Building Your Life On Values That Last | Celebration Weekend

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We put Celebration Weekend on our calendar every year around Thanksgiving to give thanks to God, turn the corner into the the holidays, give to Him and celebrate what God has done in our lives this fall.

With Celebration Weekend, we open up a giving opportunity called the Celebration Offering. Our first priority for you is to give out of your relationship with God and give through the church, that’s called the tithe. If you choose to give beyond your tithe, that is called an offering. The Celebration Offering we bring at the end of the year, to celebrate what God has done in our lives.

The Bible says the way you give to God is through the church because the church is the body of Christ. Here’s how we plan on using the money given during this year’s Celebration Offering.

In previous years, we’ve used part of the offering to give an extra month of support to the missionaries and amazing organizations we support as a church. Through your giving this year we’ve been already able to cover that.

This year, we want to give half of what comes in to church planters. The other half we’ll use for some improvements around here.

In the past, we’ve been able to renovate a room or space or add technology to help us get the gospel out to more people through the Celebration Offering.

If you want to give to that, you can designate your gift, Celebration Offering. You can give online at RockBrook.org/Giving to give online.


“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples…”  Mark 8:34a NIV

Jesus understood all of the people who were following Him. There were people in different stages of their spiritual journey, they weren’t all disciples. He had a crowd of people who were kicking the tires and trying to figure out if Jesus was real. He was talking to both of them at the same time.

“and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34b NIV

In other words, “Let’s go!” Come from where you are to the full potential God has for your life. By the way, all of us need to do that. We’re still growing and learning and becoming more like him.

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,”  Mark 8:35a NIV

It says here you have to give an exchange for the things you’re currently doing that aren’t what God wants.

“but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”  Mark 8:35-36 NIV

What good is it to have a great marriage, great job, the house, cars or vacations if you don’t deal with your soul issues? The real you and the part of you that’s going to live forever?


One of the things we’re passionate about is making a growth process clear to everyone. Basically, there are four different groups of people that attend our church on any given weekend.

  • Crowd: Come and see

Someone gave them an invitation in some way. The message we say is come and see. Take your time. We’re not expecting anything from you. You don’t need to give or serve or worship the way the rest of the room worships. 

We want a church that’s not full of church people.

  • Congregation: Come and join us

These are the members of the church. First, join Jesus then you join a church.

Christianity is being part of the family of God.

We belong to each other as the body of Christ. This is a local expression of that family. There are so many verses, chapters and whole books of the New Testament that you can’t fulfill if you’re not connected to a local church. So, come and join us.

  • Committed: Come and grow

Christianity doesn’t end a process, it begins a process. We’re becoming more like Jesus. Believing happens in a moment, you get saved in a moment of belief. But there’s a long process where we’re becoming more like Jesus. That’s why this entire Fall Spiritual Growth Campaign was built on Small Groups.

Life change happens in the context of relationships.

  • Core: Come and serve

Don’t just attend church, participate in your church. 

Worship one, serve one. Come be a part of the Dream Team that has over 400 volunteers of people on it serving together. You might say, “With that many people you probably have everything covered.” We’re doing okay, but it’d be a lot better with you on the team. We want to make a big impact this Christmas season and in 2020! There’s a place for you! You’re not only welcome, you’re wanted!

If you’re wonder where to start, we’ve designed a process that ushers you through this journey called Growth Track. Four steps, four Sundays. We cycle through it every month.

The first step is next Sunday, December 1st, the membership class. StepONE just explains our vision and what being a member here looks like. This would be a great time to jump in.


Baptism

We have many people on our Dream Team that have a unique story about their journey to Christ, to Rock Brook and to serving and making a difference. Many people you see serving around our church would tell you they got serious about their faith when they took a step of obedience and got baptized. Let’s look at what baptism means and the power of obedience.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”  Acts 2:41 NIV

Notice that baptism is a post-decision to believe, not pre-decision. So we don’t baptize infants here. Some churches do, but honestly it’s more of a dedication service. We dedicate babies and young children, but we baptize believers.

There are 27 accounts of baptism in the New Testament all of them were after the decision to believe.

Baptism is a vibrant part of the church. Baptism doesn’t save you, but it’s where your faith goes public. Just in the last 10 weeks of our Fall Spiritual Growth Campaign, 44 people indicated on their communication card that they either began trusting or renewed their trust in Jesus Christ.

Those people can now take their next step and be baptized. They can follow God right away. We make baptisms available every month. If you would like to be baptized at Rock Brook, sign-up HERE.

When you get baptized, what does that express?

1. You are a follower of Jesus Christ

When we get baptized we’re saying Jesus doesn’t live only on the pages of history but Jesus lives today! Even more than that, He lives in the lives of people who put their faith in Him.

We’re not talking about history, we’re talking about a living real person. We’re not talking about subscribing to a set of principles, entering into a list of rules we’re talking about entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Look at this passage after Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from the dead,

“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” John 12:9-11 NLT

You’d think everyone would have believed in Jesus. That everyone who came to see Jesus would have believed in him. But there are still some on the edges who weren’t 100% sure.

Many people did put their faith in Jesus. They came hearing about him, but they left having put their faith in him. Their life changed from knowing about someone to believing Jesus could save them.

2. You are beginning a new life in Christ

No one getting baptized, is doing it because they were a bad person and want to try to be a better person. That’s not the picture of baptism.

Why did God give us a picture of water baptism?

It’s important that we actually immerse people, dunk people under the water, because Jesus got baptized under the water. He didn’t get in the river and stand around and splash around. He got in the river and was immersed in the water.

That’s actually what the word baptism means. It means to dip under the water.

Why was Jesus baptized? It was a picture of what was coming. Jesus was dedicated by his parents at a young age. That was their decision. He wasn’t dishonoring their decision. Now He’s saying this is a choice I am making and it’s pointing to the ultimate choice I will be making.

For us it’s a picture of what happens when we trust in Christ to be our Savior. So we put someone under the water and quickly bring them back up. When Christ died we died. When Christ was raised, we can be raised too. When He went down in the depths for my sin, I went down, but when He was raised it’s as though I was raised up too.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 NIV

Though we had a sentence of death on our lives because of sin, we now have life and life to the full because of the work of Jesus.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

When you get in the water, you are saying that when you got in Christ you became a new creation. It doesn’t mean we won’t stumble. It means our desires have changed and our defense for life changed because now Jesus is in us.

No one getting baptized says they used to be a mess but now are perfect. No, the message is we could never be perfect, but Jesus is perfect and we got into Jesus by putting my faith in Him. Our lives are joined up with the perfect one and He is going to work in us to make us like him. Our lives are now changing!

What is changing? What is the life change that we’re saying happens when we get baptized?

3. You are part of a new family

It used to be all about me, but I’m coming forward in my baptism to say it’s all about us now. I used to be an individual rolling through life and now I am walking with him and his body, the church.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27 NIV

It’s not just me that this happened to, it happened to a “we” and now I’m part of that “we.” I’m a sister or a brother in that “we” and there’s no changing that.

Baptism is the door to the church. It’s the doorway to being a part of the family of God. People say faith is a private thing and a private decision, not according to Jesus…

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NIV


Frequently Asked Questions About Baptism

  • I have already been baptized. Should I be baptized again?

Your baptism should have signified you becoming a follower of Jesus, beginning a new life, and uniting with a new family. If your baptism did not reflect this change of life, then you should be baptized again.

  • May my child be baptized?

We encourage parents to partner with Rock Brook for Kids and take their child through our Kids Baptism Class. This class is offered for third through sixth grade. You can find out more information at http://www.rbfk.net/kids-baptism-class

  • May my infant be baptized?

Throughout the New Testament, the Bible teaches that baptism is a public expression of worship symbolizing the new life we have when we follow Jesus. In the Bible we see that Jesus’ parents dedicated him to the Lord (Luke 2:22–40), and he was later baptized as an adult (Matthew 3:16–17).

We understand that some churches practice “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a commitment between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his or her own personal confession of Christ. This custom is different from the biblical examples of new believers being baptized to publicly profess their faith in Jesus. At Rock Brook we provide opportunities for child dedication. Let us know on the communication card if you would like to dedicate your child.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion about love, or your discussions from the spiritual growth campaign. Any loose ends you need to tie up? What was your favorite week of the campaign?

 

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Hear the Word

Pausing to celebrate and look back at how far we’ve come is biblical. God commands it. He doesn’t want us to just fly through life without recognizing what He has done for us.

This weekend we paused to reflect on where we’ve been and look at what our next step of spiritual growth may be. We were reminded of what happens, specifically when we take the step of baptism. It shows we are a follower of Jesus, we are beginning a new life in Christ, and you are part of a new family.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

Application

  1. What stood out to you in this message? What did you hear?
  2. Describe your baptism. When was it? What did your life look like then?
  3. What did you need to be reminded of most in this message? What do you need to pause and celebrate in your life?
  4. Baptism is the first step in following Jesus. If you have been baptized, what do you think your next step in following him is?

Tell Someone Else

Faith in Christ is not a private thing. Baptism is a public expression of our faith in Christ. Have you been baptized? If not, you can sign up HERE. If you have been baptized, who can you share your faith with now?

Christmas is a great time to share your faith with your friends. Who could you bring with you to a service in December? Who could you invite to one of our Christmas services December 21-22 or Christmas Eve at 1:30, 3:00 or 4:30?

 

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One Person at a Time

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In Matthew 15 is one of the most incredible moments with our Savior and His people. It’s a mixture of our Savior, people and His disciples.

“Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.”  Matthew 15:29 NIV

Jesus is outside, He’s public, He’s available. Look at how people are drawn to Him. They just want to just be around Him, because of who He is and what He can do.

“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet and he healed them.”  Matthew 15:30 NIV

These people did not come by themselves, they brought someone with them. The word “laid” means they cast them down. No one is an outcast, even though these are Gentiles.

A Gentile refers to a person who is not a Jew. From the Jewish perspective in that time, Gentiles were often seen as pagans who did not know the true God. During Jesus’ time, many Jews took such pride in their cultural and religious heritage that they looked down on Gentiles.

Jesus did the miracle we are about to read about in a Jewish area with 5,000 men, not counting the women and children present. But in this account, Jesus is now doing for the outsiders.

Jesus is so at ease with it. He doesn’t mind being crowded in and all of these people at His feet. What does Jesus do? He healed them.

“The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.”  Matthew 15:31 NIV

All of these hurting people came. Someone was there who could not speak and in the Lordship of Jesus, they started speaking. From the authority of Jesus, they were healed.

We find out later there are thousands and thousands there. People who were carried there or carted there were now walking and running. It could have been dozens of people who did not have use of their legs, who can now use them.

The blind are seeing. Blindness can be a symptom of other things, so maybe even another disease is being healed. Now, suddenly they are seeing.

Look how they responded. They were amazed and praised God. What an incredible scene on a mountainside. It could have ended there. Jesus healed people and they praised God. But it goes on.

“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’”  Matthew 15:32

People were healed, restored,  put back together again and free from challenges. Jesus had compassion on them because all of this healing had gone on for three days. As Jesus healed people and they worshipped God, then He gives the reason for His compassion.

It’s the nature of Jesus, He notices everything.

Not only do big things matter to Him, the small things matter.

Jesus notices that they are going to go away after three days and they are going to walk home, but could collapse. It’s so important that our Lord noticed that. He’s just leaning in and meeting needs.

Jesus says, “We’re not done yet.” Rock Brook, we’re not done yet. Thank God for SERVE Day and moments, but we’re not done yet. There are still hurting and lost people.

People in your life woke up this morning and looked at their life or maybe they looked at the news and they are afraid or even wondering why they are even on this planet? They see truth leaking from our culture and it’s leaving people struggling with pain and addiction and questioning their value. We are not done yet.

Jesus just couldn’t stand to leave people hungry. When you leave the presence of Jesus you feel fed. Have you ever noticed how Jesus was always filling things up?

He fills up the disciples boats with fish. He fills the barrels. His followers left the empty tomb filled with joy. The Apostle Paul calls it an overflowing grace. 

God has called us to go out into an empty world and fill it up with hope.

“His disciples answered, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?’”  Matthew 15:33 NIV

Notice how the disciples feel they have to remind Jesus that they are in a remote place. They can’t just drive over to Sam’s Club real quick, there’s no SERVE team is showing up with coolers.

“‘How many loaves do you have?’ Jesus asked. ‘Seven,’ they replied, ‘and a few small fish.’”  Matthew 15:34 NIV

Do you see how they made what they had even smaller by calling them small fish? Sometimes we make what we have so small. We thing we could never make a difference. We don’t have anything to contribute. I only have this little bit of time or money.

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.”  Matthew 15:35-38 NIV

Jesus invites the disciples to cooperate in this by asking them to help distribute the food. He could of just made everyone full all at once, but that’s not how He decided to fill everyone. Instead Jesus took what the disciples had, took it out of their hands and took it in His hands. When He put it back in thier hands, they put it in the people’s hands.

That’s like our offerings. We take what’s in our hands, we give it to God and he blesses it. He hands it back and we are to relay it to the world. That’s how it works.

He’s the chef, we get to be the waiters. He’s in the kitchen getting it all ready. But we get to deliver. That’s what he let the disciples do. He lets them up close. He loves the individual, one person at a time.

That’s how he healed people too. He could have healed everyone in one word, but He interacted with each person. He could have made everyone feel full. Instead, He had the disciples pass this out, one person at a time.

He wanted the disciples to see that He values people. Jesus wants to put us on the front row of making a difference. Have you ever noticed how the front row is always so much more into it? You pay big money to be in the front row of a concert or a sporting event. 

To get a premium view, you must pay a premium price.

So often, we pay a cheap seat price for a premium view. Maybe in marriage or with your kids. Maybe in your workplace or in the things around you. Ask God to help you be willing to pay a premium price because you want a front row seat for what He is doing.

If you have experienced the front row, then you have been ruined on going back to the cheap seats.

When you say yes to a front row seat with Jesus. You’ll never want to go back to compromise or convenience.

God will ruin you with his grace. When He uses you to touch a person’s life, when He uses you to serve. You can’t go back to sitting idle. You want the front row seat.

Get yourself to the front row of what God’s doing. When you’re willing and you say yes to a front row seat, you’ll never want to go back.

There’s something you possess that can bless someone else.

There is something about you that can lift someone else. It could be your time, your talent or your treasure. Something you posses can bless someone else when you put something you have in circulation. God wants to move us to the front row to bless someone else.

Does SERVE Day make a difference in someone’s life? Does serving in a church make a difference? Consider where you would be with out people pouring in to you. Giving what they have and investing it into your life. Think back to your small group leaders,  children’s church teachers or the people who brought me to Jesus. Where would you be without those people?

Our church is built around five purposes that we get to fulfill in our life. This is what we get to be a part of.


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.

Worship

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.

Fellowship

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.

Discipleship

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.

Ministry

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.

Evangelism

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

Check back on your discussion from last week. Any more thoughts or conclusions on the message about how God tests your faith?

 

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Hear the Word

Read: Matthew 15

In Matthew 15 we see Jesus using the disciples to meet the physical need in the crowd. “Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.”

Jesus could have met their hunger any number of ways, but he decides to use the disciples to serve the people in the crowd, one person at a time.

Application

  1. Have you ever had a front row or VIP experience somewhere?
  2. How has that experience changed your perspective of that environment?
  3. Where and when do you feel like you’re cooperating with God the most? In other words, where and when do you feel you’re making the biggest difference for the kingdom of God?
  4. What inhibits you to serve? (Time? Energy? Feeling worthy?)
  5. Which part of the Rock Brook Dream excites you most?

Tell Someone Else

Who can you encourage to take a next step in their faith? Who can you encourage to start serving?

 

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Sacred Moments: The Basin Choice

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When you look at the final week of the life of Jesus before the cross, called the passion week, there are so many moments and so many things that take place. Conversations, miracles, teachings, illustrations so much symbolisms and things our Lord does that speak to our life.

How would you live if you knew your time to live was short? In your final days, your real priorities surface. The things that matter surface. Think about Jesus, who in these days knew that he would be obedient to the cross and his priorities are really surfacing. He wants to spend some time with those who are closest to him.

“Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!’”  Matthew 20:17-19 NIV

Jesus tells them ahead of time what will happen. He wants them to understand what we call the passion week. He is the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. But it doesn’t end there!


Jesus’ Basin Choice

The final week of Jesus is full of choices and decisions. There are so many different choices that are made that week. Jesus is making so many decisions about what He’ll say, who He’ll be with and how to obey the Father to the furthest extent. The religious leaders and the crowds are making choices. It’s Passover, so all the people of Jerusalem are making choices.

The disciples are having a hard time getting along. They’ve been on the road for three and a half years and now they begin to position and one-up one another. They’re jealous of one another.

Meanwhile Jesus knows he’s going to take the gospel and hand it to them. They’re going to be the church. Jesus is going to use these hearts and lives to lay a foundation called the church and the gates of hell cannot prevail it. But if they don’t get this, if he doesn’t stop arguing, the gates of hell could prevail it.

The night before Jesus is arrested, they gather in a room together.

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.‘ 

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.'”  John 13:1-8, 12-17 NIV 

Jesus is saying, you’ve got to learn how to serve one another. He isn’t beginning a movement about a foot washing service, He is trying to deposit into the hearts of the disciples, a foot washing spirit. If you don’t get a foot washing spirit, you don’t have the heart of a servant. He’s giving them a basin to choose.


On the last night Jesus shares with His disciples a less of servanthood. That it’s not important to just know about it, you’ve got to put action behind your words. It’s incredible that this is the last visual they will have of Jesus.

They will finish up around the Lord’s Supper and go out and pray and sing a hymn. The feet he washed, those clean feet, will run off in denial and betrayal. He already knew they would betray Him. Yet, He still chose the basin to serve them and it’s a choice we are all faced with.

Let’s break this passage down into the movements He made that night.

1. He got up from supper

In the middle of the meal, He allowed himself to be interrupted. Think about the interruptions in your life that caused you to stop, but later you realized they were strategic and spiritual.

2. He laid aside his garment

He took on the uniform of a servant. The disciples knew what was happening. When you wear sandals you pick up all the dirt from your travels. Typically there was a servant with a basin and a towel to wash your feet before you went to the table. But that night, there was no servant.

Everyone would have walked through and saw the basin and thought someone else will do it. They all sat there with dirty feet. When the basin is beneath you, will never be able to receive the blessing from God. The blessings follow the basin.

3. He took the towel

We were created to get into the brokenness of humanity. We were made for the mess. We were made to serve somebody.

God isn’t passing out titles, He’s passing out towels.

Jesus was saying to the disciples, plain and simple, it’s not in the title you seek, but the towel I’m handing out. We were brought into the salvation of Jesus to get involved in the spills of humanity.

4. He stooped down

He loved them to the point that He went low, so that he could lift them up. He loved them in spite of past mistakes, present flaws or future failures.

Even in all that mess, you’re worth Jesus stepping out of heaven and stooping down.

5. He leaned into them

He could have ignored the problem, but He got involved. Life really begins at serving. Do you want the basin of serving? This basin is about loving and caring and getting involved. It’s about being willing to be interrupted so that there is an invitation to life and freedom.


Pilate’s Basin Choice

Scripture tells us that in the passion week this is not the only basin. The other basin appears about 24 hours later. Since Jesus was popular, they had to arrest him at night and took him through six sham trials. None of those trials were legal, because it was illegal to have a night trial. They wanted to prosecute, persecute and execute Jesus.

After six trials, they found Jesus guilty of nothing. So they had to pay some phony witnesses to come in and put up charges against Jesus. Those paid witnesses contradicted each other, there was still no case.

Pontius Pilate who’s overseeing this trial calls for a basin, but this basin is in complete contrast to the one Jesus used.

“Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, ‘Which of these two do you want me to release to you?’

The crowd shouted back, ‘Barabbas!’ Pilate responded, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ 

‘Why?’ Pilate demanded. ‘What crime has he committed?’ But the mob roared even louder, ‘Crucify him!’

Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!'”  Matthew 27:20-24 NLT

Pilate asks a question all of humanity is confronted with. What do you do with Jesus? You’re either going to accept him or reject him. There’s no neutral choice. You have to make a decision about Jesus while you still have breath.

Pilate called for a basin to wash his hands of the decision that needed to be made. Just like Jesus made choices, Pilate made two choices. They are the same two choices we’re faced with.


1. He washed his hands of responsibility.

He thought he could wash his hands of responsibility, but he was responsible. All of us are. This encounter with Pilate shows us the world on one side, Christ is on the other, and the devil is the fence.

The enemy is trying to get us to think we can wash our hands of responsibility. Meanwhile Jesus stands before all of us. In Revelation it says He knocks on the door of our heart and we’re all responsible for what we do with the man, Jesus.

2. He refused to make a choice.

He thought he was done, but when you refuse to make a choice, you’re actually making a choice.

Jesus called for a basin to serve. A basin of humility. Pilate called for a basin of rejection. He rejected Jesus. All of us have a choice. What is your response to this basin choice?


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week. What do you remember from your discussion? How is your fear of failure and redefinition of failure going?

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

Hear the Word

Spend some time in the word. Read John 13 and Matthew 27.

In John 13, Jesus interrupted the last supper by laying aside His garment and washing the feet of His bickering disciples with a towel and a basin of water. In this, Jesus shows us how we are to live and serve those around us with a Christ-like heart.

Jesus allowed for an interruption, saying yes to a divine appointment. He laid aside His garment, and took a towel to wash His disciple’s feet. Towels are born to be used, to get in the mess-when we embrace a towel-mentality, we embrace serving. Jesus also stooped down, showing that we don’t ascend to greatness, we descend to it through serving others in humility.

Pontius Pilate also makes a decision around a basin of water, choosing to wash his hands of making a decision about Jesus’ fate. By refusing to involve himself and make a decision, Pilate rejects Jesus and the opportunity to make a positive impact. We have a responsibility to use what God has done for us and in us to make an eternal impact in the lives of those around us. Jesus chose the Basin of serving, while Pilate chose the Basin of rejection. Which example will we follow?

Application

  1. What stood out to you in the message or in your reading of John 13?
  2. What are some ways that people have gone the extra mile to serve you?
  3. How would Jesus’ choice to wash his followers feet translate today? In other words, what act of service would be shocking to see a prominent leader do for those he or she leads?
  4. What small things could you start doing regularly to express humility and service in your family and home?
  5. How can you get more involved in serving others to make an eternal impact in their lives?
  6. How would Pilate’s choice to wash his hands of responsibility and refusing to make a choice translate today? How do we do that today?
  7. Pray that the Lord will open our eyes to divine interruptions and appointments. Ask Him to give the boldness to choose humble service of others over rejections. Pray for the courage to serve instead of allowing the fear of what others may think of us influence our decisions. Ask Him for opportunities to grow in community with like-minded Christians.

Tell Someone Else

How can you help others be more aware of their divine decision points where they have the choice to get involved and serve those around them with Christ-like humility.

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