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Brian La Croix
#3 – We Get a New Family
November 4, 2007
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
We’ve been looking at different benefits or blessings of following Christ – living for Him, and not just giving Him lip-service.
One of the things that’s easy for preachers to do is to continually call for a commitment of some kind. And I’m going to be doing that today as well.
But I’d really like to spend most of the time talking about how awesome the family of God is and why it’s a blessing to be part of it.
We: I think all of us, whether it’s obvious to us or not, long to belong. We want to be part of something that is living and active, and that makes feel like we’re a vital part of that.
Families are the ideal place for all of that. That’s part of the way God designed families. Successful families are made up of people who are made to feel like they belong and that their contributions to the family, no matter how small, are appreciated and valuable.
When you put your faith in Christ, you become a member of the family of God. The heavenly Father becomes your Father. You’re adopted into His family as His child. And that’s no small thing, let me tell you.
John 1:12-13 –
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
You gain a heavenly Father, and you gain a heavenly brother as well.
Hebrews 2:11 –
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
And not only do you gain a heavenly Father and a heavenly Brother, you also gain a great and wonderful family comprised of millions and millions of people who have joined that family as well, and who want only the best for you as you become part of it as well.
This church is part of that awesome family, and it’s my desire that this part of the family becomes all it can be to love and support the family of God in our area.
God: The passage that I want to deal with today goes a bit more into what being part of the family of God is all about.
Ephesians 2:19-22 –
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
[Thanks to Jim Drake for the following outline points (SermonCentral.com)]
This passage gives us three things that each member of the family of God shares with one another:
1. The family shares a common foundation (vv. 19-20).
It says here in verses 19-20 that God’s household is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and even that foundation is built on the cornerstone of Christ.
Without Christ, the whole thing crumbles. It exists because of Christ and survives because of Him.
You don’t get into without Him.
God’s family is built on Christ – He is the one who sets everything in the right direction.
Unfortunately, sometimes some of the “bricks” seem to think they need to go in a different direction, and the wall can look kinda funny.
And if it goes too far, that whole portion of the building can collapse – because they’re no longer building on the foundation but on their own shaky strength.
So we need to be careful that everything we do in life is based and built on the foundation of Christ and His Word.
Then we can count on the blessings of God in and through His family.
The second thing we have in common is that…
2. The family shares a common design (vv. 21).
Verse 21 tells us that in Christ the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple to the Lord.
This doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by design.
All of us are different – we have different gifts, talents, different temperaments, different financial situations, different jobs, different clothing styles…
But for some reason God saw fit to take all that and make it work for His grand design to make us a temple of God.
You’re all familiar with Lego’s right? Have any of you ever been to Legoland at the Mall of America?
It’s a place where kids and adults who haven’t grown up can go and just put stuff together. You can’t take them home, but you can just play.
If a person was inclined to do so, they could spend hours and hours there, just making stuff.
They’ve got these huge Lego creations there. Dinosaurs, space ships, and all kinds of stuff. It’s really awesome, especially when you take the time to really look at what it took to make those things.
You know the amazing thing – it takes legos of all shapes, sizes, and colors. And you know what? When they’re put together just the right way, something cool comes out of it.
Think for a moment about what you could build with only one kind of Lego: basically you could build a really big brick – because that’s what Legos are – bricks.
“Hey check out my brick! Whaddya think of that?” “Wow. Just like mine – only smaller.”
But the family of God isn’t like a single Lego brick. It takes a whole lot more than that to make the kind of family that God has in mind.
And it’s not like He just said, “Well, this is all I’ve got to work with, so I’ll just make the best of it and hope it doesn’t fall apart.
He designed us this way. He designed us to fit perfectly into His plan as a family that will glorify Him, with all our differences in mind.
I know what you’re thinking: you mean my weirdo brother-in-law, too? Yup. If he’s a believer in Jesus. I know – it doesn’t seem possible, but with God, even that is possible, folks.
God has designed His family to be built up in a way that brings Him glory. One of the benefits of being part of that family is that we get to be part of that wonderful design.
A man was walking on the beach one afternoon kicking up the sand, discussed with
certain things. There on the beach was a bottle and as he walked he kicked the bottle into
the surf. POP Out of the bottle came a mysterious being... a Jeannie. “Because you
have freed me you are granted three wishes...but be advised that with each one your
mother-in-law will receive double what you ask for.”
Thinking seriously the man responded, “ I would like $10,000,000.”
“Granted and your mother-in-law will received twenty million.”
“Next wish”.....I would like 10 new cars, Corvettes, Ferrari, Vipers,
“Granted but you know your mother-in-law will receive 20 new cars.” Great.
“This is your last wish now so think about it seriously”.....
The man thought and thought and finally he responded, “I wish you would beat me half
Quote: "If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra
Text: Romans 10:1-4
Prop: a new US $20 bill (or adapt for local currency)
Summary: Some people try to get to heaven on their own by being a good person. The only righteousness that is real is what the Lord Jesus gives us.
Look at this new $20 bill (US currency). We pay for things with money. The color of money used to be green, but this has some red and blue in it now. The moneymakers put some things in this bill so you would know it was genuine. [Show each security feature.] One is this magnetic strip, another is the watermark of the person’s face, and another is this two-tone ink on the number twenty. It is green at this angle, and gold at another angle. If you present this as payment, anyone who receives it can tell it is real. Some people try to cheat and make fake money. The money they make on their own is called a counterfeit. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans.
[Read Romans 10:1-4]
Paul wanted his own people, the Israelites, to be saved from their sins. He said they were eager to please God but they did not understand what God wanted. The Israelites thought if they kept following all of God’s laws and commands that it would be enough to please God. They thought if they were good and did nice things that would be all that was necessary to get to heaven. That was the wrong kind of righteousness. It was a fake. The only righteousness that is real is what the Lord Jesus gives us. Paul made it clear that we need God’s righteousness. That means we must be willing to accept God’s goodness, not try to be good on our own.
How can we do that? We can accept what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus completed the work of the law there. That is the real, genuine thing that God accepts. Jesus died as a sacrifice for all the bad things we have done. As an old hymn says, Jesus paid it all! We gave God our sin, and God gave us forgiveness and His goodness. That does not seem like a fair trade, but God loves us so much he was willing to do that.
[Read John 3:16] Whosoever includes you. Whosoever includes me. God is so good to us. God wants us to be good, but He does not want us to try to get to heaven by trusting our own goodness to save us. He has provided the way: His Son Jesus.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for paying the price for my sins. Amen.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY? (Written by kids)
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-- Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.
-- Kristen, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don’t want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn’t she a treasure)
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-- Craig, age 9
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they’re rich.
-- Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing t...
Richard Dayringer, ThD
The Talmud lists 7 kinds of Pharisees.
1) SHECHEMITE, who kept the law for what he could profit thereby.
2) TUMBLING, who, to appear humble, always hung their heads down & thus often fell.
3)BLEEDING, who, to avoid seeing women, walked with closed eyes & were often wounded,
4) MORTAR, who wore a motar shaped cap covering his eyes to avoid seeing impurities or indecencies.
5) WHAT-AM-I-YET-TO-DO, who, not knowing the law, often asked “What is my duty?”
6) FEARFUL, who kept the law because of fear of future judgment.
7) LOVE, who obeyed the law because he loved the Lord with all his heart (UNGER’S BIBLE DICTIONARY (1957), Chicago: Moody, pp. 854, 855).
“Grandpa walked into the family room and found his little grandson, Jeffy, standing up in his playpen, crying.
“He looked so pitiful, standing there in his little baseball T-shirt and diaper. His face was red and tear-stained from crying. When Jeffy saw his grandpa, his face lit up in a way that smote the old man’s heart. He immediately reached up his chubby little hands in supplication.
“Out Papa, out!”
“What grandpa could resist such a plea? Not this one! He walked over to the playpen and reached down to lift his little buddy out of captivity and distress.
“Just then, however, Law and Order stepped into the room.
“Jeffy’s mother walked out of the kitchen with a dishtowel in her hand and spoke sternly. “No, Jeffy! You are being punished. You have to stay in bed! Leave him right there, Dad.”
“Oh, fine. Now what’s a grandpa to do? His grandson’s tears and reaching little hands tugged mightily at his heart- but he didn’t want to interfere with a mother’s discipline either.
“He couldn’t stand staying in the same room with the boy, reading his newspaper and pretending to be aloof. Nor could he turn around and walk out the door without feeling like a ...
“BUY ME OUT”
A very successful businessman had a meeting with his new son-in-law.
"I love my daughter, and now I welcome you into the family," he said. "To show you how much we care for you, I’m making you a 50-50 partner in my business. All you have to do is go to the factory every day and learn the operations."
The son-in-law interrupted, "I hate factories. I can’t stand the noise."
"I see," replied the father-in-law. "Well then, you’ll work in the office and take charge of some of the operations."
"I hate office work," said the son-on-law. "I can’t stand being stuck behind a desk all day."
"Wait a minute," said the father-in-law. "I just made you half-owner of a moneymaking organization, but you don’t like f...