As we walk through life, the areas we once had freedom in seem to get lost. During this series we have said it’s time to take those
things back in Jesus’ name. We have reclaimed our relationship with God, our hearts, our passion, and our freedom. Now it’s time for us to stop and honor what God has asked us to do by responding in obedience.
Alright, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. Hey, I am so glad that you are here with us on this Father’s Day weekend. And whatever campus you’re at, Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, the venue, watching or listening online somewhere in the world, come on, just give it up for each other right now. Oh, come on, you can do better than that. Come on, let’s give it up for all of our campuses and what God is doing in this place. Hey, come on, I am so glad that you are here with us today because whatever is going on in your life, we believe that hope is here because Jesus is here.
And what we’re doing today is we are wrapping up our series called Reclaim. You see, for the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about taking back what I’ve lost and this has been a really big series for our church. You see, I think this has been one of the biggest, most significant, maybe most timely and prophetic series we’ve ever done. When we were preparing for this series and getting into it, I thought it was just going to be a good series that was going to help us get the summer started, that we were going to take some things back in Jesus’ name and then we started week one and God showed up and he’s been with us every single week. He’s been moving, he’s been doing things, and we’re taking some stuff back in Jesus’ name.
You see, it doesn’t matter who you are. As you walk through the journey of life, things get lost, things get stolen, things get misplaced, things that you used to have victory over, things that you used to have authority over, places where you used to walk in freedom and have joy and where you were flourishing in life, somehow, they seem to get lost. And what we’ve been doing in this series is say, “It’s time to take those things back in Jesus’ name.” You see, the kingdom of God is a kingdom that seeks and saves that which is lost. And if the entire premise of the kingdom of God is seeking and saving lost things, then there is nothing in your life that is too far gone for it to be reclaimed in Jesus’ name.
And so, we started the first week and we talked about reclaiming our relationship with God, and we said it’s amazing how easy it is to lose our relationship with God somewhere along the way, and we said, “Man, we can go back to this place where it’s the best that’s ever been and we can go from the best to the best to the best as we keep moving forward with God.” And then, the second week, we talked about reclaiming our heart, taking back the ground in our heart that we’ve lost somewhere along the way and we said that we want to go back to this place of having healthy hearts, having childlike hearts. And we talked about how the condition of your heart will always determine the quality of your life. And so, in Jesus’ name, we want to take back the ground in our heart.
And then, the third week, we talked about taking back our passion, that we aren’t supposed to be people who live in apathetic life, no, that we’re supposed to be people of passion that have this fire burning in our soul that gets bigger and brighter as we move through life because of the goodness and the grace of Jesus. And so, we said, “We’re taking back our passion in Jesus’ name and we’re done with apathy.” And then, last week, we talked about taking back our freedom. We talked about in Jesus, not only have we been set free, but he has empowered us to live free. And we said, “We’re done with the places of bondage and we want to take back that freedom in Jesus’ name.” And this has been a huge series for our church. And week after week, if you’ve been on a journey with us, you’ve been sitting in your seat and you’ve been listening and you’ve been hearing and God has been speaking and God has been moving.
And so, I have one really simple question for you today as we kind of pull this series all together and it’s simply this. What are you going to do with what God has been saying? How are you going to respond to what God has been doing in this series, to what God has been inviting you to do to the next stop God has been asking you to take? “What are you going to do?” was what God has been saying. And that’s all I really have to say to you today. You see, I think as we have gone through this series, we’ve said a lot. These have really been full messages, we’ve preached long, they’ve been full, they’ve been robust. God has been speaking, God has been moving. And I think as we pull this whole series together, the only thing that’s really left to say is, “What are you going to do now? How are you going to choose to respond?”
You see, Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hear and obey. Blessed are those who hear and obey.” The blessing doesn’t come in the hearing. The blessing comes in responding and obeying and moving forward. See the bible tells us faith without works is dead, in other words, faith is not a feeling, faith is moving forward with my confident expectation of the goodness of God. It’s taking next steps, it’s responding to his voice. In fact, this is why Jesus invites us to follow him. He says, “Come and follow me.” He doesn’t say, “Come and hear about me.” He doesn’t say, “Come and learn about me.” He doesn’t say, “Come and just be around me.” He said, “No, come – come and follow me. Like take next steps and move forward, let’s have breakthrough and go to new places and do new things and you’ll become like me along the way. Follow me one next step at a time.” And so the question is, what are you going to do with what God has been saying in the series?
See, I believe God has been moving so powerfully in the series, it’s been so big that we just need to stop for a weekend and just honor what he’s been doing. We need to give God’s voice authority in our life. We need to honor what he asks us to do and respond with obedience. We need to submit to the Lordship of Jesus. And sometimes, we get so used to coming in this place, getting new content, getting the next message, pressing on to the next series and sometimes like this, we just got to stop and say, “Hang on. Before we move forward into anything else or the next series or whatever, what are we going to do with what God has been saying? Because he wants us to reclaim some things in Jesus’ name.” So that’s the extent of the message for today. What are you going to do with what God has been saying?
And if you’re new and this is your first time and you showed up and you’re like, “Well, wait, I don’t know what God has been saying.” I am so glad you’re here. And what I want to say to you is you’re getting a really good picture of our church today. That we are people that want to follow Jesus. We want to be a movement of hope, which means we actually move forward with Jesus and we honor his voice and we honor his word and we respond in obedience when God asks us to do something. And maybe you’ve been here and you haven’t caught the whole series, you’ve been in and out, caught a couple weeks, let me encourage you, go back online, go to our YouTube channel or to valleycreek.org, watch the messages, get them in your heart.
I’m telling you, when was the last time that I ever stopped a series and said, “Hey, the whole message this week is what are you going to do with what God has been saying?” The answer is never. So I’m hoping to try to illustrate how important it is to not respond and take that ground back in Jesus’ name that he’s been pointing out to us. So go online, watch those messages, instead of watching a sitcom or a movie this week, man, go watch how to reclaim your heart and let’s take it back in Jesus’ name. And then if you’ve been here and you know what we’ve been talking about like what’s your one next step? Like what’s the one thing that God’s been saying to you? And are you willing and ready to take that step? Maybe it’s to start engaging the scriptures again or to start serving again or to forgive that person or to let that thing go or to step back in to being in a place of a leader. I don’t know.
In fact one of the simplest things that you can do is you can just take a journal, take some time, at the end of this service or this week and just literally write one question and just say, “God, how do you want me to respond to what you’ve been doing?” And then sit there. In a few moments of silence with your phone turned off and the music down and listen. I promise you the Holy Spirit will show you what he wants you to do. And then it’ll bubble up in your spirit and then you write that down and then you say, “Okay. I’m going to take one next step in Jesus’ name and take back some of the ground that I’ve lost.”
You see an honest question that you have to ask yourself is, “How am I going to keep moving forward if I won’t go take back what I’ve lost?” I spent the whole premise of the series is that you can’t pioneer, you can’t go to new places until you humble yourself enough to go back and say, “I’ve lost some things along the way and I’m going to go get them back in Jesus’ name because they’re mine and they belong to me because what Jesus has done and I refuse to allow them to be lost or stolen by the kingdom of darkness.” So what has God been saying to you in the series and how are you going to respond? I mean, Luke 19:10 said, “For the son of man came to seek and save that which was lost.” When Jesus realized we were lost, he didn’t just sit there and say, “Oh, bummer. Somebody should really do something about that.”
No. He came to seek and save us. He came to passionately pursue and reclaim everything that has been lost, and that was us. And he teaches us how to go get lost things that we’ve got to seek and say, we got to passionately pursue and go reclaim the things that we’ve lost along the way in our lives, which means we actually have to move and respond in obedience. You see, my hope and my prayer for you in these series is that God has been moving so much, that he’s been unearthing things in your soul, that he’s been opening up your eyes, that he’s been moving in your mind, that all of the sudden, you’re going have the courage, and the strength, and the willingness to say, “I don’t even know how to do this but I know I’ve lost some stuff so Jesus, what’s the step you want me to take and I will do it?” Because I want to take this back in Jesus’ name. And I hope you’ve been catching the passion and the weight, and the fire, and the heart of these series.
You see, this whole series is not about – I’ve been talking to your head, all I’ve tried to do is just speak to your heart. And we’ve just been inviting the Holy Spirit saying, “Come Holy Spirit, come. Speak to us. Show us. Guide us. Lead us. Help us reclaim the things in our life that we’ve lost. Help us be humble enough to even acknowledge that some things we weren’t even aware of, have gotten lost somewhere along the way.” So, what are you going to do with what God has been saying? Come on, we’re followers of Jesus. Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Come and follow me. Come and move forward with me and I will make your life.” We follow, he makes.
And he is way better at making than we are at following. So, what’s one next step that you can take coming out of this series, to say, “Lord, I want to take this stuff back in Jesus’ name.” Okay. Let me just close with this. Do you remember the story of the lost son? So, in Luke chapter 15, it’s probably one of the most familiar stories in the Bible, it’s one of the stories that the world is familiar with, of stories in the Bible, and it’s a story about a son who one day goes to his father and he demands his inheritance.
In a sense, he wishes his father dead, and he takes his inheritance, and in that moment, he losses the relationship with his father, he loses his home, he loses his identity, the relationship, the purpose for which he was created. He loses the inheritance in a sense, of being a son in that kingdom. So, he takes all his money and he goes off into the world thinking he’s going to be happy and find a free life, and he spends it, he blows it on parties and wild living. He gets a bunch of friends in a moment because people will always show up when you got money.
And then it’s amazing when that money runs out, how he finds himself completely alone, abandoned, broken, sitting in a pig stall, feeding pigs – pig food. And he reaches rock bottom. He’s lost everything. And I love how it says – it says, “When he came to his senses” – actual words, “When he came to his senses,” in other words, when he realize there was a whole lot of stuff in his life that got lost somewhere along the way. He decided to humble himself and go back to his father. And when he got up and started heading back to his father, taking one slow step after another, the moment the father sees him coming from a long way off, it says, “The father burst off the porch, runs to the son, picks him up, swings him around, kisses him, and completely restores everything in that son’s life.”
He restores his identity, his relationship, his purpose, the relationship between the son and the father are restored. His home is reclaimed, his life has been reclaimed. Everything that was lost has been taken back in Jesus’ name. And I love how it ends. It says, “The father throws a party.” Come on, he throws a party because in the kingdom of God, when lost things are reclaimed, all of the kingdom of heaven celebrates and rejoices. Because the kingdom is a kingdom on mission of reclaiming that which was lost, and there is nothing in your life that is too far gone that it can’t be reclaimed in Jesus’s name. But you have to come to your senses, I have to come to my senses and acknowledge that there’s been some things lost.
Be humble enough to admit it and then take ones step in that direction. And if you will start moving towards the Father, he is always running towards you. You see, I know some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Really? This whole message is asking us one question like what are we going to do with what God’s been saying?” Yeah, because I don’t want you to miss this. I don’t want you to miss this moment in time where God is moving, and his presence is here, and his grace is available to take some things back that you want in your life, like your relationship with him, like your heart, like your passion, like your freedom, and all the other things that you want back. If you will reclaim your relationship with God, he will help you reclaim everything else that you’ve lost in life. You see next week, we’ll get back to it and I’ve got a great announcement to share with you about the missional move and we’ll keep moving forward, but this week, we just wanted to stop.
Say, “Jesus, we honor you. We honor your voice, and you word, and your presence in our lives, and we want to be followers of Jesus.” We don’t want to just talk about Jesus. We don’t want to just learn about Jesus. We don’t want to just know about Jesus. We want to follow Jesus because he’s the one that helps us take back the things in our life that have been lost. You see, no one else could lose the ground that you’ve lost along the way for you and no one else can take it back for you. You have to decide, to respond to what God has been saying and doing and so I’m taking it back in Jesus’s name. So I’m going to respond by faith today. So you close your eyes with me and let me just ask you that really simple question, what do you need to do to respond to what God has been saying?
And let me reword it for you, maybe like this, what is the Holy Spirit saying to you and what’s your next step? Where is he drawing your attention? Where is he pointing some things out? Where is he saying, “Hey, over here.” We’ve lost some ground in this area. Come on, follow me. Let’s go back into that space. I know you’re scared. I know you’re intimidated. I know you feel like it’s too humbling to go back there but come on, let’s go back in Jesus’s name and take it back so that we can move forward into all the new ground that I want to help you take. What is the one thing that you need to say coming out of this series, I’m going to have the faith and the courage to do? Holy Spirit, speak to us and show us. Lead us and guide us.
May today be the day that we say, “We’re going to follow Jesus and reclaim what has been lost in his name.” We’re going to have faith and action. We’re going to hear and obey. We’re not just going to talk about it. We’re going to follow him and we’re going to move forward in Jesus’s name. Thank you Jesus that no matter what has been lost in our lives, it can be reclaimed in you. Thank you God that you are real, and alive, and moving, and that you came powerfully in this series, in our church family, that you came and moved close to the people called Valley Creek and may we have the faith to now move close to you and take back the things that we’ve lost in your name. Thank you that you passionately pursue. You come to seek and save us as we were lost and then the lost things in our lives. And so make today be the day we have the courage and the faith to take one next step and respond to that which you have been asking us to do along the way. We love you Jesus. You are the God who reclaims all things and today we choose to follow by faith. In your name we pray, amen.