How to be Great
March 20, 2022
What is the measure of greatness
The World has a standard
Jesus set the standard
Christians still struggle with Christ’s standard!
We must “turn and become like children”
-repent of our human definitions of greatness
-become- choose a new lifestyle, attitude
-like children- fully dependent on God our Father
We must “humble” ourselves
-Matthew 23:12 The proud will be humbled, the humbled will be
-James 4:6 God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble
The opposite of humility: Matthew 18:6-7
Jesus warns abusers of divine judgment
-FWPD: Crimes against persons division
-Sexual harassment, abuse
Do whatever it takes to stop offending “little ones”!
-Great people will always care for the “little ones”
-“little ones” are the great people in this world!
How do we do this?
1. Identify what you are trying to control
-people, situations, a project, a ministry responsibility
-something that affects how you feel about your self-worth
2. Admit you don’t control anything!
-your successes depended on a Holy God who enabled you to succeed
-your personal worth is not determined by how successful you look to other people or even to yourself
-Admit that you are prideful and independent, and that you are opposing Almighty God.
-my story: pride = referring to how our church was before the pandemic. St Joe successes don’t define our worth, God does! Our focus on “the little children” now is what matters most!
3. Surrender to Christ’s full control
-Depend on God like a little child depends on a parent
-Trust God to provide all you need to be great!
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in hi produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
4. “Welcome” the least important people
-Matthew 25:40 serve the least of these = serving Jesus
-hungry, thirsty, stranger, without clothes, sick, in prison
-Stand up for the oppressed, marginalized, discriminated
-Welcome people who have no voice in this world
Hello and welcome to St Joe Community Church online worship. We’re so glad that you joined us in the safety of your home. Maybe you’re checking out church for the first time and you’re checking out what we’re like. I hope that you will take out your bible, your notepad, you’ll remove all your other distractions, and you’ll listen, you’ll sing, you’ll read out loud. Whatever you’re doing, if you were in person doing it with us, that you would do that right where you are in your home. And while you’re watching, and after you’re watching, or whenever you can, I hope you will get in touch with us. Use our Facebook page. Go our website (www.StJoeCommunityChurch.org). Some how let us know that you’re watching. Like us, do a thumbs-up on the YouTube page. However you can do it, let us know, because we want to engage with you, and encourage you, pray for you, help you take your Next Right Step, send a resource to you, whatever you need so that we can start helping you find and build community around you for the future. God bless you, and we’ll talk to you at the very end of this with some more details.
Well, if you have your Bible, please turn to Matthew 18. If you have it on your smartphone or you have the physical copy. And for those of you who are interested, we do have Bibles to my left in the very back on the foyer on top of the piano back there, there are Bibles. And if you don't have one, you're welcome to take one with you. If you want a modern translation, the one we use and you don't have one of those, you're welcome to take that as well as they disappear, we buy more. That's just how that works. So if you want to borrow one today, you can put it back when you're done and that's fine as well. I mentioned how we'd love for you to be a greeter. I failed to mention that the best way to let us know is to either send us a note on our contact page on the website, or use a connection card and physically write your name and best phone number.
We have connection cards in the back as you walk out and you can actually grab it and put it in an offering box out in the great room, just stick it in there. Especially also for those of you who are new, welcome, and we would welcome you to do so. We'd love to thank you in person through a note in the mail. We won't come knock on your door, I promise, unless you want us to. We also have a gift for all our newcomers today, and I hope that you will grab that as you go out today. Thank you for coming and being with us today and worship.
Matthew 18, we are highlighting stories from the time that the crowds of Jesus were starting to peel away from Him because He was not fulfilling their expectations of what a Messiah king was supposed to be all the way he traveled down, and He's traveling down to the cross where He would be crucified and then three days later rise again from the dead. So we're basically between now and Easter Sunday, the next four weeks, and it's that quick. We are going to highlight stories in between this time period and we're using the gospel or the good news story that was inspired by the Holy Spirit that Matthew wrote down by the inspiration of Holy Spirit in Matthew's gospel. So we'll just keep staying in Matthew. And if you want to read ahead and look at what we're are doing ahead of time, or kind of soak it up beforehand or afterwards, Matthew 18 and following is pretty much where we're going to be from here on out.
Not only was He coming towards Jerusalem or heading towards Jerusalem, but it was actually in the geography of the land, it actually is going down. So yes, in literary terms, He was going down to His death, and in physical terms, He was physically traveling down to Jerusalem. Interesting note, maybe not important to your spiritual life, but I thought that to be an interesting fact. And we are coming off of the heels of a conversation where Peter's saying, "You're the Messiah. You're awesome. You're the one. You're the one true God." And then there's this argument here and there about who's the greatest in the kingdom or who's more important. And they're getting the idea that Jesus is claiming to be the king, and they believe in Him as the king. And now they're thinking who's going to be on His right and left. Who's going to be hanging out with Him? Who's going to be important in your administration? The closer people get to being electable, the more friends they seem to make. You're like, "I want to be around this guy. He's a winner. And when he's a winner, he's going to take me with him so I can be a winner." Greatness!
You see, the world has a measure of greatness. They have a measure of greatness, and we all are subject to that definition. Any of you back... I mean, some of us are old enough to remember when were allowed to play King of the Hill in the playground. Yeah, the biggest and the baddest got to the top and they just kept kicking them off, whatever they had to do, probably not allowed to play that anymore. We used to play that on the monkey bars. That was painful. Anybody here have a chip tooth from that, anybody? The world has a standard. Have you ever felt like the rung on somebody's success ladder? They were just climbing over you to get to the top and you were a pawn in their game of success.
There just seems to be the world has it all figured out what to be successful is. You have more money, more stuff, and you can just say what address you live in, in town and your eyebrows are, "Oh, you live in that part of the neighborhood. Oh, you live over there. Oh, you live over there." We do this. And maybe we do it naturally and we don't think about it, it's ingrained in us. Greatness has been defined for us and we've bought into it too many times. In no way am I denigrating worth based on someone is highly skilled or someone is smarter. I know a lot of people smarter than me, I will give honor to whom honor is due. Don't get me wrong. Somebody has a lot of power and they're able to lead well with that power, man, God bless them. You need to pray for leaders with responsibilities of leading and the accountability they have over lives in the decisions that they make. But ultimately, Jesus sets the standard for greatness, not us. We got to listen to Him.
I've been touring some art museums recently. I got to go out with my dad out to Virginia Beach and there was an art museum out there, and that was one thing you did and walked around. And some art you look at and you go, "Hmm." Anybody? And I'm not really a big [unclear06:32]. I'm not really a big, but hey, there's art, it's free and it's me, I'll go watch the art. So I went there and I'm like, "Hmm." And then you read the little caption next to it and the artist tells you what he or she depicted and you go, huh? And then sometimes you read it and you still go, "Hmm." But anyway, at the end of the day, the artist tells you what you're supposed to be looking at.
One time my dad... Robert Frost, anybody? Poet, right. He wrote some poems. And is it whose was is this - I think I know. Anybody? My dad used to quoted all the time. He's probably going to watch this online. Dad, thank you for ingraining this in my brain. He's an important person. And his professor said, "Well, I think that this means that" - and he had this big extrapolated reason for why he wrote "whose was is this". And so when he came to town, my dad asked him at the campus, college campus. He said, "So does this what you meant?" No, it's just a woods. His professor didn't care for that. But you let the artist tell you, you let the poet tell you, you let the king of the world tell you how to run the world. Let's not call the shots. Let's let the one who made this world tell us how it works best.
And last I checked, there's a lot of self-help books out there, marriage self-help books, how to gain your self-esteem, how to be a better you, better you tomorrow, better you in 10 days, a better you in - how about a whole lifetime? I don't know. Whatever it is, that wouldn't sell. And these self-help section is growing by leaps and bounds. I mean, there's been more trees sacrificed in the name of self-help for books that would've been better if they'd just been left trees so they could walk around in the woods instead of read the books. And all of these books have not really helped humanity get any better. Putin is still trying to take over Ukraine, last I checked. The self-help section has not showed him what greatness is. And the last I checked, the oppressed in our country are still being oppressed. And the little ones, the least of these, still don't have a voice in the machinery of government. And when it seems like even when government says they have a voice for them, it's really a ploy to abuse and use them. Not always, but it seems so often disappointing.
And by the way, Christians are still struggling with this standard as well. If you know anything about the history of the United States church today, you know there is this thing called celebrity pastor, and they're put on a pedestal. And the greatest and coolest, and so many times some of these movements called a church are more interested in being hip than holy. I'm not throwing a rock at anyone I'm saying in particular, I just know this is a phenomenon that's going on.
Even in this church, we are going to fight the humanity of this church to fight against clique and fight against groupings, and fight against looking down and looking up, and having some kind of a pecking order in our mind based on social status or money. It's just something we're all going to fight till Jesus comes. So let's not say it's happening out there. Let's look in the mirror. I'm looking in the mirror. As I read these few verses, let this be reflecting back to us, are we doing this? Say, "Oh me, oh my, Oh God, help me."
Let's read together. I'm reading from the Christian Standard Bible version, Chapter 18:1, "At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'So who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a child and had him stand among them, 'Truly I tell you,' he said, 'unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child, this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in my name welcomes me.'"
What is he saying here? What is he saying in terms of what greatness is? What's the definition of greatness? How do you become great in this world? You turn and become like children. That word turn means to repent. You're going one direction and you're going to go a new direction. You're making about face. I'm going to make this... I'm heading towards - greatness is measured in status, social status, power, money, things, he who has the most gold makes the golden rule is, what? He who has the gold makes the rule, right? Okay, that's what it is. I want all the gold so I make all the rules. And God is saying, no, you need to stop trampling on the least of these to get where you're supposed to go, and you need to become like a little child. You need to turn from your way of thinking. Repent of our human definitions of greatness and choose a new lifestyle or a new attitude. We need to be like children, fully dependent on God the father.
I don't mean the bratty little kid, no tantrums in the room, please. That's not what we're saying here. Jesus is taking a child in a culture and time period where children worth zero value. They couldn't work, you had to feed them, you had to take care of them; they were like livestock until they became valuable and working. Let's just be honest, women bear children, take care of the house, men go out and work. As a division of labor and until you were good enough to be a laborer of either of those two, you weren't much good to society. They worth zero value. There was another time period where the children were coming up to Jesus, even after He said this, and the disciple's like, "Get away," like secret service. Here comes the celebrity Jesus, stay away children. Get away, get away. Bogie on nine o'clock, we got to get them out of here.
And Jesus is like, "Stop! Don't keep the children from coming to me, that's the kind of people that's in the kingdom of God, children. Children, the least of these, the unimportant, because they are important to God. The ones that understand and know that they're the neediest people in the world. When a baby cries, it needs to eat, it needs to sleep, it needs a diaper change. I think that one, what's that - away in the manger and no crying He makes; Jesus probably cried. He was a baby. If He didn't cry, they wouldn't have fed Him. That's just normal for children to do. It's normal for a child. They need help. They're needy. And that's how we need to be in front of God.
I need you God for every part of my life. I don't know, there's animals out there that are born in this world, they don't need nurturing. Humans need nurturing. And if you don't nurture them, they die. My wife is in business the rest of her career as a social worker, because parents don't know how to be parents. She'll never be out of a job; so sad, because children need parents. If the parents won't be parents, they need other parents. And we need families around families, around families. We need people. We need help. And here's the deal; you need help and I need help. I am a middle aged guy and I still need to be like a child in front of God saying, "God, help me. I need you." Yeah, I've learned a few things, I've read a few books, I've learned a thing or two, because I've seen a thing or two, you know that little commercial. So, how do you know this? Well, I put my hand on the burner once too. And it was hot and I burn my hand, so I'm just encouraging you not to do that. So learn from my mistakes.
We've all arrived at a spot where we're at, where we are better at things than we used to be. We are growing in our skills. I hope you are. I hope you're growing hope. You're better than you were five years ago, two years ago, maybe even six months ago. But we haven't arrived. We still need help. And the success that you did have, or you did gain, even if you didn't acknowledge God, came from God in the first place. We must humble ourselves. Matthew 23:12, "The proud is going to be humbled in the humble they will be exalted," Jesus said. And in James 4:6 it says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." What? Did you hear that? God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I don't know about you, but have you ever been resisted by somebody like opposed like a human being, that they've just opposed you at something you wanted to do? Or maybe in something that you should do that was the right thing to do and they just kept stiff arming you? If you're an athlete, maybe you're a defender and the receiver grabbed the ball and they stiff armed you and they knocked you out of the way to make a touchdown.
God will stiff arm you if you're proud. Heaven help us. I don't want God stiff arming me. I don't want God to resist me. I want him to give me grace. And the only way I receive the help, the unmerited favor that God wants to flow out into my life is if I humble myself and acknowledge that I need it. Jesus said I didn't come for the people who were well, I came for the sick. A doctor doesn't go to well people, he goes to sick people. If you don't realize you need Jesus, you won't look for Jesus and you won't get the help that He gives you. And the great physician will not heal your home, your life, your attitude, your addictions, your problems, because you're too proud to ask Him for that kind of help.
Now, as a little side note, but I want to get back to the ending of these first few verses, but I want to highlight real quickly the next few verses because since we're here, I want to talk about it. The opposite of humility Is Matthews 18:6-7, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away, it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea." What? Whoa to the world, because of offenses, for offenses will inevitably come. That's just part of humanity, part of life, but woe to that person, by whom those offenses come. Jesus warns abusers of divine judgment.
I've had to walk with too many people who have a childhood memory that they should never have had because of an abuser. People who have been bullied because they were the weaker In the crowd, women because they were not as strong as the men in their lives were abused, thrown away. And God warns the abuser that it would be better if you not only drowned, but you were so drowned that you were at the bottom of the sea drowned with the heaviest stone you can think of wrapped around your neck. That would be better for you than to face God's divine judgment for abusing a little one.
I stumbled in one day, I do my rounds at the Fort Wayne Police Department and I came into the Division of crimes against persons. And I knew existed, and I talked to people, but I got to talk to the detectives. And this was a particular week when a couple of cases actually made the newspaper that they had had some major convictions and some major sentencing, some major confessions. And so, I don't know if you can celebrate that, but we're just grateful that those people could no longer harm anybody and that justice was being done to show the victims that they mattered. And I was just saying, thank you for what you do. You don't want to have to be in the witness room interrogating and trying to get out of somebody the kind of information you would never want to hear, ever. You can't unsee it, you can't unthink it. Jesus warns, abusers of divine judgment.
I think there's other abuse that we can think of - financial exploitation, racial discrimination, because in some way you have some kind of power over somebody because of your status as a person. Any kind of way in which the least of these that society has marginal and not given a voice to, and you're choosing to join the world and not giving them a voice or raising them up, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. And churches do this too. We have a pretty stringent policy to protect children. We have a pretty high bar for protecting ourselves from the temptation of crossing the line in terms of relations as far as staff. I talk to Bra, our leader here and David and myself, and we just say, you know, and the elders and I, we have some kind of accountability rules for making sure that we're just lying on the up and up, and that we're holding each other to a higher standard of respect and accountability in terms of the way we handle our lives.
The three person rule for guy and gals is a very common rule. And society laughed at it a handful of years ago when one leader said that he would never be a woman alone. And I'm just telling you if I've ever been with anybody accidentally, or somehow we were somewhere, my wife knows right away. Not because like, oh, Greg's going to go do something crazy. Well, you know, I'm still a human being. And the pastor that has said that'll never happen to me is usually the one that falls. And so, we just have some ideas of rules for how we just keep hedges of protection around our lives. I would not in any way, want to give off the impression that I was trying to exploit any kind of person nor would I want this community to know that anybody in this church was ever trying to do the same, that we're trying to lift up people, not tear down people.
And we're trying to create safe space for our children so that families know their kids are safe. And we really aren't comfortable relating well to churches that are sloppy about that. It's an important thing. We must take care of little ones. We must take care of the little ones. You see, great people will always care for the little ones. And the little ones are really the great people in the world anyway. So Jesus goes real quickly to, this is how you humble yourself and this is the person that's not humbling themselves. So, how do we do this? What are some key things? I want to give you four thoughts before we leave today. Number one, let's identify What we're trying to control. Are we trying to control people, situations, a project at work or at our house? In the church, leaders, are we trying to control a ministry responsibility because somehow we think that our control over that is measuring our worth and value? Something that affects how you feel about your self-worth, is you're just trying to control this.
So many times when somebody is really trying to be a real bossy controlling person, they're usually out of control over here, or they're not in control over here because of a search circumstance, or maybe they have a background story that they were completely out of control of. And they said, that'll never happen to me. And they fight tooth and nail to be in control of that part of their lives only to turn around and destroy other people in the process and destroy relationships. Marriages struggle with that. If one spouse was abused or something bad happened in their past, and they're like, "You know, my dad spent all our money or my mom did this or that. And she did all this wrong and she had a secret gambling habit." And then there's this dead set fight for finances. Or a husband that says I'll never be this or that and because something happened in his past and instead of giving it over to God, they're trying to control this part of the world because if they can control that, then everything's fine. And I look better and I am better.
We need to identify what is that one thing that you're trying to control and not give God control of; you're not turning and becoming like a little child in that area, and admit that you don't control anything. Your successes - even when you didn't depend on God in your mind, was still dependent on God giving you that success. There is no self-made millionaire. God allowed that person to be a millionaire. God allowed that athlete to be successful even if they blasted Him every Sunday during the game. You didn't get there by yourself. And your personal worth is not determined by successful you look in other people's eyes or even in your own eyes. You are already valuable in God's eyes. He still loves you. His love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on you. Did we just sing that? There is nothing you can do to lower or raise your value in God's eyes. He loves you this much. He died for you. He gave his life for you. Admit that you don't control anything; that you are prideful independent, and that you're opposing almighty God, you, you, you, you. Pastor, what about you?
Yeah, I'll tell you what I got nailed between the eyes this week. I'm in a luncheon and we're talking about, oh, isn't it great to see everybody again? And we had a big CEO that was there talking to us and praying over us and encouraging us and saying, we're so glad you pastors are still in the game and in the hunt and going after it. And this is the great resignation season they say. There's a lot of pastors resigning and everything, and you guys are making it, go for it. And then they got to thinking about how we still aren't in control and how we felt so out of control before, but who were we in control before COVID? And then they started doing some gut checks and they said, "So what's your vocabulary like? How are you treating the future instead of the past?" And I got to realizing that whenever someone would ask about our church, I'd say, "Well, you know, before COVID we, blah, blah, blah, blah. Before COVID we were doing... and now we're kind of like, you know?" Do I need to fill in the blanks here?
My self-worth as a pastor was being based on what we used to be instead of where we're headed and instead of what God thinks in the meantime. And I had to put my pride on the altar and say, "God, forgive me for using past language." I'm looking in the rear view mirror instead of the front windshield of life. And there's so much more to see because it's a bigger window than the rear view mirror. I can't change the past, but I'm living right now. That's the best season to live in, by the way. Say what? I'm saying because you're alive and you're living in it, so get on it and trust God. You've never been in control. You never will be in control. Admit it, and let God be in control and surrender our full control to Christ. Surrender, I'm done, I raise the white flag. I surrender - old song on the radio. We need to depend on God like a little child, depends on a parent. I need to pretend - I need to have that visual picture that I'm walking across and I see parking lot, and I'm not very good on my feet and I need my heavenly father to hold my hand so I don't slip and fall. I need help and you need help and we need help to surrender to Christ full control.
Oftentimes when I send out a little note to graduates or resend them a graduation congratulations, we'll write in there Proverbs 3:5-6. It was in one of my graduation cards when I graduated from high school. It says trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding, in all your ways know Him or acknowledge Him (King James) and He will make your or path straight. And then it goes on to say, don't be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones. I needed that in high school. I needed that in college. I need that as a middle aged guy. I can't trust in my own understanding. Sometimes I have the worst thoughts in the world about how to solve a problem. And then sometimes God gives them to me and it's like, yay. And if it matches with what this says and pretty much what the body of Christ and godly people are saying, let's go for it. Let's see what's going on. But I don't trust in myself. We should trust completely in Christ. What did he say in John 15:5? "I am the vine. You are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without me." You can do nothing without me. The double negative packs a punch.
Finally, if we're really do this right, if we've identified what we're trying to control and we admit, and we admit that we can't control it and we've surrendered to Christ's full control, then the result is going to be that we will welcome the least important people in our lives. That's going to be the test. Have you done it? "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child, this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven," verse five, "And whoever welcomes one child like this in my name welcomes me." Later He describes the least of these in Matthew 25, He says, that's the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the person without clothes, the sick, the one in prison. God calls us to stand up for the oppressed, the marginalized, the discriminated against. We need to welcome people who have no voice in this world and be voices for those people in this world.
I close with one particular project that has been brought to our attention in the last few weeks. I had a meeting downtown and had several email requests. We are officially a partner of the Fort Wayne Rescue mission. Not because we give the largest amount of money to the Rescue Mission or that we send the most amount of volunteers to the Rescue Mission, but because they've identified something that you all have continued to do over the past three to four years, kind of slowed down during COVID, but it's starting to ramp back up again, that you have become a bridge to help men and women walk forward beyond the Rescue Mission into the family of God.
And one of the ways in which they're asking for us to pray about, and I'm praying about, we talked about it. We had a little prayer meeting here on Wednesday nights is that we're praying for a team to advocate on behalf of St. Joe Community Church for the Rescue Mission at our church, that they're a bridge team, that through them, we would send qualified volunteers. We would learn from them what the needs are for volunteering. And ultimately, not just to go and pour soup in a bowl for somebody, but build relationships that would lead to discipleship and growing them spiritually. And as these clients walk in and they start getting on some meds because 60 to 70 to 80% of them have mental disease, and they start walking through recovery programs to get out of their addictions of choice and they start stabilizing in ways that they may not have been given opportunity to in past environments. They're going to step out of the Rescue Mission and they're going to step into somewhere else. And they're praying that churches like ours would be that stepping block that they would say, "Look, there's homeless people that came from the 05." Well, they're going to go back to the 05, 46805.
So, why don't we be the choice church that's trusting that receives them? And not when they get here, but while they're still down there, and down there being the Rescue Mission, and we bring them in. I'm just praying that we will continue to be a safe harbor for the least of these, that particular part of our city being case in point. We're going to sing this last song. This is a song of blessing over us, but I pray that as God blesses us, that we will leak and that our blessing from Him will spill out into other people's lives. It might be that you need to put on that connection card, show me how to get involved on this new Rescue Mission team. I just need to keep coming. I would like to know more information about X, Y or Z. Let us know how to partner with you and encourage you and resource you and pray for you as you take your next step forward in the name of Jesus. Turning from the world's definition and our own worldly definition of what greatness is, to become great in the way that God wants us to be as we continue to lift others up who are very great in God's eyes. God, help us to be obedient to whatever you call us to do in this moment in Jesus name. Amen.
Thanks again for worshipping with us online. I hope that you will contact us. Go to our Facebook page, our website (www.StJoeCommunityChurch.org). Put a comment at the bottom of this video. However you can do that. Just let us know that you’re out there. We want to be able to pray for you, resource you, encourage you, answer any questions you might have. For those of you who have been giving online, thank you very much. We continue to have needs and continue to do things like this online worship experience, and other ministry needs and practical ways, and if you don’t know how to do that, just go to our website and there are instructions there. (www.StJoeCommunityChurch.org) so that you can also participate in our ministries and partner with us. Again, I’m Pastor Greg Byman, and on behalf of St Joe Community Church, God bless you, and we’ll see you next time.
Thank you for joining us today. For more information about the St Joe ministry, visit www.StJoeCommunityChurch.org or call (260) 471-4704 or email StJoeCommunity@gmail.com. If you are looking for a church home, St Joe meets for worship and fellowship each Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. St Joe is committed to your well-being and safety. For the latest policies regarding the Covid 19 pandemic, please visit the Covid section of the St Joe website. Thanks again for joining us and we’ll see you next week.
How to Walk in a World of Chaos, Part 3: Connect With God's Family
How we do live in a world that seems to be falling apart? Today's message is entitled "Connect with God's Family" and is the third in a series entitled, "How To Walk Through Chaos."
Part 1 Stick with Jesus- our Savior
Part 2 Study God's Word- our map
Part 3 Connect with God's Church- our family/team
Part 4 Serve one another
Part 5 Share the Good News
How to Walk Through Chaos
Part 3: Connect With God’s Family Galatians 6:10
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith
-Every follower of Christ is in the family of God
-A Christ follower not in church is a practically an orphan!
Bible Descriptions of God’s Family
-Household of Faith
-Church- ekklesia, a Called Out Assembly
-Body of Christ
-Bride of Christ
-Local- most references are to a particular local church
1. We experience belonging
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household.
2. We need encouragement
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.
3. We need each other
Galatians 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage each other daily, while it is called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.
4. Jesus works through unity
Matthew 18:19-20 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for
by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.
5. We are witnesses for Jesus
John 17:21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.
How To Connect
1. Practice “one another”
2. Participate in Large and Small Groups
Acts 5:42 Every day in the temple, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
3. Connect Small
Fun and Food
-Bruce Larson quote: Christ wants his church to be unshockable, democratic, permissive—a fellowship where people can come in and say,“I’m sunk!” “I’m beat!” “I’ve had it!”
How will you Connect With God’s Family?
List who to connect with
Consider how- all the safe, convenient ways to meet
The One-Another Commands in the New Testament
B: Bible book