Welcome to Grace Summit!
Sunday Services at 9:30 and 11:00 am
Grace Summit Community Church is a nondenominational church which focuses on authentically living out what the Bible teaches. It’s also a church with a big heart—toward its members, guests, and those in our community.
Grace Summit leadership and members desire to make a difference in our world by demonstrating through our lives that God is real, that He loves people and that He wants a relationship with each person. The mindset of “making room for more” underlies the plans and activities of Grace Summit as we strive to include and connect with more people in all we do. We’d love to have you be a part of what God is doing here at Grace Summit!
This Week's Message
Let’s pray – Lord, thank You for this day – and even to be outside… we bless You for all You are to us – our king – and we come as Your servants. I ask that our thoughts and actions and attitudes would represent You well and that people would see in us the Lord Jesus Christ shining through. Thank You for placing us in the context in which we live – we were chosen for this time.
Last week we looked at how to develop a growth mindset – the New Testament connects the concept of fruit/growth with love – to have a growth mindset is to have a love mindset and to learn to love as Jesus loved. That is what it means to grow in our Christian life. It is not just doing everything, but learning to love God. Let’s Pray… wait – I already did that.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 3:16 We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians.
How can Jesus’ example be implemented in our lives.
Back to Philippians 2:
2 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy,
If - = if and because – this is an identifying marker of the church – the DNA of the church should be love, unity, compassion, mercy and action – that is how the church should work. It should be what is noticed and expected and seen in relationships in the church…
2 complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.
He is getting at – like John Luke Piccard – in STTNG – Make it so…
This is what it should be like… make it so.
Just do it! Comfort/fellowship/mercy –
How does this happen?
3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity
(the negative – what NOT to do – if you want love to be the pattern – we must first deal with selfishness, pride, and ambition – the desire to be noticed – ambition – self/pride – those will erode your ability to love others. You can’t be seeking praise and be loving others. It is something we must relinquish from our lives – but it is such a habit – to want to be noticed, and recognized – we have to let it go)
, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 4 Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.
5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had,
This is the mindset – maintaining the proper mindset – and then He gives us the pattern of Jesus – and how it should apply to us.
who though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
Jesus, because He is God – He has certain rights and privileges, but He doesn’t hold onto those – He doesn’t exercise those, He releases them and empties Himself and becomes a servant for the benefit of others. This is the pattern of Jesus and this is the pattern for us – like a formula:
If and because of A, then B and C…
a) as Jesus understood His rights and privileges, in every circumstance and every relationship – practice this pattern. Ask, what are my rights and privileges in this circumstance or relationship – in this specific situation…
And then second – once you discover those – don’t hold onto them.
Most family quarrels and problems are the result of rights and privileges – someone not getting what they want in the relationship – and what Paul says – we need to let go of it – not grasp onto it – saying wait a minute – I deserve this.
A) Rights and privileges
B) Don’t hold onto those
C) Set them aside for the good and benefit of others.
So you set them aside to benefit others – whether in a marriage or a family or at a church picnic! Really – can I set that aside? How can I benefit others?
This book I’m reading goes through this – example after example – how to apply this pattern of Jesus to our lives.
1 Cor. 6: 7 The fact that you have lawsuits among yourselves demonstrates that you have already been defeated. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Someone wronged someone else in the church – and it was so severe – that legally – they could sue. Paul is saying – you have that right – why not rather be wronged – set aside your right – don’t grasp it – why not rather be cheated for the benefit of others. That is radical in our world. Why not rather sue?! This is not about whether to sue someone – but about relationships in the community of God.
1 Cor. 8: 13 For this reason, if food causes my brother or sister to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause one of them to sin.
This is not about vegetarianism – but about food sacrificed to an idol – and Paul is saying – I can eat whatever I want – BUT – I set that aside – I don’t grasp it – because it may cause a brother or sister to be offended – and if that is the case – I will never eat meat again.
Philemon is a disciple of Paul – someone Paul brought into the Christian faith – a wealthy man – and he had a slave named Onesimus – and O runs into Paul and becomes a Christian – so Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon.
Paul has authority to order him – but he lets it go…
t. 8 So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, 9 I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—I, Paul, an old man and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus— 10 I am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, Onesimus,
18 Now if he has defrauded you of anything or owes you anything, charge what he owes to me.
Not only does Paul release his authority – but also – to offer to pay for anything.
This is the pattern – this is the habit – for someone in leadership – it is not about you. In the land of The Bill of Rights – this is a radical demonstration of love. I think we could have more impact in the world if we were into forsaking our rights – it is all about rights here – and we need to attack that – surrendering that.
Positive aspects – think – where are my rights and privileges and how do I set them aside –
When people drive cars – they have so many rights and privileges in mind – be it a parking spot or whatever – there are opportunities to apply this pattern.
1 Thess 4: 9 Now on the topic of brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 1
God initiates love in us. He is teaching us.
Knowledge makes arrogant – love builds.
Is what I am saying or doing building other people?
1 Thess 5:11 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.
We are entering a political season that lasts 12 years… and there is more tearing down in political campaigns than anywhere else.
Does what I am doing build others’ identity, value, and self-worth?
I think that has to come through understanding, affirmation, and empathy.
Is what I am doing and saying building others’ character? It comes through encouragement, instruction, and loving confrontation.
Does it build faith? It is challenging and yet inspiring? Do you inspire people? This is not a personality – but a skill and a character quality – and it is something God wants us all to learn.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.
Christ like love will always involve loving enemies.
If you have been here any amount of time – you have offended people and you have been wronged. The only solution for this is forgiveness. Never pay back evil for evil – it solves nothing.
Forgiveness is hard, but s a perfect example of this pattern. When you have been wronged – that person owes you a debt. The pattern says – don’t grasp onto it – release it – and we do that by releasing the other person for their good – so we are releasing the debt without payment.
That is what God calls us to do.
Galatians 5 3 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.
This chapter is about slavery and the law and freedom in Christ.
It leads to love.
We think we need to serve because someone needs to do it – but Paul is saying we are free to serve! We don’t have to – we are free to!
I am free to do this stinking lousy job that no one else is doing – the emphasis is on the I am FREE!!! Many jobs are stinking and lousy. Going to the cross was. It was not glamorous – it was filled with shame. Complete and utter shame and Jesus bore that. And now it is a symbol of glory.
Gal. 6: Bear one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ.
We need to bear with one another. People sin – and you need to bear with that. People will trespass and offend – and we need to carry that.
He bore our grief and sorrow. It is hard to bear someone else’s pain – we have enough pain of our own – but God wants us to bear others’ pain – in our bodies, in our emotions – in our patience. Sometimes it is hard to be patient with people who are filled with sorrow. We want them to get over that sorrow. Jesus bore our sorrow. He bore our judgment – have you ever thought about that. He bore our weaknesses in sympathy and understanding.
This is the New Testament mindset –
Let’s pray – Lord, thank You for Your grace and kindness – and that You are always there, and You take care of us. We ask for Your blessing – help us to love as You loved us – in Your name we pray – amen.