“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant , even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
The point is: GOD IS MOVING OUR CHURCH ONE MILE IN ORDER TO EXALT JESUS AND GIVE GOD GLORY.
I’m not sure that I can say that I have put Jesus Christ first in everything that I have done. I have had a couple of weeks to search my soul about it, and honestly I must confess that too often it’s been more about me than it has been about bringing glory to Jesus. But, I can say with complete assurance to you today, “I pledge that with all my heart and in all my efforts that will be my first priority.”
This is not the same commitment of asking “What would Jesus Do?” before every decision I make. It is a higher, more eternal quest. Asking the question, “Does this act, or this desire bring glory to Jesus?”, puts life in proper perspective. That is what I desire with all my heart. From now one, I want my life to glorify Jesus.
That also is the priority question we should ask about our relocation. How can we in our new place exalt Christ and bring glory to God. Does this paint, does this sign, does this parking lot, does this wall, does this classroom bring Glory to Jesus. Do you not agree that there should be at least one place on Mundy Mill Road that does that? Will our place be that one place?
In the ancient city of Rome, a golden milestone was set up in the city and from that center stone every milestone in every direction was measured. It was the preeminent milestone of the Roman empire. Astronomers tell us that there is one fixed star in the heavens. The North Star never moves. It never changes. All other stars are measured by their proximity to this one preeminent star. In Washington D.C., all the downtown streets and avenues run toward the Capital. The Capital, not the White House, Not the Pentagon, Not the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital building is the preeminent location in the Capital of our nation.
Should Jesus not be preeminent is everything we do, especially in the place where we worship, study His word and serve in His glorious name. He alone deserves to be preeminent at Grace.
As Jesus completed the work of redemption through His sacrifice on the cross, he was gloriously exalted to the position of 1st born and heir of God. We are born into Gods’ family through the blood of Jesus and thus partakers in Christ’s glorious inheritance. The wondrous inheritance of Christ exceeds anything this world can measure. How do you measure your worth as a child of God?
The place where God will relocate the ministry of our church will demonstrate the value we believe our inheritance in Christ is really worth. I do not think God’s word is talking about what can be measured through dollars spent, or the accommodations this place offers. The primary question is: “Will Jesus be seen and will His glory be apparent when folks look in this direction, when they drive into the driveway, and especially when they walk through the doors? Will the glory of Christ be bigger and greater than the bricks and mortar? Will people be compelled toward and won over through His glorious inheritance. When people step out of the world and enter Grace church, will they feel overwhelmed by His glorious inheritance they experience in this place?”
We must never underwhelm people when there is such a glorious and wonderful inheritance available to anyone who trusts in Jesus.
Jesus is the master designer—the architect of everything that is. The gospel of John says, “Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:13).
When we think about Jesus and the glory which belongs to Him, we must put things into proper perspective. Colossians tells us, “…For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were create by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-16). All creation was made “BY HIM AND FOR HIM.” Nothing that is made stands apart from Him.
The apostle Paul personalized God’s ownership and authority over our lives when he said, “…you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20). We are not our own. We are His; we belong to Him. When it comes to our church, this place is not our place. This is God’s place. It was made by Him and for Him. So let’s ask ourselves as we work toward our relocation: Will the place where God plants our influence and testimony be His place.
This is not just another building or location. We are not to blend into the landscape or become just another place which line this highway. This place is special. It represents a testimony to the Glory of Christ. Our property and building must possess the presence of Christ. Jesus is exceptional. There is no other like Him. We must show Jesus as He is. He is creator. He is master and Lord. We must show everyone who takes the time to look this way, He is our God and He is worthy of all glory.
Can we ask, before we consider what it will cost, or what it will take to accomplish; can we ask how will it bring glory to Christ? Let’s determine right now to make this our first question, “How will it magnify Jesus?” If we and not find a clear and direct answer to that question, let’s do something else.
Is it possible for the radiance of God’s glory to be seen in this place or even One Mile up the street if people do not see it in me? None of us would disagree that Jesus is the radiance of God glory, but do we radiate Jesus/are we high-beam examples of Christ. I want you to see Jesus when I preach. How is that possible if I do not spend time with Him and stand before His glory before I stand before you?
We are to struggle against the darkness. Darkness is everywhere and people are being forever pulled into the mire of its despair and hopeless darkness. The most important part of what we do together as the people of God is lift up the radiance of Christ. He is the spotlight; the total revelation of God’s great glory.
Jesus is our one and only Savior who has already overcome all the sins of the world through His blood. He is exalted at the right hand of God and, “…he upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3b).
Should He not be exalted in our church both here where we are and then up there where we are going to be. He is our Lord. He is mighty. He is our one and only king.
I was reading an article by C.S. Lewis this week. He wrote, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to refresh and to rebuild your house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the broken fixtures replaced and stopping the leaks in the roof. He is tearing out wood that has cracked and become dry rotted. You knew that those jobs needed to be done and so you are not surprised.
But then he starts knocking the about in a way that astounds you and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The answer is that he is building quite a different house from the one you have grown accustomed to. He tears out a wall and makes a room bigger. He changes the layout and adds a room that you did not expect. He puts an extra floor and runs up towers. You expect your house to be improved as it is, but Jesus is thinking of a palace. The difference between what it was and what he builds is that he intends to come and live in it himself.”
I now have a different perspective about upgrading my home. The most important question now is, will Jesus feel at home in my house? Will Jesus be pleased to dwell in me, or is there something that needs to be changed before he moves in? I think that God wants Grace Baptist church to make our house fit for the King of Kings and the Lord or Lords.