Meet Jesus - Grand Opening Service
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

Meet Jesus - Grand Opening Service


 No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus is for you.
He loves you. He is with you. You can be fully known and fully loved and have a
relationship with God. Stop trying so hard and receive an identity given to you
by God. When real people meet the real Jesus lives are changed forever.

So today, it's all about when realpeople meet the real Jesus lives are transformed, lives are changed andevery time someone comes in contact with Jesus there's, always a next steplike even for you today. When you leave this place, there is a next step foryou, you're, going to do something next, hopefully it's getting home safelythrough the snow, and then it's sit on your couch and turn on the TV orthere's something next for you and we all have something next in our life,don't we for some of us, it's big things and forothers, it's small things and what we put in those categories really changes.Doesn't it I mean? Maybe a big thing is is moving into a new house or getting anew job or or having a child or or maybe a small thing is. What am I goingto have for breakfast tomorrow or do I have to take my car in for all Chans? Iforgot whanever. We have these big things. Wehave these small things, but we all have something coming next and the beautiful thing is that God isworking in your life and in your friend's life and your family's lifeand people that we don't even know, God is working, and he has something nextfor you and for them and the funny thing the way that itusually works is that what we think is next for us isn't always what God has next for us, and so that's why we say we want toconnect you to God's next step for your life. Not just you know your next stepfor your life, and so we want to turn our attention everytime we get together as connect as church to the Bible to the word of God,because we believe God speaks to us through his word and the Bible isn'tjust a book. I mean it is, but it's a collection of ancient documents thatwere written to three thousand years ago by all these different authors overall this course of time and from all these different cultures andbackgrounds. I mean it's amazing that this book has been preserved. They werecollected and put together and it tells the one single unifying story of howGod created the world and the first man and women they disobey God and SinEntered into the world, and you know that's why there's things like virusesand that's? Why there's things that aren't right in the world? That's whyyou can't live up to your expectations, all the time, let the lone theexpectations of God, because there's this thing called sin, and God knewthat and he sent his son Jesus Chrict to this earth to livea perfect life, the life that we should have lived, but we just couldn't live.He lived it for you and he died on the cross in your place, was buried androse again the third day, so that anyone who believes in him can haveeternal life, their sin, forgive them their life transformed like that, couldbe yours and that's the story that we read all throughout this pible and wecome in contact with this Jesus. This God hundred percent got a hundredpercent man who lived on this Earth and he interacted with people like you andlike me, and every single time he interacted with somebody. He had a nextstep for that person, and so, if you have your Bible, encourage you to turnwith me to Luke Chapter Eight, and if you don't have your Bible, that's okay!You'll see the words will be on the screen behind me, but we'd love to giveyou a free Bible on the way out. If you would like one, and so we have some inthe lobby for Outo grab, but in Luke Chapter Eight we meet Jesus coming to aman and he had to cross a river across alake to get there and it's amazing because we see they arrived at theregion, the garisenes across the lake from Galilee. Now what the previousverses tell us and it's so appropriate for today, I love it God had this allplanned out is Jesus had to go to the...

...other side of the lake. He told hisdisciples. We have to go to the other side of the lake. There is a man overthere that I need to go see what he didn't tell the disciples, what thatwas that they had to go through a storm, a really really bad storm, and nowthese disciples they were fishermen, they often lived on the water, theyknew storms when they saw one and they thought they were Goingna die, and so they went down into the boat because they were allafraid. They're GOINNA die, we're GOINNA die, we're Goingno, die andwhere's. Jesus he's sleeping Jesus is sleeping under the boat andthey wake hem up. Jesus. Aren't you worried about me? Aren't you worriedwake up then, and Jesus is like where's your faith. I love that question. Where is yourfaith? You Little Faithor, you come on you're better than that andJesus gets up and he stands on the edge of the boat and faces the storm, and hesays peace be still and the wind and the waves and the snow stops and the elements listen to this Jesus and they went through a storm to Getto this man, and let me tell you todaythat God will get through anything to get to you. He brought you here througha snowstorm and a pendix nostorm, because he is speaking to you and he isworking in your life. He made you log on your computer today because he isworking in your life and he is going to get through whatever he needs to getthrough to come after you, because he wants a relationship with you. He lovesyou and he so much desires to be with you. He will get through anything to be with you and so Jesus and the disciplesarrived in the region of the garrisenes across the lake from Galilee, and thenwe continue reading that as Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who waspossessed by demons came out to meet him for a long time. He had beenhomeless and naked living in a cemetery outside the town. So what you'retelling me that Jeus went through a storm to get to a naked homeless manliving in a cemetery, and God had a next step for that guy. You better believe it. You betterbelieve he does, and as soon as Ho saw Jesus this guy, he shrieked and felldown in front of him. Then he screamed. Why are you interfering with me Jesus,the son of the most Tigh God? Please? I beg you. Don't torture me for Jesus hadalready commanded the evil spirit to come out of him, and this spirit hadoften taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and putin chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wildernesscompletely under the Demon's power. Jesus went through that storm to go,find a naked homeless man living in a cemetery, and you might not identifywith that too much. But let me just tell you: is that don't you oftentimes, don't Ioften times go and live in dead places like we keep going to that place. Wekeep going to that thing. We keep going to that person and there's just no lifethere like we just keep going and doing the same thing, hoping that this timewould be better, but there's no life there and, like this pattern ofthinking that we have we're just we just stuck in it and there's just nolife there. We oftentime spend our life living in dead places Andand when we not have our bodychained up like this man had and he had superhero strength to break throughthese chains, but can't we oftentimes, don't Ioftentimes lose control of myself and lose control of my emotions andexplode in anger or lose control of my tongue and say things that I wish Inever would have said see. I think...

...we're a lot more like this nakedhomeless man living in a cemetery, then we might think at first glance and yeah. We might not get the wholeidea of Vemons and, what's that all about- and I think in our culture inour world today we're a little too quick to dismiss the influence of thespiritual world but again just if that doesn't all make sense to you. That'sokay. We still are figuring stuff out together, but just think about theimpact that these demons had on this man and how much of an impact we alsohave experienced in our life as well, and so Jesus goes on and he asked thisman. What's your name and the name that he responded with is really interesting.His name is Legon. Does anyone know what a legion is a Roman Legion? Thereare troops of like five thousand people, and so inside of this man it might besafe to say that there was five thousand demon. FIVETHOUSAND influences fivethousand people within this man, and my question to you is how many of you are there now you're like? I think I thinkthere's one of me. Like that's a weird question: okay, are you the same person wherever you go?Are you the same person at Church as you are at school, same person at homeas you are at work, or are we trying to play thesedifferent personalities these different? I got to fit into this group and I gotto fit into this group and and h how many of you are there, and this is even made even more of athing now that we live in this social media world, because guess what youcould put any profile picture you want of you on any social media site. I meanyou could be buffed with bustles or you could be skinny and and fit, and andthat could not even represent anything of you at all. How many of you are there? Are you thesame in person as you are on all those different social media sites, because Ithink there's something powerful about being good character of being who you are andknowing who you are and knowing who God says you are, and so this man thatJesus went to go see his name was Legon and he was filled with many demons andthen it's amazing. What happens? Jesus told the demons to leave this man.Jesus was healing this man and the demons they knew who Jesus was, and sothe demons they're like don't destroy me. You know, Send Me, send me intothat herd of pigs over there. There's many pigs will go into the herd of pigsand then so. Jesus did that the the demons went into the HERDOF pigs andthe herd of Pigs Ran, ran off the cliff into the water and drowned just reading the Bible people. You knowit's a really interesting book. It's really really awesome and one of the bad jokes that you could have titled this sermon wasthe swine flew. You know the swine, it's good on so many levels. You knowit's good at so many levels, but the pigs teld. They all went in thewater and T and they drown and so and so look what happens next.The people rushe out to see what happened. I bet they did all those pigsflying off the cliff, a crowd, soon gathered around Jesus and they saw theman who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus's feet, fullyclothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what hadhappened told the others how the Demon possessed man hade been healed, see when this man met Jesus. His lifewas completely transformed. He was...

...healed of what he was dealing with andnot only tdid Jesus take care of his internal demons, but he also took careof him on the outside and clothed them, and he invited him into a relationshipand they're spending time together enjoying time together and Jesus offersthat to you today like right now thathealing that relationship that one with each other and I'm going to give you a moment atthe end of the service that you can nail that down. If you need to do thattoday, because Jesus so much desires that for you and that's what he did forthis man, he healed him and then, unfortunately, all the people in the region of thegarrisines beg Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave offear swept over them. They're, like you just killed. All of my pigs, like you,need Tho o leave here because where's all my money right. If thoseare my pigs, that's that's a huge investment. That's that's all of mylife savings. That's my what I own and you just you made them gall disappear.Jesus you need to get out of here, and I think sometimes it's so difficult inour life is like we love God. We think God's Great. You know when things aregoing well, but as soon as he starts putting his hands on those places inour life that we are holding onto oftentimes our money, oftentimesrelationships, those things that are comfortable, those habits that we havean God starts working there, we're so quick to say God. I didn't want that.You know like please go away like like. Yes, you healed this man. Yes, youchange his life. Yes, it's amazing Beter, it's a little scary, it's a little toomuch, and that's what these these people thatI mean the obviously the results were so clear and yet they were still afraidand they told him to go away. So Jesus returned to the boat and leftcrossing back to the other side of the lake and the man who had been freed from thedemons vegged to go with him, and wouldn't you I' en naked homeless man living in thecemetery completely healed clothes relationship with God, butwhich one. Doyou want right? I want to go with you, Jesus, you change my life, you forgatemy sin. I got a relationship with you, you care about me. You love me at thisis awesome. I want to go with you. I want to be with you, I loved you. This is answer because he says he sent him home saying no thanks.Jesus go back to your family and tell themeverything. God has done for you, so he went all throughout the townproclaiming the great things God had done for him, and I love this next step that Jesus tells this man, because init we see so much o the heartbeat of what we want to be as a church, asconnect US churches that we want to go to places where people are hurting likethat, man was like, we want to show up there and we want people all differentkinds of people to encounter Jesus and have their life completely transformed.We want people's lives to be changed, to be healed to be in a relationshipwith God, and we want to connect people to their next step as individually aspersonally as we possibly can. But then, as Jesus said, no, you can' come with me. Like he'ssaying we want you to encounter Jesus, but we also wantyou to join us, but we want to send you...

...out like we want to send you back toyour friends to your family. Like yes, be here with us. Yes be around, butlike our goal, our mission, our desire, is to send you out back to your family,to your friends, to your coworkers, so that you can tell them about everything.God has done in your life that you can travel everywhere. You go with the nameof Jesus on your lips and that your life can be evidence that God isworking in your life and he's transforming your life and changingyour life like that's what we want to do, but I realize that it's much easier to stay in theboat, because so often we're afraid that man,I just I'm just not sure if I have the right words to say or what, if I saysomething wrong, and I lead someone in the wrong direction. What what? If Iopen my mouth and start talking about God and- and they start to think differentlyabout me or I might lose them as a friend like these- are all very realthoughts and maybe excuses that we use about against following God and sharing our faith, but I think maybe the most powerful wayto overcome some of these fears. Some of these questions and doubts is don'tjust tell people what happened like that's powerful ight tell people whathappened but tell people what God did like that's that's different, becausenow you're connected to the source, the one that brought the transformationthat brought the life trains that prought the healing that brought theforgiveness that brought the relationship you're connected with theperson, the one that's making the difference and you're sharing aboutthat person that you know that you met that changed your life, and that makesall the difference in the world, and maybe this morning and Ren Rightnow, you're just thinking you know, I don't I'm not sure if I have thatconnection with God, like I don't have that that relationship with the sourcethat one who transformed my life. That way, I'm just not sure- and let me just say to you like thereis no better place for you to be than right here and right now. We are soglad that you are here. We started this church for you and after the service weres. This thingthat we do every week called first step and it's where we invite those that arenew to the church that were connections with where we do those things thatwe've been talking about over and over agains. We want to get to know youyou're, not just listening to me talk from the stage, but I'm planning to sitdown and hear from you. You get to talk to me how cool's that and then we getto hear your story and answer your questions and do anything that we cando to connect you to God's next step for your life, and that happens everyweek after the service when we have a space dedicated to that. And so, if youhave questions about God about faith about how this all works about, whatJesus does like. I invite you to join us there after the service and then inthe weeks to come and that's a great time to nail down your faith. Butsometimes some of us just need a moment a moment with God a moment to just sayGod. I Trust you God today is the day that I'm starting a relationship withyou, God todayis the day. I understand what you've done for me, and so I wantto give us an opportunity to experience a moment like that. There was a church.There is a church in in Oklahoma that put together this song that I thoughtwas such appropriate for closing our...

...service. Today, it's come as you are and like this man that we've beentalking about in our story and naked homeless man living in a cemetery, he had nothing to offer. God and Jesusshowed up in his life because Jesus loved him, he went through a storm toget to him to change his life and I believe, thet very same thing about youand your life is that God is coming for you and you don't have to change a thing. L He's Commong for youand when you meet Jesus he changes your life. You can come as you are, but he'snot going to leave you as you are, and so I encourage you to stand with me.The words will be on the screen as we sing together and we're just going tohave a moment of thanking God that we can come to him, no matter who we areor what we've done.

Man- and that is the heart of thischurch of this moment, and I want to invite my beautiful wife to come uponstage with me to close us out today. This is Alicia, so hide o everybody.Everybody Allesa this church would not be possiblewithout her. Me would not be possible without her,and I just love you so much and I'm so thankful to celebrate this day with you,you're, amazing and she's, the best physical therapistI and many others know and the most caring individual, and so in thismoment I asked her to stand up here with me and stand with me in inviting you to consider where you are in yourrelationship with God, because this is what holds us together. It'swhat we're here for and we want to introduce you to Jesus and to have himchange your life and- and we want to be a part of that and so Jesus, the Godcame to this biarth lived the perfect life in your place and died on theCross to pell the penalty for your sin. He was buried and rose again the thirdday, so that anyone- and that includes you- can put your faith and trust inhim and be saved, be forgivand, have a right relationship with God, and youcan have that right now and the lisshouldn't I stand here and say wewant you to have that. So if anyone is making that decision, I encourage youjust pray, something like this God. I know that I'm not perfect. I know thatI'm a sinner, I know that you died for me, God, I'm trusting in you today isthe beginning of my new life with you amen, AF, Hey! If you prite, somethinglike that. I'd love to celebrate with you. Would you just maybe raise a handlike this? Let me see you like hey. That was me like. that. Was For meHeyman Eyman I'd see ou brother. I see you like that's for me. That's so awesoe. If you're online justsent us an email at Info. I connect US church. Tot orgo go to connect USchurch, dot, org an you'll find a way to contact us. We love to pray for you. Sometimes we just need those moments tojust say me, and God are right not because of what I've done, but becauseof what Jesus has done for me, and so it's a beautiful moment and again,thank you for standing up here with me because we're inviting you to not only take your next step tofollowing God and whatever that looks like, but we really want to be a placeto be at church, be a community AF family. Where we do this together werewe can stand with one another through anything that we go through in life andbe there for each other every step of the way, and so thanks so much forbeing here and taking that first step and we are so excited for every day.Every moment. Every week, every month,...

...every year of this church of connect USchurch accomplishing its mission and leading people to Jesus and connectingpeople to God's next step for their life. Aren't we Ey man? Well, Hey! Thank you. So muchfor being here.

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