The Story - Chapter 5 – New commands and a new covenant
PRAY FOR THE OFFERING
I want to share some numbers with you that are not random. They are targeted, each has a purpose. I have a family here that has gone from 3 to 4. Please welcome Justin & Vicki Kildoo. (Parent Dedication 2nd service only)
We will be celebrating Baby Dedication the weekend of November 9th & 10th . However, Justin & Vicki Kildoo could not participate that weekend so we are celebrating their little one right this moment. Would you please welcome Justin, Vicki, big sister Lili and their newest family member - Braxton Dean Kildoo who was born on May 1, 2013!
We call this time Baby Dedication, but in reality it would be better described as Parent Dedication. These parents want to make a commitment before God and their church family to do as it says in Proverbs 22:6, “train up their child in the way he should go.”
One day Braxton will take his first steps. One day he’ll take his first steps of faith, but until that time children need their parents to guide them and show them what it means to love God and to love people. Proverbs 14:26 says “He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.” To all parents, I pray you are building a legacy of faith that will have eternal consequences.
Justin & Vicki, If you recognize Braxton as a gift from God and you intend to bring your little boy up in the “training and instruction of the Lord,” please respond by saying, “We do.”
Do you promise to ask God’s blessings upon your child’s life through prayer and seek God’s wisdom and guidance through careful study of His Word? If so say “We do.”
Do you pledge to give this child every possible benefit of life within the Body of Christ, the Church, so that Braxton may grow to know and love Jesus? If so, say “We do.”
As ministry partners of this church we have an important responsibility to come alongside these parents in raising their child. God created the Body of Christ to be one, working together to further His Kingdom.
Do you family, friends and ministry partners recognize this child as a gift from God and do you promise to help this child grow up in a Christian environment by being an example of Jesus to this little one? If so say, “We do.” Do you commit to using your gifts to serve this family and come alongside these parents as they strive to raise these children to know and love Jesus? If so say, “We do.” And do you pledge to ask God’s blessing, protection, and guidance upon Braxton as well as his parents? If so say, “We do.” Let’s pray!
Here are a few more numbers… Nine (9) people are in Haiti right now! Let’s pray for Team Haiti! Currently WCC averages 1224 people. This past year 47 people have either accepted Christ or joined this church body! I think that’s exciting! Here are some financial numbers. WCC has a total fiscal budget of $1,748,637.03. Divide that total by 52 and that gives WCC a weekly need of $33,227.35. Here are the hard facts. From the 1st week of July to the last week in September we met that total only three times. In light of that fact our eldership has reduced our current budget by $92,597. We now have a new weekly need of $30,240.33. That new number is a bit of relief, but it also makes me sad. It simply means that ministry we wanted to accomplish for God can’t be done. Let me give you another number. 10 – 10%. Give God 10% of your yearly salary.
Here’s my vision for the Westerville Christian Church. We should reach as many people as possible with the Story of God! What is the Story of God? God made us. God made YOU! He wants to be with YOU! Just like Adam and Eve God wants to walk with us like He did with them in the garden. But they sinned and we’ve sinned and sin stands in the way between us and God! So God made a way! That’s what the book of Exodus means. GOD MADE “A WAY OUT!” Turn in your Bibles to Exodus 19:1! Do you need a Bible? Don’t forget to fill out your connect card. Pointview Elementary School is looking for 12 volunteers for their “Trunk or Treat” scheduled for Tuesday Night, October 29, 2013 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM. If you want to volunteer email Tracy at Tracy.firstname.lastname@example.org. Pointview also sent us this.
Dear Westerville Christian Church, Since God has created you for community and connecting with others, I would like to ask you to connect with Pointview Elementary. For almost a month now, I have been leaving the staff notes about all the wonderful things that are happening in their classrooms and the work that they do for children in general. I am asking you to join me in encouraging and connecting with the 65 adults that walk through the doors of Pointview Elementary. A simple letter of how a teacher has touched your life, your child's or grandchild's life, a note of encouragement, a thank you, or even a funny teacher story, or a simple prayer can make all the difference in the world. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to hearing from many of you. Pax the Pointview Panther
On our stage sits 65 envelopes and cards one each for every person who works at Pointview. At the end of our service would you come get one, write a note and then drop if off in the box in our lobby and we’ll hand deliver them to PAX. Let’s read Exodus 19: 1-2. Which mountain? Exodus 3 tells us that Mount Horeb is Mt. Sinai. This is where the Angel of God spoke to Moses from a bush that burned but wasn’t consumed. Find verse 3. (3-4a) Let’s recap. God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh “let my people go.” God plagues the Egyptians 10 times. The Israelites leave only to be confronted one last time by the Egyptian army. God parts a body of water and if you think that’s exciting watch what happens next! Find verse 9. (Read 9-12)
I can picture Moses saying to the Israelites – you can’t touch this! MC Hammer gets it. Let’s pause one moment and reflect. We don’t like this word – forbidden. When we hear “forbidden” – we think optional. God, who are you to tell me what to do? He’s the one who made us. Moses told the Israelites not to touch the mountain! What has God told us not to touch? (Video – Emotional Infidelity)
All of us in our lives have touched what’s forbidden. God not only made us, he made a way out! There is forgiveness. How is one forgiven? Believe in Jesus. Belief implies trust. Trust in what Jesus did on the cross. I would like us to take COMMUNION right now. Servers – please go at this time! When you hold that bread and that cup remember that Jesus forgives even the forbidden! (Pray for communion)
Sin creates separation. Forgiveness creates community. God wants to do something in Exodus 19. He wants to create a new garden. Where we could walk together again! But for us to be with God there are going to have to be some guidelines. This is all of Exodus 20! We call these the Ten Commandments! Anyone here like rules? Some people are rule followers and others are rule breakers. We often “poo-poo” rules when their original intent was to bring freedom!
Ed Nandor played semi-pro baseball. Semi-pro baseball does not make allot of money so the owners promote gimmicks like selling raffle tickets. Half the money pays the team's expenses and the other half goes to the winning ticket holder. One day they held the drawing just as Ed was stepping up to the plate. The home plate umpire pulled the winning ticket, and then turned to Ed and said. "Could you read me the number? My vision's not too good."[i]
An umpire with bad vision? That explains allot of bad calls! Anyone like sports in general? What makes a game fun are the rules. If you get both feet in – it’s a catch. If you double dribble – it’s a turnover. If you hit the foul pole. It’s actually a fair ball – it’s a HOME RUN! Why, because it’s the rules of the game! Can you imagine watching any game without rules? Kick the ball anywhere because “out of bounds” doesn’t exist! We’ll play as long as we feel like playing and then suddenly call it quits. Without rules the game isn’t competitive, the game is chaos and so is life!
God tells Moses in Exodus 20 – I will walk among my people again but not without these Ten Commandments! The Story reads… “On the cloud-covered summit of Mount Sinai, God handed down the ten most-quoted, best-known rules humankind has ever heard – straightforward, no-nonsense rules for how the Israelites were to relate to God (commands 1-4) and to each other (commands 5-10).[ii] Here they are! The Mission of our church is to Love God and to Love People. These BIG TEN do just that! The first four commandments show our love and respect for God! It’s a vertical love. Love Him only, worship GOD - don’t idolize your cars, body or career. Don’t trivialize his name and don’t work yourself to death! Moritz Erhardt, an intern for Bank of America collapsed and died after working until 6 in the morning for three straight days.[iii] Our bodies were not designed to work 24/7! The next six commands are horizontal. Pre-Noah God saw how bad people treated each other. Treat others as you want to be treated. Respect your parents, don’t murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet. “Greg, I know exactly why God gave us these rules. He’s just waiting to pounce on me. He rules with an iron fist. He wants me to shape up or ship out! God is like a prison warden who barks at me every time I mess up!” (Sign from God?) That’s not true! These rules are in place so we would have respect for God and respect for each other. They don’t restrict. If followed perfectly they create freedom!
Arlene Sulkes-Spieler lost her purse. While whale-watching off the coast of Cape Cod, the wind whipped Arlene’s her big red purse off her arm and into the sea. Arlene said, "I looked down and there was my bag in the middle of the ocean."
Her purse floated for a moment and then sunk into the North Atlantic. Three months later, the Miss Trish II was fishing 20 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The crew pulled a net up from 600-feet of water and were surprised to see a big red purse included in their haul of haddock. A hook ripped her purse open, and money came spilling out. The crew salvaged credit cards, keys, pictures, makeup, and $500 cash, and mailed them to Arlene.[iv] Honestly, what are the odds she ever would have seen her purse again? What are the odds that we’ll keep the commandments? I’ve broken them all! I’ve worshipped lesser gods – made my share of golden calves, disrespected my parents, forsaken the Sabbath, lied, lusted, stolen and coveted! God would never want to be with someone like me! NOT TRUE! God went to great lengths to bring us back to him.
Just like the Israelites God wants to be present in our lives. God told Moses – I want to live among you so God gave Moses instructions for the Tabernacle and within this tent God would reside in what’s called the Most Holy Place. Notice the name – MOST HOLY! He’s holy and we’re not. So how can BAD people get in the same room with a GOOD God? Have you seen those commercials on TV? It’s only weird if it doesn’t work! Animal sacrifice is just plain weird. No disrespect to God, but what a weird idea! You take a lamb that’s innocent and sacrifice it for someone who’s not! What did a little lamb do to anyone? That’s it. Nothing. What was done countless times in the OT was done once in the NT! Jesus is God’s animal sacrifice. How can we get in the same room with God? How can we walk with him in the garden? How can our sin be forgiven? God made a way out. He gave us His completely innocent son who sacrificed himself for people who are not. That’s not fair!
Do you find yourself today dabbling with the forbidden? There’s a way out. Do you find yourself ignoring God’s commands and suffering the consequences? Why live that way anymore? God used to be present in a tent, then a temple but now he wants to be present in you. His spirit wants to reside IN YOU! How does that happen? It’s when you put your faith in the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Dear Westerville Christian Church,
Since God has created you for community and connecting with others, I would like to ask you to connect with Pointview Elementary. For almost a month now, I have been leaving the staff notes about all the wonderful things that are happening in their classrooms and the work that they do for children in general. I am asking you to join me in encouraging and connecting with the 65 adults that walk through the doors of Pointview Elementary. A simple letter of how a teacher has touched your life, your child's or grandchild's life, a note of encouragement, a thank you, or even a funny teacher story, or a simple prayer can make all the difference in the world. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to hearing from many of you. Pax the Pointview Panther
[i] www.gcfl.net / winning ticket
[ii] The Story, 61
[iii] www.preachingtoday.com / Banking Intern Dies after working too hard / News that Illustrates, 9/2/13
[iv] www.preachingtoday.com / Fishermen rewarded for Catching Lost Purse