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Summary: LIFESONG – Getting Rid of the Sour Notes, Staying on Key in a Song of Praise So what can we do to get rid of the sour notes? How can we stay on key in our song of praise? We are going to focus this morning on getting rid of those sour notes; to do so

LIFESONG – Getting Rid of the Sour Notes,

Staying on Key in a Song of Praise

Ephesians 4:1-16

Ephesians 4:1-16 (NIV)

[1] 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.

INTRODUCTION:

A three-year-old girl was listening intently to the children’s sermon one Sunday morning at her church. The minister explained that God wants everyone to get along and love each other. He said, “God wants us all to be one.” To which the little girl replied, “But I don’t want to be one. I want to be four!” (From Humor for Preaching and Teaching, Edward Rowell, ed., p. 42)

Some churches don’t want to be one either.

This morning we will continue taking a deeper look at our 2006 theme: LIFESONG: Getting Rid of the Sour Notes, Staying on Key in a Song of Praise. Nothing sounds worse than when the unity of the local church is broken. Division within the church is to “sing between the cracks,” to be off key in our song of praise.

Before we look at what it takes for us to stay on key, let’s take a moment and revisit the direction LIFESONG gives to us as a church for 2006. Remember we are to offer our lives to God as living sacrifices, God wants or day-to-day lives given to him as an act of worship; this is our LIFESONG of priest to God. Collectively we join our voices together as the church here at Praise Assembly of God to sing one song of praise to God; our combined LIFESONG points us the way we need to go.

L Limitless Possibilities (nothing is impossible for us),

I Involve Everyone (we all do our part),

F Freedom Encounter Ministry (help people overcome fear guilt and more),

E Economic Freedom (through obedience as we give our tithes and offerings),

S Study God’s Word Together (improve our home group ministry),

O Outreach Ministries (reach our community in new and innovative ways),

N New Early Morning Worship Service (being prepared for continued growth),

G Go to God for everything (maintain a foundation of prayer).

I’m excited about what God is going to do through us this year! I’ve had many people express a desire to be involved, to sing their part in a song of praise. I told you last week that ALL OF US ARE STRONGER THAN SOME OF US. We need each of us to be willing to do what God calls us to do, and I’m excited that so many have said they want to sing their part in our LIFESONG of praise, to be involved in the ministries of the church as a whole.

But if we are going to do great things for God, then we must be united as one body. Satan does not fear the big church; the devil fears a church that is united, the church that is one. When we are one God will answer our prayers and we will see great things happen that only God can do.

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