What's the Point? Collective Camp

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What's the point? How to be who God wants us to be: Worship God, let Him change you, reach others.

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“What’s the Point?” // How to Be Who God Wants Us to Be
Grew up in Crescent … Skating and people telling me they were going to call my dad. You know who’s at the grocery store by the cars in the parking lot.
Tonight I want to talk about SICKNESS, DARKNESS, and LIGHT
My hope is to answer the question: What is a Christian? What’s the point of all of this? Why do we go to church? Why do we believe the Bible? What is the point?
Turn to the person next to you and ask “WHAT’S THE POINT?!”
Title of my message: “SICK WITH IT”
So let’s open our Bibles to John 3:16-21
We are going to be spending A LOT of time in John this week. Every message is centered around this book.
John not only explains why one should become a Christian, and how to become a Christian, but what it means to be a Christian
John 3:16–17 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:18–19 (ESV)
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
John 3:20–21 ESV
20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Benjamin being an absolute terror LOL
Coming up and licking his baby brother while he has hand, foot, mouth - I’M GOING TO CUT YOUR TONGUE OUT
I never taught Benjamin to be a brat. I never had to show him how to act wrongly.
We are all pre-programmed to act wrongly. TO SIN.
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
We are all sick little Benjamin’s licking our brothers.
WE ARE ALL SICK WITH SIN. It’s hereditary. It’s been passed down from our father Adam.
When you are born - you are born with a sin nature
When you are born again IN CHRIST - You are given a SIN FIGHTING nature!
What does it look like to be a Christian? — YOU TRUST GOD MORE THAN YOU TRUST YOURSELF.
What is a Christian? Someone who recognizes their sin and submitted it to God
We are told that every urge and every desire we have should be trusted.
Let me just tell you - not everything you feel should be acted upon.
Not every emotion is fair
Not every desire is from God
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
We need saving!
If you are in Christ — you are a NEW CREATION — meaning what? It means you’ve been shaped by the image of Christ NOT BY YOUR DESIRES
What does it mean to be a Christian? It means we live our lives for God and not for ourselves.
1. Why is it so difficult to believe God more than ourselves?
When you rob people of the problem of sin you actually rob them of the power of grace.
When we don’t confront the sin problem, we don’t see the need for the power of grace

The Problem of Sin

Truth has become relative in our world today.
There’s this thought of — “yeah I love God, but I’m not big on religion, I just do what’s best for me”
God is not a supplement we take.
He’s not like keto, yoga, or a workout program — “I go to church to just be a better person”
“Jesus is not a supplement you take but a King you surrender to.”
2. In what ways have you treated God as a supplement (like Santa, a way for you to get what you believe you should have) instead of treating Him as King?
You can’t do what you want and call yourself a Christian. 1 John 1:9-10
1 John 1:9–10 (ESV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Romans 1:25 ESV
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Root of all is sin is thinking we know better
It’s what I THINK about — justice, sexuality, identity … whatever.
He is GOD. We are not.
We are NOT our desires.
The new you is the true you
And I think we get stuck in this thought that if we totally follow the Bible we’ll become some boring, cringy, homeschooled kid
Like I was … LOL
God knows how to make you happy. Nothing else does.
Imagine buying a microwave and using it as a dining room table
It doesn’t really work bro lol
This wasn’t made for this
God knows what you were made for. God knows what’s best for you.
Only God can direct our lives — We can never get to that place.
I’m not a sinner because I sin — I sin because I’m a sinner. It’s our default setting.
We are all sick.
Saying the opposite so Benjamin does what we want
We all have rebellion in us. We all have to keep dying to ourselves!
John 3:19 ESV
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
We love BAD things. We even take GOOD things and make them BAD.
My wife: “Let’s watch 2 episodes and go to bed.” I’m like - let’s watch 3 seasons and I’ll see you on Friday!
We make things BAD — why?? Because theres something wrong with me — with us!
SO — What’s the point? It’s not some benefit — I don’t tithe to get something. I do it to be obedient to God’s Word. Don’t forget His benefit’s — but that’s not the point
The point: is that we are condemned without God. We’re lost without Him.
God’s not here - I’m not here - to condemn you. God sent Jesus to save you BECAUSE YOU ARE ALREADY CONDEMNED.
Salvation is not a pick-and-choose experience. You must LIVE IN THE LIGHT. Fully.
We can’t decide which parts of the Bible are for us and which parts aren’t and then call ourselves Christians.
When we rob people of the problem of sin / we rob them of the power of grace.

The Power of Grace

Let me ask you this: Did Jesus ever sin? — NO. That matters!
We get a righteous that we did not earn!
God fixed the sin problem through JESUS. Grace solution. Romans 5:20
Romans 5:20 (ESV)
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
The fix wasn’t mercy — it was grace.
Getting arrested for stealing a car and speeding...
Mercy says we caught you but we’re letting you go.
Grace says we’re letting you go and here’s the keys to a Farreri
HEAR ME: The Grace of God is what enables you to be who you are called to be - so you can do what you’re called to do
1 Peter 5:5–6 (ESV)
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
We can live in a way that makes God resist us. That’s terrifying. I have enough problems as it is.
But if we humble ourselves. Live in the Light! … Take the keys to the Farreri
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
3. What are some areas in your life that you could walk in humility better?
Rich young ruler — Had it all down, EXPECT complete surrender.
That’s the call today: complete surrender
Being a Christian is living in the Light — which means:
1. recognizing that you’re in darkness and
2. leaving the darkness of your ways and walking in the Light of His ways
LIGHT exposes, it reveals, darkness is in complete surrender to light
We exists to Worship God — don’t know what to do with your life? Let me help you… Worship God. NOT A SONG, A LIFE.
I don’t care if your profession is a pastor or a plumber, your purpose is the same: WORSHIP, COMPLETE SURRENDER
It takes humility. It’s not doing it our way — It’s doing it God’s way.
Altar call:
-Step into the light, SALVATION, admit that you’re SICK — giving your life to the Lord, not your version of “christianity”
-Rededication — you’ve slipped into this place of making it about you and not about serving Him


“What’s the Point?” // How to Be Who God Wants Us to Be
We are all in a process! We are all being mentored, discipled by something/someone. It’s just a matter of who/what.
Tonight I want to show you, I want to challenge you to let Christ be the thing that forms us.
Benjamin IS a LeMarr and IN THE PROCESS of becoming a LeMarr ALL AT ONCE
John 8:31–32 (ESV)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The purpose and narrative behind the Gospel of John...
It is trying to force you to make a decision. Believe in Jesus as God.
You cannot get to God without Jesus — the whole goal of the book of John
Story of when Paula locked you out of the house. Having to go to the neighbors. Not remembering any phone numbers. Calling my dad.
You can’t get in the house without walking through the door. You can’t get to the Father without going through Jesus.
John 10:9–10 ESV
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
No other religion, no other name, no good deed, no good vibes can let you enter into a relationship with a Holy God. Only the perfect sacrifice of Jesus can let us imperfect people into relationship with a perfect God.
. . .
and I am sure that *almost* everyone here is comfortable with seeing Jesus as the Door to God
1. “It’s easy seeing Jesus as our Savior, but it’s harder seeing Him as our Lord,” why do you think this is?
Because Jesus as Savior is His response to us
But Jesus as Lord is our response to Him
John 8:31–32 ESV
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
To be a disciple of Jesus — You must ABIDE, LIVE IN THE LIGHT — If you “stay” in my Word, you are My disciple.
Who sets the boundaries for your life? (USE BABY GATE)
It is so hard not to let our experiences define our boundaries.
We get hurt, we get offended, and we use that experience to build our boundaries (BUILD BABY GATE AS YOU TALK)
And - that’s not all bad!
The issue comes in when we elevate our EXPERIENCE over the WORD OF GOD.
Maybe you had a bad father and so now your truth is all male leaders can’t be trusted
Hurt by the church so now pastors can’t be trusted
Your trauma becomes your boundary
The truth about yourself, about others, about the world - experience and emotion has shaped your boundaries/truth
Experience and emotions can be wonderful friends, but horrible masters.
When our boundaries are not set by Jesus - but by experience - Not by GOD’S TRUTH, but OUR TRUTH — We get into dangerous ground.
Boundaries are a funny thing. We see them as a means to limit you.
Paradox of going to the gym - so I don’t become a slave to being out of shape
Boundaries are not limiting, they are protecting
John 14:6 (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is not being cruel in saying “No one comes to the Father except through me.” - “Wow Jesus how narrow minded of you
It’s not Him flashing His VIP card saying how cool He is — It is Him throwing out a Lifesaver because He knows you will drown without it!
Being a slave of righteousness is the only place that has FREEDOM! It’s a paradox
The new you is the true you.
God’s Word is what sets the limits to my life. It is the rulebook, the standard, the measurement by which my life is judged.

My Truth is a Moment, God’s Truth is FOREVER

We only see in part. Our perspective is limited. Your truth — may be TRUE FOR YOU IN A MOMENT — but it is often limited.
When we have God’s Word as the boundary — my truth lives inside the limit of God Word
Talk about Baby Noah inside the baby gate. It gives him freedom AND PROTECTION - from the house, from his brother.
My truth, my experience, is what lives inside this boundary - AND THERE IS FREEDOM INSIDE OF THE BOUNDARY
But when we go OUTSIDE of God’s Word, when we elevate our experience, our truth, over God’s Word
Chaos always ensues. (BREAK WALL)
I fall into the World’s system, I fall into culture, I fall into my vices and sin
It’s hard staying, abiding in the boundary.
It’s hard not playing by MY RULES. MY TRUTH.
This is why we have Christians that believe Jesus is Savior, but don’t live like He’s Lord.
Because we live in a culture that says — “Find your truth inside of yourself and be ABIDE IN THAT.” Instead of ABIDING in God’s Word. (Point to BABY GATE)
Let me be clear with what boundaries are = what is true. A boundary is what we believe to be truth.
2. What are some “boundaries” you have in your life? How did those things become boundaries?
In our world today: the self has become the CENTER of authority and truth
Rom coms— the emotional you is the true you.
She leaves the nice guy on the altar because she was in love with the hobo. The movie doesn’t tell you that they get divorced in 2 years because she’s bored and moves on to the next guy that her heart told her to love.
We, as Christians, have a lot of cultural hurdles to get over to be able to have Jesus as LORD over our lives and to DECENTER OURSELVES as the authority of Truth.
Elephant example. It is objectively true completely outside of your experience.
Your experience is limited
Which is why …

The Bible is Our Boundary

Culture today, progressive Christians today, try to downplay the Word of God. Because if the Bible is nothing more than a good suggestion, then I’m free to live by my truth.
But if the Bible is authoritative — Then it must be my boundary.
It must become the thing that shapes us! Disciples us!
We have to bind ourselves to a higher truth.
A truth that is above our perspective and our truth.
The Word is God’s self revelation. It’s how He has defined Himself . It is how He has made Himself known.
2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
So if my experience and my truth come into conflict with God’s Word — I have to assume I’m wrong and work from there.
Your feelings are a great gage -- but a terrible steering wheel.
Emotions are not evil. They are a gift from God. But they must be held in the right tension with God’s Word.
Let’s hold OUR TRUTH and GOD’S TRUTH in the right tension!
Story of Daniel chapter 1 — Distinctions between Babylon culture and Jewish culture
They were IN Babylon but not OF Babylon
Daniel 1:8 ESV
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
Culture today says whatever you feel, whatever you’ve experienced, IS YOUR TRUTH
We don’t take shelter in CULTURE — We Abide in God’s Word!
I’m talking to someone today — God is calling you to be a DANIEL and to STAND when culture tells you to SIT.
That we would be a generation of RESOLVE. We will not defile ourselves with culture.
3. In what ways could you be “like a Daniel?”
My destiny is not determined by my emotions!
My destiny is not determined by culture!
Psalm 119:11 ESV
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
My truth is temporary, God’s truth is eternal.
I’m here to tell you today — whatever you might be facing:
slave to addiction and sin —
The answer is not found in your emotions — It is found in the Presence and Power of Almighty God!
If you abide in God’s word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Freedom comes from letting go of YOUR TRUTH and holding onto HIS TRUTH, which is the Word of God
Altar call:
-God is here to set you free. The Truth is here to set you free.
-You have believed a lie — from yourself, from culture — God is here to lovingly lead you into Truth
anxiety about the future,
confusion about your identity and self-worth


“What’s the Point?” // How to Be Who God Wants Us to Be
What’s the point?: worship God, let God change you, reach the world
How do we reach the world?
Has anyone heard the expression: “Always be sharing the Gospel - and if necessary, use word” ?
If necessary?
I think that is one of the worst ways to tell people how to reach the world
And I’ve said it — or used to say it.
We find ourselves in a world that has elevated “KINDNESS” to the highest virtue.
And kindness is awesome! It’s a fruit of the Spirit! Please, be kind .... rewind
The world’s definition of Love is wrong.
Kindness is not Love.
Tolerance is not Love.
Love is choosing what’s best for the person - regardless of how it might make them feel or react.
Tolerance and kindness say “let me make sure I don’t offend you”
Love says — I love you too much to let you believe a lie!
So should your actions and your words be the same? Should the match? absolutely! IT MUST BE BOTH!
1. If love is choosing what is best for a person, in what ways could you be more loving to the people in your life?
But the problem is we’ve adopted this view that our faith can be a secret and people will understand it
People need to know WHY we believe WHAT we believe.
We have young people leaving the Church in DROVES. People are deconstructing and abandoning their faith BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ROOTS. THEY HAVE NO TRUTH.
They’ve never been told “IN LOVE” that maybe their truth is a lie and that we must believe GOD’S TRUTH over OUR OWN.
Psychologists teach that when someone has what’s called a cognitive distortion (meaning, faulty or inaccurate thinking, perception or belief) the last thing that person needs — is someone to AFFIRM that belief. It only will lock them in their lie.
What they need, this is taught by therapists, they need someone to gently challenge their beliefs.
We have to be a people that is willing to open our mouths — and speak the Truth!
Let’s go to the Gospel of John … remember …
It is trying to force you to make a decision. Believe in Jesus as God.
You cannot get to God without Jesus — the whole goal of the book of John
Let’s see what Jesus does with the woman at the well and how He gently challenged her beliefs and how she helped laed her entire village to Jesus.
John 4:7–22 ESV
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23–26 (ESV)
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
John 4:28–30 (ESV)
28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
John 4:39 (ESV)
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”
“Because of her testimony” SHE OPENED HER MOUTH

Open Up

My testimony at camp with Amie in front of the girls dorm. It changed me.
I’ve seen God do this in other people’s lives. I’ve seen some crazy stuff.
-Kids broken toe in Tulsa
-Deaf ears in Argentina
-Jordan’s back being healed in youth church
-David McGuire losing his ex-wife, son, and grandson in a car accident last week
There are some encounters in your life will change you forever
Some moments create a marking. They become like a milestone.
So when you come into a challenging situation, when pain, and heart ache come - There is a testimony you can lean on and say to the world, “God has pulled me through this before - I know He can do it again!”
There are things God is doing, AND HAS DONE, in your life that people need to hear about!
2. What is something in your life that God has done, or is doing, that people need to know about?
That has been the foundational principle of [true] Christian expansion ... new followers of Jesus bear witness of him to others, who in turn become disciples and repeat the process
-D.A. Carson
If you want to see God do amazing things in our city, in our schools, in our families … it has to start with you first.
I light that is bright from a distance is even brighter up close.
One of the things I love most about what Jesus does here is He is so strategic. The Dude is smart.
He speaks to this ONE WOMAN — and through her — MANY from this village get saved.
It only took one.
Jesus understood that this woman was a KEY to unlock this whole village
Let me tell you

You Are a Key

There are people that only you can reach
They is a specific call of God on your life
There is something about God that you can reveal to those closest to you
There is a friend group — classmates — family — That can be UNLOCKED BECAUSE OF YOU!!
I love the urgency of this woman.
I mean, she came to get water from the well - but instead received the LIVING WATER and forgot her old water pots.
She knew what she was leaving behind and she understood what she was pressing towards
In her eagerness to enjoy the new and living water, she abandons the old water jar.
-D.A. Carson
She left the old form of religion and pressed on to new worship in Spirit and Truth
She became a key that unlocked this entire area.
3. Who are some people that you know God has called you to be a “key” in their lives?
God used this imperfect woman to bring this village to His perfect Son: Jesus
God isn’t waiting for you to be perfect.
He isn’t waiting for you to be older.
Stop putting an age restriction on something God hasn’t!
He is just waiting for you to be willing!
John 4:39–42 (ESV)
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Their response is not your responsibility.
You lead, you introduce, we open our mouths — JESUS SAVES.
Let’s not be surprised when the world acts like the world.
Let’s act like the CHURCH - Worship God, let Him form us, share Jesus — God will do the rest!
Please, don’t be the Christian that gives lip-service to God but your heart is far from Him.
How are we going to disciple this world? …
Experience does not equal discipleship.
Church services don’t equal discipleship
Discipleship isn’t passive
Altar call:
-Those that are willing to OPEN UP and BE A KEY
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