Summary: A life giving church has members who live their lives by doing the will of God. A life giving church dwells and lives in the Spirit. A life giving church is full of people who are committed to Jesus Christ.
The Life Giving Church
Thesis: A life giving church has members who live their lives by doing the will of God. A life giving church dwells and lives in the Spirit. A life giving church is full of people who are committed to Jesus Christ.
Opening illustration: Dead Poets Society
Time 14:00-18:22 Mr. Keating gathers his English class in the hallway of the school, telling them to look closely at the pictures of the alumni on the wall: all photos of once invincible, hopeful students, now dead. Mr. Keating asks the students what they plan to do with the rest of their lives. He challenges them to seize the day (carpe diem), to live every moment to its fullest, and make their lives extraordinary.
Mr. Keating in our clip is challenging his students to seize the day and to do something that will leave an eternal legacy forever. He is an unorthodox style teacher which eventually ends up in him losing his job but he does radically change the lives of his students. My hearts desire here today is to do the same thing with all of you. I have a vision of New Life Community Church becoming a life giving church. A church that is so dynamic so God centered and God empowered that it impacts peoples lives in an extraordinary way. I desire to see this church be so spirit led that no one will ever want to leave it. We have had many people come through those doors and say to me “You have a nice church!” But then we never see them again. I have had people attend church here for a year and then move on some were else. I have observed others come every once in a while to church but I have never seen them impacted by the Gospel. I have seen people say your sermon was good but then I never see a changed or transformed lifestyle. I had one person tell me once that they were leaving New Life so that they could go find the perfect church. I thought to myself man I want to find the perfect church so I can pastor it!
Have you ever dreamed of finding the perfect church? I have! I have daydreamed about being the pastor of this perfect church. I imagined what it would look like! I have to admit I smile when I think about it. I have to admit I get really excited picturing what it is doing. I daydream and think man I am missing it! Have you ever dreamed of this kind of place? Have you ever wondered were it is? Some people today are in search of the perfect Holy church, they are looking for a church that is alive. They are looking for a church that is life giving, one that breathes the breath of God, one that radiates the beauty and the presence of the Lord.
There are Christians and non-Christians who are looking for a church that they can be apart of that is alive. They want to find this church-I want to find this church! - and – we – yes- me -- want to discover this little bit of Heaven on earth. Why? So I then can run to this place and become a part of it! Why? So I can leave an eternal legacy and make a life changing impact on others lives. Why? So I can please God. I understand that my job is to do the will of the Father and to do everything that honors and praises his name through my life.
The question could be asked, ‘What is a Christian’s real job?” I want to answer that question with 1 Peter chapter 4:1-11 today. I really believe that the real job of a Christian is not their vocation but their commitment and involvement in the work of the Kingdom of God. I honestly believe that New Life Community Church can become the Life Giving Church. New Life can become the kind of church that people are dreaming of and looking for. But here is the key to this dream becoming a reality- it will not happen without you. Yes, it takes you!
Text: 1 Peter 4:1-11
1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.