Faithlife Sermons

Believing to Belonging

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People Need to feel like they belong even if they do not believe

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Belonging is a crazy thing…it drives us this idea to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Whether we believe it or not we want to belong more thanwe realize...
I remember watching Lynn Indiana disappear through the back window of that 1979 Baby Blue Grand pre. I was leaving all I had ever known. I had been promised that I would love Texas…I was looking forward to some of the thing I was told but to be honest I did not quite believe that This was going to be the place for me.

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Have you ever felt like you did not belong? When I was a kid and moved to from Lynn Indiana to Huntsville Texas it felt like I was in a different world. I did not know a soul I did not speak the language…I did not know what Ya’ll meant, or Fixin to, I did not know that chicken fried was part of the 5 food groups.
Intro:
When we got to Huntsville Texas it felt like I was in a different world. I did not know a soul I did not speak the language…I did not know what Ya’ll meant, or Fixin to, I did not know that chicken fried was part of the 5 food groups.
Have you ever felt like you did not belong? When I was a kid and moved to from Lynn Indiana to Huntsville Texas it felt like I was in a different world. I did not know a soul I did not speak the language…I did not know what Ya’ll meant, or Fixin to, I did not know that chicken fried was part of the 5 food groups.
I did not know anything, anyone and I was really struggling with the move. I had been part of all star basketball and baseball teams in the little Indiana town that I left but was unknown now or even worse I was the Yankee and I truly felt like an isolated outsider.
There is nothing worse for a 6th grader that the idea that she or he does not belong…If we are honest there is nothing worse for anyone than the idea that we don’t belong.
I know that many of us understand this feeling. It is not comfortable it is not what we want but it is the reality for many.
So I know that many of us understand this feeling. It is not comfortable it is not what we want but it is also temporary.
Some have this feeling even if they have been somewhere for years…whether we like it our not belonging precedes, believing.
After just a few days in my new school something strange started to happen. Kids started coming up to me and talking to me. They asked me where I was from, what I liked to do, picked me to be on their teams during PE and in very short order I started to feel like I belonged…before I believed this was what I would call home.
When People think they do not belong it often leads them to believe the worst about themselves and others. What we think about ourselves determines what we believe about not only ourselves but the rest of the world.
This is why it is so important to make sure that people feel like they belong before we expect them to believe what we believe.
Whether we like it or not the truth is feeling precedes belief. I want you to know that even if you do not believe it yet...you belong in the family of God. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, skinny or Plump you belong in a family of believers.

Understanding the importance of belonging leads people to a place of believing.

I wonder how many of us have a story where even when we did not fully know who Jesus was or what it meant to be part of a church where we had that one person who allowed us to Belong before We actually believed.
No one illustrates this better than Jesus did in our passage.
A lot has been going on leading up to this passage…Jesus is not in a good place with the religious leaders Jesus was saying things that totally contradicted the teaching of the leaders and on top of that people were starting to ask out loud if Jesus was the promised messiah.
But some including the religious leaders even though Jesus spoke with authority were sure that Jesus was not the messiah for one reason…He was from Galilee.
They were ignorant at this time that Jesus was in fact born in Bethlehem…which is from the house of David which is where the messiah came from.
This is what makes this passage of scripture so relevant to us…Jesus had already experienced rejection from the religious community, not so much because of what He was saying (that was still to come) but they were rejecting Him because He was seen as less than they were. Ignorance trumped truth. let’s look at v 48-52

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee?

48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”

50 Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”

So When Jesus is dealing with the Adulterous Woman He was coming from a place of Love not just religious practice.
So When Jesus is dealing with the Adulterous Woman He was coming from a place of Love not just religious practice.
Jesus had every right to hold this women’s sin against her but instead he chose to allow her to feel like she was welcome not excluded.
Just like Jesus has every right to hold our sin against us…everyone of us if we lived under that law of public opinion could be seen as undeserving. But Jesus changes the conversation.
Jesus was not afraid of her Sin…or ours
Jesus did not ignore sin or her…or ours
Jesus did not fall for the religious trap…Jesus met God’s expectation not mans
Jesus reminded them that everyone has a past…No Person can stand Holy Scrutiny
Jesus embraced the women before she made a commitment …He loves us even while we are yet sinners.
"People grow where they're truly accepted, not where they're merely informed.” —Bob Goff—
Or people feel like they belong, not where they merely recieve a warm welcom but where they are accepted where they are.
The people willing to stone this women thought they were doing the right thing…they thought they were doing the spiritual thing. Jesus rebuke was not one of anger…nor was it meant to belittle. it was meant to teach.
The people willing to stone this women thought they were doing the right thing…they thought they were doing the spiritual thing. Jesus rebuke was not one of anger…nor was it meant to belittle. it was meant to teach.
Sometime the teaching is hard…sometimes even those who belive wonder where they belong…Times change, methods change, you name it things change and if we are not careful we can begin to get lost in that change.
But no matter how different things are the Message of Jesus love for everyone is an invitation to belonging…even if we are confused in the midst of things.
The Worship Gathering was never a place where we were supposed to come when we got everything together.
It was designed to be a place were everyone follower and non followers of Jesus can belong to find the love and peace that God has promised to everyone.
rest of the world could see how followers of Jesus opened their hearts to those in the most desperate need.
Yes this is a place were you can come and learn but it really is a place where we live out the benefits of being children of God by remembering the wonderful truth that we are free and we are chosen by God to be loved.
It is much easier to accept love whenever one is truly loved. This is the job of the Community of Faith…this is the Job of Broken Arrow Nazarene. We are not called to clean up our community.

We are called to be and expression of Love to those that feel trapped and unloved.

Do not ignore People…BE NICE
Do not ignore People
Do not fear messiness (Sin)
Do not not fall for the religious trap…Relationship trumps being right
Remember that everyone has a past…including you we are not better than...
Embrace people before they make a commitment…Forgive without them asking…or maybe even knowing…let the Spirit convict
When we invite people into relationship with His people and they are loved like Jesus…it is only a matter of time before their feeling of belonging turns into believing.
Mina Story Here.....
This is at the heart of why we take communion every week. Jesus told His disciples that EVERY TIME THEY MET to partake in this sacrament to remember that the Body and blood of Jesus broken and shed for us was and is a symbol of God’s Love for them.
It was and is a prime example that God was making a way for each and every one of us before we ever believed.
Once we embrace this wonderful gift of salvation we can experience an intamcy with God that overwhelms any feeling we now have.
You belong not only in this body of believers but you also belong in the kingdom of God.
Even if you are here this morning and just cannot see your way to believe I hope you know that you too belong here.
This is a wonderful place to ask questions and seek truth with authentic people who simply want you to know this is a place where you can belong.
This can also be a time were you can Accept Jesus as Savior of your life, believe that he died for you and confess Him as Lord of your life publicly.
Accept Jesus as Savior of your live, believe that he died for you and confess Him as Lord of your life publicly.
If you have not made that commitment then I want you to stop at the altar this morning on your way to communion. So that someone can pray with you. Maybe you are having a hard time in other ways I would invite you to allow someone to pray for you as
PRAYER TEAM BEING PEOPLE FROM THE COTTAGE PRAYER MEETINGS.
PRAYER TEAM BEING PEOPLE FROM THE COTTAGE PRAYER MEETINGS.
COME TO THE TABLE.
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