All Things New

Description

In this message, we learn that a multiplying life is a normal part of any healthy church.

So here we are, 10 months later in our brand new finished Lewisville Campus. I cannot believe the transformation that this place has undergone. I mean, you saw the pictures and the video, this place was nasty. It was beat down. It was run down. It was broken. No one wanted it anymore and then here we come along and we say, “Hey, this can be a campus for the kingdom of God.” And it is an incredible picture of what the kingdom looks like. That Jesus comes and he raises the dead and brings life to broken things and turns things into new creations where the old has gone and the new has come and it becomes better than it even was before. I mean, this is really a prophetic picture of what the kingdom of God looks like. That the kingdom moves into new place as it brings heaven on earth and it restores all that had been lost and stolen and broken.

And so Valley Creek Church, what I want you to understand is, this happened through your faith. It was your generosity. It was your willingness to take the next step. It was your belief and trust in the lordship of Jesus in your own life and desire to be a part of a mission something bigger than yourself that allowed this to take place. And here we are now, just about ready to open up these doors to help hundreds and thousands of hurting and broken and lost people. You see, when we believe in the message of Jesus, we become captured by His mission. And when enough of us starts sacrificing for that mission, the kingdom movement takes place. And what you’re experiencing right now in this church even with this campus as I’m standing here talking to you, you’re experience the kingdom movement. We’re believing that Jesus is who he says he is, and did what he said he did. We’re becoming captured by his mission to seek and save the lost. And as we start sacrificing our comforts, our conveniences, our preferences, even our finances, what happens is, we initiate and catalyze a kingdom movement and we start multiplying, bringing a life-giving, spirit-filled, Jesus-focused campus perspective ministry and way of life into new neighborhoods. We took a next step so that someone else can take theirs. Missional move breakthrough was all about bringing heavenly realities into earthly circumstances and this building is just the beginning of what God is going to do in this city. So Valley Creek Church, I say to you, well done. This is who we are. This is what we do.

And today, we get to celebrate together as the beginning of this new campus, this new season and a new ministry in a new city to the people of Louisville for the glory of Jesus. So here we go. We are multiplied. It’s really a prophetic picture of what Jesus does. He raises the dead, he heals the sick, he restores the damaged, he gives hope to the hopeless. With Jesus all things are made new. So in 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he’s a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come. If anyone or if anything is in Jesus and experiences such a complete metamorphosis that the old has gone, the new has come and what was is no longer able to be seen in what now is because he makes all things new.

And the truth is this, every one of our campuses started just like that. Like they were just this broken thing and what was, and you can no longer see what was and what is like Flower Mound used to be an old cow pasture. And the Denton Campus used to be an old plumbing supply store. And the Venue was just a smelly kid’s room. I mean, let’s be honest. That’s what it was. And then — and Louisville was an old abandoned Kroger that nobody wanted anymore and yet everyone of our campuses went through that kind of transformation and the same is true with every one of our lives. That’s a prophetic picture, not just a buildings, but what Jesus does for us. Like Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Like when no one else wanted us, Jesus did. And he came and he died for us and he made us new. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which is lost.”

He came to look for us when we were lost and broken and he found us in our damaged and broken state and he repaired us. He saved us. The Greek word sozo, he healed us, he restored us and he made us whole. Jesus makes all things new. He forgives our sins but he credits our account. He cancels our debt and then he gives us a spiritual inheritance in the heavenly realm like Jesus heals your pain but he feels you with purpose. And that’s what I want you to see with that building. Because that’s true of your life. Like two and a half years ago, we felt like God was inviting us to go and start a campus in the city of Louisville and so we prayed about it and sought the Lord and so we started missional move breakthrough. Missional move is when we take the next step to create space so someone else can take theirs and we call them missional move breakthrough because we wanted to bring heavenly realities to earthly circumstances. We wanted to take what God had been doing in us and release that breakthrough into the world around us.

And so we share that with you and we started the journey. We’ll look for buildings everywhere. We couldn’t find anything. Everywhere we looked, the building was too small. It was too big. It didn’t have a tall enough ceiling. It didn’t have enough parking. It was in the wrong location. And honestly, we got really discouraged. And then one day we were going to look at another building and we pulled into that Kroger and it said, “Going out in business sale.” And so I remember saying to one of our guys like, “That’s it.” That’s the building that we want. And we walked in and it was huge and we thought there was no way. And we called Kroger right away and some of you know the story and some of you’ve never heard it but God had so much favor for us like that building was handpicked out for Valley Creek Church because Kroger sold it to us for multiple millions of dollars less than market value even though they had all these offers for a whole lot more than we offered for it, and because God wanted it to be a part of the kingdom of God. And so we shared it with you and you responded and here’s what happens when the people of God are united around a common vision with a generous spirit.

They can change the world and that was us. So we made one-year commitments above and beyond our tithes and our offerings to say, “Let’s do this thing together. Let’s move in and be debt free. Make it happen as a church.” And here’s what I want to tell you, “I hope this builds your faith” like what we did in this, is everything I teach you on how to live your life. We asked, we listened and we responded. We asked God what He wanted us to do. We listened to His voice. He responded with faith, and then God moved. And he showed up in such a significant and big way that I hope it builds your faith and gives you the courage to keep following like everything I’ve been trying to teach you like this is Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. Rule over it or subdue it using its vast resources in the service of God and men.” That’s all we did. We were fruitful as a people. We grew and then we’re willing to multiply and then we’re willing to fill the earth or a city called Louisville with a knowledge in the glory and goodness of God and we subdued that building. Anyone want to agree with that?

Like we brought order to chaos. We brought hope to hopelessness. We brought beauty to ashes. That’s subduing things because we were willing to use our resources to accomplish God’s purposes in the lives of man. That’s it. And really that should be the normal reality of any healthy church. In fact, if you read through the book of Acts and you look at the first century church like that was normal for them, going into new cities and nations and communities, like they were always multiplying. And you read their story and you’ll find this not only a description of what they did, it’s a prescription of how we’re supposed to live. And so as we launch Louisville this week and what I want to just take us a few moments today and do in the series, is, I want to bring your attention to some things. I want to talk about how did they did it, how can we do it, and here’s what I want to talk about how does this become normal for us. I don’t want this to be once every 15 years. We do something awesome and we’re like, “Yay, for us.” No. No. This is supposed to be normal. Are you with me on that?
Come on. Are you with me on that? I want it to be normal and I hope you do too and so four thoughts that I want to give you on how does multiplying like this become normal for us for — and really look into the first century church. The first thing is this, just be committed. If we want this to be normal, we got to be committed. Like when I read about the first century church, I am so inspired by their commitment like it’s amazing and overwhelming to me. In Acts chapter 1, you find 120 believers. They’re huddled in the upper room and they’re terrified like Jesus their leader is just been crucified, the same Pharisees that killed Jesus want to kill them. They’re in the midst of the unknown. They have no idea what’s going to happen, but Jesus told them to wait so they waited. Now, if I’m honest with you, I don’t think I’d hang out in that upper room. I think I’ll look at those guys and say, “Hey guys, I’m not really sure what’s happening and I don’t think you know what’s happening either, so why don’t you figure it out. You get it all settled. You get it sorted out.

When you know what’s happening, in fact here’s what I want you to do, call me for grand opening weekend. That’s when I’ll be back.” Think of what they would’ve missed out on. They would’ve missed out on the out pouring of the spirit watching 3,000 people get saved and the church being birthed. Think of what we missed out on? Listen, it’s really easy to show up when everything is done, but you only grow when you’re willing to be committed in the midst of the unknown. I mean, look at this. They were committed in the midst of persecution and rejection and difficulties and obstacles, murdered them, they stayed committed to Jesus, to each other and to the mission. In fact, Acts chapter 2:42, it’s really the description and the prescription of the church. It says, they devoted themselves. They were devoted. That word in the original language means to continue to do something with intense effort despite difficulty. I love that definition. To continue to do something with intense effort despite difficulty. Listen to me, in the kingdom of God, faithfulness matters and commitment counts.

But it’s not easy. In fact, in multiplication moments is the easiest to pull back to kind of take it easy to coast, to just step back and wait and see, but these are not the moments to pull back. These are the moments to press in, because commitment positions you to be where God wants you to be so you can experience what God wants to do. In fact that’s why Psalm 92, I love this, talking about the church, it’s says, “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age. They will be fresh and flourishing. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish.” Those are committed — those who are committed to Jesus, to the people of God and to his mission, they’ll flourish he says. Like He is really saying, “Commitment is a requirement for growth.” And think of what you’ll become. He says you’ll be like a palm tree. Think of that last vacation that maybe you went on, the beautiful palm trees, roots deep down in the ground and when those storms come, “Whoa, they bend over but they don’t get uprooted” which he’s saying if you’ll be committed , you’ll become a flexible person and you’ll be able to withstand life storms. And then He says you’ll be like the cedars of Lebanon. Cedars of Lebanon were these big beautiful round tall trees and their wood was decease-resistant, it was rot-resistance. So their wood was used on king’s palaces and to build ships. In other words, He’s saying if you’re committed, if you’re planted in the house of God, in the church, you’ll become a person of noble purpose. And, by the way, you’ll still be fresh and flourishing even in old age. How many of you know that sounds like good news right there? Listen, it’s movement moments like this where you get an invitation to build your life around what God is doing instead of trying to build what God is doing around your life.

These are the invitations to grow your roots because at the end of the day, we only grow when we’re committed in the same family for a long period of time where we build relationships regularly participate, experience victories like today is a victory, a marker stone moment for our family that you are now officially a part of, work through your issues so that you can grow. You can’t grow if every five weeks you transplant yourself and run down the road to the next thing. You get that, right? So it says Galatians 6:9, “Don’t grow weary in doing what is good for you. The proper time you will reap a harvest, stay committed and the transformation is coming.” So my question for you is, is where do you need to take a next step in your commitment to God, the kingdom, and His church, okay? So be committed. That’s what they did. Second thing is, be the culture. If we want this to be normal, we have to be the culture. We know they were devoted but then look at verse 43. It’s talking about the first century church. It says, “Everyone — I love that — not some of them — everyone, was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day, they continued to meet together in the temple courts, they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people, and the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved.

Listen, they were the culture of the church. They were the representatives of what was happening in that place. They carry the DNA. And what I love is you had the apostles, who had been walking with Jesus for years and you have people that were being saved that day. And yet all of them were growing and moving and changing and becoming the representatives of Jesus and His church. Do you see what I love about the first century church, in fact, in the Bible, they weren’t called Christians. They were called the followers of the way. I wish that was still how we were referred to in this world. Followers of the way, which means they lived their lives in such a way, a culture, that their values were obvious to the world around them. Which is so important because in this first century church, so many people were coming and going and checking this thing out and the way they lived their life determined what other people thought about who this Jesus was and what this new thing called the church was. It matters. Like here is what I believe, I personally believe that culture is more important than vision. Come on, are you all with me today?

Well, you got to talk back to me. I won’t know you’re with me if you don’t say anything. Culture is more important than vision. Like there a lot of places that have a great vision but they don’t have the culture to achieve their vision. And then there are places that have a great culture. And if you have a great culture, you will naturally accomplish your vision because your culture becomes a guardrail, a set of beliefs and values and behaviors that keeps you moving in the right direction, so eventually, you will accomplish your vision even if it’s not stated. Like a vision is where we’re going, a culture is who we are. Vision is direction, culture is identity. A vision is cast but a culture is experience. And everywhere you go, everything has a culture. You go in to all the restaurants in this city, every restaurant has a culture, a way that you feel when you walk in. They all serve food, right? But you walk in and they have a different culture. A different way they make you feel. Different behaviors and beliefs that they exhibit. Every store has a different culture when you walk into it and yet they are trying to sell you something. Similar vision but very different cultures. How many of you know the DMV has a culture?

Not one we want to repeat but they have a cultural way they make you feel. Would you agree with that? Or the cable company. A way they make you feel. Families have cultures. Churches have cultures. Now, I want you to think about it like this. Think about just about every church you can think of, they have great visions. I mean churches have great visions. We want to change the world. We want to make disciples. We want to [indecipherable] [0:18:15]. I have never seen a church that says, we want to live a defeated life. They’ve got great visions. So why don’t more churches accomplish their vision? Because they don’t have the right culture. They don’t have a set of shared beliefs and behaviors and values that everyone agrees to and lives out so they can actually accomplish the vision that God has for them. And so what I need you to understand is you are the culture of this church. You are Valley Creek Church and hands down, the way you engage determines what other people experience. You determine what they feel and they walk away with an opinion based on how you engage. And how many times have you been in a restaurant and when you left, you’re like, man, that waiter or that waitress did not give me a good impression of this restaurant.

Okay. We are not Christians, we are followers of the way. We live in such a way that our values should be revealed to the world around us. I mean just think about Jesus. When he shows up in John 14, He says, “Hey, guys, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Like hey, I’m here to be a representative to represent the Father to the world because there was a misunderstanding of who the Father was. People thought the Father was angry and mean and distant and cold and full of rules and regulations. Jesus says, no, no, no. He says, just look at me. You want to know everything you want to know about the Father? Do you want to know how the Father thinks? Look at how I think. Do you want to know how the Father talks? Listen to what I say. Do you want to know how the Father engages? Look at how I engage. Do you want to know what the Father’s compassion is like? Look at my compassion. If you have seen me, you know exactly what the Father is like. Okay. I believe every follower of Jesus should be able to say, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen what Jesus is like and you’ve seen the heart of my church family.”

We carry the same thing. We’re sent in the same way. Which means you are the most important person in this church. You say, no, I’m not. Yes you are. Because you are the only person that some people will ever come in contact with and the way you engage with them will determine what they believe about Jesus and us. You say no it doesn’t really matter. Yes, it does. Like in Acts 15, catch this. Acts 15, the church is multiplying so fast, the gentiles are believing in God and a bunch of churchy people rise up and say, oh, no, if you’re going to follow God, like you got to — if you’re going to be a Christian, you got to follow the law and you got to be circumcised. How many of you know that shut down church growth just like that. Like, yeah, I’m good, man. I think I’m going to pass. I’ll go to this church down the road. Okay. And yet, in the midst of that, you have some believers that rose up and said, “No.”

This is what they say. They say, “God who knows the heart,” Acts 15, shows that he accepted the Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He gave it to us. He made no distinction between us and them for He purified their hearts by faith. Now, then why do you try to test God by putting on the next of the disciples a yolk or a way of life that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No. We believe that it’s through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved just as they are. Some believers stood up and said, “No.” They said, no. They said, “That’s not our culture, that’s not our way of life, that’s not what we believe. We’re going to shut that thing down now and we’re going to show you how we believe, we’re going to show you our culture, we believe being saved by grace through faith or by faith through grace, whichever way it’s supposed to go. I always get it backwards on my mind. Are you with me on that? So here’s the deal, be the culture. I can say our vision is to help people take the —

And you all get it, great. We got our vision down, now, let’s work on our culture. Be the culture. You’ll say, “Well, what does that mean?” Like it means this, park outside in and sit inside-out. It means when you get here, park as far away from the building as you can to let people and our guest park close to the building. When you come in here, sit as close to the front as you can like you’re at a Cowboys’ game or a rock concert to leave the seats in the back for people that are going to come late and they don’t know Jesus, because I was watch it every week, and people that come in late and don’t know God, and they get seated on the front row. That is a terrible experience and terrifying. That’s like saying, “Hey, you’ve got to be circumcised if you want to follow Jesus and sit on the front row.” Do you still want to follow? I’m good. I’m good, you know. Come on. It’s silly but it’s true. So think about that. Every time you come, do this, engage with faith, hope and love. When you’re here, come with faith, come with hope, come with love. And then be a passionate worshipper. He said, “I don’t worship.” I know. But that’s the culture of who we are.

And so sometimes you have to do things you don’t like to do because your worship isn’t about you, it’s about setting the people free next to you when the presence of God shows up because you chose to engage with passion, because you don’t want to be that waiter or that waitress that makes people say, “That restaurant stinks.” You want them to come with passion and be excited and let’s be people that are intentionally kind. We used to say we wanted to be the friendliest church in town, that is a terrible statement. A gas station can be friendly. I want to be the kindest church in town because kindness is God’s love expressed through intentionality. So be kind when people are here and then take next steps because that’s what we do and be a Jesus-focused, Spirit-filled, life-giving person. Listen to me, my kids at home, they know our family values and they are really good at enforcing them. Like I love watching my kids with other people around them. They’ll be like, “Hey, like in our family, we always tell the truth. No matter what, we always tell the truth.” And in our family, like you cannot wear shoes in the house. So take your shoes off because they’re dirty in the house and my parents are from the North.

And it’s just weird up there so we don’t do it down here, you know. In our family, we always try our best. It’s okay if we win or lose but we always try our best. Hey, in our family, we don’t say bad words, so, dad, why did you just say that word? Okay. You’re our family, you’re the culture. And so when people don’t know it and they’re asking questions, you need to be the one to respond to it. You are Valley Creek Church. Like when people say like, “Hey, why don’t you pass offering baskets and giving those boxes at the end?” “Oh, well, here’s why. We believe that giving is a response to meeting with God. We believe that generosity is a response to receiving his grace in our lives and we never want to make our guests feel awkward or uncomfortable by making touch an offering basket because Jesus doesn’t want anything from them, he wants everything for them. That’s why we give after.” “Oh, okay.” Yeah. “Hey, how come in your church, you guys are really into that worship thing? Like why is that such a big deal?” “Oh, like in our family, we value worship because we believe worship invites the presence of God to come in, we believe that’s the greatest change agent on the face of the earth.

And believe that worship is a response to the grace of Jesus in our lives. He who has been forgiven much loves much, so we can’t even help ourselves but express love back to him.” “Oh, okay.” “Hey, how come in your church, you guys do that video preaching thing? Like what is that all about?” “Oh, well, in our family, we leverage technology to present the gospel to more people than we’d ever be able to in one location. And so we want to be good stewards of what we have, it’s allowed to us to be a multi-side church, it allows to do it in a sustainable way. And oh, by the way, the world is completely video-driven at this point so it is actually very relevant and innovative way to connect with lost people.” “Oh, Okay.” “Hey, why in your church do you often do shared leadership and there’s always these different people leading at different times?” “Oh, because in our family, we believe we’re better together and everyone has something to contribute. “Well, how come in your church, unity is such a big deal?” Well, because we believe one can put a thousand to fly but two can put 10,000 to fly, and we believe there’s power and protection in that.”

“Oh, how come in your family,” are you getting this? “How come in your family, you don’t talk all about sin all the time? Every time I come, I hear about this Jesus and what he did.” “Oh, because in our family, we don’t want to talk about the strength of sin, we want to talk about the power of Jesus’ forgiveness because we believe — because we believe Romans 10:17 says, faith comes by — hearing. So whatever I’m hearing about, my faith and that thing grows, and we don’t want our faith to grow in the strength of sin, we want our faith to grow in the power of Jesus’ forgiveness.” Are you with me on that? That’s the culture. That’s what I’m telling you. That makes people feel a certain way when they leave this place. That is more important than whatever vision statements we want to put on the wall or whatever logos we think are cool. It’s great, it’s important. But the culture is even more important. And I am trying to always not enforce religious rules with you, I’m trying to help you think like a kingdom person. That’s why I always tell you the why. We spend — listen, you have no idea how much good preaching I have to give up to tell you whys about things. You’re like, you’re preaching in very good, I know. But the content sometimes is. And I have to ditch that because I always want you to know the why.

So you will know how to think about it for yourself. I’m not just telling you to worship, I want you to know the why we’re created to worship so that it doesn’t feel awkward. And even though it’s uncomfortable, you step into it because that’s what Jesus has invited you to do. Listen to me, they expect it from the staff, they experience it from you. If you get nothing else out of today, I need you to understand that because as we send people in Lewisville, you’re going to have tons of people that show up. They have no idea who we are. You need to be the culture. They’re going to expect it from the staff, they’ll experience it from you. When you go to a restaurant, you always expect the manager to say and do the right thing, do you not? But you experience it from the waiter or the waitress or the hostess or the janitor in the bathroom. It’s really true. It’s down to the least serving role you can think of. That’s when you really experience it. In fact, I love this, 1 Peter 2:5 says, “You also, like living stones, are being built together in a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” He says you’re living stones, not bricks, which means we’re all different. We’re not uniformity. We’re different. And he takes these living stones and he combines them together and as we become combined together, we come to a place where God resides and it’s unity in the midst of diversity that represents or represents a way of life to the world around us that releases Jesus into this city. That’s really important.

So where do you need to take the next step in being our culture? Our culture is what makes us special. Every church has a good vision statement. Very few churches have a good culture. I don’t care if you — I don’t even care if I get to the rest of this. I need you to get this. I need you. We need you. They need you. Jesus is inviting to be the culture. To be what you enjoy about this place. To take a step and say, “I know I don’t like to welcome people.” Me neither, I’m an introvert. But sometimes it’s not about you, it’s about being what you enjoy and what makes this place special. I don’t want to lose what makes this place special. And sometimes when we send people, we send some of the greatest culture carriers to the next thing, which creates space for new culture carriers to arise. And so when I say like talk back to me in preaching, it’s not just about you, it’s about creating an environment and an experience with everyone in the room, lost people, people far from God, people kicking the tires. They’re like, these people are into this thing. Yeah. So when I have to say, are you with me like nine times, they’re like, “These people are into this thing.” It’s a silly example, but it’s true in worship. It’s true in how you park. It’s true in where you sit. It’s true in how you buy a cup of coffee. It’s true in how you check kids in. You have to be the culture.

If you want to keep recreating the culture. If we want to keep seeing people get saved the way we watch them get saved and be transformed the way we watch them be transformed and be a part of the kingdom movement. No one needs to be circumcised — to follow Jesus. It’s silly, but I hope you get it. Are you with me on that? I don’t feel at peace to move on from this point. So like here’s what I would say, like then you guys need to keep being the culture. Then you in Flower Mound in particular with the sending off, you guys are going have space to be created. We need you to step into that space. Lewisville, you’re opening the doors and you’re going to have way more people that aren’t the culture than are the culture. So we need you to step into that space and do the things that we do even though you don’t necessarily want to because you’re part of a team and part of a family. My son has to be honoring to his mama even if he doesn’t want to be. And there’s a lot of times he don’t want to be. But he’s part of a family. And so he does thing he doesn’t always want to do so he can have a family that he’ll always want to have. Does that make sense? Oh man, I got so many other things to say. Okay, third thing, if we want this to be normal, you’ve got to become a bringer. In other words, invite everyone but bring someone. We have to understand that people come to this church because we invite them. That’s what the 1st Century church did. The Lord added to their number daily. People are being saved. Which means they’re constantly inviting, but they were literally bringing people. I can give you so many great verses on that, but we’re going to skip them all because at the end of the day the natural response to meeting with Jesus is to invite people to come and counter him as well. Like you understand, this is what Jesus did for you. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” So like he invited everyone, but he brought you right to the Father. And he says now, “You do the same. Bring them to me. And I’ll bring them to the Father.” Like you are our outreach strategy.

Like, “I don’t like this message. Too much stuff.” I know, but listen, you are our outreach strategy. It is not the buildings. It is not the sign. It is not the website. That is just wonderful low-hanging fruit stuff. You are the outreach strategy because you’re Jesus’ outreach strategy. So like Jesus, we’re betting it all on you because the reality is, at the end of the day, when you get delivered, you become a deliverer. A slave who has been set free can’t help but spending their lives setting other people free. And you never know whose eyes God is sending you to open. Like catch this, in Acts chapter 9, “Then Ananias went to the house and entered, placing his hands on Saul. He said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here has sent me to invite and bring you so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and he was baptized.” You might be inviting the next apostle Paul into the kingdom of God. Ananias got up that day and he just thought he was going to live a day. And God says, “No, I want you to invite and bring that guy.” “Oh, my goodness. Are you serious?” That’s the privilege you get. That’s what we get to do. And hear me, when you’re inviting people, you are not inviting people to church, you are inviting them to encounter Jesus. That’s very different.

Okay? So where do you need to become a bringer? Who is God putting on your heart? Who’s one person you need to invite or bring into this place? And then the last thing I would tell you is this. If we want this to be normal, we have to be generous. Acts 2:44, 45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common, selling their possessions and goods they gave to anyone as he had need.” The 1st Century church was willing to use what they had to accomplish God’s purposes. What I want you to understand is that money in your hand is just money. But when it is surrendered and submitted to God, it has the power to release the kingdom. Look, what you have to understand is that Peter’s boat was just a boat until he submitted it to Jesus and Jesus got on it and it became a pulpit where thousands of people heard about the kingdom of God. The donkey was just somebody’s pet donkey until it was given and submitted to Jesus and then it became the vehicle of which Jesus rode into the City of Jerusalem on to die for the sins of the world. The upper room was just somebody’s spare bedroom until it was submitted and surrendered to God. And then it became the place where Jesus had the last supper and where the Spirit of the living God was poured out for the first time. The loaves and the fishes were just a little boy’s lunch until it was submitted to Jesus and then it had the power to become a miracle and feed 5,000 people.

Because God will take our little and he turns it into much. It’s just stuff and money in our hand, but when it’s given to God, it has the power to release the kingdom. That’s what you see with the Louisville building. And that’s probably the most graphic representation we can give you of what your tithes and your offerings do. It brings dead things to life. I had someone this week that said to me, they said, “This is the first time — I’ve given for years. The first time in my life I really can see how my giving is releasing the kingdom of God into this world.” That’s great. That’s what he does. And at the end of the day, God doesn’t want the money out of your pockets. He wants the idols out of your heart. To say I want you to be a part of something bigger, a bigger life. And what we say is things like this, “Man, my life is so messed up. I can’t get involved with other people. I don’t even have enough for myself, let alone to give to other people.” Okay, listen to me. When you give to the work of God, the work of God always gives to you. When you become the answer to someone else’s breakthrough, you position yourself to receive your own.

Proverbs 11 says it like this. “It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy. But those who are stingy will lose everything. The generous prosper and are satisfied. Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” See if you can catch this. It says, “Your provision is found in providing for others.” If you need refreshment in your life, it says get involved in refreshing other people because when the love of God flows through you, it heals you. Now, you will eat from the harvest you plant. The Bible talks about money as seed. And at the end of the day, you will always eat from the harvest you plant. And so, if you never sow any seed, you’ll never have a crop to harvest. Does that make sense? So what I want you to think about in the kingdom of God is that when you’re sowing, when you’re giving into the kingdom of God, what you’re literally doing is you’re giving to create an environment where people begin to grow and ultimately, your kids, your family, you yourself will eat from the fruit of their lives.

That’s how it works. When you give to the kingdom of God, you’re creating an environment where other people are going to grow and eventually, they’re going to grow to this place where they have so much fruit and they’re going to be the ones that mentor your kids, that give your spouse good Godly counsel when you’re in crisis, that pray for you when you’re sick, that serve you when you’re down, that preach the gospel so your parents or your friends can get saved. When you give to the kingdom of God, you are literally investing into your own future. You’re setting in motion a harvest that you will be able to eat of that fruit when you need it the most. Listen to this. Apostle Paul is sitting in jail and here’s what he says to the church of Philippi, the church he planted. He says, “At the moment, I have all I need and even more than I need. I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent to me. They are sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him. And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches who have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Paul is in jail and he had needs. And those needs were taken care of from the fruit of the church at Philippi, the church he started years ago. When he gave into the kingdom of God in that moment, he never understood that he was investing into his future. But here it is all these years later, that fruit has become so great, that they were able to meet his needs in prison, and when he receives it, he smiles and says, oh, this is how the Kingdom of God works, and now that you gave it away, it’s going to come back to you.

Does that make sense to you? I am convinced that most of us never see the needs get met in our lives, the breakthroughs come, the hope that we want, the council that we need, because we don’t set in motion, a crop in the Kingdom of God for our own lives to be able to harvest. Setting people in motion in Lewisville, is setting in motion a harvest that we are all going to be able to eat up. And it probably might not even be you, it might be your kid, or your spouse, or your friend, when they need it the most. That’s worth it to me. So here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to close with communion together. And so our ushers are going to get up, and they’re going to start passing that out, because really, there’s really no better way to send off a campus, than to take communion together. Because it is the most unifying thing we do. We come to the table of the broken body, and the shed blood of Jesus to say, we are all raised from death to life, because of what he has done. And so as this is passed out, as it gets to you, if you believe in the Lord Jesus, if you are a follower of the way, then grab it and take a hold of it, because it’s for you. And if you’re here, and you’ve never done that yet on your spiritual journey, maybe today is your day to say, hey, you know what, if Jesus makes all things new, I want to be new.

If Jesus brings dead things to life, I need some life, if Jesus brings hope to the hopeless, I need some hope, and so maybe by faith, you reach out and say, Jesus, I believe in you and what you have done, and today, I receive the forgiveness of my sins, the crediting of my account, and I believe you’re going to heal my pain and restore me with purpose. That Lewisville building is just a prophetic picture of what Jesus does in our lives. Every person in this room who believes in Jesus, that’s what he has done, for you. And what I love about Jesus is, he creates a multiplying life within us. John 12, he says, the truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies, it will be alone, a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it, but those who despise their life in this world, will keep it for eternal life, all those who want to be my disciples, must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. What Jesus is saying is, he’s saying, hey, you know what, if I just stay by myself, it’s just my own life. But if I’m willing to die on the cross and be buried in the grave, I’m like a kernel of wheat planted in the ground. And when I die, I’m going to release a multiplying life through the course of human history. And he says, oh by the way, if you’re my follower, if you believe in me, then that multiplying life is now in you. If you’re a follower of Jesus, even if you don’t want to be a multiplier, even if you’ve never thought about yourself as a multiplier, the multiplying life of Chris is in you. That’s how you even came to new life. That’s how you got saved.

And so what He is saying is, let that multiplying life be released, and let me make all things new. In Jesus, none of us start committed, none of us are the culture of the Kingdom, we’re the culture of the world. None of us want to be a bringer, and certainly, we don’t want to be generous, but it’s amazing how in that multiplying life of Christ, starts to transform us. Our commitment grows because we realize His commitment towards us. We start to live a new way of life, because he is the one that transforms us. We can’t help but tell about what we have seen and heard, and it becomes easy to be generous because we freely received the grace of God. And so church, as we go from three campuses to four campuses this weekend, we do it, gathered around Jesus. You see on the night Jesus was betrayed, he took bread, and after he broke it, he gave thanks, he said, this is my body, which is broken for you. I’m going to be broken, so you can be made whole, and have a life of purpose. Can we receive his wholeness and his purpose together?

And in the same way after the supper, Jesus took the cup, he said, this is the new covenant, my blood poured out for you, he said, my blood is going to be spilled, so you can be cleansed, so all things in your life will be made new. I’m dying, so you can live, and now I’m inviting you to die to yourself, so that they can live. So church, can we receive the fullness of the forgiveness of Jesus together. So Jesus, we celebrate you in this time, in this place, we thank you for your multiplying life, and we declare that in you, all things are made new. And we are excited for this new season ahead. In your Name we pray. Amen.

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