TOGETHER

Jul 26, 2020 | Aaron Couch

Together: We Are Better Together

Morning family. It's groovy to be here this morning with you. Uh, love that. That's kind of a fun little throwback. I'm excited to get rolling on this new series that we're in called together. And the goal for this series is to lay a foundation for why it's important for us to continue to meet together. And when we originally put this series together, um, there wasn't a thing called COVID, that we knew about. And so, my fear is that based on where it's placed right now, that we're going to come off as if we're trying to make people feel guilty for being at home. That is not what we're doing with the series. I hope that you hear me say that if you're still concerned about your safety or if you're, you know, the masks get at you, or whatever, please feel free to stay home and continue to watch services. And then as things get safer, we'll be okay. But the goal of this series is to address something that is an emerging concern for me and for other pastors in the churches around the country. And here's what it is. They've heard many people that are saying, you know what, I'm not ever coming back to church because I like watching church in my living room. I like watching church in my pajamas. And so, because I like watching church in my pajamas, I can't come back to church. Here's the deal. I'm going to just say for the record, those two things aren't mutually exclusive. Like you, you could come to church in your PJ'. We accept all kinds here. It'd be weird, but you could do that if you want it. But that being said, I want to take a look over the next four weeks to kind of what the Bible says about, like, why is it so important that we do this to begin with? 
Because the truth is if this isn't actually really important, there's a lot of other ways that we could spend a Sunday morning. And so, I want to tackle this. Today is going to be more of a, it's more of an academic sermon. So there's not a, there's not a lot of, Oh my gosh, I'm going to cry and feel bad and be convicted. This is, this sermon is going to be just really some groundwork, some foundation pieces that will actually really help us for the three weeks after this. And, this, specifically the practices that we're going to talk about today, a friend named Jerry Harris that showed this to me. And I was like, man, that is so good. I am totally stealing it. Which I think, uh, every great scholar is  maybe an even better CIF. So, um, just because we're really good at, you know, borrowing other people's things, but this is, this is not my stuff originally, but we're going to take a look at the book of Acts and we’re gonna work to apply it. 

Now, Southeast Christian Church, as a church was planted out of a group of churches called the restoration movement. And some of you may or may not be familiar with that. The restoration movement, the desire of the restoration movement was, is still, to restore the church back to what it looked like in the book of Acts. Now not necessarily in its execution, but in the principles that drove it in the, in the way that they interacted with one another and with the community, it was a goal to restore the church back to its original intent. Here's the problem that we have in  our cultural church today is that we want to divorce the teachings of God from the methods of God. And then we wonder why we don't get God's results. And if you were to wrestle with anybody in the country right now, just say, just ask the question “is the church winning?”  is the church as it is now winning. And you would get varying degrees of no, but I've never heard of yeah, yeah. Church is kicking butt and taking names. You won't get that. What you'll get is all kinds of reasons why it isn't, but I would propose that perhaps at least a piece of the conversation is that we like the teachings of God, but we're not using God's methods. Because of that, we're not getting God's results. Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against it. So, if the church isn't winning in America, something is amiss. So, I just want to take a look at the church in the book of Acts and see what they did. There's two ways that we deduce truths from the Bible. And I mentioned this before, but it's worth reviewing at this point. 

One is a direct command, thus saith, the Lord. Jesus said the greatest commandment is love the Lord your God with your hearts and minds and strength. The second one's like it, love your neighbor as yourself. All along the prophets hang on these two things, right? So Jesus said that those are commands: love God and love people. Those are commands of the Bible. The other way that we learn to deduce truth is what's called an apostolic precedent. What that means is what do we see them doing with the teachings that they received?How do we see them living out the truths that they had been taught? And so we learned  through those practices and not necessarily that the practice has to be the same, but that we need to see the values that drove their decisions to do certain things. We need to see those values expressed in our own life and in our church family as well. And so that's what we want to wrestle with today. Like for example, they didn't have cell phones in the first century. So it's really hard to, well, how does God feel about cell phones? Like where -- you can't really go to the Bible and thus says the Lord about cell phones, but how does God feel about something like abortion? Well, they didn't have abortion in the first century, but they did have a practice called infant exposure. And so we can see from the early church, how they actually lived out the principle of the sanctity of life. And what does that look like? And what can we learn from that and how important that is for us to recognize that. And so, actually this is cool, cool news, we got green-lighted to go to Turkey. So, I'm so excited about taking our study tour to Turkey. That's awesome. But we have a big conversation about that, about what the early church did with these kinds of things. So, I’m super excited about that, but we can look at what they did and learn how to apply those principles that drove that in our own lives.

So, here's what I want to do. I want to take a look at Acts 2, we'll look at 10 principles that the early church was committed to. And then we're going to pull out four of them and look at those specifically a little bit more in depth, and you'll understand why in a minute. So Acts 2, if you remember the story, they’re at the day of Pentecost and it's nine in the morning. And so if you come with me to Israel, I can show you exactly where they were -- overwhelming evidence to show you exactly where they are. And they have the tongues of fire, sound like a rushing wind, and then the 12 apostles start to speak in other languages. And what's interesting is it says that the people that were around all heard them speaking in their native tongue, there are 15 different nationalities of people mentioned in their 12 apostles. And it says all those 15 different nationalities can hear them speaking in their native tongue. That is the biblical gift of tongues. And it's pretty awesome. And then the people are like, you guys are drunk and Peter's like, we're not drunk. It's only nine in the morning. In the subtext, what he says is it's not that we won't get there at some point, we just haven't had time. Yeah. Cause here's what we learned. Um, being a church leader could potentially drive a person to drink like that. And so Peter's like, we're not drug, we haven't had time yet. Like we have it's too early in the morning. It's only nine in the morning. And then he gives his sermon. That's awesome. It's, it's a classic Peter sermon, blah, blah, blah. Jesus is God and you killed him. This is every sermon that Peter preaches and he's like this, this is what was foretold from all the profits. And Oh, by the way, Jesus was God and you killed him. And then it says that when the people heard the message, they were cut to the heart and they said, brothers, what must we do? And Peter said, repent, and be baptized every one of you for the forgiveness of your sins. And you received the gift of the Holy spirit. And this will be for you, for your children, for all who are far off and for all whom the Lord, our God will call. Now, question? Who is “all whom the Lord our God will call?” Us. So that's cool. The promise is for you and me.

And then I want to pick up the story there in verse 41. And I want to look at how the early church starts kind of living its life. So verse 41, it says this: So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about 3000 souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. I've never seen a church do that. I've never seen a church do that. I would love to see a church do that -- and day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes -- which the moral of that story is, even at the church’s inception, the church was all about food. They received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. How many of the people did they have favor with? All of them. There is a way to do that. There is a way to do that. And the Lord added to the number day by day, those who were being saved.

So, I want to look at, from this passage, 10 practices of the first church, and we'll move relatively quickly through those. And then we'll go from there. Number one is baptism. They were committed to baptism. They were baptizing people – that’s one of the reasons why we do baptisms here, and I'm doing a sermon series later in a few months called traditions. And we're going to pull some of our different church traditions apart. Cause I think we do them like we have, if we've been going to church for awhile, uh, we have, what's called the lullaby effect where we just kind of do things and we don't really think about why we're doing them. 
So we're going to all these different things that we do, like baptism and communion. We're going to do two weeks on communion because there's a lot to it. We're going to do all these different things and talk about where they come from and why we do them. But they were committed to baptism.

Number two, they were committed to doctrine and teaching. And this is important because your spiritual life is a lot like your physical life. Like it develops by getting worked out. Right. And what happens is when we have shallow anecdotal or, pop psychology sermons, we start to develop a really shallow spiritual existence, which is okay until you have a really heavy thing happen. And then it's, then you need a deep spiritual life and you don't have it because you've only been working out with these light weights. And, and so you get put into a space where you need a 50 pound weight spiritual life and you only have a 25 pound weight, spiritual life. Or when you say to someone, Hey, are you saying to the Lord like Lord use me. And the problem is you, you haven't developed your spiritual depth yet. So you're like, Lord use me, but God's like, okay, I'll use you for something that's going to be actually really significant. But before I do that, I have to develop you. Well, how does God develop us? The same way you develop your muscle. You develop muscles by a phrase called time  under tension. When you're lifting weights, you're putting tension on your muscles. And the more time that you get that muscle under tension, the more that it can grow and expand, right? Well, same thing spiritually, if you want to develop spiritually, how do you do it? Time under tension. We have to go through some stuff and, and it develops us and we develop a fortitude and the strength. The doctrine and teaching of the apostles helps us gain some of that depth. And so it's a discipline to study that stuff. Cause it's not flashy. It's not pretty and it's not even necessarily popular, but it gives us depth. And so it's important.

Number three, the practice that they had was the practice of authority. And I know this one is a sketchy one. So let me say this, it's spiritual authority properly implemented. Authority in our life is actually really, really, really, really important. Talk more about that in a little bit, but they had the practice of authority.

Number four is fellowship. Now this isn't fellowship like our elbow bumping COVID handshakes, right? That’s not the kind of fellowship that we're talking about, we're talking about a deep soul connectedness kind of fellowship. Um, that's what's going on and they're actually intentionally committed to it and practicing it.

Number five, practicing communion. They're practicing the breaking of bread, which is a meal. It is a meal, but for them communion didn't look like the way we have it. They would not have had a large gathering where they had communion together like this and this make what we do wrong. It's just not what they did. They had communion when they got together in their homes, broke bread as a part of a meal, there would, they would take communion together as part of that meal. And so they were committed to taking communion. And that's one of the reasons why we take communion every time that we get together as a church family, because, and for a lot of us, we only do it once a week, so when we come together, we take communion together.

Number six, they were prayerful. I don't think we give this one enough credit. Let me tell you this. Let me tell you a story. So, when, when we got here a year ago, there's about 1700 people coming to our church, which is great. That's, that's wonderful. This last Sunday, we had almost 8,800 people engage our service. Like that's a 700% growth in one year. Holy moly. Here's what I'm absolutely convinced of. I'm absolutely convinced that that is the result of faithful prayers that were laid down before we even showed up. Like there's no, cause there's no, there's no amount of like that guy can really preach or that guy can really lead or that guy's got great. There's no amount of that that does what has happened to our church in the last year. And so, it can only be God responding to the prayers of his people. I don't know about you guys, but I'd like to see a lot more of it and in order for that to happen. We don't have to come up with brand new, great ministry ideas. We have to be committed to getting on our knees and praying.

Number seven, they're committed to spiritual gifts. They were committed to figuring out what is it that God has put in your life that he, that you would need to use to live out in the kingdom. Spiritual gifts are never given to the edification of the self. They're always given for the edification of people around you. They're there to help us build one another up. And they're not all the same, which is good. Okay. 

Number eight, they were committed to giving, sharing and being generous. Like it went without saying. There was never a conversation where they had to talk themselves into being generous. It was just part of it. You couldn't call yourself a resident of the kingdom of God if you didn't choose to be generous, you just couldn't do it. 

Number nine, they were committed to meeting together. They met together day by day in the temple courts and house to house. Now, what a lot of people have said about that is, and the temple courts is their big group and then the house was their small group. And here's what I would say at this, at that point, Christianity was illegal -- 3000 people added to their number one day. So, at a minimum, they had 3,120 people because we know there was 120 people at Pentecost. 3,120 people are not going to meet together at one time at the temple courts and Rome doesn't come in and break it up. Right? So it was a bigger group, I think, than the homes. But I don't think it was the, like the massive church kind of like how we experience it. Doesn't make, again, it doesn't make what they did wrong or what we did wrong. It just means that I don't think that it was quite what some people want to make it. But they met every day in the temple courts. And then they would meet in their homes in small groups. That's what they did. Like it's the practice of the Jesus follower, which is one of the reasons why I think life groups is so important. Like you should get in one because it's what Jesus followers do. 

Number 10, they were praising God singing and worshiping. They did that. And then there's another example of this in Acts 4, Peter and John are on their way to the temple to pray and there's a lame man begging along the side of the road. And Peter goes, I don't have any money, but what I do have, I'll give you in the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk. And so the guy does, you know, like you do. So Peter and John continue onto the temple and pray, which raises all kinds of questions. Why are they going to the temple to pray? What's what is that all about? And then, uh, the lame man who is not any longer lame, he runs up to them and starts to create this big ruckus in the temple. And so the temple leaders come over and they're like, what is going on? And Peter's like, blah-blah-blah Jesus is God and you killed him. That's another one of his famous sermons. So they arrest him and they don't know what to do with him because they can't find any fault with him. So they, they turn him loose. And when Peter and John leave, they go to the house where all of the Jesus movement, people in Jerusalem, the church in Jerusalem was there and they had been praying together. And when they see Peter and John, they start worshiping God and the ground shakes. And I'm like, oh, I want to be a part of that worship service. One where they're so desperate to have something from God. Their worship is so intense. It's so forceful that God responds with a, Hey, I got you, check this out. They were committed to it. 

Now that's their 10 list, the 10 practices of the early church. Here's the thing, four of those practices you can't even do unless you're part of a church family.  You can't, you can't do them. And you know, living in this, in this age that we're in, I think that COVID has forever changed the, the online church. And we're asking a lot of questions about that because it's hard to think about, you know, when, when, when everything got shut down and we all went into quarantine, literally in an instant, every became equal to the person sitting in their living room. Like, what difference does it make if that church is 10 miles or a hundred miles or a thousand miles away, it's the same access to it. And so there are people that connected to our church and there are people from this area that connected to churches that like God's so faithful and steering people to exactly what message they need to hear at the time. And so there are people that live all over the country that call Southeast their, home church. Literally, California, Arizon, Idaho, Iowa, if people all over the country that call Southeast their home church. And so if this is true, that there are four of these commitments that the early church had that you can't do without your family, like we're wrestling with like we're okay, so then what does that mean? What does that mean for us? And so how do we, how do we get them involved in all of this so that we can actually be a church that takes seriously what it means to be God's church so that we can get God's results? Cause I don't know about you guys, but I believe that the world that we live in right now could use a whole lot more of God in it. And I want to be a part of that. 

I want to be a part of that. So for practices that you can't do without a church family. Number one is authority. You can't experience authority without a church family, not spiritually soar, a spiritual authority properly implemented Hebrews 13. And this is a dicey one because in our culture, we love independence and autonomy and self sufficiency. Like we really value that. And at some level, those things are okay, but the problem is what the Bible says is that we need to submit to our authorities. Hebrews 13 says, obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Like, it's we often think that we're helping when we stand in the position of critic of a leader and what we're doing is actually making their job miserable. And that's not better for us. If you think about like, regardless of what you think about our civic leaders, our state leaders, our nationally, regardless of what you think about them, the truth is it's in all of our best interest if they do well. It's better for all of us if they do well. And so rather than constantly pointing a finger and picking apart everything they say, because even in the little microcosm of what I lead, you have those people that are just like, they're just perpetually critical and, they're trying to help, but it's only helpful if it's helpful. Generally speaking, that's a good rule to follow. Like the people that I want to give my life for and grow and be better for are the people that are supportive, not the people that are critical. Those are the people that I want to do better for as a leader, just as a human. Let them do it with joy and not with groaning. Cause that wouldn't be any advantage for you. And it isn't, I, you know, Wednesday night we were talking, I had several questions for the Facebook live Q and A surrounding like, how do you pray for the government right now? How do you pray for governmental leaders? How do you pray for leaders in the nation in general? Some of them were like, specifically wanted to know how I pray for them. Cause I talk about that a lot. That I've been praying for them more and here's kind of my general rule of thumb. Number one, I pray for wisdom for our governmental leaders. And I know that when it's in the best interest of God's kingdom, he can divinely give wisdom to people who don't even know him. He does it, it's in the Bible. And so I pray for that. I want them to make really wise choices. Number two, I pray for compassion and empathy for them to understand the impact on the people that they're leading, of the decisions that they make. I really hope for that for them because you don't ever want a leader that forgets the impact of the decisions that they make cause that can be really painful. I pray for stamina because, the truth is, right now in our world, in our American government system, every decision is a lose, lose. Every single one. Somebody's going to have a problem with it. And it doesn't matter what side of the party lines you stand on. Every decision is a lose, lose, and that's gotta be incredibly taxing, to just be in a place where it's like, it doesn't really matter what decision I make, I'm gonna lose here. So, I pray for those things and I think we should because when we pray for our authority, number one: it opens the door to God working in their life. But number two, it actually softens my heart for them. I start to take on God's heart for authority and that's important.

Number two thing that we can't do unless we're part of a church, family is fellowship. It's really hard to fellowship by yourself. Unless, you're really good at talking to yourself. We have a gal on staff our adult ministries team lead, Diana Chrysler. She's awesome. But when you walk by her office at any point in the day, she's going to be having a conversation and sometimes it'll be with somebody, but she, she just does. It's hilarious. She actually, she's sitting in first service when I said that and she was like, um, I posted something on your Facebook wall. It was an article about how people who talk to themselves are typically geniuses that I was like, Hey, that's probably true. You still talk to yourself. The thing is, when you have fellowship with yourself, it's weird. Like when you try to just be connected to yourself and talk to yourself and not really, it's weird, people think you're weird because that's not how we're designed to function. Like we're designed to function in connection with other people. But when we try to only be, you know, just I'm just myself, I don't need anybody and it's weird. It doesn't work out well. 1 John 1, here's what it says, This is the message that we've heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. What that means is the evidence that we're connected to God, isn't what we know about the Bible or about how church works, it's how connected we are with one another. That's the proof that we have a relationship with God. And that doesn't mean that if you're like, man, I'm just introverted. I have a really low relational capacity. It doesn't mean that an introvert becomes a big, Hey Buckaroo pointing pistols extrovert, hypothetically. But what it does mean is our connection to people is more genuine, more authentic, more transparent, more deep. This is the proof that God is working in our life. And we can't practice that. You can't say you have a relationship with God if you're not going to connect to people. That's what that verse says. And I know that says a lot, but that's, that's the Bible that says that, not me.

Number three thing that you can't practice without a church  family is spirits of gifts. You can't do it. 1 Corinthians 12 says, Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it's the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Why is the manifestation of the spirit given to us ? For the common good. It's for the good of everybody. God doesn't make me a thing or empower me to become a thing so that I can build my own kingdom. And that’s what we have to consider-- how we're stewarding that reality, because that's really significant. Like, are we doing this? And there all different. They're not all the same. When you think about somebody that you want to emulate as a Christian, you gotta be careful with that because their level of maturity or the respect that they carry, isn't the only thing to consider. It's like, am I even gifted to be like you? And that's not good or bad. It's just, I want to be what God made me. And that becomes a really important conversation. And so somebody that loves you wants to help you figure that out, right? Like did not everybody has the gift of teaching. Um, you're like, yeah, we've been waiting for one to show up. Right. But like, there's some people that get up to teach and their content is tremendous. Like it's tremendous content. Like don't ever say that in front of people again. Cause that was terrible. Then there's some people that have this ridiculous gift of hospitality, like Nora Derrick on our staff, she's the head of guest services. She has this incredible gift for hospitality. I'm like, I don't, when I have an event, I'm like, I'm going to turn the lights on in the room. When Nora has an event, it's a jazz hands a bit like, it's like, Whoa, we're going to have things on the wall and live music and treats and flashing lights. And we're like, Hey, we're just reviewing the, getting ready to do the week's service order. I know. Won't it be awesome. I’m just like, it's a little much. And for me, people go to my meeting, they're like, Hey, I was at a meeting when people go to Nora's meeting, they're like men, that was a thing. I want to do that again. Right. She has a gift. She has a gift. It's incredible. I don't, I don't have it. I don't even think in that world. And even if I did, I was like, what could I do to help people feel special? I have no idea. I don't, I'll talk to you. I'll tell you you're good. Like, you're awesome. But to make a room and event like to make it, I don't know. I can't do it. I can't do it. It's okay. Like we're all, we're all different. And God has empowered us to express that difference. And here's a cool thing. What God does is, he brings to a church exactly who it needs for that church to succeed, which actually has some really important implications.

Because number four thing that you can't do in a meeting together, they valued meeting together and you can't do that unless you're connected to a church family. Let me say this. So many people come to church or don't come to church because I like it or I don't like it. Very few people will ask the question. What does God want? Which is a way more important question about where we go to church than do I like it? And we get lost in that because like God is going to bring to a church what the church needs in, in the gifting of the people, what the church needs to be able to express his kingdom in the community well, and when we don't, when we either, like, I don't want to go to that church, I don't care what anybody says. I don't like it. Or we go, I'll go and I'll sit and I'll attend, but I'm not going to get involved. I'm not going to get connected. I'm not gonna do anything. I just want to sit and take. What we're doing is number one, we're hurting our own self spiritually, but number two, we're hurting the entire body of Christ because we're not fulfilling the job that God made us for. We gotta be committed to coming together and being what God has made us to be. Hebrews 10:24-25 says this, and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. This is critical for us. If we want to be God's church, if we want to get God's results, we have to be willing to be a part of what God's asking us to be a part of. It's not just about his teaching. It is about his teaching. We want to study the teachings of God, of the scriptures, but we also have to live out his way, his teaching, his way. That's what gives us his results -- his teaching, his way. That's what gives us are his results.

So I want to go through some implications. And what we're going to do is, with our implications moving forward, if you're in a life group, we're going to start reframing our implications as questions so that when you jump into your life group, you'll, you'll have like, you'll know the questions. That would be a surprise for you. So you can have them and be thinking about it as you go through them. Okay. So implication number one is this, which is the 10 practices we see in the early church living out do you struggle with the most? Which one do you struggle with the most? And I would say, that's probably worth some exploration. Like I don't really like people. I don’t want to be around people. I want the church to be what I want it to be. Right. But here's the thing, when I want something and God wants something else. Who's right. And who's wrong. God's right every time. I have not. And I've tried, believe me, I've tried, but I have not had one instance where I disagreed with God and it turned out I was right. I want it to be that way. I want it to be that way, but it just doesn't, it doesn't happen.

Implication number two, what keeps us from engaging more intentional, spiritual relations, more in intentional spiritual relationships. What keeps us from engaging in those relationships? What is it? I think what you'll find, if you're honest, is that it'll come from one of two places either, you're like I don't have time, which is something that needs to be dealt with because we got to let go of the things that get in the way of us being what God wants us to be. Or it's rooted in some kind of an emotional brokenness fear, insecurity, distrust, all those things or fractures on our heart that we need to heal. God doesn't want us to live in brokenness that doesn't want us to live in fear and distress. He doesn't want that. He wants us to live in wholeness, freedom, to engage well in relationships. So we need to wrestle with that. What's keeping us from engaging in that.

Number three, what spiritual gifts that God gave you to serve the body of Christ you any of that to be correct the first time out of the shoe, but you need to wrestle with it. You'd wrestle. How does God want you? How did God make you to serve the church?

Number four, the Bible is clear that we are better together than we are alone. The Bible is clear that we are better together than we are alone. And that's actually really, really important. It doesn't mean that we're horrible alone. We're just less. We're just less. And God doesn't want you to be 80% of you. Jesus said, I came that you might have life and have that to its fullest. That's his desire for you.

And so this morning, as we enter into our communion time, I would just invite you to consider like where, where in the process of communion is this beautiful thing that we do when we come together as a family, as a church family to say to God and to everyone around us, like I'm part of this, I'm in the family. Have you been maybe not saying, telling the truth. Like I'll take communion and tell you that I'm in, but I'm not going to live like it. Maybe it's time for us to get that squared around. I would just invite you to wrestle with that. While we take a few minutes, get ready for communion.

On the night, Jesus was betrayed, he took bread and he broke it. And he said, this is my body, which has given for you. So whenever you eat this bread, do it in remembrance of me, let's remember him this morning. And then after the dinner he took a cup and he said, this cup is the blood of the covenant, which is shed for you. So whenever you drink this cup, do it in remembrance of me. 

Let's pray, Lord, once again, we just want to come before you and say, thank you for giving us a clear path forward. And Lord, I pray that as we consider the implications in our own lives, that you would allow us to see the truth for what they are. See the obstacles in our lives for what they are. God rally around each of us, people in our lives that won't let us settle for less than your best. We love you, Lord. Thank you for your grace in your name. Amen.

I, I love every week having these guys up here to lead work for us, their hearts, the throne room of God, and for more of the presence of God in our life. And I'm just thankful to be a part of the team here to be able to do it. I hope that we can walk out of here more committed to really examining our own life like this isn't a tear jerker. It's not a heavy conviction sermon. This is one where I really want to leave you with. Um, these are principles that will change your life. They will change you watching God work in your life. They will, they will actually change life, but you gotta be willing to implement them. Not because you got emotionally hyped because it's right. And so I want to leave you with that. May you have the courage to implement these principles of the early church, deeper and deeper into your life each day. Thank you for coming.

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