Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday Sept 16, 2018
Main Idea– It is essential for every believer to be involved with the local church. At Covenant Church you can know God, find freedom through relationships with other believers, discover your purpose in life, and make a difference by blessing others. Covenant Church is a place to connect, protect, and grow.
- Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
- Proverbs 29:18 – If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Message)
- The word “vision” in this verse can also be understood as “revelation.”
- Anyone can have a vision of something, but not everyone receives a revelation from God.
- God will reveal a vision to those who seek His guidance.
- Covenant Church’s revealed vision is to help people:
- Know Godthrough weekend services that most any person would enjoy.
- Find freedomby developing relationships through small groups.
- Discover purposefrom realizing why God created them.
- Make a differencein the world for the Kingdom.
- When you get to know God, you will get to know who you are.
- God will not bless the you you are trying to be; He will bless the you you really are.
Steward the provision
- A good steward is someone who wisely takes care of what s/he has been given.
- Covenant Church tries to wisely steward what God has given it.
- We measure stewardship not by counting dollars, but by counting the provision.
- Thus far in 2018 Covenant Church has been steward over:
- 1888 salvations
- 238 baptisms
- 4202 graduates of our intensive freedom programs
- 428 new members who are discovering their purpose
- 2407 active volunteers who are making a difference
Do so wholeheartedly
- At whatever place we are in our walk with God, we should involve ourselves wholeheartedly. Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (NLT)
- We are better together. We need each other.
- Proverbs 13:20 – Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (NIV)
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (NKJV)
- Jesus brought the disciples together as a small group as much for their own benefits individually, as for the ministries that ultimately came through them.
The local church is:
- a place to connect
- 1 Corinthians 9:22 – When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ.Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. (NLT)
- a place to protect
- 1 John 3:16 – We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. (NLT)
- We welcome the opportunity to prove our love. John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (NKJV)
- a place to grow
- Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (NIV)
- We discover our individual purpose as we participate in all these things.
- “Free people help to free people.” God has poured into us so we can pour into others.
Accountability is key
- Being accountable to others is key to staying free.
- We all need to have others to whom we are accountable, so we can be healed and stay strong.
- James 5: 15-16 – And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (NKJV)
- The greatest defense against sin isn’t in your strength to say no, but in your commitment to what you’ve said yes.
Reflective Questions for Vision – Part 3
- Reflect on, and share, how the relationships you have in your church have been a source of protection.
- Reflect on, and share, how the relationships you have in your church have been a source of growth for you.
Do you agree with the statement, “The greatest defense against sin isn’t in your strength to say no, but in your commitment to what you’ve said yes.”? Why or why not?