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Honor all of the workers that helped out with the VBS this past week!
Mention of the blessing of the equipment that was purchased for the church and of how we would like to ask everyone who would consider giving, over the next few weeks, to do so, so that we can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our internet ministry!
(We need, basically, another $3,000 for the camera equipment.)
** STRESS THIS POINT: This is to be something that you feel led to do, in your hearts, and something that is separate and apart from your tithing.
If you feel led at different times, to donate $10 for the equipment, then do so.
If you feel led to donate $100 towards the purchase of the equipment, then please do so!
We have just come out of an amazing week of Vacation Bible School, this past week.
We have just come out of an amazing week of Vacation Bible School, this past week.
And I feel certain, having spoken with different men and women and teens, who were a part of this event this week, that I can say with all assurance, that this week, although long and tiring for many of you involved, was a definite success and a true BLESSING!
And I know that many people measure success by what they can visibly see and tangibly count and quantify.
But I am not talking physical blessings and physical success.
I am proclaiming our VBS a success by virtue of the fact that the single greatest gift and legacy that can be given to and passed on to the next generation, the message of the Gospel, was shared and imparted this entire week!
The message of the Gospel!
I told Tabitha Webb, our amazing children’s Pastor, this past Wednesday evening, after having just seen the first two nights of our VBS, that I was so blown away, by the efficiency and the love of everyone involved, that in my mind, even by just the third night, that it was already a huge success!
Had we not went any further with it and stopped it after that night, it would already have been deemed a success!
I have been a part of other churches Vacation Bible Schools’ over the years, throughout my life and even many, here at CWC.
I know of, personally, other churches right now, that family members and friends of mine attend, that have spent thousands of dollars, just in decorations and props, in order to hold their VBS and by comparison of numbers, they had a much larger venue that what we just held.
But, as I have stated before about church size and attendance, numbers are NOT an indicator of spiritual health!
And please do no misunderstand or try and misquote me about this.
I am extremely happy and blessed and overflowing with joy for our brothers and sisters, within the other parts of the Body of Christ who have poured out so lavishly, from both their hearts, as well as their means, into their VBS programs, so as to reach the children of their communities!
But, as to our program this past week and all of the time and work that went into it, let me say this and explain why this VBS was such a huge blessing!
I am not making exclusivity claims about our part of the body of Christ and our children’s Vacation Bible School, over other programs.
In fact, I can’t speak for other buildings and their programs and their ministries.
I can only speak on behalf of this place and this group of brothers and sisters and what I witnessed this past week!
I watched a group of people work like a well oiled machine, all week, spending large amounts of time and attention and talents, for the soul purpose of sharing the Gospel Message to these precious gifts of God; our children!
This past week, was a beautiful example of what the Body of Christ is to look like.
Christian brothers and sisters, unified and working together as one BODY, using their individual talents, to serve the one true Lord and for the common goal of spreading the TRUTH to others!
And that is what happened.
I saw more children engaging the Lord and getting excited about the good news of the gospel wanting to be prayed for, in the first two nights, than I have seen in a very long time, throughout the years at this church!
And this so touched my heart!
So, this morning, I want to share a very brief message with you.
A very brief reminder to you, about the reality of who we are and of the very great and precious privilege that we have been given, through our great God and Savior!
Let me start by asking you a question.
When you build a house, or a skyscraper, or even a utility shed for storage, what is the single greatest thing you must do, before you ever cut and nail the first boards together, of that structure?
You MUST lay a good foundation, right?
That is, if you want to build something that will withstand the ages and the weather and the trials of time and life, then you MUST build that thing upon a solid and sound foundation.
If you erect the structure without first securing its foundation, then you are admittedly, ultimately, saying that the structure is a temporary one and that you do not plan on it lasting indefinitely!
When they erect these monstrous sky-scrapers in the large cities, they go a long ways down to secure the footers for these buildings, so that the foundation is sure and stable!
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that were attacked in the 9/11 attacks, had a foundation that rested upon solid rock, some 70’ below ground level, so as to secure the buildings and give them a solid base to be built upon!
Some modern skyscrapers now have supports that down over 200 feet into the ground, so as to secure a good and solid foundation!
The point being, they are not going to spend millions, upon millions of dollars and months and years of work, to pour into something, that has no chance, or hope of longevity and a future!
And if we can understand this in terms of inanimate objects, like buildings, and we acknowledge that it takes careful time and attention and planning and concern and resources, to build something that is only TEMPORAL and has absolutely NO eternal value, whatsoever, then what does this say about the buildings that we are developing, that ARE ETERNAL and about the time and the attention that we should be putting into those?!
tells us, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.
For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
You and I, as true Christians, are called a living breathing, temple of God.
(In other words, we are a BUILDING/STRUCTURE that houses the Spirit of almighty God!
So, individually, we are each one a unique, living breathing temple, according to Paul, and yet corporately, we are each one considered individual stones that are combined and that build and make up the “whole temple”, that is, combined, we as individual stones, make up the whole Body of Christ!
Listen to how Peter says it, in his first epistle, , “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
You and I are little temples, where the Spirit of Almighty God resides and yet, on the grand scale, our bodies are looked at as individual “living stones”, who come together and form the living, breathing BODY OF YESHUA!
And just as I was talking about building a structure upon a good, solid foundation, so it will last and not be destroyed by the harsh conditions of this world, Jesus, Himself, made it clear that His ecclesia, (what man has called, the “church”), would be built upon a foundation (a rock) and that this structure, His Body, would never be destroyed!
And Jesus also made it very clear, what the foundation was going to be that His Body of believers would be built upon.
In , Jesus made a statement to Peter and the other disciples, upon Peter’s confession as to who and what Jesus was.
Peter confessed and professed, that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah.
Then Jesus said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
In other words, Jesus was saying this, “Upon the confession that I am the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God, I will build my body of believers.”
Or even more straight forward, Jesus was saying, “I AM THE FOUNDATION, the sure ROCK, upon which my anointed vessel (MY BODY, MY BRIDE), will be built upon and death and the enemy will be rendered powerless against it!
So, just hang in there with me and where I am going with this please and how it applies to our VBS this past week and the larger picture that goes with it!
Our commission that Jesus left for us, right before He ascended to heaven, was that we are to preach and declare the good news of His Gospel Message to the world, right?
And as we share our faith and teach others about Jesus being the Christ, there will be those people who will step out in faith and believe in Him and confess with their mouths, that He is the Son of the God and that God raised Him from the dead, and they will confess that He has now become the Lord and Savior of their life, and when this happens, those people will also become living temples and even more so, living stones that make up His Body!
So basically, you and I are like “spiritual construction workers”, when we lead others to Jesus, because our efforts contribute to adding new “living stones” to the building!
Listen to how Paul says this very same thing, in ,
Paul is saying that when we share the gospel with someone, the foundation is laid and then when that person becomes a believer, they become a part of the structure that is built upon that foundation.
And make no mistake about it, the gospel message lays the foundation, but what is the gospel message?
It is the good news of Jesus the Christ and the price that He paid to redeem us back from sin.
Thus, Jesus is the foundation, which is also what Paul emphasizes in this passage in ,
Paul also sums it up this way, as we find in ,
Paul is not contradicting Jesus and the message of God, and saying that the apostles are the true foundation and not Jesus.
But rather, he is showing that the work of the apostles and the prophets, was instrumental in initially starting the building the body of Christ and that their work was foundational in establishing the church.
But their foundational work was still anchored to and held in place and made solid, by the CHIEF CORNERSTONE, JESUS, HIMSELF, who is ultimately, the true foundation which the entire church, or Body of Christ is built upon!
And as glorious a thing as it is, to be a part of the living, breathing temple of almighty God, consider this.
This vessel that we live in right now, is compared to be nothing nothing more than a “tent”, in comparison to the glorified body that awaits us in the eternal.
Paul said in II Corinthians chapters 4 and 5 that, “we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.”
And that “house not made with hands” that Paul mentions here, which is our glorified body, is only available to you and I, if our faith is built and established here, in this “tent”, upon the foundation of Jesus the Christ!
OK, so here is why I mention all of this to you this morning, about building upon a solid foundation.
We, as adults, are given a very special privilege and task throughout the years that God has us here in this life.
Especially to those who are given the role of being a parent.
We get to help build the foundation within the life of God’s blessed gifts, OUR CHILDREN!
As I have mentioned before, God the Father loves little children, as it was His will and plan to send His only Son to this world in the form of a child!
Jesus could have come in adult form and rode onto the scene and started His earthly ministry, but that was not the Father’s will.
Jesus was to experience every aspect of early human development, before He went to the cross.
From His development within the womb, to His time as a child and onto His earthly ministry as a young man, so that on all points and in all ways, He might face every trial and temptation that befalls mankind, and yet, without sin.
It was Jesus, Himself, during His ministry years, that said of children, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
The faith and belief of a child and their innocents and humility is so very special in the eyes of the Father and it is in this very way that you and I, even as adults, MUST approach Him, when we come to Him and throughout our lives!
The Bible clearly tells us that children are a special gift, a reward from God and if God values children so much and of how we treat them, then we should even more so value these very special gifts!
“For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
The very well known passage of tell us,
And of course, this passage is not a guarantee of salvation for the child, because that decision falls upon the individual during their life, but it is telling us to carefully LAY THE FOUNDATION for that child’s future.
For this very reason, God mandated that the words of God and His laws were to be taught within the home at all times throughout the life of the family!
, which I just read from this same passage last week, in teaching about the greatest commandment of God, says this,
What was God saying here to the parents of the house?
Teach the children MY WORDS.
Feed the children the true BREAD OF LIFE! Lay the foundation for their lives!
And the expectancy of this foundation, is that it will stay with them for life and guide and direct them.
This famous proverb that we just read, comes right before a section of the proverbs, (), that is called the “30 Sayings of the Wise).
This section is list of wise things to heed in life and it is preceded with the following petition, “Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.
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