Yesterday we wrapped up the series “Life. Money. Hope” and Matt preached a strong, right-now word on how we, the Church, carry the hope of the world! What an awesome privelege and responsibility we have as the Body of Christ to bring HOPE to the world, and hope’s name is Jesus! If you missed this weekend’s message, here is the podcast and the vodcast.
Matt reminded us that our passion at C3 is to provide Real Hope for Real People in a Real World.
Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(NKJV)
What does our vision mean?
REAL HOPE: Real hope is the Gospel, it’s God’s Word. No other group of people or organization on the planet can provide the world with real hope. It is only through a relationship with Jesus Christ do we experience real hope, and as the church, we have the responsibility of sharing that hope with people. We carry hope, so where we go, hope should go. Matt reminded us that if we had the cure for cancer or the cure for AIDS we would spread the news like crazy and make sure that everyone knew. Well, we have something that is even better…we have Jesus! We have salvation! So, we, His people, should be spreading it everywhere we go!
Colossians 1:27, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(NKJV)
FOR REAL PEOPLE: God cares about all people, which means that His church should care about all people. He reached out to the prostitutes, sinners, the hurting, those with disease. He was much more comfortable among sinners than he was around the spiritually arrogant. Our prayer is that C3 will always be a safe place for people to connect with God and with a family. Not one type of people, not one race of people…all people!
IN A REAL WORLD: We live in a real world. We aren’t closing our eyes or hiding behind our walls. There are challenges everywhere you look…Unwanted pregnancies, Abortions, Poverty, AIDS, Homelessness, Greed, Selfishness, Prejudice and the list goes on and on. But we believe that we have the HOPE that the world needs. We have to remember that the government isn’t the enemy; other countries aren’t the enemy; other religions aren’t the enemy…satan is the enemy and it’s time for the local church to step up and make a difference!
How do we make a difference? One life at a time. Matt and I love to hear testimonies of life change that are happening at C3 and here is a video we shared in service of one EXTRAVAGANT example of a life changed and a difference made…
Matt laid out some challenges for our church on how we could start stepping up and making a difference…
1. Begin to Put God FIRST place. It means that He is first in our marriage, our relationships, our finances, our schedule, our career. On the first week of the series Matt shared about the BIG rocks and how we need to determine our big rocks first and then we will have time for the little thing. When God is the rock of your day and the rock of your life, everything else falls into place.
Begins by bringing to God your tithe – Maybe you aren’t tithing and you wonder why there is no order to your life? You wonder why things just aren’t adding up in your finances? Matt encouraged us to make a decision now that if we already weren’t we are going to give to God the first 10% of our income.
Malachi 3:6-10, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7“From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 8“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In)tithes and offerings. 9“You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”(NASB)
2. Begin to Invite and Bring your friends and family to church! Matt challenged us to spread the word like crazy about Jesus, about your church about what God wants to do in their lives. Bring them with you and offer to take them out to eat before or after service. Next Sunday we start a new series on James called Five Star and he challenged us to invite and bring five friends to church.
Luke 14:15-24, “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”(NIV)
3. BEGIN SERVING OTHERS: At C3 we have ministry teams from C3 Kids to our First Touch teams to the Worship team. We believe that each member of C3 is a minister. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone will speak from the stage, but that everyone has gifts and talents that need to be used in the Body of Christ. If you aren’t on a ministry team at C3, we challenge you to start now!
4. BEGIN OWNING THE VISION: There is a difference between being an owner and a renter. As we are planted in God’s House we begin to own the vision. We love to hear people go from saying, I like your church to I like our church or even better my church!
When you are an owner of the vision you care about what happens. You care about all aspects of the church. God is looking for a church full of owners!
As a closing thought, Matt shared that he felt like God said get your people ready. “Get your people ready for what I am getting ready to do.” The last 12 years have been amazing at C3, but we totally believe that the BEST IS YET TO COME! These are exciting days to be a christian…exciting days to be alive!
Will you step up and take the challenge?