Celebrating the Spring Holidays

Labor Day Weekend 2017

Labor Day Weekend 2017


– Thanks for tuning in
online to Community Church. As a church, we are focused on sharing the love and hope of Jesus
with everyone we meet. We hope you enjoy today’s message. – Lots and lots of cool stuff going on and amazing ways for you to get connected. We are excited. Well, I wanna take a moment and just welcome all of our campuses, our Suffolk campus and
our Kempsville campus, our Manila campus, and the many staff and volunteers at our God Behind Bars campus at Rivers, welcome them Western Branch campus. (audience applauds) So awesome to be here
speaking with you today. I’m excited to get to share this weekend. Back to school is a fun time in our house, we have five kids, and four of them are gonna be in school this year. And so that means a lot of
lunches, a lot of finding socks, and a lot of trying to
find matching clothes. So teachers, forgive us if my kids show up without socks, or mismatched
socks, or all of those things. ‘Cause I love the back to school routine that it gives our family, but oh, there’s a lot that goes along
with it too, isn’t there? Summer and flip flops are my favorite. But this weekend we’re gonna be talking about being steady in a world that’s shaky. It doesn’t take long to look around and see that things are unstable around us. You turn on the news and there’s another terrorist attack, or another disaster. Or just the things going
on in our personal lives. There’s so many things around us that can cause us to
feel shaky or unsteady. And today we’re gonna
talk a little bit about how to be steady in a shaky world. I love to look up the
definitions of words, and steady means to be fixed,
supported, or balanced, not shaking or moving. It means to be unshakeable. Our youngest, the one
who’s not in school yet is 15 months old, and he has
the most adorable blond curls. I may be biased, but he’s pretty cute. And he’s just learning to walk. He’s actually our latest
walker of all of our kids, and probably because
he has so many siblings to carry him around and
do all things for him. But he’s just kind of figuring it out. And he’s starting to now where
he can walk across the room. And I was asking our kids director, if you don’t know, in
Community Kids we have an infants room and then a walkers room. And they move up when they begin walking. And I was asking her, hey,
he’s starting to walk, you know, he can walk across the room now, is he ready to move up? And she said to me, “Well, what happens “if another child bumps into him? “Or grabs onto him? “Will he fall down, will he remain steady “when somebody bumps into him?” I want us to live a
life that’s unshakeable. And that means that
there’s things in our life that are gonna bump into us, that are gonna try to knock us down. And I wanna be a people who remain steady no matter what leans on
us and comes our way. There’s so many things in our lives that can cause us to feel unsteady. You know, you’re just
walking through life, everything’s good, and
then all of a sudden, you turn on the TV. And there’s some kind of unshakiness going on around us again. Or you’re just walking through life and then all of a sudden
you show up at work and find out that they’re downsizing and your job doesn’t exist anymore. Or maybe you’re military and you thought you were moving here, and
nope, you’re going here. A year sooner than expected. I hear all kinds of things from
all of our military families about the ways that they have to adjust and change what they thought was going on. Maybe everything was
fine, and then one day you woke up and went to the doctor and you got a heartbreaking
medical diagnosis. There’s so many things in our lives that can cause us to feel unsteady. But I believe that as followers of Jesus,
we can be unshakeable in the midst of anything that comes at us. So we’re gonna dive into Psalm 40 verses one through three today, and I believe we’re
gonna learn some truths about how to be steady in a shaky world. I’m gonna read this to you out
of the Passion translation. It says, “I waited and
waited and waited some more, “patiently knowing God
would come through for me. “Then at last He bent down
and listened to my cry. “He stooped down to lift me out of danger “from the desolate pit I was in, “out of the muddy mess I’d fallen into. “Now He’s lifted me to
a firm, secure place, “and steadied me while I walk
along His ascending path. “A new song for a new day rises up in me “every time I think about
how He breaks through for me. “Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth “until everyone hears
how God has set me free. “Many will see His miracles
and stand in awe of God, “and fall in love with Him.” I love these three verses. These three verses declare that God pulls us out of our mess,
sets us on a firm foundation, and puts us on a path
to becoming unshakeable. So we’re gonna pull three
things out of this today, and they’re three really simple things, I think you’re gonna be
able to remember them. Was joking with Michael, he
likes to give really, really long points that you have
to write down quickly before it goes off the screen, (audience laughs)
and I’m going to give you three short and sweet, you’re
gonna be able to remember it. Trust, train, and tell. And we’re gonna break
each one of these down. First, we’re gonna talk about trust. In the first verse of this psalm, this is a psalm written by David. And if you read through the psalms, many of the psalms were written by David, and in many of them he
was crying out in distress and putting his trust
in God to rescue him. Whether it was physical
danger, emotional despair, there was many things that he faced. And each and every single
time we read these psalms he’s put his trust in God. He says that he waited patiently, he knew that God would rescue him. The first thing when we’re
faced with an obstacle is do we know, have we put our trust in the one who is trustworthy? Because our jobs will change, people will fail us and disappoint us. Circumstances will always be changing and may be unpredictable. Politicians will fail us. Where is our trust? Our trust must be in God,
because He is the only one who will never fail us. Second Corinthians chapter
one verses eight through 11, in the Message translation,
Paul is telling the Corinthians about this physical disaster
that he faced, and he says, “We don’t want you to
be in the dark, friends, “about how hard it was when
all of this came down upon us. “It was so bad we didn’t think
we were going to make it. “We felt like we’d been sent to death row, “that it was all over for us. “As it turned out, that was the best thing “that could have happened to us. “Instead of trusting in
our own strength or wits “to get out of it, we were
forced to trust in God totally. “Not a bad idea since He’s
the God who raises the dead. “And He did it, He rescued
us from certain doom, “and He’ll do it again,
rescuing us as many times “as we need rescuing.” As many times as we need
rescuing, He is trustworthy and He will be there. In Psalm 40, David talked about falling into this desolate pit, this muddy mess. Have you ever gotten your
vehicle stuck in the mud? Is that just me, nobody
else has ever done that? Well, I’ll just let you know
in case it ever happens to you, if you get your vehicle stuck in the mud, and you keep trying to
get out on your own, the only thing that’s gonna happen is you’re going to get more stuck. The more you push the gas,
the more you spin the wheels, the deeper into the mud you go. It takes someone else to pull you out, set you on solid ground once
again to get going again. It’s when we begin to
realize that we’re powerless and we put our trust in
God, who’s all powerful, that He can set us on a steady ground and on a path to becoming unshakeable. There are so many promises in the Bible about God’s faithfulness
when we put our trust in Him. And it’s not that. When you go all-in for Jesus
and you put your trust in Him, that all of a sudden life
is all sunshine and roses, and there’s never any
obstacles in your way, that is not the truth. But the truth is that, with Jesus, no obstacle that
we face can take us out. Psalm 34 verse 19, I don’t think we have this
one in the notes, but, the righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to
the rescue each time. We will face troubles,
we will face trials, but the Lord comes to the
rescue every single time. We often think that
our pain is our prison, but in the hands of
God it’s positioning us for something great. When we let Him use what
we’re walking through, He can turn it into something
beautiful and something great. God hears our cry, He
rescues us every single time. We can trust Him. The next verse, verse
two says that He sets us on solid ground and steadies
us as we walk along His path. I love this part because it doesn’t say that He pulls us out of our pit and all of a sudden everything’s
great and we’re steady. It says He sets us on a
path to becoming steady. That means there’s a
process to becoming steady. If we wanna be unshakeable,
we must trust the process. We must train. Everybody say, “Core.” – [Audience] Core. – Core, if you’ve done any
kind of physical workout or any kind of exercise class, you’ll always hear about your core and strengthening your core. And it’s this muscles
all in the middle here that keep us standing upright. It’s really important to our bodies to keep us standing upright,
and to keep us steady, that we strengthen our core. I watch my baby learning to walk, and what he’s doing is
training his core to be strong. He pushes himself up and stands up, and takes a couple steps, and falls down, and wobbles, and all the while he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he’s training his core to be steady. So that eventually he can be unshakeable. When I think about physical balance, I think about a tightrope walker. Has anyone ever seen Nik Wallenda perform? Have you ever seen him
walk across the high wire? It is an astounding thing to watch. I was watching a video of this last week. And he has set amazing world records walking across the Grand
Canyon and Niagara Falls, and in between skyscrapers in Chicago with no safety nets, no harness. It takes so much physical
strength to be steady. But Nik prays the entire
time he’s walking, to keep his focus on
the one that he trusts. We’re gonna watch this video,
just a real quick clip, and if you’re afraid of heights you may wanna close
your eyes, I don’t know. I had a couple people laugh and they tell me that it
scared them, so, anyway. (chuckles) We’re gonna watch this
video clip real quick, and I want you to listen
to him as he’s talking. All right, who wants to try that now? (chuckles) Any takers? He said it took every bit
of me to stay focused. He trained for this, he
knew that he could do it. He says that when he
trains, if the distance is 1300 feet across, he
trains for twice that. If he knows he’s gonna be
on the wire for 20 minutes, he trains to be able to do it for an hour. He said that he can hold onto
the wire for up to 20 minutes if he falls and he has to hang on, but he knows his team can
get to him in 60 seconds. He knew, when he’s
training for one of these crazy stunts like the Grand Canyon, he knows about what the wind might be. He said in this case
he thought it might be 30 to 40 miles an hour,
so he trained in 80 to 90 mile an hour wind gusts with
wind machines and things. He was trained for it. And as much physical
strength as it takes for him to remain steady on that wire, the real challenge that
he faces is mental. It’s focus, it’s where is my focus. Because he said there was distractions, he said there was optical
illusions in the walls, and there was a shaking wire, and it took every bit
of him to stay focused. And he focused in prayer. He focused by putting his trust in Jesus. And he said, just to clarify, he doesn’t believe that
God holds him to the wire, he believes that God has
given him this unique ability, and that he’s trained,
it’s up to him to train, but he puts his trust in Jesus knowing that He is the one who truly sustains him, and he prays continually. Our training to become unshakeable people is all about our focus. All of these things
that come at us in life are really things that can
cause us to lose focus. To distract us from
what is really going on. To knock us off course. To let that circumstance or that thing become greater in our life, and all of our focus and
attention goes to that, and suddenly we’re sinking
down into the muddy pit again. That obstacle is in our mind. That focus is in our mind. The difference between someone unshakeable and someone who falls back
into the pit of despair is our focus. We have to know who to trust. We have to know the one who we trust. We put our trust in Jesus,
but it doesn’t stop there. We have to know Him more, and we have to know Him through His Word. The Bible says that the
truth will set us free, but that truth can’t set us
free if we don’t know the truth. We start putting our trust
in God on our firm foundation in that we train to know Him better. We pray and we speak God’s
Word, and we know God’s Word. I know for me, one circumstance that I faced in my life about 10 years ago. We were living in St. Louis,
and we had one little baby, our oldest was just a few months old in the infant carrier in
the backseat of the car. And I was driving to go
pick Michael up from work. At the time he was working
for the Boeing company at the huge plants, the huge
offices out in St. Louis. And vast parking lots,
just huge parking lots. And I was driving out to meet him in one of these parking lots. And there was a storm, in Missouri there’s lots of thunderstorms. And in Missouri, a thunderstorm can turn into a tornado quickly. And as I was driving,
I was just pulling into the parking lot and the
tornado sirens went off. Unexpected, suddenly, I was
in the middle of a tornado in a car, in a big huge parking lot with nowhere to go, with a baby. And everything inside
of me wanted to panic. Because I couldn’t run to a building, there was no ditch nearby, you know, no one to come and get me,
Michael was too far away, he couldn’t get to us. It was just me in that moment. And I grabbed the baby car seat, and I put it down on the
floorboard of the car, and I hunched over
Boden, and I just prayed. I just prayed, I said Jesus, protect us, I prayed every bit of scripture
I had ever known in my life. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
because when I was 11 I learned it in the King James version and it is deep in here. And it’s not going out,
I can try to learn it in another version, but it is there. Those things that I deposited in my heart when I didn’t even know I need them. When I was 11 I didn’t know I would ever use that verse in my life. Those things that we’ve
trained ourselves to know, God’s faithfulness, to know who He is, that’s what we can depend on when the storms of life come at us. There’s a tornado swirling around me, and something flew up and
hit the back windshield, the back window of my
car, and shattered it. But I had peace, I had total peace, because my focus was on Jesus. And thankfully that broken window was the only damage that we had. In that moment it didn’t matter what my husband knew, or my parents’ faith, or what my pastor could tell me about God, in that moment, it only
mattered what I knew. It only mattered what I had
absorbed deep into my heart about who God was to me. Strengthening our core
is learning the truth. And spending time in God’s
Word is the number one way that we internalize His truth. And I don’t want you to hear me wrong and to think that we can’t, you know, that you have to memorize the entire Bible before you can ever become steady. You know, you can just start with Jesus. Just Jesus, just knowing
the one who it is, who you can put your trust in, and then start with one verse. This is what I do all the time. Just pick one verse, and I focus on it, and I keep it with me for a week, or whatever it takes
until I know the verse, until it’s stuck deep in my heart. One other just side story,
Michael was telling me yesterday about a book that he’s
reading about this woman who survived war in Rwanda. She was hidden in a bathroom
with a group of other people, when they were coming in
to kill them, basically. They were there hiding, trying to save their lives. And she said they just
huddled on the floor and just cried out Jesus for 11 hours. For 11 hours, and she
said, “I had total peace. “I knew there were people in the home “who wanted to kill me,
and I had complete peace “because my focus was on Jesus.” You know, over the next few weeks, we’re gonna be starting this
You Asked for It series, we’re gonna be answering
lots of questions, and we love doing this. We love digging into God’s Word together and finding out what He says about things. But part of that process is
us figuring out for ourselves what God says. So many of the questions are, what does the Bible say about this? And we wanna point you to those things, and we wanna point you to go and read those things
for yourself as well. So along with our You Asked for It series, we’re gonna be doing 31, a 31-day Bible reading plan together. You’ll have these you
can pick up next weekend, and it starts September 11th. And we’re gonna be reading
through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the first four books of the New Testament that describe Jesus’ life
when He was on Earth. And then also the Book of Proverbs, which is the book of wisdom. And we really, truly
believe that if you’ll jump in and do this with us, God will speak some truth into your life that you can have deep down inside. We’re also gonna spend
31 minutes in prayer and focus together through this time. You might say, 31 minutes,
that is a really long time. If you’ve ever tried to sit
down and pray for 30 minutes, you’re like, oh, that
was about 30 minutes, and you look at your
watch and you’re like, oh, it was four, four minutes. (audience laughs) All right, that was everything I had. (chuckles) It’s a training
process, it takes time. When you start, start with five minutes and build up from there. But there is something truly
remarkable that happens when we steady our minds
and focus on Jesus, and just be still. Matthew 11, verse 28 through
30 in the Message says, “Are you tired, worn out,
burned out on religion? “Come to me, get away with me, “and you will recover your life. “I’ll show you how to take a real rest. “Walk with me and work
with me, watch how I do it. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. “I won’t lay anything heavy
or ill-fitting on you. “Keep company with me
and you’ll learn to live “freely and lightly.” This is what he’s talking
about in that verse. Taking time in our day
to just stop everything and focus for a moment, to hear from God, to pour out our heart to Him. I think sometimes when
we think about praying, we think we have to pray
these really eloquent words and be really fancy and
hide all of our junk. But God knows all of our junk. He already knows it, and
He wants us to pour it out. One of the number one things
I think that keeps all of us from being steady is when
we’re carrying a heavy weight we weren’t meant to carry. Carrying a burden, a hurt, unforgiveness, anger, anger at God. Why did that happen? Hanging onto those things
is like hanging onto a weight that you weren’t meant to carry, that causes us to be unsteady. And God invites us, pour that out to me, tell me how you really feel. If you read through the psalms
and you read what David, all of the psalms, he’s crying out to God, he’s like, why did you leave me here, what in the world? And then the next moment
he’s praising God, because he knows who He is and he knows He’s his father whom he
can trust with everything. So this 31 days, I really
think that it’s gonna be life-changing for all of us. We’re gonna do 31 days
of a Bible reading plan, 31 minutes of prayer and focus, and we’re gonna throw in 31
minutes a day of exercise, because training ourselves
body, mind, and spirit all together, everything
affects everything and we think that it’s gonna be awesome. So I encourage you to jump
in and do that with us. Finally, the third thing that I want us to learn from this passage is to tell. Your life, the battles that you face, the things that you overcome, the way God just pulls
you out of that muddy pit, it’s not just about you. He will use those things to
show other people who He is. Let’s go back to verse
three of Psalm chapter 40. David said, “A new song for
a new day rises up in me. “Every time I think about
how He breaks through for me. “Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth, “until everyone hears
how God has set me free. “And many will see His miracles, “and they’ll stand in awe of God, “and fall in love with Him.” People are gonna see
God through your life. As He steadies you, people are gonna wonder,
why, how did they, why are they not falling apart? They just got that
awful medical diagnosis, how are they doing that? Just think for a moment
about Nik Wallenda. He draws crowds of
millions, 23 million people watched him walk across the Grand Canyon live on the Discovery Channel. Why do people watch that? ‘Cause it’s not normal. He’s not drawing crowds
of millions on a wire five foot above the ground with no wind. What he’s doing is
abnormal and astounding. And he says that I hope what I do shows people and inspires people that God can do great
things through them too. That’s what I want from my life. That’s what I want for your life. Is to allow God to do
astounding things through you. And I’m not talking about a superficial God is good, everything’s
great, no problems here. It’s when we let people see
the mess that we were in, or are still in, and
allow God to work in us and through us, and allow
people into our lives that we can encourage, and
allow people into our lives that can encourage us. Let me tell you, this is
not a path to walk alone. We’re meant to do this together. So many times it’s the voice of a friend, the voice of a trusted mentor, that reminds me who I am, reminds me to keep my focus on Jesus. We all need that, and we can all be that for someone else. If we’re willing to open
up about our struggles and allow people in, God’s glorified in it. And lives are transformed and people will fall in
love with Him because of it. He’s faithful, and we can trust Him. You know the trust, train,
tell, it’s easy to remember. But it’s not a one two three-step process. It’s not a, first I
trust God, then I train, and then after all of that, then I tell. It’s kind of all intertwined together. We trust God and we train
as we trust Him more and begin to tell people who He is, and a song rises up in us,
and we declare who He is even in the midst of our trial. A couple of the songs that we sang today, you know, I’m no longer a slave to fear. We can declare that even
when fear’s creeping in. It’s declaring the truth of who God is, that He’s greater than the fear that’s trying to knock me
out and keep me unsteady. And we can declare that it is well, even when our eyes don’t see well. Because our trust is in Him,
we know that He’s faithful. Maybe today your decision is to trust God for the very first time. To stop trying to get out of
the muddy pit by yourself, but to put your trust in Him. Or maybe today your decision is to say, I’m gonna start training to know you more. I’m gonna start training
to be unshakeable. (soft piano music) Either way, let’s pray. (soft piano music) God, I thank you that you
are the firm foundation that we can trust, and I thank you that you are the solid rock and I thank you, God, that we
can be an unshakeable people when we put our trust in you. I thank you that you allow us to know you through your Word, and I thank you as we dive
into your Word together, you speak to every single person. That you show yourself faithful and true. God, I pray that our
lives would glorify you. They would bring honor to you that other people would
see how good you are when they see how you keep us steady in a world that’s shaking. If you’ve never accepted Jesus, if you’ve never prayed the prayer to know Him and to trust Him, I wanna give you that
opportunity this morning. And if you already have, go ahead, pray along with us. We’re just gonna pray this
simple prayer of trust in Jesus. You can repeat after me. God, I trust you.
(audience repeats) I love you, Jesus.
(audience repeats) I thank you that you are faithful. (audience repeats) That no matter what I face, (audience repeats) when I put my trust in you, (audience repeats) I can be unshakeable. (audience repeats) Thank you, Jesus, (audience repeats) that I know
(audience repeats) the best is yet to come (audience repeats) because of you.
(audience repeats) In Jesus’ name, amen.
(audience repeats) – Thank you for watching
the service today. If you began or renewed your
relationship with Jesus today, or you need prayer for
something going on in your life, please let us know. If you’re watching on a computer, you can do that by clicking
on one of the buttons below. Or, if you’re watching us
on the Community Church app, you can select Contact Us
under the About Us tab. We’d love to know your story, and how Jesus is using Community Church to impact your life. Thanks again for hanging out with us, and we hope you’ll keep watching and taking next steps in
your relationship with Jesus. (uplifting music)


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