going over to possess it that you may fear the Lord your God You and your son and your son son by keeping all the statutes and his commands Commandments which I command you all the days of your life and that your days may be long here therefore all Israel and be careful to do them that I may go well with you and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord the God of your fathers has promised you in a land flowing with milk and honey and so God is saying this is what I want you to do is your entering into this really this new phase of Israel's history do these things and if you do I will bless you and I want to bless you.He says in verse four hero Israel the Lord our God The Lord is one you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and these words I command you today shall be on your heart you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise you shall bind them as signs on your hand and they shall be as front let's between your eyes and you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates and when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers to Abraham Isaac and Jacob to give you with great and good cities that you did not build and houses full of good all good things that you did not fill and cisterns that you did not dig and vineyards and all of trees that you did not plant and when you eat and are full then take care lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery it is the Lord your God you shall fear him you shall serve him by his name you shall swear you shall not go after other gods the gods of the peoples who are around you for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous god. God lets the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.And so here we have this passage and God knew what these Israelites were about to go through and so he tells them be on your guard you're about to experience all these new things and he says keep your focus on me the one who called you up out of Egypt so I want to break down this command into these different parts the heart the soul and the might and also in your notice your note you're going to realize that there's another there's another word in there Jesus in Mass you Chapter twenty two thirty six says The greatest commandment but instead of the Hebrew word for Might he uses a Greek word for mind and a kind of go into that and you'll see how they're very similar and maybe the reason why Jesus didn't use the Hebrew word is because there is no Hebrew equivalent for the word and we'll look at that just a minute but as as I look at this passage in Deuteronomy I kind of see this through the eyes of a father and hopefully you can too kind of is fresh as a parent parents for those of you if this applies to you Do you remember the dime when you sent your kids off to school for the very first day ever. It's kind of a sad someone's already crying while you send your kids off to school and you know how my kid is going to experience all these new things there's going to be great friends to make and it's going to be so bad kids are going to avoid Well if you're sending your child off into a new experience you want to tell them something that's very clear going to give them a guideline of how they're going to survive the new experience and so you might say I obey your teacher you know watch out for the ninety kids or you know don't don't be one of the ninety kids in and hopefully your children will learn to thrive in that environment and then when you send your child a child off to college which someday is going to happen for us you probably sooner than I'd like to you know what do you say to a child then then they have freedom like they've never had before they're going to experience new opportunities or new temptations that they never had before so what do you say you want to say something very clear. Are you concise to the meat you want to cut through the fluff and tell them the most important thing for them to know and that's what God is doing here to the nation of Israel you're about to go enjoy a lot of wonderful things things that you will enjoy and you had nothing to do with them you're enjoying the first of someone else's labor but what I want you to do is I want you to make sure that you're loving me and that I'm at the for the in the first and foremost part of your heart and so as we look at these three things are these actually these four areas of who we are that we need to love God with I hope as we go through this you're going to quickly realize that God is not breaking down and kind of dividing us into these three or four different segments but this is one of the one of the ways in which God is saying that with every part of you your entire being from the inside out you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength Well let's begin where Moses' began and let's look at what it looks like To love God with all of our heart.So when it says that we are to love God with all of our heart this is really talking about our affections in really even our loyalty you know who are you loyal to what are your affections What do you find most precious in this life you know what has captivated your heart to the point that you will stop at nothing to do nothing to get it and if we're all honest with ourself the most the thing that most human beings place of the center of their heart if they're willing to admit this or not is money and possessions that's what most people turn to and say that's what I'm going to run after and so this is why God says to love Him with all of our heart and not to replace that I want you to stay here and in Deuteronomy or at least keep piece of paper or something but I want you to turn over to Matthew chapter six.Going to look at a couple of the. Warnings where we are warned.About not giving our heart over to anything else Matthew chapter six beginning in verse nineteen.Your Jesus speaking kind of gives us this warning about how precious our heart is and how we should guard it Matthew six beginning in verse nineteen. Says Do not lay out for yourselves treasures on earth where Mohsen rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay out for yourselves treasures in heaven or neither mosque nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal for where your treasure is there your heart will be also. The eye is a lamp of the body so if your eyes are healthy your whole body will be full of light but if your eye is bad your whole body will be full of darkness if then the light in you is darkness how great is the darkness I think this is one way of saying be careful what you look at because what you look at is what you're going to want and then verse twenty four Jesus said no one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God and money and I think all of us understand this don't we there can be only one thing at the center of our hearts and that should be God but again maybe the one thing that we replace God with is money or just this idea that if I had money or these possessions that it will bring me happiness and that's why it's so important to remember the greatest command on proverbs for all we all just read this passage for you proverbs for twenty three it says keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flows the springs of life I mean isn't that true Haven't you noticed this is true for yourself Have you ever struggled with this I have I think everyone. US has struggled with us is some point where we get convinced that I will be happy if I only and then you fill in the blank if I only had a motorcycle or five motorcycles or if I only had a bigger house or if I only had this relationship I only had ten or whatever it is we do that all the time and we allow ourselves to get caught up in this this happiness the money and things can buy us you know a really good example of how the in the nation of Israel had they were doing things right and they had God of the center of their heart and they were they were loving the Lord with all their heart and soul and strength and someone messed up and how much destruction it brought upon them is found right after the Israeli's started taking possession of the promised land I want you to turn over to Joshua chapter six.Joshua chapter six actually to have surgery Joshua chapter seven but without looking at this yet how many of you know the first person among Israel to really mess up.The first person in Israel to really mess up and get distracted right after God says to keep your eyes on me and don't don't fall in love with the devoted things is a man by the name of a can. And this is right after they had defeated Jericho and this is a great defeat this is on a slant and they're all thinking this is great God is giving us the promised land and then there's this little city just up the hill called AI and they said all this is a little city we don't need everyone to go and fight against AI let's just send three thousand people so Joshua sends three thousand people have to die and they get defeated thirty six thirty six Israelites were killed and the rest of the people and then I chased all the Israelites back down to their camp and so you know what do you do after you have a great victory and then you have a small defeat you know you throw your hands up in the area and say oh God you know we're going to die and why did you lead us out of Egypt just so that we could die here and so Josh was having this pity party and Moses and God is saying this is why it happened look at Joshua seven verse ten.Joshua seven verse ten.Then the Lord said to Joshua get up why have you fallen on your face Israel has sinned they have transgress my covenant and I can as I that I commanded them they have taken some of the devoted things they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings and so instead of loving the Lord with all their heart soul and strength someone a can specifically saw something else and said I want this I value this this will bring me happiness and so they drew drew lots to figure out who had done this and came to a can and so Joshua confronted a can and this is what it says in verse nineteen. Then Joshua said to a can my son give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him and tell me now what you have done do not hide it from me and you can answer Joshua truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel and this is what I did when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from China are in two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels then I coveted them and took them and see they are hidden in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath.Again I think all of us can relate to this we're trying to do what's right we're trying to have our priorities straight and then we see something else and we say I want that I really really want that and suddenly we replace God and we take him off the throne of our heart and we start to fall in love with something else. This kind of makes me think of what James said in the first part of James and I we went through the book of James last year at this time in talking about how we get led into sin in James says James one thirteen Let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be. Tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin and sin when it is full grown gives birth to death as a great example is akin to what happened to make it verse sixteen says Do not be deceived my beloved brothers every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change Satan wants to deceive us into thinking that he can provide us with the good things that will satisfy our heart but this is Do not be deceived every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and so that's why we need to put God in the center of our hearts and truly love Him with all of our heart and soul and our strain you know as long as we live in this world all of us are going to be susceptible to getting distracted I think all of us realize that that's why we must be vigilant and really guard our hearts while the greatest commandment begins with the heart you know what is the most been precious dear thing to us and it moves from the heart out to the rest of us and you know I have found this to be true with myself and maybe you have as well but the more my heart is concerned and consumed with the things of God I have found that in my life everything else doesn't nearly matter nearly as much if you notice that you just kind of have this content and you have this peace to know I love the Lord I will seek only him for the things that are going to bring me pleasure and I'm OK and I'm content with whatever else happens well that's why our relationship with God is so important and begins at the heart well next what does it look like for us to love God with all of our soul. All right maybe some of you are thinking oh boy I was hoping that he was going to talk about this I was really curious what it meant I'm not going to actually spend much time at all talking about the soul. What the Soul is is just a collection of our passions thoughts and emotions in Genesis two seventeen in Genesis two seven on this it says that God had made man into a living soul so then the Lord formed God formed the man from the dust of the ground to breathe into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature that word for creature is the word soul and so a soul is just just the complete totality of who we are in the Greek the soul can be translated appetite mind living being desire emotions and passions so that's what it means to say that we love God with all of our soul and that's basically all of us all right every single part of us OK I want to leave that where it is and then kind of talk about the next two weeks I think these are really interesting so in back in Deuteronomy Chapter six when Moses says that we are to love the Lord with all of our might. What do you think that mean it's you know this is a really interesting word what is the meaning of loving God with all of our Might this is fascinating the word here in Deuteronomy the word that's translated might or strange so many translations might say strength usually functions as an adverb OK this is the noun that's only found a couple times is a noun but the adverb that's usually translated from this Hebrew word is the adverb very.All right so this is the word very kind of interesting so if the word usually means very What would it mean to love God with all of our very this an interesting way to think about this interestingly the Greek translation of this word is power and the Aramaic translation is wealth and both of these are kind of pointing in the same direction one way that we can think of this is saying this the meaning of the strength of a person is not simply in who they are but what they have at their disposal.So. Of you love God with all of your very minister all of your might you're talking about the things that you have that your disposal that you can affect other people with and so this means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscles but with everything that we have available for God to use and that could be our spouse our children our resources our finances our everything that we have everything that we have at our disposal is our my or our strength and so when you look at this passage you say God is telling us to love God with all of our heart with all of our soul and with all of our might or strength everything that we have at our disposal you see how God is saying that love for him needs to be all consuming in every single part of our lives Well lastly what I want to do is I want to look at how Jesus said that we are to love God with our minds and this is we find this in the New Testament the mother word for mind in Matthew is the Greek word Di annoyer and the the mind this is the kind of the Greek definition of this the mind as the faculty of understanding our feelings and our desires. And so this is not the usual word that is translated into knowledge or know but it has this connection between our minds and our hearts and I think it's interesting that Jesus chose to use this word because it really makes a connection between our thoughts our feelings and our actions I want to read a few other verses where we see this and you'll see that there is a connection between our minds and our hearts and I did a word search on this and it's only used a few different places in the New Testament but in the FIJA it's the first few chapters Paul uses this word quite often and so let's go over to the book of the seasons.The seasons chapter one. And I want to see a couple. I swear this word is used and it's interesting that in the first few chapters of if Eason's Paul uses the same Greek word that Jesus used to say love Lord with all of our heart or soul in our mind and this Greek word is translated into three separate English words here in just.So let's read chapter one and as you read this what I want you to do is I want you to see how our minds and our hearts are connected and so this is really showing us that the greatest commandment is to love God with every single part of us the things that we think about and the things that we feel so if you just Chapter one beginning in verse eighteen.He's won eighteen Paul says having the eyes of your heart and that is the actual word for mind that Jesus used having the eyes of your hearts in light and that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the say so and so here in this passage Paul is praying that our hearts are actually you can even say our minds will be enlightened so that we will know the hope that God has called us to and if we are focused on the hope that God has called us to that's the thing that we're going to be desiring the most and so here is a connection between our hearts and our minds if we love God with our minds this verse teaches us the truth of the resurrection is going to be something that we're looking forward to the most I'll go to a fusion chapter two.He's in chapter two and just the first three verses here in this chapter.In Chapter two beginning in verse one it says and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked following the course of this world following the prince of the power of the air the spirit that is now work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flashed. Carrying out the desire of the body and the mind that's the word right there and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind and so here we see a bad example if the mind is focused on the things of this world then our spots will move to the heart and this passage says because their hearts were filled with all of these things they were by nature objects of God's wrath go to one other instance of this word being used fusions for.Efficiency for seventeen and eighteen.For verses seventeen and eighteen.Paul says Now this I say and testify in the Lord that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds they are darkened in their understanding and that's the same word right there they are darkened in their understanding Ilya native from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of heart they have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality greed to practice every kind of impurity. Yeah I like how these passages here and if Eason's tied together the desires of our heart with our thinking you know even this one word inefficiency is translated Our hearts our minds and our understanding which kind of proves God's point we can't have two masters we have to choose if we're going to love the Lord or we're going to love the things of this world you know if we get our relationship with God right I think that all our other relationships in this world are going to be healthy regardless of the circumstances and so that's why it's so important for us to really take to heart this greatest commandment I want to go back now to Deuteronomy Chapter six.Go back to Deuteronomy and one thing I appreciate about this passage is when he says to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength he goes on to explain what that looks like. You know I have to admit that as I was studying for this passage in the sermon this morning next sermon next I'm really looking for the next Sunday because it's very easy to talk about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself we're talking about people in the body of Christ in our church family in people that are outside because we can see each other right and so it's very tangible and we can make a very applicable but when we say that we're supposed to love God with all of our heart soul and strength we can't see God So how do you do that that's kind of a hard concept for us to to wrap our minds around and so that's why I appreciate not only did Moses say to do this but this is how you do it and so see how practical he makes this beginning in verse four Deuteronomy six beginning of verse four again. Hero Israel the Lord our God The Lord is one you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might in other words every single part of you should make God the priority and these words that I come in each day shall be on your heart and this is what we are to do you shall teach them diligently to your children you shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise you shall bind them as a sign on your hands and they should be front let's as front let's between your eyes and you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates and so this is what we're to do we're supposed to teach the things of God we're supposed to talk about them we're supposed to bind them so as to write them down basically our love for God and the way that we practice and demonstrate our faith is very practical and that should be a part of everything that we do so as we are as we're done now looking at this greatest commandment I guess all of us should just take the time and just kind of look into ourselves and ask us these questions you know right now who is sitting on the throne of your heart.Or in other words what have you given your heart to who have you given your ha.If it's anyone other than God.Then you're not going to have the healthy relationship with God and it needs to be healthy with God If we're going to have a healthy relationship with anyone else also when it comes to your heart we talk about that but also with our minds we had to be very careful we're putting into our minds and what we are green with and so what rationale and what philosophies in this world have you allowed your mind to be in agreement with.If it's not what the Bible teaches you cannot have a healthy relationship with God the way that God is designed us that's why we need to constantly be studying God's word so that we're allowing his thoughts to be our thoughts and so that we are in agreement with the things of God we're going next week like I said we'll look at what it means to love your neighbor as yourself and that's very practical it's very pointed and it's very frustrating because other people can be frustrating right and you want to go with that so we'll look at that and we're going to divide it up into two GET IT categories what it means to to have community with believers and influence with those that are outside the world again this phrase that I want to use I think it's a great great phrase helps us kind of understand how we fulfill the two greatest commandments is we want people to grow in their intimacy with God their community with insiders and their influence with outsiders but for this week I hope that all of us will do some soul searching and spend time developing our intimacy with God because that is the absolute most important relationship that we can possibly have was close in prayer.Their Father I thank you so much for giving us your word and here in Deuteronomy you've told the nation of Israel through Moses and you told us even through Jesus your own son the greatest commandment is that we love you with all of our heart soul and strength in mind. And Lorida that should be all consuming we should consider how in every error. Area of our life that we can make you.The priority in that we can give you the predominance in our life and so Father I pray for anyone here who has been struggling with that where they have put something else on the throne of their heart whether it's money whether it's possessions whether it's another person. Help us all to realize that we cannot have the healthy relationship with you that you desire of us if we have something else at the center of our hearts and so Lord help us to do the thing that's difficult and to remove it into practice putting your word into practice Lord I pray that that will be true not only for us as individuals but us as a church that has become here together and as we seek your will for our lives that we as a church will truly try to fulfill this greatest commandment we love you Lord we thank you for saving us from the death and resurrection of your son and help us to live out this love for you Christ name we pray a myth.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell I want to get into the sermon for today and have you noticed in your own personal life especially for those of you who are getting a little up there in years that you are finding yourself forgetting things from time to time.Yeah that happens to all of us in fact I went on to Google last night which is the primary source of information for everyone and I said when does memory loss begin.And it's said that usually anywhere north of forty years old that's when people start to have a memory loss you know forgetting names places you walk into a room when you forget why you were there is ever happened anyone if you're over forty it's going to happen more but it also said one specific website said that the brain starts to deteriorate at age twenty Those are the exact words it starts to deteriorate at age twenty and I thought boy we don't really have a you know really long peak do we you know it kind of gets up there in the starts going down and then it's interesting that even though we forget names and places and things like that there are some memories that we have that they just they just stick and no matter what you try to forget it you probably never will like for instance how many of you especially those of you who lived in one place for a long time and had one of those rotary phones how many of you can remember your very first phone number.One nine one two eight three zero one zero I will never forget that I've had several phone numbers in my entire life I remember that one and the one I have right now and I've proffered all the other ones where I would your very first address one four four two zero you say two thousand you VERY know Washington nine zero three seven again I know that one and this one and I'm kind of forgot all the other ones but but if there's something really important to you it's just going to stick you know last Monday on September eleventh we remembered what happened sixteen years ago for those of you who are old enough do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard about their pay. Crashing into the Twin Towers I do and I don't know if I live ever forget that I remember it was about nine o'clock I was in Michigan it was a Tuesday morning clear blue skies and I used to take Tuesdays off and so I was going to go for a long bike ride and I was putting the Walkman on my ears and I turned on to the to the radio station that I usually listen to and I remember hearing Katie currency voice on I think it was a Christian radio station I'm like why is Katie Couric on the radio and then she started talking about the New York and the Twin Towers and I remember leaving my bike in the garage running into the bedroom turning on the T.V. and just watching and just having one of those you know out of body experiences do you do you remember where you were and what you were doing and most of you probably do. But do you remember what you had for breakfast the day before nine eleven. No you probably don't because it's not very important so the more important something is the more important it is for us to remember it well today we're going to do is we're going to be talking about something that is very important for us as a church to remember as a church we need to remember why we exist because if we forget that and we get busy what we'll do a little start getting sidetracked and we'll start trying to accomplish something that we're not called to do.In a few weeks or now I'm going to begin a new series on another book in the Bible and I'm not going to tell you what that is until probably before we begin before we do that what I like to do usually in the fall and I do this every now and then is I kind of go through church stuff subjects dealing with church church life a couple of years ago we went through our mission statement the board just adopted a mission seem a couple years ago and with that four of our key values and so I'm going to do that now for these next few weeks and I think it's very timely to do this because right now we're in the middle officially we're in the middle of trying to relocate and if we don't if we are very careful we. I think that we exist so that that will happen but that's not why we exist and so we need to be able to focus on the very same use that we're supposed to be doing so you know we have a mission same as a church and we'll go through that in just a minute but as a church really need a mission statement you don't know you know a church doesn't really need a mission statement however like most things a mission statement can be helpful for a couple reasons so here's some of the benefits of having a mission statement and even thinking about that if a church has adopted a perfectly crafted biblical mission statement it doesn't mean that it's actually going to accomplish it or that a church is very effective and honestly I don't know how many of you right now would be able to word for word recites our church mission statement and if you can't that's OK because our mission as a church is not for everyone to have our mission statement in your eyes but you know as a church the benefit of having one is it keeps us from wandering off and getting distracted and so one way to think of a mission statement is it's like a compass a mission statement sort of like a compass what it does it helps keep us aligned with the purpose that God has given to us so that we can determine if we are on course or off course all right so here's our mission statement hopefully you know where to find it in our church you walk through the four year and it's since old ride on the wall so hopefully you're rerelease very familiar with what our mission statement says We exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching encouragement of God's word and there is a lot in that but today for this morning I want to focus on the fall words of Christ portion and like I said about two and a half years ago the board adopted this mission statement with these four values and we were doing the mission see before we put it into writing but it's helpful for that to be there for a guide especially when decision making. Comes up you know should we do this ministry or should we do that well will it help us accomplish our mission of developing committed followers of Jesus Christ if the answer is yes then maybe we should proceed if the answer is No then we shouldn't do it but today what I want to do is focus on the part of our mission statement that says that we are trying to develop committed followers of Christ so we're going to look at three reasons why it is important for a church to commit themselves to developing followers of Christ and so let me give you those these three reasons and though these are your sermon though since you can follow along there as well. The first reason why we need to develop committed followers of Christ is because ultimately we are all following something. Everyone out there in the world is going to be following something or someone and if you don't follow Christ then there's going to be a serious price to pay you know I'm going to go through a few passages here and you can churn there with me if you would like I know I have part of it listed there in your sermon notes but the first one is from Psalm eighty one and this is just one example of Israel frustrating God If you read the Old Testament you're going to come across many places where God is frustrated with Israel because God healed literally led Israel out of the promise layer out of Egypt into the promised land and they literally followed him a pillar of fire by night in a cloud by day and so they followed him and you would suspect or you would think that if a nation was led by God into a newly And given the law that they would follow him the rest of their lives right well obviously that didn't happen so maybe one person eleven through thirteen it says God is saying.But my people did not listen to my voice Israel would not submit to me so I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their. Own councils Oh that my people would listen to me that Israel would walk in my ways and so even Israel with a very unique relationship with God they didn't follow God and his decrees in his ways like they should have and they got sidetracked not saying they needed a mission statement but they forgot to follow the truth well that wasn't just a problem for Israel this is a problem for everyone everyone is going to be following something and other passages in Matthew seven now to seven S. a probably a familiar passage for you I remember I almost had this memorized in the end I these are reading the the the English standard versions a little bit different little bit choppy like in I.V. but I'm going to stick with the E.S.P. here but I'm actually seven it says verse thirteen enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is why it in the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard leads to life and those who find it are few.So what is the world teaching today in other words what is this wide easy path that the world is following you know it seems like it changes from time to time maybe one way to say what the world is following today is is tolerance or even identity issues issues of identity meaning you need to know who you are and be true to yourself you know I was thinking as I grew up is a little kid up in Spokane Washington it's I got the sense that the world at least acknowledge that there is a truth the only debate is who had the truth everyone kind of said no there is truth we just need to figure out who is it you know which religion is right while today it seems like truth is just found in whatever you want to make it up to be and so we see in Israel's history they had trouble following God We see that the world has trouble following God and the Bible also tells us that. You have trouble following God Let's go to a fusion I want you to open this passage.Eason's chapter two.Relations you fusions Philippians cautions efficient chapter two. Beginning in verse one.And here Paul is talking about their former way of life and what they used to follow transitions into them follow being followers of Christ now but if these is to begin in verse one says.And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked following the course of this world following the prince of the power of the air the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh carrying out the desires of the body in the mind and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind and so in the past and some of you might say yeah for most of my life I lived like that or for some of you if you were even born say that a young age this still applies to all of us and then in verse six it talks about this new way of following verse six if you put these things before the brothers you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus being trained in the words of the face and of the good doctor and that you have followed.So do you see this as you just kind of pick up your eyes you look at the world around us do you see that everyone is following something in verse two it says the two things that most people in the world are following is is the way of this world or basically the power of the prince of the air which is Satan and so the deception is that Satan brings to the world he has been using it from the very beginning it's this whole idea of us submitting to the desires of the self.That's the deception that Satan wants to follow us to follow so to be followers of Jesus means to do the exact opposite of what the world and Satan is trying to deceive us to do want you to go over to the Philippines Shafter to. Straight into buyable just a couple pages to Philippians Chapter Two beginning in verse three and here Paul shows us what is the opposite of the way of the world.And this is the way of Christ to be a follower of Christ Philippians chapter to be and in verse three.It says do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit Satan teaches us to do everything from selfishness but in humility count others more significant than yourselves let each of you look not only to his own interest but also to the interests of others having this mind among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the form of the servant being born in the likeness of me. So Christ came into the world and he showed us a different way and he is the one that we must follow and this goes beyond just Christ being the only way for us to reach out to John fourteen six for those of you who got to memorize Jesus said I am the Way the Truth and the Life no one comes to the Father but by me so were followers of Christ is the only way to salvation but it goes beyond just that truth it goes into practice and so when Jesus came into this world he had two main goal the first was to provide Toman for our sins so that we can eventually enter into Heaven but this second priority was to make followers and that was to follow have people follow after him to learn what he said and also to put it into practice and that those people would in turn make more followers of Christ so the first reason why it's important for us to become followers of Christ is because we're all going to be following something and the second is is so that what Christ began will continue we need to make followers of Christ so that what Christ began will continue and that's what we read about in the Gospels so what I want to do is I want to turn a massive chapter for.And Matthew Chapter four gives us the story of the first followers of Christ.Matthew Chapter four this is also recorded in the book of John and John has a slightly different perspective in fact on his return in the mass before let me tell you about the book of John John records this I guess obviously from a different perspective and in my study notes on the book of John it says that the disciples these young men that follow Jesus it's very likely that they would have known Jesus on at least a casual basis for up to a year or a year and a half and so what we're about to read here in Matthew this is not the very first time that these young men met Jesus OK so they knew who he was they heard John the Baptist say Behold the Lamb of God takes with the sin of the world so they knew that there was a messiah and they're convinced and this is what happens Matthew four beginning in verse eighteen.Says.While walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers Simon who was called Peter and injuries brother casting a net into the sea for they were fisherman and he said to them follow me and I will make you fishers of men immediately they left their nets and followed him and going on from there he saw two other brothers James and their son James the son of seventy in his John his brother in the boat was seventy their father mending their nets and he called them and the mediately they left the boat and their father and followed him and so Jesus said I will make you fishers of men obviously playing on the fact that they were fishers he says leave your full time occupation which is a noble occupation and follow me and I'm going to teach you to do what I'm doing with you make a follower of Christ so what does that look like you know we say our mission statement is We want to develop committed followers of Christ well what does a follower of Christ look like you know this is where we can kind of lose our understanding of the purpose of church and maybe one of the best ways to describe a follower of Christ is to say because this was described Christ a fall. Christ is someone who maintains of the perfect balance of grace and truth in their life Jesus came into the world full of grace and truth and so a follower of Christ has grace and truth. Knowledge and practice and guess what we tend to do as human beings and also as churches we tend to overemphasize one over the other right.And I'll say this and I'm right in saying saying this is my opinion but if our church is going to error on one or the other between truth and grace or knowledge and practice our natural tendency is going to focus on well the purpose of the church is to teach people facts about the Bible and that's important but that's something that I think our churches probably lean towards if you go to another church if they're really big into social activism and reaching out to others they might fall on the side and err on the side of getting out of balance and say no we just need to love others we need to do both and you need to do both in balance and it's fun it's very exciting as a pastor and I think those of you who are parents and grandparents it's fun and exciting when we see people learn new things about the Bible and that knowledge sticks like for instance one of my favorite Sundays here is a want to Sunday isn't that fun having all these kids up here and they share with us the verses that they memorize it's wonderful I think it's very exciting and we have Bible studies and when we go to the bible studies and Sunday school classes What do you do you learn facts you learn truth about the Bible and what are we doing here in the worship service to some extent all we're doing is we're learning but knowledge as important as it is is it is it cannot be the end goal but it's very rewarding when we see this progress you know I came across some funny jokes about church and so I'm going to share a few of them with you I found way more than I can share but there's there's three I'm going to share with you right now and they deal with how exciting it is when kids learn information about. Bible but sometimes they don't get it quite right so here's here's a couple jokes right.At Sunday School they were learning how God created everything including human beings Johnny was especially intent when the teacher told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs and later in the week his mother noticed some lying down as though you were ill and she said Johnny What's the matter Johnny responded I have a pain in my side I think I'm about to have a wife.That's not how it happens Johnny that's not how it happened another one is a good one visiting his grandparents a small boy opened the big family Bible and he was fascinated as he finger through the old pages and suddenly something fell out he picked it up and found that it was an old leaf that had been pressed flat between the pages mamma look what I found he called out What have you got there dear this mother asked with astonishment his voice the boy answered I think it's Adam's underwear.Big leaves you get it it's funny I think it's funny I got one more one more a teacher was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven and so she asked them if I sold my house or my car and had a big garage sale and gave all the money to the church would that get me into heaven no the children said Well I cleaned the church every day mowed the lawn mowed the yard and kept everything needed tidy would that get me into heaven again the class answered No no now she was smiling hater getting She thought well then if I was kind to the animals and gave candy all the children love my husband would that get me into heaven she asked and again the all answered no and she is bursting with pride she says Well then how can I get into heaven five year old boy the backlash out well first you got to be dead.You know as important as knowing truth is you know it's. It starts there it must be practiced and so even though the word follower is a great way to describe what we're trying to see accomplished your church there is actually a better word that the Bible uses and we're going to look at a few of these examples and it's the word imitator to say that we want to see followers of Christ ultimately what we're saying is we want people to be imitators of Christ. We're not changing our mission statement or mission statement it's fine in fact if you put imitator in a mission statement it might sound kind of odd So we're just going to keep the one that we have but I want to look at a couple passages that talk about how we are to be imitators meaning there is truth and it has to be put into practice I want you to stay in the in the Thessalonians second testimony is the first passage I want you to turn to.Second Thessalonians chapter three.Beginning in verse six.Impose writing to them about how they need to be imitators of him. Some of those holy and three six it says now we command you brothers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and you keep away from any brother who was walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you see receive from us in other words don't be a follower of someone like that for seven for you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us because we were not idle when we were with you nor do we need anyone's bread without paying for it but with toil labor we work day and night that we might not be a burned any of you it was not because we have the right to do that but but to give you in ourselves and example to imitate So Paul says imitate me follow the way that I live my life a couple of times Paul says exactly that don't turn there but I'll just read for you first Corinthians eleven one Paul says imitate me as I imitate Christ and so Paul is saying Christ came into the world to have followers and I'm following him so you should follow me or in other words I am an imitator of Christ you should imitate me also. And in First Corinthians four five this another one I'll read for you. Paul says to those in Corinth for though you have countless guides in Christ you deny many fathers for I became your father in Christ through the gospel I urge you then be imitators of me that is why I sent you Timothy my beloved and faithful child in the Lord to remind you of my ways in the christ as I keep them everywhere in every church so Paul is teaching multiple groups all these things in the saying look at the way that we live the way that we live is imitating the truth that we believe in so it has to match up both together.And infusions five one Paul says specifically not just imitate others but to imitate God would you see in God practice and five one so therefore be imitators of God His beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God we are to imitate Christ remember so many years ago all those bracelets that say. J.T. You know what would Jesus do you know that's exactly what we're supposed to do it and I found another joke that kind of deals with us imitating Christ and I like this one song all share this with you as well the joke says a pastor's wife was preparing pancakes for her young sons I don't know why it's a pastor's wife but in this joke it is the boys begin to argue over who would get the first pancake and their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. If Jesus were sitting here he would say Let my brother have the first paying cake I can wait so the mother and so they all those boy turned to his younger brother and said OK you be Jesus.Be like Jesus give me the first banking you know as you read through the pencils you can tell that some of the churches now that's not about Caleb and Kyle really although there probably would be as you read through the epistles your notice that some of the churches they go. I did a little faster than others and I think the church and vessel and I go they did a great job taking what Paul taught them and showed them and putting into practice I want you to look at this passage first US alone Ians one six.Verses alone aeons one six.Actually verse four will start verse four first US warnings one beginning of verse four it says.For we know brothers loved by God that he has chosen you because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake and you became imitators of us and of the Lord for you received the word in much affliction with the joy of the Holy Spirit so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and I care so not only did you ever paid us but you became imitators yourselves so that other people would follow Listen I was reading all of these passages today I hope this is a good reminder this is why we exist to make followers of Jesus Christ people who will imitate Christ in both truth and grace so that what Christ began will really continue So what is this look like you know someone who is full of grace and truth but if someone is full of grace and truth in what exactly are we supposed to do you know we good for us to have a very concise answer if someone says well what is what does a believer in Jesus Christ a follower of Christ do you know if you were to tell a friend of yours or a family member that you attend church and they were to say why I'm not sure how you would answer but hopefully after day to day your answer would be something like well I attend church because it helps me become a better follower of Christ I'll be more like Christ maybe you'll say something like that and if someone said OK well well what does Christ do well what does that look like what do you do to be like Christ wouldn't it be nice if we had a very concise answer to give to. Other people not only for other people work for us ourselves so if you're going to say I'm a follower of Christ what what is it that you do well fortunately the Bible and Jesus themselves gives us that exact answer of what a follower of Christ does and this is the third reason why it's important to develop followers of Christ because a follower of Christ is someone who will fulfill the two greatest commands that's what we do in Matthew twenty two although Henry dysphoria message twenty two.Verse thirty six the Sadducees in the fair seas were questioning Jesus and they said Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law and he said to them you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind this is the Great in first commandment and the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. In that simple at least from a knowledge standpoint a follower of Christ is committed to putting into practice the two greatest commandments No that's a simple concept but actually doing it is rather complex and that's what we're going to be going over these next few weeks and what does it look like to love the Lord God with all your heart soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves so we're going to do the next few weeks we're going to take the simple command of Christ and we're going to try to be imitators and followers of Christ and we're going to see how we promote those two greatest commandments here in this church and we do that through our four values and next Sunday and in particular we're going to start talking about how healthy relationships is a value and healthy relationships goes exactly back to these two greatest commandment because those two greatest commandments are fulfilled in the context of relationships Well I think that's enough for all of us today I hope you enjoyed being reminded of our purpose and that you as we open the. God's word that you've been encouraged by the teaching and encouragement of God's word but right now before you go I want to ask you this question I think all of us should just take pause and just really be able to to to to determine this for selves right now in your life who are you following.What is it that you are trying to become is Christ if not it's the wrong thing and you have the wisdom and the courage to stop following something that cannot lead to eternal life and to follow Jesus Christ you know what no matter what happens with the church whether God provides for us and we move or not this is why we exist so let's not lose sight of this now or ever Let's turn to the Lord in this ask him to give us powers as we remind ourselves of our calling and give us the strength to live the cell this break.