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February 15, 2021 1:00 am
Welcome to Crossroads connection, Mandy, George, your host, and the senior pastor here at crosses Fellowship Church and were going to further make sure that you go ahead and subscribe. This podcast make sure that you like it you share it. She'll leave us a comment as well. Really appreciate all those and we do value and appreciate every one of you who are our listeners and we love that you're with us on this journey were now in season two episode one and this episode is coming out of a sermon that I preach called a common table and I cannot wait for you to hear this message.
I think it a challenge you you know when I preach this message. We as a church are going through Paul's epistles with start of the book of Romans and working through the 13 letters of 13 epistles that have struck this whole year under the theme of reach and so this sermon that I preach Canada very very timely needed spot in our church and I believe in our country as well and I believe it's can inspire your things and encourage you might stretch you little bit of a challenge. You quite a bit.
But the premise of this is that we've got a table and this table that we are invited to is the kingdom what's happened is that people have taken their chair and of left the kingdom table and started forming their own tables and this message is all about calling us back to that table so that we can have conversations that we can actually be the United body of Christ.
Everyone the different function, everyone with a different angle and a different approach and a different purpose, but we need you. We need you at the table basic as well. San. So again, I hope you enjoy this episode. Episode one a common sables was going to jump into the sermon that I preach at crosses Fellowship called a common table we can navigate through a divided nation and right now are very divided. But with the fit with the nation can handle is a divided church. We can't be divided doesn't mean we agree on. Explain what that means in a minute.
It doesn't do well to think the same and look the same and act the same have the same core structures in the same political beliefs is not all a quick common ground. A common table.
Speaking of today for the next few moments. I'm in a deep dive us into Romans 12. My initial title for this morning was was marks of a true mature Christian and this can be my second point. I, step back to a common table that one I wanted to get a set it at the same place at this table here. So the first we will talk about is is what is the stable and the first thing I want to say it is simply this is a solid truth and that is that we need each other at the stable. We need each other at the same in Romans chapter 12 verse three starts often wishes to hear these words event in verses 3 to 8 Paul begins the breakdown the need of why we need each other at the stable.
He starts off this way for by the grace given to me. I say to everyone among you do not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that it got his assigned license numbers for lottery times.
He says this kind of phrase. For as in one body we have many members and the members not all have the same function, so we know many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. Let them use the Miller's use the gifts God has given you in the Paul does make a short list. This prophecy, in proportion to our faith. If service in serving and teaching the one who teaches the one who exhorts his exhortation, the one who contributes, in generosity, the one who leads, with zeal, the one who does acts of mercy, cheerfulness three things will quickly enter my first point is simply this would gotta recognize that this table the kingdom of God. Table that nobody is better or more deserving of grace than anybody else at this table at this table requires humility. He speaks of humility that there is nobody in this room are watching online, that deserves to sit at the kingdom of God. Table more than anybody else that would gotta treat each other with respect and humility.
When my favorite statements that I so love is that at the foot of the cross is equal ground. I wanted to cure this because too often we don't act like this there is nobody better than anybody else at the foot of the cross.
All of us. Every person that's ever been born.
Except for Jesus needed saving and needed grace and mercy.
At this table requires a level of humility to know that I'm gonna sit at a table with somebody that you may or may not feel deserves to be at that table that the kingdom of God's church, his bride is beautifully wonderfully diverse and it's at one table. Listen if you don't think other people should be at the same table as you are you are in a world of shock when you step into eternity. Every step into eternity and see every tribe and every tongue in every nation and guess what an eternity. There is one banquet table eternity one01 is all you kids stable somewhere, is on the table for the rich detail for the poor.
There's one table for all people to sit at and were called to actually practice that today. Now at the stable writer of this table at Jesus table.
There's room for everybody and everybody is welcome and in we need you at the table.
You know, at this table we are one body we have different functions speaks of diversity limitless share with you just personally what I've seen happen over the last year. That is a pastor that has broken broken my heart to see since those sitting at one table and all coming to save you with our differences right even even with our disagreements in our differences the way that it's supposed to be is that were at the stable all different backgrounds all over, believes all different sides of the aisle on politics and on and on it goes. All these things come, your different denominations and can Christianity I'll come this table that's was supposed to be and we sit here and reframe each other. We encourage each other. We have tough conversations with each other and lovely. We have all those conversations but what's happened is this people to want to sit at the table with other people so they do is a sale unless the table with so many voted for. But for Biden. Some take my chair, take my chair, come over here. I want to make my own table with all Republicans. This is reminiscent, and then listen listen listen listen I leave anybody out because Democrats the same thing well and said that they would either want to come over here, create my own table with all people who believe the same belief. Both are Christian. Both go to the same church but there's the vision and then it gets even worse. Well I won't go to church wherever he looks like me and thinks like me so I'm in a take my white self my way. Family oriented away church. The church of the past doesn't speak about injustices come tired of hearing about it church off the deal with reconciliation church with everybody. My same financial bracket that looks just like me where the pastor says exactly want to hear him said that church of course not leave anybody out the black family to do the same thing. I'm a girl black church because they understand they get it.
Why churches understand what people understand. Some go to church where he looks like me nor in Scripture is that biblical only got four chairs. Otherwise I could do this all morning for service Ashley Clapton. I said that their legal think doctors get a real uncomfortable real quick with the same idea, take my chair to go to church, that just tickles my ears and just tells me what I think is right. So instead of having one table with beautiful diversity and gift sets. What happens there we have different tables that serve a selfless function and we have many bodies with dysfunction. The Bible church has called us to one table of unity, so one table it's not unity under denomination.
By the way, is not unity under me a nondenominational Baptist assembly is Presbyterian. That's not the unity of speaking of is not why black, Hispanic is not Republican and Democratic independent is not rich or poor. This table is under the banner of who Jesus is. It's his kingdom. Table advertisement at this table, which were all called to sit it requires maturity, it requires us to not act like kindergartners and take her ball and go home because somebody offended us and yet we see that happen all the time so me offended me some.
He said something I don't like to take my chair on take my finances on my go to another church and so instead of a beautiful table that's in Scripture we all these dysfunctional tables were called to be in one. As your pastor I I told you earlier this last year.
If not, at the end of last year that we will not allow politics and raised by this church, I stand by that we will not allow that to happen in Christianity right now you got churches that a Republican you got churches that are Democratic you broke my heart the other day somebody showed me a video so you 32nd clippers about Miniclip among tell you who it was the video of consists gusting was a pastor of a large church calling his church the altar to pray down evil and harm to people who didn't vote the way that the church that the should've voted.
He literally was praying for curses and harm and death to fall.
The people that were voted in. This is real. This is happening is happening in our own city. This is not the way it's meant to be, were meant to be at one table under the banner of Jesus.
And here's why we need you at the table and we need your gifts at this table.
So instead of being offended and taken your chair is going to another church. Sooner or later to leave that church you go to another church. The church offends you, what is its maturity to come back to the stable and actually sit at this table actually have conversations and pray for each other and honor one another and truly love one another, despite our differences, and this is the picture of the table.
We need you to live gifts at the stable. It speaks of servant hood doesn't Paul said he said we all have gifts.
He listen he says one was prophetic. We need the gift of prophecy. We need to get we knew the gift of godly biblical prophecy not crazy prophecy when we clear on that one. There's plenty of crazy stuff out there as a pastor, quite honestly, I'm waiting for a day of reckoning the, and all the people who prophesied there were ignorant prophecies we are serving, table says people should serve teaching another one. It keeps loosing us as encouragements is all the stuff that is needed at the stable courage and generosity. In a lot of ways the gift of leadership another one. The gift of mercy as a called if the mercy to Paul saying is that that we are are one body in Jesus we have different functions will look different with different functions. We act differently but were needed at one table. Why love this church so much. I love when I get to see every Sunday. This church we have a lot of work to do church were not even close to being done. More than anything. What I want from this church is a see a picture of heaven. Every single Sunday policy people from every place every walk of life, here not because they're comfortable not because I'm tickling your ears because your will and to be mature enough to sit at the table to see the kingdom of God move in our city, not your kingdom, and not my kingdom that requires true Christianity or walk us through that looks like for the next few minutes there's a list that Paul speaks about in Romans 12 on break it down for you very very clear thrill about preaching out of Paul's epistles is that you really just read a L apologist, do the preaching for you can so amazing and so true so accurately. But here if you want to know what what is required to come to this table. Let me tell you what true mature Christians look like some of these are going to think you do pretty well in some of these your pricing out a little bit to and if anything happened like this morning it got quieter and quieter and quieter and quieter and quieter.
That's okay. Mark's mature Christian Romans chapter 12 in no way saying this is what does your life say to others about what you believe and I can even say what does your social media say to others about who you believe. So this is talking about is your life in my life were saying what were doing doesn't match up with the marks of Christianity and if it doesn't move the Holy Spirit himself, convict, not me and making tweak our hearts, our lives that we can actually line up with Scripture. Because this world needs you and it needs me to be around one table of the kingdom.
So here we go. Write these down. The first one love and honor mark of a true Christian mature believer's love and honor. Mark Romans chapter 12 verse nine attendances this way. Let love be genuine up or what is evil. Hold fast what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection when my fear versus next, listen to this.
If we would just get this one writes imagine what would happen not only the church would in your family, your marriage Arrigo outdo one another in showing honor is not good to the goal wasn't just to get along. The Golden just like somebody. The dog just to put up with people in the same church.
The goal is to actually love one another, to the point you are actually outdoing each other and showing each other on that is what love is like again. Just imagine for a moment that in your marriage. For goodness sakes, one of the secret to a good happy marriage outdo each other in honor when your spouse honors you look back at salmon outdo that honor. What a great good competition that is and then again, how about amongst each other. The next one is this is a bunch of them keep going.
The next one is the serve the Lord with zeal serve him with zeal. Romans 1211. Do not be slothful and zeal, be fervent in spirit serve the Lord. I get a mark on who we are is just a serve church that goes inside the church it goes outside the church serve the Lord. We need you to serve, not me.
Serve the Lord so each one of these have got to get got question that obvious that the question is, is it for the first one in my actually living a life of honor out honoring somebody else. This one is very simple and I serve the Lord where where and how my serving and my using the gifts that God gave me to actually serve him and move his kingdom forward, or my just using them to make a living. Guess what you can do both gods wired to certain way you passes a certain way. Use him using the serve the Lord. The next one is this next one. He says this way says the mark of a true Christian mature Christian is one that is hopeful.
Patient and prayerful hope. Patients in prayer in verse 12 it says rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer as we look on the course of this year. Are you looking on it hopeful how we look at on it in fervent prayer we looking at what's happening in the world around us is getting us down to the point that we've lost all hope. Listen, listen, we have hope and again. The hope is simply around this table is not around any but it's around this table has incurred you with a real cheesy statement but is this really true and elephants and a donkey did not dine across for you was a lamb, that's a good cheesy Jesus thing right, but it's true it's I mean we're like oh my gosh that's true. Nobody you voted for neither side would give his life. You and across none of them would affect the person next year.
According Paul last week they try would neither. But Jesus, Paul said that Jesus, while we are sinners went to the cross so we have hope in that and always fervent in prayer. This was us its generosity and hospitality market get a mark of just a true believer is being generous and be inhospitable for these are these are overly like life altering shattering new concepts, but the problem with that church. Is that so often we miss just the basics of Christianity that we can you give these right and we want all the weeks I get these right. These are the marks of maturity in Romans 1213. This is contribute to the needs of the saints and show hospitality find a need and fill it. Be generous. For those that can be generous in your time and your finances in your skill set to be generously fine and need Philip to be hospitable to be hospitable the kind to one another again right.
This is unlike major brand-new theological findings that some seminary found these are just basics of Christianity that we seen this last year. The churches can get right because we had these right we would not be so divided as we are this morning. Next, what is this is bless and do not curse. Apparently that pastor never read Romans 12.
Bless and do not curse. It's really easy to start cursing people wishing Harmon somebody else.
But what happens when you bless those who persecute you effective 14 resources is bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse them those of the new harm.
Those who've done you wrong. Those who have risen up against you listen you guys can I say something just listen. Jesus told us that the world cannot hate you because of him. That's not a surprise. Jesus told us that in this world where problems not a surprise. You can handle. You can't. You can't control what those other people might do to you, but you can control how you respond if you found yourself over this last month.
Pray for the harm of another individual.
That's wrong is not biblical, which was the bless those even our enemies and not curse. Next, what is this F my note is F if you pay attention. It's empathy.
Empathy. He works this way rejoicing and weeping says rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Let me just make it very clear about the kind of church.
This is, it was so discouraging over this last year to get emails and conversations from people who call themselves Christians tell me, Andy, why do we keep talking about racism and fear and hate. We got it you set on a Sunday were done, move on and in the church should not be speaking so much against injustices.
We got it or move on. Okay let me just be clear.
You got it because you're not the one that's up at night wounded and crying with your family over hurts and pains that happen to you because the color your skin. My Bible tells me that when people in our congregation are weeping we are to weep with them. And when people are celebrating we are to celebrate with them. The reason why when things happen in this world we pause and we stop we address it.
Even if you're sick of hearing it. Maybe it's because you don't realize what it's doing to somebody else and maybe it's because you're not mature enough in your faith to understand what it means to weep with somebody who weeps and what would happen if you did. Does that even mean you have to agree with why there weeping does it mean that you have to be on like that side of the cabinet and get all it just means that you see a brother or sister hurting and weeping, you should weep with mark of Christianity's mark of maturity still say I might not agree.
I might agree with the reason why you're weaving you money by waiting to get taller, but you are breaking and hurting so is your brother or sister, come alongside you and recognize I don't know what you're going through. My heart is breaking for you again. We can get that straight. And yet we got people that want to leave because were not deep enough you kidding me how you get that straight first and we go as deep as you want to go marks of Christianity soldiers getting acquired in here. The next what is this is humility, and harmony. All this requires living in harmony with one another. Verse 16 as is. This places live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own site requires humility requires harmony. It takes humility just to take yourself off of whatever perch you think you're on and have harmony with somebody that's hurting Violet this goes beyond justice racial stuff goes way beyond that.
It's in every facet of our life just to honor each other with humility to live in harmony with each other. The next one is this that sucks about living with honor to live a life marked by honor, and here's what honor is. According to Paul in Romans 1217 repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all this, and there's a lot of evil in this world there are so many times that I write a post and never submitted an else like that.
There sometimes already Nemo are in social media post just to get out of my system that is delete the whole thing. It's called control maturity and trying to be biblical we be far better off if people listen more than they speak or tweet if you just listen.
If you just learn how to just control that an honor each other to truly honor each other the next one is peaceful total living in peace and love this one. I love how Paul worded it. He says in verse 18. If possible right so there's a possibility you can have peace. We know that, but if possible, so far as it depends on who you live peaceably with all limits worded because there's times where the other person just wants to fight the other person wants to not be at peace.
That's why it says that if it's at all possible with you. You be the one that is the peacekeeper. Blessed are the peacekeepers bless him peacekeepers not Blessed are the wicked, not Blessed are the violent not not.
Blessed are the ones that want to cause fights this in arguing and fighting be contentious.
Those are spiritual gifts.
By the way pieces living at peace as much as you can do it and again there's two sizes. The other side of people who don't want peace at all and only one do is fight you know what I see happen this last year I seen really good believers in Jesus remove themselves from this table, because the guidance of fight with some of that ignorant and in no and standing up for what is right, which is good. They've gone down into the weeds argue and fight and what's happened is that they can remove themselves from that table. Now I'm not talking about they have not not save any more than not going to hell right.
It's not that there they've lost their their salvation, but they they remove themselves from that unity table because all he want to do is uses is fight to so much as last year and again I hope you're semi-talking about just crossing the news in general. So many Christians under the banner of Jesus that are just getting sucked into this argument fight that is meaningless in order to prove a point. They've lost their sense of Christianity.
They're getting just as ugly as the other person. They fight evil with evil again. I hope you know that I'm not saying that we don't ever speak your mind, of course, we do with the way we do it certified mail and address this whereabouts only that does you wrong or not somebody in your life that actually has harmed you that actually has said something that is quite offensive that hurt you and your family or some of that that's done something or put spot gone on the offensive and attacked you. Hopefully not physically but could be, but you know me with the words with her actions. What happens if you've lost things because of your faith in Jesus. What happens if because your position that you got got fighting a things going. How do we navigate that again. It's a level of maturity in Romans chapter 12 verse 19 to 21, Paul addresses this is the close off this portion. He says it this way.
I want to secure these were just as beloved, never avenge yourselves believe it's of the wrath of God for its written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord, and to the contrary, no watch this is first why think too many Christians have that verse backwards. They think vengeance is theirs and got in a black back it up. Our guidance and support them in their bed noises. Vengeance is God's. And then this is what you're supposed to do else was to do this. To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him by the dozen you poison him by the way, some you're like, I'll feed him with my wife's cooking that will really show this. Now that's talking about feed him if he is thirsty, give him something to drink this next verse is extremely true, it works every time I do this when you respond evil with kindness and evil with good. What you do. It says that you are keeping burning coals on their heads because all they want to do is fight those that are married, you know this if your spouse comes in and they want to fight in all you do see him with 600 outcome on I love you is I'm sorry… No I want to fight you know the ones I do is like a really good theory is that even more of a with me on that. You see that.
Now imagine if that was your enemy.
That person that is his file toward the person that posted something about you.
A person about what you believe a person that said something at the workplace.
Maybe another believer and you respond with kindness and gentleness.
Verse 21 nurses do not overcome by evil, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with what good overcome evil with good. So share your posts. Share your opinions share your life but do it in a way that is marked by a mature believer in Jesus and that unites us see again this table. By the way it's open for anybody.
By the way, and a whole different passage of Scripture. Jesus uses and analogies the story about a great banquet in a great feast in heaven to see some of of a FISA banquet table that all sit at this table mentality is for is a very common thought because it's at this table at one table is where you and I have been invited to use it invite you to a whole lot of different kingdom tables. It's one table but at this table at this table is all of us. We just look around this room registers take a look.
First of all, it's a good-looking room.
Secondly it's it's it's a diverse room, not just skin color diverse in every way politically, financially education and I mean this is diverse. That's what makes it beautiful and at this table is will refine unity. It's will refine healing and its will refine the strength to go in the world I would encourage you because right now there so me right now, you're not at this table.
This is called what it is you're not at the stable.
You're not here, maybe because you've gotten so offended or you're so opinionated over something or maybe it's because you don't know Jesus at all. All are welcome back to the stable and to the stable for the first time, nobody is better nobody is worse but it requires maturity to sit at the stable so we need to go get your chair instead of sitting in a an offense and sitting in fear and anger.
Hey were sitting in theological divide or whatever and drag your table and leave your pride in your ego.
Here and drag your chair back to the table and sit at the stable and grow with us and heal with us and help us reach our world for Jesus at this table. Amen church summer because of this I want to close in an hour, pray over us and encourage you to encourage you go back and listen if you missed anything. It's online.
And again it is just walking through Romans 12 of of what it says we should live our life and again is your pastor, I'm calling us to one table. It's okay to be different.
It's okay to not be the same because what unites us is Jesus.
What unites us is his word. We stand in that truth and under his banner and then is beautiful, then our diversity is actually beautiful for some maybe it requires you to forgive. For some, maybe it's you have to ask forgiveness for others of you.
Maybe it's just the reality that out of all those listings are doing pretty well on certain things and not rogue and other things beginning I was afraid that the Holy Spirit would just convict working as a conveyance of my job to do that. I got my own stuff I'm working on is on my job convict you or judge your heart at all and I'm not but I pray the Holy Spirit does and where the Holy Spirit is a convict. I pray now, he convicts where he needs to heal.
I pray that he feels and where he needs to encourage Jeffrey. He encourages so that would you stand your feet will quickly this morning on her, pray for us and Esther Daniels in a calm and just give us a few instructions and and I hope I do hope the weather here person online that I hope that you will sit at this table with us. I hope for our purposes here crosses that you will sit at the stable within the context of who we are that you will help us beyond mission of all, were trying to do this year because I'm just here to tell you we need you. We need every single one of you, and I'm not talking about just being here in the building in an server that's part of it. We need you and the world fulfilling the commission under the power the Holy Spirit and reaching people that are lost and broken as a lot of them all again. I want to thank you so much for listening to episode one of season two of crosses connection makes you join us again next week as we drop episode two of crosses connection. Again, thank you for joining us machine you subscribe like share, you know how to do it's just I know that for us and thank you again for the snips of one I look for to have you join me again next week for episode two