Month: September 2014
This week’s sermon at Calvary Chapel
Here is the outline
Celebrating 30 Years of Doing Something for the Lord Jesus Christ
This month, we as a church family will celebrate our 30th Anniversary. We will mark this special event with much fanfare including a cruise and a powerful service on Sept 28th at 11:15 A.M. Our LORD has been so very good to us we just can’t help but praise Him and dedicate ourselves to His service.
When we say we are celebrating 30 years of doing something for the Lord a very natural question arises: “Just what exactly have we been doing?” The short answer is… A LOT. The long answer would require a book. For the purpose of this article I want to identify five things we have been and will continue to do for the Lord. We have embraced these things for the last thirty years because we believe they are God’s priorities for His church.
From our very beginning, our church; Calvary Chapel, has been doing something and that something has been proclaiming the life-changing message of salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our efforts have taken many different forms. We’ve gone door to door in our communities, been involved in evangelistic crusades and sponsored all kinds of specialized events for all kinds of people. In addition, we have given people of all ages the opportunity to give their heart to Christ through the work of the various ministries of Calvary. Something that we’ve been doing for thirty years is evangelizing.
In addition to outreach, from day one at Calvary we have been involved in the process of the discipleship of believers. The something we have been doing in this area is training the followers of Jesus Christ on how to be followers of Jesus Christ. This process involves Bible classes for young and old. It has involved systematic teaching from Calvary’s pulpit. In recent years, it has taken a more formal shape in the form of The New York Institute for Biblical Studies, the Bible Institute we founded for the purpose of equipping God’s people for God’s service in the 21st Century. Something we have been doing for thirty years is equipping believers.
In a city as large as New York it is easy to feel lost and uncared for. Calvary, from its earliest years, has sought to provide the warmth and Christian fellowship that we all greatly need. We’ve tried to be more than an army of workers. We have endeavored to be the family God has called us to be. We’ve supported one another in our losses and honored one another in our wins. We’ve worked together, we’ve wept together, we’ve rejoiced together and we’ve eaten together, my oh my, have we eaten together. This whole process is called building one another up or edification. Something we have been doing for thirty years is edifying.
What our world needs is Jesus Christ. The people of our world need His salvation. They also need His healing and restoration. God refers to His church as “the body of Christ”. If I understand this correctly, Calvary Chapel is to be the arms, the feet, the ears, the mouth and the heart of Jesus Christ to our city, our borough, our neighborhood, and our world. For thirty years, we have sought to be the embodiment of Jesus locally by feeding the hungry through food distributions, by supporting and counseling the hurting, by honoring neighborhood heroes – firefighters, cops and teachers, and by standing for and with the most vulnerable, the unborn. We have sought to be Jesus to our world by regularly supporting ministry partners in several foreign countries and by sending Calvary teams on ministry trips to Haiti, Mississippi, and New Orleans. In short, we have sought to embody what it means to be the body of Christ. Calvary has been, for almost every moment of its existence, multi-ethnic, just like the churches in the New Testament were. This, we believe, has enabled us to embody Christ to all people regardless of their ethnicity or culture. Something we have been doing for thirty years is embodying.
Calvary Chapel was not founded for the glory of any individual or group. Our Church is God’s Church and it was founded for His glory. Our awesome LORD is what it is all about. In every service, imperfect as we may be, we have sought to point not at ourselves but to the One who has done so much for us. Whatever we have done we have sought to do for the glory of God. It is His name we want exalted above everything else. Something we have been doing for thirty years is exalting.
Evangelizing those without Christ, equipping those with Christ, edifying fellow believers, embodying what it means to be the body of Christ to our world and exalting the living and true God. Linking arms and hands together to accomplish God’s purposes…this is what we have endeavored to do for thirty years. Thanks for celebrating with us. By His grace and strength might we do something for at least for 30 more years.
In His Service,
For Just Today
For Just Today
Someday soon and I really wish it were today, we all, and by “all” I mean Americans in general and those living in the New York York metro area in particular, need a day. Let’s call it a day of silence. A moment will not do.
Today is a day of solemn remembrance. For today or one day soon can we put aside the politics? Can we just for 24 hours not blame Bush or Obama or both? Could we for a few hours stop hating on Cheney or Biden. Can the commentators get the day off with pay if they will be silent? Today or one day soon can we cease talking from sun up to sunset about what an athlete did in an elevator to a woman who later chose to marry him? Can we just shut up about when the NFL got a video tape for one day? Can we stop for one day our griping and harping and our criticizing for everything from Foreign Policy to who is going to play third base next year for the Yankees. For one day can we stop the second guessing and spin? Oh I wish it was for today.
Thirteen years ago we suffered a national tragedy. We were attacked and we were wounded. That wound runs deep and the scab has been opened many times over the years. Between Washington, New York and Shanksville PA., over three thousand souls lost their lives that day. Obviously not everyone lost someone but we all lost something that day. We lost our innocence, we lost our sense of security, and we lost our peace of mind. We all lost something that day. Since then in Afghanistan and Iraq among other places we’ve lost many other American heroes. For today, maybe just for today, can we really remember them? Can we honor their memory with a day of quiet reflection not just a few brief seconds of silence?
For today, just for today, I ask us all to layside most everything else and grieve with those who still grieve. I am tired of trying to multi-task concern and grief. It doesn’t really work. We need to forget ourselves and our agendas and cry with the young lady who was 5 years old when September 11th first got famous and who entered college this fall driven by her grandparents because her mom died that day. We need to be silent and remember that young man who can’t watch Derek Jeter’s last game with his dad because his pop didn’t make it out of Tower One. We need to remember the 70 year old retired firefighter who has a lung disease because he wouldn’t leave “the pile” because he was looking for his boy. We need a day.
We need to pray for those who are still scarred with the memory of cries from co-workers or massive oppressive smoke or jumpers or messages left on answering machines from loved ones. We need to remember the FDNY which lost 343 men in the space of a couple of hours. This holds true for the NYPD (they lost 23 officers) and Port Authority Police (they lost 37 officers) as well. We need to remember the soldiers who lost their lives as well as those whose limps and lives was shattered by an improvised explosive device in a war fought to make sure 9-11 never happens again.
We need a day of silence for a moment won’t due. I wish it were today. We need to attend or watch a 9-11 memorial event on TV or the internet. We need to call a friend who had a 9-11 related loss (20 percent of American know someone who died or was hurt in 9-11) and remind them we are there for them and mean it. We need to bring dinner to a firehouse or cookies to the precinct and the only words out of our mouths should be “thank you”. We need to salute a veteran or buy lunch for an enlisted man or woman. We need a day.
We need a day. We need to get before our God and give thanks for those in charge with protecting us every day and we need to pray for them. We need to ask that same God what would He have us to do since we survived on 9-11. We need to have dinner with our family and maybe invite some friends over. We need to say where we were and how we felt on that day. Then we need to hug each other. We need to gather around our dinner tables, hold hands and say grace, thanking our Lord above that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave and praying that it will ever be so. We need a day.
Tomorrow we can bicker and blame and fill the room with our flawed and biased opinions. On the 12th we can act like it is business as usual and go on our merry way. We need a day and I really wish it were today.
Pastor Dave Watson
Audio link to yesterday’s sermon at Calvary Chapel on Staten Island, New York, outline link as well.
Temptation Island: Strive, Survive of Thrive – Pt. 2 – Overcoming Temptations So They Don’t Overcome Me
Outline Here: temptation_Island_pt2