Reset - Part 3

Remember The Mission Of The Church Is To Bring You Closer To God.

Chuck Martin
Aug 15, 2021    41m
Have you found yourself questioning whether attending church is really important? This message serves to remind us of the mission of the church as God intended is to be both a local fellowship and a family of Christ-followers so you are called to frequently attend your church and spend time with your church family. Video recorded at Frisco, Texas.

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All right, good morning. Man, it's great to see you this morning. Great to be together. And those who are joining us online, welcome. Glad to have you with us as well. We're in a message series I'm calling 'Reset'. In many ways, that's kind of what a lot of us find ourselves doing these days. Whether that's taking the kids back to school and the whole the whole re-setting of the school year, or whether it's in your work. I know many folks in our church are kind of going back into the office, some choosing to work at home and the flexibility of that. And obviously, as a as a country, as a culture, we're all kind of tentatively kind of moving into a reset, coming through this pandemic. And having said that, I'm not by any way saying that that is certainly over. But if you're like me these days, you feel like you're really wanting a reset, right? Can anybody agree, I really, really, really, *really* want to kind of be on the other side of this? Anybody? I'm the only one? Anybody really, really tired of this?

OK, just thought we might have that in common. And so what we're doing these days, we're saying, all right, so what are we learning? What would God have us do moving forward? When we started this message series, kind of an evaluation of what are we taking in. What, you know, in what are we rooted? What information are we--how are we feeding our souls? We looked at Psalm chapter one and saw a beautiful picture of what it means to flourish spiritually and what's required in order for that to happen. And so what we're doing in this series is kind of looking at some of the elements of reset today. We're going to talk about what does it mean to reset in our commitment and our involvement in the local church. And it's timely, because I've noticed a lot of folks kind of coming back tentatively. Right? And we're glad that you're back in person. I know we still have some that are in and out online. We're glad to have you as well. But today we're going to see what does it mean that reset is the church. And in order to do that, it's always best to kind of define your terms. And so the word reset, literally. I love the way Webster's defines it. It says to 'move something to an original or a correct position'. OK, today we're going to see as we do a reset of the church, we're going to look back to, 'what is the church'? What did God design the church to be? What did God have in mind when he created this thing called the church? And so I want to begin with just a couple of questions I think folks are asking these days.

First question, is this church optional right in this digital age? Do I really need to be involved with a group of people? I mean, that involves, like, people, right? Do I need to really be in community together with people? The second one is, can a person have a healthy relationship with God and live out his purpose for their life apart from the local church? And just--spoiler alert, I'm going to say no, OK, but not *just* say no. I want us to discover what scripture says and what Jesus had in mind when he created this beautiful thing. Call the church, let's pray together. Father, I pray that you instruct us in these moments. Lord, I pray that your Holy Spirit would have freedom in this place, whether here physically or also online, to do your work in our hearts today. God, I pray that you would speak. Let me get out of the way so that it is your word and your message that we hear and we apply today. And I pray that in Jesus name. Amen. To kind of answer the question, 'is church optional?', we kind of have to begin kind of go back to the fact what is the church? And to answer that question, the first thing I point out is basically the church is Jesus' idea, not ours.

Let me just remind you of what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 16, when Jesus took his disciples aside and he was trying to let them in on basic of this concept of what the church would be in verse 13, it says, Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, and he asked his disciples, 'who do people say the son of man is?' In other words, what's the word on the street about my identity? They replied. 'Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. In other words, a lot of people today, even when they talk about, 'what does it mean to be a Christian?' Jesus is a good man. He's a prophet. He's someone to follow. But notice he asked this very personal and very pointed of his disciples this question that is foundational. We all have to answer, *who is Jesus?* Who do you believe Jesus to be? And so he said, What about you? He asked, who do you say I am? Notice Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the son of the living God. Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my father who is in heaven. In other words, he saying, that's absolutely right. And the church is built on the foundational truth of the identity of Christ.

We're going to see that it is birthed out of a movement of God. People responding to the person, the message, and the power of the good news of the gospel. But notice Jesus goes on. I love verse 18. Notice what he says. And I tell you, Peter, and on this rock, on this truth, this foundational truth of my identity, I will build my church and the gates of Hades--or the gates of hell in some translations say--will not overcome it. I will build my church. Whose church is it? Jesus'. OK, that was an all play. Let's try that again. Whose church is it? Jesus' Church. All right. So it's his idea. Second thing that I just want to remind us is, you don't simply attend church, if you know Christ, you are the church. Noticed when he [Jesus] asked him [Peter], he said, who do you say I am? And when Simon Peter said, you're the Christ, he says, great, that's true. And that is the foundation on which I'll be on my church. So if you can affirmatively say, "You're the Christ, the son of the living God, you're my savior.", then congratulations. You're part of the church, OK? You don't attend church. You are the church. I remember growing up in Alabama attending church with my grandparents. And my grandparents live in little town called Sylacauga, Alabama. Have any of you ever been to Sylacauga, Alabama? It's a lovely spot, really.

It's a really nice little town in Alabama. Well, the First Baptist Church of Sylacauga had a sign that even as an eight year old, I remember going, 'I have to think about this'. And the sign said 'this is where the First Baptist Church of Sylacauga gathers to worship. It is only a building, it's not the church. We are the church.' And I remember going, 'we are the church...huh.' And I had to pause, had to think about that. Sometimes it's stated a little simpler, like 'church meets here'. Right? 7901 Main Street, Frisco, Texas, 75034 is the physical location where we gather. It is not the church. And if there's anything that has become clear in the last 18 months, it's that reality. Because, you know, there was a season and there was a time we did not meet at 7901 Main Street, Frisco, Texas, 75034. We met online. It was the weirdest season in my life, right? To attend Zoom...with other believers, right? In little boxes. And to attend church by watching my TV, OK, don't recommend it. Sorry, I'm glad you're watching today. I don't recommend it unless it's your best--your only option. OK, I shouldn't say so. Let me remind you of this shirt. I noticed the shirt says, 'don't just go to church, be the church'.

So you don't just attend church. You are the church. Third thing I'd share is the church and scripture refers to a local fellowship or a family of believers. Really, there are two meanings of ekklesia, which is the word for church, 'ek' which is a word which means 'out of' and and klesia is from kaleo. It means to be called out of the world into a relationship with Christ. And so the word church, ekklesia, appears mostly referring to a local fellowship. Let me give you a few examples of that. Look at First Corinthians, chapter one, verse two for a moment, notice what it says, 'to the Church of God in Corinth'. Now, it's a local place that is a local fellowship, that is a local body. 'To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be as holy people together with all those everywhere'. That would be all believers who call in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours, that verse tells us really two meanings of church: 'All believers', latter part, first part, 'those in Corinth' who are believers. Second example is First Thessalonians, chapter one, verse one. Notice how Paul often began many of his writings. He says Paul, Silas and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grace and peace to you. He's writing to a local group of believers. There are some implications to that. The implications are pretty profound if the church most often refers to the local body of believers.

Then the question has to be, 'am I part of a local body of believers?' If most of the New Testament was written to those who are part of a local church, we have to ask that question now. Paul referred to the local church in one of my favorite terms. He referred to the church most often as a family, as a church family. And one of the things about growing up in the Southeast is that idea of church family was something I know I heard a lot of growing up. Matter of fact, I guess it's a polite way to ask folks if they belong to a church or a member of a church growing up in Alabama was to do it this way. Have you found a church family yet? OK, that's what we'd ask. And I remember thinking about that term 'church family'. That's kind of an unusual way to refer to the church. Now we all get family. We're all part of a biological family. Right. And you don't choose your biological family. How many of you say? *Absolutely*. Have you seen my family? And we probably all have family members that when we invite someone from outside to come to a family gathering, we have to explain or kind of 'OK, just so you'll know...'. If you don't have that, then YOU'RE probably that person, OK, just kind of let YOU know. So in some ways, we are spiritually born into this thing called the church, but there's a dynamic about identifying with a church family that is something we choose to do, OK? We *choose* to be part of a local church family.

I love what first Timothy, chapter 3, verses 14 & 15, the new century translations say, related to that. Paul writes and he says, 'Although I hope I can come to you soon, I'm writing these things to you now, even if I'm delayed, you will know how to live in the family of God.' That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth. Paul loved that word 'family'...'oikos' is translated 'household', but common vernacular would be family--extended family. The church is an extended family and there are those in the extended family that are much different than you are, much different backgrounds. There are those that you would not choose to be part of your family. But guess what? Jesus chose them. I. And one of the beautiful things about maturing in your faith is learning to appreciate and affirm and grow together with a diverse group of Christ followers from all different walks of life. OK. And we see a picture, a snapshot, of what that can look like in the early church. And here's where we're going to camp out this morning. If you have your Bibles, turn to Acts, chapter two.

We're going to begin in verse 42. We're going to read down through verse 47. It's a beautiful snapshot of the early church. Notice what it says--I love the way it's stated in the new living translation. I'll be reading from that this morning. Verse 42, 'All the believers.(That's who made up this group.) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship. There's a definite article in the Greek, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, including the Lord's Supper and Prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. In other words, God was at work changing and transforming lives. Verse 44, 'and all the believers met together in one place that would be a large gathering and shared everything that they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. In other words, they met physical needs. 46, 'they worshipped together at the temple each day. They met in homes for the Lord's Supper and shared their meals with great joy and generosity'. Then it concludes, 'all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship'. You might circle that word 'fellowship' it's a key word. Added to their fellowship, those who were being saved. What I love about this passage is it gives us kind of a window into this dynamic that when Jesus said I'm going to build my church, he does that.

It begins in Acts, and the fact that we are here today, 2000 years later, gives testimony to the veracity of that statement. Now, what I'd like to do is just point out, and I know don't be overwhelmed with this, but a half a dozen things--there's six--that I just want to mention briefly this morning from this passage. And my mom always said six is too many, OK, but they are six, OK, that I just want to touch on from Chapter 2 that describe what this church is to be. The first of those, you might have even missed. But it's *frequency*. Frequency is a is a key component to building a sense of family. I mean, it's hard to really feel like family if you're not together. Right. How many of you have launched kids to college recently? OK, I say this not to make you cry, OK? Because I know when you do that, there's a sense of...(I remember launching our youngest to Baylor and then coming back home. And suddenly we came in, and I sat down.) We're kind of like, "it's quiet around here." We came to realize it was also a lot *cleaner* around here. But it was also a lot lonelier around here, right? You see, the reality is this: God calls us to be part of a family, and to a large degree, we get to choose the family that we identify with, as it relates to the church.

But in order for that family to feel like family, to actually become family, in other words, to get to know others in an intimate, personal way. We have to spend time together. Kim and I did that this past week, we took off and went and met my son and his wife and our charming grandson in North Carolina. We did a vacation together. We spent a week together. We had a blast. We played cards. We laughed, we hiked, we ate together. We fixed meals together. We did life together. Now, you know, he's out, has a family of his own now. But it was a reminder of how rich it is to be in a family that loves each other. It was awesome. It was life giving, OK? And God desires that. We experience that. In the church, maybe not exactly the same as biological family, but that the church becomes this community that is not superficial but is in fact, *friends*, deep friends, deep committed relationships. That's the picture, and, I don't know if you caught it, but look at verse 46. It tells us something about the frequency with which they met. They worship together at the temple 'each day'. Now, I'm not saying we're going to meet each day for church, not advocating that, but notice the frequency is there, 'each day'. They met in homes for the Lord's Supper and shared meals with great joy and generosity. Doesn't tell us exactly how often they met in homes, in our rhythms of life.

We need to do that regularly, consistently. We believe weekly makes sense. We believe that meeting together in a small group or a LIFEGroup or Bible study--that's something--if there's not a pattern of ongoing communication, connection and being together, then it's really hard to have a sense of family. You know, pre-covid, one of the things church leaders, and as a church leader, we all wrestled with, was what we have observed in Gallup, and other organizations have measured, that is the frequency with which people gather in church has been on the decline the last 10 to 15 years, somewhat dramatically in the United States. There are some reasons for that. This is pre-covid matter of fact. Let me share four of them. Number one, the larger focus on kid's activities (scheduled on the weekend). I mean, it has changed. On a Sunday morning, you drive out to the soccer fields and, you know, they're quite full, right. I say that, not to say that soccer is an evil thing: it's just the reality is this, there are more things that are options for people in our culture. And oftentimes we allow our children to dictate based on their preferences, where we involve ourselves as parents and as families.

And I remember my mom used to tell me something as a kid that is very, very true and very, very important. She would say, "Eat your food. It may not be the best tonight. But if you don't eat, you're not going to grow." And it was kind of a no-brainer, but--her point was not every meal is excellent. And I would complain, "Well, I don't really like it...but (my mom did spaghetti) mom the spaghetti last time was better than the spaghetti this time", she'd say in a kind way, "would you please close your mouth and eat?" And what she was saying to me was, reminding me that, listen, unless you have a ongoing pattern of feeding, then you're not going to grow. Same thing is true spiritually. And so let me just remind you that all of these things can pull us away for that. There's more travel for pleasure (certainly that's been affected by covid) Right? Third is online options for teaching. I mean, one of my biggest concerns, and we saw it pre-covid, but certainly through covid, and today, is that oftentimes we will think, "Do I feel like getting up for church? Do I feel like going and being a part of a group today?" It is so much easier to simply turn on the TV. And I'll just watch and what that does is that makes us consumers. Like, 'now I'll watch my service...well, OK...that's not really what I was looking for...let me look over here." We have this Netflix view of Christianity. And in fact, if that's you today, we're glad you're watching, but you need to choose to belong somewhere.

Ok, so. Unless you're not able to do that because of health reasons, which we get in this season (and, please, I don't want to minimize that, but if you're at all able to get off the sofa, OK, that would be what I would say. All right?" And also, one of the reasons is no active engagement in a small group. (And yes, he said that.) No active engagement in a small group. And that was all pre-covid. Right? If you're not a part of a group, then it's hard to feel like the church is a family. OK, we need to move away from a consumer mindset. Second thing I'd share with you that's key is the gospel and a gospel focus is really at the heart of what it means to follow Christ. Look at verse 41 with me. I didn't read verse 41, but I'll put it on the screen. Notice, it says 'those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day'. That was the day of Pentecost. That was the day that the church was birth and about 3000 were added. But notice those who were added--those who had believed the message. What did Peter say? Peter shared the gospel, the message of Jesus Christ. And that is the heart of what the church is about. The church is about growing and our understanding of who Jesus is and the implications of that in our life.

Look at verse 42 with me, the very next verse. 'All the believers devoted themselves...' Notice what they devoted themselves to: the apostles teaching. Who are the apostles? The apostles were those who spent three years with Jesus. Why did they talk about? Just curious. What do you think they talked about? They talked about Jesus. So, it's not rocket science. So when they gathered together to hear the apostles teaching and instruction, the instruction in the teaching had a basic message, in that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised one, there's life in him. And here's how you live in that new reality. They taught about Jesus. You never outgrow the need to hear and read here to learn and reapply the good news of the gospel of Jesus in your life. You never outgrow that, OK? That is the foundation. The foundation is the apostles teaching of the Gospel. The good news that God loves us so much that he came, the person of Jesus, to take your place. To die on a cross and to rise again so that we can not only be forgiven and set right, but our perspective on life is changed. We have a hope for the future. We live differently because we're forgiven. We're pardoned, we're set free. We're filled with his spirit. And that motivates and changes us to live a different life. I love what Paul says in Romans Chapter 1, verse 16. Key summary statement, he says, 'I'm not ashamed of the good news, the gospel, (the gospel means good news), the good news of Jesus, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone, who does what? Who believes! Who responds to this truth in faith, who says, yes, I need Christ! First to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

What he's saying is the gospel. The message of Christ is what changes people. It's what changes our motivations. It's what changes our future. It's what enables us to love people we would not otherwise love, enables us to forgive that which we want to hold on to. It transforms our lives. This early church was a gospel-centered church. The third thing that we see is they had mutual concern for each other, notice, notice the interactive nature. Look at verse 42 again with me, notice what it says. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. Now, notice this next little word, 'and to fellowship' actually has the definite article in the Greek, which means the fellowship, that particular group. But that word fellowship is a word koinonia. You may have heard it before. Koinonia comes from a Greek word coin toss, which means common. And then it's going to go on and say, and they shared together. They met in each other's homes and they had this interactive sharing life. They held things in common, OK? And what that points to is the Church of Jesus Christ is to be a fellowship, we are to not simply live to ourselves, but we are to serve each other. The New Testament has a multitude of what we call the 'one another’s'. Love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another daily, forgive one another. Confess your sins to one another, I mean, on and on and on it goes, saying that the Christian life is not to be lived from a distance, at your whim, at your uninvolved status. The Christian life is to be lived in community. That's the picture. They were together. And there's no substitute for that. Fourth thing I'd mention is inclusion. Notice how they accepted and valued one another, despite their differences, they truly chose to focus on what they had in common in Christ. A lot of times we read that and we think, oh, this is probably a fairly homogeneous group. But, it really wasn't. Look at Acts Chapter 2, verse 5. I'll put it on the screen now. They were staying in Jerusalem, God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. That statement, 'God fearing Jews', that phrase, 'God fearing' means those who are biologically Jewish, but those who had also heard about Jehovah God and had chosen to follow the teachings of the Bible. OK, so they're not all ethnically Jewish, but notice they're from every nation under heaven. In other words, even the Jews--although it was primarily a Jewish--the church was birthed out of a Jewish community. Understand that it was birthed on the day of Pentecost when they all gathered in Jerusalem for this big feast. And so they came from various places.

Matter of fact, look at verse 9, and the following, tells us where they were from. "Parthians, Medes and Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya there near Cyrene (meaning North Africa); visitors from Rome. I mean, he goes on to say, (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongue!" Now, granted, the early church was primarily Jewish, but I want you to realize some differences in that group and among that group and let me just point out just a few. Four ways they were diverse. They were racially diverse; they were from different areas, including North Africa. They were culturally diverse, although they had many things in common. They were religiously diverse, especially those who grew up and converted to Judaism. They came from various backgrounds; they were economically diverse. And so when you see this early church, don't just think one homogeneous group, it was not one homogeneous group. You know, one of the things I love about being in the church is, in the church, you meet people and become friends with people you would not otherwise. Or, there's an opportunity for that in the church you grew up in, people you get to know and love, people from a variety of backgrounds. I had lunch the other day with a friend of mine that I've gotten to know here in the church that grew up in South America, moved here very different background than mine.

And certainly, he speaks several languages. I barely manage one! And I learned so much from him, and his perspective--on not only the church, but American Christianity--is refreshing and I grow from my relationship with him, and hopefully he grows from his relationship with me. But although we're very different in many ways, there is a bond. There is a common connection. This just amazing. One of the things that I found over the years that I've just loved, is having the opportunity to meet with and lead church leaders from different parts of the world. And Kim and I have had the privilege of doing that. We traveled to Asia and I remember meeting with a group of church leaders, and afterwards we shared a meal together, and we're laughing and they're talking about some of the challenges in their church. And Kim leaned over to me and she said, "This feels like family." Much different culture, much different environment. Yet there was a common bond. If you're a follower of Christ, you probably have experienced that; meeting another believer, and there's just something that you felt, there's an intangible connection that I feel with that person. It's called the Holy Spirit. It's called Christ in you and Christ in them, and that's what unites us. A fifth thing I'd mention that certainly is not explicitly stated here, but is certainly here is love.

The love is the defining characteristic of the church, and what we see in this passage is in love and action, because they gave. They met each other's needs. They did life together. Jesus put it this way in John, Chapter 13. Notice what it says by this, "Everyone will know that you're my disciples if you love one another," If you love one another. There was that dynamic that drew people in. I love Romans Chapter 12 verse 9. Notice what it says this is. "Don't just pretend to love others, really love them, hate what's wrong and hold tightly to what is good." You see, the church is going to give you an opportunity to love people you would not otherwise love. The church gives you an opportunity to grow with people that you would not otherwise grow with. People, that over time, become like a second family to you, OK? This past week I messaged back and forth with a friend I've not seen for a couple of years now. He was a part of our church in in Austin. Matter of fact, before he was a believer in Jesus, he attended a small group that Kim and I gathered. And because we were starting a small group and planting a church, we had the small group gatherings in our home. And so Brian would attend. And, over the course of his being there, we had the opportunity to share Christ with him and he came to faith in Jesus.

And then one of the things he did--he had not been a believer for too long. He said, "You know, Chuck, you and Kim are always hosting this thing, you're always giving. How about we have it in my house?" And I thought, great. Because we don't have to clean up. Right? So I said, 'great. That sounds good to me.' And so we moved our small group from our home to his home. Win! Score! Right? And one of the things that I loved about Brian, here is this guy, brand new believer. He had been a cop in Chicago, right? A guy that I would not necessarily rub shoulders with normally. As we would gather, and we would share life; when we would study the Bible together and we talk about what's going on with our kids, and we'd pray for each other, and we'd laugh and we'd eat a meal together, it was great. And one of the things Brian would do--as we would stay--especially since it wasn't in our house--Right? We're like, 'great!'. We would stay and laugh. And, you know, and after a while, Brian would get up and go, "Don't you people have a home to go to?" And so we know, OK, yeah, it's getting kind of late, we need to head on. But that was rich. That was community.

One of the blessings that came out of covid in a crazy way for me, is, that I had not been able to be part of a LIFEGroup or small group in this church. I'm you know, we typically have those at 9:30 and 11. And at 9:30 and 11, I'm usually pretty busy, right? It's the weirdest thing...It was that season when we could not meet together in person and, you know, I would preach to a camera and then on Sunday morning we're there sitting there on our sofa, it was the weirdest thing ever. But Kim said, hey, let's join LIFEGroup! Because Kim has joined a LIFEGroup. And I can tell you, what a blessing it was, too. In the craziness of the season, to see those little faces in the boxes and see us laugh and see us pray. See us begin. That even through a crazy medium called 'Zoom'. To keep having fellowship together. You know, something that was a lifeline. It was a lifeline for me. So let me ask you today. Are you part of a community? Are you part of a group? It's not instantaneous, and yes, there's investment and it requires frequency, it requires giving, it requires receiving. It requires studying together. But let me tell you, when you do that, you see God's word and how it applies through different lives. And you're enriched by that. You're encouraged by that. We need each other, whether it's a men's group or a women's group or a LIFEGroup. We were designed for community. Jesus birthed his church around the idea of community. But in order for that to be your experience, a final thing must be true. And that is, you have to commit. Not only to Christ, but also to his church. Look at Acts 2:42 again, great verse. I keep coming back to notice when it says 'all the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, talking about Jesus to the fellowship, sharing life together, the sharing in meals and prayer.' They were together. But notice that little word 'devoted'. You might want to circle it. The word devoted means to love. It means love--loyalty or enthusiasm for a person and activity or a call. Let me ask you, what is your enthusiasm today...for the person of Jesus? And the cause of Christ, and the community of the church? What are you devoted to? Growing up in the 70s, if I'm honest, I had a crush on Olivia Newton John. Anybody else? Any man? I mean, I thought she was gorgeous. And she wrote a song, you remember, that 'hopelessly devoted to you...' and...anybody? I the only one? I'm dating myself. I understand that. 'Hopelessly devoted' to you. Do you realize that the Lord Jesus Christ is 'hopelessly devoted' to you. Do you realize? He invites us to not only follow him, but to do so with devotion. And devotion means that you show up, devotion means that you give, devotion means that you say, 'hey, why don't we come over to my house this time?' Devotion means that your volunteer, devotion means that you invest. Devotion means that you risk. Devotion means that you stick with it.

So my question to you today, "What are you devoted to?" Are you devoted to his church? It's not going to be overnight that this church, or any church, becomes a family to you. But I'm here to tell you, it's more than possible. It's do-able. And there's a power to make it happen, and that power is his spirit. Let's pray together.

Father, I pray for each of us today. Lord, you know, where we stand with you, God, you know, with our devotions, our first and foremost to you or to our own agenda. God for some here today, the honest truth is they're devoted to themselves. And God that shows itself in a lot of different ways. God, some of us, this morning, need to be honest and say, God forgive me for being more devoted to my comfort. More devoted to myself, than I am to you. God, I pray in this fellowship Lord, we would grow in understanding and appreciation of each other. That God, we would grow in unity around the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. That God, we would call each other to follow you, God, that we would be known as a people of genuine relationships. Of deeper than superficial commitments. God grow us as we follow Jesus and we try to do it as imperfectly as we will, together. We pray that in Jesus name, Amen.

Recorded in Frisco, Texas.
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Frisco First Baptist Church
7901 Main Street
Frisco, Texas 75034