Summary: But do we really understand what it means when we say that God is a God of grace
A Grace-Needing World
Date: May 20,2012
If you have seen paintings depicting people/late 17th cen.
• You may remember that they seemed to always have a pale, chalky complexion.
• When you look at pics/Queen Elizabeth you may wonder?
• What did Sir Walter Raliegh see in her?
• She was sooooooo pale.
And movies/portraying events of this time period showed people who looked anemic and sickly.
• They sounded that way too.
• Almost anyone who was anyone carried a handkerchief in their hands at all times.
• Some men had them attached to the cuffs of their shirt sleeves.
• People coughed into these hankies all the time.
• Have you ever questioned why people looked and acted this way in the 1600's.
Well, in the 17th Cen/tuberculosis/plagued the monarchy.
• The upper class..the elite of society.
• This lung ailment caused them to cough all the time.
• It also made their skin have an anemic, chalky look.
Well, it became the opinion of the people of that day that this disease only affected the rich....the intelligent, sophisticated upper class.
• Since everyone wanted everyone else to think they were rich and intelligent,
• They covered their healthy pink- skinned faces with powder and carried hankies and coughed.
• Tuberculosis actually started a fashion trend in the 1600's which proves that some pretty odd things can motivate people to behave in peculiar ways!
And you know, some very odd things can motivate or drive Churches to behave in peculiar ways..
A. Some churches are driven by tradition.
The goal of a tradition-driven church is to simply perpetuate the past.
• Bound together/rules/regulations/rituals.
• Tradition-driven churches are not at all flexible...in fact
• They are resistant to change.
B. Other churches are motivated or driven by personality
There is one central figure...usually the pastor...who is the sole source of motivation and everything revolves around his will.
• This leadership style is very dictatorial.
• Every decision is made by him.
• He approves every expenditure.
C. And then, some churches do what they do because they are driven by finances.
The question/forefront/everyone's mind/finance-driven church is, How much will it cost?
Now good stewardship/cash flow are essential for a healthy church but finances must never be the controlling issue.
The bottom line in any church should not be, HOW MUCH DID WE SAVE? but WHO WAS SAVED?'
D. Several other odd things have been known to drive churches:
• Programs...buildings...events...and, while they are good things, they are not good things to motivate a church.
In I Corinthians 3:13-14 God used the Apostle Paul to teach us that He will judge whatever we do on the basis of whether it will last.
Listen to His words, Fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
• So the thing that motivates a local church
• the thing that drives the body of Christ
• must be an eternal thing
• Not something as temporary as finances, or buildings, or traditions, or personalities.
• And, understanding a church's motivation or purpose is very important.
• People need to know why they do what they do.
Proverbs 29:18 says, Where there is no vision....or purpose....the people perish…where there is no vision, People leave for another church.
For a long time now I have been praying that God would help us to understand what uniquely motivates us here at Shell Point.
• Your church council has joined me in this prayer.
• What should drive us to do what we do and be who we are in this community?
And after much prayer I believe to hear God saying that the thing that should motivate and drive us is GRACE.
• I believe that: God wants SPBC to be a GRACE-driven church.....for a grace-needing world.
• Have you taken a look/dynamic shift in this church lately?
• Can you feel the grace of God among us?
• In the people/ministries
Shell Point is a Grace driven church…..nothing elaborate/extravagant/just grace.
Remember this when there in this mission field God has given us,
• When there are committee’s to be filled.
• When there are volunteers needed to help the less fortunate
• When the congregation seeks your fellowship/sun/wed night
• When there are above/beyond offerings.
Let us strive to behave in such a way…..
That as we go about our ministry/in/outside/these walls we will leave no doubt that Shell Point does what it does because of grace.
But you know, it is not enough for us to know what drives us.
• We must also know how it drives us.
• Here at Shell Point, we must come to a mature understanding of this thing called GRACE.