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Message: Healthy Church

Matthew ends with Jesus sharing the Great Commission: go and make disciples of all the nations…. Acts begins with God empowering his followers to fulfill that commission: the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about Jesus everywhere in the world. If you were to encapsulate our PURPOSE as a church in one sentence: Create lifetime followers of Jesus! We want to see lost and broken people have an encounter with Jesus that changes their lives forever!

As the early church engaged in Christ’s mission, it grew quickly. As Luke wrote Acts for his friend Theophilus, he included a summary statement of what that new church was like as it developed. In Acts 2:42-47 we see a snapshot of a biblically healthy community. These are simple truths that become foundational elements as we move forward. They are helpful guardrails to keep in the back of our minds as we interact with one another and invite others to grow with us. God created the church so our goal should be to become the church God wants us to be!

[Many of these ideas are taken from Rod Loy who leads a thriving church in North Little Rock, AR.]

A healthy church is a LEARNING church.

A healthy church is a LOVING church.

A healthy church is a PRAYING church.

A healthy church is HUMBLE.

A healthy church is SUPERNATURAL.

A healthy church is UNIFIED.

A healthy church is GENEROUS.

A healthy church is COMMITED.

A healthy church is FUN.

A healthy church is a WORSHIPPING church.

A healthy church is INFLUENTIAL.

A healthy church is OUTWARD FOCUSED.

Message: Great Joy

What brings you joy? A very glad feeling; happiness; great pleasure; delight.

Pay attention to what God is saying!

  • Pray. Study the Bible. Listen!
  • Pay attention to what God is doing around you

Be where God is working!

  • Where God is working is where the “good stuff” is taking place…
  • If we are not careful, we can miss opportunities God has prepared for us to do because we have not spiritually, emotionally, or physically placed ourselves where God is working!

Celebrate what God is doing!

  • Be grateful
  • Cheer each other on
  • Worship God
  • Proclaim what you have “seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)

Message: Your Role Matters (Part Three)

We tend to OVERLOOK Joseph’s role in the birth narratives…

  • Mary is the “O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28).
  • Joseph comes across as the quiet one in the background who is no longer mentioned after Jesus is 12… apparently deceased by time Jesus’ starts ministry and definitely by the end
  • Joseph is the man: He is spiritual (a just man who valued church). He values people (protects Mary’s honor even in possible scandal). He protects and provides for his family (moving to another nation and returning to a different region to protect Jesus). He is hospitable and social (entertaining smelly shepherds and later wealthy foreigners). And he is OBEDIENT to God!
  • Three times an angelic messenger from the Lord visits Joseph in a dream (1:20; 2:13,19). Each time he obeys what God tells him to do!

Set an Obedience Example

  • To OBEY is to do what you are told or expected to do according to someone in authority or a rule or lawI follow commands or guidance. It is to behave according to a rule, law, or instruction—I conform or comply.
  • Success and failure in obedience requires me to determine who I am going to allow to be in CONTROL of what I do! My obedience or lack thereof is often really a control issue.

Obey classy

  • Joseph had the right to publicly humiliate Mary but he set aside his rights to treat her right while he continued to do what is right. He acts wisely not rashly or emotionally.
  • Value people in how you obey and how you apply obedience to a situation

Obey timely

  • Joseph didn’t delay his marriage or his moves. He was quick to obey!
  • Obey now (and in the right time)
  • Delayed obedience is typically disobedience that we correct last minute to avoid consequences

Obey fully

  • Joseph did what God asked him to do and he was all in! He built a life with his new bride. They had more kids. He provided for them. He protected them.
  • Do what God asks you to do and do it with all that is in you. Give your best!

Obey faithfully

  • Scripture doesn’t say it but Joseph’s actions showed it—he believed God! He did what was right but also believed in the God that was guiding him.
  • Be faith-filled in your obedience. There is purpose in what you do.
  • Obey God. Trust God. Believe God.

Message: Your Role Matters (Part Two)

Future focused: David didn’t hold onto the past but planned and resourced for the future. Look ahead! If I keep looking back, then I will fail to invest well into the next generation.

David acknowledges that it is God that chose him to be king. It was not his own achievement but God’s choice that put him into leadership.

David was NOT allowed to build the temple. A “no” to me could be God’s “yes” to someone else. God has a task for each of us (Eph 2:10). Work together. Support one another.

Solomon was divinely selected for a specific task—to build the temple. It was not Solomon’s abilities or achievements that qualified him for the task but God’s choice. (Solomon was not the oldest sibling and his birth was out of a scandalous relationship.)

Despite my weaknesses and inabilities, God is able to work in and through me to accomplish His plans. I am strongest at my weakest because I am most dependent on God (2 Cor 12:10).

David concludes with an important instruction: Obey God!

Message: Your Role Matters (Part One)

Starting and finishing well: Learning from King Uzziah

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NLT) Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
  • In the Christian “race”, we have seen the “track” littered with the remains of those that started well but never finished well… The Bible is not shy about SHOWING FLAWS…
  • Jacob was a schemer, but God transformed him and named a nation after him. David was a great worshiper and warrior but struggled as a dad. Manasseh led people to spiritually abandon God’s covenant bringing future judgment on Judah. Josiah revived a love for God in the people but died in a battle he should have avoided.
  • Flaws and all, God works in us and through us. So, FINISH WELL!
  • Every follower of Jesus can finish well by avoiding the mistakes of King Uzziah.

Message: Attitude Affects Altitude

My attitude affects my altitude!

Attitude is a feeling or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that is caused by this feeling or opinion.

  • Attitude is often expressed in body language and facial expressions!
  • Our attitude communicates what we are thinking and feeling…
  • Attitude is important for individuals and organizations. Everybody impacted by attitude.

Control your attitude (lift) so that it does not control you (gravity). Deal with wrong thinking before God steps in to correct you.

  • A negative attitude is reflected in our words or expressions and our performance.
  • Doing a great job with a horrible attitude is not admirable.
  • I do not think clearly when I have a wrong attitude

Our attitudes need to be compared with a set standard.

  • An aircraft attitude is compared against the horizon or its orientation with the ground.
  • Not with each other because attitudes are contagious
  • Have same attitude as Christ: Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
  • Objective truth: Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Think about right things (and emulate right attitudes): Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
  • Lead with right actions and allow emotions to follow: Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Look past yourself. The more you make it all about you in the more you’ll get an attitude when the focus isn’t on you or you are not getting your way.

  • Think right.
  • Take a nap or take a walk.
  • Be humble not high and mighty (proud)
  • Be a peacemaker not a conflict creator
  • Appreciate what you possess not what you are lacking. Be thankful.


You matter to God!

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