Is it okay to have fun at church? We think, not only is it okay, but it should be the biggest party you ever go to.
God loves a Full House! So do I! Because a Full House is evidence that something big is happening.
Jesus’ first miracle happened at a party. It was a wedding party. Jesus said that every time somebody steps over that line of faith, and gives their heart and life to Jesus, the angels in heaven throw a party.
Jesus said, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10
We want to keep the heavenly party happening.
Jesus told stories about parties too like this one in Luke 14.
Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” Luke 14:15-24
I want us to discover the elements of a great PARTY found in this account.
PEOPLE. (Luke 14:17)
When we first moved to Kyle, we had our very first Connection Church Block Party, and 1 lady showed up. I felt so bad for her. “I’m sorry you showed up for my party.” Some parties can be too small. For a party to be great, you need to have a full house. The host in Jesus’ story invited a lot of important, A-list people. He wanted the so-called “right” people there. These people weren’t interested in the host or the party, so he invited the marginalized and the needy.
People are belongers before they’re believers.
ATTRACTION. (Luke 14:15)
Every good party has a purpose. In this story, they were having a dinner party.
Why do we celebrate at The Connection Church? Every time we get together, we’re having a “Jesus-is-changing-lives” party. Jesus is the main attraction at the party. We make a big deal out of Jesus at The Connection Church.
We need to be like the servant in this story, inviting everyone to our party so they can know who Jesus is and what He can do in their lives. Your life that is attractive to others when they see how you are growing and your life is changing.
“Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:12 (MSG)
RESPONSE. (Luke 14:18-20)
In this story, the first group of people who were invited didn’t want to come. They make all kinds of excuses. One says, “I just bought some land.” Another, “I just bought some animals.” The third says, “I just got married.” It’s one lame excuse after another. Excuses are like armpits, everyone’s got ‘em, and they all stink! The first people who were invited missed out on God’s party. It’s not whether or not you’re invited to God’s Party, it’s whether or not you respond to God’s invitation. Everyone gets an invitation to God’s party, but only those who respond will get in.
TEMPERATURE. (Luke 14:16, 20)
The difference between a thermometer and a thermostat is that a thermometer tells you what the temperature of the room. It doesn’t change anything. In fact, it changes depending on the room temperature. But a thermostat will cause the room temperature to change. We need to be the spiritual thermostats and set the right temperature.
The host PREPARED a great feast. He got everything ready! We also get the House ready for guests.
Every week, we are a family expecting guests.
In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. Micah 4:1
The Lord’s House is the most important place on Earth. There’s nothing better on this planet than the local church.
Our passionate worship sets the temperature for what happens. It’s a party with a purpose. There’s a method behind our madness. The church should be the most creative place there is.
We set the spiritual temperature by how we serve. We serve like we do because every person matters to God!
SAVED PEOPLE SERVE PEOPLE.
YOU! Saying Yes! (Luke 14:21-23)
We need to say “Yes,” to God, then ask, “Now, God what do you want me to do?” When you say yes to God, God will use you to do incredible things.
God wants His House to be Full! He doesn’t want it to be partly packed.
At The Connection Church, we count people, because people count. Why do we care so much about numbers? Because every number has a name, and every name has a story, and every story matters to God!