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Our Purpose

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.

Living with the Holy Spirit

Preacher: Josh WhiteI we have been talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in everyone's life and three weeks ago we really started and we talked about God's greatest desire for us as His children in fact we could even say it's God's will for our life first and foremost that this be true so he has all the answer this is God's will for a life that we will be holy and it says why God desires us to be holy he wants us to be holy because he is holy That's why God desires for us to be holy and as we keep starting we realize that there is another great desire of God for us as individuals but also as a family and that is for us to be united because God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are united so God's desire for us is to be like him holy and then also united and that is one of the reasons why God gave us the Holy Spirit I want you to turn over your Bibles to John Chapter seventeen.And we read about this in John Chapter seventeen and this is known as the high priest of the prayer of Christ this is right before he was crucified. And we have this recorded prayer of Jesus talking to the father.And then here we get this insight of what God's great desire is for us this is children John Chapter seventeen beginning in verse twenty.And up to this point John or Jesus had been praying for his disciples for the twelve or for the love at that point the twelve that we're going to go out and share or share Christ with the world and here in John seventeen beginning in verse twenty Jesus continues and he says I do not ask for these only but also for those who will believe in Me through their word so that it includes us that they may all be one just as you Father are in me and I and you that they also may be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me the glory that you have given me I. I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one I in them and you and me that they may become perfectly one soul that the world may know that you sent me and love them even as you loved me and so this is the plan of God They each of us will be one with him and that's talking about our identity in Christ that we will accept God's mission for us that the world will know and factor does what it says in verse twenty five it says I look at verse twenty five again I in them and you in me that they may become perfectly one so that the world may know and sold the work of the Holy Spirit is to come into us as believers unite us together so that our identity is in God so that we are united with each other but then also our unity shares that message of salvation with the world around us I want you to turn over to Philip in this chapter to well more interview for today and to take this idea of God giving us the Holy Spirit so that we will be united and there's a passage in Philippians Chapter two we're going to use sort of as our text for this morning so Philippians chapter two and will begin in verse one.And just just before read this all say this you know read this passage of Philippians and in this passage Paul sort of gives us these these practical commands which really helps us to understand what the Holy Spirit will be doing in our lives and what it looks like when the Holy Spirit is unifying us so let's read this book in Chapter Two beginning of verse one.He says So if there is any encouragement in Christ. Any comfort from love any participation in the spirit any affection and sympathy complete my joy by being of the same mind having the same love being in full accord in of One Mind you nothing from selfish ambition or can see. But in humility count others more significant than yourselves let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others have this mine among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus if you look at him you notice what he says in verse one he says that if you have any participation in the spirit some of you might be using another translation your translation might say something like If you have any fellowship with the Holy Spirit in other words Paul a saying If you have any kind of cooperation with the Holy Spirit then this is what that should look like and the word for participation or fellowship whatever translation you're using it's the Greek word koinonia you maybe have heard this before it's a very powerful word and let me read for you a great definition that I found from a commentary kind of really nails down this idea of what it means to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit or participation so here is a definition so this is referring to having a common interest and a mutual and active participation in the things of God in which the believer and the Holy Spirit are joint participants. So it says if you have any participation in the Holy Spirit it means the things that the Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish in your life and the life of others we need to partner with that and so if we're partnering with the Holy Spirit this is what it looks like you know so far we've we've talked about a few different things we've got talked a couple weeks ago about how the Holy Spirit was given to us a ministry of the Holy Spirit is just sanctify us to make us whole set apart because God is holy and last week we talked about how the Holy Spirit leads us leads us into opportunity leads us into truth that's what the Holy Spirit does but today we're going to look at how the Holy Spirit also unifies believers together for a very specific purpose and God wants us to be unified and so to do that he's given us the Holy Spirit so what we're going to do this morning is we're going to look at this passage here and flip institue. And see the things that sort of they manifest themselves when we see this work of the Holy Spirit taking place and so I'm going to give you three things if you look at this passage there's more than just three things we're going to look at three things this morning that we will experience in the work of the Holy Spirit is present in our lives and unifying us and the first thing that we will experience is number one we will experience having the same mind. If the Holy Spirit is unifying us together we will have the same mind to look at verse two.This phrase is at the very beginning of verse two so Philippians two two says complete my joy by being of the same mind. And so Paul sorts off by saying unity begins in happens when we are of the same mind some you might have another translation might say have the same pattern of thinking and so you just take a second and kind of stand back and you think wait a second what exactly is the Bible telling us to do it says that we're supposed to have the same thoughts the same pattern of thought the same mind. Do you know how many opinions there are in the world is that even possible it is Paul suggesting that believers for them to be united have to hold to the same political party are we all supposed to be Republicans or Democrats or are we all supposed to hold to the same parenting philosophies if this is you know what exactly is Paul talking about well I think it's clear what he's talking about is this to be of the same mind it means that our thoughts all of our sots need to be influenced and guided by the one singular truth that there is in the world and that is the Word of God and so of God's people stray from the Bible as their source of truth. Unity is impossible in sort of the way that we can have the same mind is for all of us to align our thoughts with the one timeless eternal truth. I came across this a while ago and I think this is an excellent way for us to kind of understand how this this unity takes place this is written by toes or in his book The Pursuit of God and he writes about unity and how what this looks like any writes Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other they are of one accord by being in tune not to each other but to another standard in which each one must individually bow so one hundred worshippers like us today meeting together each one looking to Christ our own heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become unity conscience and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. So that's how we are of one mind it's not like we're supposed to look around and find the most opinionated person or the most smart or influential person and say well if they are thinking this then we all need to agree to think the things that that person is thinking the way we become united is we'll let the Word of God become our one source of truth that is when we will have the same pattern of thinking natural will be of the same mindset I want you to stay here in Philippians will come back here but turn over your bible just a couple pages to efficiency. Go back to your Bible to just a few pages to fusions chapter four.So more talking about having the same truth and having the same mind you know what are the things that we're supposed to agree on and think about here's one of the passages where Paul tells us there are seven ones of the faith these are these are individual truth is that we cannot diverge on we have to accept them for what they are fusions for one talking about unity when we have these Paul says I therefore a prisoner for the Lord infusions for one urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the call. To which you have been called with all humility and gentleness with patience bearing with one another in love and here he says in verse three eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace Well how do we do that this is the same mind that we're going to have verse for there is one body one Spirit just as you were called to the one the hope now belongs to your call one Lord one face one baptism and one God and Father of all who is overall and through all and in all.Now this passage here and there's obviously a lot there but I'll wrap up this portion of this point by saying this what people believe is extremely important and if there is not some singular truth some undeniable singular truth out there that all of us can balance to wards and say this is what we agree with there's no way that we could ever have unity with each other and so the real the unity of the Holy Spirit what he's doing in all of our lives is getting us to understand and guiding us to the truth the one truth of God's Word and the main truth obviously that we need to start with and stand upon is who Jesus Christ is there is no one that we can go through to get to the Father only through Jesus Christ the Son of God His death and resurrection that is the one truth that we begin our unity and stand our unity of unity upon so that is how God works within us with the Holy Spirit to bring us to a same mind or the same on the truth that we hold onto when next we also see the unifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we see among ourselves point to the same identity that we have the same identity in our devotee is this we are loyal followers of Jesus Christ and we are equal members of the one body of Christ and as the one body of Christ all of us are equal as role players one body many parts whatever. Chapter two verse two of Philippians.Verse two again I am reading from the E.S.P. if for those of you are not aware that verse two says complete my joy by being of the same mind. Having the same law of and here's the phrase for this point being in full accord and of one mind you know this this word here is very interesting and in the yes to be it's translated being in a full accord this is the only place in the entire Bible that this word is used it's almost like Paul made up a word it's a compound word and the Greek word is called Some So and it's two words which basically are combining the word with and soul with each other and so basically a literal translation would be sold with.We are sold with each other or we are joined with in soul and again this is the only place that this ever appears and I think would be what Paul is trying to do is taking the basic unit of a human being our soul and we're being joined with other people that creates the one body of Christ and that is the one identity that we have and so when we combine this one this of soul with other passages of Scripture I believe this is cheating us that the Holy Spirit unites us in our function as role players within the Body of Christ that is our one identity the We Are The One Body of Christ and everyone within the Body of Christ has a role to play and it doesn't matter how old you are or how smart you are or how tall or short you are doesn't matter any of those things God has placed within you is called you to be his own you are now identified with him and he's given you a role to play and I want you to turn over to First Corinthians Chapter twelve this is by far as I think the best passage in all of Scripture that kind of describes the body the body of Christ and how it functions and. Now it's the Holy Spirit that unites us together so that we're functioning together as one body.First Corinthians Chapter twelve.So as we read this what I want you to do is realize especially for those of you who are used as you say this is my home church we are sold with each other as O.-U. L. sold with each other like this passage says First Corinthians Chapter twelve beginning in verse four. Says now there are varieties of gifts but the same spirit and there are varieties of service but the same Lord. And there are varieties of activities but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good and so this teaches us that God has placed the Holy Spirit in each and every one of us and there is a manifestation of power and gifting and it's given for what purpose for the common good for our one identity as a body now skip down to verse twenty one.Now this is where Paul kind of get some kind of gets funny trying to describe this in a way that we can understand using the image or the analogy of a body verse twenty one it says the I cannot say the hand I have no need of you nor again the head to the feet I have no need of you on the contrary the parts of the Biden seem to be weaker are indispensable. And on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor and are unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty which are more presentable parts do not require but God is so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it that there may be no division in the body but that the members may have the same care for one another if one member suffers all suffer together if one member is honored all rejoice together now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it so if we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit what Paul is teaching us here the Holy Spirit will get us to be your. Neither with each other in our one identity and we will all understand our role and use our roles in conjunction with each other you know it's interesting as I was kind of preparing for this talking about unity. If you have an enemy you want to find out what their endgame is so that you can attack them right. What God wants from us is to be united and so Satan will work desperately to try to get us to be divided and so it's interesting how it says verse twenty five so that there may be no division in the body the members be given the same care to one another so that's what God wants us to do so we stay united all of us use our one gift and we have to understand our gifts are different you know you think about a war to be like if everybody thought that they had the same gift you know today we did Teacher Appreciation Day and you notice that not everybody stood up and then that's good because not everyone has the gift of teaching but all of us have some gift and we should all use them because we're one body using our parts equally I came across this example of what it looks like if everyone thinks that they have the exact same job and they don't realize that you need to work as a team so I'll go ahead I'll share this with you I in fact I think I'd use this before at some point it's a great illustration it goes like this this I guess it would it would highlight what it looks like in a body of believers or don't recognize there are different gifts to be used in Coronation with each other to highlight its annual picnic one year a company rented two racing shells and challenge their rival company to a boat race and the rival company except it on the day of the picnic everyone entered into the spirit of the event women wore colorful summer dresses and big floppy hats so obviously this wasn't any time soon this was a while ago and then more straw skimmers and white pants bands played in banners waved and finally the race began to the consternation of the host company the rival team immediately moved to the front and never looked back it won by eleven links and the management of the host company was so embarrassed. By it showing it promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team's chances in a rematch the following year the committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race and they met for three months and issued a preliminary report an essence the report said that the rival crew had been unfair basically they cheated they had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beach reporter said we had one person rowing and eight coxswains.The chairman of the Board thank the committee and Senator Wade to study the matter further and make a recommendation for the rematch and four months later they committee came back with a recommendation our guy needs to grow faster.You know where when we allow the Holy Spirit to unify us we realize that we are working side by side with each other and it is so neat to see a group of people who are sold out to their one identity and they say we're sold with each other our identity is Jesus Christ and so I will do whatever role God has given me because I know that I'm helping the greater good the body to succeed and so I ask you your this question What what is your role how is God equipped you as members of the Body of Christ to serve Him in your unique way how how have you been sold with everyone else that you belong with well finally as the Holy Spirit unifies us together we will see that it will also manifest itself when we have the same purpose the same purpose to look at verse two again we're going to read all verse to.Complete my joy by being of the same mind having the same love being in full accord and of one mind now if you read this especially in the S.V. I didn't check any of the translations but it sounds like this is just a repetition of the. First phrase the phrase at the beginning of verse two both use the mind as an example but there's a very subtle difference in what we're seeing here the first expression here in verse two of unity is how the US have the same pattern of thinking or the same mindset in other words that we are all in tune with the one truth the last phrase has the idea of us thinking one thing or you and I are being focused on our one purpose and for the purpose of what is what is the purpose for members of today as the Body of Christ speaking of purpose and knowing what our purposes let me just going to ask questions What is the purpose of Taco Bell.To make good next Mexican food right whatever it is it's kind of Mexican food or what is the purpose of the Arizona Diamondbacks to win games right hopefully to win the World Series and you actually know what they're doing pretty good this year what's the purpose of the Arizona Cardinals. To win games to make it to Super Bowl and for those of you saw the preseason game yesterday I mean there are awfully there are not the two thousand and sixteen cardinals that I'm digressing anyway. What is the purpose of the local church what is the one main purpose of the local church if you ask everyone in any church you might get some varying answers and the all might be kind of close to what they're supposed to be well our mission as a local church is been given to us by God let's look at what it is second Corinthians Chapter five.Second Christians chapter five beginning in verse sixteen.There is a mission statement given to us by God for the local church we find it right here in second Corinthians Chapter five.And the Holy Spirit is the one that unifies us so that we are focused on this one purpose and we don't get sidetracked second Corinthians five beginning in verse sixteen it says. From now on Therefore we regard no one according to the flesh even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh we are garden's us no longer Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is passed away behold the new is come all this is from God and here it is who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that is in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself not counting the trespasses against them and then trusting to us the message of reconciliation therefore we are ambassadors for Christ God making his appeal through us we implore you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God and so God uses the church the local church and the body of Christ to get this message of his grace out to the world so that they might receive the forgiveness of sins and experience reconciliation with God That is our purpose that's every local church is purpose and the Holy Spirit is the one that unifies us so that we understand that's right this is why we exist now there are many other benefits to existing as a church Hopefully you have formed friendships and you have fellowship with other people and all these different things but we first and foremost exists because this truth needs to get out to the world in the Holy Spirit empowers us so that were united in our one purpose I have another great story I came across a great example of people working together united in a very singular purpose and that was to save lives I mean literally just for you this is how the the birth of the idea to ride sled race up in Alaska to be sorted every year Alaska a one thousand mile dog sled race I run for prize money in prestigious commemorates an original race to run there was run to save lives back in January of one nine hundred twenty six six year old Richard Stanley showed sim. Jims of the theories signaling the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome when the boy passed away a day later Dr Curtis Welch began immunizing children adults with an experimental but effective anti defeat syrup but it wasn't long before Dr Welch a supply ran out and the nearest serum was a nina Alaska a thousand miles of frozen wilderness away and they zing Lee a group of trappers and prospectors volunteered to cover the distance with their dog teams operating in a release from trading post a trapping station and beyond one sled started out from Nome while the other carrying the serum started from needed on oblivious to frostbite fatigue and exhaustion the Teamsters mushed it relentlessly until after one hundred forty four hours in minus fifty degree wins the serum was delivered to Nome and as a result only one other life was lost to the potential of the Demick their sacrifice had given an entire town the gift of life and what a great example of people having one purpose and just giving themselves wholeheartedly to that and it's so exciting when you come across any group of people in their one purpose is very clear. Our purpose just like that purpose up in Alaska our purpose our one purpose is to get the serum out to get the message of salvation to the world that's what they need to be saved and that's what we need to love the Holy Spirit unify us in and that's that one purpose you know I am thinking of our church in this this time in our churches existence we have a very unique opportunity you know and if you were to go two months in back in the past back in July or June and someone were to say hey you guys are going to be construed considering buying into church property I would say you're crazy really are we really going to doing that but here we are and the one thing that I'm excited about regarding this possibility and this this. This doesn't matter what happens whether we're here or there but this gives us a reason to stop and just ask ourselves this question why do we as Grace Bible Church exists. What are we doing here what is our one purpose and so no matter what happens or whatever church building we're going to be in for one year from now I hope this gives us an opportunity to experience the unifying were the Holy Spirit where the Holy Spirit reminds us that we have one truth and that one truth should affect the way that we all think we think the same because there is one truth in that we have one identity we are the Body of Christ each of us playing our role and we have one purpose one purpose and that is to share the message of salvation with the world around us and that's why we need the Holy Spirit because if we didn't have the Holy Spirit we couldn't do this on our own what I want to do this morning is I want us to remember. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives because it's only possible because of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and so I want us to remember what unites us all together and that is the death and resurrection of our Savior but ask the board members if they can come join me up here.So that they can help pass out the bread in the juice.And as we are about to take partake of communion.If you're here today and you're not a member of this church that's fine if you're a member of the Body of Christ together united will be sharing in this celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so I invite you to to participate in this with me but if you have never place your faith in Jesus Christ and you don't know what's going on just feel free to just pass the bread in the juice on by as it goes down the aisle or right now will pass out the bread and what I want you to do is just think for a moment before before we all part. Make of this together think about how the bread represents the body of Jesus. And Jesus did this and he said by my will as you are you. By my dad. You can be forever united with me we are one with Christ because the Holy Spirit has united us with the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and so as the brightest pass just spend some time thanking thinking of this true.The scriptures Paul is remembering that night and he recalls these words for us he says privacy from the Lord but I also deliver to you the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said This is my body which is for you Jew this remembrance of what for you today. We thank you for this incredible sacrifice. That you made so that we could be one.And we realized that because of Christ's death his willing death and sacrifice. When you view us you don't see it you see the blood of our Savior after Ever hear of us. Unites us with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we also know in your word Lord says that the Holy Spirit baptize us into the death of Jesus mean we are forever identified with that so thank you so much for the unifying work of the Holy Spirit and the death of Jesus Christ which gives us the forgiveness of person reprieves right.Now as we pass the juice which represents the blood of Christ in it we find our one common purpose we're not only identified with the death of Jesus we're also identified with the resurrection of Jesus. That is the message of hope and the message that we are supposed to share what the world so spend time thanking God that we have been joined with him in this purpose of sharing God's grace with the world around us.Scripture says in the same way also he took the cup after supper saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood do this is awesome as you drink it in remembrance of me for as often as you read this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death I tell you.What a wonderful hope. We know you sacrificed your son his death on the cross gives us the forgiveness of sins.But he is coming again you are sending your side our Lord and Savior and he's coming again and in this we are united in our purpose and our identity and our thanking So Father My prayer is for us as a church and as individuals that we yield to the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we might be one just as you and the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and help us to always be united in our purpose of getting the message of reconciliation out to the world we make that our prayer this morning thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit in our life Lord I just pray that you continue to teach us as we study on his ministry our life through praising Christ and. Now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ God the Father in spirit be with you all.

Faithfulness of God

Preacher: Josh White

Unity

Preacher: Josh WhiteI we have been talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in everyone's life and three weeks ago we really started and we talked about God's greatest desire for us as His children in fact we could even say it's God's will for our life first and foremost that this be true so he has all the answer this is God's will for a life that we will be holy and it says why God desires us to be holy he wants us to be holy because he is holy That's why God desires for us to be holy and as we keep starting we realize that there is another great desire of God for us as individuals but also as a family and that is for us to be united because God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are united so God's desire for us is to be like him holy and then also united and that is one of the reasons why God gave us the Holy Spirit I want you to turn over your Bibles to John Chapter seventeen.And we read about this in John Chapter seventeen and this is known as the high priest of the prayer of Christ this is right before he was crucified. And we have this recorded prayer of Jesus talking to the father.And then here we get this insight of what God's great desire is for us this is children John Chapter seventeen beginning in verse twenty.And up to this point John or Jesus had been praying for his disciples for the twelve or for the love at that point the twelve that we're going to go out and share or share Christ with the world and here in John seventeen beginning in verse twenty Jesus continues and he says I do not ask for these only but also for those who will believe in Me through their word so that it includes us that they may all be one just as you Father are in me and I and you that they also may be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me the glory that you have given me I. I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one I in them and you and me that they may become perfectly one soul that the world may know that you sent me and love them even as you loved me and so this is the plan of God They each of us will be one with him and that's talking about our identity in Christ that we will accept God's mission for us that the world will know and factor does what it says in verse twenty five it says I look at verse twenty five again I in them and you in me that they may become perfectly one so that the world may know and sold the work of the Holy Spirit is to come into us as believers unite us together so that our identity is in God so that we are united with each other but then also our unity shares that message of salvation with the world around us I want you to turn over to Philip in this chapter to well more interview for today and to take this idea of God giving us the Holy Spirit so that we will be united and there's a passage in Philippians Chapter two we're going to use sort of as our text for this morning so Philippians chapter two and will begin in verse one.And just just before read this all say this you know read this passage of Philippians and in this passage Paul sort of gives us these these practical commands which really helps us to understand what the Holy Spirit will be doing in our lives and what it looks like when the Holy Spirit is unifying us so let's read this book in Chapter Two beginning of verse one.He says So if there is any encouragement in Christ. Any comfort from love any participation in the spirit any affection and sympathy complete my joy by being of the same mind having the same love being in full accord in of One Mind you nothing from selfish ambition or can see. But in humility count others more significant than yourselves let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others have this mine among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus if you look at him you notice what he says in verse one he says that if you have any participation in the spirit some of you might be using another translation your translation might say something like If you have any fellowship with the Holy Spirit in other words Paul a saying If you have any kind of cooperation with the Holy Spirit then this is what that should look like and the word for participation or fellowship whatever translation you're using it's the Greek word koinonia you maybe have heard this before it's a very powerful word and let me read for you a great definition that I found from a commentary kind of really nails down this idea of what it means to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit or participation so here is a definition so this is referring to having a common interest and a mutual and active participation in the things of God in which the believer and the Holy Spirit are joint participants. So it says if you have any participation in the Holy Spirit it means the things that the Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish in your life and the life of others we need to partner with that and so if we're partnering with the Holy Spirit this is what it looks like you know so far we've we've talked about a few different things we've got talked a couple weeks ago about how the Holy Spirit was given to us a ministry of the Holy Spirit is just sanctify us to make us whole set apart because God is holy and last week we talked about how the Holy Spirit leads us leads us into opportunity leads us into truth that's what the Holy Spirit does but today we're going to look at how the Holy Spirit also unifies believers together for a very specific purpose and God wants us to be unified and so to do that he's given us the Holy Spirit so what we're going to do this morning is we're going to look at this passage here and flip institue. And see the things that sort of they manifest themselves when we see this work of the Holy Spirit taking place and so I'm going to give you three things if you look at this passage there's more than just three things we're going to look at three things this morning that we will experience in the work of the Holy Spirit is present in our lives and unifying us and the first thing that we will experience is number one we will experience having the same mind. If the Holy Spirit is unifying us together we will have the same mind to look at verse two.This phrase is at the very beginning of verse two so Philippians two two says complete my joy by being of the same mind. And so Paul sorts off by saying unity begins in happens when we are of the same mind some you might have another translation might say have the same pattern of thinking and so you just take a second and kind of stand back and you think wait a second what exactly is the Bible telling us to do it says that we're supposed to have the same thoughts the same pattern of thought the same mind. Do you know how many opinions there are in the world is that even possible it is Paul suggesting that believers for them to be united have to hold to the same political party are we all supposed to be Republicans or Democrats or are we all supposed to hold to the same parenting philosophies if this is you know what exactly is Paul talking about well I think it's clear what he's talking about is this to be of the same mind it means that our thoughts all of our sots need to be influenced and guided by the one singular truth that there is in the world and that is the Word of God and so of God's people stray from the Bible as their source of truth. Unity is impossible in sort of the way that we can have the same mind is for all of us to align our thoughts with the one timeless eternal truth. I came across this a while ago and I think this is an excellent way for us to kind of understand how this this unity takes place this is written by toes or in his book The Pursuit of God and he writes about unity and how what this looks like any writes Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other they are of one accord by being in tune not to each other but to another standard in which each one must individually bow so one hundred worshippers like us today meeting together each one looking to Christ our own heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become unity conscience and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. So that's how we are of one mind it's not like we're supposed to look around and find the most opinionated person or the most smart or influential person and say well if they are thinking this then we all need to agree to think the things that that person is thinking the way we become united is we'll let the Word of God become our one source of truth that is when we will have the same pattern of thinking natural will be of the same mindset I want you to stay here in Philippians will come back here but turn over your bible just a couple pages to efficiency. Go back to your Bible to just a few pages to fusions chapter four.So more talking about having the same truth and having the same mind you know what are the things that we're supposed to agree on and think about here's one of the passages where Paul tells us there are seven ones of the faith these are these are individual truth is that we cannot diverge on we have to accept them for what they are fusions for one talking about unity when we have these Paul says I therefore a prisoner for the Lord infusions for one urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the call. To which you have been called with all humility and gentleness with patience bearing with one another in love and here he says in verse three eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace Well how do we do that this is the same mind that we're going to have verse for there is one body one Spirit just as you were called to the one the hope now belongs to your call one Lord one face one baptism and one God and Father of all who is overall and through all and in all.Now this passage here and there's obviously a lot there but I'll wrap up this portion of this point by saying this what people believe is extremely important and if there is not some singular truth some undeniable singular truth out there that all of us can balance to wards and say this is what we agree with there's no way that we could ever have unity with each other and so the real the unity of the Holy Spirit what he's doing in all of our lives is getting us to understand and guiding us to the truth the one truth of God's Word and the main truth obviously that we need to start with and stand upon is who Jesus Christ is there is no one that we can go through to get to the Father only through Jesus Christ the Son of God His death and resurrection that is the one truth that we begin our unity and stand our unity of unity upon so that is how God works within us with the Holy Spirit to bring us to a same mind or the same on the truth that we hold onto when next we also see the unifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we see among ourselves point to the same identity that we have the same identity in our devotee is this we are loyal followers of Jesus Christ and we are equal members of the one body of Christ and as the one body of Christ all of us are equal as role players one body many parts whatever. Chapter two verse two of Philippians.Verse two again I am reading from the E.S.P. if for those of you are not aware that verse two says complete my joy by being of the same mind. Having the same law of and here's the phrase for this point being in full accord and of one mind you know this this word here is very interesting and in the yes to be it's translated being in a full accord this is the only place in the entire Bible that this word is used it's almost like Paul made up a word it's a compound word and the Greek word is called Some So and it's two words which basically are combining the word with and soul with each other and so basically a literal translation would be sold with.We are sold with each other or we are joined with in soul and again this is the only place that this ever appears and I think would be what Paul is trying to do is taking the basic unit of a human being our soul and we're being joined with other people that creates the one body of Christ and that is the one identity that we have and so when we combine this one this of soul with other passages of Scripture I believe this is cheating us that the Holy Spirit unites us in our function as role players within the Body of Christ that is our one identity the We Are The One Body of Christ and everyone within the Body of Christ has a role to play and it doesn't matter how old you are or how smart you are or how tall or short you are doesn't matter any of those things God has placed within you is called you to be his own you are now identified with him and he's given you a role to play and I want you to turn over to First Corinthians Chapter twelve this is by far as I think the best passage in all of Scripture that kind of describes the body the body of Christ and how it functions and. Now it's the Holy Spirit that unites us together so that we're functioning together as one body.First Corinthians Chapter twelve.So as we read this what I want you to do is realize especially for those of you who are used as you say this is my home church we are sold with each other as O.-U. L. sold with each other like this passage says First Corinthians Chapter twelve beginning in verse four. Says now there are varieties of gifts but the same spirit and there are varieties of service but the same Lord. And there are varieties of activities but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good and so this teaches us that God has placed the Holy Spirit in each and every one of us and there is a manifestation of power and gifting and it's given for what purpose for the common good for our one identity as a body now skip down to verse twenty one.Now this is where Paul kind of get some kind of gets funny trying to describe this in a way that we can understand using the image or the analogy of a body verse twenty one it says the I cannot say the hand I have no need of you nor again the head to the feet I have no need of you on the contrary the parts of the Biden seem to be weaker are indispensable. And on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor and are unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty which are more presentable parts do not require but God is so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it that there may be no division in the body but that the members may have the same care for one another if one member suffers all suffer together if one member is honored all rejoice together now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it so if we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit what Paul is teaching us here the Holy Spirit will get us to be your. Neither with each other in our one identity and we will all understand our role and use our roles in conjunction with each other you know it's interesting as I was kind of preparing for this talking about unity. If you have an enemy you want to find out what their endgame is so that you can attack them right. What God wants from us is to be united and so Satan will work desperately to try to get us to be divided and so it's interesting how it says verse twenty five so that there may be no division in the body the members be given the same care to one another so that's what God wants us to do so we stay united all of us use our one gift and we have to understand our gifts are different you know you think about a war to be like if everybody thought that they had the same gift you know today we did Teacher Appreciation Day and you notice that not everybody stood up and then that's good because not everyone has the gift of teaching but all of us have some gift and we should all use them because we're one body using our parts equally I came across this example of what it looks like if everyone thinks that they have the exact same job and they don't realize that you need to work as a team so I'll go ahead I'll share this with you I in fact I think I'd use this before at some point it's a great illustration it goes like this this I guess it would it would highlight what it looks like in a body of believers or don't recognize there are different gifts to be used in Coronation with each other to highlight its annual picnic one year a company rented two racing shells and challenge their rival company to a boat race and the rival company except it on the day of the picnic everyone entered into the spirit of the event women wore colorful summer dresses and big floppy hats so obviously this wasn't any time soon this was a while ago and then more straw skimmers and white pants bands played in banners waved and finally the race began to the consternation of the host company the rival team immediately moved to the front and never looked back it won by eleven links and the management of the host company was so embarrassed. By it showing it promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team's chances in a rematch the following year the committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race and they met for three months and issued a preliminary report an essence the report said that the rival crew had been unfair basically they cheated they had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beach reporter said we had one person rowing and eight coxswains.The chairman of the Board thank the committee and Senator Wade to study the matter further and make a recommendation for the rematch and four months later they committee came back with a recommendation our guy needs to grow faster.You know where when we allow the Holy Spirit to unify us we realize that we are working side by side with each other and it is so neat to see a group of people who are sold out to their one identity and they say we're sold with each other our identity is Jesus Christ and so I will do whatever role God has given me because I know that I'm helping the greater good the body to succeed and so I ask you your this question What what is your role how is God equipped you as members of the Body of Christ to serve Him in your unique way how how have you been sold with everyone else that you belong with well finally as the Holy Spirit unifies us together we will see that it will also manifest itself when we have the same purpose the same purpose to look at verse two again we're going to read all verse to.Complete my joy by being of the same mind having the same love being in full accord and of one mind now if you read this especially in the S.V. I didn't check any of the translations but it sounds like this is just a repetition of the. First phrase the phrase at the beginning of verse two both use the mind as an example but there's a very subtle difference in what we're seeing here the first expression here in verse two of unity is how the US have the same pattern of thinking or the same mindset in other words that we are all in tune with the one truth the last phrase has the idea of us thinking one thing or you and I are being focused on our one purpose and for the purpose of what is what is the purpose for members of today as the Body of Christ speaking of purpose and knowing what our purposes let me just going to ask questions What is the purpose of Taco Bell.To make good next Mexican food right whatever it is it's kind of Mexican food or what is the purpose of the Arizona Diamondbacks to win games right hopefully to win the World Series and you actually know what they're doing pretty good this year what's the purpose of the Arizona Cardinals. To win games to make it to Super Bowl and for those of you saw the preseason game yesterday I mean there are awfully there are not the two thousand and sixteen cardinals that I'm digressing anyway. What is the purpose of the local church what is the one main purpose of the local church if you ask everyone in any church you might get some varying answers and the all might be kind of close to what they're supposed to be well our mission as a local church is been given to us by God let's look at what it is second Corinthians Chapter five.Second Christians chapter five beginning in verse sixteen.There is a mission statement given to us by God for the local church we find it right here in second Corinthians Chapter five.And the Holy Spirit is the one that unifies us so that we are focused on this one purpose and we don't get sidetracked second Corinthians five beginning in verse sixteen it says. From now on Therefore we regard no one according to the flesh even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh we are garden's us no longer Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is passed away behold the new is come all this is from God and here it is who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that is in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself not counting the trespasses against them and then trusting to us the message of reconciliation therefore we are ambassadors for Christ God making his appeal through us we implore you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God and so God uses the church the local church and the body of Christ to get this message of his grace out to the world so that they might receive the forgiveness of sins and experience reconciliation with God That is our purpose that's every local church is purpose and the Holy Spirit is the one that unifies us so that we understand that's right this is why we exist now there are many other benefits to existing as a church Hopefully you have formed friendships and you have fellowship with other people and all these different things but we first and foremost exists because this truth needs to get out to the world in the Holy Spirit empowers us so that were united in our one purpose I have another great story I came across a great example of people working together united in a very singular purpose and that was to save lives I mean literally just for you this is how the the birth of the idea to ride sled race up in Alaska to be sorted every year Alaska a one thousand mile dog sled race I run for prize money in prestigious commemorates an original race to run there was run to save lives back in January of one nine hundred twenty six six year old Richard Stanley showed sim. Jims of the theories signaling the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome when the boy passed away a day later Dr Curtis Welch began immunizing children adults with an experimental but effective anti defeat syrup but it wasn't long before Dr Welch a supply ran out and the nearest serum was a nina Alaska a thousand miles of frozen wilderness away and they zing Lee a group of trappers and prospectors volunteered to cover the distance with their dog teams operating in a release from trading post a trapping station and beyond one sled started out from Nome while the other carrying the serum started from needed on oblivious to frostbite fatigue and exhaustion the Teamsters mushed it relentlessly until after one hundred forty four hours in minus fifty degree wins the serum was delivered to Nome and as a result only one other life was lost to the potential of the Demick their sacrifice had given an entire town the gift of life and what a great example of people having one purpose and just giving themselves wholeheartedly to that and it's so exciting when you come across any group of people in their one purpose is very clear. Our purpose just like that purpose up in Alaska our purpose our one purpose is to get the serum out to get the message of salvation to the world that's what they need to be saved and that's what we need to love the Holy Spirit unify us in and that's that one purpose you know I am thinking of our church in this this time in our churches existence we have a very unique opportunity you know and if you were to go two months in back in the past back in July or June and someone were to say hey you guys are going to be construed considering buying into church property I would say you're crazy really are we really going to doing that but here we are and the one thing that I'm excited about regarding this possibility and this this. This doesn't matter what happens whether we're here or there but this gives us a reason to stop and just ask ourselves this question why do we as Grace Bible Church exists. What are we doing here what is our one purpose and so no matter what happens or whatever church building we're going to be in for one year from now I hope this gives us an opportunity to experience the unifying were the Holy Spirit where the Holy Spirit reminds us that we have one truth and that one truth should affect the way that we all think we think the same because there is one truth in that we have one identity we are the Body of Christ each of us playing our role and we have one purpose one purpose and that is to share the message of salvation with the world around us and that's why we need the Holy Spirit because if we didn't have the Holy Spirit we couldn't do this on our own what I want to do this morning is I want us to remember. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives because it's only possible because of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and so I want us to remember what unites us all together and that is the death and resurrection of our Savior but ask the board members if they can come join me up here.So that they can help pass out the bread in the juice.And as we are about to take partake of communion.If you're here today and you're not a member of this church that's fine if you're a member of the Body of Christ together united will be sharing in this celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so I invite you to to participate in this with me but if you have never place your faith in Jesus Christ and you don't know what's going on just feel free to just pass the bread in the juice on by as it goes down the aisle or right now will pass out the bread and what I want you to do is just think for a moment before before we all part. Make of this together think about how the bread represents the body of Jesus. And Jesus did this and he said by my will as you are you. By my dad. You can be forever united with me we are one with Christ because the Holy Spirit has united us with the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and so as the brightest pass just spend some time thanking thinking of this true.The scriptures Paul is remembering that night and he recalls these words for us he says privacy from the Lord but I also deliver to you the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said This is my body which is for you Jew this remembrance of what for you today. We thank you for this incredible sacrifice. That you made so that we could be one.And we realized that because of Christ's death his willing death and sacrifice. When you view us you don't see it you see the blood of our Savior after Ever hear of us. Unites us with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we also know in your word Lord says that the Holy Spirit baptize us into the death of Jesus mean we are forever identified with that so thank you so much for the unifying work of the Holy Spirit and the death of Jesus Christ which gives us the forgiveness of person reprieves right.Now as we pass the juice which represents the blood of Christ in it we find our one common purpose we're not only identified with the death of Jesus we're also identified with the resurrection of Jesus. That is the message of hope and the message that we are supposed to share what the world so spend time thanking God that we have been joined with him in this purpose of sharing God's grace with the world around us.Scripture says in the same way also he took the cup after supper saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood do this is awesome as you drink it in remembrance of me for as often as you read this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death I tell you.What a wonderful hope. We know you sacrificed your son his death on the cross gives us the forgiveness of sins.But he is coming again you are sending your side our Lord and Savior and he's coming again and in this we are united in our purpose and our identity and our thanking So Father My prayer is for us as a church and as individuals that we yield to the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we might be one just as you and the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and help us to always be united in our purpose of getting the message of reconciliation out to the world we make that our prayer this morning thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit in our life Lord I just pray that you continue to teach us as we study on his ministry our life through praising Christ and. Now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ God the Father in spirit be with you all.

Opportunities and the Spirit’s Leading

Preacher: Josh White

Opportunities and the Spirit’s Leading + 12th St Church Opportunity Presentation

Preacher: Josh WhiteWell good morning everyone welcome to respond which church of Phoenix we'd like to have you take these fellowship paths are located somewhere in your island fill those out we'd like to have a record of your attendance today. A warning the next few weeks here are going to be very interesting and so what I want to do is kind of go over what's going to be happening the next few Sundays it's a day in normal Sunday at the end of the message I will be sharing with you can of the vision that we have for possibly purchasing that new church property and we'll get to that later but next Sunday we're actually going to take a tour of that building and that will be a five thirty P.M. and everyone is invited and so we will do as well there are one show up will meet in the same. Kind of talk about some of the positives in the negatives of maybe making a move like this and they will give you an opportunity to go and look at all the facilities and so that will happen next Sunday on Labor Day into Sunday sure now we're going to be back to one service we're not having Sunday school and so we'll just meet at nine o'clock in the morning one service that's it and then September tenth is going to be kind of a big day we're going to have one worship service at nine am no Sunday School and then we're having a congregational meeting at ten thirty and that is to make of vote on whether we're going to pursue this other church facility or not and then September seventeenth I will go back to the two services and we'll have some new Sunday school classes All right so that's a lot to know I don't expect you to remember everything but you'll hear that a few more times than Also it'll be in the Bulletin and we'll send out some e-mails but a couple other announcements September thirteenth and fourteenth Wednesday and Thursday we're going to start our women's Eve when's the evening Bible study and then on Thursday morning the fourteenth will start our men's Bible study small group in the morning here at church again and then also softball is beginning as Matt McFadden here somewhere. Matthew stand up this is the coach so if you have any questions or if you would like to play make sure you talk to Matt. That's right making any predictions about.Five hundred OK So when someone knew some and also we just had our jam ministry just started just among mothers and after coming up I think director wants to kind of show a little bit about what happened.I just want to give you guys an update about our Jamey.It was Wednesday morning we had sixteen mom show up and with that we had twenty two kids so it was a lot it was a lot of fun we had joined us and gave us a beautiful message about Grace and motherhood and we just had a really fun time with fellowshipping getting to know each other and even know how this new group is going to go. Cited for our next meeting we're going to do a really fun craft so if you're a mom and have a kid in your house of any age please come join us we still have room you come see me or sunshine if you have any questions.And like I said we had twenty two kids it's a lot but we have a.Handful of really awesome volunteers are really thankful for but we could still use more so if you are able and if that sounds like something you would like to help us out with please come see me I can give you more details about that and also next week we're going to do our coffee fundraiser again it's an iced cold brew really I mean donations only it's going to help pay for just our group. Next year maybe one of the moms have to pay dues so we can just come and hang out together so we thank you for all your help so far and again if you have any questions please come see me.Have a great start for our jam ministry and also our I want to start of this last Tuesday night and we had a ton of kids here I think I know the exact number but it was more than twenty two so all we had. What a great time but it's nice to see both of those ministries up and running right now let's hope the ushers come forward and we will receive this morning's offering.All right let's turn to the Lord of prayer.It's an honor to be here this morning to worship you.Just acknowledge what we just say we stand before you and we realize that you pay to go.Shopping your own blood and sacrificing your body on the cross we have freedom and we have hope and we have the joy of our salvation this morning we have come to celebrate that to worship you really share with the world around us this is the hope that the Lord.We have gathered here together so that we can proclaim this this wonderful message of salvation through death and resurrection and we give it this time so that ministry and message go forward so I pray that you will give at this time of crisis in Ukraine.Right in front of the police.Through third grade.Stand right there and look at me just like Tim is doing right here OK.You know you just stare.It's kind of scary.All right.Anyway I have.Goldfish you guys like you stink.When you.Are really good you know when I was your age maybe a bit older.I experimented with your experiment with food. Yeah I did I think I did was. I try to put them through my mouth like how long I could chew it without swallowing it.I didn't take notes so it wasn't really scientific or anything but. Anyway if I just chewed up.I'm speaking and you look at me. I know it's hard but go ahead.Anyway I try to see a lot to chew food without swallowing let me ask you this question if I just choose my food.Roy a whole lot and then just spit it out.Would that do me any good.You know why because I need nourishment go my body. You know that's. Same thing with God's word.You know you hear God's word you hear God's word and want to write your god's word here church and this service you hear God's Word we going to church you hear God's word in Sunday school hopefully you hear God's word. But if all you're doing is hearing it.Do you any good does it.Same with food you've got to swallow. With God's word you're going to do it.Doing is the same thing as swallowing OK. So when you hear God's word do it right.It will be with you later OK. All right I want to read a verse we call this for me please if you don't need it I have my lips on there.OK it says in James this is in God's Word the Bible says in James one twenty two be doers of the word and not hearers only OK.The word thank you. For.Your Me Father we thank you for this day thank you for these young people who are pray that they will be young people who do what you say not just listen or hear what you say your name.Now I am the leader remember and you like yeah oh yeah I remember that now OK good.That's a big group again.They're multiplying you know.Well.I think the Road trips are better today than they were twenty or thirty years ago I mean would you agree for those of you who like to take vacations and take road trips you know when I was a kid to grow up in Spokane Washington and in all my years that I was there we took one road trip. We had vacations where we go kind of close to home but we only took one road trip we went down to Disneyland and so this was back in one thousand nine hundred four and I know some of you weren't even born in one thousand nine hundred four but kind of giving away my age here and so from Spokane Washington down to to Disneyland we also want to Knott's Berry Farm we had a great trip and I remember as a kid from Washington state the thing I was looking forward to the most was seeing palm trees and now I step outside and you can see I'm you know anytime a white but I want to one of the clearest memories I have of this trip and this is this was quite a long time ago we were driving around in the San Francisco area and we had some relatives that live there on the Larsons I had never met them before that and I've never seen them sense but we're driving around my dad's in the front seat of my mom is in the passenger seat and she had this thing called Mag And she it was unfolded and she was doing this and and we're coming to this busy intersection I mean you're actually all of the intersections are busy because you know San Francisco is a lot more crowded than Spokane Washington and we're coming up to an intersection and my dad is telling my mom I need to know do I turn left or do I turn right and she's like you know I'm trying to find I'm trying to find it and eventually before he committed to going to the right lane or the left lane he said I turn left here right and she said right.What do you think of all meant by that is.Well my dad thought she meant you know turn to the right and so my day. Had turned to the right and we got lost you know what she should have said or she meant to say was You are correct and in that car there was a little bit of tension after that you know and so I always remember that it was one of those lessons I learned of someone ask you for directions in a car don't say right say correction or turn left or correct but you know these days that situation probably wouldn't happen because we don't pull out maps anymore we have little ladies in a little box on top of your dashboard and they tell you where to go and and they're correcting in and telling you where to go so I really appreciate G.P.S. another thing about technology today. Thing I really appreciate is not only like if you have a phone you don't even need the G.P.S. you can use your phone it will tell you where you're supposed to go but also maybe some of your familiar with this if you look on Google Earth on Google Maps on your phone because the phones in their G.P.S. are being picked up by satellites it'll actually tell you how busy the traffic is on the road that you're on and so if you know that you're supposed to go somewhere and you look at the map and you see that red line is because the satellites are picking up all the cell phones that are traveling in this one pretty slow and so not only will you know how to get where you're supposed to go but you will be emotionally prepared to handle the traffic and so technology is just it's wonderful and and with this kind of technology at our disposal I think we would all be absolutely foolish to not use it right and so I think most of us do. Well in life we all want to know where we're supposed to go we want to know what God's will is for our life and we need someone or something to show us the right way and right now we're in a series talking about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit's role in our life and this is something we're going to be talking about today the role of. The Holy Spirit in guiding us in certain areas of our life two weeks ago we talked about the purifying work of the Holy Spirit that God's will for our lives is for us to be holy and so when God places the Holy Spirit within us we are cleanse from all unrighteousness and we are pure in God's sight and then also throughout our entire lives it's a process of us being transformed into a crisis image and so we have to keep in step with the Holy Spirit allow the Holy Spirit to continue to to work on us in this way but today we're going to talk about the role of the Holy Spirit in that the Holy Spirit guides us and I'll share with you three ways in which the Holy Spirit guides us or at least the three ways that will talk about this morning the Holy Spirit guides us into truth. The Holy Spirit also guides us into having the right desires and emotions and the Holy Spirit also guides us into ministry opportunities let's start off by talking about the truth the Holy Spirit was given to us in part to tell us about the truth and by talking about giving us the truth I mean for us to have a correct understanding of God and His will and the truth is that are in God's word and so right before Jesus ascended He told the disciples I am sending the Holy Spirit and in John fourteen twenty six he says but the helper the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. And so this is the role of the Holy Spirit are one of the roles of the Holy Spirit and so if you ever have one of those off ha moments where you think you know the Bible's talks about this some more it oh I remember this is where it is or I remember hearing this in a sermon or a Sunday school class that is the work of the Holy Spirit to teach us and to confirm to us what we've heard God's Word say a really good passage that teaches about this in first Corinthians. So like all of you are turn over your Bibles to first Corinthians Chapter two.Verse twenty and chapter two and will begin in verse eleven.First Corinthians chapter two verse a lot and this is where Paul is talking about how people with the Holy Spirit in them are able to understand the things that are from God First Corinthians two eleven.Says For we know a person's thoughts for who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him.So Also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we might understand the things freely given us by God and we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned the spiritual person judges all things but is himself to be judged by no one for who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him but we have the mind of Christ.You know this book The God is given to us is God's way of communicating to us and then there we will find lots of lessons on history but this is not primarily a history book this is a spiritual book and it teaches us spiritual truths and so here in First Corinthians two it says that without the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer there are not fully able or so if someone doesn't have those who are not fully able to understand the spiritual truths because they are spiritually discerned or spiritually dead you know the first time I read that it reminded me of something that happened to me when I was back in junior high and I know I shared. Before and it's a great story and it made an impact on my life I'll probably share it again but I remember I was some of these are ninth grade I can remember what it was I was in junior high at Evergreen junior high school in Spokane Washington and on my street there was another student who went there her name was Jeannie and she lived a few houses down from me and she is she is of a different religion OK I'll just I'll just say that and so I knew she was spiritual warrior you know religious and she knew I was religious and so every now and then we would get into these these debates these very friendly. Spiritual debates and biblical debates and I remember talking to her because they believe that her religion believes that there's another way to be saved other than through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our faith and that they were taught that you have to earn your salvation and I remember thinking that's not what the Bible teaches and so one day I think it was probably in Sunday school we're looking through a passage and I saw a verse that said and I can remember exactly which one it was at that time but it says very clearly that you are saved only by faith and not by works and I remember I underlined that verse in my Bible and I said next time I see Jeannie I'm going to show this to her so next time we're walking home and I said we got to my house and Jean we're here I have a Bible verse I'm going to show you so I went in I grabbed my Bible and I showed it to her and part of me wanted to prove her that I was right she was wrong here as part of my motivation but I was also concerned for her salvation and so I said Jamie this is what the Bible says you can't earn your way to heaven it's only by faith and I remember she read that and she said no that's not what it means.And I was so frustrated with her in my mind it was crystal clear and it is sort of like you know the the arithmetic where you are tell someone if you have two apples and your friend brings you to apples how many apples do you have four out of this is very easy to understand and here she is not being able to understand this. And she walked home and I was really frustrated with her and I thought she's just trying to be disagreeable you know she's just trying to to not admit that she was wrong and this is what the Bible teaches and then I read this and I realized there's a really good chance that she couldn't grasp that concept because she's living under a deception and the Holy Spirit does not live within her and so this is one thing that the Holy Spirit does for us the Holy Spirit leads us and guides us into truth.And how can a spiritually dead person understand a spiritual truth and they can't without the Holy Spirit and so this is why God has given us the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth and today when we say truth we're talking about truth that has been revealed to us not new information that no one has ever heard and this is a wonderful power that is at work in our lives and so we should take advantage of it and so how can we take advantage of this illuminating work of the Holy Spirit I think partly it's some of it's fairly obvious if God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us understand it then we need to be people of the word and so whenever you hear anyone say something like this is what God says don't take them at their word and I'm talking even about myself anyone that you read in a book anyone that you hear on the radio if someone says this is what God's truth is you need to study that for yourself don't take anyone else's words God has given us the resources that we need to understand what truth is and that is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit and so not only does the Holy Spirit guide us into truth the Holy Spirit also Point number two will also guide us towards correct desires and emotions. I want you to churn over to go lation chapter five.Glaciers chapter five. This morning in Adam's Sunday school class we. We're going through Galatians and when we actually looked at this this passage are interesting how it works sometimes.But we're talking about how the Holy Spirit can guide us towards correct desires and emotions a lot of times we think that our Christianity or being a Christian it just comes down to understanding and following the moral commands of God but the Holy Spirit can do so much more for us the Holy Spirit can fill our minds and our hearts with the kinds of desires and emotions that will bring us to live a godly life but the glacier is Chapter five beginning in verse sixteen.Five sixteen.It says but I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh for the desires of the flesh are against the spirit but the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do now the word here for Desire is the Greek word which refers to a strong human emotion and the desire this is not talking about some kind of an intellectual decision and so it says don't give in to the desires of the flesh given to the desires of the Holy Spirit and so one of the worst pieces of advice that we can give or follow is this your problem maybe you receive this advice or given it but when we're trying to make a decision about something that's really important and significant in our life sometimes we'll hear the advice given to us well just just follow your heart go with what your heart instead is and wait a second the lation says that we have two sets of desires one can be of the flesh and one can be of the Spirit and so if we are following just the desires of our heart it can lead us away from God sometimes the desires of our heart and unnecessarily send. But they can lead to instant selfish gratification and the spirit in the flesh as it says here they contradict each other fleshly desires they usually lead to self gratification instant gratification and the Spirit desires to lead us towards maturity and to glorify Jesus Christ and so when your heart in your mind are swirling with emotions about about a certain decision that you're supposed to make or a certain subject or you're trying to make a decision or maybe even sometimes about a about another person and the kind of relationship you're going to have with them realize that there are two ways for us to go. We have fleshly desires which could potentially lead us away from God But then this also says that we can have desires of the Spirit and the Spirit can give us the right desires and emotions that will lead us to glorify God Well how do we take advantage of this this kind of leading guiding of the Holy Spirit.Obviously with the Word of God and some of you have probably noticed if you ever spent time with in God's word and you're just reading it and all of a sudden you just find yourself wanting to how that kind of holiness that you read about in the Word of God in your life sometimes that's what happens I know the way I think that we can apply this for lives is whenever you're about to make a decision we should simply pray God give me the right desires I want to make the right choice what's the best decision in this in this circumstance or put within my heart in my mind the desires of the Spirit and if we pray that I believe that God will honor that and so this is another way that the Holy Spirit guides us and so next time you're about to make a really big decision not a small decision like what you're going to have for lunch but a big decision pray to God and say God I want my actions to be in alignment with your words so please give me the right desires Well hopefully you've experienced both of these in your life and hopefully everyone here is had one of those aha moment. All of a sudden your understanding of the truth of God's Word for the first time those are very exciting and hopefully all of us have realized there's different times where we say you know that I want to do what God's will is for my life and you feel God really empowering us with the right desires and emotions Well there's one other way at least one other way that we'll talk about this morning that the Holy Spirit guides us in our lives and that is that the Holy Spirit from time to time will guide us towards ministry opportunities that there are opportunities out there in fact in. Tennis is that we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do and so there is all these opportunities out there for us to do and if we are yielding and submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit's role in our life sometimes God will lead us to these opportunities I want to I want to say go over to the Book of Acts and look at a couple of these examples I'll go over to accept the thirteen.Acts Chapter thirteen.And here's a little context on this passage this is after Jesus came to assault on the road to Damascus and said that he had set an aside to be an instrument to go to the Gentile nations and proclaim the grace of God to them and so saw was getting ready for this and he was up and entire says and actually in Antioch and here in Acts thirteen two this is where we see the Holy Spirit get a hold of this group of people and say this is what I'm going to have you do this is an opportunity in the Holy Spirit guided them towards this opportunity so Acts thirteen beginning in verse one.Says now there were in the Church of Antioch prophets and teachers Barnabas Simeon who is called Niger Lucy S. of Sirene may in a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch and Saul while they were worshipping the Lord in fasting the Holy Spirit said set apart for me Barnabas and solve for the work to which I have called them but after fasting in prayer they lay their hands on their. And sent them off oh being sent out by the Holy Spirit they went down to Solutia and from there they sailed their Cyprus when they arrived at Selma's they proclaim the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews and they had John to assist them. So as we read this Whose idea was it for Paul and Barnabas to go on this mission trip it was God's this is what God wanted to do and he was going to use someone who was going to be led by the Spirit of God And so through the Holy Spirit he had Paul and Barnabas go off and do this now how it says this is an interesting thing in verse two it says that the Holy Spirit said so the part of me Barnabas and so what how did that happen while at this time on the sign gifts I believe the sign gifts have ceased today but back then obviously God was using and speaking to your individuals and so there was probably a prophet who said God said this is what you're supposed to do again I think the Bible tells us in first Corinthians thirteen that the sign gifts have ceased mainly because we have everything that we need to know here so here's kind of a warning if someone walks up to you and says God told me that you're supposed to do this. Back away slowly from them or really be very cautious that that someone's not just trying to pull your leg or something another example of the Holy Spirit leading in this kind of way a let's stay in X. go to X. twenty.X. Chapter twenty beginning in verse twenty two.So another time when we see the Holy Spirit guiding Saul or guiding Paul. Acts Chapter twenty. Beginning in verse twenty two.This is another time when the Holy Spirit is leading them. Paul says verse twenty two and now behold I am going to Jerusalem constrained by the Spirit not knowing what will happen to me there except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment in. Selections await me but I do not account my life of any value or is precious to myself if only I may finish the course and ministry that I have received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God Paul says I am going to Jerusalem constrained by the Spirit Paul was convinced that this is exactly what the Spirit of God was leading him to do and so he submitted He says that's what I will do there's probably no audible voice but the strong sense among many people that this is where the Holy Spirit is leading them to do if that is ever happened to you or you realize in this situation I feel like God is leading me to do something those of those events they don't happen very often they're kind of few and far between but you have kind of a a mixture of emotions you're both scared and excited at the same time and that's kind of when you get the goosebumps and you're saying is God really asking me to do this and you kind of take that step of faith you know I've experienced something like that in my life a few times those kind of extraordinary experiences one of the first times is when I was in college I graduated with my associates degree and I moved back to Spokane or to Seattle I was going to try to become a firefighter and I remember that summer I was trying to figure out God you know what am I supposed to do what would you want me to do with my life and I just felt like God was showing me I want you to become a pastor and I remember in that moment when I finally gave in there was all this joy and peace and it was a very exciting and scary moment but I really felt like the Lord was leading me to do that the Holy Spirit was leading me and now it's been nineteen years so I hopefully that's that's been the case another time when I felt the Holy Spirit leading me was back in one nine hundred ninety eight person and I we had just gotten married and we had a few different options in terms of what we're going to do for ministry and we're saying more what should we do we want to serve you and the three options were to go to Africa to become a missionary over there the second option. Was and maybe some of you already knew this but the second option was to come to Phoenix Arizona and plant a church and the church plant was going to be based off a group of people that have left a church called Grace Bible Church of Phoenix and they were starting a new church and this was well before I knew anyone in Phoenix and I remember I heard about the scenario and I thought wait a second why would I move to a city and start a church that broke off from a church and they're probably not going to be very happy that I'm there and so I said no I'm not going to do that and the third option was the option that we took it was to become the associate pastor at that time of grace Bible Church a Grace Bible Fellowship in Jenison Michigan and I felt like that's what I was supposed to do and I was there for eight years and I feel like that's exactly where I was supposed to be. And another time when I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to something different was back in two thousand and six when Grace Bible Church of Phoenix said Why don't you come down and lead us not that split off from us but I said I remember when Chris and I were here actually was eleven years ago I think even kind of in this time and I remember being here and oh lord you know what are we supposed to do and I just remember there was just this excitement and this passion and just this vision of why there's all these opportunities here and I really felt like this was where we were supposed to be you know those moments there are few and far between but if you give yourself over to God and you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you he will lead you towards ministry opportunities and ministry opportunities usually come from the convergence of a need and your passion or your spiritual gifts there are needs out there everywhere and if God has given you a gift that can fill that need then he will lead you if you're willing to be led to do something like that well I don't know if you've ever experienced that but when it happens it's both Like I said it's scary and it's really exciting because usually it takes taking a step of faith. Well right now for the rest of the sermon what I want to do is I want to talk about a potential opportunity that we might have as a church and we're trying to figure out if this is the Lord's leading of us or if this is something that we're we're supposed to pursue or not so again for the rest this morning what I would do want to share with everyone this opportunity of them the potential of purchasing this church on twelfth Street.I want you to turn your sermon notes over if you have them if you've been using them we're going to talk about the three main reasons why the board and I feel that we should make this church that our number one option and I encourage you to take notes I can have some stuff up here on slides but also write down questions when I ness or we're going to have a time of questions and answers right now we will next Sunday night at five thirty at the church and will definite have some questions and answers other times but the first thing I want to say before we get into this portion of the service is I'm just I have just been talking about the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives and what I am not saying right now is that I'm confident that God is leading us in this direction OK but I am confident that we as a church need to find that out so that's what we're trying to do. Usually you don't know if God led you in a certain direction until later and you can look back and you can say yes there is evidence this is what I was supposed to do or you know we missed an opportunity but right now we are looking forward in trying to discern if this is something that God is is opening for us opening up for us to do so let's spend the rest of this morning talking about that and again I've talked about the the main events that are coming up over these next next four weeks next week is the tour on a Labor Day we're only going to have more… service and I don't clock and no Sunday school but then on September tenth we will have our one combined worship service at nine and then at ten thirty we're going to have our congregational meeting and we will vote as a church whether we want to pursue this and that Sunday we will take pledges. And I'll explain that a little bit more coming up but when we compare the two options you want to go to the first slide when we compare the two options Well first let me tell you the three reasons why we as a board voted unanimously to make this or number one option is because of time money and ministry opportunity so that's what I'm going to share with you at this time but only comparing the two options when I say option number one I'm talking about the church on a street and Option number two is what we have been thinking about doing for the last two or three years and that is trying to purchase our neighbor's house and renovate and remodel that and so I want to kind of compare these two options and share with you how I and the board came to that decision where we unanimously said we want to go for option number one or make the church on trial street or number one option and this comes from the I guess the concept of time if we were to pursue option number two and as I'm talking about Option number two the house next door I understand I'm not saying that this is a bad option and ultimately this might be the only option we have because we might not be able to get to church Wall Street but I was really looking at these two options we realize if we were to go in that direction it would take several months after we purchased it before we would be able to renovate it and eventually use the facility in option number one is we basically move in it's almost in turn key condition right now and so from that perspective of time like present tense time option number one would be a lot faster going back to Option number two if we were to take possession of that building and we would renovate it and we prepare it so that we can use it that would take several months another thing that we realized is if that worked and we got possession of our neighbor's house and we renovated and were using it and we continue to grow then that really doesn't solve any of our big issues like for instance we're still going to be in the sanctuary the size and so that could possibly lead to another step in the future which would be. A larger sanctuary in the back of our property and so when we're looking at Option number two we're realizing this might be and again we might end up going down this road and if we do you know what we'll do it at the right time but this could be several years of projects and if that's what we have to do that's what we have to do and I would be wonderful but we're looking at these two options it was basically potentially several years of expanding and even fund raising or let's just do it one time and be done and so when we looked at those two possibilities we said no we need to pursue this this if this works this would be wonderful So that's why we chose from the time perspective to make the church on trial street our first option. Now from a ministry perspective and as I talk about this side of the equation we have to understand that we can fulfill our mission as a church anywhere it's not like we will be more effective at twelve street than we are Union hills our current location is great it's not like we were wanting to leave this current location but there are a few things I want to share with you that kind of get me excited and the board excited about the new location and the first is our youth and children's opportunities so this morning we're back idea she stood up here and talked about our jam ministry all these kids are want to ministry started we had more kids than we've ever had before and it was great we have a great youth and children's ministry we have our use group we have a camp ministry and so when we're looking at our church one of our strengths is our youth and children's programs you just saw I think I counted seventeen little kids up here this morning and more on the way and so that's a strength of ours right now I don't know if you've seen the church on trial street if you looked on Google Earth but you know what's right behind it in elementary school and it's right in the middle of a neighborhood where people can literally walk to the church and so I look at that and I gets excited and. Almost scared from from one standpoint being so close to an elementary school and not visible in that neighborhood. Are all want to ministry and our vacation bible school ministry could just take off and explode and they're already pretty strong right now and so from that perspective I think our youth and children's ministry is something that we're already stronger right now could potentially have a lot more kids and so that's kind of an exciting thing another thing another own thing that we kind of like is the whole idea about going back to one worship service we went to to worship services and we're going to go back in September seventeenth kind of as a means to an end but I think all of us would prefer to be in one worship service and that sanctuary holds at least another hundred people and so we would go back to one source and I'm not saying that if we were to purchase a building and we went to one service if we outgrew it I'm not saying that we would never try to services again but from a perspective of us being together as a church family I think all of us would prefer that and so that's another ministry perspective that makes us think that maybe the church Wall Street would be a really good option and then also the third one and this is something that I was thinking about if all of us voted to move and we went there all of us would have this a new mentality all of us would be thinking in this is what I would hope all of us would be we would say we're moving there to minister and to make an impact in that neighborhood.We're not in a right where we are but I think that we're comfortable we're comfortable with who we are but when you have to make a change like that it can really kind of shake things up and then it's exciting for me to think if we were to move then everyone who goes with us and we say we're going to go to this new community all of us will be thinking we are going in I am an ambassador of Jesus Christ in this neighborhood to the people to God might bring to us and so I think that could really rejuvenating energize us if we were to do something like that so that's. From a ministry perspective now before we get into the last perspective which all of you are wondering about that's the finances we look at time and ministry and it's wonderful for us to say yes there are some opportunities at the Charles twelve Street location now that we don't have opportunities here but this is worth trying but if we can't afford it then it's not even worth looking at so let's talk about it from a money standpoint all right now let's talk about Option number two. This is what option number two would look like. If we were to purchase the house and I and I'm using the number three hundred fifty thousand because a couple years ago when we were talking to Mr Cole that's what he said he wanted in order for us to purchase it so I don't know if you would be more or less right now well let's just use that number and again I don't want any no one to take pictures of these slides OK because I don't want anyone to say you said this is how much everything is going to cost with these are best guesses OK these are estimates but I think they're going to be fairly close so if we were to purchase the house at three hundred fifty and if you've seen the house you realize that there's a lot of renovation that needs to be done I've talked to a couple different people and they said it could potentially cost up to at least two hundred thousand dollars and then we'd have to renovate the parking lot that's another seventy five thousand dollars I got a quote from an asphalt company and then our current debt on this building it's just I rounded it to two hundred thousand I think we owe two hundred five thousand on our current property so if you add all those up you come to a total debt of eight hundred twenty five thousand our mortgage payment would increase to five thousand six hundred five dollars and right now our current mortgage payment is one thousand nine hundred thirty so I'm just going to use two thousand as an example so it would be an additional three thousand six hundred seventy five dollars more per month now we wouldn't do anything we're not going to do anything without fundraising So let's say if we were able to raise two hundred thousand dollars for this project I think that's reasonable for us a church our size to do that we're looking at a total debt of six twenty five. Which means a new monthly mortgage payment of four thousand two hundred ninety nine which is two thousand two hundred ninety nine dollars more per month all right now is that possible now I'm going to talk about this from the perspective of us being many many families and people contributing at the same time Mike Thompson who is our church treasure and he gave me some on the giving statistics on our church he said in the year two thousand and sixteen we had ninety five individuals or families who gave at least once to our ministry All right so that's that's a that's a big it's a pretty big number now but then he also said that we have about fifty regular givers about fifty families that give on a consistent basis and obviously if we do any of these projects hopefully we'll have more consistent givers people really buy into what we're trying to do if you take fifty families and you divide the twenty three hundred by those fifty families it comes out to about forty five dollars more per month per fifty family and some of you say forty five that's that's nothing I could do that I could do much more than adding some You're saying Well forty five dollars that might be pretty hard on but I give that as a perspective we're looking at these big numbers but if you break it down to each individual individual and family this is kind of what we're dealing with and the idea of us doing a project like this is not for all of us to give the same amount but to sacrifice all of us to say this is what we feel God is leading us to do and so we want to do this and so I use this figure to make it realistic from an individual's perspective and how many of us if we were forced to could find another forty five dollars in our monthly budget you know most of us couldn't so that's kind of what we're looking at so that's option number two now let's look at option number one and a warning is the the numbers are going to be a little bit bigger OK Obviously.And the first number you see up there is the number eight hundred thousand dollars and I have no idea how much our church can sell for but I'm using that from Earl show. Who we've already talked to your he sells churches that's pretty much all he does and he gave us kind of an estimate of how much we can possibly sell our building for and I'm not going to hold him to that yet because he's doing an evaluation on our property but I'm using the very lowest number that he gave me OK so I'm being very conservative with eight hundred Hopefully it's more it's probably not really more than a million but let's say we sold our building for eight hundred thousand you have to subtract what we currently zero plus realtors fees all those different things we could have potentially about five hundred twenty five thousand dollars to put down if we did fund raising and we were able to come up with about two hundred thousand dollars then we're looking at seven hundred twenty five down on we made an offer at one point sixty five million the church was asking two point two million they came down and so Steve McDonald is going to talk a little bit about that number one point sixty five million so if you take that away from one point sixty five million you have a nine hundred thousand dollar mortgage and you look at the new mortgage amount being four thousand eight hundred thirty one dollars say wait a second the property next door that would be more expensive there's a unique situation with this the church on twelfth Street they own that building outright and they're going to sell or financing and so what they're going to do is a thirty year amortized mortgage at five percent which really reduces those first five years dramatically and so our new mortgage payment on that new building would only be two thousand eight hundred thirty one dollars more that's just for the mortgage obviously there's other things are going to be more expensive so I want to I want to talk about that and I sharing this with you just so you can see how realistic this is two factors that I want to include in that price if you're looking at that price that cost two thousand eight hundred thirty one there is one thing about this location that could help us in this regard if you've seen the pictures you notice there's four different buildings and one of them is a really beautiful. Four bedroom three bath house it's a parsonage if we had to it is an option for us to rent it out to somebody and if we made fifteen hundred dollars a month on that that's going to reduce the twenty thirty one down to about thirteen hundred I'm doing the math correct in my head so that even reduces it down even more Something else I want to talk about with the board decided to do up at the retreat and this is when we really started getting excited about this being a very realistic possibility we're going to be taking pledges for this project so on September tenth we're going to vote yes or no but we're also going to take pledges that we're going to take pledges in two different ways one is a one time gift if you say yes I want to do this and when our Church sells if we vote to put it on the market we're going to take a one time gift for the down payment and also there are some things that we're probably going to need when we move in there. It's in great condition but we have to buy a couple different items and we'll talk about that next Sunday night at the church but also use you went to church goes to a building campaign people don't have an extra fifty thousand dollars in their checking account that they're just going to give some ministry it's usually looking out on a monthly basis if I'm going to support this project I'm going to have to come up with money on a monthly basis and so we're going to take a three year pledge for anyone who wants to be a part of this to save for the next three years I will give over and above what I'm currently giving to support this and so at the board retreat we need to figure out not only is this a good option and we said yes it's a good option but the board said are we going to do this or we can actually get behind this and support it and so what I'm going to do is going to share with you two things I'm going to share with you what the board has decided we are able to do as far as that number is concerned and I shared with the board what my family is prepared to do if we move forward in this direction and I'm not going to ask anyone else to decide to share publicly how much you would give to a project like this but I feel like if I'm up here and if I'm leading us you have to know. But I'm very serious about this opportunity and so I shared with the board that if we're going to do this my family would give one time a one time gift of five thousand dollars and every month for the next three years we will give an additional five hundred dollars a month that's what we will do as a family and that's that is a sacrifice for us OK And then what we did is as a board we had everyone do that anonymously and the numbers that we came up with is this from just the board and we're talking there's eight board members and two staff members Mike McFadden myself so ten families so twenty percent of the congregation came up with a one time gift of thirty two thousand dollars but more importantly because this is where these families are out the families of the board decided that we would give an additional two thousand five hundred twenty five dollars every month for this project.But look at the math.We're almost there right now from ten families I share this with you to hopefully encourage you and make you realize that if we all get on board with this this is entirely possible if God is opening up the doors this is worth the sacrifice and so I hope you're encouraged I hope you realize from a financial perspective yeah this is a step of faith but this is not a gigantic foolish leap this is a step of faith that all of us can completely do if we really feel God is leading us in this direction. Right now I want to have Steve McDonald who is one of our board members come up and talk about where we are at regarding the real estate transaction and how this is all going to work.OK So the first thing to understand is that nothing has been decided in this is a done deal and now we need a vote of confidence on the back side of this comes down to we on the tenth are going to ask you to vote to say yes or no and we prayed as a board and we said God make it clear to us if it's no. MAKE IT know so that we can spend our time finding the next direction if it's yes let's make it yes that we can we can pour everything we have into this so there has not been a decision made yet but the way real estate works is we can't come to you and ask you to approve something when we don't have a price yet so we've been going on a sleep for real estate a very small amount of back and forth with the seller to figure out a price and that's where the one point six two five million comes up we realize that as that's a big numbers there you know that's when we don't take that lightly when we go from a mortgage amount of two hundred thousand dollars to a purchase price of anything that has a point as part of the description of it which we do we take that very seriously and so we went back and forth with the seller and we have a signed contract at that one point six two five million that is one hundred percent contingent first and foremost on us as a church voting yes or no on that amount the Church votes no we have no liability we have no money no skin in the game at this point we can walk away from this and he can put it back on the market and everything is back to normal for them and for us so I want to make sure that if that's perfectly clear we have some steps in this if we say yes on the tenth then we have a clock that starts that is a six month the technical term is contingency where it is pending and they have in fact already has kind of a sign of good faith put it as as pending now so anybody who's looking for a church pulls that up and says pending Well I'm going to go on to the next one so that it is it's still out there people can still see it but it shows us as pending but we have six months then to try and sell our building and we're taking steps now so that if we do say yes we can put that on the market as quick as possible and I'll tell you as someone who works in that business that is a big unknown for us is how long are we going to take to sell this building and what are we going to sell it for so that's where we need a lot of prayer and in addition to are we going to do this if we. Do this or bring us a buyer that has a whole lot of cash and really love this building house because because that's what we need we don't need somebody that's going to come in and get give a seller financing like we're getting we we we can't do that so we're going to pay this guy so. When I will tell you one that he is giving us an interest rate that is better than we could get from any mortgage company mortgage companies don't like churches were a lot of risk for them and so when he gives us an interest rate of five percent for the next five years that's that's a great deal for us so we have this contingency once we get a contract on our church we start what we call the due diligence period and that is two months for us to get title information to do our inspections to do any of those kinds of things. We've put down five thousand and earnest money that says we're serious about this here is some money that says you know if you want to show somebody you're serious you give them some money really any point up until that due diligence is done we can say we don't like this we're out and we get our five thousand dollars back we can say there are too many pieces of gravel in front of that church we want out and contractually we can get out and we can pull our money back so we really have almost no financial risk in this at this point when our due diligence is done that should mean that our church is sold and we're ready to close on that and we close on that church so if there was a best case scenario for how to do a real estate deal in a church this is textbook for that you know we have a buyer who is genuinely I'm sorry a seller who is genuinely just a good guy who wants to sell this church that he has a lot of owner pride in to a church is going to can continue on the ministry there and he's been very receptive to a couple of questions and some things we've thrown at him so that's the long in the short of it there will be questions I'm sure about this and we'll address them next week anything I'm just I don't think so OK if we're not.Well this is a. You think thinking about this is a it's amazing you know four weeks ago this opportunity we didn't even know about this and here we are talking about this it's very exciting and. If the Lord is leading us in this direction in several months from now we'll be able to look back and say Yeah he was but we want to see if that's the case and so again just kind of to reiterate next week at five thirty we'll be taking a tour of the facility we encourage all of you to come bring your questions and we're going to see the building we've had two groups go through it already the staff went through the first time just to see if they would even work and the staff looked around and we went wow this place is pretty neat and then the board went through a week later we said yeah we need to really consider this this is an opportunity that we don't want to pass up if God's going to make it happen so next week we'll tour at five thirty again Labor Day we're adding one serviceman to talk on Sunday school and September tenth we'll have a worship service at nine congregational meeting at ten thirty and we will vote and take pledges and so this is something that for you all to do to think about this to be praying about this and for you to consider if you want to be supportive of this how much would you be willing to give over and above your current giving on a monthly basis for three years or a one time gift and again. This is not saying. That you have you have to make this out and this is this is an area of our faith where we say Lord this is what I'm trusting in you for and you can see God work in your life in this way and I know I have in my my life and I'm excited for this again but let's keep praying and pray that this is an opportunity that God is really presenting to us that I hope that we will be united and together we will accept this and if it's not then God like Steve said will close the door really quick so we won't waste any more time going down that road but no matter what happens or where we will meet in a year from now or twenty years from now some things are never going to change and that is our commitment to be followers Jesus Christ and to churn to God's word so that we can base our life on him let's close in prayer and let's pray for. God's guidance continued guidance in this in this matter dear lord we love you and we thank you for the way that you guide us in our lives you've given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth to give us the crowd desires and emotions as we go through life and Lord you give us ministry opportunities and in right now we're asking you is this something that we should be doing as a church is this is this what's in the the best interest of Grace Bible Church of Phoenix not only for this this current day but also in ten or twenty years from now on Lord as far as our human minds are concerned the board in the staff feel it is the Lord we really are turning to you to open the doors and see if this is the case or we want to serve you no matter where it is and so help us to be people of your word and people of grace and people who are really willing to follow you wherever you might lead us we pray this in Christ me in it. And I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to be with us.

A Waiting World, A Willing Church

Preacher: Ben AndersonFollowed by a presentation from Pastor Josh about the Board Retreat and the direction to pursue the property on 12th Street.It's wonderful to be back here with you all again I feel like I'm I'm home when we're out on the mission field it can often feel like you're among strangers every Sunday but here we know we're among friends listeningto.Steve talk to the kids there it's it's so true they are a part of the church aren't they as I looked at the people performing up here.You know my dad and Nathan and Elizabeth and Brian and I mean I think when I first came they were about the age of those kids that were there and now look look at how they're such a important part of the churchand I think it's so.That's what church is it's more than a spiritual institution it's a social institution also and we raise our kids to love the Lord and to stand for him and to represent them in their in their generation just as we do with ourown generation I think our Joyce and my kids were in that group also the first time that we came back in three days Joyce and I will celebrate our thirty first anniversary.Thanks and I tell you that because we met in Grace Bible Church the first time that we laid eyes on each other was in this church not this building but this church this group of people this congregation how many ofyou are there any others who met for the first time in this who are married who have met for the first time here OK We have several here that's great so this church is very precious to us it's part of our family it's part ofour heritage and it always will be the rest of our lives. And it's wonderful to be back here with you I.Wanted to show I remember that time we came we stayed with Dan and Leroy also and I don't Dan and Lee are they here or know they're there. Not here today but I remember staying with them and.Meeting Joyce and from there we're all in those days you know we wrote letters to each other on pieces of paper and we made long distance phone calls for twenty five cents a minute and that added up to hundredsof dollars but it worked and it did bring us together even though Joyce was here and I was traveling around the country presenting our my missionary work in different places but we went to we went to Kenya thatyear nine hundred eighty six served there for eighteen years we were pioneer missionaries the work started with about four churches and I don't know today there's probably about seventy churches and bunch ofBible training programs and that work has expanded throughout the country and it's now turned over completely to the Kenyans You know that's the whole point of mission mission isn't about trying to us the two ofus trying to reach every person in Kenya that would be quite impossible the idea is to establish the gospel all Mung that people group so that they love Jesus Christ so that they only Gospel and so that they can beambassadors of Christ to their own people just like here in Phoenix around this church you are ambassadors of Christ to the people in this neighborhood the same in Kenya it is their responsibility to be ambassadorswhere they are and just last year our last missionary left Kenya for thirty years we had missionaries in Kenya and now our last mission areas left and we've left it in the able hands of the Kenyan leaders men the men andwomen that Joyce and I taught in Bible school that we work side by side with that we planted churches together with the day finally came a very sad day with a lot of tears when we got on the plane said goodbye tothem and we left the ministry with them I was in the executive director for eleven years. Based in our office in Indianapolis and the work continued to grow and finally the board says we've got to have more leadershippositions and they formed the International Director position development director and office administrator positions as leadership the leadership team of things to come mission and I took the International Directorposition which means Joyce and I now live outside of the United States and that's where Singapore comes in because that's the base that we use before I continue I want to I want to show a couple slides here and.Are those up on the screen you know there we go this Sara came over to see us in South Africa but these are Brazilian missionaries.We have here the Chris Myers Paul Marianna and Matthias press Meyer and they went directly from Brazil to South Africa to work and as the international director this is what I'm trying to do is get this network goingon between the countries so that.Rather than at all missionaries coming from the U.S. or having to come through the U.S. A missionaries can actually go from one country to the other and Chris Myers are now there they are working they haveestablished a new churches new Bible schools there's two new Bible training centers to train pastors that they are involved with there they do speak English but Marianna is Paul is probably half American and halfBrazilian but Marianna is one hundred percent Brazilian she just made one trip to the US.This is Uganda this is Peter cogwheel here who we worked with a lot while we were there he's now in charge of the coast ministry in Kenya and this is Steve.He's the chairman of the board in Uganda. And this work has one church but they are working to plant two more churches and it's great to see because Peter goes over there three times a year together with anotherKenyan pastor Titus and they do the Bible training now in Uganda rather than me having to go or finding another missionary to go to Uganda they're able to do it themselves.Next I don't know why we lost this OK this is our church in Mumbai Kenya on the coast this building was built recently I don't know holds like two or three hundred people and our national conference will be therenext year but this was the work of Pastor Peter God we know missionary from the U.S. or from T.C.M. actually went to plant these churches this was all done by the Kenyans themselves having the desire to preach thegospel of Jesus Christ on the coast of Kenya.This is another church I point this out because I don't see any bananas in your church today maybe someone forgot to bring them but that's how they raise money for church building. In NY I can yeah and this isactually a church that was planted while we were there while we worked in Kenya and they built one building then they expanded that building and now they want to build a huge building which this was a fundraiserand so. Of course you have your normal church service that's outside because there's no space in the building invite all your friends and visitors and then you sell sugarcane one piece by one piece right and then thekids break it apart and chew on it and spit it out all over the ground.And so they sell all that chickens bananas and part part of how they raise the funds but it's interesting.I think Joyce and I was at this we were at this we gave about ten thousand shillings and they raised two hundred thirty thousand shillings that doesn't mean. Do you accept that in the old days the missionaries usuallygave about seventy five percent of what was given at these what they call how big pulling together we gave ten thousand they gave two hundred twenty thousand people from this church and you see the changetheir commitment to the Gospel their desire to have a place where their kids can grow up and learn the Bible just like they did when they were kids and they're willing to sacrifice for it this was just in December. This isin the Philippines I teach a lot of mission seminars teaching about mission why we should be missionaries how to be missionaries Here's some young people studying at one of the seminars.I keep losing this here but there and I we have four Bible schools in the Philippines I spoke at their graduation the graduates are standing behind there I think they have around fifty to sixty graduates every year inthese work in the more than five hundred Grace churches there is called Grace gospel church there but it's similar to your Grace Bible Church here.And.This is one of the hopes sorry we went too far.I think we're getting confused there we go this is one of our missionary cat Joyce and I teach at a missionary training school called Grace the illogical center for mission and this was a desire we've had for a long timeis to train our own missionaries especially training we have Americans who go over the last class we had two Americans one Indonesian and ten Filipinos who attended we've trained twenty seven people in all nowand we want to train these so that we can send them out to the and reach people to the regions beyond and we praise the Lord for this family the by not family they are now in Myanmar I'll talk a bit about Myanmarlater this is the Escobar Jimmy and joy and their two kids is low. Longtime pastor in the Grace Church is in the Philippines but they are committed to going to Vietnam and we hope that will happen early next year andyou might pray with us that they will be able to make that these are the graduates from our last class of grace the illogical center for mission and Singapore you might recognize the boat on top of the skyscrapersthat's not because of a flood Evidently they wanted it to be there and then the curse them or lion is right there it's the symbol.Of Singapore.And I live and last time I was I was on the twenty fourth floor that was where my apartment Our apartment was and that's the sunset there over the city and then.I base in Singapore because there's direct flights from Singapore all these lines here are direct flights to countries and I won't list all of them but there's about thirteen countries there that have a direct flight fromSingapore and so it's a good location to be from those two budget airlines and other larger airlines that are all based in Singapore and it's a great place for me to of I travel about once or twice a month last month Ispoke in four different countries and so it keeps me active and they. Singapore is a good place for us to base so pray for us there one this is Myanmar. I'll talk a bit more about Myanmar but this is our team that worksthere this is Pastor Kenneth and his wife Eunice they're their chin tribe but they're Burmese people from the country of Burma it has two names Burma and Myanmar the old name was Burma the new name is Myanmarthe Burmese are actually a tribe within Myanmar the biggest tribe only two percent Christian the rest are Buddhist.And then these are missionaries of Filipino missionaries There's Dan and Amy again.This is Gardner now. Gardner's wife and daughter are not in the picture and then the rest of these are Myanmar pastors and so. We started there in two thousand and fourteen.And last light and we had our family reunion as I said Joyce and I met thirty one years ago and it's grown to this many Wow that's what happened so anyway we have three kids and seven grand kids and we were ableto that's Crater Lake and last week we were able to meet with everyone there so that's a little bit of the history of us and our family I can't go into all the details of all the countries because of no time and I'm watchingmy time here closely pastor Josh slow.But. I wanted to. To open the Word of God and say why why is mission important and I titled my my talk here waiting world willing church a waiting world willing church back in two thousand and three I wrote this inmy vision statement and reached people groups. Together with the urban church planting is the idea of reaching and reach people groups T.C.M. should target important cities in countries where less than fiftypercent of the population is Christian many of these countries are in the area of the world known as the ten forty window this window is the home of three great religions Islam Hinduism and Buddhism twenty nine ofthese countries have a Christian population of less than one percent it is these countries which fit Paul's category of the regions beyond where Christ is unknown I wrote that in two thousand and three at that timeT.C.M. did not work in any countries in the ten forty window I don't even know how do we target and reach people what do they look like how do we share the gospel with them and I praise the Lord since twothousand and three until today we have been going into and I knew. Each country about every two years thanks to commissions and missionaries into a new country and many of these countries are our unreached Iwas in.Mandalay Mandalay is a city in the center of Myanmar and we went up to this Buddhist temple on a high hill and it looked out over the whole city of Mandalay and everywhere you look you just saw hundreds orthousands of us you know Pargo does they have a sharp point on top and inside is a is a little cave like thing with a little Buddha inside where people come and pray.And so you could just see them everywhere around you you couldn't even count them if you tried and then I looked around and tried to find a cross which of course represents Jesus Christ and how much he loves theworld I could not find one not a single one of those people will live their whole lives without hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ without knowing how much God loves them and how much God wants a relationshipwith them how much God wants to care for them they will not have the opportunity to hear it and I was up there with our missionaries who were assigned their gardener and Salvina I remember standing next to thesetwo big green stone snakes with sharp teeth and people were going up and putting money in the miles of those snakes Evidently they felt that some blessing would come by putting putting money there that thatwould bring blessings back to them and I was we stood up there and we just prayed and I wept for the people of Myanmar how can they hear the good news of Jesus Christ and that's where we come into play that'swhy mission is there because we who hear the truth Every Sunday we're blessed I mean we have just worship God with amazing singing. And.Godly people standing up here on the stage needing us you have a pastor who preaches the word to you you have Sunday School classes you live in a country where we do have Christian radio stations Christianbookstores there are seminaries here you want to degree in Bible you can get it right here in Phoenix there's a number of seminaries who can give you a degree in theology or Bible and yet you go to a place likeYanmar in the whole country of this the Burmese people just two percent Christian they don't have the chance to hear the gospel and that's where we come in the Bible says the god of this age has blinded the mindsof unbeliever so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ who is the image of God Jesus is the light of the world and when there is no Jesus there is darkness and a missionary goesholding his little candle and it is a little candle sometimes it feels like and yet that light goes into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome the light of Jesus Christ and that's what we try to do just one personat a time one missionary at a time shining the light of Jesus Christ in the darkness and we praise the Lord for the results that we see the Apostle Paul desired to take the Gospel to the regions beyond he said he said itthis way. Neither do we go this is a second Corinthians ten fifteen through sixteen neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others our hope is that as your faith continues to grow our sphere ofactivity among you will greatly expand so that we can preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you for we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else's territory three times Paul uses the idea ofreagents fear regions territory they all appear in. Passage and he speaks of expanding we want the Gospel to be preached in more places in this world than it's ever been preached before. And progress has beenmade I probably in Paul's day it was a million to one this far is.Unbelievers to be leavers and today that number is probably down to you know something like four to one and so progress has been made but there are still millions and millions out there who have not heard theGospel the number is officially two point seven billion and reached and we want them to hear the question is are we willing are we willing to send the people out there I'll just I want to close with this passage ofScripture Romans ten thirteen through fourteen.I'm sure it's a common one.Romans Chapter ten versus thirteen through fourteen.For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved How then can they call on the one they have not been leaved in and how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard and how can they hearwithout someone preaching to them. And how can anyone preach and unless they are sent as it is written How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news you see the progression there it starts by sayingeveryone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved that's great that's wonderful that's exciting that's the grace of God that he's willing to do that but then it asked some questions. Right and those questionshave to make us think seriously and there's a progression that has to take place if we start at the end of the verse someone must be sent.And when we send someone they preach the gospel and when they preach the Gospel somebody hears the gospel. And when they hear the gospel they have a chance to be nieve. To be in leave on the Lord JesusChrist and then if they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they can call on Him Jesus save me a sinner I believe in you I believe you have paid the price for my sins I want you to be my savior and then at that moment theyare saved. And that's why we send missionaries out you know there's the scent and the sender's I tell you about what what's happening on our fields. You're part of that thirty one years ago this church startedsupporting us and every single person who's heard the Gospel in all of these fifteen countries where we work and there's more countries coming.Because of you because you sent us to the field to preach the gospel for us you all can't get up and get on the plane and go and preach some of you I believe are called to be missionaries and you should go to themission field but many of you won't and can't perhaps and yet you're still there you're there through your prayers you're there through your encouragement you're there screw your financial support you know the bibleasks us to be living sacrifices when you work at your job all week. Earning how many dollars per hour and you give that to this church to sending missionaries overseas you're part of what that missionary isaccomplishing because you are sending the gospel out from this church this is a principle that Jesus Christ talked of as the Father has sent me soul I am sending you right Jesus Christ was sent into the world and inthe same way we said and others out so we have a waiting world there waiting for the Gospel and the question is are we willing are we willing to send people out into that waiting world. I want to close with I don'tknow if you've heard the story of William Borden But this is an encouraging one for me.In one thousand know for William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school as heir to the board in Derry a state he was already a millionaire for his high school graduation present his parents gave him a triparound the world as the young man traveled through Asia the Middle East and Europe he felt a growing burden for the world hurting people finally boarding wrote home to say I'm going to give my life to prove toprepare for the mission field a family friend wrote at that time that boarding was throwing his life away on the mission field. Board and wrote two words in the back of his Bible no reserves. Indeed board and heldnothing back during his college years at Yale University he became a pillar in the Christian community one entry in his personal journal that defined the source of his spiritual strength strength simply said Say no to selfand yes to Jesus every time. During his first semester at Yale Borden started a small prayer group that would transform campus life this little group gave birth to a movement that spread across the campus by the endof his first year one hundred fifty freshmen were meeting for weekly Bible study and prayer by the time billboard and was a senior one thousand appeals thirteen hundred students were meeting in such groups boardand also strategized with his fellow Christians to make sure every student on campus heard the Gospel and he was often seen ministering to the downtrodden in the streets of New Haven but his real passion wasmissions once he narrowed his missionary call to the Consul people in China board and never wavered upon graduation graduation from Yale Borden wrote two more words in the back of his Bible no retreats inkeeping with that commitment bored and turned down several high paying job offers in rolling in seminary Instead after grad. Waiting he immediately went to Egypt to learn Arabic because of his intent to work withMuslims in China while in Egypt he contracted spinal meningitis within a month twenty five year old William Borden was dead prior to his death Morton had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the wordsno reserves and no retreats he had written no regrets.Will reach that day.And will we be able to say what William Borden said. The reserves will retreat no regrets.Let's live our lives in honor of Jesus pray. Thank you.Thank you.Thank.You for Joyce for being here and you know I appreciate you telling everyone knows the story of meeting here at this church and you know our mission statement this church is developing committed followers of JesusChrist to teach encouraging the God's word and Joyce your product of this church and you are committed and even though Joyce's and here every day every week she's committed to following Christ and married aman who is committed to following Christ and so I just thank you for your inspiration to us not all of us can be missionaries like you said maybe some need to be a missionary but you're doing what some of us can'tand so we're so thrilled to be partnering with you so thank you for for being our partners in ministry.All right this time of David King Kate and I can fathom what you guys coming up they're going to be up here in case I forget something so they're kind of they kind of a safety net but what we want to do right now iswe want to kind of fill you in on our board retreat and what we were talking about a lot. Asked week at the end of the sermon I shared with you that we had some big decisions to make as a church and so you knowthese last two or three years as a church we've been noticing that we're kind of maxing out our facilities space and just look around today I know we're one service we need to go back to two services but we've kind ofreached that.Point where we need to make some decisions and so we've been for the last two or three years looking at different options and about a year ago we decided we're not in a financial position or even a ministry positionto purchase or to build or do anything like that so we decided to go to two services and we did that back in October and so far it's worked so we've been able to see people come to the church and from a financialperspective we're definitely in better shape and so what we've decided to do especially since our last congregational meeting in our April or whenever was we decided OK let's start making preparations for first stepnumber two and at that time the number one option felt like it was going to be to pursue purchasing and renovating our neighbor's property Well a few weeks ago three or four weeks ago as we were doing nowwe're presenting that and looking at that as an option we became aware of the church on twelfth Street and so as soon as we saw this I saw this and and we said to the board in the staff hey we might need this stopjust a minute and just take a look at this and see if if this is something that we can do and so what we did at the retreat this last weekend is we really considered all of our options and that includes purchasing ourneighbor's house renovating it building or even waiting a few years and trying to build the vacant perches the vacant lot to our west or the church on twelfth Street and as we're looking at all the options and I'm notgoing to go into detail today because I am going to next Sunday but after looking at all the options the board unanimously felt that we need to put as our first option the church at twelve St And so what we're goingto do is worry that we're going to see if that is something that can happen. And and we're going to do this with two following conditions number one is the church has to vote to move in this direction and we'replanning on doing that in September tenth and then also we would have to sell our building first because we will not put ourselves in a financial position where we have two mortgages we vote we have no peaceabout doing anything like that and so right now our decision is we're going to pursue this and see if God makes it happen all right and so to get our foot in the door what we first have to do is present an offer to thatother church and say we'd like to purchase your church however our church needs to vote to approve this and we also need to sell and so here's kind of our timeline right now and I know you're kind of getting a drinkfrom a fire hydrant so if you have any questions out there words come up and talk to me or any of the board members and so here is our plan over the next month this will happen next Sunday we're going to havekind of a vision casting Sun Sunday during the service we'll talk about why we feel like that's our best first option and how it will look like when all of those different things and as we continue to move forward if wecontinue to move forward then on August twenty seventh which is in two Sundays we as a church will take a tour of that facility the next Sunday is Labor Day So we're not doing anything that Sunday but then thefollowing Sunday will be September tenth and we'll take a vote and so if we as a church decide to move forward take place on the tenth we will make an offer before then to kind of get our foot in the door and if theysay no then option number one is off the table and that's not the direction that God has for us but the board as we talked as we talked just last weekend we all felt like we wanted to take this step of faith and reallymake sure that God is opening the door for us to do this but again do this in such a way that we're not putting ourselves in any kind of a vulnerable position especially financially and so next Sunday we're going toshare with you all of our thoughts on why and from a ministry in a financial perspective and just really quickly from a financial perspective ultimately. This will be cheaper and the facility is much nicer than anything wecould ever do at this location so that was kind of the impetus and one of the reasons why we put this is our first option now I know some of you you're thinking boy this is kind of coming out of nowhere it's kind of ashock and not not really the last two or three years we've been looking at different options this specific option we just became aware about three or four weeks ago but we've already been putting ourselves in aposition to take a step of faith like this and you know at the board meeting it was kind of intense I think all of us were trying to be logical and take some emotion out of it but then also it's kind of an emotional decisionbecause we're we're making a decision and maybe taking a step a face that is going to put the church in a position in the next five ten fifteen twenty years for our ministry future so at the end we were all very excitedand we have peace about taking this as our first step and if the church doesn't accept our offer and if the Kyra geisha doesn't vote and if the church doesn't sell then it's very clear that God has another direction for usso we're pretty excited you're going to hear a lot more about this next Sunday for some very specific details and so we're not going to take any questions right now but you'll have an opportunity to do that in thefuture do you have anything you want to say.Yes I think is very appropriate then you said that you enjoy Smet at the church but it was in this building probably down on Georgia and Monique and I met but it wasn't in this building it was on the valley and youknow it's never been about the walls you know it's been about about sort of been doing minister together for a long time I just want to also say our retreat we were gone for two and a half days we didn't talk aboutthe building for two and a half days first what we went through was our mission statement in our core values and how how we're doing and we reflected on that for a couple days and what we want to do in the futureand so this decision was all made through that lens on how we're doing ministry now what we can still do if we're still in this position in the. Place which is going great and how that might be enhanced at the newbuilding so it's always been through the lens of of ministry and missions first.I don't we have a thing to add to what you said just to emphasize that. As we look is this happened it appeared as though this was a door that opened not one that we were trying to force open but one that God putin front of us and we felt that it would be really the responsible thing for us to to go down this path in India pray that if this isn't what God is this is not where he's leaving that he would close that door again so. That'sthe kind of the promise how we we voted with the you know with the faith that God is leading.So again yeah we realize this is remaking this announcement again if anything any of these things don't fall in line then it's obvious that God doesn't want to see how that facility but we just want to take a step of faithand see what happens so next Sunday again we'll talk a lot about this and so I hope everyone's back here next week and if anything ever happens changes obviously we'll let everybody know but again just continue topray that God will make it very clear to us where the best location is for us to serve and I don't know if that really matters to God because we will continue to do our ministry wherever at but if this is in the best interestof our church today and in the future he'll open the doors and I guess the bottom line is the board says let's pursue this but let's not force this to happen at all so we're not going to force it and we're going to reallysay God if this is going to happen open the doors for us all this close in prayer Dear Lord we thank you so much for today and we thank you for the history of our church and even today reflecting on what happenedthirty one years ago then enjoys meeting in this ministry and spending their lives committed to you and in following you alone we just pray that no matter no matter what happens in the future for our. Or we havepeace about this that we just want to see people become committed followers of Christ and that they will serve whether it's here or in missions or any anywhere else that you might leave them that's why we exist andlearn again it's an exciting time in the history of our church we've seen that you've brought people to us and it's a responsibility that we have and so we just we humbly come before you and ask for your direction andLord we felt the board felt unanimous to move in this direction and so we just leave this up to you or we're not going to force this we want you to make it clear to us of this is if this is our in our best interest the Lord Ijust pray that today you know as we've we've heard from Ben Anderson all of us our identity is found in you and in who we are as your children and so help us to be missionaries where ever we are that we want to seeother people either through our words or our actions come to a knowledge of you saving knowledge of your grace so be with us as a church as we go out our separate ways this week and bring us back safely nextweek so we can continue to worship you and learn more about you and prays in Christ name amen and I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the fellowship the love of God the Father in the fellowship of the HolySpirit to be with you all.

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