The world needs you to be set apart. Just start wherever you are and he’ll meet you there!
All right. Yeah, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad that you’re here. Come on, whatever campus you’re at right now, let’s just join in with each other, welcome everybody in.
We are so glad you are here with us today. Next weekend, we will be having baptisms and some special Missional Move Hope For The City announcements and updates, so you’re not going to want to miss that. Next weekend is going to be awesome. But what we’re going to do today is we’re going to wrap up this series that we’ve been in called Set Apart. And I just want to jump right in today because over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the theme, the big idea, our word for the year if you will. And it’s simply this, it’s set apart. That you have been set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God. And there is an anointing and a favor on that word, if you will reach out by faith and activate it and pull it into your life, God has something amazing for you and for us this year as we go on this journey.
And what I’ve been trying to do for the last few weeks is simply this, I’ve been just trying to stir up your faith, man. If you’ve been here and you’ve been trying — I’m just trying to stir up your faith. I’m trying to call you up to a bigger life. And I know as we’ve been doing this, some of you, you’ve been like hungry for this, you’ve been hopeful in hearing this. You’ve reached out, you’ve grabbed it, you’re like, this is for me.
And then I know there’s some of us that we’ve been sitting here listening to this, and honestly we’re a little hesitant about it because it feels a little heavy. It’s a little big. In fact, if we look at our lives and we look at the world and we look at the realities and then we try to match it with Scripture and Jesus and all the things he invites us to, sometimes we’re like, I don’t even know where to start. Well, do you want to know where you start? You start wherever you are because that’s where God will meet you. You start with whatever measure of faith you have and you say, from this point forward, Jesus I want to move with you.
See Ephesians 4:1, I love this verse, it says, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” You’ve been called by God to live a set apart life. He is calling you to live a big, purposeful, significant live. And he says, come on, live a life worthy of that. Live a life worthy of who I am and what I’ve done and who you are and what I’ve created for you to do and to be, and to experience in this life. You have been set apart. Set apart by God, for God, from this world, for this world. He set you apart to think differently, talk differently, act differently, live differently, and most importantly, believe differently.
And whether you realize it or not, you are capable of so much more than you realize and they are so much more available to you than you’re currently living. And this whole set apart reality is not about what you can’t do, it’s about what you’re now empowered to do in Jesus’ name.
So one more time, just walk with me quick on these and let me show you, you are set apart. You are set apart. Jeremiah 1 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God says that he formed you. Before he decided your personality and your skin color and your eye color and your gifts and your passions and your talents and the generation that you would live in, he knew everything about you. And before you were even born, he set you apart. Before you breathe, before you moved, before you took your first cry, he set you apart. He knew everything about you and yet he still chose to set you apart, which means it’s not about what you do, it’s about what Jesus has done.
It’s not about you. It’s about him. And he knew you and he set you apart and he appointed you or has empowered you to live a life for the good of others and the glory of God.
He set you apart. And if he set you apart, it means you can’t give it back. Even if you want to and some days you do, and so do I. But you can’t. You’ve been set apart by grace. By grace. But now, you have been purified from sin, made holy. The word holy literally just means set apart. And for the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about how in Jesus you are holy, not based on what you do but based on what Jesus has done. You may not feel like it, you may not act like it, you may not be living like it, but if you’re included in Christ, then he has made you holy. He has set you apart and given you a perfect standing before God, all because of the power of the name of the Lord Jesus, which means you have been set apart or made holy by grace, not because of what you do but because of what Jesus has done. And that grace doesn’t just forgive you, it empowers you to live a completely different life.
You’ve been set apart by grace, which means you didn’t earn it, deserve it, achieve it, so it’s not elitist or exclusive. Set apart by grace for what purpose? For the good of others. “Live such good lives among the pagans, among the unbelievers in this world that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.” Live such good lives among the world. Do you know what that means? That means that a holy huddle is not holy. A holy huddle, a bunch of church people getting together to be like, we don’t want to be around the world. No, that’s not holy. He says, live such good lives among the people that don’t belief. Jesus was a friend of sinners, man. Holiness empowered him to give and to serve and to sacrifice and to lay down his life. We are now called to do the same thing.
And here’s what I want you to understand, the world does not need you to fit in.
They need you to be set apart. You are of no value to this world if you live like the world. None. Why? Because they need you to live a set apart life, to demonstrate and declare the goodness of God that they may see the kingdom of heaven flowing through your life and offer them a different way. We got to stop talking about how bad the world is and start living in such a way that shows them how good our God is. That people in your life do not need you to fit in. They need you to be set apart for the good of others and the glory of God. “Offer your bodies as sacrifices, living sacrifices, holy, set apart and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Worship is not singing three songs in a church service on a Sunday, no. Worship is living a set apart life in a fit-in world.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, be transformed. Don’t let the world put you into its mold. What God is saying is he is saying, hey, you want to know how to worship me? Do you want to know how to honor me? You want to know how to glorify me? Then let my grace empower you to live a set apart life in a fit-in world. You have been set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God. Notice, you were not created to fit in by effort for the good of yourself to receive the glory of the world.
You are not created to fit in by effort for the good of yourself to get the glory of the world. Come on, man, you’re set apart. You’re set apart. Are you with me on that?
Now, some of you are still like, I still am not sure. I’m not sure about this. I don’t know what it really means. I’m not sure how to conceptually grasp it. But okay, let me simplify the whole thing.
Do you know what I’m really just telling you that our theme for this year is? It’s to just follow Jesus. That’s all it is. To be set apart simply just means to actually be a disciple. To be set apart means to just follow Jesus, not identify with him, not talk about him, not just learn about him, but to actually like follow him one next step at a time, to just simply be a disciple of which he calls us to be because a disciple is simply a learner, one who becomes like the one they follow.
I mean look at what Jesus says to all of us, Matthew 4, he says, “Come follow me and I will make you –” come follow me and I will make you — we follow, he makes. And he is a whole lot better at making than we are at following. He says, hey, if you’ll just follow me, if you’ll just follow me, you will learn to start thinking like, talking like, acting like, living like and believing like me.
It’s literally as simple as that. Don’t get lost in the complexities of set apart and holiness and what I have to do, and what, no, no. Just follow Jesus and be disciple. Think of the disciples, that’s how they became set apart. Peter was a disaster, man. And yet, just following Jesus every day for a couple of years, he became a guy full of peace and joy. John had a major anger problem. But just walking with Jesus day after day, he became the apostle of love. Thomas was a doubter, he had no faith, but just walking with Jesus day after day, he became a man of bold faith. Matthew was a greedy tax collector, and yet just following Jesus, he learned to think like, talk like, act like, live like and believe like Jesus and became a generous man of purpose.
Set apart is just about being a disciple and following Jesus. And when you follow Jesus, Jesus shows you what it’s like to be fully human.
He shows you what it’s like to be fully alive. He shows you what it’s like to live as a beloved son, to step out of a world that steal, kills and destroys, and step into a world full of faith, hope and love. This is why Luke 6 says, “A student is not above his teacher. But everyone who has fully trained will be like his teacher.” Jesus says, if you follow me, you will become like me.
And so at some point we have to ask ourselves, if I’m never becoming more like Jesus, am I actually following him? If I’m not becoming more set apart, what does that mean? Am I actually positioning myself as a student and am I allowing him to be my teacher to help shape and mold me into who he wants me to become, who is inviting me to be?
I mean look at this next verse, John 14, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I’ve been doing.”
We usually read this verse in the context of the supernatural miracles. Like if we follow Jesus, we can heal this blind and give sight to the blind and heal the sick and cast out demons and raise the dead, yes, all that is true. But he’s also saying that anyone who follows will do what I have been doing will live a supernaturally set apart life, in Jesus’ name. That our character will change, and the way we live starts to change.
Galatians 4 says, “Until Chris is formed in you,” every one of us is in this process of Christ being formed in us. And when you’re being formed, pressed, challenged, it doesn’t always feel all that great. Because let’s be honest, every one of us in this room, there are areas where you are formed into the image of Jesus, you reflect who he is and what the kingdom of God looks like. And then there’s other areas where all of us, not so much.
And those are the areas he’s forming, he’s pressing, he’s shaping. And Jesus loves you enough to challenge you. He’s willing to risk you walking away in order to set you free, to call you up to a bigger life, to a different way of living. He wants to form you into his image that you may be set apart in Jesus’ name. Are you with me on this?
Just follow Jesus. As crazy as it is, it’s literally that simple. It just means be a disciple. Like what you have to understand is that holiness flows from relationship. Holiness flows from relationship. Set apart living flows from relationship. Do you remember the story when the teacher of the law comes to Jesus and he says, hey teacher, what is the most important commandment? Out of all the commandments, the hundreds and hundreds of commandments that God has given us, what is the most important commandment?
And Jesus looks right back at the man and he says, the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. All of the law and prophets hinge on those two. In other words, Jesus says, if you will learn to love God, you will naturally keep every command that God has in His kingdom. He says, you can sum up every command, every standard, every expectation, every boundary, literally can be simplified in this really simple reality, love God and you’ll know exactly how to live. Love God, let Him capture your heart and you will start to live set apart.
Why? Because when I love God, my desire start to change, my action start to change, my heart starts to change. And I start to get in alignment with who He is and what He values out of my love for Him.
Which means any place that I’m fitting in with the world is a place where I’m not receiving His love for me, so I’m not reflecting His love back to Him. Are you with me on that? This is why Jesus in John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” I think we often read this with the wrong tone me like, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” It’s not what He’s saying. He’s saying, hey, when you fall in love with me, it will be really easy to live a set apart life. If I love my wife, it’s really easy to do things that honor her. It’s really easy to do things that she values. It’s really easy to do things that mean something to her. And when it’s really hard to do that, what’s the problem? There’s a missing love component.
And so what Jesus is saying is, is he’s saying, if you let me capture your heart, you will start living set apart.
You’ll start living in a way that’s good for others and glorifies God. And where does all that come from? Being a discipline, following Jesus one step at a time, and building a relationship with Him. Are you with me on that? You’re set apart. You’re set apart. And we’re going to go on this journey this year of learning how to live set apart. Don’t worry, this series ends this weekend. It’s not like, please, no more. It’s okay. We’re going to thread it in all through the year in different things that we do.
So here’s what I want to do for the rest of our time, I want to give you five handles of things that you can just grab a hold of. These are real quick, you got to jump on with me and go fast. That’s just going to help you because you’re going to have some days when you’re up, some days when you’re down, some days when you got it, some days when you don’t. But as we go on this journey of following Jesus, being disciples, learning to live set apart, let me give five anchors that you can go back and grab a hold to. Okay. Are you with me on that?
Come on, are you with me on that at all our campuses?
Five things, really quick. This is going to set the tone for you for the rest of the year. First thing is this, remember who you are. As we go on this journey of learning to live set apart, remember who you are because when you know who you are, no one can tell you who you’re not. When God tells you who you are, you don’t want to be anybody else. When you know you are set apart, you no longer want to fit in. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” This is who you are in Jesus’ name.
You can’t say, I don’t want to be this because in Jesus this is who you are. And identity determines behavior. Who you are will always determine what you do, what you believe about yourself always becomes how you start to live in the world around you. And you are chosen, royal and holy. So let’s start living like it.
Let’s have some dignity Let’s have some worth. Let’s have some honor to realize that we’re chosen, we’re royal, and we’re holy in Jesus’ name. I may not feel like it. I may not be living like it. No one in my life may tell me that. But this is who you are in Jesus’ name. And when you start understanding you’re chosen, you’re royal, and you’re holy, guess what, you start living that way. Don’t live down to the world. Live up to who you are in the kingdom of God.
Start understanding that you are holy, you’ll start living a holy life. Start understanding that you are set apart, you can’t help but start living a set apart life. Which means any place that you’re fitting in with this world is a place where you have forgotten who you are in Jesus’ name. Anywhere where I live down to the world, try to fit in to their standards, try to live like them, then I’ve forgotten I’m chosen, I’m royal, and I’m holy.
Listen to me, this world is not your home and this world is not your standard. The kingdom is your home and the kingdom is your standard. And if you forget who you are, you’re going to let the world tell you who you are. And then you’re going to let the world tell you how to live. And then you’re going to wake up one day in a place where the world is stealing, killing and destroying, and wonder how on earth did I get here. Because you will always live in alignment with who you believe you really are. This is why I’m always trying to build your faith, to help you grasp your identity.
If you really believe — here, just hear me. If you really believe you are holy because of what Jesus has done, you would dramatically start living a different life. So we’re in the process of changing our thinking to believe that’s true. See, you have to remember, God never commands you to do something He doesn’t first empower you to do.
He won’t command you to do something without first empowering you to do that thing. And how does he usually empower you to do that thing? Your identity. By changing your identity. Like look at this next verse. This is Philippians 1:1, these are the verses that when we’re reading the Bible in the New Testament, we go through all the letters to the churches, these are the verses we skip over. They’re like the, ‘hey everybody, how are you doing’ kind of things, right? This is like we’re like, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, okay, good, stop. But listen, if you skip them, you miss something major.
Catch this out, just about every letter in the New Testament starts just like this. “This letter is from Paul and Timothy. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus.” He starts the letter by telling them who they are. And then he goes on to tell them how to now live in accordance with who they are. Just about every letter in the New Testament, the beginning, the welcome has some level of declaration of ‘you already are God’s holy people.’
And then he goes on to say, now, in light of that truth here’s how you now live, because this is who you are this is not how you should live. What we do is we skip over this, we get to the commands and we start beating ourselves down, like man, I missed it again. Man, I got to try harder. Man, I got to do better. Yet if you miss this verse and read all the things you’re supposed to do after that, you’re always going to feel bad about yourself. Come on. Remember who you are. To God’s holy people at Valley Creek. Live a holy life. Life a set apart life. Come on. It is impossible to live a set apart life if you don’t first believe that you are who God says you are.
And insecurity is always at the root of a fit-in life because we spend our lives trying to get the world to tell us what God has already have said, that we are wanted, loved, unique, special, accepted and set apart in Jesus’ name. Remember who you are because if you forget it, it’s really hard to live set apart. Are you with me on that one?
Second thing is simply this, have a vision for a set apart live. Have a vision for a set apart life. You have to have a vision for a set apart life or none of these matters. It can’t be my vision, it can’t be our vision, it can’t be your spouse’s vision, it has to be your vision. You say, what is a vision? A vision is seeing what can be in the midst of what if. A vision is a preferred future, an alternative reality, a direction that you’re going. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation or vision, the people cast off restraint.”
So a vision is a revelation, something that God shows you that constrains you and keeps you from perishing, keeps you from missing out on life. It becomes the guardrails that once you have a vision and you know where you’re going, zhoonk, all of a sudden you got guardrails and you know what to say yes to and what to say no to because you know exactly what you’re going after. And remember, it’s direction, not intention that determines your destiny. We all have great intentions about this life that we’re going to live. Intention means nothing. Direction is everything. And what a vision does is it allows you to sacrifice something you love for something you love more.
It allows you to say no to something you love to have a boundary and a guardrail for something you love and want more. You know exactly what to say yes to and exactly what to say no to. So here’s my question, do you have a vision for a set apart life?
Parents, do you have a vision for a set apart family? Like do you have a vision for your family and your kids to have a set apart life? Business people, do you have a vision to have a set apart business? Students, do you have a vision to be a set apart student in your generation? Teachers and sports people and wherever you are and whatever you do, do you have a vision for a set apart life? Because if you don’t, the world will very gladly give you its vision. If you don’t have a vision, the world will very quickly and very gladly give you its vision.
Listen, as a church, we have a vision to be a set apart church. We’re locked in on the vision of who God has called us. We want to live by grace for the good of others and the glory of God. And guess what a vision does, it gives you boldness, it gives you courage, it gives you strength.
All of a sudden, you rise up and you know what to say no to, you know what to say yes to, and you don’t care if anyone else likes it. Come on, this is what a vision does. If you have a vision for a set apart life, hear me, the world isn’t going to like it. And you won’t care. You won’t care. Why do I care? People who live by sight will never understand a vision lived by faith. So all of a sudden, I’m not all that interested if you like my parenting. I don’t really care. All of a sudden, I’m not really all that interested if you like how I live. I don’t really care. All of a sudden, I’m not all that interested if you have something to say about my business or my school or my class or my sports or our church, I don’t really care. Why? Because I’ve got a vision from God for a set apart life to live by grace for the good of others and the glory of God. And I’m going after that with everything I’ve got.
So I’m okay. I don’t have to spend my life trying to get the world’s acceptance or approval because I already know who I am in Jesus, so I already got it. Now, identity determines behavior. Are you with me on that?
And then once you have a vision, you got to speak it out. You got to declare it over and over and over again. Go to the next verse. It says the tongue has the power of life and death. Come on, we say so many negative things to the people on our life all the time. When you have a vision, you start speaking it out. Come on, husbands, say to your wife every day, hey babe, you’re set apart. Wives, say to your husbands, hey, honey, you’re set apart. Parents, every day, when you send your kids off, you’re set apart. Don’t forget today, you’re set apart. Students, tell your parents, tell your friends, you’re set apart. Say to each other in small groups or on your teams, and when you see each other in the city, come on, you’re set apart. You got to say it over and over and over again. Why? Because faith comes by —
And we hear all the time how un-set apart we are. How bad we are. How much we messed up, usually from ourselves. That’s why you got to say it. A vision doesn’t just happen, you have to speak it into existence and then go after it with everything you’ve got. Come on, listen to me. Like I have a vision for my children. Surprise. But if I had a vision for my children since they born, like when they were born, I asked God for like their identity and who they were. Every day I tell my children who they are, I speak identity over them. And then as we’ve grown, and we’ve learned along the way, every day I tell my kids the four core truths of this universe. God is good. Jesus has forgiven me. I am loved. And everything is possible. Every day I say that to them.
Whenever I drop them off at school, sports, at theater, wherever they’re going, I always say the same four things to them when they get out of the car, whatever, I say have fun, do your best, be a leader and learn something new. Say it to them, all the — thousand times. You go ask my kids, they’re going to be able to say it exactly back to you. And now, I get to add in this, every day I want to say, hey, you’re set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God.
Listen to me, I refuse to allow the world to have a more compelling or clear vision for my family than I do. And hear me, parents, the world has a vision for your kids. And it ain’t good. I refuse to allow the world to have a more clear or compelling vision for my family, my kids, my life, our church. Do you have that in your life? Come on, grab it in Jesus’ name and say, you know what, I didn’t have one but now I do. Set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God.
Third thing is this, lean in to Jesus’ church. Lean in to Jesus’ church because guess what, to do set apart living by yourself is almost impossible. Look at this next verse, Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
You know what that means? It means whoever you hang out with, you’re going to become like. Whoever you hang out with, you’ll start thinking like, talking like, acting like, living like and believing like them. So are you hanging out with people that you want to start becoming like? Wise, set apart people or foolish, fit in people?
I mean look at this next verse. We all know this is true, “Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good characters.” Don’t be deceived, don’t be confused. If you hang out with the people of the world, you got to start living like the world. It doesn’t mean we remove ourselves from the world. It means we need each other. See, the church is the word ekklesia which literally just means the called out ones. We’ve been set apart by God, for God, from this world, for this world. And this, what we’re doing right now, the gathering, this is a harbor of hope in a world of despair.
The church, the people of God gathering together, this is like a kingdom embassy of life in a world of death and destruction. This is like an outpost, a demonstration and a declaration of what the kingdom of God looks like. Like here’s my question for you, where else do you go in your life that for one hour everything is about the kingdom? Tell me where else you go in your life that for one hour everything, the thinking, the talking, the acting, the living and the believing is all about the kingdom? That’s why this is so important.
See — okay, are you with me? Lean in with me for a second. Okay. Because this one — this is just — just breathe this one in. Your passion to gather as the church is directly determined by how set apart you live in the world. Your passion to be here today or on any other Sunday is directly related to how set apart to live.
Because if you’re living set apart, you’re living a kingdom life all week long in this world, you can’t wait to get back to a bunch of other people that think like, talk like, act like and believe like you. But if you fit in all week, if the world is comfortable, if the world is convenient, if the world is satisfying or gratifying to you, if you find your pleasure in your life and your peace in the world, then you feel no need to be here. You have no interest to gather. Why? Because I’m so comfortable out there that what do I need — in fact, this becomes uncomfortable to you.
Here’s our problem, we’ve gotten so familiar with the world and foreign with the kingdom. We’re supposed to be so familiar with the kingdom that the world feels foreign to us.
This world is not your home, you’re a citizen of heaven. You’re an alien, a stranger, a foreigner here, the Bible says. And if you feel comfortable out there all day long, then what value is this? In fact, you come in here and you don’t like it because it’s the kingdom and it feels like it’s challenging the world that you’ve built for yourself. Does that make sense to you? And so what does your passion to be here tell you about that?
I mean think about the 1st Century church, I’m just saying, 1st Century church wouldn’t even consider not gathering. They lived in such a way that they weren’t called Christians, they were called followers of the Way. Their live was so different from the world, people define them by how they lived, followers of the Way. And they were like being persecuted for their life. They couldn’t wait for Sundays. They’d come screaming in there, and they’ll be like, oh man, Jesus, thank you, everybody.
They wouldn’t even consider if it was rainy or sunny or windy or hot or cold or whatever saying, nah, not today.
Because they were so set apart. That’s why Hebrews 10, it says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on, we got to encourage each other, towards love and good deeds,” a set apart life. “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.” But let us encourage each other. He says, come on, don’t give up meeting together. Like he says, you need this. You need this because where else are you going that you’re getting familiar with the kingdom of God? You want to live a set apart life? Just show up to church. In today’s world. Just be here and be a part. Why?
Because listen to me, don’t try to be set apart by yourself, man. It’s discouraging. It’s overwhelming. You need a place where you can be honest and share your struggles and your unbelief and your doubt and be vulnerable and walk in and be like, you know what, I didn’t live set apart at all this week. And I’m thankful for grace and forgiveness today. Can you help me this week? Yeah.
Come on, we can do this together. Because guess what, living a set apart life by yourself is very lonely. But God didn’t want you to be lonely. He wants to bring you here. Come on. It’s not that the church has become irrelevant, it’s that the church has become so comfortable with the world that we don’t think we need this. We can’t be more familiar with the world than we are with the kingdom of God. This is the journey of following Jesus. Are you with me on that?
And if we’re honest, most of us take in from all the technology and the life that we have. We take in more of the world in a week than we do take in of the kingdom of God in a year. And then we wonder why we feel so foreign with the kingdom. That’s why we need the gathering. Don’t lean out from the church into the world. Lean out from the world into Jesus’ church because he says you need it. We need this. I get is, the world tells you it’s like sunny and 75, not a good day to go to church.
Jesus says, your soul needs it. Shall I continue on that or move on?
Four, be quick to confess and repent because hear me, you’re going to mess up. So just be quick to confess. Guess what, you’re going to totally blow it. Guess what, great, just turn it back to Jesus, that fast. You’re going to blow it. Confess and repent. Just the moment that you mess up, turn around and run to Jesus. Confess, bring sins out and the darkness into the light, Lord, I totally blew it. He promises He cleanses and He forgives us, and then repent. Change your mind or change your thinking is what repentance is. Confession is agreement with God, I agree about what you say about my life. Repentance is choosing to change my thinking and start aligning and moving in a different direction.
This is why Matthew 4, Jesus’ main message is, “Repent, for kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Repentance is an ongoing reality of life.
It’s not just for salvation. We think repentance is just about getting saved. No. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repentance is how I bring more of the kingdom and more of heaven into my life. Repentance, changing my thinking and changing my direction is how I reach out and grab more of the kingdom and more of heaven and bring it into my life.
The problem is for a lot of us, we repent enough to get into the kingdom, but not enough to see the kingdom. We repent enough for salvation, but not enough to experience a kingdom life. We repent enough for the forgiveness of our sins, but not enough for a set apart life. Listen to me, maturity isn’t that you never mess up. Maturity is that when you mess up, the first place you go is back to Jesus. And I go quick and I go fast.
And so when you mess up, confess and repent. Don’t get in the ditch of condemnation because there’s no condemnation for those who are in Jesus. And if there’s no condemnation in Jesus, then don’t condemn yourself. Don’t condemn yourself over something Jesus has cleansed you from. Don’t trade sins because that’s actually what it is. You messed up, God into the world, don’t now trade that sin for self-condemnation and beating yourself down and saying the cross isn’t good enough for me. Come on, be quick to confess and repent.
And the last thing is simply this, constantly ask, is this good for others and does this glorify God? This is what I’ve been trying to get to each week as I’ve run out of time, like is happening today. Constantly ask, is this good for others and does this — all you could do all the time. Are these thoughts good for others and do they glorify God? Are these words good for others and do they glorify God? Are these actions good for others and do they glorify God?
Is the way I’m living good for others and does it glorify God? Is what I’m believing good for others and does it glorify God? Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every area of your life. Let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading at every part of our — just ask Him, is this good for others and does this glorify God? And He’ll answer you. Don’t overcomplicate set apart living. Don’t let this be about fear and I can’t mess up and should I do this, and I don’t know about that, and can I hang out here and can I be around this person? And I just heard somebody say something bad, what do I do? No. No, that’s the weird people. Don’t do that.
Jesus is a friend of sinners. He heard some rough stuff, man. But what grace does, grace empowers you to live in the world without being influenced by the world. So just keep asking, is this good for others and does this glorify God? If the answer is no, then just turn the direction and follow the Holy Spirit. And it’s hard.
Just this week, I was frustrated about something, and I was talking to my son about it. And I was frustrated and as I started doing it, it was the Holy Spirit was trying to lead me, and He was like this is not good for Him and this won’t glorify God. And I was like, I know but I want to lead today. And I put Him behind me. And I did it. And I said what I wanted to say and all that stuff. And then within the next hour, I knew it. So what do you do? Be quick to confess and repent. I couldn’t wait to get back here to be around kingdom people. I have a vision for a set apart life, so even when I hit the guardrails, I’m still moving forward. And I know who I am in Jesus. Come on, man. The world wants to offer you the path of least resistance and instant happiness. Jesus offers you the path of constant resistance, but lasting value.
It’s not convenient, it’s not easy. But man, it’s worth it. You have been set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God. You’re not supposed to fit in by effort for the good of yourself to get the glory of this world. For three weeks, what I’ve been trying to do is stir up your faith. I’m intentionally throwing things into the atmosphere that I hope you’re going to wrestle with. I’m not trying to answer all your questions. I’m trying to create a bunch of questions in your soul. You’re like, move. I know. Because I want you to have to wrestle with it.
And if you’ve been listening to this and you’re like, man, I don’t know. Listen to me, I love you enough to tell you this stuff. You don’t want a doctor that isn’t going to tell you the truth. You don’t want a teacher that isn’t going to tell you the truth. You don’t want a coach that isn’t going to tell you the truth. You don’t want a pastor that’s not willing to call you up to the big, full, significant, purposeful life that God has for you even though it’s very different than what the world tells you every single day.
Come on, we’re going on a journey together. I want to encourage you, take your Smart TV and instead of binge watching that Netflix series thing, whatever it is, go on your Smart TV, go on Valley Creek YouTube, watch these three messages back. Because don’t pretend like you got it hearing it maybe one of the three messages. Hear it, hear it, hear it. Get it in your mind and in your heart. Because it has to do this, it has to get your eyes out of the broken darkness of this world, that we’re so lost in being familiar with, to come up here and be like, oh my goodness, this is so foreign but I want it to become so familiar because God it’s offering me such a bigger life than what I’m currently living. Okay.
So come on, Valley Creek, you are set apart by grace for the good of others and the glory of God.
In Jesus’ name, may he capture our hearts and help us live set apart. Let’s follow Jesus and be disciples one simple step at a time. So close your eyes with me. Come on, what’s God saying to you? What’s God saying to you right now in this moment? There’s no condemnation for those who are in Jesus. There’s grace. There’s peace. There’s kindness. He is calling us to a bigger life. So maybe today just grab a hold of this truth.
Maybe with whatever measure of faith you have, just grab it and say, Lord, I do believe but help me in my unbelief. Lord, I want this, I want to move forward. I want to rise up to a new — but I don’t know that I can do it. He says, but I can do it through you. So receive this grace. This is not about you trying harder, doing better, doing more. This is about you trusting, surrendering, following, and having a vision for a kingdom life on this earth. So Jesus, would you set us apart? Would you capture our hearts and help us live in different life in this world. By your grace and your goodness, may we rise up in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.