Speaker 1:0:01Hi, I'm Clark. Welcome to Coffee Creek Church.
Speaker 1:0:10Today we're going to start a new series and over the next four weeks I hope to explore some scriptures that talk about the nature of the local church. As we talked about church and that word. I want us to explore why we're here, like why is the church here? The very first Sunday that I taught at his church in August of 2009, I asked a question. I said something very similar. I said, if we dissolved tomorrow, if we didn't exist, would anyone notice the question resonates with a still because we want to know what our purpose is and when you think about that kind of question, it really gets to the heart of who we are and what our purpose is. There are lots of churches in the world. There's lots of churches in Oklahoma City, there's lots of churches in Edmond, but we have a specific purpose and if we will be used by God in that way, we can be a huge addition to the Kingdom of God.
Speaker 1:1:02If we will allow ourselves to be used in that way for his purpose. And his kingdom, not for our own, our own ideas, but instead to think about why we exist on an individual level, on a corporate level, all of us, and as a tool of God in the community. I want to start our lesson with a look at the word for church in the New Testament. There's a different word than there is in the Old Testament for church. And the word of the New Testament is in the new testament, Greek Ecclesia and this, right? Y'All say that, right? Right. Yeah. Right. Okay. So we don't use that word very much, but it's important in Greek because Greek is much different language than English to look at a word sometimes because just like the word love you and I say love, but there's lots of different connotations. I love pizza.
Speaker 1:1:50I love my wife, I love the thunder. Those are different kinds of love, right? So we kind of understand the connotations with that. What would the word church. There were several different meanings. If you look in most dictionaries for, uh, the Greek language for this Ekklesia, it can mean four or five or even six different things. It can mean all the Christians in a specific place gathering for worship like we are today. We could be any Clasico, but it could also mean all the Christians in Oklahoma City. So it could mean Ecclesia is the gathering of all those people or it could just be all the Christians throughout the entire earth. And so how modern folks have tended to do that is say the big C church, the capital c church is the global church, the Church of all Christians and the little seed Church then refers to the local churches.
Speaker 1:2:43I don't know if that distinction really works correctly because of course it's not acceptable by any standards of capitalization. You can't say coffee creek capital in Coffee Creek, see capital. But that's kind of the idea is that there's a difference between the global church all Christians, which would include many different kinds of denominations. Many different kinds of faiths of Christians out there. And then there's something more localized like our city or our states Christians, and then there's something even closer, which is the local gathering, the folks that are called out and so in this series we're really gonna be focusing on that little c or the Ekklesia that refers to the local church, us, Coffee Creek Church, like who are we, what is our purpose and how do we approach that and sometimes how do we reimagine that, like how do we reinvision that to get a fresh vision of who God has called us to be.
Speaker 1:3:45We have said for years that our mission is to love God and do good and it is not a unique mission to us, right? It's just a unique way of saying it because most churches have the great commandments as part of what they believe. And many churches now have it as a part of their mission or vision statement. Back when we originally did that, there weren't as many. There are more now that are including that. The great commission was always part of a lot of churches, but the great commandments kind of got ignored. Sometimes we chose to focus on the great commandments of Jesus as a summary Statement of what he expected out of us, and so what he expects out of us, what does he want us to be about, and we love this. It's simple to say, it rolls off the tongue. Love God. Do Good. We have stickers. We have tee shirts. People put it on the back of their cars. It's very something we say every single Sunday to remind ourselves that we do have marching orders. It's not as if we have to, you know, worry and struggle and God, do you want me to take care of others? No. It's very simple. He's laid out his expectations of his church. Enough is people very clearly
Speaker 1:4:52to love the Lord, our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. You get those two things. He says in all the law and the prophets, so just basically all comes together at that point like that's what they all hang on. Those two principles and if you get those right, you don't have to worry about the thousands of other laws. Today. As we dive into Hebrews chapter 10, we're going to look at this idea and I used a quote earlier to talk about that idea that Moses law was important in the levitical law was important, but all of it was just a mere shadow of the goodness that God had really in mind for us in Jesus and as we come to Jesus, the culmination of what he's doing in our midst is huge and the fact that Jesus didn't create an organization of his called out.
Speaker 1:5:47People his Ekklesia, his people called out gathering in one place. It's one of the most unique human institutions in the world because it's part. It's divinely inspired, divinely created by Jesus. But then the manpower and the resource comes from all his people gathering together in a way that we hadn't seen before and we really haven't seen since in the same exact format. And even today, the church is very anti-cultural, right? It's almost a a weird thing for us to sit and gather and do this once a week and for us to come together and there's nowhere else you do this exact same thing. Many of us are diverse, we have different opinions and viewpoints and we come from different walks of life and we grew up differently and different socioeconomic backgrounds and different places. We live in this community and work and yet we all come together and there's one thing that unites us and that is that we believe God has a bigger plan than the one that men have set before us.
Speaker 1:6:49God has a plan outside of the timeline of human history that God has a plan that intersects with that and change at once and for all with Jesus. So there's lots of ideas on what we could do as a church, what we should do as a pastor for the last 18 years, a lot of people give me a lot of unsolicited advice about what the church should be in, should be doing right? They usually start it like this, well, the church should insert whatever their pet peeve is, right? The church should be taking care of everyone. The church could, should be the hospital, the church should do my auto body repair, whatever it is. The church should blah, blah, blah. And they don't mean the church though in the sense of the biblical definition of the word Ekklesia. They mean you pastor should get yourself a group of pastors and go through something that I want you to do and it's always curious to me because I'll say, what do you mean by the church should do that?
Speaker 1:7:43Who are you talking about? It's almost like when people use the word government, oh, government should do something. It's like you understand in this country the people or the government, right? You get that, right? No, no, no, no. You know the big government, the big o, the institutions of the government, what you mean, what you're really talking about. And so when they used the word church here, they're not talking about the called out people. They're talking about the institution of the church. If they have a really weird view on what it is, because usually I'll say, I agree with you, the church should do whatever you're saying, but you are the church, so get started. Now the conversation usually dies there, right? It's like so. It's always someone else's fault. Always. Someone else should do it, and I'm always like, no, you are the church.
Speaker 1:8:28We are the church. The word Ekklesia is the cold out gathering of the Christians together and yeah, we should do amazing things in the name of Jesus. We should take this world by storm and we should solve hunger and we should solve poverty. We should take care of the widows and the orphans, but it's not one person. That's not what he sia ever meant. It was never one person or a kind of person or just the leaders of that group. It was all of us in this together, that we have been given a vision by God of we can be a part of what he's doing. We have a clear calling in Hebrews 10. What we're going to see today is this idea that is set before the Christians. Of what they could be and who they could become and that there would be a lot of temptations on them to stop this weird gathering, this kind of odd thing we do.
Speaker 1:9:15I mean where else do you go and sit for 30 minutes a week and listen to one person talk and you can't ask any questions. Right? Where, where do you do that? Where do you go and seeing with others, right? I mean you probably donuts and coffee and other places, but where do you go and do the specific things in a specific order? With this group of people that I just said that you're not a homogeneous unit. You don't all have the same thoughts and opinions. You don't have the same careers. You don't live in the same part of town, but you come together not because of any of that is important. You come together because you have a common shared calling and you have found a place where that calling specific to the neighborhood or the community or the idea of who we are has resonated with you and you want to be a part of that.
Speaker 1:10:02So I want to walk you through the big ideas of Coffee Creek today. Sometimes I try to do this through videos and emails and through teaching. Of course, this last week I tried to share an idea about why the parking lot smelled so bad last Sunday. Some of you watch this, some of you didn't. I was talking to staff and stab me this week about it and drew said he watched part of it and I said, excuse me, you watched part of it. What do you mean you watched part of it? It was only three minutes long. It's like, do you know that this tension span is six seconds today and I was like six seconds, what are you getting? Six seconds. But if you think about it, church is very against culture in that way, right? I mean, advertisers are cutting it down and down. I remember when I was a kid it was common to see 62nd commercials, one minute commercials and then as I got into high school and college, they cut them down to like two 32nd commercials. And then when I went to college, I took some media classes and learned about how media was evolving in the 15 second commercial was really popular, just kind of. And now
Speaker 1:11:05six seconds, very, very short attention spans, but you, we asked you to come here for 30 minutes and listen to me talk and this is the shortest time in my life I've ever preached when I started, it was much longer. So
Speaker 1:11:21it's a weird part of culture that church kind of fits in because we asked you to come into this place and to be a part of something that's unique and different where we talk about what God has to say to us and we ask you or he challenge you every Sunday to do something with what God has told us to do. And He's told us to be. And so the question then becomes back to me again. What is it? What is it that God desires out of his church, the local church, the Coffee Creek Church of Edmond, Oklahoma? What is it that he's asking us to be and to do? And there's two kinds of ways we're going to go with this today. We're going to talk about this kind of broader outline that is for all churches and then over the next three weeks, more specifically, what is he called us out to be introduced specifically in this community, in our context with the people he's placed here in this church and the people he's placed in our community, the people that we're called to care for acts one eight talks about that environment as the our Jerusalem are very close backyard, our neighborhoods, our community.
Speaker 1:12:20Who are we called specifically to care for? So I want to jump into the first part of Hebrews 10, 23 today where it says, let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep his promises. The first thing then that he calls these Christians to do is say, look, let's hold on tightly without wavering to the hope. And I think that first part of what he's telling you, Christians is important because hope is our key message. It is our key. It's our bread and butter. It's what it's all about. We are giving hope to the hopeless. We are speaking life to those that are destined for death. We are talking to people about something bigger than themselves. When we talk about Jesus and his plan for this world, we're talking about them about something really, really big and heavy, but it's easy.
Speaker 1:13:14Apparently the author already knew here. It's easy to let that go. It's easy to move on to other topics to think maybe we're done with that. Maybe we've exhausted that. Maybe we should talk about something else. Maybe we should move on to other topics because hope it seems like we've got that message down says, don't waver from that hope, but hold onto that hope God we can trust is going to follow through with the promises that he has made us and so hold tightly without wavering onto this hope. I would say the first thing we do then as a church is that we affirm hope through our music and through our messages and through our teaching and through our grouping and through our service in the community. We affirm hope when we feed people. It's not just to make them not hungry or starving anymore, that's a huge part of it, but the second thing is to affirm to them that there is hope in the world.
Speaker 1:14:08We provide a jacket or a bed or bedding or a pillow. We affirm hope that there's something more that is coming, that we affirm that God has a bigger plan for them than the temporary struggle of the moment when we speak truth into a couple whose marriage is failing them or they're struggling with their finances. And we talked to someone that's struggling with drug addiction or they're having issues. We talked to them about all these things. Yes, about what their specific need is. But at the end of it, what we're really doing is we're affirming. There's hope, hope beyond the troubles of their moment. I know with, um, folks that are having mental, um, difficulties, whether they're having depression or they're having a crisis of their faith, they're having doubts about their relationships. Whatever's going on. One of the biggest things they lose is hope.
Speaker 1:15:02It's one of the quickest things, and then that walks away. It's so difficult to get it back for them, and so one of the things that we do is when people are going through crisis that we surround them with love and we surround them with care and comfort and we affirm hope that we are going to be there with them through that difficult thing that we can't make it better, but that there is a god that loves them, that cares about them, and that we're going to be there with them through those struggles. It's one of the greatest things a church can do. I think in modern culture, a modern culture, we have a throwaway culture. Everything is throw away. Your phone gets a little slow, throw it away, get a new phone, your computer gets low. Just chuck it and get a new one right car.
Speaker 1:15:43Oh, air conditioner's on the Fritz get a new one. Everything is throw away culture and so to resist that consumeristic tendency, we can say, yeah, but we don't throw away people. We can say no, you don't just throw that relationship away because you had an argument. You don't just a throw away people because they're struggling and they're having a bad habit that they're having trouble getting rid of their having sin in their life that is really wrecking them. You don't throw away people. We affirmed the hope that God is a God of reconciliation and restoration and mending those broken things, and so we have an opportunity to stand against all the other messages of the world and say, there is hope beyond your momentary lapse of judgment beyond this dark moment, beyond what has happened to you beyond what struggle you're in right now beyond what this next week looks like for you. There is a hope and that hope is guaranteed and promised by God, and we get to be the ambassadors of hope. The messengers of hope. We get to be the people that communicate that to people that can't see beyond their temporary circumstances.
Speaker 1:16:54So many times. That's how we define suicide as it is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. So many times I've thought about that and worked with people that have had that have come in and said, you know, I'm not. I don't feel like I want to live anymore. We have those talks and and the biggest thing, I mean there's a lot of psychology and there's a lot of things that can be done, but the biggest thing that I've tried to do in every one of the situations is just affirm that there's hope beyond the moment and so many times that's what clouds are vision of who we are. We look in the mirror, we don't like what we see. We don't like the choices we've made recently. We don't like the situation that we're in, but God has hope for us beyond that moment and one of the most powerful things that church can do is in a culture of throwaways, to say, no,
Speaker 1:17:43God doesn't waste anything. God doesn't waste any person. Instead, there's hope for beyond this moment. Now, as we walk through the next part, the next verse of Scripture, Hebrews Ten, 24, he says, after the hope, then let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. So we've got the hope. We affirm the hope, we give hope away, but the very next thing, the very next verse says, let us also then focus on ways to motivate, move, push one another, encourage one another with acts of love and good works and one of the most interesting things I have found and I've read this time and time again, is that when someone is really down depressed or someone's really having a rough time or they can't see hope is to engage them in some sort of work on behalf of others. And I don't know what that does exactly whether it's just distraction or whether it helps them see their situation for what it really is. But the more that we help others, the more that we perform acts of love and good works and service towards others. The less our problems seem as relevant to us.
Speaker 1:18:55It's important for us not to do these just because we think it's gonna make us feel good or that you know, it's something that triggers that kind of dopamine response in us. It's important for us to do good because it is a commandment of the scriptures over and over and over is if God is a cartoon character hitting us in the head with a mallet. Right. You've seen those cartoons and they just hit the guy in the head and he doesn't die. He's like, I'll get it though. Right? I mean, that's. That's kind of how God is with us. It is so much in the new testament how much we're supposed to serve and love one another. Then it's almost like you. I struggled at least when I see it that many times. I'm like, how dense did you think we are? God, and yet he's exactly right.
Speaker 1:19:41We're pretty dense. It takes some repetition for us to go, oh, I got it. We're supposed to love God and do good. Yeah. Right, and we think, oh, that's so silly. People people know that, but it's just like eating right or exercising. Yeah. We all know what we're supposed to do. It's the discipline to do it, isn't it? Isn't that really where that. I mean, that's where the rubber meets the road. That's really the problem. It's not that we don't know enough, it's not, we need to study more on this, said we need encouragement and we got to motivate one another to do
Speaker 1:20:15acts of love and good works. So the second thing I think at church is that we do good. It's right there in our mission statement, so it's pretty obvious, right? But really that's one of the key hallmarks of a church. We are ambassadors of hope, taking the hope of the message of Jesus Christ to tell the truth about the story of what Jesus has done for us, that it's nothing we can earn that he's done that for us, but very next thing. Step two, is to reflect what he has done for us by acts of love
Speaker 1:20:48and good works that we do good in this world. That is one of our hallmarks. That's what people ought to be able to identify and say. That's what I miss about that church. No longer being here. That's what I would miss. That's who they are. That's their central and key and core to who they are, their identity. The very next verse kind of sums it up. Then for me, verse 25, let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. It's interesting that we moved through hope and then we come to doing good and then we come to this meeting together. There was something there about the gathering, the collective gathering of the church that was important that people would come together to encourage each other to motivate one another.
Speaker 1:21:39Again, it's like going to the gym. No one needs to go to a gym to work out. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises we could do, right? There's plenty of opportunity. We can just walk in nature and be fine and yet we have these and we buy memberships to these places and we say, I will meet you at the gym because we want to put ourselves in an accountability situation where we actually follow through on doing what we know is good and right. What we've already agreed in our mind. We want to do the goal. I want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm close. That was my impression. Really. People come on, that was good. Okay. Maybe not. I'm not an impressionist, but. Right. That's the goal. We would love to look like some celebrity that we have in our mind whose only job is to work out all day long. Right? That's what we want to be. That's the goal. When we think about those things, and so we go to a gym to do that, we go to a place. How silly is that? That we go to a place in order to be encouraged and motivated to achieve a higher goal than we're able to do in our own strength.
Speaker 1:22:50Almost like a church. It's ridiculous that we come to a place and that you sit. If I was your coworker and I wasn't a believer, I and you told me about church and you explained it, it was this place and you've got coffee and donuts and you should pass the Clark's hand and you sat and you stood and you sat and you stood and you listened and you sang some songs and then you listen to a guy talk for 30 minutes who challenged you at the end and you walked away thinking about what you would do differently that week. I would say, you sound crazy. I can get that online. I can get that anywhere. I can read that in a book. I don't need to go to a place to do that, and they're exactly right. Right. I would agree with that coworker. I would say, yeah, it sounds crazy.
Speaker 1:23:27Sounds insane. You probably could read a book and be a very good person. You can change your life, but there's two things you miss out on there. It's the idea of a place, so it's the idea of meeting together in a place or a space, if you will, and it's the idea that God specifically gave us this gift and told us to do this. It's the same thing as communion. It's the same thing as baptism. It's the same thing as loving God and doing good. We are commanded to do it. We're told it's important. Even if in the moment we don't see why that's important. He says, let us not neglect meeting together as some would do, but encourage instead one another. Especially now the day is drawing near.
Speaker 1:24:15This is interesting to me because all the time we, we, there's so much humans can accomplish, right? And we think about that. I can read a book and I can do this and and a lot of times we can do that, but here's the deal. The self motivation often wanes and we realize the need for other people. It's one of the reasons weightwatchers is the most, one of the most successful groups in the entire world. It started as a dream in New York city a long time ago. In a in a little group and an apartment and they realized that people could read books and people could be told by their doctor what to do, but you know what? There's some kind of power in the group. There's a power in the meeting. There is a power of accountability. There's a power in other people speaking truth into our lives.
Speaker 1:24:59Whether that's about weight loss and health or that's about spiritual health and development. There's something to that, so you've got two things in that discussion with a coworker and say, yeah, you're exactly right. It's crazy. It makes no sense. Why would I go and eat donuts on early on a Sunday morning when I could just sleep in and read a book about how to have my better life or how to do better, how to be a good person, but God specifically has said in the scriptures that Outta be doing it. That's the first thing. The second thing is there's some validity to this idea of coming together and encouraging one another.
Speaker 1:25:36There's some ideas here that just can't be captured in other ways. It's interesting as I've been pastor here to see different kinds of people come into our church and to see how they kind of approach thinking about church and some are, you know, grew up in churches, kids and so they're just kind of making sure we're not crazy before they join up with our mission. And then there's some people that come in, they don't have any experience with church and they go one of two ways. Usually they come in and they kind of smell around and look around and try to see if these people are crazy or if they're like them. Uh, and then they kind of go one of two ways. They say our church is not for me, or they say, yeah, I want to be a part of what God is doing.
Speaker 1:26:16So in the first phase I've kind of identified it as the tire kicking phase. They come in and kind of kick the tires, you know, like you do at a car. I don't know why kicking tires on a car is something people do when they look at a car, but it's like one of the major things you do. You kick the tires? Oh yeah. Well it's got area and so it must be okay and so they buy the car right? Or they don't buy the car, but that's Kinda what happens a lot. People come into church and kind of tire kick or they use the word church shopping and it's very consumeristic, right? It's very much like everyone shake my hand and I feel welcome. Was the coffee good? Was the doughnut cold, whatever. It's just kind of. That's kind of the first Sunday for a lot of people.
Speaker 1:26:48It's very consumeristic. It's very much tire kicking now. Some people stay in this phase the whole time and then inevitably these people don't stick with this. Nevertheless, these people just kind of roll out and it happens a lot so much that some pastors describe it as a parade or a school bus. People get on and off the bus. That's just kind of. There are people that never moved beyond tire kicking phase. They'll go through 20 churches in Edmond and it'll all be just tire kicking and they say maybe five, six months, five, six weeks, whatever that is, and they just move on, but they don't ever experience what church really is. They don't ever experience the idea that church is supposed to be living out community with other people, not walking away from it when the going gets tough, not when you get in a rough spot or someone else's interest.
Speaker 1:27:31Swat that instead walking through all of those things together and so that's the first phase and window. Barry, I love what he said about one time. I shared this a couple of weeks ago as I was reading some of his work. He said to feel at home in a place you have to have some prospect of staying there and that goes for whether you live somewhere or whether you choose to be in a church somewhere, but you have to have some prospect of, I'm going to invest here. I'm going to give it all that I have and at that point then I can feel at home in that space. But until I do that, you know, it's like if you move somewhere and never unpack some of your boxes, right, you just leave them in the living room and you have to dig through that stuff. You're never going to feel like at home because that's not how people live.
Speaker 1:28:11People don't live out of boxes in the living room. They eventually, I mean, you may have it six months, I've had boxes for a long time before, but you eventually take the stuff out, set it where you want it, and that becomes home because you feel at comfort and at home, and so in a lot of ways, mentholy, we can't feel at home until we have some prospect. You know what? This is where I am. This is where God has placed me. I'm going to make the most of every opportunity he puts in front of me in this space, in this time. This is God's time and I'm going to use it to the best of my ability. Second Group of people. Then I would call this sporadic attenders and some of you may be sporadic attenders and nothing wrong with. That just means that you were in a life phase, whether you're working a lot, you have a lot of activities going on, whatever's happening, you're moving around a lot and so we might see you once every six weeks or eight weeks or something like that, but you wouldn't say you're a regular attender, so basically regular attendance defined as we see you more than twice every six weeks is kind of the modern definition of regular attendance and so these are folks that we don't see a lot.
Speaker 1:29:18They may know some faces, but they don't know a lot of names. Unfortunately, if you stay in this phase the entire time you were the church, it makes it really difficult to plug in as well. It's kind of like eating once or twice a month. It makes it really difficult to go beyond and to have bonds that are deep and to have relationships that are deep and instead of giving. A lot of the time when you're a sporadic attender, you're focused on what am I getting out of the service? What did I take away? Um, what can I use in my being fed? Those are the kinds of words that come up most of the time for sporadic attender because you're thinking about what am I getting because you don't have time to give anything back, so it's just what can I get and move on? And so sometimes sporadic attender stay awhile.
Speaker 1:30:00Sometimes they move on. These are a lot more, a lot more variations in this pattern, but if you find yourself stuck in that pattern, I want to encourage you to move onto the next one because the longer you stay stuck in the sporadic attending phase, the more you feel like you're a part of a church or you're a part of what God wants for your life, but the less you feel connected to his people and they missing the gift that God has intended for us in church. And so a dl moody said it this way. One time he said, what makes the Dead Sea dead? Very simply because all the time it is receiving, never giving anything out. He said, why are Christians sometimes cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving anything out. If you want to experience the fullness of what God has for you in church wide, Jesus established the church.
Speaker 1:30:46Why? The church spread? You've got to give and receive. You've got to be able to do both of those things, so receive from others and give and that will be a more complete experience for you and that's what we call our regular attenders. They get something else out of it. This is the best option. If you can get there, you get into a habit, you get in a pattern. It becomes a discipline. Just like anything else. We hate that word. Discipline. I know we hate discipline because we think of the principal grabbing the paddle for us, we think that's what discipline is, but discipline is a different word. Really. It means what? Setting up a habit or a pattern and completing that on a regular pattern. Right? Completing that, doing that over and over because we know that the small decisions, whether I get up and go to church today, I make an effort to take the shower and to get up early and get the kids together and to come to church.
Speaker 1:31:36Whether I make that small decision on one Sunday seems inconsequential, but the more that I tack those off in a row and the more that I get those kind of going on my record there and the more that I get that going, I build momentum for myself and it gives the best outcome every time, right? Whether we're talking about a lifting weights, hitting the gym, we're talking about eating right. You know, I mean for brownies, for breakfast. Doesn't sound bad in this moment right now, but I might regret that later and I will certainly regret that if I have four brownies for breakfast, seven days a week, right? So one moment seems small, but it piles up on us and it piles up on us and so regularly attending makes a difference when we think about church. But here's the deal, just attending church is not the end and I don't want to be like, just get to church and you'll be fine. Everything will be great because if you start regularly attending church, you're going to realize that's the starting line. That's not the ending point. That's not the finish line for mature Christians. That's just it begins. Inevitably. If you become a regularly attending person here at Coffee Creek, you're going to eventually say, I yearn for something more and I summed that up. That yearning in one word is to engage it is to leverage the hundred and 67 hours. You're not here
Speaker 1:33:01for the Kingdom of God because the more that you own that kingdom of God in the more than you own God's vision for how things ought to be, you're going to start thinking about when you get home and your neighborhood and your family, you're gonna. Start thinking about work in the morning or the school that you attend. You gonna. Start thinking about your friends and your hobbies and how can you bring that truth into those situations. How do we go beyond a gathering? Once a week, see, I see coffee creek and a lot of ways it's like a training center and encouragement. Place, a place you can come to get motivated and affirm the hope that you have in Jesus and to push you to do good works and to love God to move you beyond where you are, to highlight for you ways to do good in those 167 hours a week. You have to encourage you and ultimately whether it's taking God out into the community to end, to love him, to do good for your neighbors or it's coming to this place to worship. At the end of the day, creekers show up. Now I'm convinced that if you'll show up,
Speaker 1:34:07God can use those opportunities. I know it's a strange thing. It sounds weird, but I'm convinced if you will simply show up and you'll start to put yourself in a regular pattern of attendance. Something unique will happen because you are putting yourself kind of in that sweet spot. I don't know if you've ever worked with speakers before, but if you align speakers, there's a way to get speakers in. Just a certain spot where it just like in the center of the room, usually you're like, oh, this is where everything sounds right. If I move a little bit this way, not just quite right. I can hear it still this way. I can hear it, but it's not quite right, but if I'm right there in the sweet spot of that sound, I mean the angels are singing right? That's how it can be for you in your spiritual growth and development, but I believe that you've got to put yourself in the way the path of those things happening. I believe the first thing, the first step, the beginning line is saying, yes, I'm going to break the culture. I'm going to break the pattern. That culture has all around me and I'm gonna. Put myself in this path on a regular basis as many times as possible. I'm going to be a part of the church
Speaker 1:35:11and the church is not this building and the church does not happen at your TV and the church does not happen by reading a book. Church, according to that definition of a classier means this gathering. When we come together as God's people. When you come together with other believers and you pray and you seek God's will for your life and you seek to be a part of his kingdom, I believe that's one of those clear ways we can be a part of what he wants us to do is when we will up. Bible tells us, Jesus showed up for us in history at a time that was scary and he changed forever. Our understanding of how things would work out for good or for bad, that Jesus stepped into history in our timeline in a way that we didn't expect. God did something special in him. God changed our lives forever by giving us an eternal hope and encouraging us and inviting us to join in his journey that had not been a thing before God inviting us to be a part of his work
Speaker 1:36:16and en masse, inviting us to build his kingdom to be a part of what he was doing. He's changing our world and we get to be a part of that. So today in this moment, I want to pray with you. Some of you just that you'll commit to showing up. So would you close your eyes and bow your head for just a moment as I want you to focus on this for just a moment. I've been talking for awhile now. It's time for you to listen to God. I'm hoping in this moment we have a silent prayer. In just a moment. You will listen to a god has to say to you in this moment. For some of you, it will be just to commit to regular attendance. You attend sporadically. Maybe the summer was crazy. Maybe you've got a lot of travel things lined up, but as many things as possible, as many times as possible humanly possible, you'll break the culture and instead you will put yourself
Speaker 3:37:06in an opportunity for God to change your life. We are the church Jesus showed up for us. We can show up. Surely we can do the base. The most basic thing he's asked us to do is to show up and be a part of that called out gathering the Ecclesia that you and I can be that shirt. We can encourage one another about the hope that we have and hold tight to that. Together we can motivate one another to do good works. We can you and I show up
Speaker 3:37:44and be a part of what God has for us. Perhaps you today are saying, I don't know this Jesus, yet that has stepped out of time and space into our timeline has changed things forever, but I want to follow him from this moment forward. What God is doing in my life. I want to follow him. If that's you today, you can say a very simple prayer. Just inviting Jesus to be your Lord, saying Yes to Jesus means that you will follow him instead of what culture says or what someone else has said. A human has said to you or someone else has told you you were about and instead saying yes to God's plan for your life.
Speaker 3:38:23Perhaps today you're saying, I want to think about this still and I want to encourage you to just say a very simple yes to God that you will be back next week. That you'll explore what God is doing in your life and how you can be a part of the greatest story ever told the story of Jesus that is now being communicated across the globe through his church. Would you pray that with me today? God, we thank you that we are the church, that the church is not a building. It is not limited by what humans can accomplish, but instead it is powered by you that we have been given a clear and clarion call to love you with all our mind, heart, soul and strength, love you and to love our neighbors. May we do that, man, we love you with everything we are. Maybe love our neighbor as ourself.
Speaker 3:39:10May We join together in this great mission, this plan you have set before us, God. My hope is that each one of us will respond to the challenge today, to this week, commit to you in this moment to say enough, enough of what culture has said enough of what my friends have said, enough of what I see bad examples happening in my world, but no, I want to be a part of your vision for my life. I commit in this moment to you that I will be a part of that called out community. There'll be a part of those gatherings and God, I'm asking you in those times, helped me to hunger, to begin that race, to seek out how I can engage with your people, to be an encourager, to be someone that holds onto this hope and communicates it to be a person that does that loves well and does good works. May I be a person that reflects your love in this world? God, would you inspire us? This new fall season to reach out to those in our neighborhoods, our communities, to love on them well, to come around the hurting and to let them know there's hope beyond today. There's hope beyond the hurts and the hangups and the bad habits of this moment, that you have a plan for their life and it is the person of Jesus Christ. Father, help us to do your will, to build your kingdom in this time. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.