Family On Mission

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Where do you live unashamed? One of our values is we are a family on mission. The mission doesn’t exist for the church; the church exists for the mission. So, how can you live as a family on mission?

Well, hey, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek Church. It’s great to be with you. Let’s do this. From wherever you’re engaging at, whether you’re at our online campus, you’re in Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, The Venue, let’s all welcome each other together today.

I love hanging out with you. So, hey, let me kick things off today with kind of an interesting question. Have you ever seen anyone that doesn’t have any shame? You’re all like, we’re at church, it’s like, “Well, yeah. Nobody has any shame.” Just hang with me, like, somebody just has no shame. Like maybe you saw some people at the beach or maybe there’s that guy that, you know, he’s like completely normal at work or at school or in church. He’s kind of quiet and reserve until you get to his favorite sports team. And then all the quiet and reserve goes out the window and this same guy, he’s now like screaming at a TV, and jumping and throwing stuff. Or you see this same guy at a game and now this guy who’s quiet, never speaks in class, or raises his hands in meeting, now he’s got his shirt off and his chest painted. And he’s like hugging complete strangers and screaming advice at a referee, like no shame, none at all.

How about the parent with the kid who does a little bit of art work. Like maybe the five year old that draws a picture and now his parent thinks like, “This is the greatest piece of art that is ever hit the face of the earth.” They’re posting about it, they’re printing copies. They’re calling the news like, “My kid’s the next Rembrandt.” And you’re looking at it like, it looks like that kid did it blindfolded with his foot. Like, it’s not so good but the parents got no shame at all. It’s kind of some extreme examples but, let me kind of use that to take us to a question, where do you live life unashamed? Where do you live unashamed? Think about what unashamed means, totally free, confident, secure, no self-conscious at all. I mean, it’s the guy with no shirt and his chest painted. He’s totally free. He’s unashamed. Where do you live life like that? I think all of us probably, we have some places where we live unashamed. You know, places, things we are passionate about that we enjoy and that we really believe in.

Let me narrow that down a little bit more. How about with Jesus? Do you have any shame at all when it comes to Jesus? And I’m talking about shame with Jesus, I’m talking about shame about Jesus. I’m not talking about shame with Jesus. Were you got shamed about your past, your failures and mistakes? All that’s taken care off by Jesus. I’m talking about shame about Jesus, who he is and what he’s done. Because I think normally, I could answer that question as, “No, I’m not ashamed about Jesus.” But over these last several weeks when we were reading through the book of Acts, and I’m looking at this early church and this early followers of Jesus, the disciples and all. And I’m like, “Wow.” I mean, there’s this amazing group of people who — they were strangers. Now that this family on mission is so unashamed about Jesus.

And there’s this verse that kept coming up that even I was really familiar with it that the Holy Spirit kept bringing it up for me to wrestle with. It’s Romans 1:16, it says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it’s the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” I’m not ashamed of the Gospel, the good news about Jesus, because it’s the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes in it. And that verse is like really challenging me, but what’s fascinating is that verse is written by Paul who used to be Saul. The guy who is probably the most unashamed about hating Jesus, of anyone in the bible. I mean, before he was Paul, he was Saul the persecutor. I mean, he’s this Pharisee, this religious leader who makes it his life ambition to just hate and persecute anything, all thing Jesus and any follower of Jesus just to torment them, to intimidate them, to arrest them, to kill them. And he truly was unashamed in his hatred for Jesus.

I mean, he’s the guy who in Acts 7, he holds the coats for all the guys that are stoning Steven to death. Like, “I don’t want anything to get in your way. I want you to really wind up, let me have your coats.” He’s got no shame at all. And then he has an encounter with Jesus, with the Gospel and changes everything. And Saul becomes Paul. And you see this guy who is so full of hate in his hard heart and his encounter with Jesus, he’s blinded. And over these next three days, like his complete transformation and when his sight comes backs, he’s now looking through eyes of Grace. And that hard heart was pierced by the grace of Jesus and it’s now soft and it’s full of love. And now, he can’t help but talk about Jesus everywhere he goes. He’s now completely unashamed about Jesus. That’s because Paul knew what it was like to be Saul. Paul knew that he needed salvation.

Like that word salvation in Greek, it’s the word Sozo. It means to heal, to save, to make whole. Because salvation is not about heaven — one day. It’s about being saved and heal to made whole today. And that’s what Paul experienced. He experienced the complete transformation today. And so, he was wholeheartedly like unashamed about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. And so he’s living just like that guy with no shirt and his chest painted. Like he lives this whole different life. Like most of the New Testament is all Paul living this unashamed life, totally free and confident and secure in Jesus. Look at this verse, Paul writes this in 1st Timothy. He says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worse.” Like Paul never lost sight of what the Gospel had done for him. He remembered who he was but then who he became. He knew he had been saved, healed and made whole. He had an encounter with Jesus and it changed everything.

So looking at Paul’s life, I was kind of looking at my own and saying, “I kind of say that about me living unashamed about Jesus.” Can you say that about you? Like do you remember what it was like before Jesus? Do you remember the kind of life that you used to live? Do you remember the things you used to preserve? Do you remember what Jesus has done for you? It’s like I don’t think we talked about the things that we’re ashamed. Like we don’t talk about our mistakes, and our failures and our secrets. Like we talk about the things that we’re proud about. But in this last season, I think one of the things that we have lost sight of the most — over this past year is mission. In all the isolation and seclusion, like we’ve just lost sight of mission, talking about Jesus, who he is and what he’s done. And if we’re honest, like over this last year, we just really got self-focused. We got caught up in self-preservation mode and self-protection. And what are my needs? What are my problems? How to take care of me? And we lost sight of why we are actually here.

My mission. Because mission is what Jesus is all about. In Luke 19:10 Jesus says, “For the son of man came to seek and save the lost.” He says, “I came to seek and save the lost.” You and me and them. That’s why he came. He came on mission. That’s what the Gospel is. The Gospel, the good news about Jesus is that Jesus came on mission for us, to completely change who we are, give us a new identity as God’s children. To restore our relationship with God as our father. And He gave us a whole new purpose in life, mission. To go on mission now to share the same hope that we’ve received with other people. And that’s exactly what happened to Paul. And Paul has been touched by the mission of Jesus and then he became part of the mission of Jesus.

Paul became part of a family on mission. And family on mission is something that you will hear a lot around Valley Creek because it’s who we are. It’s the culture of our family. Like we’re a family that’s on mission. The vision of our church at Valley Creek is that we’re a movement of hope for the city and beyond. The primary way that that happens is through a family on mission. It’s like, you can’t be a movement by yourself. One person isn’t a movement. We had to be together to be a movement. You got to be a family but you got to be a family that actually has purpose, has mission. Go on and sharing the hope of Jesus. That’s a family on mission, that’s what a movement of hope looks like. And I think this family, the Valley Creek family, I think it’s pretty fantastic. I think this is a great family. And I think a lot of you, you probably have a high value for this family. Like you value who we are and you value the services and then the experiences. And you value what we have for kids, and students and you found friends here and you found belonging here and it’s been great you value it.

And some of you, you value mission. And you lead, and you serve, and you invite and you include and you take the hope that you’ve received here and you carry out other areas of life. But let me see if I can elevate the value of family on mission for all of us just a bit. So think about it like this, the mission existed before the family. Like I realize that the mission came first. From the very beginning, God’s been on mission to build a family. It’s what the whole — the whole bible is a story about God building a family. And then when that family got broken, the sole reason Jesus went on mission was to restore the family again. I mean, in John 1:12, it says, “But to all who believed Him, Jesus, and accepted Him, he gave the right to become children of God.” It’s what Jesus mission was, to make a way for people to become part of God’s family. The mission was for the family. You see Jesus didn’t — He didn’t start this family. He didn’t start the church. And then like, I got to have some for them to do. I got this great church, I got this great family, I’m very bored. I got to come up with something for them to do. Mission. That’s what they can do.

That’s not what happened. But we kind of think that. We think like, we came up with mission or it was just kind of an add-on for Jesus to his church and that’s not it at all. The mission doesn’t exists for the church. The church exists for the mission. I guess we’re saying it again. The mission doesn’t exists for the church, the church exists for the mission. That’s the sole reason Jesus established his church, his family was for the mission. He said, “I will build a church to accomplish my mission. I will build a family to build the family. To be on mission to share the Gospel, the good news about me.” Because of salvation, it can heal and save and make whole anyone who believes. Jesus made a way for all of humanity to become part of the family but didn’t He entrusted that mission to the family.

He said, “Hey, I’m going, but I’m going to leave my mission with you.” Think about it like this, he empowered us to watch the kids. My wife and Iris, we have four kids and easily they’re the most valuable thing in our life. I didn’t have to think about that. Our kids are the most valuable thing in our life. And our oldest is our 16 year old, Thatcher. And sometimes, we will trust and empower Thatcher with the kids like watching them, taking care of them. And he recently got his driver’s license. And so, like that first morning when, you know, he loaded up the three girls in his car and he took everybody to school. And it was tough. You know, that’s kind of like our whole little world all on this one little car, but, you know, we were trusting and empowering him with what matters the most. That’s exactly how God use you. He has trusted and empowered you with what matters the most, people, His kids. “I am giving you the keys to my kingdom. I am entrusting you with the whole world. Go.”

Like Thatcher’s my beloved son, that’s why I empower him. You are God’s beloved sons and daughters and He has empowered you to go bring His lost sons and daughters home. That’s what it’s all about. And then He gave us everything we would need to do that. In Acts 1:08 Jesus says, “Hey, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses. You will be a family on mission, telling people about me everywhere. In Jerusalem, throughout Judah, and in Samaria, into the ends of the earth.” Jesus says, “Hey, family. Hey, church. I’m giving you my mission. I’m giving you my very spirit. Now go turn the world upside down.”

And it’s exactly what you see happen in the book of Acts. You see this family, this church on mission just totally rocks the world around them. And I see that right here at Valley Creek. I see this family on mission who’s turning the world upside down around them. And that’s who we are and it’s what Jesus showed us from the beginning. I mean, Jesus and the disciples, it’s a picture of family on mission. That Jesus was modeling it for us. It’s the furthest thing — when the disciples started, they were like, “What’s a family?” They weren’t a family at all. They were these dysfunctional ragtag group of guys. I mean, you had some of them that were fishermen. You got one of them that was a tax collector that worked for the Roman government. You have another one that’s a zealot and wants to overthrow the Roman government. You have some of them, they’re so private, nobody knows what they do. They’re just this group of guys but then Jesus goes on mission to them and they become brothers, they become a family. And then they go on mission to build the family. A group of 12, goes to 70, into a 120, into 3,000, and Jerusalem, and Judah, and Samaria, into the ends of the earth, into you and to me.

I mean, do you realize there wouldn’t be one single one of us engaging today if it wasn’t for a family on mission that was sharing the Gospel, the good news about Jesus over and over and over until it hit you and me. Like think about that. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for a family that was on mission for us, who needs to be here today because we’re a family on mission to them. Because we do have a responsibility to give what we received. We just prayed for that earlier. We have a responsibility that we’ve received the mission of Jesus. We’ve received hope, and grace, and life, and salvation. We have a responsibility to go and share that with other people and that’s what God is calling us back to. God is calling us back to family, back to mission, back to being a family on mission. So where do we go, how do we start, what do we do? We go back to Romans 1:16, you go back here and say, “I am not unashamed of the Gospel, the good news about Jesus, because it’s the power of God that brings Salvation to everyone who believes.”

That’s where we go back to, but why don’t we? Like that’s true. Why are we as unashamed about Jesus and the Gospel as we are at politics, and our sports, and our hobbies, and our jobs? Maybe it’s fear, man. Maybe we’re just worried about what people are going to think, how people are going to view you if you make it all about Jesus. Maybe you’re fearing and worried about losing a relationship, a friendship, maybe you’re scared of living a different life. Or maybe you just don’t believe in the power of the Gospel, “Like God hasn’t done this for me, and so, I’m not really sure he would do it for somebody else.”

But remember, it is the power for salvation, to heal you, save you, make you whole. Not just get you what you want. Or maybe you’re just insecure about, “Like I don’t know enough about Jesus. I don’t want to talk to people about Jesus, because what if they ask me something that I don’t know?” I get that. All those worries, all those concerns, all those fears. Those same things, they face the early church too. They didn’t have all the answers. They didn’t know it all, but ultimately, they didn’t let that stop them. They’ve been so impacted by the mission in Jesus, they just couldn’t help but go be a part of the mission of Jesus. Because here’s the thing, when it comes to the mission of Jesus, the level to which you’ve been transformed by the mission will equate to your level of boldness for the mission. Like when you’ve been transformed by the mission of Jesus, it will equate to your level of boldness for the mission of Jesus.

I mean, think about Paul. I mean, here’s a guy. He goes from Saul the persecutor to Paul the apostle. He goes from the most unashamed persecutor of Jesus to the most unashamed proclaimer of Jesus. And then you see that all through the book of Acts, you see just these people who are so bold and unashamed even when they didn’t have all the answers, you know, they weren’t like all formally educated. They didn’t have the bible. They didn’t — but they could talk about what they’ve seen and heard. They could talk about what Jesus had done for them and talk they did. In the face of all those doubts and fears and unknowns, they talked about Jesus. And I know we can get caught up in like, “I don’t know how to do that. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know how to bold and unashamed.” Okay, don’t overcomplicate it. It’s not complicated. It’s just some simple things like this. It’s like going to a restaurant and noticing if something is off with your server. Like if something is wrong with them and being bold and unashamed enough to just say, “Hey, is everything okay? Is everything that I can pray for you about?”

That’s being bold and unashamed to just share the goodness of Jesus with somebody. Or it’s students going to school and being bold and unashamed enough to just talk about what Jesus is doing for them with their friends, with their teammates, with their teachers, with their coaches. It’s you being unashamed enough to actually post about what Jesus is doing in your life on your social media. It’s doing things like not taking jobs and selling homes so that you can be part of mission. I say all of those things because I see those things happening in this family all the time. All the time I’m here, I see Valley Creek being bold and unashamed family on mission. So don’t overcomplicate it. Just don’t be ashamed of hope. Just don’t be ashamed of hope. But at the end of the day, it’s going to cost something. It’s going to cost something to be a family on mission.

Like do you remember the story about Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus is one of my favorite stories in the bible and this is a guy who — he probably had a rough life growing up. By facing a lot of persecution and grief over his height. And so, he finds a way to kind of get back at everybody, to get his vengeance. And he becomes a tax collector. So I’m going to get some powers and vengeance. And that’s what he does. His life is defined by vengeance and cheating people and he’s great at it. He says that he’s rich and he’s successful, and he’s one of the most influential man in the area. And he’s miserable. And he’s hearing people talk about Jesus. They’re talking about what they’ve seen and heard and what they’ve experienced. And he’s heard them talk about hope. He’s like, “I got to see this and check this out for myself.” And so, he hears that Jesus is coming to his town and he finds a way to go meet Jesus. And in his one encounter with the Gospel with Jesus, it changes everything. And he is completely changed. The salvation comes to Zacchaeus and he is healed and saved and made whole. And you see his response — like he immediately says, “I’m going to give half my wealth away. And I’m going to — if anybody that I’ve cheated, I’m going to pay them back three times what I’ve cheated them out of.” And he has this party who’s proclaiming and talking about Jesus. And I think we tend to stop the story right there.

And I think that was the extent of it. Like he was really generous, he gave a lot away. He made restitution. He had this party talking about Jesus. But that was just the surface level cost. What about the next level cost? Like what do you think his wife thought after he gave all that money away? I think that wouldn’t help. Or how about all of his friends that depended on him cheating people for how they partner with him and for the extras that they got? Or how about with his boss, when his production dropped because he’s not cheating people anymore? Or just some of those relationships that now that he’s living a different life, they don’t want anything to do with that.

There was a lot of next level cost for Zacchaeus, but ultimately, he was totally fine. Because he had been humbled, and he had been honored, and he had received hope, and he was not unashamed of hope. So I think with us, I’m not like, “We’re okay with those surface level cost but I think we’re not okay with the next level cost.” Like if I’m going to be a family on mission, it might mean that I don’t have those friendships anymore. That I’m going to be a family on mission, that it means I can’t trash those politics and that politician anymore. That if I’m going to be a family on mission, I can’t live that same life anymore. I’ve got to live differently. Like I think sometimes, we just don’t want to pay the cost. And when you’re feeling that way, when you’re wrestling with those cost — and here’s what you do, you just again, go back to where we started, Romans 1:16. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. The good news about Jesus because it’s the power of God that brings salvation to you, to me, and to everyone else who believes.

If you’re feeling ashamed, if you’re feeling that tension, just remind yourself of what the Gospel has done for you, of your salvation that has healed you, and saved you, and made you whole. That you have received hope and allow that to fill you within with the boldness to say I’m not unashamed about Jesus. And I don’t care what the cost is because I received salvation. I received hope. And so, I’m going to go be a family on mission to go and give it away. I’m not ashamed to hope. And so, here’s the thing, here’s a really easy way to jump back into being a family on mission. Next week is Easter and we are going to put Jesus on display. We are going to have a full experience with the Gospel.

Bring someone. Invite someone. If you’re online, share the link. This past year has been really hard for a lot of people. Let’s beat them down. Who needs to be encouraged with an encounter with Jesus? Because one encounter with Jesus changes everything. So just bring someone, invite someone. Here’s the thing, like the whole point of this message isn’t to invite someone to church. It’s about us responding to God calling us back to family, back to mission, back to being a family on mission sharing the hope of Jesus. And so, mission requires movement. You got to take steps. And so, here’s some really simple next steps to just go and live our life of being a family on mission. Use your social media. Just use your social media. Just talk about Jesus. Like can you imagine if the early church has social media? What that would look like? Like think about if Peter had social media? He’ll be like, “Oh, check me out, I’m walking on water. Yeah. Oh, I’m sinking. Oh, where’s my phone?” Peter’s a little brat, he’ll probably post some stuff, had to take it back down.

But I think most of the early church, like it would have been incredible. Because in Acts 4:20 it says, “They couldn’t help but talk about what they’d seen and heard.” I think that social media, it would be full of what they were seeing and hearing and experiencing with Jesus. They’d be talking about how somebody and pray for them and how God moved or how they got to go and pray for somebody else. They got to talk about how they see just people blessing other people and meeting their needs and how they’re watching relationships get healed. And God moving and doing miracles in life. Like they would be talking about it. Let’s do that. For a lot of us, social media is the loudest voice you have. It’s the loudest and most furthest reach in voice you have. And here’s what’s cool, social media echoes. You say something one time and it just says it over, and over, and over, and over. So let’s talk about Jesus. Something else you can do really simple? Just serve someone. Just serve. And Jesus is the greatest servant that ever walked the face of the earth. And as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, everything he did was beneath Him, so there’s nothing that’s beneath us.

So just practically look at how can I serve people? Like maybe it’s your own family, maybe it’s people you go to school with. It’s a friend, a teacher, a coach, maybe it’s a neighbor, those people at work, maybe it’s somebody who serves you. How can you serve someone else because serving someone is one of the most tangible ways to start showing them Jesus? Now here’s the last one, just tell your story. Just talk about who you were and who you are. Just tell your story what Jesus has done for you. I mean, the last 10 chapters of Acts are basically Paul telling his story over and over again. He’s just telling different people in different ways, “This is who I was and this is who I am.” Tell your story with Jesus.

I love this verse in 1st Peter 3:15, it says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I love that. So be prepared. Just ask God to remind you. “God, what’s the reason for the hope that I have? Please remind me what you’ve done? Would you remind me what the Gospel’s done for me? Remind me for the reason for the hope I have.” And then just go tell your story about that hope. You see, we still believe that we are a family on mission. And we still believe in the power of the Gospel that it is the power for salvation to heal, save, and make whole everyone who believes. So next week, let’s go be a family on mission. So what do you need to do to go on mission with the hope of Jesus?

Just close your eyes and just pray with me. Lord Jesus, we thank you so much that you went on mission to us. Bold and unashamed, you came on mission to us, to bring us your grace, and your life, and your hope. I just invite you, would you remind us fully that with your Holy Spirit to speak to us and remind us what we’ve received, how the Gospel has transformed us, how we have been saved, and healed and made whole. Remind us of our life, remind us of the grace and the forgiveness and may it just turn up in us just a boldness and an unashamed confidence, and freedom, and security to go and talk about you. May our family, the Valley Creek family truly rise up to be more resolute than ever, to respond to your call to be a family, to be on mission, to be a family on mission.

You are worth it, Jesus. We are unashamed of you. We thank you and we love you. In your name we pray, Amen.

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