Thankful For You (1:3-5)
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Thankful For You (1:3-5)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It's all about FAITH in Jesus, HOPE in eternity, and LOVE for one another. Do people think about those things when they think about you?

... I did this, everyone was wasn't prepared. But if you're watching online, you can recline in these seats in our church. But sometimes what's cool is when we read the Bible, if you can stand for the reading of God's word, it's always a neat thing to do. So would you stand, take a second to unrecline your seat, if that's what you're doing, and just stand as we read these words together in honor of God's word to us today. God says this through the Apostle Paul, to this church and colossity. We always pray for you and we give thanks to God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God's people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the good news, and it's certainly good good news. You can be seated, but I wonder today, what do you always do like? Are you always going to the beach for vacation? Are you always being a little crazy in life? Are you always with little ones around? Things are a little hectic? You always busy? Always facing chaos in your life? Are you or he or she? Are you always getting in a little trouble? What are you always doing? When somebody tries to get in touch with you, get together with you, what are you always up to? What are you always doing? And maybe you got together with somebody recently. You're at them all together and you're like telling somebody, Oh yeah, I was with soand so today. Oh Yeah, she's always, he's always. What are you always doing? Because in our portion of scripture today we see Paul and his Buddy Timothy, but they're always praying for you, for this church and clossity, and he's always giving thanks to God. He's always praying and he's always giving thanks. How do you always pray? Like if prayer is like you sit down and you close your eyes, you fold your hands and you talk to God like you literally cannot do that always, right, but it's a good thing that that's not...

...exactly what prayer is. Certainly there's an aspect of prayer that is you know, you want to get in the right posture, you want to obviously talk to God and that is a portion or a part of what prayer is. But prayer in its most simplest form, without any of that stuff, is talking to God, just simply talking to him. How many of you talk to yourself? Anybody want to admit yeah, all right, there we go some honest people today. We all have thoughts in our mind. There's theirs, thoughts running through our mind. We're talking to ourselves all the time and I just wonder how many of those thoughts do you also direct to God? Because God knows what you're thinking about, God knows what you're worried about and stressed about. But how often do we keep those thoughts to ourself? We should talk to God about those things. And when we talk to God it's not just a one way communication. It's not just you talking like you have to close your mouth and you have to listen to what the other person says, or else you won't have a conversation, you won't have a very successful time talking to somebody, because ultimately this is what God wants with you. He wants a relationship, a time where you talk back and forth, when you listen and when you talk and when you listen and you build that time together, that time and conversation together, and you know it is so hard, maybe impossible, to have a relationship with somebody if all you're doing in that relationship is formula. You know what formula is. If I ask the right thing, if I say the right words, if I say it at the right time, then, if then, then God's going to give me what I need or what I ask for, what I want. You know, if I just say it this way, if I if I do it this way, then God's going to like, that's not relationship, that's form you imagine if you did that with those closest to you in your life and you were just like asking them for stuff, asking them for stuff, asking them for stuff, asking them for stuff. Can you do this? Can you do that? Can you do that? Can you do this? Eventually the other person is going to be like get away from me, crazy person. But how often do our prayers, our conversation are talking to God, just involve asking God for stuff like he's some genie in a bottle? You know, you're rubber than you ask. You know, God, give me this, or like a vending machine where you press the right buttons and you get exactly what you ordered right. That's that's not relationship, that's formula, but praying, praying, is relationship, and talking to God. Building that relationship is something that should happen all the time, wherever you are, and...

...so I am encourage you. Invite God into your daily life, whenever you're driving to work or you're walking down the hallway to your office at home. Invite God into that space, into that time, into what you're thinking about, into what you're worried about. Your boss gives you a new task that you not quite sure you know what to do with. Invite God into those thoughts, into that part of your life. Maybe your home after dinner. You're trying to relax, you're trying to rest. You invite God into that time, into that space where you can talk to him and listen to what he has to say. Paul, as we read here, he was always praying, and I wonder, are you always praying or are you like me that you could be praying more? I think we could all be praying more, especially if we're supposed to always be praying. There's a verse that Paul writes in a letter called First Thessalonian, chapter five or seventeen, where it says pray without ceasing. Pause, like don't ever stop praying. It's like what, how do you do that? How do you live your life that way? Well, if you are always talking to God, always saying things to God, directing your thoughts, directing the things that run through your mind, what you face to him, often, all the time, as much as possible, that's a part of what it means to pray without ceasing. But then you might wonder, what if I run out of things to say? I mean, my life is exciting, but there's not something going on all the time. Right. What are some things that we could pray about? What are some things that we could talk to God about? I think in this little sentence here, Paul tells us that we can give thanks to God. In that same passage and first Thessalonians, Chapter Five, verse eighteen, the very next verse, Paul tells us to give thanks in all circumstances for everything. So you can give thanks to God for everything in Your Life. Every single moment of your life. You can and maybe should give thanks to God. You know, thankfulness is one of the things that I kind of I just kind of say thank you. I don't know if you say thanks, thank you, but I just kind of say thank you, and I don't know if it's always the best way to respond in certain situations, I think it's pretty good. I mean, what else could you say, right, what's a better thing to say than thank you? But sometimes sometimes saying thank you like it makes sense right. You know, if you were...

...to come up to me after the service and you're like hey, Kevin, that was a great sermon, it's like thank you, you know, that makes sense right, like that's that makes sense. But like when somebody says, Hey, you forgot to do the Dishwasher, like could you do that? And you say thank you, it's like okay, like thanks for reminding me that I like messed up, right. But then when somebody says to you like hey, you really screwed that up, you really you really mess that up, and you're like thanks, it's like wait a minute, like that's not a compliment, like you can't, you can't say thanks to that, or or can you? And I think that that's some of the idea of how we give thanks. What are we thankful for? Like, what level of thankfulness do you live on? Are you just thankful for the stuff that comes to you that you asked for? Or are you thankful for even the most difficult things, the terrible things, even the the horrible things, and it's like I can be thankful for that. I think you can. One of the reasons why I think you can be thankful even even the hardest circumstances is, do you member where Paul was when he wrote this letter of Colossians and about s s? Something made the do you where was he? Does anyone know he was in prison? And if you can be thankful in prison, I think you can be thankful when you're not in prison, even in the bad stuff, even in the not so good stuff, and we can be thankful to God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, because everything comes from God. I love one of my favorite things that my daughter Zelah says is thank you. It's so cute, so beautiful. Thank you, and she doesn't say many words, but she knows how to say thank you. And when we're in the kitchen, you know our island or peninsula is a little taller, she can't reach up to grab stuff on the counter and you know she wants something up there. She Ah, you know, asking me in her own one year old baby language and me as the big guy that can reach down on to the table. Maybe she's asking for something that it's mine, I can grab it and I can give it to her and she says thank you and it's so cool, it's so awesome. But do we do that to God? Like God's like taking the stuff off the island that we can't reach and it's like here you go, right, right, here you go. Are we thankful for what God gives us? And maybe we can't reach it, we can't get it ourselves, we can't, you know, get there and God's given us all this stuff and we can be thankful. We can certainly be thankful for for that, thankful to...

God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What is Paul Thankful for? Right, he's always praying, he's always giving thanks. What is he thankful for? Well, he's heard about something. He's heard about these people in the Church of Colossi. He's heard probably from his his friend epaphors, that start of the church at colossy. He came down and and sharing all this stuff with Paul. He's heard some things about these people and I just wonder what do people hear about you? Like when somebody says your name. Oh, Oh, I heard that they are so, you know whatever. I heard that she is. What do people hear about you? You know, maybe somebody's meeting you for the first time and you know you're having a conversation. All I'm so excited to meet this person and you're like, okay, I I heard about them. I heard that when you get together with them, like they really care about you, like they'll ask you how you're doing and they'll actually listen to the answer, like like, I heard that they really they love to be with people, they love to hear what you have to say and they're all curious, they're asking questions and they love spending time with people. And certainly they're busy, they got a lot of stuff going on, but they make time for you and you feel like you're the most important thing in their world when you're together with them. I've heard that about about that person. Like wouldn't that be cool if that's what people hear about you? I think it's possible, but unfortunately, what do we hear about people? A lot of times the bad stuff, right. We hear the gossip, we hear the juicy stuff, we hear the stuff that people like to talk about, because that's a lot of times what we face. We like to talk about it. People are interested in that stuff. A bad customer service experience, Oh yeah, I heard that place over there. I heard the boss at that place. I heard, I've heard about them and it's not it's not good. I've heard about your friend, I've heard about that person that over there, I've heard about that family member. You know, those are often times the stories that we hear. But May that not be true of us, that people can hear about you and hear about us as somebody that cares, somebody that loves, somebody that is there. But more, even more than that, when people hear about you, I hope that they hear more about God. What is God doing in your life? What way is Jesus transforming your life, changing your life? How...

...are you living your faith out when people hear about you? Do they hear about that? Do they hear about your love for other people because of how much God loves you? And it makes me wonder, what do people hear about when they hear about connect US church? You ever think about that? If you were to go to someone this week, maybe this is a challenge for you outgoing folks and just ask them, Hey, have you heard about connect US church? Chances are they haven't. That's just the reality of starting something new. Nobody knows you're around. You mean, you've got all the you know everything out there, but you know people people don't know. And even if you were to go up, like come to the movies this week and show up to and talk to one of the person taking your ticket ands I hey, have you heard about connect US churts, I'll probably look at you like, really like there's a church that meets there on in the mornings. Have you heard about them? Maybe you know, like that's probably the level that most people hear about the church's but more and more people every single day, and this is the exciting thing, they are hearing about us. They're hearing about it from you, from what you're doing, how you're involved. They're hearing about it through different events and different ways. We're, you know, in the community and doing some different marketing things. Like they're learning about us. They're hearing about us. What exactly are they hearing? Are they hearing that, hey, they're that cool church that meets in that brand new movie theater? Are they hearing about how you know when you walk into the lobby its smells like popcorn. Are they hearing about like the great worship team that we have or the friendly smiles that you know? What are they hearing about? I just wonder, because what Paul heard about from this church and Colossy is that he heard about their faith in Christ Jesus and their love for all of God's people. Paul heard about their faith and their love and I can just imagine. This isn't in the Bible, but I can just imagine a paphirst coming to Paul and you know, he's a telling Paul all of these things about his church, about all these people, and I just imagine a story going something like this when when epaphirst comes and he's like, Paul, you can't you can't believe this. He's like, when I moved to Colossi I got this house right like right in the middle of everybody and and I go on walks every single day and I'd pray for everyone around me and, you know, I'd say hi and I'd smile and, you know, I learned the dog's names and it was so cool, like I just got to meet all these people and most people, you know, kind of smiled and waved and kind of moved on, but there was this one person, this one person that kind of just stopped and responded a little bit more...

...to what I had to say, like he was interested in talking to me for some strange reason, and we just got talking and one thing led to another and sure enough he was sitting on my back porch and then before I knew it he had shared his whole life story with me and then he got to this part and his story where he was just like facing some hard things. Right now. I don't really know where to go. I'm not really sure you know what I'm supposed to do, and it's just I don't know, I don't really know, like do you know? And a bapers is like a God. Are you? Are you watching this right now? It's like open door, and epaphus just starts telling him about Jesus, about how there was this this man who was a son of God, that that came to this earth for him, that that died for him, that that rose again to give him life, to forgive his sin, to give him a right relationship with God, and this Jesus is is true and it's amazing and it's everything that you could ever need and ever want. And then the other guys sitting across the tables like cool, I've never heard about this Jesus guy before, and at Paphras is like yeah, it's awesome, like you should, you should certainly like look into this dude. Do you believe in him? The do you want to follow him? And the other guys like, I think so. And then they prayed and man, and then like nine months later, this guy's like grown in his faith like crazy. I mean he's attending the church, he's studying his Bible, he's reading this Bible, he's learning how to pray, he's sharing his faith with other people, he's loving other people. And epaphrast shows up to Paul and he's like, I can't wait to tell you about this guy. This guy's faith is incredible. This guy's faith like he didn't know anything about Jesus just like nine months ago, but now now he's like he has super strong faith and he's living it out and it's amazing. Don't you want to be a part of stories like that? And I think whether or not you believe it, if you're listening to this message, you're you are, like there are some of those stories happening right now in this place through you, and it's so, so cool to be a part of. Like Paul, heard about their faith. They're strong faith in Jesus, and I think people should hear about your faith. So I want to give you opportunities to talk about it, talk about what God's doing in your life, talk about the ways that you are growing in your faith. How did you come to faith in Jesus? What are you doing to serve him? You know, how are you passing on what God's given you? Like we want to give you opportunities to continue to share those things, because people should hear about your faith in Jesus. But your faith in Jesus is more about more than just your vertical relationship with him. It's more than just like I have a strong faith in God, I have a...

...strong faith in Jesus. Like that strong faith should work itself out into your relationships with other people. There is certainly a vertical individual aspect, like we each need to have our own faith in Jesus for what Jesus did for us. We need to believe that for ourselves. We need to trust it for our self, but it cannot stay and it doesn't stay only with yourself and between you and God. It goes out and affects the people around us and Paul heard about that. He heard about their faith in Jesus and their love for all God's people. So I wonder, do people hear about your love? It's a little bit of a deep question, but when somebody thinks about your marriage, do they just look at it and say, man, they really love each other, like like there's just something about them, they just love each other? Or maybe you're significant other or person that you're close with right they just are overwhelmed by the way that you love them. Like do they hear about do they experience that type of amazing, deep love? Or how about our church? You know, we talked about earlier what people might hear about us. When they come and experience it's like, Oh cool, we get to have church in a movie theater, we get the smell the popcorn, we get this huge screen behind us. You know, there's a lot of things that people can know. They see the flags outside, you know, they they all of those things, but the thing that's going to make the biggest impact with people is the way that we that you love them. Like, when somebody comes here, do they see your love for one another, our love for one another? Do they just feel that love? And this is also important, do they feel like they can be a part of it? Because if you're new, it's hard. You know this, like how do I get into this? Right? But if there's love for one another, they're going to be attractive it to it. And then if we're open, if we're welcoming, where we're come on in, where there's room for you too, that's when it's beautiful and it's an amazing type of love that that makes a huge impact on somebody's life. So we should, we should live this way, we should pray all of the time, we should give thanks for everything, we should have a strong faith in Jesus and we should love everyone perfectly. And if we can do that just a little...

...bit, just a fraction of what might be, you know, good like that would be a huge difference. That would change people's lives, like, seriously, it would. It would. It would be amazing. But thankfully Paul doesn't leave us with these kind of points about how to live without telling us where it comes from. Do you want to know where it comes from? One person. All right, this is for you. This is for you. Where does it come from? It comes from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. Are you confident about God has reserved for you in Heaven? You can be, because he's reserved it for you, he's paid for for you. It's yours and you've had this expectation ever since you heard the truth of the good news. So it comes from this way of living, comes from a confident hope and what God has done for you, what hat he has for you. And it's based on the truth of the Good News, the truth. The Sad, hard, difficult thing about reality is that most people, most of us, if we're honest, don't always believe the truth. We live our life oftentimes based on a lie, the opposite of a truth. It's one of the other is true. Words not so. So what do you do about that? Right, because to you it's not a lie. Of course you wouldn't believe a lie. Of course it's true. Right now, this is this is reality, this is true. But that's why we should always be checking what we believe, check in what we what we're doing, checking where are we're going through, because it's so easy to stray away, to believe something else, to build our life, our confidence on something else. And there's so many people in this world, and maybe it's maybe this is you too, but you are so successful, like life is good you. You've got the right job, you've got the right relationships, you've got the right place to live, in the neighborhood you're living in, and you've got it all and you know you've you've developed some skills and abilities that are amazing. You know you've done all these things, you have all this stuff, but you're the one that's done at all and you've disconnected everything in your life from the one who gave you. Remember that thankfulness thing, gave you the ability to do all of these things. And so you've built this empire, you've built this wonderful, amazing, providing thing, and it's great and it's also really heavy, like...

...this is your thing, this is what you did, and eventually, the weight of this thing that you've accomplished on yourself, by yourself, it will crush you eventually. It might not right now, it might feel good right now, but if it's your thing, if it's all about your skill and ability, if all about your knowledge and and your connections and us all about you. Eventually, that thing that you're working so hard to build, it's going to crush you. And that's the lie you could be believing that I'm good, I got this all taken care of, my life is great. Eventually the truth will play out, the reality will come, the reality will happen. So that's why we want to connect our experience of our life with the reality of the truth, the truth of what the the good news. Do you know what the good news is? It's the Gospel. You Know What the Gospel is? I hope so. It's the fact that God sent his only begot, the son Jesus, to this earth, the dial on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin, a payment that you cannot make yourself. He was buried and he rose again the third day, overcoming sin, overcoming death, and so that anyone who puts their faith and trust in him, because that resurrection proved everything he said and everything he did was true. If you put your faith and trust in him, you will be saved, you will have eternal life, you have what will have? Your Sin. Forgiving like that is amazingly good news. It is great news, Life Changing News, but most people haven't heard that. And sure, maybe they've heard the words, maybe they've read it in a book somewhere, but like heard it where it, where it made sense to them, where where they actually got to experience all that that means and all that that does in their life. And so for us that understand that, for us that get it, that we need to go out and to tell people about this amazingly good news that they're missing out on. Maybe, like you, can tell somebody that you can be saved, you can be free, you can have a right relationship with God, you can be forgiven, you can be born into the family of God, you can be a son or a daughter of the king of kings and the Lord of Lords like this could be you. You could have a place reserved for you in Heaven, a House in Heaven with your name on it. It could be yours. That is amazing good news and it's not because of anything that you've done. It's because of Jesus, and the theme of our series, Jesus is enough. You can put...

...your confidence, your hope in all of those things because of what Jesus has done for you. And so Paul heard about their faith, their faith in Jesus Christ, their hope, their expectation of all the things that come with faith in Christ. Where's your faith? We all have faith, we all believe in something, we all build our life on something. What you have faith in is so important. Faith in faith is not really good. Faith in spirituality. That's a common popular thing of today pop you know, spiritual. I'm spiritual. Things are spiritual. That's popular today. Maybe you've heard the phrase I'm a man or a woman of faith. Okay, faith and faith and what? Right? What our faith is in is so important, and I love this one. To colleges have like departments set aside for like spiritual life or you know, what does that mean? Right, I can be in a million things. What do you have faith in? One of the commentaries that I'm using in this series. The commentary is just somebody writing their comments about the Bible, so then you can read it and make sure you're on the right track. But one of the commentaries I'm using talks about this idea that this little banter back and forth in US thought it was so good. He asked somebody like what do you believe? It's a good question, right. What do you believe, and the other person says, well, I believe everything my church believes. It's okay, that's not really what I was asking, but like, okay, let's let's continue the conversation, right. What your church belief and the other person's like? Well, me and the church believe the same thing. Like now you know there is so much more to your faith then just faith and being a part of a church that calls itself somebody that encourages you to have faith. Like our faith needs to be grounded, needs to be built on the truth, the truth of Jesus and the truth of what he's done for us, which is the good news of the Gospel. Like we need Jesus, we need a relationship with Jesus and from that relationship, that vertical relationship with Jesus, comes outward into...

...the all the horizontal relationships in our life. It affects all of those things that that love about, all those people, and it gives us this amazing life. It produces this type of life that I think you want and I think it produces a type of life that even your family members want, people in our community want, they're striving for it, they're hoping for it, they're looking for it in one way or another, and you and me and we we have the answer. We have the thing that they're looking for. We just need to tell them or give it to them, or show them or show up in their life, whatever they case maybe, and so I hope that we can do that. You know, as we wrap up our service and our sermon today, I just want to give you the opportunity to consider for yourself, like where are you at in your faith with Jesus? I have you put your faith in, trust in him alone to save you, to give you a place in in heaven reserved with you, with your name on it? Do you have that? And if you don't or you're not sure, like I encourage you, like right now, they just nail that down between you and God and say, Jesus, I believe you, I trust you, and this moment is a special moment that I can look back on. So what we're going to do is I'm going to pray, I'm going to close our service with just a little prayer and then I want to encourage you that if you'd like to talk more about anything or about your faith in Jesus, I'm going to be up front here to pray with you, and John Muntrell is also going to be up here with me. He's looking too. We're starting to develop some more people involved in the Prayer Ministry and team and he's kind of spearheading that. So we want to allow him to do that. And if you're interested in partnering with him or have some questions and like to get involved, and I encourage you to talk to me or talk to him about it. But we want to pray with you, pray for you and ultimately help you have that faith in Jesus. Because what did Paul do? Always he gave him well, he prayed and then he gave thanks, and so those are two good things that we should always be doing. So let's close in a word of prayer here, Lord Jesus, thank you for the opportunity to talk to you. Lord, even in this place right now, whatever thoughts are running through our mind, that we would just tell you about them, that we would be open and honest about what we're thinking, about what we're dealing with. And, Lord, we believe that you're listening and that you care and that you love. And so I pray right now for that one person or that family that just needs to figure...

...out their faith in you, Jesus. I pray right now that they take the opportunity to say, Jesus, I know that things aren't exactly right. I've made some mistakes, but, Jesus, you love me. You died for me to pay the penalty for my sin and you rose again to give me life, and I believe that I might not understand it all, but I'm trying to just trust you. I do trust you, God, and I want to follow you. So I pray for them and I pray that you would give us all the boldness to to ask for prayer. We want to pray, we want to pray always, and sometimes it's it's good to invite other people into that experience, to invite people into how you are moving and, Lord, we realize today that's certainly we can ask for things, and you ask us to ask you for things, but I pray today that we would, in our prayers, make it more about our conversation, our relationship with you, Jesus, and then it's not a special formula, it's not a say this, do that type thing to get you to do what we're asking God, but that you would get us to do what you're asking us to do, that we would truly believe and trust you, even when we don't truly understand it, and, God we buzz, trust that you will show up in our life to meet us right where we are, with the questions and the doubts and the concerns and the stresses and the worries that we have right now today, and that, Jesus, help us to truly believe that you are enough. I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.

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