This week guest speaker Ed Anderson brought our message on family and more specifically, the family of Christ.
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my good morning good morning and welcome if you're new here welcome to c3 church if you've been here for a while then you'll know i'm not pastor gene i know i know it's hard to believe because someone said this morning you're dressed like him you got the checkered shirt the long pants real shoes you're just like pastor gene so i'm not pastor gene he and his family are away getting some much-needed time off they are resting relaxing seeking god's guidance but also eating a lot of really really good pizza so so let's make sure we stay away from them give them some time to relax give them some time to get caught up and and really really to spend some time studying the word and seeking god's will okay all right all right before i get started my name is ed and i'll be providing the message today but i want to share something with you that just happened to me that was very special so on friday i did like most of people who live in naples florida do on friday i retired thank you thank you so if you were here last week and we're in heard the message you'll remember what that now entitles me to so i can drive in any lane i want on the highway stop signs mere suggestions and i'm going to be cursed and cursed at so please please pray for me and pray for god's will in my life as i seek what the next thing god wants me to do will be now we're going to take a short break from our journey through numbers and deuteronomy and we're going to talk about family they're all kinds of families what kind of family did you come from mom dad just mom just dad brothers sisters half brothers half sisters or just you maybe an uncle or an aunt live with you maybe grandma or grandpa live with you and you know what there are musical families theatrical families athletic families hippie families all kinds of families and any of these can be christian families my family was very very musical that is everyone but me you see my father was a jazz trumpet player my mother played the piano my brother played the saxophone but i had zero rhythm couldn't sing can't dance play no musical instrument whatsoever but my father thought he could fix this his solution to my lack of rhythm he got me an accordion now you know how cool it is being a middle school kid walking around with an accordion looking for a local polka band to play with if you'd like to hear more about the trauma of being a non-musical kid in a musical family we can talk a little bit later over some ice cream and i'll tell you all about it i also had at one point this kind of crazy uncle that lived with us he has tried every job you could imagine let's see he was a barber a landscaper a farmer an auto mechanic you name it he tried it and he used to walk away around in these asian themed shirts which i never really got because he was from arkansas and had never been outside of arkansas except for to live with us i i just never really got it it's c3 church we're a church family so what exactly does church family mean jesus said we are his family matthew 12 46 to 50. while jesus was still talking to the crowd his mother and brothers stood outside wanting to speak to him someone told him your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you he replied to him who is my mother and who are my brothers pointing to his disciples he said here are my mother and my brothers from whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother again we find in ephesians 2 19-22 consequently you are no longer foreigners and strangers but fellow citizens with god's people and also members of his 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 and again we see this in romans 8 16 and 17. the spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are god's children now if we are children then we are heirs heirs of god in coheirs with christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory so it's clear we're all family every single one of you and yours are vital members of the family formed in the dwelling and congregation of c3 church we want to be a family that is firmly on the rock of christ jesus now the bible gives us a model of what this healthy family looks like and we find it in acts acts 2 42-47 they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles all the believers were together and had everything in common they sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts praising god and enjoying the favor of all the people and the lord added to their numbers daily those who are being saved now there's no mention of my crazy uncle or my annoying brother but still family is this who we are at c3 are we all living the biblical version of family in acts everyone is participating in the church if i can let me summarize the key points of acts and the attributes of a healthy church reading scripture praying giving and serving and these attributes are special for a family let's first start with reading scripture now before i go on to the other points in acts i really really want to stress the reading of scripture we have to read our bibles to understand god's word and his character so let me depart from the bible for just a minute to give you some statistics from barna a leading christian research organization on how americans are committed or not committed to reading the bible 61 of evangelical christians have read the bible start to finish 61 18 of people of other faiths have done the same in nine percent of people with no faith at all have read the entire bible but even more disappointing is that of practicing christians 37 percent have read the life of pie cover to cover 22 percent have read twilight cover to cover and 21 percent have read the hunger games cover to cover now these are you know these are interesting books but quite frankly you should have looked at the movie saved the time and read your scriptures entertaining yes but not contributing to a christian life or a better understanding of our christian faith and during the pandemic the 14 of u.s adults who say they read their bibles daily drop to 9 the fourteen percent who read their bibles daily drop to nine percent according to the research barna did between 2019 and 2020 first of all only 14 percent of americans read their bibles every day and during the pandemic we found other things to do we should not only be reading our scriptures but we should be immersed in them immersed in them first timothy 4 5-10 for everything god created is good and nothing is to be to be rejected if it's received for thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of god in prayer if you point these things out to the brothers and sisters you will be a good minister of christ jesus nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed have nothing to do with godless myths in old wives tales and internet stories rather train yourself to be godly for physical training is of some value but godliness is value for all things holding promise for both the present life and the life to come this is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance that is why we labor and strive because we have put our hope in the living god who is the savior of all people and especially of those who believe let's look at also it let's also look at second timothy 3 16. all scripture is god-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness next let's talk about praying now there's some people who can pray for hours they're truly prayer warriors and marathon prayers and we don't all have to be that way prayer is about a relationship my mother used to talk to god all the time and usually it was when my brother and i were doing something that we shouldn't have been doing or we messed up the house and and so my mother would say this very simple simple prayer she would lift up her hands she would raise her hand head to heaven and she would say lord why didn't you give me more to work with so let's see what our scriptures say about praying first thessalonians 5. 16-18 rejoice always pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is god's will for you in christ jesus we have the honor of having a relationship with jesus the creator of heaven and earth and all things in it we should pray about everything everything everything and if you don't know what to say to god jesus gives us the words in a very simple prayer and i want to say it all together let's say it all together this is matthew 6 9 through 13. you ready this then come on is how we should pray our father in heaven hallowed be thy name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us today our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one thank you amen amen and amen thank you the next topic is around giving and giving is a sensitive subject in most churches and i'm not really sure why so let's look at some scriptures around giving let's start with second corinthians nine seven to nine each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give not reluctantly are under compulsion for god loves a cheerful giver and god is able to bless you abundantly so that in all things at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work as it is written they have freely scattered their gifts to the poor the righteousness endures forever and that's psalm 112 verse 9 that's being quoted the money and the resources we have after all are all gifts from god our very lives the resources the money everything we have be it great or small or all gifts from the lord and i think we should never forget that next i'm going to talk about serving we are the hands and feet of jesus when we serve so let's see what the scriptures say about it let's go to acts acts 6 1 6. in those days when the number of disciples was increasing the hellenistic jews among them complained against the hebraic jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food so the twelve gathered all the disciples together and said it would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of god in order to wait on tables brothers and sisters choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the spirit and wisdom we will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word this proposal pleased the whole group they chose stephen a man full of faith and of the holy spirit also philip pecurus nikanor timon perenis and nicholas from antioch a convert to judaism they presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them the context of this fits us because there is a lot of work to be done in our church our ministries of teaching and preaching have to continue as our pastor follows god's leading so who at c3 church will rise to fill the calling to serve in the many local ministries that c3 is committed so let's do this let's have a family meeting now my father and mother used to call a family meeting and my brother and i would run all around the house all up and down the stairs yelling family meeting family meeting family meeting we'd run outside we'd run all through the neighborhood dog would be chasing us we'd be running everywhere and there's only the four of us we were kind of weird that way i guess so let's go through our checklist are we reading scripture c3 is a bible-based church a scripture-led church so i'm certain i'm certain that you'd rather hear the bible in the scriptures than me in my opinions and as a reminder we have bible study here every wednesday night beginning at 5 30 with worship and if you're uncomfortable or can't make it here in person we live stream it as well and you can find it on their c3 app second are we praying we have countless opportunities throughout the day to pray and ask for his guidance wisdom and sometimes forgiveness i want to encourage you to pray when you wake up pray when you eat pray for your neighbors and pray for your enemies pray for those in the c3 church family and c3 has in the back when you came in cards we also have cards in the back of the seats if you need prayer please fill out a card and the team here the staff here will pray for you and i also ask that you pray for them third are we giving did you know that c3 church supports mission india and community partners such as southwest florida pregnancy resource center wings of shelter collier county homeless coalition and tnt now it takes resources including money to sustain these ministries as well as sustaining c3 church and then last in the list are we serving participating in the church family is a fulfilling thing for everyone we all have different ways and gifts of participating so i encourage you to put your gifts to use in the church we do not want to be a church based on entertainment but on scripture and meeting the needs of our community c3 has taken a number of steps in faith lately c3 cafe is now open on wednesday and sunday feeding those in need please continue to bring food as we serve the needs of the local community and thank you for those who are faithfully cooked shopped served and cleaned and in my case warmed good with the microwave we recently sold the thrift store to focus on the community around the church and we've reduced our tenants in this very building all these changes are to better focus on the mission as the body of christ and as a family and to better serve our local community we need to increase our praying we need to increase our serving and we need to increase our giving now this brings us back to acts 2. so are we reading are we praying are we giving are we serving i believe we are reading i believe you've seen a lot of bible verses today and continue to read your bibles i believe we are praying and we need to stay in prayer i believe we are giving and will continue to give and serve our local community as well as the missions abroad and i believe we're faithfully serving every one of us desires to do god's will we all desire to be a part of the family the church family and we have plenty of opportunities here at c3 church again i want to stress for you read your bible immerse yourself in the bible pray without ceasing serve without hesitation and give a love you're all an important part of the body of christ we all desire to be part of a loving family and we are all brothers and sisters in christ and our family name is c3 church let me pray for everyone father god we just lift you up and praise you and we thank you for your grace and mercy father thank you for the honor and privilege of of being able to gather here and to share your word and to fellowship together as one body and to be your family father i just ask that you bless us and keep us as we pursue your word and your will lord i just also lift up gene and his family and ask that they get rest and that you restore them and that you bless them with great experiences father god i just ask that you bless each and every one of us as we head out this week to do your will and that we are prepared to pray and to give and to serve and that we continue to read our scriptures father lord once again we just lift you up and thank you and we love you jesus in your heavenly name amen you