I’m Done Living Small

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I’m done living small. I was created to be a part of something bigger. I was created to move hope. I was created to live an abundant life one full of purpose, full of hope! In Jesus there’s always more! Who doesn’t want that? A life that doesn’t settle for scarcity, but believes God has everything we need. Instead of being defeated by problems, you live a lifestyle of doing the impossible, instead of living small, making a difference with your life.

What’s up Valley Creek students!!! It’s MVMNT NIGHT!!!!! I am so excited to be here & I hope you’re excited to be here tonight because it’s already been awesome & it’s going to continue to be awesome. But before we continue let’s take a moment to welcome in all of our campuses together. So, if you’re joining from Gainesville Denton Lewisville or Flower Mound let’s make some crazy noise for all of our campuses.

Tonight, is our first official movement night of 2021. We are believing that in this new year God has even more for us. Everybody say “even more”. We’re positioning our heart and our beliefs to receive everything he has for us this year. That no matter what the world throws at us, 2021 is going to be incredible because where God is leading us is always better then where we’ve been. And in Jesus there’s always more!

if you’re brand new, I just want to take a minute and personally welcome you! We’re so grateful you made it out tonight. Just take it all in and have a lot of fun. For those of you who have been tracking with us, let’s keep moving forward. Let’s take a minute as we begin a brand-new year to remind ourselves of exactly who we are and what we do here at Valley Creek Students.

And if you remember, our vision has been that we are a movement of hope.

So, Who Are We?
WE ARE … 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 and label us, we choose to only be defined by the hope of Jesus. That’s who we are.

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 to 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. And it’s incredible! So, from the Tent to the Student Section, there’s a place for you here on the weekend.

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. It is where we do life together. If you’re looking to get connected, you need to join a circle on WEDNESDAYS. Student Circles will be launching on January 20th!!! That’s next Wednesday night!!! Make sure you don’t miss out.

We also have Student Leadership. Let me hear you say, “I’m a leader” Yeah you are! You saw the video for that and that’s also going to be incredible!

Last but not least have MVMNT NIGHTS!!! And we’re experiencing it right now!!!!

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

MVMNT NIGHT is a time to invite your friends, have fun and worship with passion.

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, you definitely want to be here and you for sure want to invite your friends.

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 over a region.

This is a movement!!!

I want you to think about a movement for a minute… You see movements come and go all the time in life (civil rights movement for racial equality, we have save the children movement to rescue kids from being trafficked, we have movements dedicated to green earth and recycling, we see movements all the time.

Some are really good and create real change, others it seems we can never get figured out and we are having the same conversations year after year. But somewhere inside us there seems to be this pull for justice, a passion to see wrong things made right, to see a solution to the problems in our world. The reason you experience this is because God placed that inside of you… because in Jesus you were meant to be a part of the greatest movement in all of human history. The Movement of Hope!

And This movement all started when Jesus moved from heaven to earth 2k years ago, lived this incredible life we were meant to live, but died the death we deserved for our sin shame & guilt, came back to life defeating death and sin, offering hope and freedom to anyone who wanted it.

Tonight, He offers you hope and freedom if you want it.

And He not only offers us new life, but Jesus also showed us with His life that there is always more. There’s more to life than just existing, than just going thru the motions, than just settling for whatever comes your way or just doing whatever the world is doing at the moment. There’s more. Jesus shows us there’s always more life, more hope, more purpose, and more of Him.

It all started with his disciples. He did life with them and invited them into what it looks like to walk out kingdom realities in every-day circumstances.

He started a movement where wrong things are made right, broken things are restored, crooked things made straight, he started a movement of Hope. He demonstrated & modeled what our lives can look like… and what a life looks like when it’s fully submitted to the movement of hope.

Let me tell you more about Jesus…
* Story – wrong made right – (deaf man Mark 7:31-7)
Let me tell you about this deaf guy. There were some people who brought this deaf guy over to Jesus… Because he was deaf, he also couldn’t speak. So, Jesus takes this guy aside from everyone, and does the strangest things to him. Jesus first puts his fingers in his ears, and then not to get even more strange, he spits on the ground and then touches his tongue. He then looks up to heaven, took a deep sigh, and simply says “Be Opened”. This guy wasn’t blind so he could see the whole thing happening, you can imagine how strange this must have been for the blind man. Like what is this man doing to me??? But it says as soon as Jesus said, “be opened”, his ears could hear, and he could speak normal like anyone else. What was wrong in this man’s life Jesus made it right. In Jesus there’s always more.

* Story – broken restored (blind man John 9:1-11)
Another time there was this blind guy who couldn’t see you know because he was blind… This time Jesus decides to spit on the ground and make mud out of it… kinda gross right? But that’s what he does. Then he picks it up and put its it on the man’s eyes. Now fortunately this man WAS blind so he couldn’t see what Jesus was doing. Maybe he thought it was sliced cucumbers or something idk… but then after Jesus outs it on his eyes, he sends him to a certain place to wash the mud off. It says when he did that, on his way home he could see. Jesus completely healed him and showed him literally that there’s always more! What was broken in this man’s life Jesus restored it.

* Story – crooked made whole (paralyzed man Mark 2:1-12)
How about the time Jesus was teaching an in home bible study and all of the sudden the roof gets ripped off in the middle of his teaching? Turns out these 4 guys had a friend who was paralyzed and couldn’t walk. So, they heard about Jesus, put their friend on a mat and carried him to Jesus. Once they get to the house, it’s so crowded there’s no getting in. Determined to get their friend to Jesus, they proceed to get on top of the house and rip open the roof and lower their friend down. Jesus then tells him he’s forgiven for his sins. The religious pharisees get mad at Jesus for doing this so Jesus also tells the paralyzed man to get up and take your mat and go home. The paralyzed man got up and walked away like he had never been crippled in his life. Jesus offers this man so much more than what he had been living down to in every way possible. What was crooked in his life was made whole in Jesus.

* Story – dead to life (invite into the story, and ask questions) (Lazarus John 11:1-44)
And then we have the time Jesus decided to show up late when all hope was lost and bring a dead person back to life 4 days after he had passed away! See this was Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus. And when Jesus showed up, Martha said, “if you would have been here you could have healed him” See she believed that Jesus could heal but didn’t quite have the faith that he could raise the dead.. c’mon, someone in here tonight needs to here this. So, Jesus walks over to the tomb and tells Lazarus to come out. Sure enough, he walks out all wrapped in his grave clothes looking like a mummy. What was once dead Jesus brought back to life.

Maybe you feel like you can’t hear or see God or maybe you’re paralyzed by fear or even worse you feel dead inside or something in your life has died and for some reason blame God for what happened.. maybe you’ve lost all hope…

PROPHETIC
I wonder where in your life you have closed your ears to what God has been trying to tell you and like this deaf guy, you too aren’t living life to the full? Tonight, Jesus wants to open your ears back up again.

Is there a place in your life you have closed your eyes to what God has been trying to show you? Like this blind guy you know you haven’t been living life to the full. Tonight, Jesus wants to open your eyes.

Maybe there’s just so much going on in the world and in your life that you have become paralyzed, afraid to move. You now it’s keeping you from living life to the full. Tonight, Jesus is activating Hope in your life so you can once again live with purpose.

Maybe tonight you don’t know Jesus, spiritually you feel dead inside. I just want you to know that much like the dead guy in that story Jesus has come here tonight to speak life over you. To call you out of whatever grave you have been living in, out of darkness & into his light. Into a life filled with Hope!

Whatever is Wrong in your life, in Jesus it can be made right.
Whatever is broken inside of you, in Jesus it can be restored
Whatever is crooked in your life in Jesus can be made whole again
Wherever it may seem dead in your life, in Jesus you can experience life again!!!!

What Jesus was trying to show us is that

When you activate Hope, you can live an abundant life. There’s always more in Jesus – Never Settle

Not only can you live an abundant life, but God WANTS you to live an abundant life!

John 10:10 I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance!

That’s what Jesus has to say about it.

In Him there’s always more! Who doesn’t want that? A life that doesn’t settle for scarcity, but believes God has everything we need. Instead of being defeated by problems, you live a lifestyle of doing the impossible, instead of living small, making a difference with your life. Imagine changing every environment you step into because you walk in with Hope. Not wishful thinking hope, but the confident expectation of the goodness of God Hope. Because you’re a part of the movement of Hope.

Like when you look at this list of things, we do here… what if instead of just showing up for the these, what if we showed up believing there was even more for us…
– Student weekend experience
– Circles
– Student Leadership
– Movement Nights

I’m telling you there’s always more, but you’ll only find it in one place. And Matthew gives us the key to unlocking that…

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life…

While the whole world is wildin out and acting crazy on this wide road to destruction over here, Jesus invites us to the narrow gate that leads to an ever-widening life! The gate that leads to HOPE.

That’s why …
LIVING THIS ABUNDANT LIFE STARTS WITH KNOWING JESUS PERSONALLY

It’s choosing to surrender your life to Jesus and trust what He has already done on the cross to save you, to forgive you, to give you new life. If you have never placed your trust in Jesus alone to save you, that needs to be your first move tonight! Saying yes to Jesus, being willing to follow Him instead of settling for what the world does. There’s so much more for you than how you may have been living up till now.

Romans 10:9 tells us that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

You can have the more that’s available to you in Jesus!!! It’s believing what Jesus did was enough for you and trusting Him enough to surrender your life. And you can know Jesus personally tonight… Do you need to start a personal relationship with Jesus tonight?

And if you have already been walking with Jesus but you don’t feel like you’re living an abundant life, I want you to know that in Jesus THERE’S ALWAYS MORE FOR YOU!!!

So many times, as we follow Jesus, we are tempted and often settle for less than what God created us to do. We settle for a life of mediocrity when we were designed to stand out.
– At school we settle for being a part of the “crowd” in order to be accepted even though in Jesus we are fully known & fully loved with no fear of rejection.
– Online we settle for compromising our values in order to get likes, comments, followers and influence, even tho in Jesus you already have everything you need. You’re already an influencer.
– In our relationships we settle all the time for temporary satisfaction, looking at the world’s standard instead of lasting fulfillment by doing things God’s way.
– In life we constantly change and adjust in order to fit in and please those around us instead of walking confidently in our Identity as beloved sons and beloved daughters to a good father, and instead of walking out our God given kingdom purpose to carry Hope.
– Or maybe it’s something else but you know you are settling in your heart.

What is Jesus revealing to you right now?

And I understand because I have been there too… and I know that in Jesus there’s always more, so wherever you are tonight on your journey with Jesus there’s more for you.

Where in your life do you need “The More” we have been talking about tonight?

When you activate Hope in your life you start to live life to the full, overflowing, abundance, not empty, not meaningless, but full… full of life, full of purpose, full of joy, full of Hope…

So, if living an abundant life DOES NOT describe the way you are currently living, this is your invitation to “there’s always more”

Let me tell you a story…
CHEESE AND CRACKERS STORY

There was a family in Europe who had hopes of a brand-new beginning and a fresh start in America. They worked hard and saved up everything they had in order to buy fares for everyone in the family. They had enough left over to buy snacks to hold them over for the 5-week journey. So, the day came when they finally boarded the ship to start a new life. It was just them, a small amount of luggage and some cheese and crackers.

They stayed in a small cabin in the lower part of the ship. It was uncomfortable but they knew they had hope of a better life. So, they were ok with it. In the evenings they heard everyone else in the banquet hall, dancing and eating and having a great time… but they were ok with that because they had hopes of a better life in America. Each night this would happen and each night they would eat their cheese and crackers with just enough to get by.

On the final night, the captain announced they would make land fall the next day. The family was so excited they were so close. That night the father went out to talk with the captain. He said, “ I know it’s the last night of our trip before landing in America, and I just wanted to know how much it would cost for my family and I to join the others in the banquet hall for the final night so we can eat and dance with everyone else. The captain just looked at the man puzzled and asked, “You mean you haven’t been eating in the banquet hall this whole time? Sir, the cost of your fare was all inclusive. You had access to the banquet hall this entire trip.”

And I feel like in the same way so many of us have settled for a small life with cheese and crackers in in hopes of “heaven someday”, when in reality God has invited us to the banquet hall to eat and dance and live the life he has dreamed for us, to experience heavenly realities in our lives today. They thought because they were headed to America, they weren’t living small, but they were, and when they realized it, it was too late. Don’t let that be you.

Let’s stop living small. I don’t want to just “show up” on weekends, I want to experience God. Let’s be done “just surviving” each week, let’s go on mission with God and live life to the full. Let’s be done settling for small compromises, and live walk in the character and power of Jesus.
Let’s not just live for that gpa or that team, or that relationship, or doing “just enough” to get by, these are all living small, cheese and crackers.

God has abundance for you. Abundance looks like living life to the full, looks like inviting people to experience God & living with passion, it looks like going through your week on mission when you’re at school or with your team, it looks like using whatever you have for the good of others and the glory of God. It looks like living under an open Heaven where what’s right in the kingdom of God starts to become a reality in your everyday life. You expect God to show up, you expect miracles to happen, you expect people to respond when invited to Circles, you expect God to answer prayer, you expect abundance in the kingdom for YOU. You expect that with Jesus there’s always more!!!

In Jesus there’s always more … Never Settle for less…
It all begins in our hearts. It’s when in our hearts we surrender our ideas to God’s ideas, when we give up what we think is best and instead choose God’s best for our lives. It’s when we literally give over everything in our lives to Jesus and trust that He knows better than we do, so we follow. So we follow…

It’s interesting when you look at these guys, we talked about earlier… they all have some things in common. None of them were living life to the full. None of them could get there on their own. Jesus showed each of them a more full life. But you know what else they had in common? They each had to move, to respond to the goodness of God to get to their full life. The deaf guy had to choose not to run away from Jesus, The blind guy had to choose to go wash off the mud, the paralyzed guy had to choose to walk when he had no idea how, and the dead guy had to come out of the grave and live… What’s wild is that they didn’t realize there was more life to be lived until they met Jesus. And maybe tonight you didn’t realize there was so much more for you too, but Jesus is here and he’s inviting you in…

Deaf Guy
Blind Guy
Paralyzed Guy
Dead Guy

In a moment you’re going to have an opportunity, an opportunity to do the same. Sometimes it’s when we obey in the physical it releases breakthrough in the spiritual. Just like the blind man we talked about earlier, it was his physical obedience to go wash in the place Jesus sent him, that allowed him to walk away with his eyes completely healed. C’mon, tonight there’s a breakthrough waiting for you, but you gotta resolve in your heart that you’re done with the cheese and crackers of life. You’re done living small, you want it all, everything God has for you.

We’re activating hope right now. We are going to be active about this… this isn’t something we’re going to get to later, this happens right here, right now…

* this is for you if tonight you need to know Jesus personally & start a relationship with Him.
* this is for you if tonight you are tired of settling for a life of mediocrity. You’re ready to give up the cheese and crackers for everything God has for you.

Whenever you’re ready we are inviting you to stand up out of your seat, all over north Texas, & respond to what God is saying to you. When you’re ready to trade in living small for what God has for you instead, stand up, walk down to the front of the room, grab one of these, and then take it back to your seat with you. This is the moment that creates movement in our hearts that leads to breakthrough, don’t miss it. Once you get your cheese and crackers, DON’T OPEN IT, DON’T EAT IT. Pray and ask God for the abundant life He wants to give you.

So, whenever you are ready, stand up and by faith walk down to the front and take one of these packages. We’re going to privately decide & publicly declare… I’m done with living small. I was created to be a part of something bigger I was created to move hope I was created to live an abundant life… one full of purpose, full of hope!

We’re going to take this a step further tonight. If you have one of these packs, pull out your phone… Go ahead and pull it out right now & scan this QR Code you see on the package. It’s going to bring you to an IMAGE that says, “I’m all in with Jesus”. What we are going to do right now is save that image to your phone & post it to your social media accounts. We aren’t saving it for later we’re doing it now, together. This is really important; we are going to use the #MVMNTofHope..

Why? Because it’s easier to get up in a room full of people who will celebrate you for activating your faith. But we are a movement of Hope which by nature requires movement. So, posting this right now to your social media accounts and telling the whole world is far more difficult, because it requires your heart to be in it. And maybe you’re like this is messing up my aesthetic…. But what does that say about your aesthetic, that Jesus is messing it up. Maybe tonight that’s exactly what needs to happen. And I wonder what spiritual breakthrough you will discover in this physical act of obedience.

C’mon, lets tell the whole world we are done living small… if you haven’t posted yet, grab your phone and scan this code and let’s stop living small, and start living in abundance.

And here’s the next layer. You get to invite everyone who comments on this post or asks about it, to Student Circles Launch on the 20th. Next Wednesday. Let’s post it, let’s use the hashtag, and let’s invite every student who asks about it to circles… You wanna see what a MVMNT Looks like… as we do this right now all over North Texas on our different social media platforms and start inviting friends to Student Circles you will see God move in your life and the lives of those around you..

let’s not just talk about it, let’s be about it… In Jesus there’s always more, never settle for cheese and crackers.

PRAY

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