Who are you attracting into your life to build a dwelling place to God? In this message, we learn what it means to be living stones and the importance of relationships.
Hey everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. Come on, wherever you are today, Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, the Venue or online, we are so glad that you are here with us.
Hope is here, everyone is welcome, Jesus changes everything. And whether this is your first time here, maybe you haven’t been in a while, maybe you’re here all the time, it is a really great time to be a part of what God is doing at Valley Creek. Momentum is building, hope is in the atmosphere, God is moving. And so I’m so glad that you’re here and I’m so glad that I’m here today. For the last few weeks, me and Colleen and the kids, we were able to take some time off to just rest and reflect and seek the Lord. Every summer we take a few weeks off to do that and last year with COVID and everything that was happening, we didn’t get our summer break. So it was like a two-year run for me to get to this summer break, so it was much needed and much appreciated. And so I’m so grateful that we are a church — that you are a church who values health, that we want to do this a long time together.
And it’s been an amazing summer, what I’ve been watching and seeing and experiencing and I think our team did an outstanding job leading us through the 60-day experience. You have an amazing team that loves you and leads you. I am so grateful for them, their life, their heart, their sacrifices, their gifts. They led us through an amazing 60-day experience. I’m so grateful for them. And I’m also so grateful for you. Like every one of you who serves, and gives, and prays, and leads, and invites, and is on teams, and to serve the city, and circles, and lives as a hope carrier and uses your social media to talk about hope and the kingdom, like you are Valley Creek. You make this place a great family on mission.
So I want to thank you and celebrate you because you are Valley Creek. So come on, give it up for yourselves for a moment. And so I think it’s been an amazing summer and what I do is on the summer break I spent time reflecting and kind of thinking and looking back and I’ve kind of journeyed through the 60-day experience with you. And as we were doing it, like in our family, we read all the 60 days chapters together and pretty much on most days we’d sit on the back porch in some way, shape or form and either read it together or have read it and come and discuss it and that was probably the highlight of my summer, was getting to go through those 60 chapters with my kids, with my family and discuss it together. And I just had this thought that I think is so important for you parents that I realize this summer is that you are the primary disciple maker of your children. And while that may feel overwhelming, what you can rest assure in is that God gave them to you because he trusts you enough to do it.
But you have to take the authority over it and you actually have to like lean into it. Like I would encourage you when we give you things like these 60-day challenges, like this is a harbor of hope but it’s also a training center for life. And I wouldn’t leave it optional to my kids or my students whether or not they want to do it, I would just say, hey, we as a family, we value this so we’re going to do it. Just like you wouldn’t not let them do their homework or not let them go to practice or not let them go to theater. Why? Because you value education or athletics or music. Okay, we need to value faith and we need to value spiritual life. In fact here’s what God says, “Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.” That’s a big truth, parents.
He’s given you your children because He believes in you and it’s your job to point them in the way they should go. And the values they’re picking up from you, they’re going to have for life. Are they learning the right values? Are they learning that faith is more important than education and athletics and music and all the things of this world? So come on, you are the primary disciple maker of your children and we want to help you with that and partner with you, but you got to use some of the tools that we give you like the 60-day thing. It was money for me as a dad discipling my kids. I felt like literally it was a softball that the team threw up for me and I just got to go [ponk] every day with my kids. And I believe that God did something great in them over this summer, okay? You with me on that? You’re like, maybe, I’m not — I’m not sure I’m glad you’re back anymore. The second thing that I thought was super profound this summer was the Soul Detox experience. Now, I know you’ve heard us be saying it and if you didn’t do it you keep hearing us say it.
Well, maybe it’s because God is trying to get you to hear it because you’re supposed to do it because I’ve been telling you all year this is one of the most important years in your spiritual life. The decisions you make this year are determining the trajectory of the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years of who you’re going to become. And so the whole point of the Soul Detox is to take authority over your own heart because only you can steward your soul. This is why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else guard your heart for it’s the wellspring of life.” No one else can guard your heart. No one else can steward your soul. No one else can make sure you’re healthy in here but you. And so as we start moving forward into this new season that God has for us, you don’t want the anxiety, and the depression, and the offenses, and the bitterness, and the fears, and all that stuff dragging you down like an anchor. No, in Jesus’ name, you want all those lines cut off of you so you can move forward into the future of everything that God has for you.
It’s a 90 minute experience on the resource site. If you haven’t done it, trust me, do it because only you can determine if you have a healthy heart and a healthy soul. You with me on that? So I thought everything was great this summer. I’ve really enjoyed it. And one of the things that I do when I take a summer break — some of you wonder, like what do you do? Do you just like go on vacation and like hang out? No, I spend lots of time seeking God and reflecting on where we’ve been. I’m really big on reflecting on where we’ve been because I believe we have lessons to learn from where we’ve been so we can use them into the future. In fact, unapplied learnings is intentional foolishness. If you learn things along the way but you never apply them to your life it’s intentional foolishness. And the Bible says wisdom is supreme. Get it, they’ll cost you everything to get her. And so I want to be somebody that’s always looking back and reflecting and learning to apply that wisdom to the future of our life moving forward.
And so as I spend time reflecting over this last kind of two-year reality that we’ve walked through as a church, there are so many good things that I could tell you that I think we did well, that I can see God move in, things that I could celebrate in you, in our team, all kind of so many good things. But there were three things — three mistakes that I think we made and just real quickly I just want to share those with you and own them and apologize for that. Is that okay? You’re like, I’m not sure yet. I think we made three mistakes over the last kind of COVID season, 18-month run. The first thing — the first mistake we made was just in communication. We could have communicated to you a whole lot better than we did. When COVID first started, one of the things we knew is there was going to be so much information flying in and out of your life that we intentionally decided we were going to pull back a lot of communication and just try to be a lighthouse in your life, a beacon of light that when you were ready you could look to and you always knew where it was.
Now, while that was good on some senses, on other senses it kind of missed the mark. You see, we have six campuses and it’s really hard to communicate to everybody that’s a part of all of those six campuses because you have some people that are literally today is their first time, other people have been here for 20 years. You have some people that show up once a year and other people that are here a part of everything we do all the time. So trying to communicate to that with is really challenging. And what we didn’t want to do was overload you with communication and have you start tuning out and shutting it down. The problem is that some of you weren’t able to get relevant or important information about what we were doing, what was happening or things we believed God was saying along the way. And so if that’s you, if you’re at any campus and in any way you were hurt by our lack of communication, staff transitions, method changes, service times, things we were doing different I just want to own that and say I’m really sorry for any hurt, for any confusion, for any way we may have tripped you up along the way.
We want to communicate effectively to you as a family on mission. So before you leave whatever campus you’re at today, if you will click on the QR code for two minutes, if you will just update your information for us so that we have your right email address and information so we can communicate to you effectively going forward, that would be great. Before you leave today, it’ll literally take you two minutes and we just want to effectively be family on mission, communicating with you, okay? So that’s the first mistake we made. Second mistake we made is I think we could have had more compassion along the way. I think as a whole we had a lot of compassion from the platform, a lot of compassion from our main messaging. I think we made a mistake, though, by not having enough compassion for individuals who got impacted in significant ways through the realities of last year.
There was so much grief and loss and brokenness that happened in people’s lives and in a lot of ways we just tried to keep moving and being a movement of hope, but there is a time and a place to stop and offer compassion to individuals who are hurting. I want to keep growing and compassion in my own life, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. I want to continue to grow in kindness and compassion and I want us to as a church as well. It’s kind of like the story of the Good Samaritan. You remember that story where Jesus says a man is going along and he gets jumped and beaten by some robbers and left for half dead? And two guys come along and they pass by on the side of him because they had somewhere to go. They weren’t bad people, they were just focused on what they had to do. But the third guy, the Good Samaritan came along, saw the hurting man and stopped and had compassion for the individual.
And so if you needed more compassion last year than you got from us, I just want to say I’m sorry. If you felt like you got jumped and beat up by life and we weren’t there for you, I’m really sorry. And I want you to know that God has seen your misery, He’s heard your cry and He’s concerned of your suffering. And I think this apology is even part of His healing process in your life. We love you, we see you and we want to grow in compassion, all of us, I want all of us to grow in our compassion that we have for each other, not just being solely focused on where we’re going. You with me on that? Okay?
And then the third thing is community. We made a mistake with community, but here’s the paradox or the interesting part about this one. This wasn’t a mistake we made during COVID, this was the mistake we made before COVID.
You see, once COVID started, once the storm hit, it was too late to build relationships. And now, as I look back and reflect on what’s happened over these last two years, pretty much the difference between the people that thrived and made it through really well and the people that kind of got swept away by the storm of life, the one common denominator is community. The people that had community before the storm hit, they made it through. A lot of people that didn’t have that community, they got swept away by the storm. Many of which you know or have seen in your own life. And the challenge is once the storm hits, you can’t build community there. So the mistake we made is that we didn’t push harder before COVID to invite, encourage and kind of press you in to relationships with one another. We talk about it all the time, we encourage you to do it, we try to make it as easy as possible, we give you every on-ramp we know how.
And if you’ve been here, you know our primary preaching style is we believe that it’s grace and kindness that changes people. We don’t use shame, or guilt, or condemnation, or fear because those are not motivators in the kingdom of God. The problem is sometimes we need to up the urgency on how important it is for something in your life. And so I made the mistake and I have to own that I didn’t raise the urgency of the necessity of you being in relationships with other people who are following Jesus in this church regardless of what is happening in the world around us. And so I need to own that and I want to tell you that I’m sorry for that, and that I’m about to up the urgency on it, okay?
So listen, one of the things that I love about our church is I would say people have said this for years, we’re comfortably uncomfortable. So what does that mean? It means we’re comfortable, it means hope is here, everyone is welcome and Jesus can change everything.
We’re comfortable, you come in as you are wherever you’ve come from in life, come on in, join us along the way, but as the water level begins to rise if you don’t rise with it, it starts becoming really uncomfortable, right? And so that’s true in a lot of areas, it’s about to get comfortably uncomfortable in the area of community. Why? Because community is not optional in your life. It’s not subjective. Now, you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it. It doesn’t say when you feel like it, when you have time, when life isn’t busy, when it’s comfortable, when you find the perfect friend or when the stars perfectly align. No, it says you’re a part of the body of Christ and you need to be a part of it. And so we need to up the urgency and the reality of how important it is for you to be connected with other followers of Jesus to effectively live the life that God has called you to live. Are you with me on that?
So those are the three mistakes that we made. And what I want you to see from me is, man, I’m growing and learning too. So thank you for being patient with me as a leader. Thank you for being gracious with me and our team. And now, I hope as we see these things together, we can say, okay, we’ve got to communicate better, we’ve got to have more compassion with each other and we have to press in and create community with one another as the body of Christ moving forward. So with all of that in mind, it brings us to the new series that we’re starting today called Build: becoming a dwelling place for God. Build, it’s time to build the relationships that matter most. It’s time to rebuild the relationships that matter the most. And it’s time to become a dwelling place for God and the dwelling place of God is when his family is in relationship with one another.
Now, for years we’ve talked about the importance of relationships, of community. We’ve done tons of preaching on this. Like there’s hours of messages you can go back online and watch. And we usually have come at it in ways like this, we’d say like rooted, you need to get rooted with other people so you can flourish in life. We’ve done a ton of teaching on the concepts of one puts a thousand to flight but two puts ten thousand to flight, that there is a synergy and an anointing when we get together with one another. We’ve talked about uh Proverbs 13:20, that you become like whoever you hang out with. So are you hanging out with the right people? We’ve talked about the concept that if you’re actually a disciple following Jesus, eventually he leads you into the life of other disciples and you will build relationships with them. And while all those are great and they’re important for community and why you need relationships with one another, I want to go deeper. And the deeper place is we need to build relationships with one another so we can become the dwelling place for God.
See, I feel like the Lord told me this summer that we are as strong as our relationships. And that we will go as far as our relationships can carry us. And if that’s true, then in order to arrive at our prophetic destiny, not just as a church but for you to arrive at your prophetic destiny, for you to see heaven come to earth and His kingdom come and the good works He’s prepared in advance for you to do, for us to see the peace and the prosperity of the city, to really be a movement of hope then we need to start rolling up our sleeves, getting our hands dirty and building relationships with one another. Okay? You with me on this? Okay, let me show you some of these verses. Ephesians 2, this is kind of our core text for this series. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” This is a great verse.
He says the moment you put your faith in Jesus, you are no longer a foreigner or an alien of the kingdom of God, you are now a citizen with God’s people. You’ve been rescued from the kingdom of darkness brought into the kingdom of God. Your citizenship has now moved from this world to the kingdom of heaven, which means you are now a foreigner and a stranger of this world. And your primary home and your primary community is with the people of God. Just like as a US citizen, the primary community in your life is not with Canadians or South Koreans, it’s with Americans. Why? Because this is where your citizenship is. This is the people that you’re a part of. Well, the moment I put my faith in Jesus and I become a part of the kingdom of God, my primary community is no longer the people of this world.
It is now the people of God where we speak the language of faith and breathe the atmosphere of hope and walk in the way of love together. Your citizenship has changed, which means the primary community of your life has changed. And he says, you are now members of God’s household. Remember the primary thing that God is doing is building a family for himself. And the moment you put your faith in Jesus you become a what? A child of God, a beloved son or daughter, John 1:12, “To all who believed him, to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Well, every child needs a family and every family needs a home. Ain’t that true in life? We wouldn’t say that any kid out on the street is okay without a home or a family. We’d say, no, no, every child needs a family, every family needs a home.
Okay, well you’re a child of God and this is your family and this is our home. That’s all it is. And this is now the primary reality of your life. Yes, you have your family. Yes, you have friends in the world, but that’s not the primary relationships in your life anymore according to what God says has now happened in our life and Jesus is the chief cornerstone on whom we are building our life. Chief cornerstone, he’s the foundation, he’s the source, he’s the security, he’s the stability as we build our life upon him and he is also the standard, cornerstone is the standard, and everything else on top of that must align itself with the cornerstone. The cornerstone doesn’t align itself to the fourth stone, the fourth stone aligns itself to the cornerstone, okay? So he goes on to say, “In him, in Jesus, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord and in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
So see if you can catch it, he says you’re like a living stone and he’s bringing you together with other living stones stacking you together on Jesus as the chief cornerstone and in him you become a holy temple. We become a holy temple in which God himself chooses to come and dwell among us. What he’s saying is that it’s our relationships together that set up the dwelling place for God. So my willingness to meet with one another comes from my wanting to meet with God. The more I want God in my life, the more willing I am to get in relationship with you because he tells me that’s where he comes.
So to pursue God’s people is to pursue God himself because he tells us that’s where he comes. Now, a lot of us have probably heard this truth in the past that we are the temple of God, right? That you individually, that your body is the temple of God that is spirit dwells within you. But this tells us that we are the temple of God, so which is it? Are you the temple of God or are we the temple of God? Yes is the answer. See, look, don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you? The moment you put your faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes inside of you. You now are the temple of God. And if the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you, you are now holy. Why?
Because God only dwells in holy places. So if the Holy Spirit is inside of you and you’re the temple of God, you’re holy, you’re righteous. Come on, hear me. You’re blameless, you’re pure, you’ve been forgiven and set free. He has forgiven your wickedness and remembers your sins no more. Jesus became your sins so that you could become his righteousness. And out of all the places and all the universe that God could choose to dwell, He chooses to dwell in you. Talk about privilege. Talk about responsibility. You are the temple of the Lord. But so are we. And so when we bring our mini temples and we come together as a people, we now become a larger in Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord together. When we bring our mini temples together and align them with each other’s other mini temples, we become a new, a larger, a greater dwelling place for God.
So if we’re serious about being a people where God dwells, we must learn to come together in relationships with each other. Are you with me on this? Let me try to illustrate it for you like this. I’m from buffalo and we’ve lived here in Texas for 15 years. And probably the hardest thing for us is not being able to see my family. We miss my family, don’t get to see them near as much as we want, but my mom loves when we come to visit. So she prepares everything all the time to try to attract us to come home and visit. Okay? So she will set up all of the rooms, she’ll buy new beds, she’ll get new pillows, she’ll put in an air conditioner, she’ll set up the bathroom, she will buy all the food that we love and have it all stocked in there. None of the stuff that she uses for herself, or cares, or doesn’t even probably go in those rooms most of the time when no one’s around.
But she will do whatever she can do to prepare an atmosphere that will attract us to come. That’s what this is saying. You prepare for what you want to attract. And if we’re serious about attracting the Spirit of God and becoming a dwelling place for Him, then we must be humble enough to be built together in the kind of relationships that invites Him to come. You prepare for what you want to attract and you know this is true. Come on, hunters, we prepare like crazy to create an environment with our feeders and our stands and clear out all the lanes to attract the deer. Bird watchers, you go through a lot to set up bird feeders and move things around and fill it up. You prepare to attract the birds, right?
Come on, social media users, you go through a whole lot to curate that post and that content to put it out there to attract engagement, right? You prepare for what you want to attract. So here’s my question. What are you attracting in your life? What are you preparing for? What are you trying to draw in? And is any of it attracting the presence of the Lord at a next level? And I know some of you, you might be sitting here and might be like, okay, so what does this mean in this like relationship with each? Don’t over complicate it. It just means that you’re starting to pursue each other in a way that would attract God to come, not acquaintances, not where I know a few people’s names and maybe can high-five somebody in and out the door.
No, no, no, we’re talking about people that you’re following Jesus with. People that you’re learning about Jesus with. People that you’re practicing the way of Jesus with. It’s in a sense this place where the spirit is moving out of you and into them and the spirit is coming out of them and into you, where we’re ministering to each other, where we have compassion for each other, where we love one another. Whether it be circles or Serve the City or sitting in the café, coming early, staying late and outside coffee, it doesn’t matter. The point is the relationships coming together with Jesus as the center inviting him to come and dwell among us at a whole another level than maybe what we’ve been experiencing.
I mean look at look at how Peter says this. This is what Peter says, he says, “You also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood.” I’m showing you this, this is basically the exact same thing that it says in Ephesians. I’m just showing you that it’s in multiple places in the Bible so you’re not like that’s just one verse. No, it’s not.
You are living stones being built into a spiritual house. In other words, when we come together we become a dwelling place for God where he comes among us at a whole another level. And I think it’s so profound that he says you’re living stones, not bricks. Living stones, you’re not a brick. Why? Bricks are all uniform, they’re all exactly the same, they’re a dime a dozen, same color, same shape, same size, same everything. No, no, you’re living stones. Stones are different sizes, different shapes, different colors, different backgrounds. Stones have gone through different experiences to be shaped in the actual shape that they are. They’re alive and they have been formed over time. And when you bring stones together with all these different colors and shapes and sizes together submitted to the lordship of Jesus, they become something that is supernatural in Jesus’ name.
And when he says, you’re a living stone being built into a spiritual house, it doesn’t really translate as much to us but it would it to them because they were familiar with the physical temple. The physical temple was made by stone and that’s where God dwelt among his people. But after Jesus came, God no longer dwells in a temple made by man’s hands. No, no. Now, he dwells in us as the temple of God. So when he’s saying living stones, they would have opened up their eyes, they would have opened up their mind and they would have understood that that means God wanted to come and dwell among them at a whole new level in their relationships with each other. You’re stones, not brick. Why? Because brick is man-made and you’re not made by man, you’re not supposed to be shaped and molded into the image and likeness of this world. No, you’re a living stone created by God himself, exactly how God wanted it.
Perfectly and wonderfully made, created, not made. And when we’re a living stone, it means we come and we submit ourselves to Jesus, the chief cornerstone and we have to have a level of humility and surrender and sacrifice because as he starts building us and putting us in the places we are, let’s be honest, some of our stones, we got some sharp edges sticking off that need to be knocked down. And that’s why the relational quotient is so important because it’s in the relationships with one another where those two stones come and start rubbing together that the rough spots get rubbed off. And in our desire to say, Jesus, I’m willing for this rough spot to be rubbed off because I want to be attached to you as the chief cornerstone and I want you to come and dwell among us unlike anything I’ve seen before.
So I will let this rough spot be knocked off me and maybe I’ll knock one off of them too, right? And a stone by itself is kind of pointless. Like what do you do with one stone? It’s like a paperweight, put it in your mulch, in your garden just like one stone? But if you have a bunch of stones, together they can be built into something that the world comes and wonders about. And if you’ve ever seen amazing building built with stone, do you notice you don’t ever notice any individual stone? No singular stone gets the glory or the credit. You come and you look at this amazing majestic thing, you’re inspired by it, you’re drawn to it, and who gets the glory? The builder.
We don’t get the glory, the one who is building his people gets the glory. And when you think about all of us as different stones from all the different parts of life that we are being built together in this dwelling place for God, that is supernatural. It’s done by the work of the Holy Spirit because no man could ever put us together the way that God does and the way that God says I want to come and be with you and meet with you. And when we choose to build relationships with each other and become this dwelling place for God, what happens? The king comes. And when the king comes so does his kingdom, his healing and his power, and his peace, and his joy, and his provision, and his resources and all the realities of heaven come with Him into the dwelling place that we create for Him, but most importantly, he himself is there with his presence, and his power and his peace.
This is what God is inviting us towards, a faith that chooses to submit our own lives to Jesus, the master builder, and say, God build me into something that you yourself want to come and dwell in. I know you’re in me, but there’s more of you that wants to come. And so I want to get around other people who have you so that more of you will come. In fact, in the Old Testament when they finished building the original temple made by stone and they dedicated it to the Lord, this is in 1 Kings. Solomon, he’s built this temple, they’re dedicating it to the Lord by stone and as they do that, look what it says, “The cloud filled the temple of the Lord and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.”
In other words, when they built a temple the way that God asked them to and that day it was with actual stone, when they did what God asked them to do and they built it and they dedicated it to the Lord, the presence of God came so powerfully that the glory of the Lord was so bright that the priests literally could not do their normal functions. They literally were inhibited from their normal routine, from their normal life, from the way they did things. When we will build a temple of the Lord according to His prescription, the way He asks, I believe He will come and fill it in such a way that we will not be able to continue our normal life, that we will not be able to just continue to do what we have been doing because the glory of the Lord will be so strong among us that it will change everything about us and become not only a declaration but a demonstration to a world who is looking for glory, who is looking for healing power and presence.
Are you with me on this? See, God can come where he already is. God is here and yet there’s a whole lot more of Him that wants to come. And if He can come where He already is, then all we need to do is align ourselves in a way that invites Him to come. Let me close it with this. Do you remember when the resurrected Jesus is ascending to heaven and he says to his disciples, he says, guys wait, wait in Jerusalem for the gift that’s been promised to you.
In other words, wait for the Holy Spirit. Now, they got a choice. They can all choose to say, well, how long do we have to wait? And what does it look like? And do I really have to put up with Peter much longer? I was hoping this was the end of that thing. Or they could prepare for what they wanted to attract. And if he says wait and wait together, then wait we will. And so for ten days they got together and they waited. Waited for what? They waited for the Holy Spirit. But wait a second, in John 20, Jesus already breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit. Right. So they already have the Holy Spirit inside them as a temple, but he was saying more of me is to come. So how hungry are you for more of me? Are you content with the taste and you can go your way? Or do you want the whole meal?
Well, the whole meal is going to require you waiting and being in relationship together. Acts 1 and 2, “They all joined together constantly in prayer. For ten days, they came together in relationships seeking God. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place, same heart, same mind seeking after the Lord.” I think everybody forgave Peter like 47 times by that point. “Suddenly a sound like a blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house,” there it is, the whole temple was becoming filled. They brought their little temples, created a big temple, “where they were sitting they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” In other words, they prepared for what they wanted to attract, they became a people in relationship together seeking God. God decided to pour out his Spirit upon them. They became the dwelling place for God.
There was His presence. There was His power. There was His peace. And the world has never been the same.
And all because they were willing to push through the awkwardness, the inconvenience and the uncomfortability. Straight up, it’s awkward sometimes to build relationship with each other here. I get it. It’s super inconvenient and it’s not always comfortable. But at some point in our journey with Jesus, we have to just decide that by faith I’m going to position myself in a way that he says more of him will come into my life. And I’m willing to pay that cost and pay that price and become a people who are a dwelling place for him.
Can I tell you I think we’re entering a whole new era and I think God is looking for a people, a family that longs to prepare a dwelling place for Him to come? And so if you’re new, it’s time to build some relationships. If you’ve been here, it’s time to rebuild some of those relationships that have fallen down. And if you’re like, I got tons of good relationships here, then it’s time for you to help other people build these kinds of relationships. Because we all get a choice. Do we want to do church or do we want to become a dwelling place for God? I want to prepare in a way that attracts the presence of God to dwell among us by faith at a whole another level in Jesus’ name.
So you close your eyes with me. Come on, what’s the Holy Spirit saying to you today? What’s God whispering in your heart and your mind? My sense would be that as a follower of Jesus with the Holy Spirit inside of you, the Holy Spirit is drawing you. He’s urging you, He’s propelling you forward, He’s saying, I know you got hurt in the past. He’s saying, I know you don’t feel like you have the time.
He’s saying, I know you don’t know how to even start. He’s saying, I know that you’re afraid that if they find out some of these parts of your life, that they’re going to shame you. He’s saying, I know — He says, I get all that stuff. I think the Holy Spirit is just saying, but will you just trust me enough to lead you and build you and place you in a family in such a way that your life becomes a calling for the presence of God to come? So Lord Jesus, would you build us? Would you take these living stones that you’ve created and would you use them to build a supernatural temple where your presence comes and resides and dwells that the world may see the glory of our God, that we may experience the kingdom of our God and that together we would be the kind of family on mission in which your presence dwells?
Build us Lord Jesus in the way that only you can. In your name we pray. Amen.