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Summary: Sermon to motivate congregation in doing their part in church growth.

Introduction:

• For many years the Ocean View community has not had a good reputation.

• Many in our city would not consider Ocean View a Great place to live.

• When I was a young sailor, it had a reputation of being the place where people picked up prostitutes and they remain to this day.

• There is rampant drug abuse and drug dealers are commonplace.

• There is an overwhelming concentration of broken and hurting people and families in this area.

• In order to make Ocean View into a “Greater Community” it is going to take “Greater Churches” impacting the community.

• In order to have “Greater Churches” they need to be full of Greater Christians.

• To have Greater Christians in Greater Churches we will need a Greater Grace from God.

James 4:6

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."

This Greater Grace empowers us to engage in three ongoing actions that will build a Greater Church:

1. Step down. (v. 7a) [Use steps as a prop.]

a. From your position as CEO of your life.

b. You will never be effective as a Christian until you settle the Lordship issue.

[A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.

Martin Luther

Salvation is free, ... but discipleship will cost you your life.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer]

c. It’s not all about you; it’s all about Him.

d. Make a conscious decision daily to submit your life to the rule of Jesus Christ.

Rom 12:1

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

2. Step up. (v. 7b) [Use sword or some kind of weapon as a prop.]

a. To the frontlines and fight the devil.

2 Cor 10:3-4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

b. Refuse to be intimidated by his activity.

[The story is told of a wonderful, elderly, christian lady. She had very little money and lived in a rundown house, but she was always praising the Lord. Her only problem was with the old man who lived next door. He was always trying to prove to her that there was no God. One day, as the old man was walking by her house, he noticed the woman through an open window. She was kneeling down in prayer, so he crept over to the window to see if he could hear. She was praying, " Lord, you’ve always given me what I’ve needed." She prayed. "And now you know that I don’t have any money, and I’m completely out of groceries, and I won’t get another check for a week." She continued, "somehow, Lord, can you get me some groceries." The man had heard all he needed. He crept away from the window and ran down to the grocery store. He bought milk, bread, and lunchmeat. He ran back to the woman’s house carrying the groceries. He set the bag down on by her door, rang the doorbell, and hid beside of the house. You can

imagine how the woman reacted to seeing the bag of groceries. She threw her hands over head and began praising the Lord. "Thank you Jesus," she shouted. "I was without food and you provided the groceries." About that time the old man jumped out and said, "I’ve got you now." She was too busy shouting thank yous to Jesus to pay any attention. "I told you there was no God," the old man said, " it wasn’t Jesus who gave you those groceries it was me." "Oh no," the woman said. "Jesus got me these goroceries and made the devil pay for them." She had the right attitude for God.] This woman was obviously not intimidated by the devil’s activity.

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