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A House Built With Amazing Grace

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A House Built With Amazing Grace

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

Foundation Scripture:  Zechariah 4:1-10

I.             This house will not be built by human power or might, but by the Spirit of the LORD (verse 6)

A.               Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

B.                Hebrews 10:29 “Of how much worse punishment do, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

II.          The house of God begins with His grace and will be completed by His grace (verse 7)

A.               Grace is God working in us both to will and to do His good pleasure

1.          Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

2.          Under the Law we work FOR our salvation

3.          Under grace we work OUT our salvation

B.                Jesus, the Author and Finisher, is full of grace and truth

1.          John 1:14-17 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

C.               The members of His church are saved by grace

1.          Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

D.               We are what we are because of grace

1.          1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

E.                Our works for God are according to His grace

1.          Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

2.          Romans 12:6 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;”

3.          1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”

4.          Ephesians 3:7 “of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.”

III.      God will complete what He began (verses 8-9)

IV.       God is not moved by small and insignificant beginnings (verse 10)

V.          Grace was involved in the foundations, in the building, and will be needed in the completion

VI.       Foundations of Grace:  What was the original foundation that was laid by God for Grace Fellowship?

A.               Grace Fellowship was birthed through the vision of two leaders, Bro. Mike O’Bannion and me, Keith Hassell.

B.                God prepared these men, one in East Texas in a country Baptist Church outside of Rusk, and another while in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On one end God placed a desperation for revival in Bro. Mike’s heart. One day early in 1984 Bro. Mike told God, if this is all there is to ministry, I want out. God said, “Don’t quit. I am going to send revival.” In Tulsa, God spoke to me and said to go to East Texas for I am going to send revival. He said to go back into the Baptist church first because He was going to offer revival to the churches that were already established. If they rejected revival, He would bring it another way. When I told the Lord, “But God, that would be division!” I heard the Lord say, “But I have called you to a division—a division between light and darkness, the living and the dead. My people have been living in the graveyard so long that no one can tell the living from the dead.”

C.               When I moved to East Texas, God brought us together on a trip to the Holy Land and we realized that God had placed a common vision for revival in our hearts. From this time forward, we knew God was at work and we began to pray and seek God’s will in this matter.

D.               God began to move at that Baptist church. Worship began to rise to a new level. Many began to raise their hands in worship. The preaching began to come forth with a greater anointing. People were beginning to receive prayer for healing. People were responding to the altar calls and many were begin saved. The church was growing and their new sanctuary was often filled with people on any given Sunday.

E.                On Sunday, November 10, 1985, Bro. Mike preached a message entitled, “My Vision for the Church”

1.          He saw Rusk with a dark cloud over it (spiritual darkness)

2.          God desires that our relationship with Christ not be a part of our life, but be our way of life

3.          He saw the cloud part and a bright light shine forth. God said, “That is My light.”

4.          He saw a church in the area that by the latter part of 1987 would have 1,000 people and by the end of 1988 would have 2,000 people.  It was not a Baptist church, not a religious church, not a denominational church, but a restoration center where people young and old, men and women, black and white, English and non-English could receive healing for their souls.

5.          He asked, “God, where is it?”  God said, “Son, its where the people want it to be.”

6.          God wants us to love people. Since World War II love has stopped flowing.

7.          God cannot do what He wants to do because we do not allow Him. He has given us the keys and we are to open the doors.

8.          The first person Jesus ever appeared to after His resurrection was Mary Magdalene. Jesus revealed Himself to the non-religious because they were willing to believe. The religious were not.

9.          How will this church be built? Through the work of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Shepherd do not give birth to sheep. Sheep give birth to sheep.

10.      We must realize that the real us is lying down. We must rise up and let Him walk in us so that we can be about the business of restoring lives. We have been putting band-aids on gashes. But God desires to heal hurting people.

11.      How will we rise up?  David said, “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord; and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4) How many of us can say, “More than ANYTHING ELSE IN MY LIFE I desire to know God!”?

12.      What must happen for restoration of lives to take place

a               We must see the needs of people

b              We must desire to meet them. When was the last time you felt good? Selfish people do not feel good.

c               We must get comfortable worshiping God with poor people around with all of their smells, dress, behavior.”

d              We must be willing to fulfill their needs (food, clothes, place to live, etc.)

e               We must be able to minister to blacks and Hispanics (like Jew and Gentile)

f                We must get to the point where people are free to praise God. If we are not free, then we are in bondage.

g               We must receive the power of the Holy Spirit & abide and walk in that power. Why? We are fighting a supernatural battle and we must use supernatural weapons.

h               We must meet the needs of people where they are

F.                The move of God could not be contained within the walls of that Baptist church. In order to spare the church a split, Bro. Mike resigned his pastorate in November 1985 and Grace Fellowship opened its doors for the first time on Sunday, December 1, 1985 at 105 W. 2nd Street in Rusk.

G.               We had around 110 people that first chilly Sunday morning. Bro. Mike preached a message entitled, “Behold I Do A New Thing,” a message taken from Isaiah 43:18-19: “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I will give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.”

H.               Many of those who came were curious. Some could not stay because it was too free. Others could not stay because it wasn’t Pentecostal enough. But God was laying the foundations for “a new thing.”

I.                   The church first operated with corporate services on Sunday mornings, Sunday evening, and Wednesday nights with cell groups on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. These first cells were called Bible Fellowship and later were called “Care Groups.” They were eventually discontinued.

J.                  Greg Ruark was our first praise and worship leader and served until around 1994.

K.               During this time two other small fellowships in the area joined the work. One was New Life Fellowship, led by Bro. Vernon Hedge who soon came on as an assistant pastor, then Tabernacle of Praise led by Bro. Sammy Seagroves, and later Loneoak Worship Center pastored by Bro. Jerry Standley.

L.                Bro. Mike pastored the church from December 1985 until February 1987. Under his pastorate the church was organized, incorporated, and was granted tax-exempt status. We reached out and helped many people with food, clothes, and even a home called “Grace House” where men trying to get their life together were allowed to stay.

VII.   More grace in foundations and building

A.               Under the direction of the Lord, Bro. Mike resigned and I was ordained as the new pastor on February 20. 1987.

B.                The first couple of years was a time of learning and growing my new role as pastor. It was a time to lay more foundations in teaching for revival and restoration. It was also a time to build a foundation of prayer in the church.

C.               On April 8, 1989 I married my wife, Sheila. She has grown to a spiritual mother in the church and a true pastor among the women of our church.

D.               In 1994 we purchased the land where the church is now located and in the fall 1995 we began building our new facility. The grace of God was tangibly present upon the people of this church as they gave and sacrificed in their giving, their family time, and their labor to see the work accomplished. Within four months the building was completed enough to hold its first service in the new sanctuary on Easter Sunday of 1996. The facility was dedicated in March of 1997.

E.                God had placed a burden to pray for revival on our church in 1996. As the spirit of prayer grew, the feeling that God was about to do something also grew.

F.                On Sunday morning, January 12, 1997 the outpouring of God’s Spirit in revival hit our church, largely due to the impact of those who were touched through the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. That service lasted until 4:30 in the afternoon. Many lives were radically touched and changed. That spirit of revival was present in a powerful way throughout 1997 and 1998 and the residue of that revival is still present even today in many lives. During this time intercession and worship rose to a new level of intensity. A new emphasis on children and youth ministry was born during this time. The quest for holiness, righteousness, and the fear of the LORD began to be a constant emphasis.

G.               Much of that harvest was lost because we did not have the vessels to contain it. The corporate meetings were not allowing relationships to be built with the new converts and newcomers to the church.

H.               I began to meet and train a core of leaders.  In January of 2000, our Lighthouse small groups began and have been used by God to minister to many lives.

VIII.     Grace is needed today. God will not build His house through pressure or obligation. He will build and finish His house by the Spirit of GRACE!

A.               Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?”

B.                Grace upon the leadership

C.               Grace upon the membership

D.               Grace upon the giving

E.                Grace upon the Lighthouse leaders

F.                Grace upon the Networks (Men, Women, Children, & Youth)

G.               Grace upon the worship team

H.               Grace upon the prayer

I.                   Grace in our conversations

J.                  Grace in our attendance

K.               Grace in our service unto the Lord

IX.       Let us not receive the grace of God in vain

A.               1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

B.                2 Corinthians 6:1 “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”

X.          Let us come boldly that we might obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need

A.               2 Corinthians 12:9“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

B.                James 4:6 “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’

C.               Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

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