A City to Serve & A Kingdom to Release

Description

During our two-year checkpoint for Missional Move: Hope For The City, we reflect on what God has been doing in and through the people of Valley Creek.

Alright. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. Come on.

Wherever you are today, Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, The Venue or engaging online somewhere in the world, come on, let’s just welcome each other in. Come on. Come on. I’m so glad that you are here with us. And if you’ve ever wondered why do we do that? It’s because we are one church that meets at multiple campuses that carries the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations.

We’re one church which means we have one heart, and one vision, and one set of values, and one of culture, we’re a family on mission. We believe we’re better together. And we meet at multiple campuses because we believe by putting different campuses in different cities, it extends our reach and allows us to reach more people with the hope of Jesus. And we say, we carry the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations because wherever you are, that’s where we are. Because Valley Creek is not a bunch of buildings, it’s a people that are moving forward together. And our vision is to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond. You say, what’s that? Well, a movement is when unique individuals come together and submit their gifts, and their passions, and their talents, and their resources to a common vision for an exponential return. It’s when individuals come together and give up their pride, their rights, their offenses, their preferences and they decide they would rather be unified together for an exponential impact.

Like God tells us one can put a thousand to flight, but two can put 10,000 to flight. And while the world wants to be the one that puts a thousand to flight and gets the glory, we would rather be the two that puts 10,000 to flight and allow God to get the glory. A movement of what? Of hope, not an emotion, not a feeling, not wishful thinking of Jesus. And we want to bring him into this city everywhere we go. And so two years ago this month, we kicked off Missional Move: Hope For The City. Now, if you’ve been here and you’ve been with us on the journey, you know what that looks like, but a whole lot of you who’ve joined somewhere in that two years. And I want to explain this to you all. A missional move is when we take a next step so somebody else can take theirs. That’s all it is.

A missional move is when we choose to move missionally for the sole purpose that someone else’s life might be able to be touched by the goodness and the grace of God. And what missional moves do for our church is they’re short-term rally points. They’re like a vision within the vision. They allow us to exponentially increase and advance over a defined period of time through sacrifice and service. And it kind of pulls us all together and we say, let’s go take this ground in Jesus’ name. And so two years ago, we felt like God was inviting us to start Missional Move: Hope For The City, and it was basically this, to go from four campuses to eight campuses. Do you remember that? That was a lot. We thought that God was inviting us to go from four campuses at the time, Flower Mound, Venue, Lewisville and Denton, and we felt like God was inviting us to maybe start a campus in Argyle, University, Gainesville and then the fourth one we weren’t sure, and we said we just believe that God’s going to show it to us somewhere along the way.

And we kind of drew a big circle around the region in North Texas and we said, what if we go from being a church for a city to a church for a region? And what if we just said, let’s make it hard for people to go to hell in this area. And what if we just say that we believe that every person that lives in this region deserves to have a campus or a harbor of hope within a twenty-minute drive of where they live. And what if we brought the hope of Jesus into every area of life in this region. So it’s this big vision, biggest vision we’ve ever had. And we felt like in a lot of ways that God was using the story or the parable of the talents to invite us to double down. Remember that story? Jesus is teaching about the kingdom. And he says that a master is going away for a while. And he takes three of his servants and he gives one guy five talents, one guy two talents and one guy one talent, a sum of money. And he says, go put this to work.

And what we learn in that moment is that everything the servants have have come from the master that they are servants and there’s an expectation that they will use their life to bring in increase and an advance to the master’s kingdom. And so the guy with five goes and used it and he turns it into ten, and the guy with two goes and uses it and he turns it into four. The guy with one is afraid and selfish. So he takes his and he buries it in the ground. And after a while, the master comes back and the guy with five has ten, he says, well done good and faithful servant. And then the guy with two comes forward and he’s turned it into four, well done good and faithful servant. Come and share in your master’s happiness. And the guy with one pulls his back out of the ground and says, I was afraid so I buried it. He says, you wicked and lazy servant. Take it away from him and give it to the guy with ten. And if you were here, I told you that story and we felt like God was inviting us to double down because we felt like we were the guy with two talents.

That when we started this journey about ten years ago, we didn’t have all that much, but we worked really hard, we gave it everything that we had. And we kind of grew into this four-campus reality just like that guy with the two talents that turned it into four. And what we forget in that story is after they celebrate that he took two and turned it into four, he’s now expected to take four and go turn it into eight. He’s expected to double down, to take everything that he’s gained and now risk it again for the good of others and the glory of God. And so we felt like God was inviting us to double down, to risk all we have for the good of others and the glory of God. Now, if you were here, we talked about how hard it is to risk something when you got something good. When you don’t have much, you can risk it all day long because you don’t care if you lose it. Now, when you got something good, it’s a whole lot harder to risk four than it is to risk two.

And the question for us was, were we willing to risk good church for the good of others and the glory of God. And so we felt like God was inviting us to go on this journey, to double down. And we told you, it’s a big investment. So we invited everybody last February or two Februaries ago to do a two-year commitment. We said it’s going to invest and it was an investment, not a cost because it brings a kingdom return, $20 million to do those four campuses. We were going to have to raise up 750 new serve team members and develop 400 new leaders along the way in order to acquire and build out the campuses and then have the disciples to actually run them and lead them and make sure they had the culture and the heart of the kingdom of God. And so this February is the end of that two-year cycle. And if you were here, you’ve been a part of that journey. If not, you’re just hearing all about this now. And so let me bring you an update of where we are, February, two years later, $30 million has been given.

Now, $30 million, 2,000 families made commitments, and more than 1,000 individual next-genners, kids in the piggy banks, and students in student ministry gave. Now, $30 million, 2,000 families made a commitment, 1,000 next-gen gave. Now, let me just tell you, this was during two years. Above and beyond what we were already doing and one of those two years was a global pandemic. Come on. That’s outstanding. Well done good and faithful servants. Good, defined by the goodness of God, and faithful because of what he has done in our lives. And so as we bring this part of the journey to conclusion, the commitment phase, let me show you then where we are. We have officially launched our Gainesville campus in these two years.

So it’s green. It’s not white anymore. It’s green. And so we have a debt-free building because we’re a debt-free church and that’s how we’re going to do it. And so Gainesville, listen up, if you wondered how did you come to be, that’s how you came to be. We are so proud of you and excited for you. You either were a part of the movement of hope launching or you’ve been touched by the movement of hope. And now it’s time for you to become a part of the movement of hope, not just consume but contribute, because you guys are making a huge difference in the city. You are reaching so many kids, so it’s time to raise your hand, tap in the game, say this is my church, this is my family. Valley Creek Gainesville is me. I’m here, I’m in, let’s move forward together because that’s how this thing works, okay? So Gainesville, one of the four, is that we’ve got land in Argyle that’s ready to go on the corner of 35 and 407. And when we have all of the resources and the disciples to make it happen, and the culture to be able to reproduce to go there, we will get going on that one.

University, we’re still looking for. We’re not sure yet. But what about that fourth one? We have no idea. And literally, you all laughed at me when I said the fourth one, we have no idea. And we had no idea. But God did. Because a year into this two-year journey, a global pandemic started. And all of our physical campuses had to shut down. And we had to turn everything into an online experience. And so over these last years, we’ve working through this online reality. And now as we’ve opened our physical campuses back up, we’ve reached so many people online all over the world that it was really obvious to us that God knew all along that the fourth campus was going to be the online campus.

So starting officially today, we have an online campus. And so if you’re online somewhere in the world, welcome home. Now, I know some of you are like, well, wait a second, haven’t we always been doing online? No, basically, pre-pandemic, we just streamed our stuff. We just put it out there on the internet, kind of like as just stuff. We just like streamed it out there and we didn’t build any community. We didn’t allow people to really be a part of the movement of hope, but now as we’ve gone through it, we figured this out. And we’ve got people all over the place in Austin, in British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, and Buffalo, and Ohio, and Tunisia, and Germany, and South Africa, and people who live one block from our physical campuses but can’t come to the physical buildings. And so we want to leverage technology to represent the gospel and build a spiritual family through the online tools and technology that are there. And so if you’re online and you’re just like, hey, I’m in my PJs and I just didn’t want to come to a physical building today in North Texas, this is not the campus for you.

This is for people who lives somewhere in the world or can’t make it or don’t feel comfortable coming to a physical campus. And if that’s you, I want you to fill out the form online today so we can start to get to know who you are and start building relationships with you because today is the official launch of the online campus. See those sonar pulses going all over and we thought it was city to region, God had something bigger. It was really city to global. And I hope for some of you, you can see the wisdom in not just making up a city two years ago. It would have been so much easier for me to just shove a dot somewhere on this map and say, that city. That’s not what God would say. So you always go with what God would say instead of what human wisdom and understanding would say because God had something bigger for us.

And so we were able to go — go to the next pictures — take our space and completely use resources to invest in all the technology that’s required to have an online command, control center where all of our digital teams will be, this will be a campus with a campus pastor and a staff broadcasting and creating community all over the world. So two, out of our four campuses were launched in a two-year window during a global pandemic.

That is this, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. When we started two years ago on this phase of the journey, we did not see it. But we held on to the goodness of God and we moved forward into the unknown. That’s faith. Faith is moving into the unknown, holding on to the goodness of God regardless of what you can see. We didn’t see it, but we knew God was good.

And we knew He was moving and we wanted to be a part of it. And so over these last two years, whether you’ve been a part of the journey or you’ve joined us somewhere in the journey, let me just kind of bring your attention to some good things, some things that we’ve experienced because the world is full of a lot of bad news over this last year. This is just good news, happy for your heart, in Jesus’ name. First thing is this, our vision expanded. Come on, over these two years, our vision expanded. We started and we just had a much smaller vision, help people take a next step, and we opened up our eyes, we lifted up our heads, and we thought about these harbors for lost, lonely and broken people. But it even has expanded beyond that to now, once you get reached in a harbor, it becomes a training center, a training center to make disciples equipped hope carriers and empower leaders to go into the places of life. Our vision expanded to hope carriers. We say it all the time, but before Missional Move started, we didn’t even use that word. We didn’t even know what it was. And God expanded our vision to be hope carriers, to take the hope of Jesus into all the areas of life.

We said it’s not just in the church where God wants His kingdom, it’s in all of the areas of life. And so we started to open up our eyes and have a different perspective to take all the good that God has given us and say we believe there’s more. That we could together saturate a region and make sure every person and area of life has multiple opportunities to experience the hope of Jesus.

The second thing is as we experienced the supernatural strength of the church. Come on, over these two years, if you’ve ever wondered if the church is supernatural, just look at the last year. Come on. We couldn’t even gather in our buildings for almost a year. You would think the church would have shut down. But while the world was raging, and while the world was afraid, and while the world was isolating and pulling back and retreating, the kingdom of God was just quietly advancing.

The world was raging, still raging. The kingdom of God is quietly advancing, still advancing. Underneath, doesn’t need a lot of pomp and circumstances, doesn’t need ribbon cutting. It just keeps moving forward in Jesus’ name. Come on, Matthew 16:18, Jesus says, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Come on, no pandemic, no COVID, no mask, no politics, no riots, no elections can stop the church.

World, chaos, raging. Kingdom, quietly advancing. And as we’ve gone through these last two years, I hope you see the importance of the church in your life and in society. I know we all think, oh, the church is irrelevant, religious thing. No. Look at this next verse. God’s household which is the church, we are God’s house of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.

Okay. Remove the pillar and foundation of truth out of our society, what do you have left? Chaos. The church is more important than maybe she’s ever been. And as we’ve gone through this last year in particular, I believe even more in what we’re doing. Because if the church isn’t going to be the pillar and foundation of truth, who’s going to tell people who they are, who God is, and what they were created to do? Who’s going to tell people that there’s hope? Who’s going to tell people that there is right and wrong, that there is absolute truth, that there is a heaven and a hell? And a God who loves them, who wants to rescue them from sin and brokenness and darkness? Is the people, not the buildings. We saw it, the spirit in you, in me united together even though the world wanted to rip us apart.

Come on, third thing is this, we pioneered. This whole thing started and we talked about pioneers and some of you laughed at me, you’re like, that’s just something you like, we don’t like it.

No, we pioneered. All the mountains and the pick axes, and all the things, all of it, it was pioneering. Why? Because you were created to pioneer. You were created to walk on water and move mountains and face giants in Jesus’ name. And we didn’t really believe that or know that two years ago. But we’ve moved some mountains. We’ve walked on some water. We faced some giants. And pioneering is hard. I’ll flat out tell you, this is the third missional move we’ve ever done. This is by far the hardest one. It doesn’t even come close to the other two. Why? Because this was fighting giants all season long. And giants change. When we first started on this journey, the giants were the giants of impossibility. Could we actually do this? The giants of greed. Do I really want to take what I’ve got and use it for other people? The giants of this is good enough, we got a good thing going, man, don’t mess it up.

But we beat those giants. But now, there’s a new set of giants. And these giants are like the giant of apathy, the giant of selfishness, the giant of comfort and convenience, the giant of offenses, and the giant of I’m going to have to build new relationships with new people. Yeah. But if we defeated the other giants, why don’t we think we can defeat these giants? When the Israelites took the Promised Land, they went city to city and every city had different giants. But the city that they defeated last time gave them the faith to believe that we can go ahead and defeat these giants, we can defeat these ones too. See, this whole thing is about being a spiritual pioneer, going into new spaces. And I would believe just because you’ve been a part of the church over these two years, you’ve taken some ground in your life. You may not know it, you may not think it, but you’ve moved forward. Why? Because we have a people have moved forward.

And when we move forward, if you’re a part of us, then you’ve moved forward even if you don’t realize it. And there’s a huge difference between being a spiritual pioneer and a spiritual nomad. Remember this from two years ago if you were here? We said, spiritual pioneers go on to the unknown for the good of others and the glory of God, spiritual nomads move around for the good of themselves? Okay. Pioneering sounds awesome until it gets hard. So let me just free some of you. It got hard in these two years to stay on mission, walk with God in the midst of all the chaos of the world, and some people didn’t make the journey. Some people didn’t make the journey. But you did, and you’re here. And so don’t allow what’s going on in their life to keep you from what God has in store for you. Listen, people I love didn’t make the journey, so I get it. And this is how the kingdom works.

John 6:66, Jesus says or it says, “From this time, many of Jesus’ disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” Every time “God moves, every time there’s a step, every time there’s new ground to take, there’s always a group of people that say, this is my stop. That’s okay. Just don’t let their offense or their choice or their issue keep you from what God has called you to do. I refuse to be a spiritual nomad and just go to wherever it’s easy and convenient. I don’t want to drink from the well that someone else has dug, I want to be a part of digging a well for someone else who’s thirsty so they can have a drink no matter how hard it gets. Should I stay on this point longer? Fight some giants. And just because someone else got took out by a giant, you don’t need to now sit there.

You need to keep moving because God’s called you to keep moving. We can love them and bless them, but I can’t stop because I’m following Jesus.

Fourth thing, we brought hope to the city. This whole thing catalyzed a movement of hope in a way that we never saw before. We’ve been more missional on these last two years than I would say in the previous eight years combined for our church. Let me just show you, when we drew the circle around the region, this whole thing and we said, let’s just own it. Like we expanded our vision, we started bringing hope to the areas of life. Like over this last season, there are 14,000 public school teachers in this whole thing, we had multiple hope and gospel touch points in their life, handwritten, personal cards, gifts of encouragement. We touched more than 1,000 police officers in the entire region with a handwritten card and a note and a gift. These are just examples. Every hospital and major healthcare center, we did something significant for more than 1,000 of their workers. Every governmental agency and office in this region, more than 3,000 governmental workers, we touched with hope and the gospel in some way because we got missional.

It opened our eyes, it helped us become bigger than ourselves because the gospel is not just supposed to be words, it’s supposed to move with power and spirit in Jesus’ name.

And then the fifth thing, the fifth thing is God did a deep work in us. Missional moves are never, never, never about them. You’re always about you and me. Always. And over these last two years, God has challenged and exposed and revealed and healed and challenged, brought revelation and inspiration. Come on, Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Even if it doesn’t feel like it today, He’s doing a deep work in you and He is not giving up. He’s pioneering your life through inviting us to go and pioneer this region.

Come on. You know what got challenged the most in all of us in this season? Hope. But if we’re going to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond, and we’re going to be hope carriers, then hope within us has to get challenged so that we grab a hold of it and really hold on tightly to it regardless of what we can see. See, see if you can catch this with me. Two years ago, God asked us as a church to double down, to give, to make a financial commitment, to decide this is my church, this is my family, I’m here. God will always ask you to make a commitment before things get hard. So He asked us to double down a year before the pandemic hit. So could it just be that God invited us to double down two years ago because He wanted to make sure you are doubly anchored before the storm came?

Maybe it had nothing to do with buildings and campuses. Maybe it had everything to do with the goodness of God in your life. And He’s like, hey, a big storm is coming so I’m going to ask you to double down because I want to make sure you got double the roots in the ground so that you will make it through the storm and thrive in my name. Come on. That’s why Jesus says wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also. One of the reasons he’s asked us to give is because it locks your heart in, boom. You made a commitment before it got hard. So you made it through and a whole lot of people didn’t with their faith, at all kinds of places. So I want you to see the goodness of God to you. Double down because I love you and I want you to survive and thrive this storm. That for nothing else is worth the whole thing even if we don’t do anything else from this point. Come on, the 1st Century church, Acts 2, “They devoted,” continued to do something with intense effort despite difficulty, “themselves to the apostles’ teaching,” the word of God, “fellowship,” relationship with each other, “breaking of bread,” which references servanthood, “and to prayer.”

Come on, in this season, it’s really easy to be devoted to our opinions, our preferences, our rights, and the world’s news. It’s really easy to be devoted to selfishness, comfort, conveniences and offenses. It’s really easy to be devoted to pride and consumerism, and comfort and convenience instead of servanthood. And it’s really easy to be devoted to complaining and criticizing instead of praying. So can I just ask you in this season? What are you devoted to? I mean when the Israelites went in to take the Promised Land, they did really good out of the gate. And they took a bunch of cities and a lot of victory and defeated some giants. And then they got comfortable and they got selfish.

And they got focused on their houses, and their gardens, and their families, and their lives, and their work, and all the things they wanted to do so they stopped taking the land that God told them to take, and generations suffered because they wouldn’t drive the darkness out of the land. So we can’t stop. We can’t stop because of a global pandemic or because some things have changed or because God’s done some pruning in our community. I mean we got to keep moving in Jesus’ name. And so it’s time in this whole Again series that we’ve been, it’s time to give again, serve again, and live on mission again. I mean maybe you’ve never given or maybe you’ve stopped giving, come on, it’s time to give again. Why? Because God asks you to. That’s the only reason. Tithing is tangible trust. Tithing is giving God your first ten percent of your income. You can say you trust God all day long, God says tithing is tangible trust. It actually proves that you trust Him.

Giving is always a response to God’s grace in your life. We were meant to receive and release. And if you’ve ever seen a hose when the water is turned on, it’s receiving but there’s a kink in the hose and it’s not releasing? That hose has so much pressure at that kink, it starts screaming, you know what I’m talking about? The sounds starts creating, the pressure starts building. Okay, can I just tell you something? Some of our souls are screaming. And the pressure is so great in there because we’re not giving. And it starts to flow. So we need to give again and we need to serve again. This last year has probably moved people to the most selfish place I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Okay. But we’re followers of Jesus. And to be fully human and fully alive is to be a servant. Jesus didn’t just come just to die on the cross for you, he came to show you what it meant to be fully human and fully alive.

And so if he lived as a servant, he’s telling us that to be fully human and fully alive is to live as a servant. The problem is we think to be fully human and fully alive is to be selfish, that I’m going to find my true self by being selfish. Can I just tell you something? You’ll never find your true self by being selfish. Selfishness leads to self-condemnation, self-righteousness and self-destruction. You will never be happy with yourself living a selfish life. You will be happy with yourself when you start living as a servant of God and His kingdom. It’s time to start serving again and break that comfort, convenience, it’s about me. Come on, we all know it. I mean I just — we all know it. It’s like, man, we got to break that in Jesus’ name. I mean it’s time to live on mission again. We’re the most missional we’ve ever been as a church. Are you the most missional you’ve ever been as an individual?

When was the last time you invited somebody to church, shared the gospel, told somebody the story of what God’s doing in your life, used your social media to point people to Jesus, in some way lived as a hope carrier? Come on. And you’re like, but I don’t have any hope. I know. The greatest way to find hope for yourself is to give it away. Because the moment you do, you put it in the atmosphere and it goes from unseen to seen just like that, and it starts to fill your soul. Are you with me on that? You see, what I’m really saying here is it’s just time to be a disciple again. We have no interest in being a church of consumers, of religion, of making it all about us. And that’s why sometimes it’s not comfortable around here because we’re trying to follow Jesus. And one of the problems for so many of us so often is we have such a bad view of the church.

We see the church as a non-profit, desperate, sidelined, irrelevant organization that maybe feeds a few people and makes people feel bad about themselves when they come. So we think the church is blessed to have me. Huh. Church is blessed to have me, my giving, and my serving, and my talents. And then I associate with them for now. Okay. Can I just help some of you today? The church isn’t blessed to have you, you’re blessed to have the church. I want you to think about this for a second. The church is God’s super natural provision to help you live a kingdom life. The church is the spiritual family God has given you so you can obey and walk out the commandments that he has for you so you can live free. Like catch this, Jesus tells you to make disciples.

How are you going to do that without the church? Jesus tells you to do good to the family of believers. How are you going to do that without the church? Jesus tells you to gather with other believers around his name and his word and worship him. How are you going to do that without the church? Jesus tells you to be a part of the body of Christ and minister to one another and function as the body. How are you going to do that without the church? Jesus tells you to tithe and give back to him your first fruits. How are you going to do that without the church? Jesus tells you to have spiritual authority and accountability in your life, people helping you point the way towards Jesus. How are you going to do that without the church? And the answer is not social media. That’s not the church. The church is a spiritual family, united together under the lordship of Jesus, empowered by the spirit, sent to change the world. I am blessed to have the church. You are blessed to have the church.

And we have to flip the script of the narrative because the world wants to grind this thing into the ground. Why? Because it’s the pillar and foundation of truth. That’s why it matters. It’s not just putting a harbor in a twenty-minute drive. It’s putting a pillar of foundation and truth where people can find hope in Jesus’ name. Are you with me on this? So we’re moving forward. And you’re like, okay, well, what’s next? Well, today is online and then we’re going to keep moving forward with Argyle and University when we have the resources and the disciples to make it happen. We can’t do it without the servants and the leaders. And so this is all about how much we want to mobilize and how fast we want to keep moving and how much we want to give. I can’t speed it up or slow it down. That’s up to you. It’s when we all want to rally together and keep doing that. But what I want you to see today at the end of this phase of the two-year commitment journey, look at how much God has done.

World raging, kingdom advancing. And you might be like, man, I’m maybe in the worst place I’ve been, though, in my journey with Jesus. Yeah, but you’re still here. You doubled down. You’re holding on in the storm. And maybe your storm isn’t over yet, but guess what, your roots are still strong and eventually the sun is going to come back out and fruits are going to start emerging back in your life, all because God prophetically invited you to put your roots, pull in, hold on, and then life will come.

Okay. So to every person who has given, to every person who has served, to every person who has led, to every person who carries culture and has continued to point people back towards Jesus and to every person who said, “I’m in, it doesn’t matter, the world can’t yank me out, this is my family and I will keep working through the giants,” I celebrate you. I thank you. I honor you. And I declare God’s provision and blessing and breakthrough over your life because spiritual obedience always brings breakthrough.

It always brings a blessing in our life when we choose to trust God. I know some of you are like, a movement of hope for the city and beyond, what is it? Listen, it’s not the epic campus launches. It’s ordinary people waking up every single day and saying, today, I choose to submit and surrender to the lordship of Jesus. Today, I choose to follow him. Today, I choose to be a disciple. That’s a movement of hope. Last thing. Isaiah 61. Isaiah 61, prophetic picture of Jesus, just grab this with me with your spirit, “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me,” talking about Jesus, “because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And Jesus — we were so close, Garrett. We were so close today. Jesus has come to bring good news, to bind your broken heart, to proclaim freedom over your life, to release from darkness and from prison and to declare favor over you. Has Jesus touched your life? Has there been any binding up, any freedom, any releasing, any darkness broken off, any favor over your life? Has any of that happened in your life? If it has, look what happens now on the next verse. And they, you, those who have been touched by the good news of Jesus will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They, you will renew the ruin cities that have been devastated for generations.

Here’s what it says. It says, when hope touches your life, you can’t keep it to yourself, you have to go out and rebuild all of the places that have been devastated and destroyed in the name of Jesus. And so if you have no interest in restoring or rebuilding or renewing, you have to go back and ask, has the good news really touched my life? And you say, our city is not ruined and destroyed. It’s not third world out there. The spirit in here is worse than third world. We need hope in education, and in government, and in family, and in healthcare, and in business, and in sports, and in technology, and in media, and in every city and in every region and all the places around the world.

What would it have been like the day the master came back and had those servants come in and give an account for what they did with the five, two and the one? I want to take whatever He’s given me and use it for the good of others and the glory of God. I don’t want to bury it in selfishness, in fear, in pride, in isolation, in offenses. I want to use what I got, I want to risk it all. I’m willing to risk good church for the good of others and the glory of God. We are not consumers, we are disciples. We are hope carriers. And the world needs us. You, this, now. More than ever in your lifetime.

So close your eyes with me. Come on, my hope today was just to bring you some hope to inspire you, to lift up your head, to show you what God has been doing that even though the world has been raging, the kingdom has been advancing.

So what is God saying to you today? What’s the Holy Spirit whispering in your heart? What’s He stirring up? What’s He trying to bring your attention towards? Come on, I think for some of you, just lift up your head. Lift up your head. Look beyond the chaos. Look at this family I’ve given you. Look at this journey I’m taking you on. Look at the privilege and the opportunity you have to live a life that matters. Two can put 10,000 to flight. And God gets the glory, I want to be a part of that in Jesus’ name. It’s time to give again, it’s time to serve again. It’s time to live on mission again. So what next step can you take coming out of today? That’s the movement of hope.

It’s not just the campuses, it’s us saying, today I obey. Today, I follow. Today, I submit and surrender. So Jesus, I celebrate what you’ve done over these two years. I thank you for the generosity and the faith, and the trust, and the hope, and the love in every person who participated, and every person who was invited to participate in our journey now. Thank you, God, that you’re building us, your church, and nothing can stop her. So Lord, may today be a turning point in our lives out of this last year. May today be the day that we realized because we doubled down as a family, we are now ready to thrive in this next season with fruit in our life.

So I prophecy and declare and speak over you the goodness and the grace of the Lord. May the sun shine on your heart, on our city, on our region and this world again through us, releasing the hope of Jesus to the devastated, ruined cities. Thank you, Jesus, that we get to be a part of this. In your name we pray, amen.

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