Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. — Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. — 1 Timothy 4:16 (ESV)
In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people, find our account running under date of the nineteenth century of the Christian era. We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate…
This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.
How then shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. — Abraham Lincoln
Note: This is a machine transcription, and it has not been reviewed for accuracy.Open your Bibles today. Two. The Book of Acts. We're going to make a brief detour this morning. We're going to enact Chapter twenty versus twenty five. Through thirty five. I actually want to read to the end of the chapter. I'm going to read this passage out loud, and then we will begin to explain why we're in this passage this morning. So acts Chapter twenty first twenty five and you can all put your phones in airplane mode if you haven't done so already. All right, let's read together. And now behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will see my face again. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole Council of God pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock. And from among your own selves will arise. Men speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert. Remembering that for three years I did not see Snyder day to admonish everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one silver or gold or peril. You yourselves know that these hands minister to my necessities and to those who are with me in all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way, we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he himself said it is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all, and there was much weeping on the part of all. They embraced Paul and kissed him because being sorrowful, most of all because of the word, he had spoken that they would not see his face again and they accompanied him to his ship. This is the word of the Lord and God. We pray that you would bless the preaching of your words. Now with your holy spirit, Give us eyes to see Give us hard, Tio Tio here and care what this word means. Lord, I pray you would unite us in Christ and with one another in joy around the Gospel. Do that work this morning. We ask in Jesus name. Amen. I came across the story a few years ago. I've shared it once before. A man named Nick Flynn once visited a museum in Cambridge, where they were three. Ching Dynasty vase is thought to be worth one hundred fifty six thousand dollars on an open air window. Still display, thought to be out of reach of the general public after admiring the vases and other rare art disaster, struck after he realized he had gone up the wrong staircase. And he turned around to come down, where he stepped on his untied shoe lace and precariously fell over the rail like a bowling ball toward the vases. He struck the first base with his arm, and, like a perfect strike, the head pin took down the other two all three vases, which had stood for over three hundred years, were instantly shattered into a thousand shards on the ground. Needless to say, Mr Flynn received a letter kindly asking him not to visit the museum again. Thiss was a freak accident. If the curator of the museum had thought for a moment that these precious vases were at risk for being destroyed, he would surely have moved them. He would have. He would have put them under a glass box. He would have protected them from danger. It is a simple truth that we all believe in. We all practice you protect what is most precious to you. You protect what is most precious to you. I find it ironic that when you move into a new house and a new neighborhood, you will find your doorstep littered with flyers from all sorts of security companies who want youto protect what is now precious to you. This brand new house and even inside our house, we put our personal valuables and jewelry and those kind of things in places that we find a safe. Because we protect what is most precious to us parents. You make your kids I hope where their seat belts in the cars. Sometimes I look back and I'm like, What are you doing? Put your seatbelt on because we protect what is most precious to us and God does the same thing. God protects what he finds most precious, and the amazing thing is that he uses us to do it. And the other amazing thing is that we are the thing that he finds to be most precious on this Earth. This morning was a wonderful morning if your guest that's joining us this morning, we had all church members meeting prior to our gathering this morning where we installed Greg Hodson and John Morehead as elders at Grace Church. We now have four elders at Grace Church. We are thrilled that God has given us more men to serve the body In this way. We have been praying. We will continue to pray and take the steps towards asking God to raise up other men to serve in this capacity and other women to serve the body of Christ in appropriate ways. And so, in light of this momentous occasion this morning, I thought we should pause first. Corinthians four week but we're about to start a section on spiritually gifts in Chapter twelve. We're going to get there next Sunday. I thought we should pause this morning and linger on this reality of elder ship and the church and why God wants his church to have God Lee wise elders. Why, that is a good thing, not just for the church at large. Why, that is a really good thing for us here at Grace Church. I want us to be encouraged by what God's doing from his words. So we're in acts twenty, twenty five to thirty eight, and I just sort of read this tax. If you've never read the Bible before, you have probably no idea what's happening. And as we read that Scripture, let me just tell you what's happening. This is a very solemn scene. The Book of Acts is the history of the early church. It's the story of how the original disciples, once Christ, when crisis sends on high and the disciples were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. How they take that gospel is a faithful presence and spread the joy of treasuring Christ in all of life, starting in Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the Earth. And now here, at the back end of the Book of Acts, Paul was one of the main figures of the Book of Acts. One of the main leaders, the one who plants the church in F assists the one who raises up elders in emphasis. He's come back around to this city and like a father who gathers his sons before he dies to give the final charge In the final blessing, The Apostle Paul is going to Jerusalem, and he knows that he is not coming back. This is a solemn moment in this book. There's a baton that's being passed from Paul to these men, says a verse twenty five. And now behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will see my face again. He knows this is it. This is the last shot. This is the final farewell. These air the last words thes air, though this is the last thing he gets to say to them. And they don't have face time. You know, our zoom or Skype or whatever. This is it. This is the final time, they're going to lay eyes on each other. And what he cares about is to strengthen these men for the responsibility to which they've been entrusted, which is to protect what is most precious to God, his church. And I believe, as we look at this section, that God will strengthen our church today. Through these words, I believe God will strengthen the four elders of Grace Church and the future elders of Grace Church and us the congregation. As you read these words, God would sober you and strengthen you with the responsibility it is to be shepherded to be in a church. And it takes seriously the role of pastoral authority in the church and in your life, which is for your good and for God's great glory, because we must protect what is most precious to God. That is where we're going this morning. First, we must guard against error. If we're going to protect what is most precious to God, then we must guard against error. Read again with me. Verse twenty eight, Paul writes. Pay careful attention to yourselves. This's the elders and tow all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. We must protect what is most precious to God, which is the church, and I want to put them Asterix next to that. Because what's actually most important to God and precious to God is his own glory. But that glory is shown and showcase through the redemption of the church. In the present, the presentation of the gospel of his son Jesus Christ as God's son, hangs on across as Christ takes the wrath for our sins as the resurrection glory. This this news is the thing that establishes the church and its the chief thing that God is using to show off his glory. So for his glory, the church is indisputably the greatest treasure of God outside of himself. And just as a husband prizes his wife above all others, The church's prize, to be called the Bride of Christ Ephesians five, says husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church that's men who are married. That's why you love your wives. That's why you give yourself for them. Because Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the Washington water with the words so that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot, a wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish maur glorious in the burning sunset in the sky more valuable than any rare antique vase. God's burning passion is to redeem a people and transform them people like us, into his holy image for his eternal worship. And he's doing that with people like us. That's the church that's you. If you've been joined to Christ by repentance and faith, can I get a amen from the congregation? So's Alice was God for the glories redemption of the church, that he didn't leave it to chance. He didn't delegate it to angels even to secure his work. He purchased it. Two. He purchased the church at the price of his very own life. Blood on the cross How great is our gods? How gray is our God to bring us reconciliation, not through any other means, but through his own death, obtaining us with his blood. Oh, this precious blood bought church. You, me, us who were in Christ must be protected from danger. And so God gives the church overseers to stand guard. You see that word in verse twenty eight. The Holy Spirit has made you oversee years. It's the word episcopo. Us, you might say. Wait, wait, wait a minute. What about the pastors? Or what about the elders? I thought these were the elders. He gathers the elders universe seventeen and called the elders of the church. But now here their overseers. And what about the pastors? And I would say yes. All of these words are used interchangeably to describe the same office. Thie elders who govern, oversee the flock. They oversee it overseers. Bye, pastoring, which is what the word pastor means, shepherding them, pastoring them toward Jesus. So elder pastor, overseer are all the same person. And the text says here that it's the Holy Spirit who makes one an overseer. So think about that. God purchases the church with his own blood and then got himself. The Holy Spirit makes people over spears to protect that church that he bought with his blood, which means God is all in on this thing called the Church. The success of the church rests on God. He shed his own blood to paint it, and he gives his own spirit to protect what is most precious to God. I hope. I hope one of the results off this tax for you is that you come to see the church as something magnificent in God's sight. So how do elder pastor overseers protect the flock? Well, first, from this tax we see the overseers stand guard over their own souls. He says to them, Pay careful attention. Verse twenty eight two yourselves, yourselves. And to all the flock before the overseers get to the flock there to pay close attention to themselves. This idea here is like a bodyguard who is scanning the crowd for danger. Pay careful attention. And that should be true for all of us. Pay attention to yourselves. But especially true for overseers. Now, why do you think that is? That's a rhetorical question. Answer in your heads. Why do you think that is? Why do you think, God says overseers, Pay attention to yourself and your flock and not just the flock? Well, the answer. I think it's fairly obvious God doesn't call perfect people to the role of oversteer. Oh, I wish that there were a special sinless group of human beings who could perfectly and flawlessly lead and rule and feed and guard the flock because the flock, what would what would experience such a flourishing enjoy under such people? But no such human being exists outside of Jesus. It is a grave mistake to assume that because someone has been given the title of elder pastor overseer that they are somehow different from every other person in the church, or that they're immune from the temptations that other human beings face. It's especially dangerous when the elder pastor overseers begin to believe that about themselves. The truth is, is that even Jesus experienced temptation in every way as we have yet without sin, Hebrews for fifteen. And so the church that elevates the elder pastor overseer to the status of some sort of like sinless sacred, you know, different kind of person is in serious danger of disillusionment and disappointment. Greg! John! Jamie Myself. We are men, Beth, We are men. Paul charges these Mento watch themselves precisely because they themselves are sinners who are saved by grace and the leader who loses his grip on the gospel, righteous and Christ alone by grace alone, through faith alone, to protect into guard as a servant under the headship of Christ, who is in all and through all that leader is the leader that is is in danger of precariously falling over the rail and knocking over and breaking that which is most precious to God. And so, Paul says, keep a close watch on yourself first Timothy four. Pay attention to yourselves and I want you to know, as one of your pastors that we don't just think about programs and policies. We give time to our souls because we're commanded to stand guard over them. Jamie and I and John and Greg regularly pray for each other just as much as we pray for you. We regularly share with each other how we're personally apprehending God and the Gospel We are seeking to watch out for each other and listen, you need to know this. We each have brought correction to each other, and we each have saw each other's forgiveness for things along the way. That is a sign of a healthy team that's depending on Jesus. We should, as elder overseer pastors never be so haughty that we forget our need for the Gospel. And we should never be so despairing first, in that we don't remember that we do indeed have a gospel, and that is true for you as well. So on this momentous day, we would covet your prayers. Part of the role of a member is not only to be shepherded well, but but to pray for your pastors, especially now with Greg and John and Abi Vocational Way joining us as a full elder of Grace Church. We want you to pray for us as pastors. I am so grateful for those of you who regularly reach out and pray for us and let us know that you're praying for us. We need your prayers because we want to shepherd you well. And when the gods wisdom to do that, stacking overseers must stand guard over their own souls in order to effectively stand guard over the flock. Look at that. That word in verse. Twenty eight, he says. Careful attention to yourselves. And to all the flock. Now he's using this shepherd in term. Right sheep flock. The church is like a flock, Theo. Overseers are like shepherds. They are looking out over the flock to gauge where there's danger. Shepherds don't just look at the sheep. The Shepards also look at where the sheep are going and what the sheep er eating and where the dangerous mushrooms are and where the refreshing water and green grass is. The goal of this kind of leadership is care. Looking that word there he has made you overseers to care for the Church of God. The word care is the Greek word point may know which is literally to shepherd or in ephesians, too. Pastor. Same word care. Shepherd. The elders oversee by carrying and shepherding. Now what does it mean to shepherd? Some, I think of shepherding his counseling. You know we're in counseling. You're drawing out the poisonous sin in the heart, using the antidote of God's word. That's true. Others might think of shepherding as giving direction. You need advice or perspective, and you want to go to your pastor, who will shepherd you in the council of the words Both are true, but Paul is is alluding to something else here in the context, he's saying, Shepherd the flock because there is an imminent danger to the sheep that the overseers need to pay careful attention to inverse twenty nine, he says. I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and from among your own selves will arise. Men speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them. This image is graphic. This image is off this this wolf fierce wolves that come into the flocks. We got a picture in your mind of of the sheep, and there's the pen. And then there's this dangerous pack of wolves that jumped the fence and they get in among the sheep. And if if the shepherds aren't careful, they won't notice that those wolves are intermixed with the sheep. And what does it say will happen? They will dig their teeth into those sheep. They will sink their teeth in. They were claw them. They will weaken them. They will destroy them, and they will kill them. And that is what happens when wolves rise into leadership, formal or informal and they begin to do this work how? By teaching twisted things in the body that don't accord with sound doctrine. When people teach twisted things in the body that don't accord was found doctrine the sheep get confused, the sheep get led astray and they're like lambs being led to the slaughter. And sadly, my friends, this prophetic word in acts Chapter twenty has been confirmed to many times since the days of Paul. The greatest danger to the unity and effectiveness of the church is not out there. It's within. It's here. It's within us. The danger exists within the body of Christ. On a political level. Abraham Lincoln knew this. He had a similar fear of this for our country. When he was only twenty eight years old, he gave the following remarks of a speech to the young men's Lyceum, and here's what Lincoln said. In the great journal of things Happening under the Sun. We, the American people, find our account running under day of the nineteenth century of the Christian era. We find ourselves in peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the Earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil and celebrity of climate. This task of gratitude to our fathers justice to ourselves, duty to posterity and love for our species in general all in para tidily require us faithfully to perform. How then, shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means? Shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never all the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined with all the treasure of the earth our own accepted in their military chest with about a part for a commander could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue ridge in the trial of a thousand years. At what point then, is the approach of danger to be expected. I answer. If it ever reach us, it must bring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. Imagine Trump giving a speech like that using a word like celebrity. Look it up. I don't know what it means. Lincoln. I knew the heart of the people. The greatest danger to the health of the union is not from without, but from within. And then you know that later on he's quoting Jesus when he says, Ah, House divided cannot stand. We must protect what is most precious by guarding what God loves. That's point one and point two is how do we do that? One of the best defense is a good offense. And so one of the most effective ways to guard against error is to teach what is true versus twenty six, twenty seven and thirty one. Read with me in twenty six. Therefore, he says, I testified to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all. Fried did not shrink from declaring to you the whole Council of God. What is he saying here? He's saying I did not shrink back. I did not keep from you in declaring every doctrine that you need to know and understand the controversial ones, the easy ones, the deep ones. And his comment here about innocence is meant to indicate that he, as the teacher, cannot be held responsible for what they do in the future. The teacher's responsibility is to teach, and he cannot be held responsible. If the students choose to reject, they're teaching. And so, as elder overseer Pastors and Grace Church, we have a duty to maintain the same commitment to our doctrine. As a congregation, you have a duty to maintain the same commitment to our doctrine toe, listen to the truth that's being taught and to make sure that we're not drifting and matters of biblical teaching for the sake of the cultural drift Friends, Can I just be honest with you? I have no statistics to back up what I'm about to say. It is purely just subjective, anecdotal opinion for me, and I don't know all that much. But what it seems like is that the average American Christian doesn't know much about God. And it doesn't know much about God because the average American Christian doesn't seem to know much about the Bible. And the average American Christian doesn't seem to know much about the Bible because the average American church doesn't teach. The Bible doesn't teach what the word of God says. We're increasingly becoming a biblically illiterate nation. And so I want to be very clear that we're holding fast to the apostolic doctrine contained in this book. Strategically, intentionally, with all of our hearts. Great shirt. You're going to find that we believe that were made in the image of God to reflect his glory. We believe that our sin has broken that fellowship with God that we were designed for. We believe that we have provoked his wrath and his judgment by arson. We believe that we deserve his wrath. And and that God's wrath comes in the form of judgement when we die and we will send all eternity separated from God in hell. We believe that the promise of everlasting life and joy and got with God in heaven exists. We believe that Christ came and died in our place and rose again to prove that God's payment have been accepted. We believe this good news is gospel is the on ly way to be saved from God's wrath against our sins. We believe that we get this gospel not by works, but by grace. We believe the gospel is for everyone, young and old, man or woman, Jew or gentile. We believe the gospels made effective in our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit to see and believe what God has done. We believe that an understanding of this gospel empowered by the spirit, is the source for real change in the heart. And we believe that we showcase the gospel in our relationships, work, play rest as we treasure Christ in all of life. And we believe these things at a deeply conviction A ll level the more unpopular these things get, the more true we have to hold to them. And we have not shifted in this in the last ten years since starting Grace Church. But past teaching cannot be assumed into the present, and it cannot be assumed into the future. Which is why Paul tells the elders, overseers, pastors, be alert, Be alert. Remembering the first thirty one that I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears When did this guy sleep? I mean, he's up all night knocking on your door like, you know, be alert like I'm trying to rest. Paul must have never slept. This is his way of saying I consistently, regularly, faithfully instructed and admonish the church. And we now have four elder overseer pastors who can do the work of this training and equipping and disciple ing to teach you the saints howto do your ministry. So that's what we're committed to hear at crates were committed to teaching you Christ from the whole Bible who he is, what he's done and how Christ claims you and all of your life for him. We want two disciple leaders in the Gospel and have leaders teach you truth And there is so much work to do that's so good, but it's equally important that the church you yourselves position yourselves to receive God's words, he says. Here I ceased, never ceased to admonish day night with tears. Some of the tears that I'm assuming Paul faced is where people did not heed the word of truth, that they were not being convinced of Orthodoxy, that they were not inclined to want to follow the shepherd. I'm telling you after whatever, I don't know how many years I've been a pastor now. But fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years of passing the hardest places for me as a pastor is when I see people I love and care about slide away from the truth. And it's not like in their confession they won't say, Well, my new doctrinal statement is this, but they start to slide away from Jesus at the centre and slide away from the implications of that gospel. And they start making excuses and they start to wander and it breaks my heart as a pastor's. I employ them and they don't turn back brothers and sisters. The teaching of the word of God is designed to protect what is most precious to God You, because you showcase the reality of the gospel to the glory of God. I want you to keep walking toward him and faith. That's why he closes here in this section as he's going to leave and he pushes them toward God and toward God's word. Look at verse thirty to Paul's leaving. He's going. What are they going to do without him here? First thirty two and now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Paul is no longer going to be here to instruct the church. But something will be there. It is the word of his grace. This's synonym for the gospel. The word of his grace is sufficient to keep the church going. The word of his grace is able tto build up the church. We're going to see that spiritually. Gifts in chapters twelve to fourteen of Corinthians is all designed to build up the church to encourage to console this word of grace is able to deliver on its promise that all those who are in Christ Jesus all those who are sanctified will receive this promised inheritance from God. And I want you to get it. Look, you don't You might not know this, but ifyou're Christian, you are filthy rich. Your inheritance is being held in a trust account at the end of your life. And if you persevere by God's grace to the very end you will be given this beautiful inheritance has promised inheritance. Brothers and sisters, I want you to have it. I want you to want me to have it. I want us to watch over each other so that we get to do what this word says. And I want Christ to get all that his blood bought sacrifice has purchased. I want him to get every drop of glory that his built blood earned. Christ has won a bride that is meant to sparkle with splendor. And that's why he's given elder pastor overseers who are sinners in need of grace. Sheep themselves. Toe lead the other sheep toe labour in the word all about the words. It's all about the word, the word Christ. The word became flesh and dwelt among us, the word of his grace implanted inside of us. And if we're trusting in this word, it will show itself in a life that's lived by the grace of the words. Here's his final words versus thirty three three thirty five, he says. I coveted no one silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands minister, to my necessity into those who are with me in all things. I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he himself said it is more blessed to give than to receive. There is grace in receiving the Gospel. It's the kind of race that makes you give instead of take. It's the kind of grace that makes you look for opportunities to serve instead of ways to complain. It's the kind of raise that fills you with joy and the joy of emptying yourself rather than getting filled up and the church that ceases to grow in. This is the church who has moved away from the Gospel of Grace because Grace motivates this is the way of the savior who did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant and who, for the joy step before him, endured the cross. I just said The Terra two days ago. I said, I need to stop complaining. I need to stop complaining about my circumstances and I need to start preaching Christ efficiency in those circumstances. I need to stop complaining. I need to start preaching Christ efficiency in those circumstances. You need to stop complaining, perhaps, and start apprehending price efficiency by his spirit through his word for all your circumstances, because the truth of the matter is Jesus gave everything for the sake of his church. He gave everything for the sake of his church because the church is precious to him. And so we must protect what is most precious. Oh, I just thought of a few application points that I think can help us first. It's like, if all this is true, then So what? First, I just want to implore you again. See the church as gods rescue plan for the lost and as spiritual rehab for the spiritually addicted, like the eye dollars adulterous Lee addictive. We come into this room and we start to breathe the fresh air. The oxygen of the gospel cleans our system. Our see the church's something magnificent. It's not just about showing up on Sundays. It's about being new. Gods called us to be second. Be warned about the danger that the church is in from false doctrines and do not be fooled by them. Do not dabble in tow. You know the newest fads and trends. God's word is establish. I was so grateful for John and for Greg Has they've been through this process over the last few years that they've established themselves in sound doctrine. You can trust their doctrine. Third, take seriously the role of pastoral authority in the church. When pastors lied for the good of the flock. It is a blessing. We want to do that. Pray for us to do that. Fourth loves, truth, love, truth and embrace of being taught even if its things fifth received the inheritance that is yours in Christ far richer than any money and set your hope on that. Fix about in the work of grace giving instead of receiving and seventh bring glory to God for which Jesus has died. This is what the church is supposed to do, Paul concludes here, att the end. And he says, when he said all these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all the embrace Paul and kissed him being sorrowful. Most of all because of the word he had spoken that they would not see his face again and they accompanied him to the ship. And Paul was gone. But this is a picture of what gospel community looks like. People on mission, people who deeply care about each other, protecting what is most precious to God, living out that gospel in community, powered by the spirit. And in truth, that is compelling community that is going to draw people's attention far more than a great band was far more than any light show would far more than any big, huge mega event would. Compelling community draws people's attention to the glory of God, and we believe God is using, and we'll continue to use the compelling community here at Grace, along with the other sister churches in the city to transform this city. And that's what you get to be a part of by being a part of Grace Church. It is an opportunity friends to get serious about your life and to get spheres about your faith and to pray like mad for revival in our midst. Let's do it. Let's pray for revival in our mitts. Let's pray that God moves. Let's pray that as God adds Greg and John to join Jamie and I that he will bring bring up others behind us, Let's pray that God rises up church planters from within our body. Let's pray that God gives us new ministries to start, not because they're novel ideas, but because they're helpful for the body. Let's pray that God gives us passion and boldest to see the gospel go out. Let's see God save people, as Jamie likes to say. Let's see God wear out that baptismal because people are being saved from the darkness into the light. Let's see people freed from addiction. Let's see. God bring revival in this time. We can't do it. God can do it. God has done it. May God do it again. So that his church would be protected and his glory would be bent, meant made manifest as we come to communion now, this morning we rally around the body and the blood of Jesus as his people. Father, we rally around Christ our savior who obtained us with his own blood. Oh, how precious is the flow that makes us white as snow. No other fount. I know nothing but the blood of Jesus. What a great morning God to remember. What you calling us too? Help us to repent from our sins so that we can receive your grace and be effective in ministry for your glory. Amen.