Service Video Message Video Message Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses Ephesians 2:19-22, Downloads & Resources Lakeside's Four Relationship Vision Dr. Jon Morrissette - 4/24/2005 Unfortunately, our guest speaker was unable to be with us this morning. I talked to him earlier this week, and he sounded just horrible. Later this week he called and he just found out he had pneumonia, so we will reschedule for a later date. Kent was going to challenge us about ministering with grace in a culture of brokenness. He is humbly and quietly ministering to the untouchables of our culture and is being used by God in extraordinary ways. Your dreams for your life, versus God's dreams for your life. In Kent's absence, I want to talk about God’s dream for your life and his dream for our church. I’m not going to pretend that you don’t already have a dream for your life. In fact, many of you are in the prime of pursuing your own dreams and ambitions. Night and day the same thing is always on your thoughts. You wake up thinking about it. You go to sleep dreaming about it. It drives your choices, it determines your priorities, and it shapes who you are becoming. Your dream is your identity. And you believe that your dream is the key to finding contentment and lasting happiness. When I was in high school my dream was to be a computer programmer. That’s where the opportunities were. That’s where the money was. Computers were my salvation from poverty, misery, purposelessness, and boredom. They were my life. I spent days and nights and weekends, every moment of my discretionary time, pecking away at a keyboard, clicking a mouse, and hypnotized by the glow of a computer monitor. That computer was my life, my identity, and my hope. It was everything to me. But God had a dream for my life, a much better dream than mine. There was this whole universe of possibility that had never been opened up to me. My dream pushed me into deep isolation. It alienated me from friends and family. In front of the computer I was becoming this grumpy, self-absorbed blob who would explode into a fit of rage if interrupted. But God’s dream set me free from that. We always think our dream is better than God’s dream, but it never is. We always think that our dream is the key to finding contentment and lasting happiness, but only God's dream for us is that key. My privilege this morning is to give voice to God’s dream for your life and for our church. Ephesians 2:19-22(NIV) catches the essence of God’s dream for your life and our church. "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." A few months back, we studied this passage word by word and verse by verse. I don’t want to do that today. Instead, I want you to mull over the big ideas shaping these verses. I want you to be open to God’s dream, his desire, his will, and his purpose. Being established in Christ Jesus. One of the first big ideas in this passage is that of being established in Christ Jesus. We are being asked to imagine a great building project. Before any of the walls go up, before anything else can happen, a firm foundation must be established. But the foundation God has in mind isn’t made of stone, cinderblocks, or concrete. The foundation that God has in mind is Jesus Christ, his one and only Son. It's his word. God’s dream is for our lives and our church to be built on the sure foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Jesus is to be the foundation and organizing principle for the whole building. In him, everything is to be joined together and it is to rise up from the ground. Being filled with the Holy Spirit. Another big idea in this passage is that of being filled with the Holy Spirit. We are being asked to imagine a great structure, built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. But notice who the building is to accommodate. The building is to be a dwelling in which God lives by his Holy Spirit. You saw what a big deal it was this past week when the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library was dedicated. The President of the United States flew into town and toured its hallways. He stood in front of the library and spoke of its beauty and grandeur. His presence made the building special. But what would it mean if the President of the United States were to take up residence there? What would it mean for that building? For our city? For our country? For our world? The living God has in mind to take up residence, through his Holy Spirit, in this structure that he is building on the foundation of his Son Jesus Christ. Being built into his household. A third big idea in this passage is that of being built into God’s household. This building that God dreams of doesn’t consist of bricks and mortar, or even of wood. The building is constructed out of people. Where can you get a building permit for that? What’s really intriguing is the kind of people it is made from. It is made out of people who apart from Jesus Christ have absolutely nothing in common. People described as,"aliens and foreigners." Somehow, miraculously, these people are being, "joined together" and, "built together" to become this magnificent structure in which God lives by his Holy Spirit. Just how is God doing that? How is he bringing men and women together? How is he joining young and old? How is he uniting enemies, strangers, and sinners together? Bringing him glory in his world. A last big idea in this passage is that of bringing glory to God in the world. This structure that is being built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, this structure in which God chooses to live by his Holy Spirit, this structure that consists of people, what is its purpose? Just why is it being built? We are told that it is rising, "to become a holy temple in the Lord." In ancient times, people measured the greatness of the gods by the magnificence of the temple built in their honor. If a people wanted their god to be taken seriously, they would build the most glorious temple possible. In ancient times the Jews built one of the greatest temples ever in honor of Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The temple in Jerusalem was unlike anything the world had ever seen. Its gold adornments glistened in the sun. It could be seen from miles away. Beside its towering stone walls, people appeared as ants. The thought of Yahweh caused the nations to tremble in fear. This temple brought God glory in the world for a time. But now a new and more glorious temple (a structure) exists to bring him glory on earth. Lest there be any confusion, I am still talking about God’s dream. The dream of a structure built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The dream of a structure in which God lives by his Holy Spirit. The dream of a structure that is being constructed of diverse people. The dream of a structure that causes the world to marvel at the greatness of God’s name. That structure is us! It is you and me! It is the Church! God is building us! Becoming growing, life-giving Christians- The four relationship vision. Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV) tells us that we, "are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." I know that many of you already have a dream for your life. I am aware of how much time and energy you exert every day in the pursuit of your dream. I know that night and day the same thing is always on your thoughts. I know that you wake up and go to sleep dreaming about the same thing. I know that your dream is driving your choices, determining your priorities, and shaping who you are becoming. I know that your dream is your identity and that God’s voice is just one of many voices competing for your affection. No one can tell you that God’s dream should be your dream. Would it even make a difference if they did? What I can tell you is that what God builds endures for eternity. The foundation of what God builds never fails. The presence of God never leaves what he builds. The people included in God’s building are no longer foreigners and aliens. The glory of what God builds causes people to tremble at the goodness and greatness of God. What we build produces fleeting joy and pleasure. But what God builds produces lasting joy and deep contentment. You will never be so fulfilled as when you are part of God’s building, God’s dream. What we are talking about is God’s dream of the Church. The Church isn’t a building. It isn’t bricks and mortar. It isn’t built on concrete. It doesn’t have one address. The Church is a distinctive people that God is building upon the foundation of his Son, that God is filling through his Holy Spirit, and that God is using to bring glory for himself on earth. Are you part of God’s church, God’s household, God’s building? The first relationship is "growing". I have been thinking a lot lately about God’s dream for our lives and for our church. There are some specific things we need to think about as they relate to our lives. First, are you growing in Christ Jesus? Is Jesus Christ the greatest passion in your life? Is he on your thoughts and in your heart? Are you humbled by his love and celebrating his grace? Does his goodness and greatness compel you to repent from your sins? Do you recognize him as the Lord of your life? Do you trust him as the savior from your sins? Do you know him personally? Do you confess his name? Is he the foundation upon which you are building your life? The second relationship is "being filled". Second, are you being filled by God’s Holy Spirit? Are you inviting the Holy Spirit to transform every area of your life? Are you daily seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit through basic habits like Bible reading, prayer, worship, scripture memorization, devotions, fasting, and service? Are you training for godliness and experiencing meaningful life change? Are you sowing to the Spirit? Are you offering your body to God as an instrument of righteousness? The third relationship is "one-anothering". Third, are you one-anothering other people? Are you puttingeach other before yourself? Are you doing life together with other members of the body of Christ outside of Sunday morning? Are you using your spiritual gifs to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms? Are you in a group that practices the one-another passages in scripture? One-anothering includes serving, teaching, encouraging, praying, forgiving, accepting, being hospitable, and bearing with one another. The fourth relationship is "becoming an influence." Last, are you influencing other people? Are you impacting your circle of influence with the good news of Jesus Christ? Does anyone know you are a Christian? Does your life interest people in knowing Jesus Christ? Do you tell others about Jesus? Do you personally invite people to meet other Christians? Do you pray for people by name to know Christ? Does your life magnify God’s goodness and greatness for others? The goal of the four relationship vision. God wants to build something here at Lakeside. He wants you to be part of his dream. The dream of a structure built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The dream of a structure in which God lives by his Holy Spirit. The dream of a structure that is being constructed of people redeemed by grace. The dream of a structure that causes the world to marvel at greatness of God’s name. I want you to look at the four areas I just described and do some self-assessment. Where are you missing God’s dream for your life? It strikes me that many of us need to make Christ the greatest passion of our lives. We are so busy pursuing our own interests and dreams that we have crowded Jesus Christ completely out of our lives. It strikes me that many of us need to focus on being filled by God’s Holy Spirit. The bible tells us to be filled with God’s Spirit. However, we regulate the flow of God’s filling. We control how much of God’s Spirit we let in by how often we pray, worship, study our Bibles, memorize scripture, meditate, do devotions, and fast. There is no way a few drips now and then will ever fill us to the measure that God desires. It strikes me that many of us need to practice the one-another passages. For many, church is about coming to a building, sitting down and staring at the back of someone’s head for an hour, and then going home. For others, church is about doing a job or task. We forget that we are being built together as a family. That we are here to do life together. To love and serve one another. To give. To have some face to face interaction beyond Sunday. It strikes me also that many of us need to be an influence for Christ in our community. God’s doesn’t build things in secret. Your life is to be a testimony of his goodness and greatness. You exist to make people hungry and thirsty for God. And all of this is God’s dream for your life and for mine.