I had a video that I was going to use in the introduction about Steve Gass, the inventor of Saw Stop. Trish convinced me that it was a little too intense for Sunday morning, but if you really want to see a guy put his finger into a table saw blade, here it is (truth: even I wasn’t going to show ALL of it!):
Finally, I am grateful to one church member who fact checked my illustration about William Borden, and showed me a couple of points I was wrong about. First, William Borden was not of the Borden dairies family. Those were different Bordens. Second, while Borden’s life fully exemplified the “No reserves/no retreats/no regrets” attitude, there has so far been no Bible found that actually had those words written in them. I’ve linked to two articles about Borden: the one I used as my source for the illustration, and the one that was sent to me yesterday.
I am so thankful for a church family that digs into the Scriptures and the sermon for themselves. The people of Glynwood are like the Bereans in Acts, who “received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) You are a joy to pastor!
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Romans 8:11 ESV
I’ve always jokingly wished that I would get a new body. An upgrade. Something more Chris Pratt-like (“Guardians” Chris Pratt. Not “Parks and Rec” Chris Pratt).
But if I truly believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, then I choose to believe that in my glorified body I will look and be exactly as God intended for me to look and be, without the negative effects of age, disease, pollution, decay, environment, athlete’s foot, and Klondike bars. And somehow, in a way I can’t even fathom, it will be glorious yet still recognizable as me. And people will look at me and say, “my God.” Not in the casual, flippant, offhandedly blasphemous way we use that phrase today, but in a way that expresses awestruck wonder for the God that could resurrect such beauty from such ashes. People will recognize me, but they will recognize Christ in me with none of the flaws that distort and hide Him. And the only thing that will keep them from falling to their knees on the spot is that Christ will be seen in everyone else as well. And maybe the reason we will not grow tired of worshiping the resurrected Christ, even when we’ve been there ten Thousand years, (bright shining as the sun), is that we will experience him in ten thousand million different ways, expressed through every unique, glorified saint.
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s time to pay the piper.” There’s some dispute on the origin of the phrase. One theory is that it comes from the story of the Pied Piper, who was promised payment by the village of Hamelin to get rid of all the rats in the village by playing them a tune. When the village refused to pay, the piper lured all their children away with the same tune. (I guess the moral of the story is that children and rodents are both attracted by the same things). Another source says the saying comes from the practice of paying the musicians at the end of a gig. If you enjoyed dancing to the music, there comes a time to pay the piper.
Regardless of the origin of the story, there is truth to the meaning. If you make a promise, you need to pay. And if you have enjoyed the music, you have to pay.
In our church, both of these are true. We approved an aggressive, forward-looking budget for 2018. A budget is basically a promise that an organization makes. And with this promise comes the possibility for a lot of great ministry for our church and our neighbors. Mission trips. Community outreach. Evangelism initiatives. Exciting stuff. But in order to fulfill that promise, we need a certain amount of revenue each week. So far in 2018, we have fallen short of that revenue target each week. Not by much, but a weekly shortfall will add up over the long haul. So, in order to fulfill our promise, we need to pay the piper.
It is a genuinely exciting time to be at Glynwood. I am still basking in the afterglow of our Founder’s Day service, where Glenn Brock reminded us of our roots as a church. But there is a sense that we are getting focused on the future. Response to the “This is Us” sermon series on Sunday mornings has been really, really encouraging. After every service, I’ve heard enthusiastic responses from people who want to do something with what they are hearing. Community outreach. Block parties. More worship services. Increased focus on meeting the needs of both church members and folks in our community. It seems as though people are dancing to the music! So again, we need to pay the piper.
Our Fourth G, which you heard about this weekend, is We Share our Gifts. You will hear a lot about stewardship of our time, talents, and treasure. Let’s be a people who are rich in generosity because we serve a Savior who has richly blessed us!
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Right now I’m going through a daily devotional with several friends from church that is based on John Piper’s Life in the Spirit. It’s ten days of meditation on the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. This morning I was struck by this line from Piper:
God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith.
Pastors and teachers are always looking for fresh metaphors to help us understand the Holy Spirit. This sentence made me think of a new one:
When a fighter jet locks in on a target, the computer helps the pilot stay on target, no matter how many shots the enemy fires at him. If he gets off course, the targeting computer corrects him.
If you know me, you know I am a huge Star Wars fan. And if you’ve seen the original movie, you remember the scene of Luke making his final attack run on the Death Star. His targeting computer is locked in on the tiny exhaust port. He’s about to launch his photon torpedoes. Suddenly he hears the voice of Obi Wan in his head: Trust your feelings. So he switches to manual and lets the Force guide him.
It would be tempting to stop there and say, “See– that’s the Holy Spirit!” But there’s that troublesome line: Trust your feelings. And that’s the problem. Your feelings will get you in trouble. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things.”
I need to not do what Luke Skywalker did when he switched off his computer and trusted his feelings. My feelings can and will lead me astray. If (in this very random analogy) the Holy Spirit is my targeting computer, then I’m never gonna blow up the Death Star by switching to manual.