A Generation Defined By The Hope Of Jesus

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So, Who Are We? And what do we mean when we say Gen Hope? We are a generation who refuses to be defined by anything other than the hope of Jesus. While the world wants to define us by failures and success and categorize us, we choose to only be defined by the hope of Jesus.

What’s up Valley Creek Students!!!! This is the first time we have gathered like this in a long time, and yet what we are about to do is completely new all at the same time!!! But before we get into that, let’s all take a second and welcome each other. So, whether you are in Gainesville, Lewisville, Denton, or Flower Mound, let’s make some noise & welcome each other together!!! We are one church in multiple campuses that carries the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations… and together WE ARE A MOVEMENT OF HOPE!!!!

I’m so excited to be with you guys tonight!!!

As we said tonight is the beginning of something entirely new. This has been a difficult year for many of us. We have faced many challenges along the way, lost some things, made a ton of adjustments to life, and on some level, we are still trying to figure it out… but we have also learned a ton too. We started Student Circles and you guys leaned all the way in and showed up week after week. You led our whole church into a new season. We formed godly relationships and took major ground in our walk with Jesus. It has been amazing. We launched Student Weekends and you showed up in an incredible way!!! We leaned all the way in to our Serve the City projects and most recently Hope on the move Thanksgiving Groceries. You have continued to keep Hope on the move in the middle of a pandemic! You guys have been killing it and we are so proud of you.

What you may or may not realize is that you have become the MOVEMENT! So, let’s lift our voices and let the whole world know that WE ARE … gen Hope… that’s right we are gen hope and we are the movement! We have said all year

our vision from God is that we are a movement of hope for the city and beyond

… and guys!!!! It’s happening!!! It’s happening in your lives, and in the lives of those around you!!! We will get to that in a moment but before we launch into what’s next, let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of exactly who we are and what we do here at Valley Creek Students.

So, Who Are We?
And what do we mean when we say Gen Hope?

We are a generation who refuses to be defined by anything other than the hope of Jesus.
While the world wants to define us by failures and success and categorize us, we choose to only be defined by the hope of Jesus.
That’s us, that’s YOU!

And what do we do?

Here at Valley Creek Students we engage in the student weekend experience.
“Everyone say WEEKENDS”
⁃ Every Sunday we gather at our student tent in the atrium before worship service as a rally point for the movement. It’s where we meet up with our friends and get inspired together before we go into the worship center. From there we fill up the Student Section at the very front of the worship center to lead the way as we create an environment to experience his presence. So, from the Tent to the Student Section, there’s a place for you here on the weekend. If you’ve been with us on the weekend, let me hear you make some NOISE!!!

We also have Student Circles. – “Everyone say CIRCLES”
⁃ Every Wednesday night from 7-8 pm we gather at our campuses to talk about what we received in the weekend message, engage in God’s word together, and pray. This is the foundation of everything we do – real life discipleship, not getting new content, but doing something with and going deeper into what God has already said. And it’s because of the ground you’ve taken in circles that we even get to do nights like this. It’s because of your faithfulness, your consistency, the way that you’ve led our church into this next season, that we are here tonight. If you’ve been with us at Student Circles, let me hear you make some noise!!!

So, going into next year, while Student Circles will not be going anywhere as it has been so instrumental in this movement…..

… but here at Valley Creek Students we also have MVMNT NIGHTS!!! And tonight, is the first of many to come.

MVMNT Night is an experience that ACITVATES HOPE in our lives and in our generation.

You can expect to have a ton of fun, you can expect some incredible worship and encounters with God, you can expect a fresh word from an open Heaven environment, and you can expect an experience that activates hope in your life. We are going to receive and release hope together.

And we will continue to have these MVMNT NIGHTS 3-4 times a semester to continue to activate that hope. But without our Student Weekend Experience and our Students Circles, we wouldn’t be able to even have MVMNT nights. It’s going for it with everything that we have in those two areas that will make MVMNT NIGHT incredible going forward!

MVMNT NIGHTS are like unicorns.. here’s what I want you to hear, these nights are rare, they are different, and will be different each time. MVMNT NIGHTS are a “don’t miss this” type of night. We fully expect God to show up in unique ways that change our lives forever.

So tonight, what you need to know is that God is here, right now.

Everybody say MOVEMENT!

It’s MVMNT Night because

A MOVEMENT is when unique individuals come together and submit their gifts, passions, talents, and resources to a common vision for an exponential return.

Just imagine with me for a minute the exponential impact we could have TOGETHER if all month we were chasing after Jesus for ourselves on weekends and in circles and in our daily lives and then on MVMNT nights decide to move forward in a common direction, not for ourselves, but for the sake of the lost, lonely, & broken in our cities, in our region. Just imagine Hope being released all over North Texas.

Guys… We are the MVMNT! In fact, let me tell you some stories from this past semester…

“One of our high school girls was following Jesus for a while but fell off track. She was having trouble figuring out who she was. She was looking for identity in the friends she had, how she felt about life, and what people thought about her. And honestly started to feel hopeless. Then a few of her friends who follow Jesus invited her to come to student circles with them. She found encouragement, life, friendship, and HOPE. Her love for Jesus was Re-Engaged and now she’s learning about who she is in Jesus every week.” It’s a movement!!!

“We have a middle school guy who always had trouble getting connected at church. He got discouraged, stopped going even though He started following Jesus. A few months later he decided that he wanted to try it out again just one more time. When he came back on a Wednesday night, he found that we were doing student circles. He got connected with his leaders and began to talk with the other students in his circle. He is now engaging in circles every week and actively taking next steps on his journey with Jesus. It’s a movement!

“One of our students was really struggling with suicidal thoughts. She had gone to a therapist and opened up to her parents about it, but still wasn’t finding freedom. One day her dad asked if she had talked to Jesus about it. That night she talked with Jesus and said that Jesus began to heal her heart. She activated HOPE in her heart! She can confidently say that she has trusted Jesus for herself and she just actually got baptized last week!” It’s a movement!

“Another student had a teacher that was going through a really difficult time. Not only did she tell her teacher that she was praying for her & carried hope that way, but she also went out of her way to send her a personal card. She was willing to give something up to see her world changed!” It’s a movement!

We are receiving and releasing the hope of Jesus!!!!

GUYS!!! We are the movement!!! And there are so many stories just like these!!!

And it’s because We have found a TREASURE CHEST OF HOPE for ourselves and God is inviting us to give it away

See HOPE is not wishful thinking, it’s the confident expectation of the goodness of God. And no matter what is happening around us, we have the Hope of Jesus in us. We have a treasure chest of hope!

Colossians 1:27 This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!

It’s Christ IN US… that’s the treasure chest of hope we have. And it’s not so we can keep it to ourselves, it’s so we can give it away to those around us. And that’s exactly what happens when you activate the hope in you.. in fact, if you look back at the beginning of this movement, you’ll see that’s what happened for them too..

Let me take you back, all the way back to where this movement began. Because what you’re a part of is so much bigger than yourself.

2k years ago Jesus left heaven, the movement began, he moved to earth and fulfilled 300+ Bible prophecies in the process, fulfilling scripture that was written hundreds of years before. He lived the perfect life we could never live, died the death we all deserved on the cross, and He came back to life 3 days later, forever defeating death, offering forgiveness & freedom to anyone who wanted it. He finished everything necessary so we could be restored back in right relationship with God. Fully known and fully loved.

Then before going to back to heaven he promised his followers he would send them his spirit.

Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…

Anyone who received his holy spirit, the spirit of Jesus, would receive the righteousness of Jesus. The perfect relationship Jesus had with God could be yours .. that’s called receiving his grace. Grace is the undeserved favor of God and the supernatural power to live different. It’s joining the movement. What was he saying? When you trust Jesus, and receive what he’s already done for you, you become a part of the movement. You become who God created you to be. You start to live the life you were meant to live; you now have hope! In other words, being a part of something bigger than yourself starts with knowing Jesus for yourself. ACTIVATING HOPE STARTS WITH KNOWING JESUS FOR YOURSELF
Do YOU know Jesus for yourself?

In Acts 2:4 we see the Holy Spirit show up and Jesus followers were filled with the Holy Spirit. It was God supernaturally empowering them to carry hope. For the first time ever the people of God, those following Jesus were a part of the movement! They started to declare the awesomeness of who God is, the hope of Jesus, and 3k people decided they too would join the movement because they discovered HOPE for themselves. It’s why we say it’s a movement of Hope for the city and beyond

So much that in Acts 4:13 it says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John, and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” And that’s what being a movement of hope is, going through your life with courage, for the good of others, and letting your personal relationship with Jesus change you into a new person, activating hope, so people can see Jesus. It’s about Engaging your heart in this family, in this movement. It’s engaging your whole heart.

Now, by this time another 5k people had put their trust in Jesus and discovered HOPE for themselves. That’s about 8k people in a very short period of time discovering HOPE and joining the movement.

In fact, by Acts 17:6 it had continued so much that they said “these men had turned the world upside down” talk about a Movement!!! They were ready to personally give up something to see their world changed. Talk about activating Hope in your life and in your generation!!! What would your world, family, school, your friends look like if it was literally turned upside down with the hope of Jesus? Because we have a responsibility to give away what we have received.. so, are you?

ACTIVATING HOPE IS PERSONALLY GIVING UP SOMETHING TO SEE YOUR WORLD CHANGED

This was the beginning of the movement of hope!!! They trusted Jesus for themselves. and they were fully engaged and willing to give up things to see their world changed. But Why?

It’s because this HOPE is like a raging river.. no matter what you put in the river the water will go around it, it will go over it, it will begin to wear away at all the rough edges and smooth every stone, a raging river cannot be stopped and whatever is put in that river will be changed by it.. rivers change whole landscapes. So, wherever we carry hope, everyone around us supernaturally gets swept up in it, the landscape around you gets changed entirely. And right now, tonight your anxiety is being swept up, your depression is being swept up, your anger is being smoothed out, your hopelessness is being swept up in the raging river of HOPE.. tonight, everything is changing, you are being swept up in the river of hope. So, whatever is holding you down and holding you back, let it go in Jesus name and discover the treasure chest of hope available to you tonight.

Hope is here and his name is Jesus … talk about movement… he moved from heaven to earth, from the earth to death, from death back to life, from life to Heaven, and from heaven to our hearts when we receive his grace, and maybe tonight, it’s time to trust Jesus for yourself and join the movement.

Acts 2:42-47 when you read it, you see it wasn’t a moment, it was a movement!

The MOVEMENT CONTINUED!!! That was them coming together and submitting their gifts, passions, talents, and resources to a common vision for an exponential return.
And that’s what we’re doing!!! Student Weekends, Student Circles, & now MVMNT nights

When you’re here engaging in the weekend experience, engaging in circles, and bringing people to MVMNT NIGHTS that’s what you’re doing.. and the more you receive his grace in your life you’ll have the same courage Peter and John had when you’re at school and on the field or in theater, or wherever you find yourself, you’ll be carrying hope and other people will impacted !

So tonight, there’s hope for you. For some of us we need to trust Jesus for ourselves, for others it’s time to get back in the game and to Re-engage, and start learning to think beyond ourselves, to let go of the self-focused way we’ve been living and give all we have (time talent resources) to see our world changed by the hope of Jesus

We are inviting you to activate the hope of Jesus in your life right here right now. Maybe you’ve heard some of the stories, and you want that for yourself. Maybe you’ve listened to how this whole Movement began and it’s sparked something inside of you.. that’s hope.. hope is calling your name… and if you want that in your life you can have it. God is here and He wants to activate that hope in you… It all starts with receiving his grace.. by trusting Jesus for yourself

And if you’ve already joined the movement.. you’ve said yes to Jesus but you haven’t been receiving the grace of God, word of God, the people of God, walking in the spirit of God and going on mission with God to reach all of His lost sons and daughters it’s time to get back in the game and Re-Engage. Wherever you’ve allowed the things of this world and the year 2020 to disconnect you from any of these things, it’s time to re-engage your heart in this family after a really hard season. It’s time to get back into the life flow of the family of God. It’s time to start learning to think beyond ourselves, to let go of the self-focused way we’ve been living and give all we have (gifts, passions, talents, resources) to see our world changed by the hope of Jesus.

What are you willing to give up in order to see HOPE activated in you & in your generation?

In a moment we’re going to give you a chance to activate that hope in your life.. but first let me tell you a story..

There was a guy a long time ago who showed up at the Niagara Falls. If you didn’t know it’s a massive waterfall that borders the US/Canada on the east coast. You can literally feel the water in the air before you ever even get close to it. Anyway, this guy set up a tight rope and planned to walk across the rope. You can imagine people were like what is this guy doing. If he fell, he wouldn’t have a sprained ankle, he would die. But he set up the rope and walked all the way out and back completely unhurt and unharmed. Crowds of people would gather to watch him. He would go on to carry items all the way out and back. Crowds continued to gather. Each time he would ask them “do you believe I can carry this out and back?” And they started to chant yes and cheer him on. Eventually he got a wheelbarrow and walked all the way out and back unhurt and unharmed. Then he asked, how many of you believe I can walk all the way out and back with someone in it? They all cheered for him and said yes, we believe.. they had watched him do it so many times, they cheered him on.

And then he said, Who’s first? IS IT YOU? And everyone took a step back.. That’s like us isn’t it? See we can come here, and we can cheer on the worship team and have fun and cheer on the communicator and say we believe, but the difference between believing in Jesus intellectually and receiving his grace comes down to surrender.. are you willing to get in the wheelbarrow of life and let Jesus walk you thru life? Because If you want to join the movement, it all starts with receiving his grace, with surrender, trusting Jesus for yourself. And it continues with that same surrender. What are you willing to surrender to Jesus tonight to ACTIVATE HOPE in your life?

And maybe you’re like “what’s in the wheelbarrow? IDK you tell me.. what do you need to surrender and trust Jesus with tonight? What’s your next move?

Valley Creek Students, It’s time. It’s time to activate hope. If you need to trust Jesus, or if you need to re-engage your heart & personally give up something to see your world changed, it’s time. If you are one of those 2 groups of people, I’m going to invite you to stand up out of your seat wherever you are on the count of 3. With every eye open, for the whole world to see, if you need to trust Jesus, if you need to Re-Engage your heart in this family in the movement, or if you are ready to personally give up something to see your world changed. When I get to 3.

(arm signals)
Listen, Hope is here.. right here right now. God has been speaking to you loud and clear.. this is your opportunity to activate hope in your life. You activate it by faith. By reaching out in faith and grabbing the promises of God and filling up your treasure chest of Hope. We are activating hope by faith tonight.

And once we get to 3 & people begin to stand, I want the rest of us to clap and yell and celebrate them for having the courage of Peter and John as they take a next step in activating hope in their life..

Ok here we go.. get ready to stand to your feet & by faith activate hope tonight…ready.. 1, 2, 3 go ahead and stand up all over the room..

C’mon let’s celebrate as people all over North Texas are ACTIVATING HOPE in their lives right now. There’s hope for Gainesville, there’s hope for Denton, there’s hope for Lewisville, there’s hope for Flower Mound!!!!! And maybe what you needed to hear most tonight is that there’s hope for you!

While they are standing to their feet, let’s all begin to reach your hand towards them & declare something over them or pray over them that right now they would be filled with the Holy spirit. Go ahead and raise your voice right now. Pray that they would have the courage to go through their life for the good of others. Come on, lift up your voices.. That we can lay down our lives to see our world changed because JESUS laid down his life to see us changed. There is no cost too great, this is the greatest adventure of your life…c’mon we are activating HOPE right now. HOPE IS HERE!!!

Prayer

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