Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25, 2009

"Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." Luke 15:23

Just outside of Greensboro, NC is an amazing place called "Celebration Station". It is like Funland, Chucky Cheese, and Dave & Busters all rolled up into one! This place is SO good that adults beg their kids to go!
I always liked that name - "Celebration Station". That has a nice sound. It rolls off the tongue doesn't it? When I first heard it I thought, "That would be a great name for a church because that is what a local church is designed to be - a celebration station!
What do I mean by that? Where do I get that?
From Luke 15 where we see Jesus showing us the heart of God to seek lost sinners and to celebrate when they are found.
So, how do we turn our church into a celebration station?
Learn to see with Jesus vision.
We have televison. The military has night vision. Superman has x-ray vision. But Jesus has people vision!
When you look at a crowd you notice people who are about your age or people who are attractive or people who are stylish or people you know. When Jesus looks at a crowd He sees lost people, hurting people, and needy people. That's Jesus vision.
One of the reasons I ask people to put together a list of lost people and begin praying for them is that it helps give us Jesus vision. When you begin interceeding for lost people it slowing changes your focus. The more you pray for lost people and watch for chances to witness the more you develop Jesus vision.
Another way to develop Jesus vision is to go on a short-term mission trip. When you get into another setting or another culture and see the need and feel the spiritual darkness and become overwhelmed by the need - you will never see the world the same again.
Jesus vision helps us become a celebration station.
The second thing is to learn Jesus values. Jesus values lost people. He is the shepherd searching for the one lost sheep while He leaves the 99. He is the woman frantically looking for the lost coin. He is the father anxiously hoping and watching for the return of his runaway son.
In one of my previous messages I pointed out the truth that we search for what we value. That can not be denied! The opposite is true. We betray our misplaced values when we fail to seek lost people.
That is another result of daily praying for the lost people you value most. It helps you develop Jesus value. And that is all you need to do. You don't have to search for strangers. You don't have to value the whole world, but if you will seek to reach those who mean the most to you - that is Jesus value!
Thirdly, for the church to become a celebration station you need to learn to celebrate with Jesus victory! That is what we celebrate? A person whom we loved and sought and prayed for was lost and now is found! What else is there? An eternal destiny has been changed! When a church learns to celebrate what Heaven celebrates, the dynamic of that fellowship changes.
My passion and my prayer is for FredWes to become a celebration station! Will you join us? Will you ask God to you develop Jesus vision, and get Jesus values so we can celebrate Jesus victories?
Who are you intereeding for today? What mission trip are you planning to take? What lost person are you befriending?