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For The City Part 3

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our world is dry in so many ways I think about the the hopelessness that that so many experienced but I'm not discouraged I feel like God has placed us right where we are in the right time in the right place for this moment I want you to see the Deschutes River beginning to rise it's beginning to crest over the banks and it begins to flood the high desert waters moving into every neighborhood every city every school every government building is saturating every part of Central Oregon Jesus said that out of you will flow rivers of living water I believe there's more for us in this next season we desire to embody the way of Jesus to love God and love people like a river that's overflowing its banks we see the gospel of Jesus moving into our neighborhoods transforming lives and communities as we intentionally engage in proximity to our city we will see the life and love of Jesus bring transformation to everyone everywhere Jesus working through us flowing out of a Westside church is a church for the city everybody so great to see you all today and those that are watching online Facebook live etcetera great to have you with us as well well two weeks ago we finished up our series talking about the vision for the city and we had a goal at that time to raise through pledges over the next two years $450,000 that's around the almost 50% of our total goal of a million over the next two years and through that weekend I just wanted to get like give you guys a like a high five because we together pledged and raised over five hundred and thirty six thousand dollars on that weekend so give me you guys give yourselves a hand yeah for those of you that maybe haven't heard about the vision it's a vision that we have of moving into proximity intentionally moving into proximity with our community of Central Oregon and Beyond in in in in in ways that are tangible expressions of the life and love of Jesus and we're excited about that and and one of the catalysts if not the catalyst for what God wants to do is something that I want to talk about today generosity and if you have a Bible go ahead and turn to Matthew chapter 21 Matthew chapter 21 this is a watershed moment for our church I really believe that it's a turning point that we've we're experiencing where we're believing for a move of God in Central Oregon a stirring that would happen that would take place as a result of us being obedient to what he's asking us to do and the waters are rising I believe that the waters of the life and love of geez are about to overflow and I I don't like to use the word revival because it's it has so many other meanings and things different people people think different things but what I do see is a is a movement of God in Central Oregon like we haven't seen before and I believe we're on the cusp of that and I and how we respond to the move of God in these early moments are is so critical it's a seen all of it happen and and so yeah I'm really excited about where we are as a church and what we're calling a water distribution project of getting the life and love of Jesus out into our city and our communities into our schools into our neighborhoods and the government places and just really it's it's exciting to see how people have been responding well Matthew chapter 21 let me set up the context it's the triumphal entry so it's it's the story of where Jesus is going to come into Jerusalem for the last time in his earthly life just one week prior to his crucifixion and and it's an monumental moment as you're gonna see it's like this amazing like this is really up and there's this um it's like it's like a move of God this is happening right here right here on these pages and so Matthew chapter 21 verse 1 says now when they they being the disciples and Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethpage to the Mount of Olives then Jesus sent two disciples and he said to them go into the village in front of us and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a Colt with us so a donkey and a little donkey they're gonna be there standing there waiting for you untie them and bring them to me if anyone says anything to you say the Lord needs them and he will send them at once and this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Prophet saying say to the daughter of Zion behold your king is coming to you humble and mounted on a donkey on a Colt the foal of a beast of burden that is a messianic prophecy it's called where where the Jews were waiting for the Messiah the Son of God to come and deliver them and and so that's one of those prophecies that he would come riding on a donkey and it's Colt and versa so then verse six the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them they brought the donkey let me just pause right there what happened between six and seven aren't you curious to know like they show up at the guys house the donkey and tied up with a little donkey and they're like nobody's there should we just stay yeah all right let starts on time the owner of the donkeys must have shown up otherwise Jesus won't have instructed them if you're asked what are you doing tell them the Lord needs them so they're there already like feeling a little like I this like how are we supposed to be stealing these donkeys you know and so they're taking these donkeys the owner shows up and he's like what are you these are my donkeys that's my donkey that's my little donkey what you doing with my donkeys and and so they're like well the Lord the Lord you know the Lord he needs them the Lord and they're like and thankfully the guy must have been follower of Jesus like oh why didn't you start with that take my donkeys and my little donkey I don't know why you need him but go ahead and take them so that's what happened between verses 6 & 7 I think something like that anyways they brought the donkey and the Colt and and put on them their cloaks and Jesus said on them and so they made a little makeshift saddle most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road and the crowds that went before Jesus and that followed him were shouting Hosanna to the son of David that's a reference to the Messiah so this crowd is recognizing Jesus as the Son of God there they're praising him they're worshiping him blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord hosanna in the highest it's this eruption of praise and joy and celebration that's happening in the city and when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was stirred up say stirred up they were stirred up saying who is this who's getting this kind of celebration who's getting this kind of praise I mean this must be someone important then the crowds are saying to everyone that's kind of watching this is the Prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee there was this stir and I heard a message recently from louie giglio who was talking about this passage and i grew up Sunday school but I never had a picture of Jesus riding two donkeys it's only only one anybody ever think that he's riding two donkeys a little donkey and a big donkey and that's what he's riding into town with anyways missed that in Sunday school interesting point really doesn't have anything to do it the message but it's just interesting the point of this story for us today is that the whole city was stirred there was a sense of anticipation excitement like while Jesus is coming into town and then the people that were bystanders looking on they're like what's going on and there was a stir happening there was this excitement happening there was this celebration happening some might even say an awakening was taking place among the people a resurgence of the glory of God in Jerusalem that kind of the birthplace of of Judaism and Christianity and the coming of Jesus was happening this water of life was flowing into Jerusalem see for the city is about Jesus riding in or flowing in in our region through West siders like you and me and through other churches that are partnering together and today I want us to look at how generosity plays a part in the the coming in of the Messiah Jesus into our region and there's four things if you're taking notes here the four things I'll give you them one at a time here's the number one first one God invites us into something how many of you love being invited to something important you just love like you get an invitation I remember getting a phone call from a guy named Ron Mel and Ron Mel back in the day I was I was 25 years old I was 25 year old pastor and sisters Ron Mel was a big fish in a small little pond called Foursquare our denomination and had one of the largest churches in our movement several thousand people in Beaverton and and where Keith Jenkins some you know Keith he pastors there now and you like his preaching more than mine I know that that's okay I'm fine with that anyways so Ron Mel I get it I get a message from his assistant that Ron Mel wants to call me so here I am a 25 year old and he wants to invite me to something I'm like I'm like but as to tell me what it is I'm like Suzanne he probably heard about how great we are how the church is growing he probably just wants to invite me to speak at one of the largest churches in Foursquare you know and maybe even go on staff with him I don't know you know maybe he couldn't make a wedding in Sun River so he's asking me to do the ceremony anyway I can't remember who I married that day I'm not gonna say I was disappointed it was a wonderful ceremony but we loved being invited that's the idea of being invited into something important and and significant is something that we long for and and and we and when we talk about generosity it's like God is inviting us into something really big bigger than anything that we could do just on our own or as a church and he wants to do something grand on a grand scale the Bible tells us that the earth is the Lord's and everything in it so the fact that God comes to us and invites us into his his thing is absurd that he needs anything from us the idea that he could that man I can't do this without people it's audacious to think that God would invite us into his work on this planet it's audacious I mean think about it he could have done he could have he could have gotten those donkeys any any way he mean he could just I mean I'm pretty sure he could put the thought of in the donkey's heads that you need to leave your owner and come to where I am and he just comes down their stairs from the upper room and there's the donkeys waiting for him that deciphers like wow he does this all the time you know but he doesn't do that he invites the disciples into the process but not only that he invites the owners of the donkeys but and and donkeys by the way why I mean I know it was like fulfillment of prophecy but if I'm Jesus I'm coming in a Tesla not a donkey I'm just saying that's he could have come anyway any grand way much grander way than a couple of donkeys but he invites us into his narrative he invites us into his mission of reconciling the world to himself of flowing his life into a region he he invites us into this and I think about the hundreds of people at Westside Church you who give regularly serve regularly volunteer regularly outside of our church the hundreds and I think you get it you understand the connection between generosity and invitation that I feel like I'm a part of something when I give when I volunteer when I share my time and my resources I'm part of something bigger than myself bigger than what I could do just on my own it's an integral part you're an integral part of God's mission he invites us into it I was thinking about invitation I was thing about the drummer today his name is Andrew and Andrew is here in Central Oregon from Southern California because he's planting a church with Journey Church in Redmond and in the in the meantime while that's still getting kind of going he showed up at Westside was like can I drum and our team is like yes come on it's not because we need more drummers I mean that's not the point a lot of times you think in church that well they're gonna they're gonna invite when they need that's not the way God does it God invites because he want he knows the value of an invitation he knows the value both of being invited and responding to an invitation and that's feeling like valued and so when we said Andrew come on let's play drums man and plate he's been playing in the youth this was his first Sunday was pretty nervous about this is for Sunday on this stage and he did a great job but he's he feels invited into it it was a funny story we invited Arianna she was the girl playing the guitar she leads worship for our youth and we invited Arianna to Cinco DeMayo at my mother-in-law's house and Ariana invited Andrew so Andrew showed up at our at our house and this invitation invitation we all want to be invited and God invites us into his grand narrative something bigger than ourselves generosity here's the second principle of generosity Jesus rides into town on the generosity of ordinary people does anybody know the name of the guy the owner of the donkey and the little donkey no it's not in the narrative he's just an ordinary guy like you and me he's not he's not this big preacher he's didn't become this famous evangelist like Philip he's not this he's not even mentioned his name's not even mentioned in the scripture but his story is his story of letting the donkeys go with the disciples is in the story of the triumphal entry I mean that that's what Jesus loves to do he loves to ride into town on the generosity of ordinary people when I when I see the waters of the Deschutes rising and crest cresting over the the boundaries of the river and flowing into the region I see people who are like I'm just an ordinary guy who said yes to Jesus and that whatever I have whoever I am whatever time I have whatever town I have whatever treasure I have got it's yours I'm willing to give it I'm see generosity is the raft that we ride in on into our city into our community it's that's how we get there is through generosity see that's the way Jesus wants to come into Central Oregon a move of his spirit I think there's gonna be signs and wonders that follow I think there's gonna be miracles that happen but I I think the primary way in this season is through generosity the people of God extending the life and love of Jesus in such a generous way then everyone there's a stir that happens in people I you hear about these churches and Bend and Central Oregon they're working together and they're they're like they're like given their life away and their money away and their time away and it's like this is compelling there's a stir that happens as a result of that Louie Giglio says when Jesus came in on generosities back the whole city was stirred Jesus wants the entire region of Central Oregon to be moved by his presence to be impacted by his love to be asking who is it that comes rioting not just on the preaching and not just on the church services but on the generosity of ordinary people God invites us into something he rides into town on the generosity of ordinary people and here's the third way that generosity fits into the narrative this story the mission of God our generosity writes us in to God's story you know here's what I've learned in my life greed writes me out of God's story and generosity writes me in whenever I try to hold on ever I try to keep for myself my life doesn't have as much meaning and purpose and I don't and I don't find myself in the narrative of God's story but generosity sacrificial giving of all that I am and all that I have writes me in to the story that a guy with two donkeys would be willing to loan them with no with no questions asked just like here they're here they are I don't know why you need them but and they notice he didn't even ask am I getting them back you know that'd be my question what how long I'll call you to then all right I'll call you - please don't man if you know let's sign a contract - by the way because if they something happens to my donkeys am I gonna get reimbursed see that's not the way of Jesus is it's not it's like I just want to give I just want to give my life for his sake for his purposes and it doesn't take a lot to write us into his story somebody say thank you Jesus it doesn't take a lot donkey in a little donkey it is that then - a Widow's mite a kid with two loaves of bread and fishes it doesn't this doesn't take a lot to be written into the story of God it simply takes generosity of heart and spirit a guy named Joseph of Arimathea had a tomb that he had bought years prior for himself he's just hanging on to it until that day that he needed it and then when his Lord needed it he was like I'll give it no questions asked just he needs somewhere to go I've got a place see that's how the the move of God comes into communities is through people who are willing to sacrifice I give what they have the generosity of a guy with a donkey a little donkey was a catalyst that set off a tidal wave in Jerusalem the whole city was stirred I wonder what part of God's story we're gonna be walking into over these next 2 3 4 5 years I wonder what my God might do if we genuinely tell him here I am all I have and all I am is yours however whatever I mean a donkey got my donkey whatever you need I wonder what part of God's story you and I will have the opportunity to walk into I love that I heart 365 was mentioned today on the on the Westside news it's it's a texting service how many of you are actually signed up for it this is not a guilt trip by the way if you don't raise your hand I'm just curious doing a little survey a little poll III heart 365 is a texting service where once a week and no more than that those of us that are signed up for will get a text of a need typically outside of our church family and one family recently was telling me about they were packing up some clothes that their daughter had grown out of and they're packing them them up and they were gonna take them to Goodwill and and right then while they're packing up their the clothes they get this text for a family with small children who need clothes and they're like the wife goes through the husband I guess this is what the this is where they're going these clothes aren't going to Goodwill anymore they're going to this it was such a just such a simple thing for them it wasn't it wasn't hard it was easy and but you know what the ripple effect of them coming bringing their clothes in and then this family receiving this clothes that they didn't couldn't afford they didn't know what they were going to do and a church community rallied together and got them and had some clothes available for them see this is what generosity does might be kind of easy for us sometimes so yeah I got some clothes I'm actually not even use these clothes ever again you know it's just that's how God does it but the ripples of that into the community of his life and love people are being impacted in such significant ways by what we might think is insignificant in terms of our giving and our generosity imagine imagine what God will do as we all partner together if you want to by the way if you want to get on that text stream it's pretty easy I think they're gonna put up on the screen you text the phrase IH 365 IH 365 to the number three one three one three one and you'll get immediately signed up for that service but our willingness today to be generous weaves us into the story of God tomorrow and ways that we might not even see today or maybe not even know in the future but he weaves us in our generosity does that so God invites us into something he rides into town on the back of our generosity and generosity writes us into the story of God the last one I want to talk a little bit about is that you always give back what you give as Americans you should be going right on right on I like that one this is the thing about and I'm it right in the same boat most of us kind of believe in a zero-sum game that once I give it it's gone once once it's out of my reach out of my hands I'm never gonna see it again and we live with that when and we think that that's God's economy as well my wife and I lived in Croatia for several years as most of you probably know and we they were a former communist nation and they still had traces of it in their culture obviously and so I remember when we got there and we brought all of our stuff with us from the US or not all of it but some of it you know and and I just remember a phrase they kept saying to us right when our stuff got there especially we have this phrase in Croatia they would say what's yours is mine and what's mine is yours and I'm thinking no what's mine is mine and what yours is yours works okay in the US okay just keep that really separate they're like no no see here in Croatia what is mine is yours and what is yours including that bicycle is mine is mine I'm like so you want to borrow the bike yeah I want to borrow yeah yeah and and we don't live that that makes us uncomfortable here that idea is like well that goes against the American Way but I just want to tell you that it goes with God's Way over and over in the scripture it keeps coming back to its old all that they had the early church they sold all that they had and gave to the poor they people would sell homes and property and they they give the proceeds the profit to the church I mean over and over you see this in the narrative of God's story it's is it's it's it's astonishing how often that happens that way where it's like what's yeah I have you don't I'm gonna help meet the need of what you have chief Jenkins said that that our neighbor when Jesus talks about love your neighbor as yourself or a neighbor is anyone that has something that needs something that you have those are our neighbors those are the people that we reach out to and we say okay what's yours what's yours is mine what mine is yours we're gonna have this idea that see God's not playing in the kind of the American game over and over God gives back to those who give it's not a zero-sum game for him we're in my creation church shirt not because I'm gonna go attend there but because I love that we're planning the church and people are worried I've had people from Westside from other places aren't you worried planting a church across town like what would I ask what would I we were worried about people leaving money going tithers leaving and I'm like yeah there are days where I get a little anxious about that I was on one of those days I was actually down in Los Angeles I was um we were about to to tell that to all of you about the church plan I was a little nervous about it I was like you know I wonder how many people are actually gonna go with Seth in the church plant you know I mean it could be really significant and it's like what's that gonna do to us and all you know you just have these thoughts right and so I'm sitting at breakfast at this meeting in Los Angeles with a group of pastors and and during the like the general session I hear this one particular guy say that he's planted three churches he's a pastor in Spokane and he threw planted three churches in Spokane out of their Church in Spokane he planted three other churches in his town and so I so I found him at breakfast i sat down with him and I said I I I said they've tell me the truth how many people did you lose that's the way I phrased the question so you already know I'm kind of in a bad space that way how many people did you lose and how much money went with you and he looked at me and he said all three times the number of people that went the next very next Sunday we had as many people back in the church different people and the money we never missed a beat it was the same and we grew and we continued to grow and our churches that we plan to continue to grow see that Jesus doesn't work with a zero-sum game once it's gone it's gone it just doesn't work that way I had a vision years ago when I feel like God was asking us to start moving in this direction where he he he brought me to the story of Elijah with the with this Widow who has lost everything and she's not able to feed her family and she's she's gonna die of starvation and he asks the Prophet this prophet the Prophet asks her grab some jars so she goes to get some empty jars and miraculously they're filled with oil and and and and and Elijah says go get some more jars so she goes into the whole community and finds all the empty jars in town they bring him every jar that's empty that she brings gets filled and the only time the oil stop stopped running was when they didn't have jars to fill anymore and I feel like that was a word for us as a church is that as many jars as we bring to God in this season I don't think it's gonna be a season that lasts forever but I think that in this season whatever jar we bring whatever whatever whatever in our lives that we bring that we feel is empty and maybe it doesn't whatever is God's going to fill it whether that's a building or whether that's a new church or that's a city without orphans or that's an Hispanic ministry whatever it is God's going to fill it overflowing as long as we keep coming to him living generous lives Jesus wrote in on that donkey and that little donkey into Jerusalem and as far as we know they didn't crucify those donkeys with Jesus the owner got them back but not only did he get them back but but imagine the owner and what he really got back when he gave his donkey and little donkey to Jesus's disciples what I mean imagine that moment like they take the untie the donkeys they leave they say yeah the Lord needs them he's like okay take them that's great it's like I wonder what they need the donkeys forth and all of a sudden there's this stir happening and people are running past his house streets into the streets downtown in Jerusalem he's like what is all that stir going on and so he follows the crowd and he's trying to like what's going on here's this Hosanna in the highest to the son of David this is big worship celebration happening and he's like what is going on he looks around he goes like those are my dog gates imagine his excitement when he realizes that we need to give the donkeys a couple names it'll help out he and ha we'll just call him he and ha anyway that was a pastor King joke for those of you that have been around a while anyway so he and ha he sees him he's like Jesus my lord the one that they're all praising the one that's caused the stir in this town he's riding on my doggie and my little donkey what a day for him he didn't need to get his donkeys back I gotta tell you that didn't matter as much to him at that point to see that the one that that's going to bring life into a region is riding on the backs of his donkeys is is reward enough it's a return enough but I'm pretty sure he got his donkeys back I think about all the people who have give I've given so much for this church over such a long period of time we've been faithful in their giving financially and their service or they just faithfully like I'm just gonna invest my life into this community of faith and see what God does through my generosity I just I just think about all of those that I'm just like thank you for what you're doing and what God is doing through you if you like to get connected if you're not connected already to for the city or to our church and serving or giving we have a website that you can go to Westside church org slash for the city it'll give you all the information about for the city but then also ways to to volunteer and to give encourage you to check that out if you haven't already well let's wrap this up generosity generosity declares that God has all of my life and I want my life to matter in his grand story donkey and a little donkey it's yours a Widow's mite that happened to be everything she had it's yours a couple pieces of bread and some fish it's yours Jesus is inviting us into something so audacious and his generosity through us will make such an impact we can't even imagine or dream big enough to know what the impact will be of us living generous lives being written into his story and seeing and writing telling our grandkids one day yeah I should have been there it was amazing what God did she close your eyes for a moment and as you can tell I believe that God's generosity towards us came through the person and work of Jesus Christ and that through his sacrifice not only was Jesus like written into the story of God he is the story of God and he got back what he gave his very life and he offers us the same said come take up your cross he says to us and follow me and you will have life if you'd like to follow Jesus today if you'd like to make a decision today for the first time because I make this decision every single day I wake up to follow him but if you'd like to do that for the first time today you simply right now lift your hand and look up at me I want to I just want to pray with you and ask God to be real in your life and if you'd like to follow Jesus today for the first time just raise your hand yeah yeah thank you Jesus anyone else thank you lord if I don't see your hand he does and Jesus I thank you for new life fresh life fresh faith would you stir that in all of us Jesus would your coming be is real to us today this week as it was the first time and for those that responded for the first time Jesus would it would you do such a work in their life of grace and generosity use us Jesus use our lives in Jesus name Amen do we celebrate with those that just made that decision so great well there's a stirring coming you guys there really is we believe it the entrance of Jesus changes everything doors are flying open for the the welcoming of Jesus we're seeing a renewed sense of energy and purpose in our church especially with young people that are like as Westside really doing this they're so excited about this as well and your life matters your money matters your time matters your talents measure your giftings matter so this is the question I want to end with are you willing to get into generosities boat and float the river of God's grace and love god bless you guys before you take off I want you guys to like hang out for a little while by the way this is we got several little churches here we got a church over there we got a little church right in here another church back there I've got a church right here over back there too all the way in the back out of church their church here and the church over here you need to find out who you went to church with today and so hang out for a little while we ended early so you could fellowship a bit so go ahead and do that greet one another around two before you leave

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