Now is the Time Week #3
Jason White



Join us for this special Sunday as we joyfully give to our Now is the Time campaign.







Read Sermon Transcript Here
Thank you. Thank you, Emily. Wow. Believe for it. All right. Well, as we've been talking about a little bit already, now's the time, today is the day to put this over here. So in a little bit, we'll enter into a time of commitment. We've been talking about this for several several weeks now. We have a goal of trying to raise $2 million for this building campaign and felt like the Lord is saying, Now is the time to take care of this ministry tool that He has blessed us with thank you for being here today to participate in this and to worship together, it's a full house and some of you are even having to sit in the bleachers. Thank you for that. But so good to see all of you here. And that we can do all this together in one service as one family together. Before we enter into our time of commitment, I want to just spend a few minutes in God's word, reminding us of kind of the driving force behind why it is that we're doing what we are doing today want to give us a few other things to think about as we enter into this time of commitment and, and how he's leading us past this Sunday and time of commitment. And I want us to look at Second Corinthians chapter five, verse 14, through chapter six, verse two. So if you have your Bible, Second Corinthians, your device with the Bible app on it, you can pull that out and follow along all of the Scripture references, except Except for maybe one we just found out right before the service started. But a little small chunk of it might be missing, and it was too late to get it entered in there. But I'll read through it, of course, and hopefully, if you have your Bible you can follow along that way, while you're looking for it. Let me just kind of set the scene for you. Paul is writing this letter to the church at Corinth. And here in this particular section, he's kind of having to, to defend his ministry a little bit. Paul had to do this occasionally, from time to time hit. Well, it seemed like he had to do it a lot. There were people that just opposed Paul, they opposed this message of grace. And a lot of times they would try to, to infiltrate the churches that Paul had planted and kind of taint his reputation and taint this message of grace, the truth of the gospel that he was teaching in all of these churches, and apparently, the group in the that he was talking about here and defending himself in front of, we're kind of focused on outward appearances, external things, things that are are seen and not of the heart is the way Paul puts it a few verses earlier. And so to answer them to defend himself and his ministry before them, here's what he says in verse 14, for Christ's love compels us. Christ's love is what compels us. In other words, Christ's love, is the driving force, Paul is saying, in my life, and the lives of those on my ministry team, all of those others can think whatever they want to think they can say whatever it is that they want to say. But the truth is, the reality is Christ's light love for us, is the driving force behind everything it is that we do in everything it is that we say. Now, the thing is, even though Paul could declare this to be true in this moment, and in His ministry to them as a church, it had not always been the driving force in his life. Matter of fact, the driving force behind everything that Paul used to do was the law. It was his flesh. It was him trying to prove himself him trying to measure up trying to justify himself over and above anyone who believed in Jesus. But that all changed and he gets into what it is that changed with what it is that he says next. So in verse 14, again, he says, for Christ's love compels us why? Because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died, and he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him, who died for them and was raised again. So from now on, because things have changed. 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. So Paul says says that it's Christ's love that compels him now, because there's been a change in him, the old Paul is gone. And the new Paul is here, the old Paul operated from a place of lack. The old Paul, in operating from a place of lack, lacked love and lacked security and lacked in identity and meaning and purpose in this world. And so the driving force in his life was to try to get those needs met to fill up his life with that lack of love. And, of course, he thought that maybe if he performed well, by following the rules and obeying the law, the more God might really love him, the more he persecuted Christians for believing in Jesus, maybe God would accept and approve of him more if he was doing those things. But Jesus showed up in a miraculous way you can read about it and Acts chapter nine if you've never done so. And, and Jesus revealed himself to Paul and he extended his grace to him despite who he was and who he had been, and what it is that he had been doing to his church. And at the moment of salvation, that he received that grace that Jesus offered Him through faith, Paul died, and he became a new creation, which is what happens to all he says in that moment, verse 15, again, he said, We are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died, if anyone again is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old is gone, the new is here. This is just what happens when you put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation. So now that Jesus had rescued Paul and filled him now with all of this love, he was no longer operating from a place of lack. Now the driving force in his life, to try to get those needs met, had to change because his needs were already met in Christ, he was complete in Christ, he had now been filled up with God's love all of it. So that it now it was what compelled him to go when to tell others about the love that he had received and been filled up with in his own life. I don't know why. But when I was reading this and thinking about it this week, it kind of made me think about a sailboat. I don't know if this helps anyone but me, but it really just was kind of the image that was in my head. And so if you think about a sailboat, when the sale is not full of wind, then it's just sitting still, I mean, it's not going anywhere. The the sailboat, if you will, is operating from a place of lack. In that moment, nothing is happening, right. But when the wind begins to blow, and it begins to fill up the sail, then the wind compels the boat to move in whatever direction the wind is blowing, it becomes the driving force, if you will, to move the sailboat wherever it is blowing wherever it is driving it to go. And I think this is kind of like our lives I mean, before Christ, where we're on the sailboat, if you will, and there's a lack of wind, we're operating from that place of lack, and we're looking for something to feel our sails, we're looking for things that will bring us love and bring us security and bring us identity and bring us meaning and purpose. And so, so there's all of this activity on the boat, but it isn't really moving because apart from Christ, we can really do nothing of eternal value. None of those things are ultimately filling up our sails in compelling us to move there's a lot of activity, there's a lot of flurry, there's a lot of commotion and things that are going on on the boat. But there's nothing actually filling the sails and ultimately really causing us to go, we're busy, we're tired, we're frustrated, but we're still just sitting still. We're not going anywhere. But the moment that we hear the gospel, we hear about how much Jesus loves us that Well, ultimately, it was even the driving force behind why he left the glory and riches of heaven to come here to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Him. And when we hear that good news we we see the gospel for what it is. Then we say yes to Jesus by putting our faith and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior and he gives himself to us he he fills our sails up if you will, with the We have his love in that moment. And now his love is pushing our sailboat in his direction he becomes the driving force. In each and every one of our lives. He's compelling us to go. This is why Paul could say Christ's love compels us why he could say it was now the driving force in his life in His ministry, because he had died. He had been made new in Christ and completely filled up his sales were just full of the wind of God's love that were compelling him to go into, tell others about Jesus. He goes on in verse 18, and says, All this is from God. God did it all. It's all from him. All this from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are there for Christ's ambassadors, Paul says, as though God were making his appeal through us, we implore you on Christ's behalf Be reconciled to God God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. If you're following along in your Bibles, you can highlight underline Asterix star that one all day long and twice today, because it is Sunday. Such as I mean, the gospel in one verse, right? That's it. The Paul says, As new creations in Christ, who have been reconciled to God now that God gave them him and his co workers, the ministry of reconciliation, and now, again, Christ's love compels them to go being ministers of reconciliation to tell others about Jesus so that they could be reconciled to Him, as well. But did you notice Paul's language, Paul says the ministry of reconciliation that God gave them really isn't like it was up to us to reconcile other people to God, he said it was God making his appeal through them. And he said, It's like being an ambassador, we talked about this, some daring or upside down kingdom message series not long ago, that the moment that we put our faith and trust in Jesus, he rescues us from our sins, we are united to him in a spiritual union. We're already spiritually seated in heaven, in that union that we have with him. But we physically, of course, remain here. So we're citizens of a new kingdom. But we're now ambassadors of that kingdom, in this world that we live in. But again, because of that, a eternal union that takes place in his kingdom, and that we're now citizens of Paul says, It's like Jesus is the one God's making the appeal through us, we get to live from that place from that union of Jesus, where he's the driving force, he's the one compelling us to go and do what it is that we do, which again, takes us back to that sailboat kind of mentality. And you picture that being, even the work of being an ambassador. But Paul goes through all of this. And he's, he's highlighting a lot of this again, because he was defending in the beginning his ministry, he's defending his name and what this is all about, and the place the heart from which it comes from. There's no external motive here. There's no me trying to take advantage of you guys in any way or whatever it is. It's, it's all the love of Christ that compels us. But he's turned his attention back to them in the last couple of verses. And he, he continues to do so in the first couple of verses of chapter six. Remember there? There were no chapters? There were no verses in the original letter that Paul wrote to the these were things that were added later. And really, I wish that the chapter didn't start there to make us think it's completely broken up and different because these two verses really go along with what Paul had been saying in chapter five through verse 21. He goes on in verse one of chapter six and says, as God's co workers, we urge you Corinthian church. Not to receive God's grace in vain, you've received it. But don't don't receive it in vain. Don't Don't let it be for nothing, don't, don't miss out on all that Christ's love is compelling you to do as well. He just went on and on about how this was true of them now and what God was doing in their ministry and given them the ministry of reconciliation, making them ambassadors in His appeal through them. And Paul saying, Guys, that everything that I've said is true is true about you to your new creations in Christ, you've been filled with His love and security, all of your needs are met. So don't miss out on the new life that you now have in him, don't miss out on his love, don't miss out on his security and the new identity that you have, don't miss out on how he wants to do his kingdom work through you to make a difference in this world, things of eternal value. He says, You guys are also ambassadors. God is making his appeal through you to to reconcile others to him. He goes on in verse two, and kind of backs this up by saying for he reffering, referencing God, for God says in the time of my favor, I heard you. And in the day of salvation, I helped you this is a quote from the Old Testament. It comes from the book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah. And it's in Isaiah 49, eight. And this was a time when the Israelite nation was in exile. And this was kind of a prophecy of how God would bring salvation in the future one day. But look what Paul says next, after saying, in the time of my favor, I heard you and in the day of salvation, I helped you in quoting that, he says, I tell you now is the time of God's favor, and now is the day of salvation. In other words, Paul says, that day that Isaiah or God was talking about in Isaiah, chapter 49, verse eight is today, he's saying, church at Corinth, you guys are living in a new era, a new era of grace, you used to live under the era of law and performance and proving and having to measure up and operating from a place of lack. But now it's an era of grace. So don't receive His grace, in vain. You've been rescued, you've been made complete, you've been filled with His love as a result of his grace. And now he's doing more rescuing through, you don't miss out on the rescuing that he wants to do. through you. You too, are ambassadors, you've been given the ministry of reconciliation. So Paul is saying, let Jesus is love compel you to let it be the driving force in your life. Now he is saying, of course, all of that is true of us. If we put our faith and trust in Jesus as well, we have been rescued by God through Christ, we've been spiritually seated in heaven. We've been made citizens of his kingdom. We are now ambassadors of that same kingdom to those around us, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation in Christ is making his appeal through us as a church. That is why he's put us together as his church. It's his mission that he is on through us, each one of us individually and collectively as his church, which he is the head and Paul is even saying to us today don't receive His grace, in vain. And so today, as we give, as we enter into this time of commitment in just a moment, we're reminded that we do so first of all, because we're compelled by his love to do so. This is the driving force behind what it is that we are doing today. Christ's love for us. It's in us in working through us and prompting us and giving us the grace to actually give in this moment. But second of all, we need to see here that we are not giving for ourselves. We're giving for those that God is wanting to reconcile to Himself through us as His ambassadors than as the church who have been given the ministry of reconciliation. So God is compelling us His love is compelling us to make these commitments today, not just to, to give, but to allow him to work in and through us to invite people into this church, people to hear the gospel and to find a church to belong to the same way that we've found a church to belong to, to invite people to join us in the mission that he's now doing in and through us that he's making his appeal through us to reach even more beyond us. And so this is the why. For what it is that we are doing this today. It's Christ's love compels us. It's the driving force in our lives. When I planned this series out, after we had decided that this was the direction the Lord was leading us, several weeks ago, I mapped out and sketched out what the series was going to look like. And several weeks ago, I had planned on doing second Corinthians chapter five, verses 14, through the end of the chapter. I had not planned on doing the first two verses of chapter six, several weeks ago. And as I got to this week, and began to look at it more specifically, and I was reading a lot of commentaries about this particular passage, and just preparing and studying to deliver this message today. A lot of them I began to notice included, the first two verses of chapter six with this section, again, related to what we said earlier, there were no chapters, there were no verses. And I started thinking, Well, if this really goes with this section, then maybe I should include it, but I hadn't even read it yet. And so I go back and read it. And I'm just finished reading those two verses, and I said, Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me. There is no way God, you are just too good. No idea. And I'm sitting there reading these verses, and he finishes with I tell you, now is the time. What? Now's the time. I just don't think that's a coincidence. I just think of it as one more confirmation, one more affirmation that this really is the direction that he's compelling us to go as a church and do what it is that we are doing today. And what he's going to do through us, as His ambassadors to those in this community that he wants to reach through us as colonial Hills Baptist Church. I hope you feel that way too. I'm going to give you some specifics, as we enter into this time you were given in the mail, or there some around here, commitment card that looks like this, there is an envelope as well like that, and, and here's what we're we're going to be asking you to do. Again, we've mentioned this, but I just want to make sure we're all kind of on the same page and know what we're doing here we've been asking you to pray about and consider how the Lord's leading you to potentially give a one time cash donation today to get the campaign started. And so on to that card. Again, you would you would write down whatever that was, if God led you to do that today if he compelled you to do so. And then over here on that far left side, in the black part, it says My three year pledge is in to choose one option. However it is and we gave you know the example whatever if if God said it was $100, you know, monthly, then that's $1,200. A year times three is 3600. Plus whatever the one time, you know gift, if there's some guys walking around with cards, if you didn't get one in the mail, you missed one or just didn't bring it. They're happy to give you one of these right now, even in this moment as well. But if you already had that or you're filling it out and waited to do so until today, then you would just simply take that card after filling it out. Take your envelope, put the card inside the envelope again, if with whatever your one time donation is, if you wrote a check today or whatever it is that you would be giving and seal that up. And then here in just a moment, you'll notice that there's a basket right over here to my left on your right. There's one way over here on the far right, as well. There's actually two in the very Way back on by the exits on the way out as well. So there's four baskets that are here. And what we're going to ask you to do in just a moment, as we enter into that time of commitment is to drop your envelope in one of those four baskets during this time as we all do so together. Now many of you may have already given online, maybe you took this week to give online and maybe even filled the digital commitment card out. And, and you don't have anything to give today, although you've already given to this. And the I've been told by our fine arts people that several of you had already given this week, which was really encouraging to know that you were already on board with a lot of these things. But we want to encourage you to use this time to still pray, even if you're not giving right now, in this moment, you already did. And even if he hasn't led and compelled you to give that you can still enter into this time of prayer than be asking about whatever the Lord may want to do in and through you in the future as well. As a matter of fact, also, I do want to just make you aware that if you don't have a way to be able to give today, but you feel led to do so you can still do that online, when we're entering into our time of commitment, you can pull out your phone, you can go to Colonial backslash now and click on the the give tab, it'll take you there and you can give that way, if you wanted to give through text message, it's possible to give to this campaign right now it during that way. And you would even see on your bulletin in the very back of it, it says ways to give and it says Text $1 amount 284321 Right there. Well, in order to if you did that, and you just put the amount in there to that number, it would go to our general fine. So there's one extra step that you would have to do and your text message, you would just put it to that number, put your dollar amount. So let's say it was $1,000. So you put the dollar sign and 1000, skip a space and then just put C H BC. Now in the text all just in the text CHPC. Now, first put the dollar amount that you want to give and that would go directly to the Now Is The Time campaign as well. So what's going to happen is I'm going to open up this time in a word of prayer in just a moment. And we're gonna just play some instrumental music softly. And I just want to encourage you to use this time either as an individual, a couple, or a family to pray first, to spend some time praying, you even see if you could see a peer looked earlier in front of the stage looks a little bit differently, we've put some, some mats down. For those of you that might even feel led to come up and pray as if it was an altar, you know, we've just made it a way for you to be able to kneel at the altar as an individual or as a family here along the side over here. I mean, you don't have to, you can pray in your seats, you could turn around and kneel at your seat, you can just pray right there. But but as you finish praying, I do want to encourage you to stand up at some point and to walk and and to give one of the front two baskets. Now if that's hard on you physically, or you don't feel led to come forward in this moment, on your way out when we close in a little bit, then you can always give on the way out. But guys, I just think this is one more reminder that we see and are so encouraged of the reminder that we are in this together, that it's not me that I am not the church, but he and she and all of us are in when we we see our church moving like we do during the meet and greet time. And it's just fun, because we're in this together to be able to see people, this is just one more of those special moments that God's saying you get to be a part of this together as I'm actively engaging you and moving you to, to pray and to walk and to give and to, to just commit these before him. So use this time to pray for, to thank him for the resources to be able to give to giving you the grace to give to continue to commit to give over the long haul, pray for the work that's going to be done. Pray for the workers who are going to be doing it and that it'll be done in a timely manner sooner rather than later and they would all be done well then we'd have zero problems whatsoever throughout the whole thing. Pray for the people that God wants to reach in our community through us as a church. Pray on all of those levels. However the Lord is leading you and if you have questions, we'll be able to answer those as well final instruction then I'll pray. I'm going to ask unless you just have to because the time is Some other commitment that you don't leave, that you stay, don't use this time to get up and leave, because you've already given or you come up and give and then just walk out, we're going to spend four or five minutes, maybe longer doing this together as a church. But we're going to come back together and we're going to sing one final hymn or the doxology. Together, it just give God the glory for what it is that he's doing in us and through us. And I just want us to all be a part of that if we can together. Let's pray. Father, we enter into this time of commitment, trusting that you, your love for us has been the compelling force, what's compelled us to move and to act and to give during this time, Lord, it's by Your grace that you blessed us with your life and with our resources and we just make ourselves available to you to pray, however you lead us to pray and to empower us to give