January 2018 - February 2018
Who has more reason to party than God's people? Nobody! From the beginning, God expected His people to celebrate all the time, remembering God's faithfulness from the past, and anticipating His goodness in the future. Get your party on!
Sun, Feb 04, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 37 mins
Born to Party week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on February 4, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
In this series we have learned that from the beginning of humanity, God intended for His people to be known as a people who celebrated on a regular basis… to be known as a people who took intentional time out of their schedules to take the focus off of themselves and instead focus in on the bigger picture that God had for their lives… to be a group of committed followers who would reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of God in their lives so that they would not get too overwhelmed or fearful of the daunting and sometimes downright scary circumstances that surrounded them in their daily lives.
We are being what the church is supposed to be… a group of people that, even in the midst of challenges and heartbreak in this world, can come together and find strength in one another and in the Lord. That's what we've been talking about in this series…. we can celebrate because of who God is, because of what God has done, and because of what God will continue to do in our lives when we seek after Him.
New people should be able to come through our doors and see that regardless of what the circumstances are that are going on around us in our lives, that we are never defeated. We're not anxious, overwhelmed, pessimistic or negative, because we know who our God is, we know where our hope lies, we know the source of our strength, we know the depth of His love, we know the power of his mercy, we know the grace of his forgiveness, and we know the true source of our joy. And because we know all of these things we can celebrate as we were created to celebrate.
Now let's get in to the 3 stories. You'll notice a rhythm to the 3 stories as each one talks about something being lost, something being found, and a celebration for what is found
The story isn't finished yet. It will be determined in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years. What will the party look like, who will be at the celebration. How the story ends? We'll have to wait and see.
Sun, Jan 28, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 40 mins
Born to Party week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 28, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
It's not easy to watch people be joyful when you are feeling about as joyless as possible at the time, is it? We have things going on in our lives sometimes that we get so consumed with that we lose focus of the bigger picture and instead of living lives of joy we live lives of fear, hopelessness, and despair. And we get confused when we meet people who always seem to be full of hope and joy.
Too many churches today fall under the definition of Christianity that was offered by journalist H.L. Menkin… he described Christianity as being this…
"the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time."
- H.L. Mencken
From the beginning God designed it for his people to be known for joy and celebration; God wants us to come together and celebrate life together on a regular basis, and it should show on our faces as well.
So Jesus is at this house party, enjoying food and beverage with tax collectors and sinners. The religious leaders should have been experiencing the joy but because Jesus didn't meet their expectations, they missed out. They, of all people, should have been anticipating the coming of the Messiah, but because he didn't fit into their understanding and expectation of who and what the Messiah would be, they missed out on the party altogether.
We see over and over again in Scripture that Jesus wasn't that worried about tradition for traditions sake like the religious leaders of the time were. They wanted everything to stay the same but Jesus was wanting to do something brand new. And they couldn't celebrate because they were so caught up in how they had always done things before.
And Jesus does his first miracle, turning water in to wine. And they take some of it to the master of ceremony, who doesn't know where it came from, and he tries it and he can't believe how good it is. The party has been saved. They had crunched the numbers and miscalculated on how much they needed and they had run out. They had run out of joy. What do you do when you run out of joy at the wedding celebration?
It's the difference that Jesus can make in our lives, in our churches, in our friendship, in our marriages, at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in our communities, in our country and in our world.
we serve a big, big God. He's in the business of redeeming stories; how did he redeem you?
Sun, Jan 21, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 35 mins
Born to Party week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 21, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Let's start off with a moment of just blunt honesty… how many of you have been around a person that is so full of joy, so happy about life, so excited about what is going on around them, so full of smiles and giggles, that you just want to walk up to them… and smack them upside the head? "What are you so darn joyful about all the time?... Knock it off!"
1 Thessalonians 5:16,18
It's important for us to understand that joy is not a denial of reality; as Christ followers we still see the realities around us. We see the injustices, we see the racism and sexism, we see the immorality and the corruption in people and in governments.
As Christians we don't pretend that everything is ok when it's not ok…we're not afraid to engage with some of the challenging aspects of the world that we live in…we fight for justice, we walk humbly with God…but we are able to do so with a spirit of joy, not because everything is good and great, but because of WHO God is and because of WHAT God's done, and because of what God WILL DO one day when Jesus returns and says "Enough, I'm making all things new now."
"Party is sacrament."
- Alan Hirsch
Sacrament: a sacred act instituted by God Himself.
1 Corinthians 5:7b
So it was a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do. In reality, each of these festivals that God had appointed for His peole was at the same time a…
Commemoration and Anticipation
commemoration: looking back at God's faithfulness
anticipation: looking ahead WITH faith to what God WILL do
How well do you practice your gratitude?
What connects gratitude to joy is the practice of it. If you want to experience more joy in your life then up your gratitude game and practice it regularly.
God desires more for your life here and now than you can possibly wrap your head around. He wants you to know Him and trust Him so completely that you can't help but practice gratitude all the time… He wants you to so completely understand who He has created you to be that you can't help but live out gratitude by celebrating it with those you love. He wants you to so completely understand who we are supposed to be as a church family that we together can't help but reach out to those who don't know His love and help them meet the God who is passionate about them and celebrate like crazy when they give their lives to Jesus Christ. We are a people who were born to party. No other group of people on the planet has as much reason to celebrate.