Look Up. Look Back. Look Ahead.

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As we celebrated our 21st birthday weekend, we pushed pause to celebrate where we’ve come from and where we are going as a church.

Look Up. Look Back. Look Ahead.


We are a church that loves Jesus deeply. We love each other. We love seeing people transformed by the gospel. At Rock Brook Church, lives are being changed.

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know.”  1 Peter 1:17-21 (MSG)

On this journey of life, you’ll never have to be reminded to look down. You have to remember to look up every once in awhile though.

Our focus is on this life, these problems, these pains, these difficulties, these days. You have to remind yourself, this is not all there is. There’s more going on than you think there is. No matter what season you are navigating, look in these three directions to travel this journey with a deep consciousness of God.

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We can Look Up to the Most High God. The title, the Most High God, is important to God. He is the highest possible object of our worship. Man-made gods or man-made desires cannot compete with Him on any level.

In 1 Samuel 5 the Lord demonstrates that He is God Most High. The Philistines captured the Ark of the Lord. The Ark is what held the ten commandments and the mercy seat so the Israelites could atone for sin. This was necessary before the Cross. The Philistines set it beside their idol, Dagon, in his temple. The next day, Dagon had fallen over before the Ark. The Philistines set their idol back up, and, the next day, it had fallen again, this time breaking off its head and hands. The Lord Most High was proving to the world that no god can stand beside or above Him.

“For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”  Psalm 97:9 (NIV)

We Look Up because we know that:

“…true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.”  Job 12:13 (NLT)

True wisdom doesn’t come with experience or age. True wisdom doesn’t come from time by yourself in nature or from hard work. True wisdom belongs to God and is found in God. So we regularly need to Look Up, for there is none above Him.

There’s another direction we can look that is helpful to travel this journey with a deep consciousness of God.

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We must Look Back and see that God is faithfulMost people forget what they should remember and remember the things they should forget. Jesus said he was sending an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be our divine reminder to remind us what Christ has said and done, the blessings we’ve been given, the price Christ has paid and how loved we are by Him.

 

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulnessYour unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.”  Psalm 89:1-2 (NLT)

Once we look back to see that He is faithful, how He’s rescued us and pulled us out of our sin, then we can Look Ahead believing He is able.

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The faith that enables us to move forward is in the faithfulness of God. As we’re on this journey and we come to a place where we don’t think we can go on, we can look ahead with faith knowing that we’re not about to turn back now.

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)

Jesus says, “If you’re looking back for an excuse or to disqualify yourself, you’re not fit for this kingdom. Because He’s doing a new thing and we’re moving forward.” 

You don’t have to go back to that old sin. You don’t have to go back to those old ways. You don’t have be enslaved by the past. There is a hope and a future and a calling in following Jesus. We want to help you find it.


Vision

As we look ahead, on this birthday weekend, let’s talk about our vision, our hope for you.

Vision is the ability to see what’s ahead.

KNOW GOD

Jesus said when praying to God, this is salvation, that they know youThat word “know” doesn’t mean understanding. It means a relationship. Not that you know of God, but that you know Him.

Our Weekend Worship Services are designed to make Knowing God possible.

This is where you can take your first spiritual steps. You can be introduced to God. You can give him your life. Take your next step of being getting baptized. You may be reading this and be nowhere near Belton, MO. The, find a church that wants you to Know God each time you step in their doors.

Once you know God, he gives you the power to settle some of the junk that’s in your heart. You can get saved and still have junk in your heart. You can be going to heaven and still have addictions and habits and wounds and hurts that are just ruining your life. It’s the second step in our journey.

FIND FREEDOM

Hands down the best way to Find Freedom is in an honest relationship context. 

Life change happens in relationships.

Let’s stop playing church and let’s get real. You don’t have to share the real you with everybody, but share with somebody! At Rock Brook, we have two ways that you can find freedom and fulfill God’s purposes in relationships.

Find Freedom by joining a Small Group.

Ultimately we want you to get close enough to someone so they can help you conquer that thing, whatever that is for you. 

Celebrate Recovery exists so you can find freedom from any hurt, habit or hang-up and live fully alive in Jesus.

Once you Know God and Find Freedom from the past, you can look ahead without having to look back. Once that’s wiped clean you can see your calling.

DISCOVER PURPOSE

When you find your purpose, life takes on new meaning. In four steps, we can help you discover why you are here on earth. We call those steps, Growth Track.

Growth Track is designed to teach you the purpose of the church and how to connect to God relationally so you can discover what your spiritual gifts are.

You can’t do it alone. So you join the body of Christ and you get on a team.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Making a Difference is what you’re life is all about. The people at Rock Brook making a difference are called the Dream Team. They’re teaching kids, playing instruments,  keeping people safe, feeding people, putting on blood drives, setting up and cleaning to make a way for others and helping other people take these steps. Our Dream Team makes a way for others to Know God.

The Dream Team is a where you can find your place and Make a Difference.

Next week, we launch our summer season at Rock Brook. It’s a season of serving. Here’s what coming up-

Why I Serve – a sermon series starting next week (June 9-10, 2018)

A Place to Serve – summer small group curriculum available in our church lobby

Serve Day – on July 14th we will offer a church-wide serving opportunity to make a difference in our community

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Let’s take a look at the dream God has laid on our hearts for Rock Brook church as we look ahead.


It Is The Dream…

It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance, and encouragement.

It is the dream of a group of people who gather together with eagerness, passion and enthusiasm to worship, treasure and lift up the name of Jesus Christ.

It is the dream of welcoming people into the fellowship of our church family. A church family so full of the spirit of Christ that you can tangibly feel the sense of grace and second chance when you are around them. A church family that is loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together.

It is the dream of a freedom so rooted in Christ that it produces the fruit of spiritual maturity. A desire to lead one another to the truth of God’s word. A love for the word of God and radical generosity as we give of ourselves in response to the word.

It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover the gifts and talents God gave them. Anyone can make a difference, no matter how unqualified they feel, or how broken their past.

It is the dream of a church so passionate for the lost, like a parent who’s lost a child, nothing will stop them nor stand against them as they share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their neighbors, their nation and their world.

It is the dream of Rock Brook Church to be unified around these purposes of God.


Check Back

Do you have any more questions or conclusions after reflecting on our last series, The Time Is Now?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know.”  1 Peter 1:17-21 (MSG)

  • Look Up to the Most High God.

“For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”  Psalm 97:9 (NIV)

“But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.”  Job 12:13 (NLT)

  • Look Back and see that He is faithful.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulnessYour unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.”  Psalm 89:1-2 (NLT)

  • Look Ahead believing He is able.

“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 9:62 (NIV)

Application

  1. How has being connected to a local church made a difference in your life?
  2. Is there anything in your life you are putting above God?
  3. Look back over your life, what are some ways God has been faithful?
  4. How do you feel as you look ahead in the journey that is your life?

Tell Someone Else

  • Who can you share this life-giving message with?
  • Is there someone you can invite to church with you?
  • Is there someone who would benefit from a small group?
  • Is there someone who you could go through the Growth Track with?
  • Is there someone who would serve on the Dream Team if they were asked by you?

 

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