The Purpose of One
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 5 · 2 years ago

The Purpose of One

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Do you have a greater purpose to live for? Jesus prays that we would be one just as He and the Father are one. What an incredible purpose! Living in unity shines a light for all to see.

No matter what gets taken away from you, even if you experience physical death here on this earth, there is a way for you to never ever die. When you put your faith in trust in Jesus Christ, you receive the free gift of eternal life. And this eternal life is not just a quantity of life for the future, but it's a quality of life that starts right here and right now. We're all facing these uncertain times together and our worlds are being turned upside down, and I hope that it has made you at least pause and reconsider for a moment how your relationship with God really is. Do you do you have a relationship with God, and if you do, you know how is it going? Where is God in all of this? Because because we all want to live, but but why? And we've been told to stay in our homes and many parts of the world and you're going to save lives. But but is being physically healthy the soul purpose of living? Let me say it this way. When when we introduce ourselves to people in the past, you know, you would say hey, hey, my my name is Kevin, and then then you usually say another statement that came you know, next and say hey, my name is and Phil in the blank. And and you say and I am A and. And what comes next is usually your your title, your job, what you do. So I would say hello, my name is Kevin and I am a pastor or I am planting at Church. Maybe for you you would say, you know, hello, my name is and, I am retired, or I am a stay at home mom, or I am a healthcare worker or a doctor nurse, I am a teacher, I'm a truck driver, I'm a mechanic, you know. I wonder what would you put after that statement? What would you say that you are or what who you are? You say, Hey, this is this is me, this is hello, my name is Kevin, or whatever your name is, and then you would say something after that defined you. I wonder now what that would be. So just take a moment and write you're a hands into that question in the chat. Find...

...the chat right in there your answer, the to what you usually say or what you usually do at after you say hey, this is my name, and this is the next sentence that I usually say. I wonder what you would say, and so I type that in the chat. This is practice for later in the message. Remember that I encourage you to chat away while I'm talking during this message, because I can't hear you. It's a it's a great way to engage with one another. And if you're watching this at our lifetimes, I'm right there in the chat with you, and so write this in the chat and this practice. Remember, I you got you should talk to the person that you're sitting next to you if you're watching this with somebody, because I can't, I can't hear you. But hold on. What was that? What did you say? No, just kidding, I I can't hear you at all, and so I encourage you write this in the chat. So we may still have our names, but what if we don't have that thing that comes next, that that title or or that John Position? What if we don't have that financial stability that we once did? What if we can't go out and do what we feel like we want to do? I mean there's there's got to be more to life than then just staying at home and watching Netflix all day. So today we begin wondering about what it means to really live with purpose, right here and right now. What is your purpose? And then you know, when things sort of get back to whatever the new normal will be. I hope we can continue to live with a great, great or purpose. So, if you had your Bible with you, I encourage you to turn to the Book of John, the Gospel of John. One of Jesus's closest followers recorded what Jesus did throughout his life and put this in what is now called the gospel of John. And if you turn to John Chapter Seventeen, that's where we will be in our time today and before we jump right into these verses, and just want to set the stage for you. and Jesus has has planned this this time with his disciples before he was soon going to die. And so Jeus and disciples are up in this what they call the upper room, and Jesus does something amazing. The leader, the Lord, the one in charge, the the god of the universe, he he gets off his chair and and he does the job of a servant. He washes his disciples feet. And then one of his disciples goes off and and betrays Jesus. And Jesus then predicts the denial of Peter Saying Hey, you're not going to say that you're a...

...follower of me in the coming moments. And when I needed you the most. Then Jesus goes. I want to say that he is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father but through him. He then predicts of his death and burial and resurrection and how he was going to ascend the heaven and come back for his disciples. It's a truly amazing passage of scripture. And then Jesus does something pretty incredible. He prays. He prays for them, and John gives us this window into the prayer that Jesus prayed for the disciples. And what's truly amazing is that Jesus includes the disciples that would come after his current group of guys that he was with in his prayer. That prayer includes you, it includes me and Jesus is praying for us. So it's a really, really incredible passage of scripture and it's often called the upper room discourse. So why do I tell you all of that? Well, it has a purpose. It's so that you understand the context of this passage and so that it really makes sense to you as best as it can and it impacts your heart and your life so that your life can be changed. Did you catch those two important words? So that. So that is a purpose. Phrase indicates what's coming next. has is the purpose for why you said what you said or did what you did. So that John Records Jesus saying this phrase so many times in his prayer in John Seventeen, and I just quickly went through and pulled some of those out and put them on a blog post on our website and the link will be in the comments below. But Jesus is praying with purpose and it included in this passage of scripture and his prayer are these words. He says. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. That's me, and I hope and pray that that is you. I pray that they will be one, just as you and I are one, as you are and me, father, and I am in you. You may have heard this prayer before, Jesus saying something like it. I want you to be one. You know, unity for any group or any organization, any team, is a really great value to have, a really great goal to have, but as a church like the church should be the best place for unity in the world. Jesus prayed for it. Why? Did He pray for it? What is the purpose...

...of him praying for us to be one? Well, he wants us to be one because it reflects the very nature of God. And will continue to dissect all what this means throughout the rest of the message. Jesus wants US, the church, to be one because it reflects his very nature. And notice how Jesus here praised that we would be one and have unity, but not necessarily have uniformity. See, there's a difference between the two. Unity implies that people are different. There are our diversity going on and there's a lot of things that are different, that are physical, that that we can see, that our external that that are like things like our height or our age or our skin color or the way that we look at and there's a lot of things that are different about us as on the inside that we can't really see. and Jesus praise that throughout all of even though there's all of these differences, that we can be united, that we can be one, not that we all look the same or talk the same or like the same things and agree on everything, but that we would be united in our diversity. Unity requires diversity, and yet there's still a magical, maybe mysterious way that all of these different things can be made one. And it's a picture of the very nature of God, who is one God, a united God made up of three persons. I mean it's hard to wrap your brain around, it's hard to wrap my brain around, but three persons being united together in such a perfect way. The very nature of God is a relational God, perfect unity amongst the three persons of the Godhead. But there is one God. So this might be a little bit of a difficult question to kick us off today, but we're talking about unity. I wonder if you have any examples or images in your mind of what unity looks like between people. Maybe maybe you're thinking of when people dance in a beautiful couple's dance. There's a great unity that comes when there's there's multiple people but they're doing something together as one or or when an orchestra has just right on time and all of the notes and everything sounds just right, or when a teen is is playing a sport well and they're just functioning together all as one unit. So just take a moment now in the chat, warm up those fingers and write something...

...that you think of when you think of unity. What's a great example of unity, shared example of people that are united. So it might be a little tricky, but think about it. M I look forward to engaging with you in the chat and then we'll see you in a second. So now, a little earlier in his prayer, Jesus praised for protection. Who feels right now that they need a little protection from God? A little protection in your relationships, or protection for your finances, maybe protection for your sanity? I know that I do. Jesus praise this. He says, Holy Father, you have given me your name. Now protect them by the power of your name. Why? So that this is the purpose statement. They will be united, just as we are. Jesus prays for protection, but he doesn't pray for protection from any of those things we just mentioned. Not Your finances, not your relationships, not your sanity. Jesus Prays for Protect Action From Division. See, God wants us to be united, to be one, because it reflects the very nature of God to protect us from that division. Because we want to be united, we should be united, just as Jesus and the father are united. See that they're always be differences among people, people that have money and people who don't. People that have that education and people that don't have as much, people that want to go outside and go around and people that want to stay home, people that are afraid and worried and people that don't seem to know even what's going on, people that want to go back to work and people who tell people that want to go out and protest and people that think that's the worst thing in the world. There's always going to be differences between people, but in the body of Christ, everyone is welcome and we're all going to be diverse and all going to be a little different, but everyone is welcome and we're all can be at all should be united, not because of what we do, but because of what Jesus has done for us. That is the real key, the real treasure of being one, of being united. Think about who in your world is a little different than you. What can you do to promote unity with...

...that person? What is one way you could promote unity with that person that thinks a little differently than you or believes a little differently than you, responds to the situation a little differently than you? We can be united because of what Jesus has done for us, but as we read in this prayer. The you know, the enemy wants to attack, he wants to make people divided, to pull US apart, to get in the way of our relationships, and we can't ignore it when people do evil things, when when they are so mean to each other, when they slander and talk bad about each other like we gotta confront that evil. We got to deal with it because when we're going through situations, God often shows up by sending a person, by sending someone to be there with us, and those moments and and those are often times the people of that we reject and that we fight against and that we butt heads against. And and whenever we fall into those different situations of financial hardship or mental health or parenting or job or trying to figure all of that out, and God sends someone there with us, we need to embrace them and walk alongside of them. And they're there. God has set them there for you, for a reason, for a purpose, and that's just a beautiful reality of the body of Christ functioning as one, of working together, of being united, of building each other up. But I know that people are scary. I came across this African proverb that I think sums up this idea really well. It says this. It says when I saw him from afar, I thought he was a monster. Just picture someone you know out, you're looking out over the horizon, you see that that thing up from afar and it just though, you know, looks like a monster. But when he got closer I thought he was just an animal. But when he got closer I recognized that he was a human and when we were facetoface I realized that he was my brother. And I think now, in these moments, this is something that's becoming a real, real problem, that there's so much division, physical division, like people are in their homes and not going out, not seeing other people, not getting close to people, not getting face to face with other people, and because of that walls are being built up and and groups are being formed and and the vision is happening. And we need to realize that. We need to get facetofaces as much as we can, because when we do that we see people more like a...

...brother of who they maybe really are then when we see them from such far a distance and they look like a monster. You know, physical distance or relational distance is so important, and just think of how social media has made the world so small, like I can be friends with, you know, hundreds of people in a country that I've never even been to. It's just an amazing time to be alive. But we also need to remember that when we're posting on social media, like it's like standing on the corner of a sidewalk with a megaphone and just shouting at people, like getting up real close in their ear with their megaphone and just yelling at them. And and there's only certain things and that you would say in a moment like that, like you wouldn't say different things to someone up close and up personal. And Right now, you know it's a text message or a phone call or a video chat, and those types of communication that the world doesn't hear or doesn't see. That's when we start to see people more as who they really are, as as your brother, than then the enemy or or a monster when we're so far apart. And so I wonder in these moments, what is one way you've been able to stay connected with a friend or family member? Rachel, answer in the chat right. One way you've been able to stay connected with a friend or a family member. And I'll see you back here in a couple minutes. So why is this connection with others so important? Well, because Jesus praised for it, because it reflects the very nature of God, and it's important because it is a sign post to the world of what God is doing and what he can do. It's a it's a witness to the world. Jesus was praying for these disciples that have been with him for three years and he was about to send them off to do what exactly he had been training them, commissioning them to do. He was about to send them into the world on mission, and I love what an author of this book called the genius of one right about this time. He says that they would get their hands dirty in the world, loving and serving this world, convening and sharing with this world without being mistaken for this world. He did asked for his father for a bland, homogenized unity, but rather a hodgepodge of redeemed humanity to show the world something outrageously wonderfully different, so distinctly different...

...that it would cause the world to take notice of God's offer of redemption. Jesus is inviting us into this eternal dance of love between the God the Father, God, the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And this is what this dance looks like. He says. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one, as you are in me, father, and I am in you. He says again, I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know there's that purpose statement, so that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. If we're going to accomplish our mission of reaching the world with the good news of what Jesus has done, then we need to be united. We need to have that unity within the church. We need to have this deep relationship with Jesus, with God, that this deep well that we're pulling from, and the closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to other people. So the father is in the son and the son is in the father, and Jesus also talks about in this upper room discourse about how the Holy Spirit is God and he has a special role, in a function to play. And we need to be one as a church, just as they are one as God. And so when we do that we reflect the very nature of God and we are are a signed post, a witness to the world about how we can be one. And so when you put your faith in trust in Jesus Christ, God says that he sends his Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead Trinity, to live inside of you and through the spirit, you have a special relationship with God. This is what this could look like. You have within the God circle here there is one God, but he's made up of three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And when you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you, to dwell inside of you. And look what happens here. Because of that special unity, you now have an amazing unity with the son and the father, this relationship. You've been invited into, this perfect God relationship that has been existing for all of you eternity and will continue for all of eternity,...

...and God and his his love, has has invited you into this type of special, united relationship. I don't know about you, but I want the world to know that they could have this type of relationship with God. You know, people try all different kinds of things to be right with God, to to live up to God's expectations, to they go to church, they say the right things, they say the prayer, they do, the the actions, or or maybe they feel like you know, they've tried to do that or and they didn't work for them and now they've totally given up on God and they don't want anything to do with this anymore. I want everyone to know just how much God loves them, no matter what they've done or what they've tried, or how good they are or how not good they are. Jesus died for them. Jesus gave his life for them so that they could have this special relationship with God and a perfect united way. So when you trust in Jesus, he gives you this free gift of eternal life, which Jesus defines that this is the way to have eternal life, to know you god, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to Earth. And so there's this beautiful connection between receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your savior and knowing him. There is a beautiful, unifying relationship that happens when you have eternal life. And so the more that we can dive into this relationship. The deeper we can get into this relationship with Jesus, then the more united we will be with other people who are also diving into their relationship with Jesus. And so we might be very different than those people, but if we're both pursuing Jesus, then we will be better united. And so when we do that, when we are united, even though we might be a little different than we are reflecting the very nature of God and we are being a powerful witness to the world. And so Jesus praised for this. Let's shoot for it and let's talk about what is one way you've been intentional about developing your relationship with God recently, because the closer we get with God, the better relationship we have with God, the better relationship we will have with others who are also pursuing this relationship with God. And so in the chat, what is one way you've been intentional about...

...developing your relationship with God recently? I'll see in the chat and then I'll be back here. There wrap it up for us and just a minute. So I want to close our final segment today by thinking about where we are going as a church. My goal is always going to be to have our groups functioning and living out life together as best as we possibly can. But these next couple months is going to be really important as we kick off these weekly groups. And what are these weekly groups going to do? Well, we're going to pray, we're going to care and we're going to share Jesus with people, and so all of these concepts go together, but each one will take a look at special during the upcoming months, and so this month we're going to specially look at prayer, next month we're going to special look at care and the next month we're going to special look at sharing. And so we want to equip you as a as a church. We want to equip you to do whatever it is God is calling you to do and we encourage you to share your faith even live out this great mission that God has given each one of his followers. But I believe and I realize and I that this mission can only come from a deep rooted life giving well of a relationship with God, and so we want to help you develop your relationship with God, to go deep, to to really have a lot to draw from as you're talking with people, and that's that's ultimately you know, that's what we talked about, that's what we think about. that. Hey, we have to have these conversations with people. We're going to talk about our faith, we're going to talk about Jesus and like, but that's got all come from somewhere. And so before you talk to people about God, I encourage you to talk to God about people. So Jesus praised for us and he gives a great example of what this prayer, what this talking to God looks like. You know, it's not just the one way monolog to God. What we listen to God. We have this conversation with God, and when we get closer to God and we have these conversations with God, it develops our relationships, when we get closer with God and and we get closer to other people who are also doing the same thing and as we have as a church, this amazing unity even through diversity. Right, that's when the best unity happens is when diverse things come together in a perfect, great united way. Then the world, then the mission, then the people up can see this amazing thing happening, they begin to get curious and and be surprised by...

...the unity that we can have and Jesus praise for this. And so, no matter what's going on in your world today, seek unity with everyone. Why? Because unity reflects the very nature of God and because unity shines a light into the world for all to see, and God draws people into relationship with himself through it. God uses our unity in a very, very big way in our lives and in the lives of others. So maybe you're watching this today and you're not quite sure where you stand in your relationship with God. Well, I want to give you an opportunity now to just nail that down. See, God's love for you is incredible, because even though we've sinned and fallen short of God's perfect standards, God still loves us and and offers us a relationship with him. And this only happened is not because of what we do or what we try to do, but because of what Jesus has done for you. When Jesus died on that cross, he paid the penalty for your sin, and we know that that payment was sufficient, because Jesus died and then he was buried, but he came back to life. He overcame sin, he overcame death, he overcame the grave and he offers to each one of us this free gift of this of eternal life, as we've been talking about it, of knowing God, of having this amazing relationship, intimate relationship with God. And and I just wonder, do you know God like that? Do you have that relationship with God? Maybe right now, in these moments and whatever you're doing, just asked you to consider maybe right now you want to start or or restart this personal relationship with God that's made possible because what Jesus has done for you. And so if that's you, just I love to hear about it. I love to get your information, to have a personal conversation with you. Maybe just type something in the chat that's saying, Hey, I want that relationship with God, I want that personal relationship with God. If you're watching a church online, you can click the button and respond in that way. But right where you are, in the quietness of or the craziness of wherever you're watching this, just say a prayer something like this. God, I want a relationship with you. I realize that it's not perfect or or I've made mistakes, I've fallen short, I've sinned, but I believe Jesus paid the price for that sin.

For me, I believe that Jesus died for me and he rose again to to give me new life. And today is the start, or the restart of my relationship with you, God. I want to trust in you, I want to believe in you, I need you in my life. God, help today be the start of something brand new in Jesus name. Amen. Hey, have you prayed that prayer or something similar along with me like that? I would love to hear about it. Just let us know. Fill out that connection car connect us, church, doorg connect, or type it in the comments. I want that relationship with Jesus or reach out to me or the church through whatever other means. You can go to our website. You'll see all this stuff on there. And so, for all of us, I pray that we would have this amazing unity that reflects the very nature of God and is an incredible witness to the world.

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