RE-Focus

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Where do you need a “RE” in your life? Re-start? Re-store? Re-connect? In this message, we start our 3-day encounter with God and REfocus on Him.

Alright. Hey, everybody. Happy New Year to you. New beginnings, fresh start, second chances in Jesus’ name. And I believe the Lord wants to say to you, forget the former things, do not dwell on the past for I am doing a new thing right now.

Come on. Welcome to Valley Creek Church. I’m so glad that you’re here with us. Come on, whatever campus you’re at, whether you’re in Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, The Venue or online somewhere in the world, let’s give it up for each other right now. Come on. Oh, come on, come on. Let’s give it up for each other. Come on. We are one church that meets in multiple campuses that carries the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations. And I want to welcome you to RE, our three-day encounter with God. RE. Those two little letters that if you put on the front of any word changes everything. Re means to go back. Restore. Renew.

Redeem. Revive. Reclaim. Reconcile. Rest. Receive. Release. Jesus changes everything.

And so for the next three days, we’re starting this year by having an encounter with God, seeking Him first. We’re starting by refocusing our life because if we’re honest, last year we lost a lot of our focus for a lot of different reasons, a lot of different things. It’s time to refocus back on what matters most. And his name is Jesus. It’s time for you and me to breathe again, to believe again, and to begin again. And so what we’re doing today is a little bit different. Right now at all of our campuses, we are broadcasting the entire service so we can do this with one voice, with one heart in unity together.

Normally, we have local worship and then we broadcast the message. Today, we’re broadcasting the entire experience so all of our campuses and everybody who is online, we are literally doing the exact same thing at the exact same time, singing the same words, responding in the same way, with one heart, with one voice, with one mouth because we are a people of unity.

Come on. The Bible says, how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity for there the Lord bestows his blessings evermore. And last year was a year where darkness tried to tear us apart, tried to pull us apart, tried to create division, and darkness, and separation, and isolation and loneliness. And you know how you combat darkness? You come with the opposite spirit. So when Satan wants to divide and pull apart, we double down on unity and say, I’m not letting offenses, I’m not letting preferences, I’m not letting my opinions pull me apart from what God is doing.

No, no, no, no. I’m a family on mission in Jesus’ name. And I’m here and I’m ready to respond. It’s time to breathe again, it’s time to believe again. And it’s time to begin again in Jesus’ name. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re just going to worship God and we’re going to respond to Him.

The next hour is about you meeting with God. So engage, respond. This experience will be as good or as bad as you choose to make it. Let me build your faith and here we go. There’s a story in the Old Testament, talking about the people of God. And a giant enemy form to come and defeat them. And the people were terrified. They thought there was no hope. It was an impossible circumstance and situation that was in front of them. But the Lord spoke to them and said, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged for the battle belongs to the Lord.”

And what the people did was they took all the worshippers and they put them at the front of the army. And they marched into battle with the worshippers on the frontline only armed with their song, with their voice, with their heart. And as they worshipped and declared, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever,” the Lord worked on their behalf, defeated the entire force that was against them. And by the time they got to the battle, the battle was over. And what was a valley of defeat became a valley of blessing and they plundered their enemy for three days. In Jesus’ name.

So come on. We’re starting this year by winning the battle with worship, by saying, we are setting worship as the beginning of our year and letting the Lord go to battle on our behalf.

One day, a desperate man came to Jesus. He said, “Jesus, my daughter is dying. Will you please come and heal her?” And Jesus said, “I’ll go with you.” And as they started on what should have been a short journey, this journey grew and lengthened through interruptions and delays as more and more people kept coming to Jesus because they had needs in their lives too. And as the anxiety, and the fear, and the worry and the doubt began to grow in this man’s mind, because he knew his daughter was dying, he started to panic inside and eventually some people from his house came and said to the man, “Sir, your daughter has died. Leave the teacher alone.” In other words, it’s dead. It’s over.

Jesus can’t help you anymore. And Jesus looked right into the eyes of that man and he said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” And they kept going on the journey and eventually they got to the man’s house and everyone was weeping because the little girl was dead. And when Jesus walked in, he said, “She’s not dead. She’s just asleep.”

And they started to laugh at him. They made fun of him. They said, you’re crazy. Do you not understand what has happened? And Jesus looked right down at that little girl, grabbed her by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” And she rose from the dead. And he gave her back to our Father. I think that is a word for the Lord for many of us this year. You see, I think when 2020 started and all the chaos began, we desperately saw things we loved start to die.

And so we came to Jesus with a sense of desperation like, Jesus, can you help me? And he said, I can help you. And we started on the journey with him, but there were interruptions and delays and it didn’t go as fast as we wanted or the way that we expected. And then the world came to us and told us that that thing was dead. That Jesus couldn’t help us anymore. So why bother having a faith? Why bother following a god? Why bother being a part of a church? Why bother keep believing? Because that thing is dead. And Jesus has looked us right in the eyes and said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”

And as we’ve traveled on that journey, the world has laughed. The world has laughed at you and told you your dream is dead, your marriage is dead, your business is dead, your body is dead, your future is dead, your ministry is dead, your relationships are dead.

They have all laughed and said, Jesus can’t help you anymore. And maybe you’ve even started to believe it for yourself. But Jesus can re anything. And just because it hasn’t happened in the time or the space or the way you expected, doesn’t mean he isn’t standing right here next to you in this moment, in this reality, in this season. And he is walking you to a new life in him. And so would you just close your eyes with me for a moment. Come on. What’s that thing that you think has died? What’s that thing that you just have lost all hope for? That burden that’s so heavy on your heart or in your mind or in your life?

That’s the thing that God is inviting you to surrender to Him. Instead of having New Year’s resolutions that you’re going to do all these things, come on, what if you just by grace just, God, I submit and surrender this to you? Jesus, this thing in my life is dying or I feel like it’s dead. Will you come and help me? See Him, experience Him. And if He is with you, then that dream, and that marriage, and that future, and your children, and your finance, and your calling, and your body, and your health, and your hope, and your spirit, and your faith are not dead because Jesus can re anything.

And until you submit and surrender that thing to him, it’s going to be really hard to reengage with him in your heart, in your mind, in your spirit.

So Lord, we submit and surrender all the things that we’ve been carrying to you. Will you come and help us? Will you come and read rebuild our faith? Will you come and restore our spirit? And would you come and bring a resurrection for the things we thought were gone?

As long as Jesus is with you, it’s not over. And he is right here, in this room, in this moment to change you.

He is here. He has changed the atmosphere. And His presence is with us. His presence is with you. And so right now, with a big faith, I want to invite you to lean in to His presence. I want to invite you to listen with the ears of your heart because He has a word for you today. He has a word for you today. And our words are going to be different just as much as we are different. But today, I want to invite us all to start at the same place.

See, before we can breathe again, believe again and begin again, I think there’s an invitation for me and for you to start with a re-lease. What do you need to release? What has the year put in your hand? What has the year put in your lap? What has the year tried to put on your person? It’s time today to release. Release worry. Release fear. Release regret. Release stress. Release anxiety. Release the offense. Freedom begins when we release. So you can just ask Him in this moment, Lord, what is the invitation for me to release? And maybe you can envision just handing it to Him.

You say, “But I can’t release.” I know. But in Jesus’ name, he can take it if we just surrender it and submit it to him. What do you need to release? And as we do, we release it, we remove it. And now, let’s replace it. Where does God have an invitation? Where does He want to enter a re into your life for this new year? Ask Him. Ask Him. Maybe it’s refresh. Maybe it’s restore. Maybe it’s renew. Maybe it’s recommit. Maybe it’s reconcile. Ask Him, Lord, what is the word for me? He’s a personal God and you can hear His voice.

Ask Him, Lord, Holy Spirit, speak to our hearts. What is the re for you today? Continue to lean in to Him. Trusting His word, trusting His faithfulness, Lord, what is my re? Ask Him. And in order for us to continue to build our faith, we want to remember that we come to one place, one place that we can find re for life and that is the cross of Jesus. And so what we’re going to do now is I want you to stay in that place, stay aware of His presence, just get that re word, just get it right in your heart.

Keep asking if you haven’t received it yet. The Spirit wants to share that with you. Keep asking. But when you get that re word, in all of our campuses, we have crosses. And on those crosses, we have cards that remind us that this year, we are going to breathe again, we are going to believe again, and we are going to begin again. And we are going to do that by faith with the re word that He has given you. On the back of this card, it just has a re and a blank. And in just a moment, I want to invite you to step out in act of faith and say, God, I believe that you and only you Jesus can give me the re that I need for this coming year. I’m going to invite you and all of the campuses to step forward and you will see these cards and they’re nailed to a cross because that’s where we find re.

And I want to invite you to take it, take it back to your seat and then write down what is that re word so you can remember it. If you’re watching this online, I want you to know, if you’ve joined us online, there is a place for you to participate. We have — in the chat, you can find a digital card because He has a word for you and He wants to remind of His goodness, and remind you of His love, and remind you of His faithfulness. And as I was praying, you know what, I sense that there’s somebody within the sound of voice that’s like, I got so many, I don’t even know what. You know what, I would encourage you to write down, I feel the Lord said, just write re-me. Lord, re-me. I need to be reminded. I need to be refreshed. I need to be renewed. I need to be restored. I need to be recommitted to you. I need so many things, God, just re-me.

Maybe that’s where you are. So Lord, we thank you that you are the one who restores us. You are the one who redeems us.

You are the one who has given resurrection power to us through your Spirit. And now, by faith, in that Spirit, I want to invite you now to step out, go to one of the crosses. If you’re online, go into the chat, let’s get this and let’s take our first step to re in this new year because He wants to see it and we have it at our access. Let’s do it in Jesus’ name. Begin to step out now, go get your card.

Jesus can re anything. And you have to declare that victory over your own life. And so as we finish up service here together, I feel really strongly that this is what the Lord wants to invite us to do. I want to invite you wherever you are to just kneel before Jesus, the Lord of lord and King of kings. And if you can’t physically do that, that’s okay. You can just grab a seat where you are. If you don’t want to do that, that’s okay. You can grab a seat or you can stand. You can do whatever you want.

But as a way of saying, this year, I’m seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. And I’m believing everything else will be added unto to me. As a way of saying, I’m taking my re and I’m laying it at the foot of the cross. And I am submitting and surrendering myself to the lordship of Jesus. I’m going to invite you to kneel. I’m going to invite you to acknowledge there’s brokenness that needs healing. In fact, let’s first-person this like it’s to Jesus. Jesus, there’s brokenness I need you to heal. There’s sin I need you to free me from.

There’s pride that I need you to humble me from. There are offenses that I need your help to release. There is pain that I need you to heal. There’s doubt where I need your faith. There’s despair where I need your hope. There is weakness, God, where I need your power. There is a whole lot of me that needs a whole lot of your grace. And so right now, in your own way, would you even just say, Lord Jesus, I submit and surrender to you.

Tell him that he is Lord and you will follow. Acknowledge the place of brokenness and pain and sin and rebellion and pride and drift and all the worldly things. And let’s refocus on the only thing in life that matters and his name is Jesus. So Jesus, in unity, as one church family in multiple campuses and online around the world, we say we are a family on mission. You are the good Father. We are Your beloved sons and daughters.

You paid a great price so that we might have your Spirit dwell within us. So we acknowledge and receive the life of Christ that our spirit is alive, that hope is here, that the power of the resurrection flows through us. And there is no brokenness, no pain, no death, no darkness, no defeat, no despair, no doubt that can stand in Jesus’ name. So we bow joyfully, willingly, because we know you’re going to make all things bow their knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. And so today, we choose to do that by faith and say, Jesus, you can re anything. In your name we pray, amen.

If you just grab your seat just for one moment with me. This is RE day one. Really just getting started. We kind of want to leave this feeling like it’s open-ended, like it’s not complete because it’s not. For the next three days, we’re going after an encounter with God because what we need is an encounter. We need a supernatural touch from God. And so the next two nights, Monday night, Tuesday night 7 PM at Flower Mound or at Gainesville, we’re going to keep going. We’re going to go further. We’re going to go deeper. We’re going to — by the time we get to end the Tuesday night, I believe we’re going way deep into the kingdom. So I want to invite you, come, start the year. Listen, you got nothing else that you’re doing. So I’m just flat out telling you, right, like this is the season. It’s like you get to decide, declare victory over your own life this year and say, “Jesus is going to be first.”

We’re starting a new reading plan together. Let me encourage you, check that out on social media or online. Read the Bible with us. Every day we have a chapter. This year, we’re adding bonus reads throughout the month. Do it in unity with a family on mission to encourage and strengthen you. Let the word of God change your life.

Now, this next thing is really important. I’m inviting you to go on a fast with us through the month of January. You’re like, a fast? I’m already hungry. I’m going to eat whatever I want. Here’s the good news. You can eat whatever you want. I don’t really care. I’m going to invite you to a Speak Life fast. I’m going to invite you this year to fast negative talk through the month of January. You think giving up coffee would be hard. If we’re honest, last year was the most negative speaking year of any of our entire lives.

The amount of nasty, negative, divisive, offensive, hostile words that came out of our mouth, if we’re just honest, is shocking. Okay, let me just remind you that God gave you your mouth for three reasons, to praise Him, to speak truth and to create the future. So let’s fast negative talk through the month of January. Come on. The tongue has the power of life and death. Do not any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up. The tongue is supposed to be full of blessing, not cursing. And so this month, every time you want to criticize, stop and celebrate. Every time you want to gossip, stop and honor. Every time you start to grumble, stop and be full of gratitude. Every time you start to curse, stop and bless. What if every time negative words coming out of your — you stop. Jesus, I want to replace those words right now and I’m going to celebrate, I’m going to honor, I’m going to bless, I’m going to give thanks because the Bible tells us that your tongue is like the rudder of a ship.

It will determine where you go the rest of this year. You want ’21 to be better than ’20? Change your talk.

That was like the weakest, wimpiest response, but I’m on a Speak Life fast so I’m not going to say that was weak and wimpy, I’m going to say, that was powerful and excited because I want to speak life this month. So I’m fasting from negative talk. And every time I catch it, just like that, I literally just showed you how to do it. Catch it, replace it and do it different. Because guess what? You’re going to be disappointed with people all month long. So speak life and it will change where you go. Okay?

Speak Life fast in Jesus’ name. So I invite you to the next two nights. Start the Bible reading plan with us. Speak Life fast through the month of January. Follow us on social media if you don’t do that, we do all the details there. Awareness if one of the things we’re struggling with, helping you be aware of everything because of all of the noise in the world. So make sure you’re intentionally participating and following so you can be a part of what God wants to do in your life. For those of you that want to give, you can give at the boxes at the doors as you go or online. I would just encourage you, start the year by giving to God first, saying, God, you get the first and best of my year because everything I have belongs to you. It was so good being one church today and singing in unity with one mouth, one voice, one heart at all of our campuses and online. So as you go, may you remember that God is still good, Jesus has still forgiven you, you are still loved, and everything is still possible.

May you go as a hope carrier in Jesus’ name.

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