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Breaking Barriers Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church Logo

Age and Impact (Psalm 92:12-14) - Caught Up

Breaking Barriers / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church
The Truth Network Radio
July 22, 2023 8:00 am

Age and Impact (Psalm 92:12-14) - Caught Up

Breaking Barriers / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church

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July 22, 2023 8:00 am

We’re in Week 3 of our Caught Up Sermon Series. Pastor Andrew is bringing us the Word in this message called, “Age and Impact”.


Amen. Yes.

Yes. I love that. I love that video. I love the Griffins.

Guys, if you have a copy of scripture, I'm going to invite you to take it out and turn with me to Psalm chapter 92. We want to welcome all of our locations, campuses, venue, regional north. Man, we're just really excited for everyone that we have this weekend. And we're going to be diving right back into our series.

But before we do that, I've got to just show you a couple of pictures here, guys. Our college students have made it home from the summer in terms of, man, they were all over the world serving massive stories of impact, massive stories of adversity and character building. And God has brought them home. And I just want to try to reiterate a little culture to our church here. When we think about mission trips and we think about our sending out our students and sending out college students, guys, it's very strategic that the president of the largest sending organization in North America.

I was in the room when he said, hey, the weight of our organization has done the research. On one short term mission trip, they are four times more likely to give to the nations, pray for those who are working among the nations and maybe even eventually go themselves and invest long term for the sake of the nations. And so, guys, you know, the heartbeat of Mercy Hill, man, we want to send 500 missionaries by 2032.

It's kind of our true north. We want to make disciples, multiply churches. And we just really feel like God has put it upon our heart to raise people up in order to send them out. We're one of these weird churches that gets more excited about people leaving than coming. OK, if they're leaving in the right way for the right reason. And so, man, we this is just so exciting for us to see them go get a taste of that.

Let me give you one bit of exciting news, too. Do you know right now among our college ministry and our residents who work in the college ministry? Those are recent graduates.

There are 16 students in process of going away for two years or more. All right. Sixteen. So, man, we're just praising God for what he's doing. So, man, let's turn to Psalm 92.

All right. Psalm 92 is where we're going to be today. But let me remind you of where we are, especially if you're new. Maybe you're one of our campuses today and you are. Brand new to us and you haven't been here. We are in a series right now called Caught Up. OK, we were going to call the series Entangled, but it sounds a little bit too much like a Disney movie.

OK, so we didn't do that. But Caught Up is the same word that's used in 2 Timothy 2.4. This has been kind of a life verse for me, if you have one. And I always say it in the old the old Bible. OK, so no man that warth entangleth himself in the affairs of this life that he may please him who has chosen him. To be a soldier.

Now, what does all that mean? What that means is we are called as being enlisted into the family of Christ, but into sort of the army for his mission, if you will. We are enlisted as people who are called not to entangle themselves in the world, but to engage in the mission.

Someone that is preparing for war, they don't get all wrapped up in civilian life. And that's the point of 2 Timothy 2.4. Now, what we're doing in this series is we're going to some different pathways. passages that help us see this very important, the predictable nature of how new stages of life bring new temptations from the enemy.

New stages, new temptations. As a pastor, I've been leading this church for 10 years, was working at different churches before that. I'm going to tell you something that is sad, but it's also an advantage. Anyone in a fight is at an advantage if they know what the enemy wants to throw at them.

Right. And I've been pastoring for long enough now that I can tell you man, there are some predictable traps from the enemy that come with different stages of life. And that's what we're getting into here.

Now, the one we're going to engage today from Psalm 92 is this. We have a cultural lie, sometimes kind of compounded by a church's, I wouldn't say complicity in it, but we sometimes can kind of end up sort of nodding to it. And here's the lie.

The Satan wants in a particular life stage, it's for those that are approaching or right in the fourth quarter of life. And here's the lie. You have done your time. Now pack it in and go and enjoy. Spend the best years you have for ministry on frivolity and playing and isolation and materialism.

And just go and do those things. And that's the lie. The lie is, right, that we are supposed to work our whole life to make enough money in order that we can play.

At the end. Well, it's a lie. And we don't want to see that in the church of Jesus Christ. And I think that we have really good examples in this church of people who have rejected that lie and are running headlong the other way. Of course, I do think churches like ours are in danger because listen, and I mean this from the heart. I understand that a church like Mercy Hill constantly talks about the next generation. And we do that on purpose. I mean, the Bible talks about the next generation a lot.

Right. And we understand the importance of the next generation, but we've got to be careful. That in talking about the next generation, we don't send a subtle message to those that are late third quarter approaching fourth quarter to say there's no place for you to be in ministry here. You know, to send a subtle message that says, well, you're on a shelf and there's not a place for you here.

That cannot be the most dominant metaphor in the New Testament for church is family. Because it is to the glory of a man to have gray hair. What's that about? What is getting at is you have an ability to synthesize some things and pass some things on.

And maybe we're going to see today. Maybe even if you have kind of done the whole work your whole life, it's time to retire idea. Now, maybe just like the Griffin's talked about, you've got some more resources to bring. Maybe it's relationships.

Maybe it's money. Maybe it's time. And now you have the opportunity to pour it all out for the sake of the mission. And that's what we want to talk about from Psalm 92.

Here's the big idea this weekend. We are called to bear fruit, listen, in every season. There is no season where we pack it in.

Never happens. It's also not going to happen in heaven either. OK, I mean, what we're going to be doing in heaven is bearing fruit and working and bringing God glory.

So why would we ever try to stop doing that here? What we need to do is continue to think about new ways of engagement throughout all of our life. You know, I think for some of us that might be a little bit younger than that. In terms of not that fourth quarter, when I say fourth quarter, here's what I mean.

Average lifespan in the U.S. right now is about 77 years old. Let's go ahead and round it off because many of you guys are really healthy. OK, so let's go to 80.

All right. So let's just say, all right, that's just what the stats say. Then fourth quarter, 60 to 80. Now, I'm not saying anything about it. I'm just giving you the facts.

60 to 80 is generally kind of that fourth quarter of life. Now, a lot of people are going to go into overtime. But let me ask you this. The only thing that's more important than the fourth quarter is what? Overtime. Right. I mean, what happens, every football game you've ever seen in your whole life, what happens when the third quarter goes down to zero? Do it with me.

What does everybody do? Right. Why? My son is now, my son is just now doing all of the conditioning for tackle football, first year of tackle football in the fall. When they're running the gassers, those little kids 12 years old, when they're running the gassers, what are the coaches screaming at them when they're about to die out there?

What are they screaming? Fourth quarter, fourth quarter. Everything we do is in preparation.

Why? The fourth quarter is the most important quarter. The fourth quarter is where it's won and lost in a lot of ways. Man, we've got a culture that's saying pack it in. The last years can be the best years for ministry. We can't waste them playing around. We've got too much to produce for the kingdom of God.

Right. And man, I see this all over our church. I see great examples of this. But I'm gonna tell you this, too. Man, I also want to talk to a younger generation today. What are you exactly preparing for?

Because I get it, man. The Ramsey stuff, I love it. Man, financial independence, and I think the younger generation, they're all into this. I mean, they're all into the cash flow this, and we're trying, I mean, I see it all over the place.

Podcasts and all that. What are we preparing for? You know, the old generation, it was all about respect and security. Now the millennial generation is all about freedom. Don't trade one idol for another.

It's not, why are we trying to get the financial freedom? What are we looking for in retirement? I hope it's more of an opportunity to create impact for the kingdom of God. Psalm 92 says this, the righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord. They flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age. The righteous, unlike the wicked.

Okay, here's what the Bible says in Psalm 92 7. The wicked are like grass. The righteous are like the palm tree.

What's the difference? The grass is here today, gone tomorrow. The grass has a little bit of drought time.

The grass has a little bit of sun, comes up, it's gone. But the righteous are like a palm tree or like the cedar of Lebanon. They are planted in the courts of God, and that is what gives them the opportunity to have an uprightness to them to produce fruit, even into old age.

Even in their old age. What is it saying about sap and green? I mean, guys, I've cleared a thousand trees in my life.

Okay. When you cut a tree down and that sap has flown, it was a healthy young tree. Right?

That's the whole point. The green, it's a sign of health. And what it's saying is even in the old age, there is an uprightness, a durability, a vibrancy that can come in that fourth quarter of life. If we are the righteous like this palm tree and like this cedar tree.

I think it's trying to get us to see this very simply. produce fruit for the kingdom of God, even in their old age. That the righteous get to that season of life where they are older and what they say is, this is not time to play, this is time to produce for the kingdom of God. Now let me say one thing about this, okay? I am not in any way, and if you've heard me preach you know this, okay?

Sometimes I get in hot water a little bit for this. You know, I am not the guy that is gonna say to you, don't have the dream of the RV or the beach house or whatever. I've got an abundance mentality. My mentality is more like, no circle that baby and pray for it and when God gives it to you, you better use it for mission. That's kind of what I, the way, I'm not telling you don't have a dream car that you know, that you build and you save and at 60 years old you're able to buy that car. I'm all about go buy the car, but where are you driving it?

Are you driving it to go help mentor at the pregnancy network? Or you know, how are we, that's the idea of the way that we teach here at Mercil. So I don't want you to get into this kind of mentality of lack. That's not what I'm getting at. I'm not saying that in new stages in the fourth quarter, this is not gonna be true for everybody, but for many people if you've ordered your life and God's been favorable to you in different ways, maybe there are some things that you have Liberty with in that stage, which is fine, but what I'm saying is there is never a time where we are not a fruit bearer.

Never. You were created as a worker in the image of God. You can say like this, there may come a time where you retire from a job, but you never retire from Kingdom work.

We never retire. All of it, new seasons, new stages, bigger impact, that's the idea. Now here's what it says, the righteous flourish. Now in Psalm 92 7 it says the word sprout.

They're kind of the same, it's a little bit of the same word, and I think that's kind of funny here. Righteous sprout. It's almost like new seasons of new sprouting.

Even in old age there is an excitement. There is a way about these people that have been righteous and planted in the courts of God and now in their old age they're not like the grass that is fading, they're like the palm tree. Psalm 92 7 is like, man the grass fades, the palm tree stays, the cedar remains. You know I was a kid during, I was a kid in Florida when Hurricane Andrew hit. Now my name is Andrew, okay, so and it's like, it's like the most, you know, one of the most deadly kind of storms and and it was awful man. I don't know if you guys remember some of the pictures and the other big storms hit. These palm trees are bent all the way over, right? And then what happens? Man the storm passes and here they go, they go right back up.

Isn't that crazy? I think what the Bible is trying to get us to see here is this, man like those palm trees, these people who are planted, the righteous planted in the courts of God, man they have understood and learned how to navigate the swirling winds of culture and life that are around them. And they have been able to step forward and stand, there is a strength to them, there is a longevity to them, there is a durability to them. It doesn't really matter sometimes what's going on around them, they're going to be there for a long time because they're planted in the house of their God.

And that's what it says here in verse 13, they're planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God. Now I want to give you the natural side to this, okay, and then I want to get you get to get you to see the supernatural side to this. Now if you're not a believer here today at one of our campuses, I promise you you're not alone, all right, that we ever have at every service, every campus, there's people here that are just checking things out.

And that's exciting for us, we're excited that you're here. I want to say this to you because I know you're already thinking, oh this is a prosperity. Every one of us that are believers in here knows somebody whose life was cut down early and they were righteous. They were found in Christ, they had been gifted his righteousness. So what I'm getting at here, and I think what the Psalms are getting out here, is not like a promise of, hey if you just do the right things and you're gonna have X amount of years, that's not what this is getting at. And wisdom literature, I'm not saying this is exactly wisdom literature, but many times in the Bible there are generalities that aren't, they are generally true.

And this is I think one of them, okay? That generally speaking, being planted in the house of God, following his design for life, is healthy for us. It's healthy for the bones, it's healthy for the body. And I think there's a supernatural side to it too, I'm gonna talk about that in just a minute.

Let's talk about the natural side. Living by God's design is the healthiest life possible. If you have a Creator who said, hey my world, you're just living in it, right? Here's how to live. Now if we follow that, we've all know somebody who this is not true of, okay? I understand that. But generally speaking, that life is going to be healthy.

The healthiest life that that person can have, and that person can live. Let me illustrate this, okay? I was thinking about trying to just get our mind around this. I want you to imagine any community, okay? And it can be rich, poor, it could be a college, it could be a neighborhood in Greensboro, okay?

Any community in your mind. Now here's what I want you to think of, all right? If everybody in that, maybe a university campus, if everybody in that university setting, in that neighborhood, wherever it is, they decided I'm gonna commit to five pieces of God's wisdom. Now, I mean, this is low shelf, okay?

These are just the cookies at the very bottom, and there's a lot more we could go into. But if they said to you, five things, okay? If that community came together and they said, man, we are just gonna absolutely commit that this is not only good, but it is joyful for us to live this way, and we're gonna commit to it, all right?

If they committed to, we're not gonna have sex with anybody that is not our spouse, number one. Number two, we're gonna practice sobriety, okay? Number three, every adult is gonna work a significant portion of their week no matter what they get paid, okay? We're gonna work. Number four, we're gonna practice stewardship with our bodies the best way that we can through diet, exercise, and rest. And number five, we're gonna commit to give a tenth of our time and whatever little bit or lot of money that we have, we're gonna commit a tenth of that to some charitable organization every single month.

You tell me what that community would look like in six months, a year, five years. Are you kidding me? You see what I'm saying? And that's without even talking about the gospel. I'm not even talking about gospel motivation.

I mean, I'm not even talking about getting into Jesus and all this. It's just like the world is designed in a certain way. And if we would follow that design, it ends up being healthy for us. Now, you think, now here's what we want to do, okay? We want to say, yeah, this community I'm thinking of, if they would just, oh no, no. Where are we rebelling against wisdom?

Because we talked about the bottom-shelf cookies. Okay, what if that community then, man, is there somebody in your life that you're harboring? You're not gonna forgive them and that's poison to you. You see what I'm getting at? There are so many areas of our life that we might just be bucking against the wisdom of God.

How is it hurting us? You know, so I would just think to ourselves, wait a minute, there is a life by God's design that is available for us here if we would just plant ourselves in the courts of the Lord through his wisdom. But of course, this was way deeper than that, all right?

Because I think what's going on here is a little more of the supernatural side. Being planted and flourishing in the courts of God, I think, harkens all the way back to, this is gonna be very familiar to some of you if you've been around for like, you know, more than six or eight months with the deeper initiative and all that. It goes all the way back to Psalm 1.

Being planted in the courts of God, haven't we talked about that? Man, like a tree that is planted by the streams and it's ever producing fruit and its leaf never withers. What it's getting at here is there is a supernatural empowerment for the people of God, I think, who have decided my greatest desire in life, what I was created for, was to glorify God, was to be satisfied by him alone. And when we're doing that, guys, we're renewing our strength. This is the verse I learned as a kid, maybe some of you guys learned it, Isaiah 40, 31, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not be weary.

They will walk and not faint. Planted in the courts of God, focused on the mission. Man, it gives us something to focus on and we're planted and we're living by wisdom and God supernaturally does something to us. You know, when I was a kid, my dad told me one day, he said, hey, I want you to remember this, and I have, I mean, all the way till now, he said, when you shake a missionary's hand, they're strong.

And that's true. I mean, you watch what I say. When brother Sam James comes to preach, you guys remember this, 90 years old? Okay, he starts the church that started the church that started us, all right, in the 1960s, and he comes to preach and he's 90 years old and I call him and I say, hey man, we can just do one service, we've got video. Young man, I'll be preaching all the services, is what he said to me, you know? I mean, and he did.

I think his fourth one was the best one, okay, in the same day. I mean, he preached the roof off with all these college kids and he's 90 years old. It's not a universal principle, I'm just saying. Generally speaking, man, these people have chased God their whole life. They're like a cedar.

Man, they're like an oak that has been planted. You know, I think about other places in the scripture where this is true. I mean, you think about Caleb, 80 years old, being like, man, I'm taking that mountain, God promised it to me. You know, he's taking it. Joshua is 80-something years old, man, he's going to the fight.

You think about this passage, 2nd Timothy 2, 4, wait, I don't know exactly, but Paul is an older man who is writing, no man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life. You know what he says later? Man, I'm ready to be poured all the way out, like a drink offering. I'll be poured out.

There is a durability and a strength that comes. You know, I was reading this missionary story, there was these missionaries that came out of, they were like the last ones that were caught in the Communist Revolution, okay, and man, bad news, right? And so they get caught up, they're, man, they're on the run, they're, dude, no heat, China, one room apartments, one cup of rice a day, all that kind of stuff, dwindling down to nothing, but as they came out of that experience, I know that's not everybody's experience, okay?

I know there are people that are lost, but as they came out of that experience, they attribute it to being nourished by the Lord, and they wrote a memoir that came right out of, actually came out of Jeremiah, but it's very similar to this, all right, and what is the memoir called? Green Leaf in Drought Time. There is a depth to this, you know, that we can be rooted, and it can give us what we need to do the point of the whole sermon, which is verse 14, they will bear fruit in old age. They still bear fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green. They bear fruit in every season, yes, in old age. Man, I want to draw your attention to something that is saying here, I love what it's saying, they still bear fruit in old age, it acknowledges old age. Our culture wants a perpetual youthfulness. That's not what the Bible talks about. The Bible talks about a godly aging.

The Bible talks about as we move through the seasons of life, understanding that with new seasons are gonna come new strengths. You know, I was reading a book, the book is called From Strength to Strength Secular Book, but it's talking about the way the mind works, okay, and the basic part of the book is this, if you go back and look, scientific breakthroughs that end up winning Nobel Prizes, you know who they're made by? You think they're made by 60, 70 year old people that have been studying their whole life? It's not. They're always in their 30s. You would think that the best classical musicians in the world are the 50s, 60s, 70s because they've had 30, 40 more years to train. They're not.

They're in their 30s. Here's why. He says there's two different types of knowledge.

One is fluid, one is crystallized. Now I'm kind of hanging right in the middle of some of the stuff. I'm 39 years old and I feel like as I'm reading this book, I'm like, man, I'm really, I'm kind of understanding this because I think it's even happening in my life and I've definitely seen it happen other people's life. Now here's what he says. He says if people want to hang on to their 20 year old, 30 year old brain, they're gonna end up bitter because they don't have the breakthroughs that they had. But if they will realize that there are other aspects of their knowledge base in their brain that grow and get stronger, and here's what he says, as you get older you move from fluidity, you see a lot of the breakthroughs, big innovation, you move into a crystallized knowledge.

And here's the point, as you get older you have an ability to integrate what you know and apply it in a way that you never could have in your 20s and 30s. It's funny, you know, the Bible has this thing called wisdom. Doesn't that sound like wisdom? Wisdom is not new knowledge. Wisdom is the ability. He gives the examples like this, you become a little more like a librarian, not that you're boring, okay?

But the point is, like a librarian, if you just ask them something it may take a minute, but once they can file through it they can find and they can integrate things and they can pull out what they need in a way that somebody else might not be able to do. Now my point is this, you know, it's a secular book or whatever, but I think about sometimes how these guys stumble upon to what the word already tells us, that the strength of a young man, a warrior, is their muscle, right? But an older man, it's their gray hair.

The idea is the crystallized knowledge that you have. Man, what God has given you in terms of experience, relationships, being able to integrate and apply in a way that a younger person has a hard time doing. Man, my point is this, planted in the Lord's court, cedar of Lebanon, all of this is set up to make a bigger and greater impact that your last years could be your best years. But many of us just want to stay young, you know? And I understand that. I mean we're just like, man, I just want to, you know, I'm like 39 so it's that 40 thing and it's like, dude, you know, a lot of people around their 40s they start trying to bulk up, get tattoos, and buy Corvettes and stuff, okay?

That's kind of what they do. I decided to go for the European soccer mullet, okay? My boys wanted me to, my boys wanted me to jump on the bandwagon. But you understand what I mean. It's like, man, we try to stay young and maybe, maybe it's a little bit, let me ask you a question, would you rather be more youthful or more useful?

Do we want to stay young or is it like, God, man, there is something to moving into this fourth quarter that my last years can be my best years. I've shown you guys this before. I'm gonna do it one more time. I think it's helpful for us. But man, there's a lie in our culture that our bio line follows our impact line. Some of you guys are gonna remember this. You know, it's just a reality.

I don't think this is, I'll be honest with you, this is not the most encouraging part of the sermon, okay? But I'm just gonna tell you, there is a bio line, okay? People say, you know, in your 20s probably peak attractiveness. I don't know who says that, but I read it on the internet, so it's true, okay? So, man, in your 30s, in your 30s, you have the most bone density you're ever gonna have. Man, in your 40s, you're probably getting around the best memory and recall and that kind of, and here's the deal, this is kind of depressing, okay? But it is, it's a reality. Your physical body, your physical life, it does kind of do this. I mean, we know this. Like, man, it's not, this is not revolutionary, right?

Like, we understand, man, our bone density or that kind of stuff. Here's the lie that the culture tries to tell us. We live in a culture that prizes youthfulness and beauty and strength more than experience and wisdom. There are other cultures that don't do that, by the way, okay? We live in a culture that prioritizes maybe some of the wrong things, I would think.

But here's what happens. Because our bio line is like this, what we think is, well, then our impact line is like this. And it's like, man, I'm gonna be impactful, 20s, 30s, then churches, and Mercy Hills can be right in there.

It's like, man, we start, we start always, you know, maybe we start neglecting the older generation or something like that, and we kind of buy into some of this too. And it's like, oh, my impact line for the kingdom follows my bio line. And this is a lie. And that's what I want you to see.

That's a lie. That while our bio line may do that, our impact line has nothing but an up curve if we want it to be that way. And if we're asking God to help us, and we're getting prayed over like we're fixing to do here in a few minutes, okay? And we decide to charge the hill even in the fourth quarter. We can have impact.

Why? Because we have more relationships. We have more crystallized knowledge. Man, we have more leadership experience. Guys, we have, we have more, many, you know, some in that, in that stage of the game in terms of just the economics of our country, the boomer generation, there's more wealth. Like we have more opportunity for impact in that, in that thing, and we don't have to follow that bio line, alright? So, man, just by way of application here this weekend, let me say it like this, let's bear more fruit as we gain more age, okay?

More fruit with more age. We cannot be in this mode of, man, I did my time. Oh no, you got to see yourself in your prime.

I didn't do my time, I'm in my prime, okay? That's what the mentality shift has got to be today. And for many of you, I know it's already there because I see it and the shockwaves through our church are there. And we just want to make sure that we're all thinking about it in that way.

You know, I think about this idea of bear more fruit as we gain more age. You know, I love tinkering around with Spanish. I've got a love for that.

I've got a big dream around that. And my boys, it's so cool, my boys have had the opportunity to go through a Spanish immersion program. My one son just has graduated from it, so his whole elementary life has been in Spanish, okay?

It was so crazy. They go to school the first day, I'm like, did you understand anything they said? He's like, no man, no I didn't, you know, for like six months. Do you understand anything they're saying? No. Okay, so, but later they did.

But it was awesome, you know, so they've had that experience. You know, in Spanish, some of you know this, in Spanish, you don't say to somebody, if you were translating it, you don't say to them, how old are you? What you say to them is, how many years do you have?

I thought about that because I'm like, what we need, that's more like it. How many years do you have? How much fruit do you have? Because those two things can go together. Those two things can go and they can ride. How many years?

How much fruit? Now let me try to anchor this for us for just a minute by talking about all the way back at the beginning. You know, we said in Psalm 92 12 that the righteous are planted. You know, there's a way the Bible says righteousness sometimes, I think just means uprightness, but man, there's a real way the Bible talks about righteousness that you don't get on your own. What is the deepest meaning here? The righteous are planted in the courts of God.

They're like a cedar, they're like a palm tree. Man, the deepest meaning of this is how, we gotta ask the question, how do you and I gain this righteousness? We've seen that the righteous bear fruit, but how do you gain righteousness? Are you supposed to try to bear fruit in order to become righteous?

That doesn't work. No, no, you become righteous in one way and that is that it is gifted to you. It's not by your own works. You know, the gospel is this, that Jesus Christ came to this earth, lived a life that we didn't live, meaning he never sinned, died a death that we deserve. We deserve, the Bible says the way to sin is death.

We deserve the death. He didn't, but he died on the cross. And then in his resurrection, he offers us to walk in the newness of life by making the great exchange.

He says, hey man, I'll take what you deserve and I'll give you what I deserve. That's grace. If you've ever wondered what grace means, God's righteousness at Christ's expense.

Grace. That we are gifted this grace. Man, we sinned, we were anything but righteous, but when we pray that prayer, when we accept Christ as our Savior, we walk, you know, step over the line, become born again, get saved, however you want to say it.

When that happens to us, when we are radically brought in to the family of God, we are snatched inside out, we go from death to life. The righteousness of Christ is ours. And when in that righteousness, now we're in a place that we can bear fruit. 2 Corinthians 5 21 says it like this, for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Now here's what I want you to see. You know the deepest meaning of this? The deepest meaning of Psalm 92 is this, the righteous are planted, right? And because of that, they will bear fruit in their old age, they will ever be full of sap, they will ever be green. It's like Psalm 1, they will ever be producing fruit.

Man, this is getting us to see the picture of the eschaton, the end of days. It's getting us to see who we will be in heaven. Y'all, we will bear fruit on into eternity. God did not save us so that we would sit on a cloud and play a harp, that sounds more like hell than heaven, okay? That's not what we're saved for.

We are saved to bear fruit for God's glory for all time. If that's where we're heading, then a smaller meaning of this is, then let's do it all the fleeting days of our life here, and let's not pack it in. So let me start with the younger people that are not in the fourth quarter, and then we're gonna pray for those that are, and then we're gonna be done, okay? Let's just ask this question. What is your picture of life in the fourth quarter if you are not there already, okay? Because I understand, you know, that we live in a time, and I read the books and the four-hour workweek and the, you know, podcasts and all this stuff, and man, I glean a lot from those kind of things, but I'm telling you, there is a current in the millennial workforce, of which I am a millennial technically, okay, I'm a geriatric millennial, all right, but I am, so I can talk about you for a minute, okay?

There is a current that what we are trying to do, it's really the same as the generation before us. The idol is just not respect and security anymore. The idol is ultimate freedom with my time.

Ultimate, I mean, I can go anywhere, I can do anything I want to. That's, man, that's the heartbeat of the podcast world. That's the heartbeat of the work, the four-hour workweek type of book world, okay? And I think there's a lot of good we can glean from some of those things, about staying focused on the main thing, but I'm here to tell you, man, the idea of you kind of setting your life up for ultimate freedom is idolatry.

That's what it is. We are supposed to set our life up for ultimate kingdom impact for God's glory. Now, if freedom is a part of that, great, you know. I told you earlier, I'm not this, I'm not like a limited kind of mindset guy. You got big dreams, you want a beach house, you want to do a mountain thing, man, awesome. How are you gonna use it for God's glory?

Love all that stuff, all right, but it's not about our experience of freedom. What are you preparing for? Man, does that picture in your mind of what it may look like one day, not to retire from kingdom work, but to change jobs, you know, to retire from... Does it include mission and groups and mentoring and relationships and discipling grandkids and serving in Kids' Week and all the stuff? Man, is that what your heart desires when you think about that fourth quarter of life? I pray that it is. Guys, those are the things that we're gonna be doing in heaven.

If we don't love them here, why would we love them there? You know, so let's get our mind, let's think about, man, Jesus bought for us this kind of fruit bearing life. It must be good for us.

Let's think about it in that way. And then the last thing that I want to say is this, man, I want to say to you guys today that I see in our church so much, so many people that have this mentality, and I want you to keep setting an example for those younger generation of what are they preparing for, but I also want to rattle the cage of anyone who is like, man, I'm kind of coasting right now. Our fourth quarter is, it's not a time to coast, it's a time to be launched in a new way. That's what it is. Matthew Henry, commentator, said it like this, the last days of Christians are sometimes the best days.

Their last work the best work. And man, I want to inspire you. I see it all over our church. You know, this isn't in our church, but brother Sam James, I referenced him earlier, he sent me a letter, he's in his 90s, and he sent me a letter the other day just talking about a few different things that are going on to him in our church, and he was so excited. He's preparing to get back to the field in Vietnam right now. In his 90s. He's like, man, there ain't no, you know, there ain't no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's like, man, that's what I'm going to do.

In his 90s. It's like, man, nobody told him you're not supposed to do that. I love it. You know, we got a grant, I heard a story about a grandfather that is reading an individual Bible for every individual grandkid with his own pen in hand so that he can mark it up the way he wants and write them notes through the whole Bible and give it to them.

You want to talk about legacy. I see it in our church. Man, we're doing it. We're pouring out. There's a story of a retired couple that's desiring to buy short-term rental properties in the cities that we plant churches so they can go, and so when we send teams, they have a place to go. You see what I'm saying? This is kind of the stuff that I'm talking about.

We had a retiree just the other day that did all the food cooking for a Seven Homes foster situation for Seven Homes, did their camp, cooked all the food. It's like, man, they're not, you know, they're not sitting on the sideline. It's like, dude, this is time to be in the game.

I love the Griffin's testimony. More time, more time in the game, right? And that's what they are moving toward. Mentor couples and our Family Count stuff that we're doing with Guilford County with the foster care and the families that are there.

Many of them are either approaching that or they're getting close, you know, they're kind of in that approaching. Grandparents into the glory of God, all that kind of stuff. I just want to call us, man, to jump in off the sideline, onto the front line. Man, our church needs grandparents for all these kids that are running around.

Man, we need group leaders, mission trip leaders, generosity leaders. Man, this is not a place to be on the shelf or coast. Man, we need you fully in the game. I see so many of you that are, and I want to call you not to take the bait. New stages, new temptations, right?

Man, don't take the bait. This is a time to coast and play. It's a time to be launched and produced for the kingdom. Now we're gonna do a prayer time in just a minute, but let me go ahead and close the sermon and then we'll talk about that. Father, we come before you across all of our locations this weekend, and God, we just pray this will be a sweet moment for us, but it will also be a moment where we see courage instilled, a re-upping. God, we pray that through the gospel motivation here, Lord, we will want to get the party started now that you have bought for us for all time in heaven and bearing fruit. We want to do it in every season, in every stage, and we pray that you'll do something significant across our campuses this weekend. In Christ's name we pray, amen, amen. Well hey guys, at all of our locations I'm gonna invite everyone to stand as we get ready for a moment of reflection.

Guys, we do this every week. We're gonna do a moment to respond, and we always say pray, bring, sing, okay? So we're gonna pray and we can we're gonna bring tithes and offerings. If you have a tithe and offering to bring or there's a good reminder of that, there's at every campus there's places to do that in the lobby and you're certainly fueling the mission.

Man, stuff like we saw earlier with these kids going all over the world on mission trips and all that. So, you know, do that. We're gonna sing, but here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna do a special prayer time today. And I'm telling you, I've got to just say this right up front.

I said it earlier. Guys, the metaphor for church is family, okay? What that means is sometimes in families you got to do things that are a little uncomfortable. That's what, that's pretty much the definition of family, okay?

Right? I mean, here's what we're gonna do. This is serious, this is serious business today. This is maybe a reversal of what, here's what we want to do.

We want those in the fourth quarter or right close to that. If you're, if you're okay and you feel okay doing it, we want you to come forward and kneel and we want, we want to pray and people that are not there yet to come and pray courage into your life. Lay hands on you.

Pray a re-upping into your life. We need you. We need you to lead. We need you to set example. And we're not gonna just call you and say, hey, we need you to go do that. Man, we want to pray that you'll have the resources and the Spirit of God will ignite a fire in your heart to be able to do that. And so that's what we want to do today. So man, as soon as we start singing across all of our locations, man, if you're there and you feel comfortable with it, we want you to come forward and kneel down. I know that in that, man, you know, we have people in our, we have people in our church that are in their 90s literally, okay? If you can't kneel, man, sit on the front row, whatever it is, and then as soon as that has kind of settled, man, some of the families, and I'm not looking at the campuses, but just I see all of you around here, some of the families and then younger people in our church, you come, you lay hands on them, and you just pray a prayer out loud.

You know, it doesn't have to be super loud. Pray in your breath. We don't want to create a confusing environment, but you just lay hands on them and you pray courage into their life. You pray for the ministry that's in front of them. Man, you pray that God is gonna use them in a massive way that their last years are gonna be their best years for Kingdom Impact. Let's do it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-22 22:17:21 / 2023-07-22 22:36:26 / 19

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