I am praying that you have a good week and that God grows you closer to Himself and closer to your FaithPoint family. I am grateful for my FaithPoint family. You all have been so kind and generous to us during this rough time in our lives. Thank you so much. I could not ask God for a better church family. I am so thankful that we get to walk on this journey together.
Yesterday was week 3 in our Unstoppable series. Here are the notes from the sermon yesterday:
The Scripture for this sermon comes from Micah 5:1-2. The title for this sermon is: You are not a failure! This is week 3 in the Unstoppable series.
Here is a little background on Micah so that you can get to know him a little better.
Micah’s call by God is not recorded. There is nothing that leads us to know how old he was when God called him to be a prophet. Micah is never explicitly referred to as a prophet but there is no question that the Holy Spirit is the one leading him and giving him the words to say.
Micah’s name means: “Who is like Yahweh?” or you could say, “Who is like our God?”
Micah prophesied during the reign of three kings: Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Micah had such an influence on Hezekiah that it is recorded in Jeremiah.
Micah is a beast. His boldness and confidence is found in God and God alone. He is either full of the Holy Spirit or he is stupid. Some of the things that he says could get him killed. He has no fear of the kings or of anyone. His service is to God, his Heavenly Father.
Micah is the kind of man that I want my boys to grow up to be. I don’t want my boys to be lazy, passive, or boys that can shave. There are enough of those morons in the world and we don’t need any more. I want my boys to be bold and confident in Jesus and obey them as best as they understand the Bible and have faith to follow Jesus anywhere that Jesus takes them.
Micah writes about God’s judgment and God’s forgiveness. The Lord is the Judge who scatters his people as a consequence for their transgressions and sins. but is also the Shepherd-King who in covenant faithfulness gathers, protects and forgives His sheep.
Micah starts with telling Judah that God is getting up and leaving his high place to come down and do battle with them. He tells the people that they have raised up for themselves preachers who will preach to them and justify their sins and overindulgences and immoral behavior.
Micah 3:1 He calls out the leaders and says that their actions to oppress the people is an abuse of their power. He equates them to cannibals. He says that the leaders have come to rip the skin off of the people’s bones and eat their flesh.
Micah 5:1-2 He does a play on words that Judah does not have their stuff together. They are not capable of establishing an army and therefore are open to hostile takeover.
In verse two, Micah has a double meaning here. He says that Bethlehem is too little to be among the clans of Judah.
This means that:
1: David was an unlikely king because of his size he had to have been picked by God because he would not have been picked as king by the people.
2: Bethlehem is the unlikely choice for the Redeemer King to be born.
verse 2: from you shall come forth one who is ruler in Israel whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Bethlehem is a one horse town. Right. Bethlehem is the kind of town that if you don’t leave, you most likely grow up to do what your mom or dad did as a trade. Bethlehem is like Byron. It has nothing compared to moderate to large cities. It has one hotel, a few restaurants and not much of anything else. When you plan a vacation, Bethlehem doesn’t even show up on the radar.
Bethlehem is so small that it doesn’t show up on Google Maps. You following me? Bethlehem wouldn’t even be picked up by your GPS. “In 2000 feet, make a U turn.”
And Bethlehem stays the same…for 700 years.
Bethlehem compared to other cities is a failure. Why? If you want to do anything fun, you have to leave Bethlehem. There is no Target, there is no movie theater. There is nothing that drives tourism or makes people want to go there. It is less of a city and more like a ghost town. As far as cities go, Bethlehem is not a city that people look at and say, “I want to live there.”
There is something else that people consider a failure: Small churches.
I have been told by other church leaders that because we are three years old and still under 40 people, that both me and FaithPoint are a failure.
I have struggled with that for the last year.
Then God showed me something: Nowhere in the Bible does God measure a church’s success by the number of people that attend it. God measures a church’s success by how many people are experiencing life change and being obedient to what the Holy Spirit is leading them to do.
Look at Matthew 2:1, 6.
Bethlehem is not a failure because of one reason. Bethlehem has something that no other city in the world has. Jesus was born there. Bethlehem is not a failure because God designed it to be the place where Jesus would step out of eternity and be born – in a horse trough. Bethlehem is exactly what it was meant to be by God’s Sovereign design.
What does this mean?
For a church – It is not about Awana. It is not about a band or a choir. It is not about lights and fancy projection screens. It is not about Sunday School vs. Community Groups. It is not about whether or not a church has a youth group or a college group. It is not about whether they meet in a traditional building with a cross or a steeple on top or whether they meet in a hotel. It is about Jesus. It always has been, always is and always will be about Jesus!
Those other things are not bad but they are not so important that they take the place of Jesus.
Reformed theologian John Calvin said this about churches:
Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.
Any church that loves Jesus, preaches the gospel and has disciples that are experiencing ongoing, progressive life change (meaning you are becoming more and more like Jesus) that church is not a failure.
Does this mean that we stop sharing the gospel or inviting people to church? No! Because life change is taking place and because people are being conformed to the image of Jesus, we should want other people to experience life change and be conformed to the image of Jesus. So, we share the gospel and invite people to come to FaithPoint. Thus – obeying the Great Commission.
It does not matter if you are single, married, divorced, or widowed. It doesn’t matter what you have done in your past. You are not defined by your mistakes. You are not a failure! You belong to Jesus. If Jesus has in fact redeemed you and the Holy Spirit lives in you – your life is hidden in Christ in God.
Just as Bethlehem was by God’s design not a failure because it was the birthplace of Jesus, you if you seek God with your whole being you will find him. Jesus is your Shepherd – King. He has his best interests in mind for you and you belong to His flock.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Seek Him with your whole being.
You are not a failure!