You have made a great choice by coming today, because you are in on part one of a new series — a series that just might become one of the most motivational and positively transformative series ever in our church.
That's what I'm praying for, and that's what I'm preaching for. Interested?
First, I'd like to give you an update.
One month ago, I invited you to be part of something very special. We wanted to make a difference for two largely unseen groups of people.
First, kids who are trapped in sex-trafficking in the land of Nepal. Second, seekers who are looking for God online, at the rate of 200 people per second, asking Google, "Is God real?"
Our goal was to raise $50,000.00 in one month, to split 50/50 between those two missions.
And with that, our goal was to raise that $50k without it coming out of our regular offerings.
On that part of it, I'm happy to tell you that our regular offerings stayed super strong, and your giving has been above budget. So a big thank you for that. The Bible says, "Let him who is taught the Word share in all good things with him who teaches." (Galatians 6:6)
You've been doing that. Your consistent generosity is making a huge difference in thousands of lives.
On the first part of it, the goal of $50,000.00... would you like to know the final total?
The final total is $37,599.19 ABOVE our $50,000 goal, for a beautiful, God-blessed total of $87,599.19.
I'm so happy, because this is going to change the eternal trajectory of thousands of people, and especially precious children who are suffering in horrendous conditions.
This is a giant blessing. This is the power of the Gospel. This is the mission we are on. This is the best kind of love of all, Calvary Love. This is Pathway Church.
We're just getting warmed up in 2024, amen?
Okay, who's ready for the Word?
"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of life." (Philippians 2:14-16)
When I see these words, the first thing I think is that this is God speaking to me. And the second thing I think is that this is God speaking to us.
If Jesus were to come walking through that door, and set up some time to sit down with me, and then with you, over coffee or lunch or whatever...
He would ask us what's going on, because he cares...
He would reassure us how much he loves us, because he does...
And one way or another he would echo these very same words to us once again, because these words light the path into our fullest possible experience of his care and of his love today.
The title of my talk today is the word I have underlined: Become!
To become means to step out from one state of being and to step into another state of being. And from cover to cover, the Words of Jesus, are always calling us to step into a State of Being that is...
beloved, blessed, exceptional, special, meaningful, desirable, abundant, prosperous, positive, whole, healthy, peaceful, loving, sane, joyful, purposeful, forgiven, forgiving, victorious, generous, gracious, mature, transcendent, adventuresome, loving, normal, supernatural, challenging, pure, prepared, fully equipped, fully armed, fully authentic, wholesome, not boring, not lame, not in your comfort zone, and not like everybody else.
Become that. Become all that. That's what Jesus would say to you.
Don't be complacent. Don't be boring. Don't be lukewarm and halfhearted with God, because that makes you lukewarm and halfhearted toward the one precious life you get.
That's what he is saying to you in this verse. In fact, that's what faith is for. That's what grace does. It's why Jesus sacrificed his life for you.
"That you may become."
In this verse, you can find the command, the result, the setting, the means, and the power to become a very special kind of human, and a very glorious kind of Christian.
Let's take that one and a time.