Summary: 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands & Health, all essential ingredients in church today, EPH 4:1-16 show us how.
CHURCH OF 4-H
(All my sermons use illustrations from sermoncentral.com and scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
As we recently had our county fair, I remembered my children being a part of the 4-H and the work they did to show their animals, and the projects they were going to do, but never seemed to get around to. I researched the 4-H and found that it was an organization designed to show young life skills through projects, activities and events that could help them become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society. The 4-H started back in 1914 and the 4H’s stand for HEAD, HEART, HANDS, & HEALTH. Reflecting on this great organization made me think about the church and the parallel between them. We have a HEAD in the church it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, We have a HEART that is the people themselves, we have HANDS, those who serve in the capacities needed to keep the church a productive and contributing force in society, and the church needs HEALTH in order to stay this way.
There is a passage of scripture contained in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that really applies to the 4-H’s of the church, HEAD. HEART. HANDS & HEALTH, and this morning I would ask that you turn with me to this passage. It is found in Ephesians 4, verses 1-16. I think Paul is attempting to unite the Ephesian church here and the words he uses are very helpful to our church as well. This is a passage, actually a chapter that every member of God’s church should read, this morning we will read verses 1-16.
Eph 4:1-16 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, Paul tells us that right there in verse 15. He is the One who makes the Body possible. I have seen many a living body missing a part, but never a LIVING body missing a head. It is through the saving grace provided by Jesus that we become a part of the body, that alone makes us holy and blameless in the sight of God. EPH 1:4 tells us that this was God’s plan from the start to make us Holy in His sight through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Jesus is the HEAD, everything must grow in Him, everything we do, everything we say reflects on Him, we either bring Him glory through our actions or we bring him shame.
Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist Leaders, George Gallup said, “We find VERY little difference in ethical behavior between church-goers and those who are not active religiously . . . The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkably similar in both groups. Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christian, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on Mount, and fewer still could recall five out of the Ten commandments. Only two in ten said they were willing to suffer for their faith.