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Community Evg. Free Church Services
Community Evg. Free Church Services

Episode · 1 year ago

Hungry Why Wait

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hungry why wait is a sermon on what the church offers to feed your starving soul.   

And Merry Christmas everyone. We do have a few announcements this morning. Are Small groups should be starting back up in in January. So the couples group will be next Sunday. It will still be here, and then the men's group and the women's group are tentatively going to be at papertown and at the Boucher's house if we're if we're allowed to. So in your in your mind. Put It on the calendar and then just the location will let you know. There's a workday coming up January nine. If you look around, we've gotten a lot of stuff done. There are a few additional things we want to to do, so if you can be at the workday on January nine, that would be great. Hg trail life youth group are starting back up January fourteen. Put that on your calendar. Bring your kids. It's not only a blessing to the kids but to the leaders. So please plan on doing that. And our congregational business meeting, which is not a blessing to anyone, is January twenty four after after church. Are there any other announcements this morning? At I don't know why we want that, but all right, children up to second grade can be dismissed at this time. All right. How many of you really enjoyed two thousand and twenty? All right, yet well, the married guy raised his hand. Yeah, he is traded. Well, all right. So some of us, you know, maybe not our favorite year that we've ever had two thousand and twenty. Okay. How many of you grew spiritually in two thousand and twenty? Oh good, surprising number. How many of you, and maybe we shouldn't raise our hand for this one, but how many of you feel like you were just stagnant or move backwards in twenty two? And again, don't raise your your hand for that one. But I have a warning for you. If you do everything that you did in two thousand and twenty, if you do it all that same in two thousand and twenty, one the same results going to happen. So if you're thinking, man, I was kind of stagnant, I don't. My warning is, if you do everything the same, you're going to get the same result in your spiritual life as far as if it was blow this year. So I wanted to go through and tell you what maybe...

...you should be doing in your spiritual life. Is We're about to start a new year. So this is acts chapter two. We're going to be bouncing around to a couple of different places, but that is a good key verse for for us. So there are some personal things that I think you should be doing, things that I can't do for you. So Acts Chapter Two tells us that they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, into the breaking of bread and to prayer. Sometimes our everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts, they broke bread in their homes and eight together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people and the Lord, added to their number daily those who were being saved. So I have a few things up there that I think are personal to you. Devoted themselves to apostles teaching and, I put in Parentheses, Bible reading. Now, I know some of you have no idea what I do during the week. All right, but here's what we can all agree. I don't do I don't go over every morning or every evening to your house and open the Bible for you and read it out loud to you. That's that's on you. You have to read the Bible for for yourself, and maybe one day it would be like convenient, but the second day you'd be like, can we please send pastor Andrew Home? We don't need that. So personal things that you have to do. Reading the Bible is first. If you're not reading the Bible, you were just not going to grow as a Christian. I can promise that. So if you look back on two thousand and twenty and you go by, I was kind of stagnant. How Much Bible reading did you do? If, if you need some encouragement, there's someone in here who's in the book of revelation. Now. Are you excited? Kirsten? It's she has read through the Bible in it's in Wellnot in its entirety. She's ten, fifteen chapters away from from finishing it. Yeah, and she posted it every single day and I have this fantastic meme that I was going to send her the first time she missed. And we are December twenty seven and I haven't gotten a send it to her yet. It is not a guarantee that if you read your Bible you're going to grow as a Christian, but it is a guarantee that if you don't read your Bible you're not going to grow as as a Christian. So they not just read their Bible but devoted themselves to it and to fellowship. Look around at all these smiling faces. These are the people you're supposed to fellowship with. Spend time with them church. It's not just to spend time with them here, to meet them in the lobby, to go. Yeah, the coffee wasn't very good this morning. Eight, where is the coffee? When do we get coffee back?...

Go Out, spend time with each other. Go to a restaurant when we're allowed, go bowling when we're allowed, go ice skating when we're allowed, go anywhere once we're allowed, but you have to spend time with each with each other. Just to hear dwayne spending an hour with Levi ten months ago and it's something that he remembers. That time that you spend with other people is very important to you, to your spiritual life and to your kids. Spiritual Life, find places that you can drag them and they realize, Oh, Christianans are, you know, not always in a shirt and tie and not always, I was going to say, boring. We're never boring, but not always all focused on one person. Who's WHO's talking, breaking bread and to prayer. Again, I don't go over to your house and we all sit in a circle and hold hands and go let's pray. Sure, we pray here and we read the Bible here and we fellowship here, but if this, if what just happened five minutes ago, is the only time you pray during the week, you are not going to grow as a Christian. You have to pray every day, frequently, over and over, and there should be a set aside time for you to pray, and it doesn't have to be a specific time. At five o'clock I pray, but if it's before dinner or after dinner, before you wake up or before you go can't be before you wake up, after you wake up, before you go to bed. Yet some of you are like, yeah, before I wake up, I get a good eight hours of prayer and have a set time and then whenever you wake up, whatever time it is, pray or whenever you go to bed, pray before you go to bed. So it doesn't have to be a set time, but get into a habit or else you can you can miss things. And the last one I wanted to say for personal those who are being saved. Evangelism is a personal thing for you. Now we are we provide opportunities at the church to do that, but evangelism is a personal thing. If I go over and tell your neighbor about Jesus, they just go yeah, that's his job. If I go over and tell your grandparents about Jesus, they just think it's my job. It's much more valuable to hear it from you and you need to be doing evangelism. You need to be telling your friends and your neighbors and your co workers in your family about Jesus. All right, that gets us as a church off the hook for everything. So let's talk about something completely different. How many of you went to a Christmas dinner and walked away hungry? Oh well, that's weird. Can Can you imagine? So my Christmas dinner with my parents, we had Turkey and bake macaroni and more Turkey and meat balls and tons of desserts, Ham, Yuck, Ham, all of this stuff.

Can and leave. I had ham and more ham and Turkey and more Turkey and meat balls and more meat balls and more ham. And I'm pretty sure he just kept sneaking food because Lauren would say, no, I think you've had enough ham, and then you'd be like Dad, can I have have shure son, and then Adam want to say no, you've had enough ham, and then he'd be like, Uncle Antrum, might have whatever you want. Will load it up, no problem. If you walk away from Christmas Dinner Hungry, whose fault is it yours? Exactly? You ever go to a buffet? I mean not now, but maybe you know a year ago you went to a buffet and there was all this food out and then you went home and we're hungry. WHOSE FAULT IS IT yours? If somebody puts food out and you don't eat it and you walk away hungry, you can't complain. Now you can say that was the worst buffet I've ever been to. Oh that Christmas dinner. Why would you make sugar free cookies? That just you have defeated the whole purpose of the cookie. That's different. You can complain about the buffet, but you can't go away hungry. So let's take a look at the church's responsibility. I like to think of us as setting a table for you guys, and the idea of this came up because people would leave the church and go I just don't feel like I'm being fed. I just don't feel like I'm being fed, and most of the time the problem was you're not eating. Like yeah, you're not being fed because you're not eating. So let me show you the buffet that the church sets that and you can say that's the worst buffet ever. Your your feet of me sugar free cookies, and then we've got to we've got to have a discussion, we've got to improve the menu, but you guys have to eat. So here is a key verse for us. We have to we have much to say about this, but it's hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though, by this time, you ought to be teachers. You need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food. Anyone long, anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for them at sure, who, by constant use, have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. As Christians, we are looking to eat more and more and more and more and more. I'll try not to look at my parents while I say this, but we had coffee all day on Christmas. The coffee was flowing. It was fantastic. There of Creamer, they're even have milk. They have almond milk. And then, and not only that, the almond milk was the number one choice, there was something next to the almond milk that mom said to me, Oh, you won't like that. Can you imagine? If the choice is almond milk or the milk, you really won't like and it's just and I was craving milk. And then I turned around and saw Turkey and bake macaroni and I went I'll take solid food,...

I'll take it black and I will take solid food. Where are the cookies? As Christians, if you come to church and you're just getting milk, you just there's nothing solid going going on, no solid food, then you're not going to be the teachers that you're supposed to be. You're just going to be infants if we can't run a H G and trail life, because there's nobody there to teach H G and trail life who they should be. Solid food is for the mature who, by constant use, have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. So Little Baby Christians, and by Baby Christians I don't even mean new Christians versus Old Christians. That's not what it's saying. It's not saying you came to know Jesus a year ago, so you're on milk and you came to know Jesus thirty years ago. Therefore, you're qualified to be a teacher and you're eating solid food. No, it is about your spiritual maturity. Are you reading the Bible? Are you praying? All of all of these things. Anyone who lives on milk is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. The people who have just accepted Jesus as savior but haven't dove dived jumped in to their their Christian faith, they they are just babies. But solid food is the mature, for the mature who, by constant use, constant use over and over and over again. It's not. Well, I read my Bible back on November fifteen. I read two chapters, so now I'm good. Now constant use, they've trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. So first thing we put on the buffet is the worship service. Here we are, you're all here, so all of you check. That's one Hebrews ten tells us, and I wanted to put the whole context here. Therefore, since we have confidence to enter the most holy placed by the blood of Jesus, so we're talking about Jesus and how important he is, by a new and living way open for us through the curtain that is his body. And since we have a great priest over the House of God, were given a command. Let us draw near to God with the sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings. So because of who Jesus is, let's draw near to God with a sincere heart, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Next Command, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised it is faithful. Next Command, let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together because there could be a temptation to go. Jesus is coming back. Let's just let's just do church elsewhere. We don't have to meet as a group. And and the writer of Hebrews is saying draw near to God and hold unswervingly to the hope and consider how you can spur one another on to love and good deeds. Don't give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another and even more...

...as you see Jesus coming. If Jesus were coming tomorrow, if you knew Jesus was coming tomorrow, the writer of Hebrews would say all the more reason to be in church. Don't go home and make up a will, don't go home and do all of this. All the more reason to be in church, to meet with the saints to see how you can spur them on to love and good deeds. Our worship service is one of the ways that we feed you spiritually. We the music is designed to bring you closer to Jesus. The prayer time is designed to bring you closer to Jesus. The sermon is designed to give you as much application as I can get you, to bring you closer to Jesus, but if this is all you're consuming during the week, you're going to go away hungry. Our church is not designed for this to be the only thing, because you you get some Bible, but you don't get as much Bible as you want, as we want you to get. You get some application, but you don't get as much as we want you to get. So when we looked at the table, the buffet we were going to set in front of you, we said yes, worship service. We're commanded by God to do that and we're going to do that and we're going to make it as helpful to people as we can, as worshipful to Jesus as we can put if that's all you're doing, you're not going to grow spiritually. You're just not. And, and I don't take the responsibility for that, and the elders don't, we're saying that's all you're doing, it's not going to work. We need you to do some other things. What's next? Sunday school? All right, that's part of the buffet. We have adults Sunday school, we have teen Sunday school, we have young kids Sunday school. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. You know what we do in Sunday school? We open up this book and we tell you what it means and we discuss it. It is the time in our ministry that we are most focused on the Bible, which sounds like a weird thing. You think that would be the worship service. But the worship service has prayer, the worship service has giving, the worship service has music and all of those things are biblical. But Sunday school says we're not doing anything but teaching you about the Bible and we teach it to you and your kids and maybe you're your grandkids at their age appropriate level, which means when we have cameron and we have summer, we don't go sit down. We got forty five minutes for you. Right. We have to teach it on an age appropriate level and the hope is sometimes we you've used humor. I'm hoping that a brown said the word Magus on Christmas, but if not, see that was geared towards your age group. But if not, sometimes that transfers to other age groups. I got a text message on Christmas Day from Katie wreck and it just simply said Maguss like. Well, I I...

...geared it toward the ten year olds, but Katie, Katie got it. It's, that's right, the oldest living cubby. So we designed Sunday school to be the time when we are teaching you directly in the Bible. Your Bible should be open, the Teachers Bible should be open, and they're saying this is what it means, this is how it applies to you. And someone raises their hand and goes, could it mean that, and the teacher goes no, no, they say well, let's let's talk about it and there is discussion and it is a usually an hour. It's right now, forty five minutes where we're devoted to the apostles, teaching to the New Testament and to be the Old Testament. All right. So if you're just doing the worship service, I would say add Sunday school. You're already waking up in the morning, right. What is forty five minutes more sleep coming to do for you? Nothing. Come forty five minutes earlier, come to Sunday school and you've taken the Turkey of the worship service and you've added Mash, potatoes and gravy. You can make a full meal of that. Trust me, you can make a full meal of that. So worship service Sunday school, but you're still going to go away hungry. We want to give you a buffet that you're going to remember for the rest of your life. Right, if we just gave you Turkey and mash potatoes, you'd be like, that's a good meal, but you wouldn't tell your friends about it. So we have another thing that we want to do, small groups. And so we have a small group for our adults, with a small group for our men, most of which are adults, and we have a small group for our women, and they meet throughout the week. And what is their purpose? Effesians for no notice, it says. Then they would no longer be infants. So that same analogy is being used, tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching. If you ever been listening to a sermon and just wanted to go, I have a question. Can can you just clarify? Can you repeat? I missed that small groups where you get to say I didn't understand, I didn't get hold on, that went too fast, or is he really right? Is it really Magus? It can't be, can it? Blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning, cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Paul is telling us that people are trying to get you not to believe in Jesus and people are trying to get you not to live the life that you're supposed to live. And I can talk to you for thirty minutes each week and that's not going to fix it. What the other part of our ministry that we have is small groups where you can get and talk to each other and say this is my struggle and someone goes that's mind too, and someone else goes, that's mine too. I thought it was just me. And we talk and we work through the every wind of teaching...

...and the cunning and craftiness of people. Instead, we speak the truth in love and we will grow. Small groups is where you're really kind of in the in the ditches and and trying to grow with with people speaking the truth and love. We will grow to become in every respect to the mature body of him who is the head as a church. We are a body. Some of us are feet, some of us are ears, some of us are hands, some of us are big mouths, and what it's looking at here is notice. It doesn't say we will grow to become mature individuals. It says we will grow to become a mature body, which means if you have mature hands and mature ears but you've got an obnoxious big mouth, the church isn't going to be right. We all have to mature together the mature body of which Jesus is the head. So small groups. If you're not in a small group, you're doing a disservice to us as a church. If you're not growing as a Christian, you're doing a disservice to us, because we are trying to become a fully developed mature body and you're a weak limb who's not working on themselves. So we would say, as a church, grab a fork, come on in and start eating the buffet, because worship service Sunday, school small groups, small groups is once a month. It's not even that heart and we feed you. So I mean not just spiritually but physically as well. There's food and then from Jesus, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. I got bad news for you, and some of you have already figured out what the fourth one is. I've got bad news for you. You don't become a Christian to just sit in a Pew Chair, a few chair. You become a Christian to work and small groups is developing you to be joined and held together by every supporting the ligament so that the whole church grows and continues to build itself up in love, so that each of us can do work. Ministry. That's the fourth thing that we do for you. Worship Service Sunday, school, small groups, ministry. What are those ministries? Hg, trail life, youth group, worship team, sound crew back there. Look at all those guys. There are six of them back there, all with matching shirts. It's pretty cool. Do you hear that? That's the sound of no children. Do you know where they are? I don't, but they're back there and there with some sort of adult. That's ministry work day. Look at...

...this carpet. It's beautiful. Somebody did this. Look, there's a tree there. Somebody did this. Ministry. You need to find something for you to do and as a church we have opportunities for you to do things and some of you might say, well, I can't be here on a Thursday night and I can't and I can't and I can't. We have all sorts of opportunities. So think about two thousand and twenty one. We have an Easter egg hunt in scheduled in two thousand and twenty one. We have summer camp scheduled in two thousand and twenty one, we have a carnival scheduled in two thousand and twenty one, we have polar blast in two thousand and twenty one. And you can get on the calendar right now and see all four of those dates and you might say, busy, busy, busy, busy, can't do it. Sorry, should have gotten me five years ago. But we're going to start preparing for all those things long before those dates. And we've seen this happen with with people. Anyone ever climb into a bounce house with a towel to dry it out? Yeah, ministry. Is it a fun ministry, Isaac, not particularly. Is it a smelly ministry? Yeah, but that's ministry. You have to find things that you enjoy doing, that you're good at, and and go and do that. So here and acts chapter six. I think it gives us sort of the first time where the church kind of explodes with growth, and acts chapter two and they realize we need more people to help. So acts chapter six, as in those days when the number of disciples was increasing. So the church is now thousands of people, the Hellenistic Jews among them, complained against the HEBRAIC Jews because the widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. They were they were being overlooked. That's a problem. So the twelve, the apostles, the most holy, right, the preachers, that's what I think right, the mouths, that's what they are. The mouths gathered all the disciples together, so the whole church together, and said it wouldn't be right for us to neglect the Ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Now sometimes that seems like wouldn't be right for us. The saint did ones to go wait on tables. That's not what he's saying. Would it be right for me to do children's Church right now? What would happen? You'd all just stare at a screen for thirty minutes. That would be silly and and the disciples are the apostles are saying we were trained by Jesus and told to tell you all of these things. We only have so many hours in the day, so if we go over here and we wait on tables, then we're not doing the thing that Jesus told us to do, and that's what we're gifted and qualified for. What we should do is have some people who are gifted and qualified to right weight on tables and have them weight on tables. There should be people who are gifted and qualified to be...

...in children's church, to be in the nursery. And notice the people that they pick. Choose seven men from among you who aren't really good at talking, who we don't particularly like, to just go deal with the table stuff. They choose seven men who are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. They said, if we're going to do this ministry, we want the best possible people we can have to do this ministry. We can't take it from the twelve who are already doing a ministry, but if we're going to add seven more people, we want them to be qualified. We don't want them to be good. It wasn't the apostles gathered all the disciples and said, can we just get seven people willing to do this? Will Take Five. Just anybody come up and help. They wanted a ministry that doesn't even seem super important to us. They said, let's find seven people full of the spirit and wisdom so that and give the responsibility over to them, so the apostles can continue doing their ministry of the word. It pleased the whole group and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and six other people they presented to them, to the apostles, who prayed and laid hands on them. You need to be involved in a ministry and never think of your ministry as a second class ministry or a third class ministry. No, it's not that at all. Not all of us can do can be involved in absolutely everything. I don't run around on Thursday teaching and Truel life and teaching an Ahd and teaching youth group. We have qualified people to do all of those things. We want to make sure that you're in a position that you can do some ministry, because that's when you really grow. There is excitement to ministry that you might not realize if you've never been involved in it. There are people in here who, twenty years from now we're going to walk downstairs and go I painted that wall and that floor or and that carpet and that ceiling and that there are people who can go, you know what, that was my ceiling tile, that that I put in and you might go it's just a ceiling tile, but to that that's their their ministry. Look back at the sound group again. Wave your hands everyone. Okay. What do you notice about them other than they're all boys, they're all young. Oh, do you know the number one reason people leave a church when they're at that age or that that Gaggle of girls over there? Plus Dylon? You know the number one? Actually, now that we're looking at it, Dylan may have made the wiser choice. The number one reason that age group leaves the church they don't have anything to do, they don't have a ministry. Not Church is boring, pastor's dumb. I hate the music. Mean, I've heard all that, but it's we don't have...

...anything to do. If you can get them locked into a ministry that they like to do and they're good at, their spiritual life comes alive. As a church we want to make sure everybody has a ministry, so it's not just me running around doing everything and then David runs around and does what I can't and Pete runs around and does what I can, what we can't. You know, the three of us are the paid people. Know Pete realize heavily on Matt who doesn't get paid. David relies heavily on on Brandy, and I mean all of these people were facilitating you in a in ministry, and we don't think of it as Oh man, the more stuff I can get them to do, the fewer things I have to do. You know, it's actually the opposite. The more stuff I get you to do, the more stuff that I tend to have to do. But you're good at what you do and that's great and it's good for you, for your spiritual life, to be doing things in the church and we try very hard not to make you busy for the sake of busyness, and the Deacon Board can attest to this, because frequently I will call up and say we don't have to have a meeting today, we don't, we can do it in an email, because I'm very much against wasting people's time to just do something that doesn't matter. We want to make sure that every ministry hour you have is focused on something important and we consider everything that we do important. If it's putting in ceiling tiles, it's if it's painting, that's part of the buffet. So my challenge for two thousand and twenty one. If you're looking back on your two thousand and twenty spiritual life and you're going I didn't like it, you know what? You should notice? We didn't have church for two and a half months. We didn't have Sunday school for six months, we didn't have small group for five months. It couldn't really do any basically, nothing happened in ministry from March to August or September. You should have felt a this isn't right, there's something wrong. I need more. And as elder as we sat down and talked and we said we didn't use these attacked words, but we packed up the buffet and then said go, go, grow spiritually, but we're not we're not helping, and we promised ourselves that we never do that. There might be times where we have to, you know, cover up a dish and say, well, we can't do Sunday school right now. When we when covid started kicking up again in November and December, we were looking at small groups going. How do we keep this while also keeping people safe? So we eliminated food. We brought it into inside. We wanted to keep we wanted to keep the buffet going and that, as a church, we should have seen that two thousand and twenty was...

...not what we want life to be like. Was Not good for your spiritual life. So I guess what I would say to you for two thousand and twenty one is grab a fork. The foods good. Eat All you want. Will make more. Come up to the buffet and if if you look at it and you go, I attend church, I attend Sunday school, I tend small groups and I attend and I have a ministry and you go, I'm still not growing. We can have a conversation. Come and talk to me. If you say I'm not growing and I come to church once a month, I would go, yeah, I would think you aren't. That doesn't surprise me. Grab afore. Come on in your spiritual life is up to you. There are personal things you you you have to do, and their church things you have to do, and I think we've created a good menu for you and I hope you'll you'll participate with us this year. Let's pray. Heavenly father, I thank you for our church, I thank you for our leaders, I thank you for our people. Lord, I thank you that we can always start fresh. It seems like January first is the time that everybody makes New Year's resolutions. In January eighth is the time when we all break them. Lord, help us realize that there there's always a time where we can add Sunday school. There's always a time where we can add a small group, there's always time for us to get involved in a ministry. There's always time to add prayer and Bible reading and evangelism and fellowship to our own personal life. There's we don't have to wait for specific times of a calendar year. Lord, help us to grow this year. Help us to make our Christian faith a priority. In Jesus name, we pray Amen.

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