Summary: Jesus loves the church and wants it to be a place of fun, family and faith.
JESUS LOVES THE CHURCH… AND SO DO I!
INTRO TO SPEAKER: Discuss Friday night’s car accident that Caleb, Phil, Martin & Logan were in on the way to football. Church support – prayers, offers of vehicles, etc.
OPENING TEXT: “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Eph. 5:25b, NKJV).
INTRO TO TOPIC: Jesus loves the church… and so do I.
For as long as I have been a Christian, I have been faithfully involved in a local church.
Solid Rock, Victory Christian Centre, Bible Fellowship and Beausejour Community Church.
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus loves the church and wants it to be a place of fun, family and faith.
KEY TEXT: The first day of the church:
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them… praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:41,47).
I. THE CHURCH IS FUN:
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” (v. 46).
• The early church had fun together (gladness) and liked to hang out (house to house).
• Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11).
JOY: 650 times in the Bible (joy, rejoice, rejoicing, glad, gladness, delight)
Psalm 5:11 - God wants us to rejoice, shout for joy, and be joyful in Him!
Job 8:21 (5x!) - He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Isaiah 12:3 - the prophet says to draw out water from the wells of salvation with joy
Acts 13:52 - the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit
TRANSITION: Here are some examples where we have experienced fun in church…
LIZA: Stories of growing up in churches where children’s ministry & youth group were a priority. It was fun and her parents would drive her to church. She even got involved in ministry as young person. This is one of the reasons she does children’s ministry. Wants church to be fun for kids. Talk about couple who didn’t want to take their youth to church even though they wanted to go, and now they don’t want anything to do with church or God – they are messed up.
II. THE CHURCH IS A FAMILY:
“And they continued steadfastly in… fellowship… 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (v.42, 44-45).
• Last week we talked about how one of our two main purposes is loving people.
TEXT: “Jesus is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ… Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Eph. 4:11-12,16, NLT).
• The church is a family – it’s all about relationships.
• The church becomes healthy, growing and full of love when everyone does their part.
• We need to be intentional about building deep and meaningful relationships with others.
TRANSITION: Here are some examples of people who have mentored us…
LIZA: Most influential people in her life (mentors) were her youth pastors and Pastor Steve and Becky. Talk about home groups and the fellowship and support we had there.
III. THE CHURCH IS FAITH:
“42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” (v.42-43).
• Last week we talked about how our highest calling in life is to love God.
• It’s true that there are other places in the world where you can have fun.
• It’s also true that there are other places where you can have community.
• But the church is the one place where you can get to know God in a personal way.
• Sundays: You can encounter God in worship, and learn about Him through the preaching.
• Small groups: From home groups to 12 step recovery groups, a place to grow.
CHALLENGE: The church is a place of fun, family and faith.
Make a commitment to get involved in deep and meaningful relationships with God and others!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/