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The Core - Sermon 3


Growing People Serve


I Corinthians 13:1-8 NLT
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

 

1 Corinthians 13.

For me, these verses define the very essence of the Christian life. This way of life – this model – is what Christ-followers strive for.

If all professing Christians modeled this description of love, then obviously we’d change the world and usher in the coming of Jesus.


My heart has been broken over the past year or so with the rise of racial tension.

1. The rioting, looting, protesting, refusal to stand during the National Anthem, have all reminded us that a shift in racial tensions has occurred.

2. The lack of distrust that has once again heightened; heightened when a Presidential candidate says to an audience of 81 million that “all Americans are implicitly racist.”

3. Dr. Ben Carson said: “You know, I was asked once by an NPR reporter why I don’t talk about race that often. And I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she looked at me quite quizzically. And I said, ‘You see, when I take someone to the operating room and I peel down the scalp and take off the bone flap and open the dura, I’m operating on the thing that makes the person who they are.’ It’s not the covering that makes them who they are,” he said.

4. We all remember the powerful words of Martin Luther King, Jr. saying: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

5. This racial tension has been heightened by candidates who talk of deporting 11 million people who are here illegally.

6. It is heightened when the rhetoric is that whites are privileged and basically deem themselves superior to all others.

7. How can we have all these churches on every corner, and all these people claiming to be Christ-followers, and still have all this mess going on in our country?

8. I believe we would not have racial tension in America if we did not have racial tension in the church.

- We would not still have segregation in America if we did not have segregation in the church.

- We would not have the chaos in America if we didn’t have all the chaos and divisions in the church.

- Let me put it this way: God is not going to skip the church house to fix the White House.

- A President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump is not going to solve the moral dilemma in America. How can such immorality bring about morality?

- How can such displays of vulgarity and the denigration of women…or the lie upon lie and the abuse and misuse of power and trust, bring about a change in a culture of death and hate?

- It can’t. It won’t. Never has. Never will.

- Ah, but don’t despair. God’s not finished yet.

9. Since the election is on just about everyone’s mind, and so much is being said, let me make a statement here. I read the banter back and forth on social media.


We have Republicans and Democrats here today. And over the next 23 days, there will be much more mudslinging and division and choosing of sides. It will get ugly and bitter before it’s over. I call on this church – this body of believers – to show our community how Christians act and live.

- Remember Proverbs 11:1
“Upright citizens are good for a city (or country) and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.”

- Let me remind you of Joshua in Joshua 5. When Joshua is doing reconnaissance of the walls of Jericho, this huge guy with an army shows up and Joshua says, “Whose side are you on? Because if you’re on our side, I have an additional army to help me defeat Jericho. But if you’re on their side, I have to defeat you and them. So, whose side are you on?” The Captain looks at him and says, “I think you are confused. I’m neither on your side nor am I on their side. I am the Captain of the Lord’s Army. I did not come to take sides. I’ve come to take over!”

- God’s desire is to take over. And He does that through His church. And we do that by growing in His grace, His Word, and His power.


So, the Apostle Paul comes along in the midst of the bitterness, and hatred, and rancor, and mistrust – saying, “Remember, if you speak in tongues, if you can prophesy, understand mysteries and revelations, and possess faith that moves mountains and does miracles, if you can build big buildings, sing nice songs, fill up arenas with worshipers, but you don’t have love, you’re a farce, a hypocrite, and an impostor.”


10. Church, you – me, all of us, we are called to “love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God because God Himself is the embodiment of love.”

And here’s what I need to say church…out of that love – that God-love, that love that saw each of us with no preference to skin color, that saw each of us, not as we are or were but what we can be and have the potential to become - that’s the love that compels us to come here and celebrate Jesus and celebrate the communion of the saints – and embrace our differences. 

But that love makes us one! 

It makes us one mighty army! 

Our viable force – one church – one body – one faith – one Lord – one baptism – that as one we go out there and love like Jesus loved us. 

It’s that love that Jesus captures our hearts to see through His eyes and hear through His ears the brokenness of a world He loves and offer the only hope and solution – an introduction to His love.

And how does that happen? It happens when we serve. It happens when we determine to make a difference – to be part of the solution, not the problem.


Growing people serve!

Here’s some truths to take home.

1. You were created to serve.

A. Here’s the American way. Work hard. Achieve enough success that people will serve you.

But Jesus does not measure greatness by our status but by our service.

He said in Mark 10:43: “Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.”

B. You know what I’ve noticed? Go to the bookstore and you’ll find hundreds of books on leadership, but there are precious few on servant-hood.

C. The heart of our Savior is that of servant. He came not to be served but to serve.

- He washed feet when no one else offered.
- He touched the sick when all others cried unclean.
- He walked away from the crowd to heal Bartimaeus.
- He walked out in a storm to calm His frightened friends.
- He wept over Jerusalem with a grieving heart.
- He fed a multitude, not to show His power, but to reveal His heart. They were hungry and He cared.
- And He suffered and bled and endured the Cross and died in pain and disgrace – and then went to hell, but then arose and came back and sat down at the right hand of the Father to advocate for you and me – the broken – the hurting – the depressed – the drug-addicted – the sexually perverted – the hate-filled – the racist – the down and out, and those who have it all – He loves you and He loves me! And He has come to serve us grace and mercy.

- And out of that forgiveness, we are called to serve.

2. In your service you grow, and in your service you live God’s plan for your life.

- In closing today, let me share a story you’ve heard before.

In 1858, a man laid a trembling hand upon the shoulder of a young shoe clerk and said, “I am concerned about you.” That afternoon the young man knelt in the basement of the shoe store and asked Jesus to come into his life. He was touched by this man’s concern. The young clerk was D.L. Moody.

Later he wrote about how strange it was that a man who had only known him for two weeks would be so concerned about him. Moody became an evangelist, and in fact, one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. In 1879, he was invited to England. His host was the great pastor, F.B. Meyer.

F.B. Meyer had no sooner heard Moody preach until he regretted having him as an evangelist. Moody was uncouth and unlearned. As soon as Moody left, F. B. Meyer set about to repair the damage that D.L. Moody had done to his upper class church. The first person that Meyer called on was a Sunday School teacher of young girls. He went to her home and she said, “Oh Doctor Meyer, I’ve been under conviction ever since I heard Brother Moody speak. So I began to visit the girls in my Sunday School class and I’ve led every one of them to Jesus.”

Meyer went home and fell on his knees and soon he began to preach evangelistic sermons in his church and his church began to grow and his success began to be known throughout the world, and it wasn’t long before Meyer was invited to the United States. Among his engagements was a series of meetings on college campuses. At one college meeting a student, J. Wilbur Chapman, heard him speak and he accepted Christ as his Savior. And Chapman went into YMCA work.

Chapman needed a helper, so he hired a young convert, Billy Sunday. Billy Sunday began to do the work of an evangelist and on one occasion he preached a revival in Charlotte, NC. A group of local businessmen heard Sunday preach about the power of prayer. These businessmen began to meet and pray for revival. Some months later, Mordecai Ham accepted their invitation to come to Charlotte and preach a series of meetings. During one of those event tent meetings, a young man felt that the evangelist was pointing his sermon at him. So the next night, he joined the choir so that he could be behind the evangelist and the evangelist wouldn’t be pointing at him when he preached. Wouldn’t you know it, that night the evangelist turned around and preached to the choir. During the invitation, the young man prayed to receive Christ – the man’s name was Billy Graham. And the story goes on.

We know about D.L. Moody, F.B. Meyer, Billy Sunday, Mordecai Ham, and Billy Graham. But where did it all begin? It began with a Sunday School teacher, a man by the name of Kimball. This Sunday School teacher loved his class. And he looked at his class and he reached out with love and compassion and he shared Jesus with his class.

- Every one of us have influence. Each of us have a task to do, a mission to fill.

- It may be:

1. Foster parent giving love and a chance to a child.

2. Leading or assisting in a kids’ class or student or ADVANCE Young Adult Ministry.

3. Care Center or nursing home, or a shut-in, or caring enough to love a kid selling shoes.

- If you are growing in Jesus – you’re growing in love – and if you’re growing in love you are looking for ways to help somebody.


So, this is our Core Value. The Winchester Church of God believes God loves people and growing people serve.

It is who we are to our core.

We have a sign that says Winchester Church of God. People come here for help. Often a last resort. Either we love them and help them and heal them, or let’s take down our sign.




Worship Set


I Am Free

- Jon Egan

Verse 1

Through You the blind will see
Through You the mute will sing
Through You the dead will rise
Through You all hearts will praise
Through You the darkness flees
Through You my heart screams
I am free

Chorus 1

I am free to run
I am free to run
I am free to dance
I am free to dance
I am free to live for You
I am free to live for You
I am free
I am free
(Yeah I am free I am free)

Misc 1 (Ending)

O I am free
I am free
I am free
I am free


Awesome 

- Charles Jenkins

Verse 1

My God is awesome he can move mountains
Keep me in the valley hide me from the rain
My God is awesome heals me when I'm broken
Strength where I've been weakened
Forever He will reign
(Repeat)

Chorus 1

My God is awesome
Awesome awesome awesome
(Repeat)

Verse 2

My God is awesome savior of the whole world
Giver of salvation by his stripes I am healed
My God is awesome today I am forgiven
His grace is why I'm living
Praise His holy name

Misc 1 (Bridge)

He's mighty (4X)
Awesome awesome
He's holy (4X)
Awesome awesome
He's great (4X)
Awesome awesome
Deliverer (4X)
Awesome awesome
Provider (4X)
Awesome awesome
Protector (4X)
Awesome awesome
We Praise You (4X)
Awesome awesome
We Worship (4X)
Awesome awesome

Misc 2 (Tag)

My God is awesome he can move mountains
Keep me in the valley hide me from the rain
My God is awesome heals me when I'm broken
Strength where I've been weakened
Praise His holy name


Nothing but the Blood with Jesus' Blood 

- Robert Lowry Arranged by David Shipps and David Wise

Verse 1

What can wash away my sin
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again
Nothing but the blood of jesus

Chorus 1

O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Verse 2

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing bt the blood of Jesus

Chorus 4

O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Misc 1

Jesus' blood never fails me
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood never fails me
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood
(repeat all 2x)

Tag

Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood never fails

Ending

Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood


O Come To The Altar

- Christopher Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Verse 1

Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well
Jesus is calling

Chorus 1

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Verse 2

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there's no reason to wait
Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Oh what a Savior
Isn't he wonderful
Sing alleluia
Christ is risen
Bow down before him
For he is Lord of all
Sing alleluia
Christ is risen

Verse 3

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you've found

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