[00:00:00] Well, hi everybody. And man, I just want to welcome you. Thanks so much for being a part of this. I want to begin today by telling you a story. It involves a friend of mine who is a long time person that has been involved in this church for many, many years. And it's a story about when he was growing up and it happened to him in the fourth grade and it had to do with his school and his elementary school had a science fair.
[00:00:23] And I don't know if you can relate to that, but anyway, he tells his story. And basically, this is what he says. He said that he had two friends and the three of them wanted to go in together because they really wanted to win the science fair. And so they thought, and they kind of dreamed and had a vision of what could happen.
[00:00:42] There was one thing that they all had in common and it gave them an idea. What they all had in common was, well, they all had a kind of a common toy. Now, hang on. This is before the day of Legos and before, you know, kind of remote control bots, you know, [00:01:00] and before the internet, and it was a toy that was really common.
[00:01:05] I remember I had this when I was a kid and I know you probably maybe have never seen this but some of you will go, I remember this. Back in the day, many years ago, because he's about my age, by the way, there, there was this thing called the erector set and erector set was these things that would come and they would have these strips of metal and you would bolt things together and you would create things and you would build things like you do with Legos, but with bolts and like you'd build stuff like this, like this truck, you build this truck and that brings back, so many memories because it was really low tech, but it was the way it was. They still make these, by the way, these, these days it's a little more high tech. But the idea was that they would all bring their stuff. They all had these erector sets. They would put it all together and they masterminded a dream of what they could build and they planned it meticulously and they worked hard to develop it and they did it, they built it.
[00:02:00] [00:01:59] And he said, when it was done, it was an absolute work of art. It was a masterpiece. It was stunning. It was incredible. He described it to me. He said it was like this. He said it had everything, it had everything. It had lights that lit and it had motors that hummed and it had pulleys that pulled and chains that tugged.
[00:02:18] And it had gears that turned and it had rotors that rotated. And he said, we were so excited when we built this thing, we were positive we were going to actually win the science fair and they just were dying to show somebody. And so they decided that it would be his mom that would be the first to see it.
[00:02:36] So they covered it up with a sheet. They led her into the room where it was. They made her promise, keep your eyes shut. And then they took the sheet off and they plugged it in and he said, Oh my goodness. When, when it was plugged in, it came alive with the electricity. And so, so they turned it on and then he said, okay, open your eyes.
[00:02:55] And, and the look on her face. He said it was absolutely priceless. It was, it was [00:03:00] incredible. She was speechless. She was in awe. She just couldn't. She, she didn't know what to say. And when she finally was able to say the words just alluded, she finally was able to say, what, what is it? And when she said, what is it?
[00:03:19] He said, well, mom, and she could tell that it kind of bothered them, that she asked So she said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I know what it is. I know. That's not what I meant. I meant what does it do? And then Brian said the whole mood just kind of changed. Cause he said, mom, what do you mean? What did it do? What, what does it do?
[00:03:40] Well, mom, it's doing what it does. Mom. It's got lights that light and it's got motors that hum, and it's got pulleys that pull and chains that tug and, and gears, that turn and rotors that rotate. That's, that's what it does. [00:04:00] And she said, and? And that's it. That's all it does. End of story. That's it. Oh, I need to tell you they did not win the science fair.
[00:04:13] Now that is such, to me, a funny story, but I'll tell you, I've never forgotten. I heard that years and years ago, I've never forgotten it because it's allowed me to think about something that I've thought about so many times. What's a Christian? What is a Christian? Oh, I know what a Christian is, I mean, come on. And everybody knows what a Christian is.
[00:04:31] A Christian. Uh, you'll see. As soon as you see one you'll, it's a, it's a person who believes in Jesus. That's a Christian, uh, what does a Christian do? Oh, come on. That's a, you know, uh, what do you mean? What does a Christian do? Everybody knows what a Christian, a Christian goes to church. That's what a Christian does, it goes to church.
[00:04:51] Unless he's going to the Lake and, uh, you know, they, uh, they, they. They study the Bible. Christians study the Bible, they do it like [00:05:00] in church when they are there, they open their Bible. A Christian prays, that's what a Christian- prays. They pray about, um, uh, stuff they want. And whenever there's a problem, uh, that, yeah, that, you know, all of that kind of stuff.
[00:05:14] That's, that's what, that's what Christians do. And I can't believe you're asking me, what do they do? They, Oh, they argue with people that they disagree with. That's what Christians do. Now, again, sadly, as snarky as those answers were, that is in fact how many Christians are known. That's, I'm a Christian, I'm a follower of Jesus.
[00:05:33] And I go to church and I, uh, open my Bible when the preacher says, open your Bible. And I pray when I have to. And I get in arguments. Is this the kind of believer that God wanted? Is this what God actually had in mind when he created us? Is this what he had in mind when he called us, when he saved us, is this what Jesus wanted from us?
[00:05:57] So we're in a series right now as you know, it's called Foundations. We started [00:06:00] this two weeks ago and we're talking about how to build a how to build a faith that will endure difficult times. It's an appropriate subject for a time like now. And so two weeks ago, we started this series, we were talking about the difference between owning your faith and borrowing your faith. What does a Christian, do a will a real one will always own not borrow what they believe. It will be their own. And last week we talked about the idea of passionately pursuing Jesus, because that's what real, real honest, that's what Christians do. Now, today, we're going to talk about a subject that I fear is going to make us a little bit uncomfortable.
[00:06:37] It's okay. It's okay. It's not gonna be too rough, but it it's something that Jesus talked about, and it's something Jesus clearly modeled. It's not hard to understand. It's not like we're not going to get this. It's just, it's kind of hard to do. It's kinda w we give excuses why we don't actually do this because today we're going to talk about serving.
[00:06:59] Now. I know- [00:07:00] stay with me, ok? Don't go anywhere. We're going to talk about serving, serving others because serving others is a whole huge part of what it is Christians actually do. It's a key component that if you want your faith to endure difficult times, you learn how to serve. And so we're going to talk about that now.
[00:07:19] Let's get after it. Okay. Here's what I need you to do. Get your Bible. In your Bible find the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a little bit harder than the last several books I told you. It's about halfway through the old Testament a little bit more than halfway probably. So find the book of Nehemiah. And find chapter one, that's where we're going to start our journey today.
[00:07:40] The title for the message today is "a heart for others," a heart for others. And the big idea, I'm just going to give it to you right now. We serve God best when we serve others first. Well, we serve God best when we serve others first. Now I want to ask you a question. When you were growing up, [00:08:00] um, what did you want to be?
[00:08:02] You know, it's fun to ask kids that question. What are you going to be? What do you want to be when you grow up? And it's amazing, the answers. You get all kinds of answers. You know, I want to be a policeman. I'm going to be a fireman. I'm going to be a doctor. I want to be a nurse. You know, I want to be a pilot.
[00:08:12] I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a pro baseball player. I want to be a pro-. I want to be, I want to be, I want to be. And it's just kind of fun because being a kid is, you know, you think I can become anything. And you dream about all the possibilities. And often what happens for parents is whenever your kid says that they want to be whatever it is you are, it's like, cuz my son, Jeremy, you know, I wanna, I wanna, I want to preach.
[00:08:37] That's what I want to do. There's something that's incredibly thrilling about that when your kid grows up and wants to be like you, but, um, can I tell you something that, uh, very few parents ever want to hear their kids say that they want to be when they grow up and. I'm just telling you that it's one of it's like when your kid says this, you go, what? [00:09:00] You see when a kid says, I want to grow up to be a servant, a parent immediately would panic go, no, you don't, man.
[00:09:06] You kidding? No, you want to be the one that gets served. You don't want to be a servant, but when a kid says, no, I want to grow up to be a servant, which most kids really don't really say that, you know that, but, um, we try to dissuade them. Uh, you don't want to do that. And yet it's interesting. Now listen carefully.
[00:09:24] I think when we say to God, I want to grow up to be a servant. I think God's just gets a huge smile on his face because he goes, Oh, because that's what we do. It's a desire to grow up and be like my Father. And that's what Jesus was all about. In fact, Jesus, I mean, it just can't be any more clear in scripture.
[00:09:44] I want to take you to the gospel of Mark. Jesus said these words, Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. And whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve [00:10:00] and to give his life as a ransom for many, you see, Jesus basically said, look, I'm going to the way of greatness.
[00:10:07] Now here's the problem because we live in a world that's flipped the values all upside down. And, and that's what I've tried to tell you over and over again, the values of the kingdom of God are not the values of the world in which we live and certainly not the country we live in. They're different values.
[00:10:21] And Jesus says, you want to be great in the kingdom, you got to learn how to be a servant. Well, we don't want to be a servant. But if we want to be like Jesus, we're going to have to wrestle with this. All right. I want to show you something I find fascinating. The early church, the early leaders in the church got the vibe of what Jesus was talking about, they caught him. He just show you something here. So I'm going to see how people would introduce themselves. Paul, a servant of Christ. The greatest thing I can tell you about myself, I want to introduce myself to you. So Hey, this letters come from Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ. So, okay.
[00:10:55] Now you know who I am. I've identified myself. There's no [00:11:00] embarrassment, it's almost like no, the greatest news I've got, this is how it works. Peter did the same exact thing, Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. You see, it's just the pattern. Just keep going, keep going. You'll see it, James a servant of God. No shame- no is the greatest thing I can tell you about me. It's my most important quality is I'm a servant of God. In fact, whenever you wanted to compliment somebody, it would often be in the context- well, let me show you this. Okay. So in Colossians 1:7, it says, well, you learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant.
[00:11:35] Yeah. He's one of us. It was never a derogatory thought. It's like the highest compliment you could pay someone that, yeah, he's, he's a servant. And it's interesting because when we're willing to consider the implications and ramifications of being a servant, it means that we're really willing to try to become what Jesus came to show us life was about in the kingdom. Now, [00:12:00] In the second chapter of the book of Philippians, there is this incredible truth revealed about verse five on down to about verse 11, about the incredible thing God did for us. He emptied himself, Jesus emptied himself of all the glory that he had, he surrendered all of his, his power.
[00:12:20] He surrendered all of his status. And he literally said for the sake of humanity, I'm going to. I'm going to become one of them. In fact, he didn't just become one of us who became one of us who was actually crucified. And the whole idea behind what he's trying to show us is this is the way the kingdom works.
[00:12:36] But just before we learn about that, there's, uh, an explanation of like the heart beat of what it means to be a true follower of Jesus. Now what's a Christian? It's a follower of Jesus. What does a Christian do? He does all kinds of things- what does a Christian really do? A Christian always really does what Philippians two verses three and four says they do. They do nothing [00:13:00] out of selfish ambition or vain conceit rather in humility, they value others above themselves, yourself. All right. Not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interest of others, that's what a real Christian does and puts other people first.
[00:13:16] And we're never more like Jesus than when we do this, which is, which is why this idea that we're wrestling with, we serve God best when we serve others first. It aligns us with Jesus. Now in your Bible, in the book of Nehemiah, there is a fascinating story. I've just got to tell you up front. I don't have time to go into all the detail of it.
[00:13:36] I wish I did. I just can't. But I want to just give you a basic feel of what's actually going on. Here's a couple of things you need to understand. In 587 BC. Um, the, the, the Persians, the Babylonians, they th that was called the Medo-Persian empire, they came and they conquered Israel and actually Judah, the Southern kingdom of Judah, and they hauled a bunch of people off.
[00:13:58] So [00:14:00] Daniel Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, that story. All right. They took him over there and what God was doing was literally, they had blown God off for so many years, they wouldn't honor the Sabbath. And so he basically said you won't stop. You won't rest, you won't sit. I'll take you into captivity.
[00:14:18] And he did. And he used this Babylonian nation to take them into captivity. Well, when the Babylonians came, they just destroyed Israel and they destroyed Judah. All right. They literally they destroyed the temple. They destroyed the city of Jerusalem. They just destroyed it. And 70 years later over here in Babylon they're still just destraught over what actually had happened, but a King named Cyrus finally decided, you know, I'm gonna let you guys go back. And so he began to release these prisoners, these captives, and they went back home. Now in the book of Ezra, which is the book right before Nehemiah, in the book of Ezra, you learn about a [00:15:00] group led by a guy named Zerubbabel.
[00:15:01] So they came back and their project that they took on was we're going to rebuild the temple. Now you got to understand the temple in, in Jerusalem, that was like, that was the epicenter of it. And that's where God and the Holy of Holies was. And it got absolutely destroyed. And so they, they went to rebuild it, but they couldn't come close to the glory and the majesty. The second temple was just a mere shadow of what the first temple was. And it says that those who were older, the ones who had seen the original temple, cause they were in captivity for 70 years, these were the old folks among them, it just spoke of how they sat and wept because it was so far inferior.
[00:15:36] Well, one day, and this is where the book of Nehemiah begins. One day, Nehemiah over all the way over there in Persia, um, different Kings, you know, different times, you know, the time's passing. He's over there. And some people from Jerusalem actually come over there and he gets a chance to inquire of them.
[00:15:53] Hey, what's going on back home, man? And so I want to pick the story up. This is Nehemiah 1:3. They said to me, yeah, [00:16:00] how's it back home. He goes, well, those who survived the exile and are back in the province, man, they're in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.
[00:16:11] Oh man it's a disaster back there. Yeah, they're there. But, um, you know, they've got the temple thing going, but the. The gate, you gotta understand that wall is that which defends the temple. That's what defends the city. And he goes the temple, not much, but the temple is there, but the wall is just destroyed.
[00:16:29] So there's no protection. And so he gets this news and he processed it. In fact, the next verse four says this. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. He was devastated over this news. He is just absolutely devastated. And I think you also got to understand he's frustrated.
[00:16:50] He's like, why doesn't somebody do something about this. What is it? Why is it that they're okay with us? Why don't they get to get together and fix the wall? [00:17:00] And they don't. So he has this moment. This experience. We talk about this in our church as a Holy discontent, a Holy discontent, which is, somebody ought to do, something about that.
[00:17:14] And you start to realize that God's tapping you on the shoulder. You know, so many people have a Holy discontent and want to give that burden away to somebody- often to me as a pastor and often to the church. God didn't give that to me. And he didn't give that to the church. He gave that to you. Well, he gave that to Nehemiah that Holy discontent.
[00:17:31] And so he's bothering about that. Now somebody should do something about this, but he did what we so often do, which is begin to explain I'm not the one. You should do something that- you see if you jumped down to verse 11, it says this, I was cup bearer to the King. What does that mean? Uh, Hey, I'm just the Butler in the house of the King.
[00:17:50] I'm just a, nobody, I'm just a Jewish exile who, you know, gets the task of, you know, uh, [00:18:00] providing the wine for the King. I'm absolutely nobody. I'm just, uh, just the cup bearer. Have you ever asked yourself what, what God gave you that Holy discontent for and why it is that you want to just say you're "just a..." so that you can walk away from it.
[00:18:17] I'm just a teacher, man. I'm just a, I'm just a food server, man. I'm just a mechanic. I'm just a. I don't know what you're "just a..." but it implies that I'm just a, I can't actually do anything significant. I remember one time I got in a conversation with the guy when I was a little kid, he said it was just a janitor. That's what he said.
[00:18:37] He's, I'm just the janitor. I told him, I, I want to grow up and I want to be like you. Cause I thought this guy was the seriously coolest guy I'd ever met. And I mean that he was really good guy. And I said, I want to be a, I want to be, I want to be a - I want to grow up and be a janitor. And I'll never forget him redirecting my life.
[00:18:54] He was, he goes, no, you don't. And he explained to me some things and he said, no, you need to. And he [00:19:00] kind of pointed me a direction. I was probably in the third or fourth grade and funny I remember that so clearly. So now I'm just the pastor. You see whatever you are, you could write it off as "just a..." and therefore I don't have to do whatever it is that God gave me this Holy discontent to accomplish, but he's wrestling with that.
[00:19:18] Somebody should do something and it ought to not be me. Now, let me explain to you what a cup bearer does. A cup bearer brings the wine, tastes the wine, all of that, and literally comes into the presence of the King. Well guess what that does that gives you access to the King. That's what that it gives you familiarity with the King.
[00:19:34] It also allows you to kind of overhear things and also allows you to get to know people who are in the influence of the King, who are influencers of the King. So, you know, you start to look at this and it's almost as if God placed Nehemiah in just a position of being a cup bearer, because that's exactly the kind of person who could, could do something about a problem just like this.
[00:19:58] So in the second chapter and again, I know I'm [00:20:00] going very, very quickly. There's so much in here. It's so good. In the second chapter, you start to realize, he decides I'm just a cup bearer, but this is who I am. This is what I got to do. So in the in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and I gave it to the King.
[00:20:17] That's what he did. I'm I'm just a cup bearer. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the King asked me why, why does your face look so sad? Little history here, you see, they they're kind of familiar with each other. You don't, you don't look like this normally. Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill?
[00:20:33] This can be nothing but sadness of the heart. Something's really bothering you. What's what's going on. You keep reading. It says this, uh, I was very much afraid. He's telling us that not the King. He's telling us. I began to tremble. But, but I said to the King, I'm, I'm scared to say what I'm about to say, may the King live forever.
[00:20:54] Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have [00:21:00] been destroyed by fire, by the way, y'all did that to my home is a translation. Y'all did that. And the King goes, what are you, what are you asking? And Nehemiah screws up the courage to say, can I, can I go home?
[00:21:18] And how long are you going to be gone? And, you know, he asked this question, you could read it in the second chapter. And he says, I don't know, but if I, if I go, can you give me like a pass to get across, you know, so I don't get hassled. Is there any way you could help me with some resources? And is there any chance you could give me an escort? Well folks, here's what he did. He opened up the Royal force to him and he gave him a Calvary unit to follow him, to make sure he got back home safely. Yeah, crazy. I'm just the cup bearer, but all of a sudden you're in the audience of kings. So here's what happened. So he, he goes to Jerusalem, and again, I'm going very quickly.
[00:21:56] He surveys all the damage and he's overwhelmed by [00:22:00] it. He's also a little bit frustrated that there's all these people that could do something about it, but nobody's rising to do anything about it. And then you get into the second chapter, verse 27, it says this. So then I said to them, You see the trouble we're in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire.
[00:22:18] Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and we will no longer be in disgrace. We could change this. We could make a better Jerusalem if we would just get to work. Let's do it guys. Basically he's saying, come on, let's pick up a shovel, pick up an ax, pick up a rake, pick up a hammer. Let's make it happen.
[00:22:40] Let's get to work. I wish I had time to show you a chapter three, chapter three of Nehemiah. It's just, it's a fascinating list of all the people that were involved in all the assignments they got. You start to realize there were a lot of them involved. There was not a handful. It was a lot of them doing a whole lot of work and they go through all that.
[00:22:57] And it tells you about that in chapters [00:23:00] four and five, you start to discover some opposition, which there's people who didn't want the wall built. So he had to deal with that, but it all kind of comes to a fruition as it were in a verse in chapter six, I won't show it to you. So the wall was completed on the 25th of Elul. In 52 days, 52 days, 52 days, less than two months after we went to work, we solved this problem 52 days as if we should have done this like two years ago.
[00:23:36] 52 days, no one would have predicted this. Can I tell you something that's significant about the book of Nehemiah? There's no big miracle in the book of Nehemiah. There is no "and then God mysteriously put stone upon stone and it was incredible how the wall came back together on its own." No, it came back together because they did a whole lot of work to bring it back together and [00:24:00] they were faithful and they had a vision and they had a drive to serve God.
[00:24:06] Serve one another and they did it. Now, let me just explain a modern day application of this and why this comes to my mind just now. Eleven months ago in our church, we, we had a huge celebration. It was our 60th anniversary as a church. We had rented out chase field and man, it was awesome.
[00:24:24] Thousands of people then, and our motto was 60 more. It was a fantastic event. And then, um, We had no idea, uh, what was going to happen about six months later, we had no idea what 2020 was going to hold. We didn't know a hurricane was going to blow through the hurricane that would devastate our country, devastate our culture.
[00:24:48] And in many ways do a lot of harm to our church. Now, now I'm, the church is fine. Don't misunderstand, but we had no idea when we were thousands deep into the stadium at [00:25:00] chase field, that there would be a month, five months later, where we would have to say, we have to shut the doors of the church and we've got to figure out how to do this.
[00:25:08] And, uh, just didn't see it coming. It was a black swan and just, but it hit us, but here's what I want to say to you church. You did an absolutely fantastic job. You have done so well during this crisis that we find ourselves in and serving our community. Fantastic job. I commend you. Some of you guys were so quick to jump on it and you have so faithfully served the community.
[00:25:35] But now I want to say to you, it's time for us to stop assessing the damage done to the church, and let's get to work. We got, we got to, I need you to pick up a shovel. I need to pick up a rake. I need you to grab a hammer, grab a pik. We've got to go to work. We got, we got some work to do because this hurricane has done some damage.
[00:25:52] Now we survived it. It's all good again, just so we don't lose track. But it's definitely done some harm. [00:26:00] And so I want to challenge you. Church, I need you to serve, like you've never served before. I need you to get serious with me. Now, what needs to be done? We got, we got to get our children's ministry restaffed and up to speed, our student ministry, we, we, we've got a lot of work to do. And I need your help with this. We've got to get our life groups back together. A lot of life groups have done great others, not so much. We gotta get a rooted groups back on track. We hated our men's ministry back in going. We've got to get our women's ministry going again.
[00:26:34] Which, again, they're all functioning, but just not the capacity of which we're capable of. We've got to get the grounds on our campuses back up to snuff man, we got, we got, we got work to do around here, guys. We, we, we need, we need some people that will do this. Gotta get our greeters back on our doors. Our, you know, "new here" tents staff, we've got production needs, we got all kinds of musical needs and all kinds of, I could go on [00:27:00] and on, but I think you get the idea. We need to get our people back together as a church. It's time. We're done assessing the damage. Now we need to kick into servant mode, and I'm pleading with you to do that. I just got to remind you the reason it's so important is because we serve God best when we put others first. Church, I'm calling you up, calling you up to let's serve. Now I'm out of time. So I want to close this and I want to do this by telling you two stories. One story comes straight from the Bible. Let me, let me go there first. I've told you the story before I cannot help, but think of this story.
[00:27:39] This is one of in fact, I'm going to tell you a story. I'm actually only going to show you one verse. It's one verse. It tells a whole story. It's the saddest verse of the Bible that I've found yet about a life that was wasted. That didn't do much. I wanna I'll show it to you then I'll explain it to you, alright? Here it is, saddest [00:28:00] verse in the Bible, perhaps 2 Chronicles 21:20. It's all about this guy right here, Jehoram I'll explain who he was in a moment. Jehoram was 32 years old when he became King and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away to no one's regret and was buried in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the Kings.
[00:28:20] Ok, what? Yeah. Jehoram was a King of Judah Southern kingdom. His dad was a King. His son was a King. He was in the lineage of Kings and, uh, he reigned for a while and then he died. But it says of his life that he died to no one's regret. That's the first phrase you got to wrestle with. He died to - how do you die to no one's regret? And no one's regret?
[00:28:46] Did his wife regret that he died? No. Didn't his kids regret that he died? Nope.
[00:28:55] Grandkids. Nope. Didn't he have friends that were sorry to see him go? Nope. Nobody was sorry to [00:29:00] see this guy go. He just died to no one's regret. And in fact, they didn't even want to bury him where they buried all the other Kings, all the other kings get buried in this plot. And they go- doesn't decorum suggest we bury him, doesn't tradition say, yeah, but he didn't deserve it.
[00:29:16] What does a guy have to do to live such a, a life that would create such an inglorious memory of his life that he's not even worth being buried there. And nobody's sorry to see him go. Well, I can sum up his life for you. I can sum it up in one sentence. Here it is right here, Jehoram died to no one's regret because he lived to no one's benefit.
[00:29:48] You see his life was 100% opposite the life of Jesus. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. He's a King. Jehoram is also a King who came to be [00:30:00] served and not to serve.
[00:30:05] He died to no one's regret because he lived to no one's benefit. Now you understand, we serve God best when we serve others first, then we do that. Now the last story I want to tell you is it's much shorter. It's really a story about inside our church here. Um, I wanna tell you the story of a lady that I think is fascinating.
[00:30:27] Her name is Kelly Colvin. She serves on a number of ministries around our church, our sermon planning team. She helps with this process. She works in our women's ministry, works in our cares ministry. When I say work, she's not on staff, she's gives her time. She understands what it means to serve. In fact, let me just quote something.
[00:30:45] She wrote this and I caught it and I, I gotta, I'm going to read that. Asked her permission. She said I actually grew up with my parents who were kind of in and out of church, but the head of our life group served every single week, every weekend in [00:31:00] children's. They were a serving family. So I grew up, even though my parents didn't serve watching this life group leader serve consistently.
[00:31:12] And I remember telling myself I am going to be like that when I grow up serving whenever I can. I want to be involved in church, just like that family. My family is going to be like their family. It's so cool to look back and see, it was all because of the life group leader who made me, who I am today.
[00:31:35] And today I can say that my family is a serving family because of it. Wow. What a legacy. I don't know who this life group leader was is, but I'll tell you what you changed somebody's life. And not just somebody. This, somebody is someone who helps speak into the [00:32:00] messages of our church who helped me week in and week out with a process of making sure that we teach well. That means you've you, whoever you are, you've touched so many lives by your faithfulness. Wow. What a legacy you've left. Church, look at me, please. How do you want to be remembered?
[00:32:26] My name is Madison Reese. Casey Reynolds. I'm Mary DeVold. Joe Boysen Tracy Ramsey. Jennifer. Tony Hannah. We're, Jerry and Cathy Valenzuela. My name is Nick Gratzl, and I serve in CSM with high school students. I serve in the cafe. I serve in first impressions. I have a team that I've been working with for like 10 years. And I know them well, we pray for each other. And so it's really made the big church, a lot smaller. The people I come in contact with, the impact that I know that I get to have on their lives is such a blessing to me.
[00:32:54] I couldn't believe that the Lord could use somebody like me, um, to really have an impact and show his love. If we are to [00:33:00] love each other, I need to reach out and love other people. Serving has allowed me to figure out my gift and my purpose for life. Since I started serving, my faith has grown tremendously that I do not just concentrate on myself, but to others.
[00:33:16] I just love watching people when the light goes on. You just never know when God's going to come in and do what he does. It's an experience unlike any other. I'm a single mom and the church is my family. I actually met my wife on the worship team. It was cool to get the opportunity to try something just completely new and out of my comfort zone.
[00:33:36] I started in my comfort zone and then I just gradually dipped my toe into different ministries. At a big church like Central, you might think there is no need, there are enough people volunteering and serving. But I can show you that there's always room for one more. Just step out and do it because that's how God's going to fully move through you into the lives of others.
[00:33:57] Find a place that your passion will speak [00:34:00] to you. It's not going to feel like serving. It's going to feel like participating. Step out and just take that first step and definitely just do whatever it is the Lord is leading you to do. Not only is he going to help you impact other people, but he's also going to use other people to impact you in just awesome ways.
[00:34:16] We serve. I serve. I serve. I serve. Do you? Do you? Do you? Do you?