Can love genuinely exist without service? Join us as Pastor Greg continues our series All In with a message about Serving.
Man, I love all that. Hey, as we begin, first of all, we just are so excited. Northwest Campus has a soft launch today. They are worshiping right now and getting started and getting ready. I got a text today from someone there and they just said the energy there is awesome. So what a great, great start for us. Hey, I am going to need help just briefly there. If I just need two people to come up here and you'll help me in a second. So just two courageous people, just first two to come up, come up the side steps there. So just come on up, but we're in all in, so come up now, given that time for you to do that, we're in all in. I'm really excited about this, and I'm excited because, with all in, it's our opportunity 100% of us to give 100% away. And so we got 100% to give 100% away. We started last week, we launched it and here's where we're at. Let's see what we got so far after week one 16%. Come on, that's good, we got a ways. Ha ha, ha ha Love it. This guy was my home pastor growing up and he's a Nebraska fan, which is awesome. They won yesterday. Come on, come on, come on. And then a guy who I get to stand on his shoulders and just be blessed by him. So here's a question for you all right now what do you think the chewiest candy in the United States is? Think about that. All right, you got something in your head. Here's what it is, according to Reddit Charleston chew. So I'm going to ask you guys to just open those up and start chewing that candy there. We are not responsible if you lose any fillings or teeth. That's going to be on you. You signed your waiver when you came in. I'll take your trash. There we go, there we go. All right, so how chewy is it? Pretty chewy, yeah, pretty good, decently chewy. Let's give them a hand. Thank you so much. They'll be chewing through the 30 minutes of this message, and so if you're next to them and you don't like chewing sounds, then maybe move. I want you to think how would you answer this question? What are you going to do in heaven? I used to answer that question two ways. The first way was my totally just kind of wanting to have fun, but yet halfway serious of I hope. So I'd be like I think I'm going to get to golf all the time and I'm going to be really good and it's going to be a lot of fun and every shot will be awesome and I'll never be in a sand trap, right? That was one of my answers. The other answer would be and this is that kind of rightly Jesus answer. We should say something like this we think, right, I'm going to worship and I'm just going to worship Jesus. Now, here's the issue with both of those answers. It's really about what I'm receiving and what I'm doing for Jesus. But what if it's different? I was with a woman from King of Kings who passed away a little over two years ago now and I was with Barbara Klein on her deathbed and in her final days. We were talking and I said she said to me, greg, I had a vision of what I'm going to do when I go to heaven and I said I would love to hear Can you tell me and share with me what you're going to do? And she said I'm going to be serving and caring for all the aborted babies from here on earth. And I kind of took a step and a beat back and I said tell me more about what did you see in this vision? And she said well, we're all going to have jobs in heaven. We're going to have things that we do, and my giftedness and the things that I love are to care for babies, and God has said to me that I'm going to get to care for these babies. I have to admit I had never thought about having jobs in heaven. So I went back and I began to look at the scriptures and I said, well, you always want to test things against scripture. And so I said what does the scripture say about this? And then I realized what, if heaven really is about us doing things serving? Think about this. If you know this, just answer along with me. But Adam was created and then Eve was created to be a suitable helper. If you're not doing anything, why do you need help? In the perfection of the creation account, eve and Adam were to be helpmates to each other. What are they helping each other with? Well, we know that God created all of heaven and earth and gave it to humankind to have dominion over, to care for, to care for this earth and to care for all of creation. They were given the earth to care for it. They had jobs to do in the new or in the paradise of creation. And so what does it look like? When we start to see that serving, that doing right not veiled by sin, where jobs become drudgery, but where we actually get to live out our design, how we're created? That heaven looks like this? Last week we talked about Jesus and love and we talked about all in with love and that God is love. Well, I love this spot that says that you can't say you love Jesus right if you're not willing to serve people. It's impossible to love Jesus and not serve people. That if we have this God who has called us and is love and lives within us, then love is serving out. I can't say I love my wife if I won't serve her. She can't say she loves me if she's not willing to serve me. We can't say we love our children if we're not willing to serve them. We can't say we love other people if we're not willing to serve them. Love is an outflow of how can I serve you? How can I love you? How can I speak your language? How can I meet whatever your need is? And we do that because we love them. And if God is love, then we serve. That whole concept helped me think about. Servanthood is our design for all time, not just something we should do, but something we're actually designed to do. So here's what I want us to do today and, as we think, I want us to chew on this. See what I did there Chew, try some. Chew right. Some of you will get that a little bit later. Let's chew on this for a minute. What does this mean? So today we're going to look at how serving leads us to chew. First, we're called to serve. It's the heart of God, it's eternal and it's a witness. Serving is something we're called to. It's the heart of God, it's eternal and it's a witness. So let's chew on this together. Let's dive in, let's look at what it means to be called to serve, and I think it's important that we recognize that this is a calling for us, that, as Jesus' people, you are called to serve others and to serve the Lord, and that, since this is a calling, this will be something that is actually against our nature. It's something that we'll fight against. It's something also that Satan will try to get us to not do. Galatians 5, 13. And again, as you see the red words, I want you to read those words with me, no matter what campus we're at. Galatians 5, 13 says this you, my brothers and sisters, were to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh. Rather, serve one another humbly in love. Paul writes this to the Galatians and says you're free, and we do. We're free in Christ, but we're called to not use that freedom to indulge in our flesh. This is that sinful nature that actually says we want to serve ourselves first, that selfishness and this is something I fight against. I fight against for myself. This is when I serve my wife, I serve my kids, I serve other people, but I serve them with a expectation of something in return. I don't serve them necessarily freely or openly, or I don't serve them in things that I say, well, I don't want to do that and so I find ways to say no. Or if I do serve, it's kind of like I might bring that up later and be like hey, remember when I did this, and that's that sinfulness, that's that indulgence of the flesh, that's that well, I don't really love doing that. Is there another way I can do this? But we are actually called instead to serve one another humbly in love. And what happens when we live into that calling of how God has designed us and called us to be. We actually, then, have strengthened relationships with those who we serve alongside with, as well as those who we get to serve. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school and that high school's motto was men for others, and I love that motto, especially for teenage boys. It was a reminder to us that they're building in us not only a quality education but, more importantly, they wanted to build a lifetime of generational service, that you are a man sent for others, and so the way they did this is your freshman year. You would have a day of service where you would serve for the day as a freshman. Then your sophomore year, you would have a weekend of service, and in your junior year, they figured that you either drove or you had friends that could drive you, and they would have you take one class per semester, one class that would be serving, and so mine was. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we would go, and we would head out to Rosewood Nursing Home, me and two other guys. And we went to Rosewood Nursing Home, and here's the thing that happened when we served One there was zero status between us, as the guys serving Wasn't well. Some are athletes, some are not, some are rich, some are poor. It was just, we were just students from the school sent to serve. But then we got to meet these people and I remember, 30 years later, I remember this one woman named Dorothy, and Dorothy had these shockingly beautiful blue eyes. She was in her late 80s and if you put her in front of a piano she could play like a concert pianist Gorgeous. Now Dorothy said she was the great-granddaughter of Francis Scott Key. I asked the staff and they said we can't prove it, nor can we deny it, but by her play I believe it. She was great. I also got to meet a guy named Floyd. Floyd was a World War II veteran who had lost his legs. Floyd used to love to tell stories of his adventures in the Navy as a young man and his adventures through his career in the Navy. Floyd was a hero and I saw someone who would give anything and everything for his country. And then I met Larry, who was 42 years old and had been in the nursing home since its mid to late 30s. Larry was a stellar athlete. He was an athlete that played through college. He was an athlete who was successful in his early 20s. He was an athlete who was successful in his career but who also had an addiction to substance abuse that caused him to have a debilitating stroke in his early 30s. Thirty years later, I remember these people, the relationship I had of serving them and being served by them. Tuesdays and Thursdays for one semester was me living out a calling by God To be engaged and empowered, and empowered by others, strengthening our relationship. So you're called. Next in our chew we went from calling to heart, and this one I love. I mean, think about this for a second Right. This is where we look and we say God is so much more than what we ever would have designed or dreamed. I mean, you want to see human religion, religion made up by human being. You're going to have a God who is so far up that it's impossible to be attained to him. This is where the Muslims would look at Christians and say we can't buy into your God Jesus, because God is so sovereign he would never become a human. We have a religion that is not man made. We have a faith that is truly of God, because we are the only faith with a God whose heart is to be a servant, which makes sense that if love produces service and God is love. How could God not want to serve his most loved creation, human beings? Mark 1045 says this about our servant King, jesus. For even the Son of man did not come to be served and to give his life for a ransom for many. Our God is a servant King from the day of creation. Served humanity by providing us all of this world, by walking with us in the proximity of the coolness of the day, by continually being present with us in word and deed and in our voices. Bring him to attention to say yes, dear child, yes, my loved one, our God is the great servant King who said I will walk this earth as a human being. I will serve you by arms wide open on a cross and I will serve you by bringing you eternal life through a victory over sin, death and the devil. That is the servant God we have. See, the heart of God is to serve his most loved creation. That is his heart. You and I have a God that just wants to serve you. Think about that for a minute. That is something that we would look and say is unique to the Christian story, is unique to the reality of all faith throughout this world. In no other faith do we have a God who serves his creation and as God lives within you, his heart beats your heart to serve others. Now we're called to this and when we serve and see that our God serves, first of all, that shows us the humility of our God. How humble of a God do we have? But it also means that we have the humility to serve other people and to be served by people, and again, this is against that flesh, that calling that we have. This is why, peter, when Jesus said I am going to wash your feet, peter said no, no, no, no, no, jesus, you're God, you don't wash our feet. And then Peter being Peter, when he heard the words of Jesus, who said Peter, I have to wash your feet. If you don't let me do this, you can have no part of me. He said OK, fine, wash my whole body, give me a bath. No, peter, you don't need a bath, you're just here for the feet. But our selfishness and I struggle with this, I'm not a the humility of serving like we love to serve, but it is against our nature and this is why we have to continue to seek after the very heart of God. This is why we have to continue to remember that even our Lord and our God came not to serve, but not to be served, but to serve. In college one summer my roommate Seabass was his name is his name, his name is Matt Sebastian, but we call him Seabass. Seabass had rotator cuff surgery and the recovery for rotator cuff surgery is brutal and it's even brutal for a 20-something athlete. And so Seabass asked me. He said, hey, griff, I'm going to stay here in our dorm room, I'm not going home, but would you just help me? And I was like, dude, I'll help you for sure. Well, seabass had his surgery and first, kind of day or two, like I'm doing all the caregiving, he'd be like Griff and I got to go help him and open things up and get his food ready, make sure he's able to eat it and all the stuff and do everything. And like day two, I was like this is terrible, I hate this. I'm not a caregiver Couple. Years ago we were together for breakfast and I just was convicted and I said to him. I said, hey, seabass, I got to tell you I'm sorry and he goes. What are you sorry about, buddy? I said, when you had that rotator cuff surgery? I said I was not a good guy to you, I did not care for you. Well, I wasn't kind and he goes. No, you weren't. Last week I sent a picture of my boot to him because we were supposed to get together and I'm not able to now and I said dude, I'm going to miss out. I've got this boot thing that I got to figure out and his immediate text back was I hope whoever's caring for you is better than you are. But the reality is like our humility. It's hard for us to put away that nature, and so we've got to always press into having the heart of God when we serve, because we have this Jesus who's modeled for us. If God can serve, we certainly can too. And that's where that humility comes in, for us to lower ourselves and say it's not about me, it's about who God has entrusted to me, wherever they are. So we're called, we have the heart, and the next one I love this, I mean, think about this the next one is eternal, right, so called heart eternal. This kind of blew my mind as I just thought about this more and more. I don't know about you, but when I have private conversations with Jesus, when it's like you know me and Jesus and I'm just sitting and like thinking about his love for me. I find myself at some point in there thinking about why Jesus should be disappointed with me. I think about the things that I haven't done, the failures that I've made, the mistakes that I've made, and I find myself going God, why do you love me, like all the things that I've done? And that's Satan. Because the Word of God actually says something totally different. Right, we, in our thoughts from Satan of negativity, put that God remembers all the bad things about us. But let us remember what God's Word says. If you know the rest of this, just say it with me. God says I will remember your sins no more. I will separate you, your sins. As far from you as the east is from the west. They're gone, matter of fact. Let's actually dive into the Word of God and see what God does remember. He, verse 610,. Look at this, look at this passage. God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him, as you have helped his people and continue to help them. I love this passage because here's what the writer of Hebrews says, right, he connects it with justice. We think earthly justice is getting what we deserve or someone else getting what they deserve. They've wronged us. We remember that wrong and we write that wrong. God unites justice not with remembering what was wrong, but remembering what was good. God remembers what you have done. That is good. God remembers how you have served and how you have loved. He doesn't remember the times we haven't. He remembers the good. God has a memory that is eternal and that memory is of what you have done good for loving him and for loving others. That changes the entire script that we could ever imagine. It's not about a weight scale. It's about God seeing only the good that you do as love for him and as love for others, all in the light of Jesus Christ, not to be saved right, but because the love has already saved us of God and now we live out for that. That is the eternal purpose that we have in this and that aligns us with Jesus. God the Father sees Jesus and sees his perfected work and gives that to you and I. And God the Father says to Jesus this is my son, whom I loved. And Jesus presents us to the Father and says Father, here is my servant, you and me. And so when we are aligned with Jesus and we serve. It's a small picture of what heaven will be like. It's a picture of what eternity is like Us serving one another, us serving our God, and as we serve, is that picture of life, together, walking together forever? It's that picture and that reminder that we do this and there's no status. There's not CEOs and middle managers and hourly workers. There's not rich or poor, there's not young or old, there's people of God. That's it. It's a picture of what our eternity will be like as we live out that paradise, that new heaven, that new earth. So we're called, we have the heart of God. It's for eternity. And then we get to be a witness. We get to be a witness of the light and the love of Christ. Matthew 5.16 says this in the same way let your life, let your light shine before others, that they see your good deeds. The light of Jesus Christ shines out from us. This is Disney Elementary, when we showed up and we said for us there's not separation of church and state. We as a church will go everywhere with the love of Jesus Christ. And we went into a public school and we said we want to love you. And so we provided a teacher lunch for their first in service day. And then we showed up the next month and provided school supplies for the students. And we showed up the next month and we had a snack cart for the teachers and the kids. And we showed up the next month and the next month and the next month to where the principal said you know, when you first showed up we thought this is nice, it was a great one-time thing, but you showed up and you never stopped showing up, you kept serving, and we said this is different, you're for us and we wanted to know more about you. This is the witness that creates a positive change in the world. This is why city serve is such a powerful week, because our city sees a church who is not denominations, but instead a city of churches who walk together and who show up to firehouses and parks and neighborhoods and to nursing homes and to schools and to lives, and who say we're here to serve, with nothing in return, just because we love. One of my favorite movies is Schindler's List and if you remember that movie or recall it, the very last scene timeframe is Mr Schindler standing on the railroad tracks and he pulls out his wedding ring. He says this could have saved eight more. And he looks at something else and he says this could have saved 10 more and he's falling at the thought that there is still more he could have done to save more lives from the atrocities of Hitler, germany. Imagine if we looked at serving as something that God has given us to chew, that we're called to, that it's hard, that it's eternal and it's a witness that if we look at our 720 hours a month and we say, what if we just did one hour to make an impact, that if we discovered our design and if you don't know how God has designed you to serve for eternity, take our spiritual gifts inventory test online. It's on the link tree, on the QR codes on your seats. You'll find it in our next steps room, but take it. No, how has God wired you to serve? Because he has for all time. And finally, let's just go and show the love of Jesus, as we're all in, physically, financially, to make a difference eternally in the life of somebody that he has entrusted to you. Today, I want to take a moment and recognize those that are doing this in our very own midst, If you're wearing a city serve shirt or if you're signed up to serve this week in some capacity and didn't wear your shirt, it doesn't matter. Just stand up right now. Just stand up. If you're serving in city, serve this week. Stand up right now. Let's get the house lights up just a little bit and I want to have a prayer over all these people, because they're a model for us of what it is to chew with Jesus. Lord God, I thank you and praise you for the calling we have to be the heart of God, eternally designed to serve, and a powerful witness of your love to those who see we're different, that we're all in with you. We love you, lord Jesus. Lead each and every one of us each day to see how you've designed us to serve forever you and on behalf of you and each other. In the name of Jesus, all God's people said amen. There are Charleston chews for everyone as you leave today, and let's also praise God for our city. Serve servants. Let's stand up and let's continue to worship and praise our God this day.