The Gospel of Luke: Strengthened in Spirit
October 11, 2020
Jesus returns from a night of prayer and the choosing of the twelve apostles, bringing with Him teachings for a new community. Instead of living for what the world tells us to chase after, Jesus teaches a completely different value system for this new community. Followers of Jesus will be marked by humility, generosity, sacrifice, and a mindset focused on God’s kingdom. Ryan Bramlett • The Gospel of Luke: Strengthened in Spirit • Luke 6:12-26
Series: The Gospel of Luke: Strengthened in Spirit
Message: A New Community
Pastor: Ryan Bramlett
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Study Guide (PDF)
October 11, 2020 Notes
Strengthened in Spirit | A New CommunityRyan Bramlett | Luke 6:12-16So good to be with you. Everyone watching online, everyone here in the room at Northwest, and at all of our campuses—so glad you’re carving out some of your weekend and you’re here with us.Just want to start today by celebrating. We’re celebrating a little bit. For those of you just checking us out, a couple of weeks ago we did something for the very first time called Serve Week. And here’s the big idea behind it. We just wanted to take our whole church and say, “On this week we’re going to love our city really well by serving.” We’ve had some incredible stories come through. If you follow us on social media, you’ve got to check these out. There have been some amazing stories of how you guys are serving people in your community, loving your neighbors really, really well. It’s exciting.I want to just share with you two things that have already come in as a result of Serve Week. One, we brought in over 2,000 items (almost all of those being coats for kids here in our city) in one week’s time. Come on. The second thing—because of your generosity—we raised $7,000 for Juvenile Justice Ministry in one week. Come on. It’s incredible to see and just to know that we’re still going. That’s one of the main ways that we live as a church, it’s to serve the people around us.I also want to take a second and celebrate because it is Pastor Appreciation Month. And I just want to appreciate myself. No. Joking. Joking. No, I want to take a second and celebrate our pastor, my pastor, Aaron Brockett. Yeah, come on. Some of you know this. I actually attended this church before I was ever on staff here, so he’s been my pastor for over 10 years now. And I’m just super thankful for him for every single week, week in and week out, him teaching from God’s word and literally changing my life. So, one more time can we celebrate Brockett right now? Incredible.Well, hey today we are jumping back into our series in Luke. And for you who are just checking us out, maybe you don’t even know where Luke is. Luke is really just a written account of the life of Jesus. And maybe your saying that’s part of the reason why you’re here. You heard something about Jesus. You like his teachings. You want to hear more. I’m telling you; Luke is a great book to read.I use this little Bible. It’s pretty small. But it’s only like 29 pages, the book of Luke. You can knock it out this week. It’s filled with miracles and life changing teaching. I’m telling you, check it out.Today we’re going to pick up in Luke, chapter 6. So as you flip or scroll there, I’m going to give you something to think about and then more than enough time to find your way there.But think of this:Think of the best seasons of your lifeThink of the best seasons of your life. Have a little bit of a flashback. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re like, “I’m living in the best season of my life.” And that’s awesome if you are. And I hope that you are.But think back, what are some of the seasons in your life that you share about the most? That you share stories of, that you daydream about, that you’ll catch yourself just walking down the hallway just smiling and you don’t realize that you’re smiling but you’re thinking about that thing, and someone looks at you and they’re like, “Why are you being creepy and smiling as you walk?” It’s because you remember that season in your life.And as I was thinking about this myself, I’ll be honest with you, the first thing that came to my mind, one of my favorite seasons in life, was when I worked at Burger King, alright? Some of you are like, “You’ve had a horrible life, man. That’s your best season?” And I’ll tell you why. It was the most fun ever. I was there for about five years and I really thought I was the king of the burgers. I worked all of the time. Worked with incredible people. I’m talking Mac, and Kalin, and Johnny, and Jamie, and Marcus, and nine-toe Joe. It was the best time ever. If anyone knows nine-toe Joe, let him know that he has a spot here at Traders whenever he wants to come.It was unbelievable. But what was it that made it unbelievable? It wasn’t the pay. As you can imagine, I didn’t make a lot of money. I did get to see a beautiful part of the world, like Brazil. Brazil, Indiana, which is not the same, it’s actually nothing like the real Brazil. If you’re from Brazil, I apologize. But you knew that before today. It wasn’t that. It wasn’t that I felt purpose or worth from selling a double whopper with cheese and onion rings. It wasn’t that. It wasn’t even the benefit that I got that I could give away free food to some friends in high school, or maybe even some lucky ladies who were coming through the drive through. And just so you know, if you ever got free food from me, it came with a cost. For any food that I gave out I had to wrestle grown men in the back of the Burger King. And if I would win, that was the only way that you got free food. But it wasn’t even that—the wrestling matches in the back of the Burger King. What made it the best? Why is this still a season that I look at? It’s because I had community. You see, the people who I worked with were the people I grew up with, the people I lived with, the people I hung out with. We did everything together. It wasn’t because of Burger King it was because I had community.And I bet if you flip back on your life and you think about the best seasons that you’ve experienced you probably had the best community around you. It wasn’t because you had a thing that you loved. I know that we tell stories maybe of high school where you were on the basketball team. But I’m telling you, you didn’t love life because you were really good at basketball. I’ve seen you. You couldn’t hit water if you fell out of a boat. It wasn’t because you were really good at basketball, it’s because you had people around you. It wasn’t because you loved cheerleading. It wasn’t because you loved the chess club. It wasn’t because you had a thing you loved, it’s because you had people who loved you.There’s something with this community vibe that Jesus is going to hint on here in Luke, chapter 6. And what’s fascinating to me is that as I was studying this week, I was looking at this Scripture, this Scripture that I’ve read before but under it, in my study Bible, it gave it this heading and I’ve never thought of these verses under that heading before. And here was the heading:Teachings for a New CommunityThat’s what we’re going to be looking at, not only this week but in the weeks to come. What does Jesus have to say about community? Because there’s something here, our best seasons in life are not necessarily marked by the best circumstances but by the best community. What does God have to say about that?And just to give you a little bit of a back story before we start in Luke, chapter 6, verse 20, there is a lot going on, right? Jesus has just spent all night up on a mountain praying to God non-stop, just praying, seeking after God. And we see pretty quickly why. Because when he comes down, he actually gives 12 people this role of apostles. What he’s doing is giving them an early invitation. They are going to be a part of his community. They are going to learn all about the way he operates and what he wants from humanity here on earth.So he names these 12, which is just fascinating. If you just begin to think about this story through another lens where God was creating community, maybe it reminds you of Moses. Moses was this guy in the Old Testament who God talked to on top of a mountain. He prayed all day and all night, and he came down with what? Ten Commandments. And maybe you’ve heard of the Ten Commandments, but are like, “I really don’t know what they are. Do’s and don’ts?” No, what they were was teachings for a new community. God was trying to establish a new community then. And that’s exactly what Jesus is doing here. The best life is going to be found in community. Maybe I’m just a nerd, but it’s kind of cool to think about this. When Moses came down to give the Ten Commandments to the 12 tribes of Israel, it’s kind of funny that Jesus stepped down of this mountain and he give his new way, his new way for community to the 12 disciples, or the 12 apostles. And what Jesus is going to roll out here starting in verse 20 are the values of this community. What does this community value over everything else? And it’s upside-down from your normal way of life. It’s upside-down from normal communities that maybe you’ve fallen into over the years.And we’re going to read a large chunk all together and then kind of break it down from there. Take a look at this. Luke, chapter 6, starting in verse 20. It says:“Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, ‘God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man,’” because you follow me. “‘When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors,’” we’ve got people already celebrating, “‘treated the ancient prophets that same way.’”And now he’s going to give these blessings to these people that no one would have expected. And then he’s going to flip it. Take a look at this:“‘What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now. What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you. What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow. What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.’” Whew. So he lays out this big, kind of overarching value system for this community. And he kicks things off by saying blessed are you who are hated, mocked, ridiculed, poor, crying, starving… Some of you are like, “I don’t think that’s a community that I want to be a part of. I’m from that community. I just left that community. I’m trying to get away from that community.”But there is something here within this that God is actually saying, “No, no. This is something that you want to be a part of. It is actually better in this community for you to be poor, for you to have nothing at all, but for you to have me—that is worth more than anything else. It’s better for you to be hungry now, and to have me, than to be full. It’s better right now that you might be mourning, but no matter what is taken from you in this community that I’m going to offer you, you will always have a reason to celebrate, because you will always have me and I will never abandon you.”There’s this incredible value system that Jesus is laying out here. But maybe if you’re like me, when I read that I thought, “Would I think that that is true? If those things were true about me, would I feel blessed? Would I feel close to God? Would I feel like that’s what God’s community—that’s what he wants for me?”
I’ve experienced a lot of those. Maybe you have too. I’ve been poor. Not like funny, haha. I mean it was like tight. Money was tight. When you’re at the gas station and you’re like, “Seven dollars, sixty-three cents. We’re going to get through the week on this.” I’ve had a job working nights with a manager who told me to my face—it wasn’t like I accidently found this out. He told me this to my face, “You are not worth the eight dollars an hour that we’re paying you.” I didn’t feel blessed. I’ve mourned at funerals. I’ve mourned at a funeral for a baby. I didn’t feel blessed in that moment. But there is something here that God is saying, Jesus is saying, to have me in this moment is so much better than anything else that can be provided. It’s the core of your life. It’s the best life, the best seasons, it’s not found in circumstances, it’s going to be found in community and you can always have me. You can count on it. But I also think it is important to come to find what blessings really mean, because it’s kind of changed over the past few thousand years. Now, when we see blessings we think of like #blessed, right? Something good has come. I got a good gift. I got something that is mine. Now I feel better.And that’s part of it. But it was actually a really big conversation in the day of Jesus. It was a broader conversation of: what does a blessed life look like? Here’s one way to think about it. What does the ultimate human experience look like?You ever wondered that? They did and they talked about it all of the time. What would the best human experience look like? What does it look like for human flourishing to be possible?And many people, just like us today, would say it is not crying. It is not weeping. We would actually probably tend to fall to the other side—2,000 years later we would say, “What does the good life look like? Well, it looks like power. It looks like success. It looks like money. It looks like comfort. If we were to have those things or when we have those things, that’s whenever we would have a good life. That’s whenever we could experience what God has for us.”But Jesus says, “No, no, no. Actually what I’m going to give you is more valuable than all of the riches in the world. What I’m going to give you is more valuable to you and to your community than anything that you could attain, it’s only something that you can receive. And it will change the way you live.” That’s what values do.And I love the way one commentator put it. Michael Wilcox said that it’s a remarkable reversal of values that we see first. Look at this quote. He says, “In the life of God’s people, it will be seen first of all a remarkable reversal of values. The people of God will prize what the world calls pitiable, and suspect what the world thinks desirable.”I know, like I said, we think we’ve evolved as a people in the past 2,000 years. And in some ways, we have. But in other ways we’re falling into the same trap. What does the good life look like? What does it look like for human flourishing? What is the ultimate human experience? Maybe you wouldn’t define it the same way that they defined it. Maybe some of the characteristics for you would be what they laid out there:Rich
PraisedAnd some of these are easier to take at face value and some take a little bit more work. But here’s what it is. To be rich is more than just having money. It’s power. That’s wealth is. To have power. That’s why people who don’t have money, who are living in poverty—it’s not just that they don’t have money, but they are powerless, they don’t have a voice. But they thought, “Yeah, to be rich, that is to have power.”To be fat, that would be comfortable. You’ve got to think. You know a lot of us live paycheck to paycheck. They lived day by day. So they were working for their meal as they were going. For someone to be fat, was to be comfortable. It was to have more than they need. That was a sign. That’s what you need. That would be the blessed life.Laughing—it’s more than laughing. This is kind of like gloating. Like, “I won, you lost, it’s success. I have success in my life.” And then the final one, is praised, which is just recognition, “I am now received by the people around me; I’m seen as higher up, I have a title and a status that you don’t. I’m kind of doing things.” Right?And like I said, those are four markers, even found in our culture today. And I love the way Michael in his quote here says, “People of God will suspect what the world said is desirable,” and that’s important, right? Because it’s not that the followers of Jesus can’t associate with things like money or power or success. It’s just means that those are not the ultimate things. It’s not like, “Money, ew. Get it away from me. I can’t do anything with it.” Or “Power. I’m just too humble. I can’t have any power.” No, it’s this idea that it is suspect. It’s that whenever it comes to my attention, it’s not enough to stand alone. Like, if I’m presented with a job and it’s a huge increase in my salary, it’s not enough to make me move. I have some more questions. What does this mean for me? What does it mean for my family? What will it cost me? All money comes with a cost. It’s no longer the most important thing. It’s not what I value the most. So I suspect it before I ever accept it or before I will allow it to move in on me because my values are different. I’ve switched this thing upside-down and I no longer value what I used to value.That’s one definition of what a community is. It’s just a group of people with shared values. And Jesus said, “In this community, I’m telling you,” and he’s looking out he’s seeing how it’s played out and how badly it’s going as people live for these things. He says, “It’s not going to work. It will never work.” And we can try 2,000 years later with new tactics, it’s still not going to work. Because, just think about it on a base level if power is ultimate—and maybe we wouldn’t say this out loud, but if that’s what we’re aiming for, if that is what we want in life, power, then at the very nature of it, I will be okay making you feel powerless as long as it means that I have more power.If my life is about comfort, then I will have no problem making you feel uncomfortable if I get to be more comfortable. If money is my ultimate thing, I have no problem taking it from you as long as it gives me more money.If status or recognition is the thing that is ultimate to me, how I look, then I will allow myself to run your name through the mud if it makes me look better.And that’s what Jesus is saying here. All of these things are going to collapse in on themselves. There’s no world where you strive after money, power, success, or status that it is going to turn out. And start facing other people, there’s no way that it’s going to create a better community around you. It’s just not plausible. And you’ve felt this tension. Maybe you wanted to make a decision. You wanted to spend more time at home, but if success is ultimate it won’t allow you to not work until midnight. It won’t allow you to stay home on the weekends. You want to make a decision, but your values will not allow you to go there.And what I love here is that Jesus says that you can be free from that. What Jesus offers here is something very different. He introduces a new set of values that don’t play by the same rules. And the value system that he creates is not just for us or what it looks like for us to have the best life; it’s about what it looks like for all of humanity to have the best life? What does that kind of community look like?And in Matthew, where we get kind of a longer version of the teaching that we saw in Luke, Matthew adds this line to what Jesus said. He said: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” It’s so freeing because here’s what that means. I am no longer dying to receive those things. And it will no longer kill me if I lose them or if I never get them, because my life is about something that is so much bigger and so much greater than something that is temporary. No, no, no. I’m about the eternal. I’m about the things that this world can’t steal or can’t take, that I can’t lose because, money, that can all shift in a day. I’m talking about eternity. What does it profit a man to gain the whole but to lose his soul?So Jesus says… Yeah, come on. “… move your eyes and I want you to focus on something else.’ Imagine it. Imagine if that moved to the top of our value system. If we said, “No, no, no. From here on out I’m going to value, more than anything else:Seeking the Kingdom of God, and;Living righteously.Everything else is going to take a back seat. I can still care about those other things, but the biggest things to me are those two things. What does that look like—if that’s what we live for, if that’s what informs all of our decisions?Well, if I was seeking the Kingdom of God that starts with me. It starts with God’s Spirit within me. So I’m trying to transform myself to look more and more like Jesus. That means everywhere that I go: home, school, work, gas stations, Burger King wherever I end up going I’m bringing Jesus with me. I’m bringing the Kingdom of God, which means I’m bringing a life of living righteously. All that means is to live right. To live the way that God wants you to live. That when God designed this thing, he said, “This is what will be best.” And these are the things that he said, “Love me with everything you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself.” So what if everywhere I came in, I came in bringing love? I came in serving. Because, at a base level, I’m told that your needs are above my own. So I’m figuring out a way of how I can help you out.What if everywhere I went now, that my money wasn’t mine. That it’s a platform. It’s something I can steward.What if everywhere I went it wasn’t about my status or how you view me. Everything I have is now a platform for how I can tell you about who Jesus is and what his kingdom offers. It is foundationally different, and it will bring different results. Think about it. I love just being super practical, because I think that sometimes we like to get way up here and what does this mean up here. But let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it. Think about this. The things that Jesus says to worry about, to take a step and not to just fall into these traps of power, comfort, success, and recognition. He says whoa to those things. But look at this, look how different this is, if, what I’m aiming at is the Kingdom of God and living righteously weakness is not a problem anymore. I have no problem taking a lower position to give you power. I have no problem being seen as less if it means if you can have more. Comfort—my life isn’t built on comfort. I’m about sacrifice. So it’s no big deal now if I have to give a little bit. I’m okay. I’m actually not looking for the position, I’m not trying to protect myself, I want to know how I can sacrifice to better you and to bring glory to God. Success is not my thing anymore.I’m okay with grieving. I’m okay with losing. I’m okay with missing out on a paycheck. I’m okay with missing out on whatever status something is going to bring me. I can take that, and it won’t crush me. I’m okay with recognition or not getting recognition. I can be excluded. I don’t need the number one spot, because I know who I am. My identity is not found in some title that someone gave me that they can take away. My identity is found in who God says I am. I am a child of God. Nothing can steal that from me. So take whatever you want. I can’t be crushed.Here’s why that is important, why Jesus kicks off with this value system: Our values won’t allow us to violate what’s most valuable.Our values act quickly. Our values prioritize. And we might not always like our values, but in the moment they are true. In the moment we value this over that. We value the benefits over here over the consequences over there. Sometimes our values get out of whack. Sometimes you realize you value doing some things more than others. Sometimes we feel childish because we value certain things more than others.Maybe you’ve—I don’t know, I’ve never experienced this but maybe you’ve been in a fight with your wife and you valued (not good folks like you) maybe you valued being right more than having a healthy relationship, which meant that you valued silent treatment for the next 24 hours and awkward moves in the house where you don’t even make eye contact with this other person. You look back and you are like, “That was foolish. What was that?” It’s that you valued being right, you valued holding on to your stance more than you valued her or him. You valued that more than sacrificing. You valued that more that being able to grieve a little bit and say, “I’m going to take this loss. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have said what I said.” Like I said, I’m not speaking from personal experience here, but I thought that that could be helpful to anyone who is listening. What Jesus offers here is beautiful because he takes these things that we’ve had just built into us from an early age—that these are the most important things. That if we get them then we will have the best life. And they are worth everything, so spare no expense. And he takes them and, in a few lines, flips them on their head and says, “It’s not going to work.” And it’s just freeing to know that you’re worth so much more than anything money can tell you, anything a title can give you. It’s freeing. And that is something that Jesus offers, freedom from those things. But what I do want to make sure that everyone hears is that your free from that, but you are not excluded from the pain.You know, I catch this sometimes. People come into church and they think, “I just want a better life.” But you’ve got to be careful about what better life you’re looking for. If you’re coming to church thinking a better life is going to short cut you into getting those other things like, money, power, status, comfort—it’s not going to bring you those things. But what it will give you is something that can’t be taken, because as followers of Jesus we still experience pain, as followers of Jesus we still lose our jobs, our loved ones still get sick, they get cancer. We still face things like anxiety and depression, but they don’t crush us, because our lives are not built on these things, our lives are built on this solid foundation that nothing can steal—no storm can take. So no matter what comes, and it will come, I’m not breaking, I’m not folding and I can stand in tears, I can be on my knees grieving and you can take everything that you can, but you can’t take Jesus from me, and that’s the power of it. I’m telling you; I love the way Paul says it in 2 Corinthians. Paul is this guy who lived it. He took Jesus’ teaching seriously. He was a part of this community. And look at the way that he describes it. He says:“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.“Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live,” this is one of the coldest lines in the Bible, “in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.”You want to know the difference between what Jesus offers as the best life, the best community and what anything else will tell you? Jesus’ life is for you. What he offers is for you. Money will never be for you. Power will never be for you. It will destroy you from the inside out. Jesus says, “I’m trying to build you from the inside out with something that is so strong that you can face death in the face and say, “I’m going to keep on moving because you can’t take what I have.” This is an incredible thing that Jesus offers here—a solid foundation, a new value system that we can begin to live with. And I know that 2020 has been tough on a lot of us in a lot of different ways. And maybe as you’re sitting here today, your value system, as you begin to think through it, maybe it’s not what you thought it was, it’s not where you want it to be.What I want to do with this time left is to just to ask a few questions to help you navigate your value system and then one step if you’re ready to take it. The first question to kind of think through your value system is this:More than anything else—what do you long for?What do you long for? And you can write down the first thing that comes to your mind, but also place this against your life. Where does all of your time go? Where do all of your resources go? Where does all of your mind power go? What is the thing in the back of your mind, whether you vocalize it or not, you believe, “If I had this, my life would be better, my situation would be better, I would be more loved, I would be more accepted if I had that.” What do you prize?And the second thing is this:More than anything else—what do you fear?What is it that you fear? What is it that you’re afraid of losing? What is it that is stopping you, keeping you at a distance from Jesus and the life that he wants for you, because you’re afraid of losing it? Thinking, “I can’t do this because that would mean that I wouldn’t be seen like that.” What is it? What is it that you’re so afraid of losing? What is it that you are striving after? They are kind of two sides, but they bring control and they’re both crazy when you think about them.It reminds me of my dad. When I was growing up, he said, “There are two kinds of people you never want to fight. Someone who loves more than anything to hurt someone and someone who will do anything to not be hurt.” If we live our lives longing for the right things, are so afraid of losing them, we will be in such control that we will never be able to experience true community. We will never be able to experience the love and the life that God has for us right now, not one day in eternity. We’re talking right now.And I know these two questions, they open up a lot and you’re probably processing right now. And I’m telling you, from my space up here, from looking out, I can’t pinpoint what those are for you. I can’t hold you accountable to all of those things. But there are people who can. And we love to create these spaces where that can happen, and they are called groups. A group is just a community, a small group of people who get together and help do what Jesus has called us to do. To ask the questions: Are you seeking the Kingdom of God? Are you living righteously? Is there anything you need to let go of? Is there anything you need to embrace? They are people who are for you, because the best seasons of life are not found in the best circumstances, they are found in the best community.And if that’s you, if you’re looking for a group, if you’re up for it, we would love to have you check it out. And you can text the word grow to 87221. Someone from our team will follow up with you this week. We’d love to help you get into community.And I just want to close with this. It isn’t so easy in our culture—this achievement culture—to walk away from these things, because we know what it feels like to receive them: money, power, status, comfort. We know how other people view us when we have them. But there is this scary thing that happens. If we begin to attach those values, those things to our worth and our identity, they will crush us the moment that they are taken away. The moment that they decrease. The moment we can’t get them the way we want them. The moment that someone takes them from us. If our value and our identity and our worth is attached to them, down we go as well.What Jesus offers through this teaching and this upside-down kingdom, this community that is like nothing else… He says, “No, no, no. Embrace it. Embrace this life that you have, whether you have a lot or you have a little, in any moment and at all times seek first me and my kingdom. Don’t get caught up in the rat race.And I love that Jesus not only taught this, he modeled it. Think about the life of Jesus. There was no one who had more power, more success, more recognition, more comfort than God, himself. If he was all about power, he never would have left heaven. He came to earth, born as a baby—babies are a lot of things, powerful is not one of them. He became powerless. He had no reason to sacrifice, but he chose to leaving heaven for who? For you. For me. That Jesus would go to a cross and he would grieve, and not grieve anything for himself. Jesus, the Son of God, would come here and grieve for us. He would bear our sins. He would take our mistakes, our pain, and he would nail them to a cross and he would die for me and for you. That doesn’t happen unless he’s living this community he’s talking about. But Jesus didn’t just come to die. Jesus came to rise. Three days later Jesus would rise from the grave. Coming back. And what did he do this time? He was given the status. He lived the perfect life. He looked to God and he said, “No, no. Give the status to them. Give my perfect life to them. Let them be seen like you see me. The power, no, no. Give it to them. Give them my very Spirit so that they can not only want to do it, but they could be empowered to do it. Give it all to them.”This is the God who we came here to celebrate. This is why we gather together every single Sunday. This why we have the strongest community because we have Jesus, and that community is offered up to you every single day.We would love to be here for you. If that’s you. If you want to start following Jesus, you can text the word Jesus to 87221 and someone from our team will follow up with you this week.What I want to do right now is I just want to ask you to stand. I just want to ask you to stand because you see, without that invitation, without Jesus, left on our own, we will continue to build the same community, one marked by power, one marked by money, one that leads to self-destruction. But Jesus says, “That want that you have, that void that you’re trying to fill—only I can fill it. And here’s the good news, I want to. I want to be able to provide this kind of community where you’re not alone. You always have me, and you have the people around you.”I mean church: The best community—we call it church.The best community—we call it church. That’s why we’re here. We’re admitting we are weak, admitting we need God, admitting we need one another. And then we come in here and we say, “God, do what only you can do. God, bring us in.”What I just want to ask right now is just to go there. Take your imagination there. We’re going to talk about what that new community looks like. We’re going to celebrate that for second. Not the community we came from. Not the community, the lies we’ve all bought into. But what about this new community? What would that look like? If we left here and sought first the Kingdom of God and living righteously, what would that look like? What would our house look like? What would our work life look like? What would our neighborhood look like? What would our kids look like?If we would say, “No, this isn’t about me receiving something. This is about me living for you. Then I’m going to come and I’m going to bring peace with me. I’m going to come and I’m going to bring love with me. I’m going to serve you. I’m going to serve those around me.” What about this new community? That we’re able to grieve. That we’re not waiting for a perfect moment so that we can share with you who God is and what he has done for us. No. Even at our lowest moment, even in our tears, we can say everything may be taken, but let me tell you about Jesus who nobody can take from me. Let me tell you about Jesus who empowers me every single day.” That’s what we get to be a part of. That’s the best.What I want to do right now is just pray. And if you’re up for it, if you want to see it, pray with me. That we could see that community, what Jesus calls heaven on earth, his kingdom could come here. And you want to talk about revival stories, God coming in and moving, it starts with a small group of people saying, “Take me. Send me, God. I’ll go. I’ll be that no matter where I am, no matter what circumstances you put me in, I’m going to represent you.”So would you pray with me for this new community to be unleashed? Here in the city of Indy and everywhere you are watching from as well. Pray with me.God, we thank you for today. God, we thank you for your new community. God, we thank you that you could poke holes in this way of life that we think will bring us so much, but if we just took a second, God, we would realize that it’s only moments away from exploding, hurting us and the ones who we love.But, God, we believe that through your Spirit, we believe that through your new community, we believe valuing what you value, God, that could bring us into new life and new community and restored relationships and better marriages and we would become better fathers and better mothers as a result of your community. It’s not just us who benefit from it but it’s all of humanity.So, God, we pray that as we go that we’re not just a benefit to other churches, to other Christians, but, God, we would be wanted everywhere we go. We would be met with curiosity, that people would want to know about this community, and we could offer it to them. We can tell them about you, Jesus. God, let you be on our lips. Let you be the one who we celebrate. Let you be the one we showcase. Let you be the one we thank. God, we thank you for this moment in time to celebrate you. We love you. It is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. Amen.
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