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Summary: But do we really understand what it means when we say that God is a God of grace

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A Grace-Needing World

Date: May 20,2012

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:9, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 1 Peter 4:10

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.

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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.


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