Who is My Mother?

posted in: Messages | 0

WHO IS MY MOTHER?

ROMANS 14:17-19

One of the greatest football players of all time was Dan Marino.  When Dan came onto the scene in the NFL he immediately became an impact player of epic proportions.  Time doesn’t permit me to tell you all the records set by Marino, but let me tell you about one of them.

In 1986, Dan Marino not only led the league in pass completions, he set a career record for throwing 100 touchdown passes in the fewest number of games, a record that has never been broken.

A record not equaled by football greats such as Brett Favre, Roger Staubach or Peyton Manning.  Yet in 1986 his team finished in last place with a dismal 6-10 record.

Of greater note is that despite the 24 NFL records set by Dan Marino he never led his team to a Super Bowl Championship.

Marino joins a wide selection of talented stars in sports and entertainment who seemed to either wallow on teams of mediocrity or never quite make it to the pinnacle of success in their chosen field.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks spent an entire career playing for second-rate Chicago Cubs teams that never seemed to make it out of last place.  AND THE GREAT 7-FOOT TALL WILT CHAMBERLAIN ONCE SCORED 100 POINTS IN A PROFESSIONAL NBA BASKETBALL GAME – ANOTHER RECORD NEVER BROKEN, YET NEVER LED HIS TEAM TO A CHAMPIONSHIP.

Here’s the point.  No matter how talented you or I may be personally, we will never reach our maximum opportunity,

never succeed in having our utmost impact on the world if we are not attached to a healthy, vigorous well-functioning team, a strong band of brothers and sisters united in their purpose.

 

This is not only true of athletes, entertainers and leaders in the business world, it is also true of Christ-Followers.

MOST OF YOU KNOW THAT DANIEL JUST COMPLETED LEADING US IN A 5-PART SERIES ENTITLED “TO BE CONTINUED,”

EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF TOGETHERNESS AS A SPIRITUAL FAMILY AS GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT SET IN MOTION THE EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF US TODAY

THROUGH THE CHURCH STARTED BY GOD THE SON – JESUS CHRIST.

 

AS I BEGAN TO PRAY AND PREPARE FOR TODAY’S TALK, I want you to know that I had asked God, “God, what is it you want me to tell my FAMILY here at REALITY.”

 

God responded very clearly and emphatically.  He said, “Tell the people ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING connected TO ONE ANOTHER AS THE FAMILY I AM GROWING AT REALITY.”

 

God said, “give them a vision for WHAT FAMILY REALLY MEANS AND how to stay connected with one another.

EXPLAIN TO THEM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELATIVES AND FAMILY.

 

Give them a vision for how to stay connected with Him AND ONE ANOTHER AS A SPIRITUAL FAMILY.

Give them a vision for how to stay connected in the way He wants to use EVERY MEMBER OF THIS FAMILY to serve Him and

share Him with one another and with those He brings into their lives.”

 

God laid a very specific scripture on my heart that He said is the cornerstone for what His KINGDOM and His promise IS to His children at REALITY Church.

IN ancient biblical times it was customary to honor God by standing for the official reading of His Word.  Nehemiah chapter 8 tells how a platform was built for the priest to stand on so all the people could see him while he read God’s Word to the people.

Nehemiah 8:5-6 says, “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands.”  Back in verse 2 it said he read from early morning until midday.  Fortunately, for all of us my voice would give out long before your feet and back so you don’t have to worry about that.

 

So TODAY – in keeping with that ancient biblical tradition if you can stand, TODAY I WOULD LIKE YOU TO please rise as I READ TO YOU FROM God’s Word FOUND IN  Romans 14:17-19 (PLEASE RISE) – “for the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he or she who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by others.  So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” –  THANK YOU – PLEASE BE SEATED.

For the past 5 weeks Daniel has shared with us the basic foundation of what a healthy growing church family should look like based on what the church looked like from its conception.   If you missed any part of that series I urge you to go to our church website where you can watch and read the notes from each talk.

 

Today BEING MOTHER’S DAY we are going to examine the importance of being rooted and growing in a strong spiritual family.

BUT FIRST WE NEED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL FAMILY?

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY RELATIVES AND MY FAMILY?

JESUS NOT ONLY SET THE STANDARD FOR KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELATIVES AND FAMILY,

HE RAISED THE BAR IN DEFINING TRUE SPIRITUAL FAMILY AS GOD’S WORD TELLS US BEGINNING IN Mark 3:20-21: “Then Jesus came to a house in Capernaum, and a crowd formed again, so many people that Jesus and His disciples could not even eat a meal together. When His own relatives heard this they went to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He is out of His mind.”

(THIS WAS BEFORE JAMES AND HIS OTHER BROTHERS TRULY UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED THE REALITY OF WHO JESUS REALLY IS – SO THEY THOUGHT HE WAS ABOUT AS CRAZY AS ANYONE YOU WOULD MEET WANDERING AROUND ON THE STREETS TODAY TELLING YOU THAT THEY ARE JESUS)

MOVING ON TO Mark 3:31-35

Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called for Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Look! Your mother and Your brothers are outside asking for You.”  And He replied, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”  Looking at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He pointed around the room at His disciples and followers, saying, “Here are My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of God by believing in Me, and following Me, he or she is My brother and sister and mother.”

 

“Doing Life Together” as SPIRITUAL FAMILY IS a core value of REALITY Church.

Everyone needs a caring FAMILY.  Being connected through SPIRITUAL FAMILY should set us apart from any other type of relationship.  As Christ-Followers we should be able to show the world without fear or reservation that we can be in transparent,

vulnerable relationships with fellow Christ-Followers

giving and receiving acceptance,

forgiveness,

guidance and

most importantly unconditional love FROM ONE ANOTHER.

Friends, God did not intend for you to GO THROUGH LIFE OR cope with life in a vacuum.

He never expected you to be all alone and have to deal with all that life in this world can sometimes throw at you.

God is in the people business and He desires to use others in a caring SPIRITUAL FAMILY with whom you can grow relationships and stay connected.

THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF WHAT LIVING LIFE BEFORE GOD IN A TRUE SPIRITUAL FAMILY IS REALLY ALL ABOUT.

But let’s get real here.  If WE are truly going to BE SPIRITUAL FAMILY here AT REALITY Church,

YOU have to decide WHICH IS MORE VALUABLE – what your personal SPIRITUAL FAMILY here AT REALITY Church thinks and says to you or what someone outside your personal biblical community says is their version of the truth.

At REALITY Church we are not GOING TO SETTLE FOR the world’s version of the truth.  We are interested in God’s truth.  AMEN?

We’re not GOING TO LOWER OUR OURSELVES TO the world’s version of reality; we’re interested in God’s reality.  AMEN?

God’s WORD TELLS US IN I Corinthians 1:18-30, that GOD’S KIND OF truth and reality is foolishness to this world, but to those of us who are Christ-Followers, God’s truth is the wisdom of God and the power of God.

So what does God really have to say about the issue of staying connected through SPIRITUAL FAMILY here AT REALITY for His people in VIRGINIA BEACH, VA?

The first thing I want you to notice is that our need for ONE ANOTHER AS FAMILY, for connectedness goes back to the beginning of the human race.

Look at Genesis 2:18.  God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper for him, a companion, a soul mate, an amiga for him.” 

From the beginning of the human race, God created man and woman to stay connected by living in community with one another.

The reason for that is because we are created in the image of God, and our God Himself lives in community.  He says in Genesis 1:26 -27, “Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness, and so God made man in His own image.”  Now who is the “us” and who are the “our” that God is talking about?

Well, it’s not the angels, because we are not made in the image of angels.  So who is God talking about here?

Well friends, He’s talking about the Godhead.  God the Father is talking to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

So you see, even God Himself lives in community with other relational persons inside the Trinity.

That’s why you and I are wired to live in relational community – SPIRITUAL FAMILY with ONE ANOTHER, because we are made in the image of a relational God.

Now here in America, our culture does not honor people who live in healthy relationships with one another.

Our culture honors the tough individualist, the stand-alone tough guy.

We do it in the OUR AMERICAN TALL TALES WITH STORIES OF FICTIONAL CHARACTERS LIKES PAUL BUNYON.

WE DO IT IN OUR movies ABOUT fictional characters WITH CHARACTERS PLAYED BY BRUCE WILLIS IN ALL THE DIE HARD MOVIES, and all the characters PLAYED BY Clint Eastwood especially IN ALL THE dirty Harry and spaghetti westerns MOVIES.

We do it with real life individuals.  Our culture honors people like THE KARDASHIANS, BRUCE JENNER and Hugh Hefner, but the real truth is that these people live some of the most relationally dysfunctional, isolated, MISERABLE lives you could find anywhere.

There’s something broken inside these people.

By contrast the Bible says that healthy people are connected with each other in intimate, transparent and vulnerable SPIRITUAL FAMILY.

God’s plan for your life is Romans 12:5, ““so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”  What the Bible is telling us here is that, as Christ-Followers, we’re literally connected to one another by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.

We are inseparably connected to one another like the organs, muscle and tissue of the human body DESIGNED to make your body work the way it should.

If one of them begins to shut down, their connection to the other organs results in yours becoming a very sick body or a very dead body.

Without healthy connectedness your body no longer survives.  And what is at the core of the cells in your body that holds it all together?

In other words, have you ever stopped to think about why our bodies don’t just come unglued?

I’m not talking about coming unglued like some of you ladies do when your husband suggests you could stand to lose some weight or

like you guys MIGHT COME UNGLUED when your wife asks you to go shopping with her in a way that says if you value you life you better think twice before you answer.

Or the kind of unglued that comes when you are told you are traveling with your RELATIVES to visit THEIR great-aunt Gladys, who you don’t even know!

And it’s the weekend YOU PLANNED TO GO WITH your friends to see your favorite band of all time doing a once in a lifetime show up in DC, or down in Atlanta.

No I’m not talking about that kind of unglued.

I’m talking about the MORE recently discovered protein that medical scientists now understand is the substance, in other words the glue that holds THE INDIVIDUAL CELLS OF our bodies together.

And when they were finally able to identify THIS PROTEIN and have the technology to see it, you probably already heard about what it looks like.

 

Yes, laminin, the biological substance that LITERALLY holds your body together, looks exactly like the very thing that holds you as a spiritual part of the body of Christ – the church, together.

  “He – Jesus Christ – is before all things and in HIM all things are held together.”  (Colossians 1:17)

The heart needs what the liver does. The kidneys need what the lungs do.

God designed and gifted each part of the human body to perform vital services for other parts of the body.  Friends, the same is true spiritually when it comes to you as SPIRITUAL FAMILY here AT REALITY Church.

For the health of this church, not only do you need to be connected like the parts of the human body,

but for your personal health as a Christ-Follower you need to be biblically connected.

The New Testament is filled with what are called the “One Another” Commands.

These commands act like spiritual laminin essential to make your spiritual connectedness to one another a real authentic eternal part of your existence.

Let me give you JUST 2 OR 3 OF them.  Number one, Romans 12:10 tells us, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love… “  LISTEN – HERE IS THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELATIVES AND FAMILY:

RELATIVES ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE RELATED TO YOU BY BIRTH, BLOOD OR MARRIAGE.

FAMILY ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU, NURTURE YOU, MINISTER TO YOU, ENCOURAGE YOU, AND LIFT YOU UP – NO STRINGS ATTACHED; NOT OUT OF OBLIGATION, BUT SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST DWELLING IN THEM – THEY ARE TRULY DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER.

OVER THE YEARS GOD HAS TAUGHT ME AND shown me NO MATTER where ON EARTH we LIVE THAT through the blood of Christ we all have SPIRITUAL FAMILY HE WANTS TO USE TO love us.

Number TWO, Romans 15:7, says we are to accept one another as Jesus accepts YOU and that is unconditionally. RELATIVES MIGHT REJECT YOU, MAYBE THEY WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, BUT GOD’S LOVE FORGIVES SIN AND ACCEPTS UNCONDITIONALLY.

Number three, Romans 12:10 also tells us we are to honor one another above ourselves.  THIS MEANS GIVE PREFERENCE TO OTHERS AHEAD OF YOURSELF – PUT OTHERS FIRST.

Being honored helps make you feel like you are worth something, that you have meaning and purpose in life.

We as Christ-Followers are to constantly go about finding ways to PUT OTHERS FIRST.

“MOMMY I’M SO THIRSTY,” CRIED LITTLE GAYANEY.

SUSANNA HEARD HER 4 YEAR-OLD’S PLEAS, BUT THERE WAS NOTHING SHE COULD DO.

THEY WERE TRAPPED UNDER 4 TONS OF STEEL AND CONCRETE. BESIDE SUSANNA IN THE TOTAL DARKNESS LAY THE DEAD BODY OF SUSANNA’S SISTER-IN-LAW KARINE.

KARINE WAS ONE OF THE 55,000 DEAD FROM THE DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE THAT STRUCK SOVIET ARMENIA AT 11:41 AM ON DECEMBER 7, 1988.

SUSANNA WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF CHANGING CLOTHES WHEN THE 5TH FLOOR APT. BEGAN TO SHAKE.

SHE ONLY HAD TIME TO GRAB GAYANEY WHEN THE FLOOR GAVE WAY BENEATH THEM AND IN AN INSTANT THEY WERE BURIED UNDER A 9 STORY APT. BUILDING.

SUSANNA WAS TRAPPED FLAT ON HER BACK. A CONCRETE PANEL AND A HEAVY WATER PIPE ON HER SHOULDERS PREVENTED HER FROM RISING IN THE DARKNESS.

FEELING AROUND SHE FOUND A JAR OF BLCKBERRY JAM THAT FED LITTLE GAYANEY FOR 2 DAYS.

SHE FOUND A DRESS AND TOOK OFF HER STOCKINGS TO WRAP AROUND HER DAUGHTER TO HELP KEEP HER WARM.

SUSANNA LOST TRACK OF TIME, FEELING IN HER FINGERS AND TOES, AND SHE LOST HOPE.

BUT SHE WOULD DO ANYTHING TO SAVE HER LITTLE GIRL.

AS GAYANEY CONTINUED TO CRY OUT,” MOMMY I’M THIRSTY,” SUSANNA FELT AROUND IN THE DARKNESS FOR A BROKEN PIECE OF GLASS, SLICED OPEN HER FINGER AND IN THE TOTAL DARKNESS PLACED IT TO HER DAUGHTER’S LIPS AND SAID “DRINK THIS.”

SHE HAS NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES SHE SLICED HOW MANY FINGERS UNTIL THEY WERE BOTH FOUND AND RESCUED AFTER 9 DAYS IN THAT DARKENED PIT.

UNLIKE THE LOVE SUSANNA HAD FOR GAYANEY, Many of us came from homes where we received little, if any, unconditional love.  And you know we all need it.

I THANK GOD FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR THOSE OF YOU HERE TODAY WHO HAD A LOVING, CARING CHIRST-FOLLOWING MOTHER OR FATHER, OR EVEN GRANDMOTHER OR GRANDFATHER WHO RAISED YOU AS YOU GREW UP AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE A PARENT LIKE THAT IN YOUR LIFE TODAY.

BUT –    Many of us came into adulthood starved AND THIRSTY for LOVE which led to a lot of otherwise good kids going down the wrong path just looking for some authentic unconditional love and not knowing what it looked like or how to get it.

If the closest thing to love you got growing up was praise and approval, the kind of thing that drove you to either try to do more to get some of what that felt like or you just gave up and found some other means to escape from the lack of authentic unconditional love through drugs, alcohol,

meaningless short-term relationships, pornography – things like that; then you grew up to be a very sick person.

 

The power of knowing that somebody accepts you unconditionally, the power of knowing that somebody loves you with NO strings attached is the greatest healing force in the world.

MAYBE IN YOUR PAST You never really experienced unconditional love like you can only get from Jesus and through His family who are being obedient to Him.

God wants you to experience that healing force in your life, not only from Him personally but also FROM HIM THROUGH AUTHENTIC CHRIST-FOLLOWERS – REAL SPIRITUAL FAMILY.

It took people to make you sick and God uses people to make you healthy again.

If you’ve never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way, I want to TELL YOU RIGHT NOW that God has this unconditional love for you.

BENEATH THE RUBBLE OF A FALLEN WORLD, HE PIERCED HIS HANDS.

WE – HIS CHILDREN – WERE TRAPPED, SO LIKE THE COMPASSION HE PLACES IN A LOVING MOTHER’S HEART, JESUS GAVE HIS BLOOD.

IN John 7:37 (JESUS ONCE SAID) “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink.”

ADMISSION OF THIRST DOESN’T COME EASY FOR US.  BUT THERE COMES A DARK HOUR IN EVERY LIFE WHEN THE WORLD CAVES IN AND WE ARE LEFT TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLE OF REALITY, PARCHED AND DYING.

SOME OF US WOULD RATHER DIE THAN ADMIT WE NEED HELP.

BUT WE FINALLY CRY OUT, “GOD, I NEED HELP.”

SO THE THIRSTY COME. A RAGGED LOT WE ARE,

BOUND TOGETHER BY BROKEN DREAMS AND COLLAPSED PROMISES.

FAMILIES NEVER BUILT, PROMISES NEVER KEPT.

WE ARE CHILDREN TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLE OF OUR OWN FAILURES.

AND WE ARE THIRSTY.

“BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS…” PROMISES JESUS.

RIGHTEOUSNESS.  THAT’S IT!

THAT’S WHAT WE’RE THIRSTY FOR.

WE’RE THIRSTY FOR A CLEAN CONSCIENCE.

WE CRAVE A CLEAN SLATE.

WE YEARN FOR A FRESH START.

WE PRAY FOR A HAND WHICH WILL ENTER THE DARK CAVERN OF OUR WORLD AND DO FOR US THE ONE THING WE CAN’T DO FOR OURSELVES –

MAKE US RIGHT WITH GOD.

“GOD, I’M THIRSTY,” WE PRAY.

AND SO THE HANDS WERE PIERCED,

AND THE BLOOD WAS POURED,

AND WE – THE CHILDREN – ARE SAVED.

 

BY His SACRIFICIAL, unconditional acceptance when you embrace Jesus Christ as your personal Savior:

You get your sins forgiven.  AND – By the way, you get a secure place in heaven.

But in the meantime you get a relationship with God who loves you HERE AND NOW without conditions; a kind of love that will heal your life.

So if you’ve never accepted Christ, my challenge to you today is what in the world are you waiting for?

AND SOME OF YOU ARE SAYING TO YOURSELF – I’VE NOT BEEN THAT LOVING, CARING MOTHER OR FATHER WHO SHOWED MY CHILD WHAT IT’S LIKE TO FOLLOW CHRIST IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY.

OR – YOU SAY “I’VE NOT BEEN THAT CHRIST-LIKE CHILD TO MY PARENT THAT I SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

I’VE MESSED UP.

IS IT TOO LATE FOR ME?”

NO!! NO!! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!

GOD’S WORD IS THE STORY OF GOD GIVING UNLIMITED SECOND CHANCES.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!!

YOU CAN PICK UP THE PHONE, YOU CAN SAY – “I WAS WRONG. NO EXCUSES, NO EXPLANATIONS.”

YOU CAN SAY – I JUST WANTED TO SAY HI!

I JUST WANT TO SAY I CARE ABOUT YOU, I PRAY FOR YOU.

MAYBE THAT PARENT HAS PASSED FROM THIS LIFE.

THEN TELL GOD WHAT YOU WISH YOU COULD TELL THAT PARENT, THEN –

LOOK AT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU – LET GOD SHOW YOU SOMEONE WHO NEEDS THAT ACT OF LOVE OR ATTENTION YOU CAN GIVE THEM IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST.

HONOR THAT PARENT WHO IS NOT IN YOUR LIFE, BY THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE NOW.

OR MAYBE YOU HAVE THAT CHILD WHO WON’T SPEAK TO YOU.

ALL YOU CAN DO IS TRY.  SEND THAT BIRTHDAY CARD AND GIFT ANYWAY.  SEND A MESSAGE OF LOVE, OF APOLOGY OR FORGIVENESS ANYWAY.

AND YOU TO CAN ALSO LOOK AT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU GOD HAS PLACED IN YOUR LIFE TO BE A SPIRITUAL PARENT OR MENTOR IN THEIR LIVES.

GOD HAS AN UNLIMITED SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL FAMILY IN WHICH HE WANTS HE WANTS TO DISPLAY HIS LOVE AND CARE THROUGH YOU.

There are many more “one another” commands that God has as a guideline, a pattern, a way of life for all of us to stay connected together in A SPIRITUAL FAMILY.

You have a printed available with today’s church bulletin.

BY THE WAY – THIS LIST OF “ONE ANOTHER’S”?

THEY ARE ALL IN YOUR MEMBERSHIP COVENANT THAT YOU SIGNED IF YOU SIGNED ON AS A MEMBER OF THE REALITY CHURCH FAMILY.

THE LAST ONE ON THE SCREEN

One of the commands, Galatians 6:2 says we are to “bear one another’s burdens.”  When I read this I think of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders.

There are times when you feel like that’s exactly what you are doing.  How wonderful it is when someone comes alongside and helps share the load.

As spiritual family living in Biblical community, that’s exactly what we are to do for one another and for those around us when we are presented with the opportunity.

BUT –

The biggest hindrance for most of you having someone help carry that load is YOU.

You let your pride or your fear of others knowing the truth about you or your situation

KEEP THEM FROM get close enough to you for them to be able to help shoulder the load.

You have to let people get close enough that their shoulder can actually touch your shoulder; you can’t do that while keeping people at a distance.

Can you imagine how healthy you would be if you could step outside your own personal selfishness and serve not just one another but anyone God brings into your life’s path in need of this ministry?

Years ago a music duo called Simon and Garfunkel did a song entitled “I Am A Rock.”  One of the lyrics in the song said a rock feels no pain and an island never cries.  When you are a rock or an island you never let anyone get close enough to make you cry or give you pain.

When you put up walls around you to keep from getting hurt you are living in your own strength.  You are not allowing God to do for you what only He can do.

BUT FRIENDS – GOD is in the people business.

People can hurt you, but it is when you get connected and stay connected with God’s people in an AUTHENTIC SPIRITUAL FAMILY

THAT’S WHEN you allow Him to nurture you, minister to you and lift you up when you need it the most.

You’re sitting there and some of you are thinking, “OK, Sandy, I mean I know you’re pouring your heart out.  I mean, God bless you man, but why are you so worked up about this?”

I’ll tell you why.  It’s because, God has overwhelmed my heart and soul for REALITY church.

 

It’s because He knows you can never have as much as He wants to give you and

you can never be a part of what He desires to do through you until you connect to one another as completely as you will in A SPIRITUAL FAMILY LIKE YOU WILL through A LIFE group OF one sort or another.

 

How do I know?  Because, it is exactly what Daniel has been teaching us THESE PAST 5 WEEKS about how God started His church.  Look at what the early church did as Daniel emphasized in Acts 2:42-47All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, – THEY REGULARLY SOUGHT SOUND TEACHING OF GOD’S WORD AND HIS TRUTH – and to fellowship, – THEY INTENTIONALLY AND REGULARY SPENT TIME WITH ONE ANOTHER – and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper – AS WE WILL BE DOING THIS WEEK IN OUR MONTHLY AGAPE FEAST, – and to prayer – THEY COVERED ONE ANOTHER IN PRAYER AS WE DO THRU OUR PRAYER MINISTRY WHICH ALSO INCLUDE OUR PRAYER ROOM ON SUNDAY MORNINGS AND ESPECIALLY IN OUR WEEKLY LIFE GROUP GATHERINGS. – A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders – THEY EXPERIENCED GOD INTERVENING IN THEIR LIVES IN TRULY MIRACULOUS SUPERNATURAL WAYS AS MANY OF US HAVE EXPERIENCED.All the believers were together and shared everything.   They would sell their land and the things they owned and then divide the money and give it to anyone who needed it. – THEY WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HELP ONE ANOTHER AS WE ALSO SEEK TO DO. The believers met together in the Temple every day. They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts.  They praised God and were liked by all the people.  – THEY WERE ABLE TO EXRESS THEIR LOVE FOR GOD AND ONE ANOTHER AS THEY DID LIFE TOGETHER AND LOVED OTHERS TOGETHER – Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers. – THEY WITNESSED THE DIVINE GROWTH IN BOTH INDIVIDUAL LIVES AND IN THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH.

Where did they do this?  PRIMARILY IN small groups- LIFE GROUPS, small gatherings LIKE WE DO in one another’s homes, IN OUR YOUR CHURCH OFFICE and any place where an opportunity presented itself.

GOD CREATED EVERYONE IN THE WORLD TO HAVE A DEEP INNER LONGING AND NEED FOR CONNECTEDNESS.

WE HAVE THAT AT REALITY CHURCH THROUGH OUR LIFE GROUPS AND MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES: A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHERE GOD OFFERS YOU SPIRITUAL FAMILY –

ANY WHERE

ANY ONE…

ANY TIME, ANY WAY…

ANY PLACE:

SPIRITUAL FAMILY,

LOVING OTHERS TOGETHER

DOING LIFE TOGETHER

LOVING AND NURTURING ONE ANOTHER.

LIFTING UP ONE ANOTHER.

Being in A SPIRITUAL FAMILY – ESPECIALLY THROUGH A LIFE GROUP means we are being led by the Holy Spirit to grow in relationship AS HIS SPIRITUAL FAMILY with one another and we build up one another IN THE FAMILY CALLED REALITY CHURCH.

When you are allowing God to use you to connect with and build up those around you the doors become open to for you to share the good news with those who need to it most.

And then that serendipitous moment comes when you are able to say, “A crucified Jesus paid all your sin debt and God changes your life instantly when you accept Jesus as Savior.”

Those words should be music to your ears, the sweetest words you could ever say or hear.  Would you join me?  Just let the sweetness of these words roll off your own lips.  READ THE WORDS SILENTLY OR OUT LOUD WITH ME IF YOU’D LIKE.  Say it with me – “A crucified Jesus – paid all your sin debt – and God changes your life instantly – when you accept Jesus as Savior.” 

God’s vision – THE CORE VALUES for you personally and ALL OF US corporately at REALITY Church:

DOING LIFE TOGETHER – LOVING OTHERS TOGETHER

FULFILLS THE VERY HEART, SOUL AND PURPOSE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD from Romans 14 “for the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he or she who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by others.  So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Let us pray.