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2011-11-20 The Power of Praise

Time: 2011-11-23 Click:

By Paster Jessica Wang
20 Nov 2011 Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worship song:Before the Throne of God Above

Verse 1 Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
Verse 2 My name is graven on His hand
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
Verse 3 When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Verse 4 Because a sinless Savior died
my sinful soul is counted free
For God, the Just, is satisfied
to look on Him and pardon me
Verse 5 Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of grace
Verse 6 One in Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
Chorus Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!
Praise the One Risen
Son of God

 

 

  

 

Scripture Reading: Acts 16:16-34
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God— he and his whole family.

  

  

Sermon:

 

Dear Lord our heavenly father Holy Spirit, we thank you. Thank you so much for creating us. We thank you so much for creating this beautiful world. For everything we have, each meal, each day, we want to give thanks to you. Thank you so much. Because of you, we can stand here and we can sing praise to you and we can get to know you and be saved. So Lord Jesus Christ, we want to give thanks to you with all of our hearts and we want to sing praise to you with all of our minds, our hearts and our strength.

Lord Jesus Christ, I want to lift up this church, this fellowship into your hands. We know that this church does not belong to us, it belongs to you. God, please take care of this church. Please take care of each brother and sister because they are your loved children. God, now we want to pray for that lady. God, please heal her and reveal yourself to her. Let her know that only you Jesus Christ are our Lord. You are our savior. God, please protect her and be with her.

Lord, we want to pray for all the brothers and sisters who have burden physically or spiritually. Please heal them and be with them. Speak to them. Let them know no matter what happens in their life, they will never be alone. Because God, you will be with them. Lord, we want to lift up our worship team and host team, every team member who serves you in this church into your hands. God, please strengthen them and be with them. Give them wisdom so they will know how they can serve you better.

Lord, we want to lift up today’s preacher into your hands. Please send the Holy Spirit upon him and be with him. Let us know how we can involve your kingdom and make it grow. God, please speak to us through him. May our minds and our hearts be acceptable to you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

 

Dear brothers and sisters, during this month, we start to share about thanks-giving. Because this month, we gave it a name called thanks-giving month. There are so many things that we can give thanks to our God. And today, we have one special thing that we want to give thanks to our God because he gave us a special gift. It is our honor that we invited one of the brothers from Saddleback church who is going to share with us what Saddleback is. Hopefully, through this sermon, he can teach us that the value of Saddleback and also let us know and think about what the value of our church, this English fellowship is and encourage us how we can involve and how we can involve in the growing of our God, Jesus Christ’s kingdom. Now welcome Simon to share with us.

Pastor Simon--Saddleback Church, California, USA:

Good morning, everyone. Good morning. That’s great. I like it! You know, you guys are energetic. You guys are the youth, you know and China is in your hands. The future is in your hands. There is a future in your hand.

On behalf of Saddleback church, I really want to thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today. And I want to express Pastor Rick Warren’s love towards the Christians in China. And I also want to let you know that he is really grateful to see how the Gospel is being spread in China and how more and more people is coming to know our Lord Jesus Christ every day. Amen? Amen!

This morning, I don’t want to talk too much about our church. I actually want to tell you al lot about what you don’t know about. Well, we hope that both our churches, through today’s sharing, as part of the body of Christ, are able to learn from each other and keep advancing God’s kingdom.

In December 1979, Pastor Rick and his wife just arrived in Saddleback Valley. They had no money. They had no members. They had no home. They had no church building. But they had a vision. He was fresh graduated from Seminary. But they wanted to plant the church. They wanted to plant the church where the hurting, the depressed, the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness and encouragement. And that’s how he started. With God’s grace, they found a home. They found a small apartment. They started a small Bible Study Group with 15 people. That’s how Saddleback started in 1980.

In 1995, Pastor Rick wrote a book called Purpose Driven Church. They basically laid out the principles of how to become a healthy church. It talks about there are five purposes for the church: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. In 2002, Pastor Rick wrote another book. The intention was just for the congregation to do a Bible Study. You probably have heard about it or not. The name is called Purpose Driven Life. How many of you have read that book? Praise God! Little did Pastor Rick know about how God uses this book to touch millions of souls. In fact, by 2007, this book has been translated into 56 languages and sold more than 30 million copies. A lot of people came to the Lord because they read the book. Through different conferences, Pastor Rick has also taught over 200,000 church leaders and pastors. And right now, our weekly attendance is about 25 to 30 thousand people. In 2010, last year, we actually became the first church in human history that has literally sent people like yourselves, not the pastors, not the top leaders, but people like yourself, all over the world, to every nation in the country. Today we have nine different locations in Southern California. That’s just a brief introduction of ourselves.

Each church is very unique because God only make originals. Haidian Church is going to be different than Saddleback Church. We are not here to teach you how to become Saddleback. However, we are not in competition with any church. In fact, any Bible-believing church, we are on the same team. Aren’t we? We are on the same team. We love them. We want to see them grow. We want them to succeed. We want them to reach out. We want them to bring people to Christ.

In fact, as a Bible-believing church, we have a lot of things that we actually share in common. And here they are on the screen. For example, we are Christ-centered. Well, everything we do is about Jesus. It’s about his death, about his resurrection. And the cross is essential to our church. We are Bible based. Whatever we do, whatever ministry we do, it is based on the Bible. We are all God glorifying. Our ministry, our goal, is to make God’s name known to all the people, to every kid, to every country. We are also Spirit-led. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us, to give us ideas of how to do God’s work. We believe in the power of prayer. And we are Mission-minded. That means we believe to bring the good news to every single person. Besides, we also believe in God’s five purposes for the churches.

You know, not every church is going to be called a purpose-driven church. But they are going to be agreeing with all the five purposes. Why? It’s because they are from the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Every Christian would agree that the purpose of the church is to worship, to fellowship, to help people grow spiritually (and that’s discipleship). Also, the church is to serve. It’s not just to serve within the church but to serve our community, to serve the people outside the church, to serve the people who are hurt, to serve people who need forgiveness. The church’s purpose is also to share about God’s word (that’s evangelism).

You know, we don’t get to choose the five purposes for the church, because that’s right from the Bible. However, today what I want to share with you is this; you can choose your style. And today the reason why I am not in a suit today is to show you that you don’t have to wear a suit to come to church. You are welcome. In fact, Pastor Rick often only wears a pair of Jeans, and he doesn’t have any tie. Because why? Because we want you to feel welcomed. We want you to be here.

So, let’s just go right into it. We are going to use the word Saddleback to tell you what our church is about. Again, we are not trying to make you as Saddleback. But maybe there is something that we guys can learn from it.

 

 

The first letter “S” is called Second-chance grace place. You know, Saddleback is actually a place for people to start over. How many of you want to have the start over? This is the place to be born again. This is a Second-chance grace place. You know, God shows us mercy so we show people mercy. God gives us forgiveness so we forgive people. God is gracious to us so we are gracious to people. Look at the words up on the screen.

Eph. 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God forgave you through Christ.”

You know, we started a ministry called Celebrate Recovery about 20 years ago. And it’s actually being an official program used in prison, you know, for criminals, people who might have murdered, dealt. That’s actually a program being learned in state prison. It’s not just a ministry; it’s actually one of our key values. You know everyone needs this ministry. Because why? It’s because this world is broken, because we are all broken. We are not perfect. Where do we find perfect? It’s only in heaven. We need spiritual recovery. We need emotional recovery. We need financial recovery. We need mental recovery. So Saddleback is a grace place. We actually suggested this before. We said, “You know what, we want to put up a sign outside the church and say: No perfect people allowed.” You know, if you think you are perfect, our church is not for you. You are probably not going to be happy here. To sum it up, this is how we sum up Saddleback; it’s a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. Let me say that again, church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. Let’s look up the screen.

In Col. 3:12, God’s words says: “As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Do you know you are dearly loved by God, no matter what you have done in the past? Do you know that? Unless you feel loved and forgiven, there is no way for you to love other people, to forgive others, because hurting people hurt people. So what we are saying is this, at Saddleback, every saint has a past. Every saint has a past. And every sinner has a future.

So how do we teach people? Well, this is how we do it. We use testimonies. Testimonies are very, very powerful. Because the stories are real and people's lives are transformed.

I remember one time there is a pastor's son. He actually came up and gave a testimony. It happened when he was in his college years? He actually left God. He started to get into pornography; he started to get into drugs. And later on he got married, and his wife found out about his addiction. He cannot get out of it. He thought when he got married he can get out of sexual addiction. But he can't. He was desperate. And his wife found out, and they actually ended in divorce. He finally cried out for God. And he also went through a recovery program. His life has changed. He went through a tough process. But the good news is his wife and him reconciled. What the power of God! And they married again! Praise God! Praise God?

I remember when I heard his story my tears came down, because I experienced the power of the Lord and the God's love to reconcile, to reconcile relationships. We also have support groups of single parents, the elderly, or cancer support group. We train lay people to provide counseling. You know last year we actually provided 50,000 hours of counseling. You know how much that cost? A lot of money! But you know there are a lot of people who need counseling that church can do. We actually also have AIDS and HIV ministry. Why? Because we have hundreds of people who have AIDS and HIV now in church that we need to care about. Our church not only accepts broken people, we want them! It is a great place, a place for a second chance.

Let's go to the next letter: A. “A” stands for All Nation Congregation.

We are multi-ethnic, multi-national. As of today we have over 37 languages spoken in the church, including mandarin speaking group, Korean, Singaporean, you name it. Why do we do that? Let's look at God's word in Mark 11:17. He says, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” That's why we are an all nation congregation. You know what? We want to be a church that looks like heaven. Think about it! When you go to heaven, there is going to be people of every race, every color, and every background. So, you'd better practice it today! So welcome them, welcome them to the church! Well, my ministry in Saddleback is to lead a small group. I actually used to limit my small group to Chinese speaking only. Because that's what I'm comfortable with. Well however one day, God is giving me these words. It's in Matthew 28:19. It says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.” You know I decided to obey God's command. I actually opened it up and my small group has grown since then. I got people from Korea, from China, from Hong Kong, from America, from Philippines; white color, black color...I got it! Single, married, old, young. Why? Because they need Jesus in their lives. God has really made it easy for us. Because you know in California we have ten million immigrants. You know what, we don't need to cross the sea to reach these people; we only need to see the Cross. Let me say it again. You don't need to go across the sea to reach people of all nations; you only need to see the cross. So how do we do it? There are two ways basically. First, we are starting more different language speaking small groups to welcome people of different ethnic groups. We are attempting to open up more services of different languages. The second part is, in next ten years, Pastor Rick’s vision is to start churches in major cities of the world.

 

 

 

 

Let's go to the next letter. It's D. “D” stand for doable faith.

Doable faith! You know we do not emphasis what you know but we emphasis what you do. You know a lot of times you might go to a great Bible study. But then you ask, “Well, how do I apply it? Yeah, it is a great knowledge. But tomorrow I'm going back to work, I have a bad boss, I have bad co-workers, I have a wife who is nagging me all the time, I don't know what to do!” It's kinda like our sharing today. It's not just I'm telling you what those letters stand for. But we also tell you how, how do we do it!

Look at what the Bible says, in James 1:22. “Be DOERS of the Word, and NOT HEARERS only, deceiving your own selves.” What does that mean? That means you if go to church for twenty or thirty years, you attend every single sermon, you go to every single Bible study. But if you don't do it, you are deceiving yourselves. That's what God says.

2 Timothy 3, 3:16 says this, “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped to live a Godly life.” Well that means, God's words do teach doctrine. God's words show that what we are doing wrong and how do we stay on the right path. But the ultimate purpose for us is to live a Godly life. Does that make sense?

James 4:17 says this: “Anyone, who KNOWS the good he ought to do but doesn't DO it, sins.” Let me say it again! Anyone who knows the good he ought to do, but doesn't do it, sins.

Jesus said this in Matthew 7:21. Listen! Jesus said this: “Not everyone who SAYS to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father.” You know one of my biggest worry is one day when I see God and God says: “Simon, you have been calling me ‘Lord and lord’. But I don't really know you.” Oh, I don't know if you are afraid of that. You know, there is not a second chance anymore. You can't tell God, “God wait a minute, let me go back to earth and do the right thing so you will recognize me.” No, you have got to do it right now. Today! Right now!

Matthew 28:20, Jesus said, “Teach them TO DO everything I have commanded you.” You see? To do everything that I have commanded you. So D stands for doable faith. You know the problem with many Christians today is that they know a lot more than they do.

Write this down if you have a pencil or paper. Write this down. You only believe the part of the Bible that you do. Let me say it again, you only believe the part of the Bible that you do. Let me ask you this, do you believe in forgiving your enemies?  Yes! Do you do it? No! Then you don't believe it. Do you believe being generous to the poor? Yes! Do you do it? No! Then you don't believe it.

You know the first time I heard sermons form Pastor Rick, I told myself “Oh, man, it is the first time I knew exactly how to apply it in my life, in my workplace. It is so practical!” You know let me tell you this: The Bible is practical, Jesus is practical.

Let me ask you this. Do you remember how Jesus teaches his disciples about faith? Does he actually called all his disciples to “come on”, “I'm going to give you a Bible study?” Is that what Jesus did? No, you know what he did. He sent them into the storm. He sent them into the storm! If you read carefully in the Bible, it wasn't even the disciples wanted to go into the storm, Jesus sent them into the storm. Why? Because that is how your faith is gets trained. That is what we call a teachable moment. And I'm not saying here you know you should not attend a Bible study, that's not I'm saying. But what I'm saying is you have to do it. You have to do it. Faith it is not through the studying of the Scripture only, you have to take action.

So how do we do it at Saddleback? We use life-application teaching. During Sunday, we use topics instead of books. For example, the topic could be “when you feel like giving up.” What do you do? Many of you today feel like giving up. What does the Bible teach us about that? Why is life in this world so hard? Do we use those messages to help us to have a do-able faith?

The next “D”, the second “D” is called a Deliberate Pathway to Growth. We believe that spiritual growth is like physical growth. It’s by stages, it’s sequential, it’s systematic. The truth is you have to know Christ before you can love Christ. You need to love Christ before you will really start growing in Christ. And you need to grow in Christ before you can serve Christ. You have to serve Christ before you can share Christ. You can’t become a mature Christian in one day; we cannot teach you to do that. But we provide a deliberate path, we provide a diagram up on the screen, it’s called a baseball diamond. What it means is that we have classes for people to attend, and I understand that Haidian Church also has classes for members or non-members to attend, so that they can understand more about the belief, so that they can grow in Christ.

Let’s look Hebrews 6:1, it says this, “Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” And notice the words leave and go on. What does that mean? Growth! It’s a journey, and with a journey you need a map—you need a deliberate path to grow. Proverbs 4:26 says this, “Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and you will stay safe.” Again, that’s great knowledge, but how? How do we do it? As I mentioned, we use classes. Not only do we use classes to help believers grow spiritually, but we also use campaigns. Some of you may have done 40 Days of a Purpose-driven Life. You all do it together, get together and you study it, and actually use it. We have 40 Days of Love and 40 Days of Community. So what this means is that each year we are good at focusing on one particular area. So the entire church will study it, and the entire church will do something about it.

The next letter is “L.” This is very important, pay attention. It stands for Love in Action. At Saddleback, we believe that love is not just something you talk about, or feel, or believe in; love is something that you do. Did you know that love is a choice? I was in a wedding ceremony yesterday. I was looking at this couple, you know, walking down the aisle, exchanging vows and rings. I don’t think anyone forces them to do that. I mean maybe in the past, you know it happened in China, but it doesn’t happen anymore today. Love is a choice. Love is choosing to make your problems my problems. Love is an action. The Great Commandment commands us to love God and love people. We want to be known as a loving church. Let me tell you this: people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Let me say that again. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Before they see if they can trust Jesus, they want to see if they can trust you. We do whatever it takes to show love to His people. The Bible says in 1 John 3, “This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters!” Do you know that we are called to die for our brothers and sisters? Maybe some of you want to leave right now. “If we have possessions and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? Our love must not be just words and talk; it must be true live that shows itself in action.” It is very clear. Our love must not be just words and talk, you could come to church every single Sunday, but on Monday you become, what? A non-Christian! You’re hiding it! That is not what God called us to do. Did you know that Christianity is about going into the hurts and the problems in life and taking up that cross. I challenge you today, if you are not helping anyone who is hurting, how dare you call yourself a Christian. Because the whole thing is about love, is helping people who are bleeding, who are hurting in their lives.

How do we do that at Saddleback? We use something called the Peace Plan. We go to the community and ask, “How can we serve you?” Some of the evil things in the community we’ve identified five things: spiritual emptiness—people who don’t know the Lord; egocentric leadership—the leaders are only working for themselves, they use people and manipulate people; poverty; disease; and illiteracy. We find these evils personally, locally, and globally. That’s why we’re here. We promote reconciliation between man and God. We promote reconciliation between people. We equip servant leaders at church. We assist the poor, so that people can see the good deeds led by the church. We care for the sick; we’re not all doctors, but we can express our love and care for the sick people. We educate the next generation. We want to glorify our God by loving in action.

 

 

The next letter, “E” stands for “Empowering Members.” At Saddleback, we believe everyone can make a contribution. Everyone is talented. You know a lot of churches are like this: they expect the pastors, the salaried full-time minister to do everything. Then they just go there and say “Yay! That’s our church! [clapping hands] That’s great!” But God is going to ask you one day What did you do with what I have given you on Earth? Do you know everything that you have today, including your brain, your talents, your ability to go to school, it’s all coming from God. So God is going to ask you If I give you these, what are you going to do with them? Did you only use if for yourself, or did you use it to help other people?

1 Corinthians 12:27 “All of you together are Christ's Body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” See the necessary part of it. Let me give you an example. If you see my nose, see it from this way, it is very prominent. Ok I need someone with a really big nose, but anyway…But is it significant? Probably not, I could probably do without it. I like my nose, you know? But you know my heart is significant, right? I can’t live without a heart. But can you see it? No you can’t. So don’t confuse prominence with significance. Every one of you is a part of the body of Christ and is necessary. If you are not serving in church, you are cheating one another. You’re cheating one another. So how do we empower people at Saddleback? Again, we use class 301. It is a class to help people understand their spiritual gifts, to understand their passion, their abilities, their personalities, and experience so that we can identify how God has shaped you. Because you know what, each one of us is different, and God wants to use you. God doesn’t make any mistakes. God made you the way you are, and there are specific assignments for you, that you—only you—can do!

“B,” the next letter stands for Bold Faith. We’ve been through a lot of faith risks. At our very first service, we only had 60 people. Pastor Rick already announced that one day we were going to have 20,000 people and have 50 acres of land. Whoa! You know Pastor Rick was interviewed by a reporter. And the reporter said, “We heard from the community that you guys always hear this question: Who do you guys think you are?! What? 20,000 members? 50 acres of land?” You know how Pastor Rick responded? He said, “You asked the wrong question! It’s not about who we are, it’s about who God is!” Amen? Amen!

The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God. So one of Pastor Rick’s jobs is to help the members dream great dreams for God because we believe in bold faith. In Ephesians 3:30 it says, “Glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within…” Listen! We don’t use our own wisdom, we don’t use our own flesh to do this. It is God. It is the Spirit that lives within  us that is “able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes!” That means if you have a faith goal, you believe that God can accomplish it, God can do it. God is going to honor that. In fact, that is what happened to Saddleback Church over the past 30 years. Praise God.

How do we help people to have bold faith? We help members to set what we call “BOF” goals. “Big, Outrageous Faith” goals. There are many things in life that you cannot choose, you have no control whatsoever, but you have a choice: to believe in God. We chose to go to every nation. We chose to buy that piece of land. We chose to reach the community. We chose to sacrifice. Therefore, God says, “I’m going to honor that.”

“A” stands for Authentic Relationships. You know church is not an event to attend, but it is a family to belong to. One of our goals is to teach people to do relationships well. Whether it is parent and child, husband and wife, or relationships between co-workers—do you know many of us don’t know how to deal with relationships because we have been raised up in a broken family. Maybe you grow up and see your parents arguing all the time. Maybe you only had a single dad or single mom raising you up. We don’t know how to do relationships. In 2 Timothy 2:2, here’s what it says: “Take the teachings that you’ve learned from me and pass them on to faithful people, who will be able to teach others also.” Here, we basically see four generations. Paul says “I am going to mentor you, Timothy. And Timothy, you have to mentor others, so that those people can mentor some other people.”

We use two things to build a community. Number one: Small group. I know that this church has a lot of small groups today, but unfortunately many of us are not in a small group. If you don’t participate in a small group, every time you come to this church, the person you sit next to—you aren’t going to know them! You can’t grow by yourself. God has made us up as a body, so we need to join together, we need to join a small group. We need to grow together, we need to support each other, and we need to pray for each other. Does that make sense? Will you join a small group today?

Another thing is mentoring. Today you think, well, I am not very young any more. But you know what, we encourage mentoring. So what does it take to be a mentor? You know you only need to be one day older.

Why? For example, if you got somebody who is going to get married. He comes to you—and you have maybe been married for 4 or 5 years—he comes to you and says, “Hey, could you give me some advice on marriage?” You probably would say, “Well you know, I am still trying to figure it out. But I can tell you what not to do.”

So it doesn’t matter what age you are. God can use you. So you can mentor them, you can be a great mentor to them.

 

  
 

 

“C” stands for Creative Outreach.

SADDLEBACK is committed to reach everybody with the good news. That is why we continue to grow bigger. You know it’s not because we want a bigger church, it doesn’t mean we want to have a bigger name. No. In fact, there are more headaches for a big church. But we grow, because why? Because people without Jesus are going to Hell. We do it because God never made a person that he doesn’t love.

When we don’t tell people about Jesus, we are saying that you can go to hell. I don’t really care.

Besides preaching at a church, Pastor Rick Warren spends a lot of time to talk to people who disagree with him. And the truth is he also disagrees with these people. But you know what, that doesn’t mean Pastor Rick doesn’t love them.

Think about Jesus. Jesus came to talk what? Sinners! Prostitutes! Tax collectors! You know what. If Jesus is was today, he is going to talk to people of different religion, different life style, maybe even the different faith. Our job is to build a bridge of love between you and people. That Jesus can work across.

Be a bridge of love. So Jesus can work across that bridge. We truly believe that Jesus will be talking to people who have AIDS, have HIV. Maybe they’re gay people, prostitutes, drug addicts, etc.

In fact, it is the second week of December, we have done something that we never done before. On Sunday we cancelled all the services, we had the whole church going to a community to serve. That’s we call creative outreach. That’s we call do-able faith.

Finally, the last letter “K.”

K stands for Kids and Family Focused. In SADDLEBACK we have from day one we have been all strengthening young families and kids and reach out the next generation. That is what we are called to do.

Let me tell you this: a nation can never be stronger than its communities; communities can never be stronger than its churches; and a church can never be stronger than its own families.

If you look at our budget, we actually spend four times as much for children’s ministry to reach the next generation. Why? Why do we have six services right now? We could have built a bigger building, but we don’t. Because we want to be a good custodian of God’s money. We want to spend that money for children.

Look at the scripture up here, in Matthew18:10 Jesus says: “Be careful! Don't make the mistake of thinking that little children are unimportant! I tell you that they have angels who are always with my Father in heaven.” Jesus made it so clear that it is a mistake to think that children are unimportant.

The next verse says, Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Let me say these to you. Listen to me. Whether you are married or single, you need children in your life. I am not talking about having your own kids. If you are single just get married, no I am not talking that. You need children in your life. Do you know why? God uses children to teach us about unselfishness.

I have three kids. And my younger son is 11 years old. I don’t know what happened lately. He is being waking up three times a night. Yeah. Exactly! Three times a night. I so want to go to bed to sleep. But he is like crying, crying, crying…and I just crawl out of my bed and hold him and pat him, and put him back to sleep. Why? It’s very simple. It is love. It is love.

So children are important in our lives. Because they teach us through unselfishness.

Let me summarize very quick. What we talk about? Church is the Second-chance Grace Place. It is a hospital for sinners. It is not a hotel for saints. Let’s repeat that together. Ok? Church is a hospital for sinners, and not a hotel for saints. Very good! You are very good students. Pastor Wu has done a wonderful job.

All-nations Congregation we want to reach every race; we want to reach every life style; we want to reach all people of every work of life.

Do-able Faith, we only believe that the part of Bible that we do.

Love in Action. We want to be known to be a loving church. We want these communities out there to say “Oh, I know this church. These people are just incredible. They are loving. They welcome me in. They do not look down upon me.” We empower members. We believe everyone who comes to church are part of God’s family, can make a contribution to church.

Bold Faith, without faith it is impossible to please God.

Authentic Relationships, we do not want stay on the surface, we do not want to say “Hi” every Friday. And we go home. Join in small group today.

Creative Outreach! Yes, there are many limitations that we cannot do this, we cannot do that. But be Creative! You know there are many people I was shopping the other day. I see all these great gorgeous, products and I have never seen them before. Wow, these people are so creative. You can be creative too!

Finally, we are Kid and Family Focused. We are always being caring about young families, young kids.

Here is my question. Do you think people want to go to a church like this? As I said at the beginning, you cannot choose the purposes of the church. But you can choose your style.

In summary, I just want to ask you one question. What style are you going to choose today? What style?

Let us bow our head. If you need a second chance, if you need grace place, if you need forgiveness, if you want do-able face, if you want to love like Jesus, if you want to use your gifts and your abilities to serve others, if you want to have a bold faith, if you want to have authentic relationships, if you want to make a difference in the next generation, we do not just welcome you today, we want to here, we want you to be a part of the Haidian Family. If you never invite Jesus Christ into your life today say Jesus Christ, you can say in your heart, I want to be a part of your family. I want to ask you to accept me into your family. I need your forgiveness. I need your salvation. I do not understand at all, but I want to put my trust in you. Thank you Lord! Thank you Jesus! We pray all these in Jesus’ name. Amen! Thank you!

 

  
 

 

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: The Power of Praise video audio  
Worship song: All I Once Held Dear video audio lyric
Worship song: You Are the God of This City video audio lyric
Worship song: Praise the Father, Praise the Son video audio lyric
Worship song: Before the Throne of God Above video audio lyric

 

 
 

 
 

  
 

 

 

 

 
 
 

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