New Hope Notes
Pour Into Others
Pastor Pat McFall
Today, we're continuing our grAttitude Adjustment series. When I was 13 I learned to surf in a place called Moss Landing, California. Jimmy was teaching me to surf. He was my first youth pastor. Jimmy had come out of San Quentin Prison and got saved sometime after that. He was so on fire for Jesus! For whatever reason, this ex-convict had turned Jesus lover, then turned lay pastor in our church, and I'm spending time with that man!
At five in the morning we would drive to Moss Landing to learn to surf. Jimmy was not a good coach but he loved Jesus; he was not winning awards for coaching surfing. But here's what I do know that was so true about Jimmy—he poured his life into me. Jimmy took a kid that just recently lost his dad and picked me up every Sunday morning at 4:30 just because I wanted to learn to surf.
It was during those cold dark mornings in that truck that Jimmy would tell me about Jesus. Jimmy took time out of his life (he had a wife and two kids) to be involved in the lives of a 13?year?old kid and his 15?year?old brother. He said that he was going to spend some time with those young men and he taught us what it meant to love Jesus, even while still in the process of being healed.
We had just lost our dad to cancer and I remember Jimmy telling me once, "Pat, it's okay for you to be angry. Just don't stay there. It's okay for you to be hurt, but God wants to heal you." I learned what it was to passionately follow after Jesus because a man named Jimmy poured his whole life into me at a critical season of my life.
Pouring into the lives of others is our assignment on this planet. Jesus told us to go and make disciples—teach them His ways, baptize them, and bring them to Him. That's what Jimmy did. He poured his life into me. We cannot have a full grAttitude adjustment unless we recognize those that have gone before us—had spent some time with us, had conversations, and did devotions with us.
At our New Hope Hawaii Kai campus, 24 people were baptized last Sunday. We can't celebrate that moment fully without recognizing Pastor Wayne, Pastor Jon, and so many other pastors and nameless and faceless people that have gone before us and poured their hearts into people (some plant, some water, some reap the harvest, but God gives the increase). Now we can celebrate!
Divine Gratitude Is Best Expressed In Genuine Community. Philippians 2:1–4, ESV,
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
We cannot love each other if we're not around one another. We must be able to experience the goodness of the gospel and the salvation that we have in Jesus in community because, truly, I can't experience the abundant life without you, and unfortunately, you can't experience it without me!
Paul is talking about unity. Paul wrote to a number of churches and corrected those churches, but there is a different tone in this letter to the church in Philippi because he loves this church.
Earlier, Paul had a vision from God to go to Macedonia; however, when he got to the city of Philippi, there's not enough Jewish men in the city to start a synagogue, so he goes outside the city to the river and meets a woman named Lydia, a Gentile believer. She had her own business dealing in purple cloth and was able to support herself and give financially. Lydia connects Paul with the community. One relationship led to an opportunity that led to another relationship that led to another. Ten years later Paul is writing a letter from a deep, dark hole in prison and is still overflowing in joy when he thinks about this community and says, “Thank you for sticking with me when a lot of people didn't. I'm actually chained to a prison guard right now but thank you because it's when I think of you that my joy overflows, and I pray for you.”
1. Direction Flows Through Relationships.
One relationship leads to an opportunity. It's interesting, if Jimmy had never taught me to surf, I would not have had that skill. A few years later in 2012, I have a relationship with Pastor Aaron Cordeiro, who loves to surf. He called and said, "Hey, would you speak at a youth camp in New Hope Hawaii Kai?" Pastor Aaron introduced me to the team there, the family, and then invited me to pray about becoming a part of the New Hope family in Hawaii!
One relationship led to an opportunity that led to another relationship and another community that led to another opportunity. It's as real for us personally as it is for us as a community of believing people. We must be very aware of the things that are either building into our unity or attempting to remove it completely, because the enemy hates unity! There is a real devil. He hates it when people discuss and dialogue and disagree respectfully. He loves drama, chaos, tension, and criticism.
Since Jesus is our example, I will not appeal to my own way. I will lower myself as Jesus did for the sake of unity. The conversations that we desire to have are those that say how can I lift up others? How do we get our eyes off me and get our eyes on “we”? How do we keep our eyes on Jesus so that our mind is on the things that are good—so that even when I get frustrated at somebody, I'm able to see them the way that Jesus sees them? There's joy in unity.
Apply: Notice and Name.
Notice the thoughts and feelings that come into your head that are either encouraging unity or encouraging division. Notice and name them. Sometimes we're moving so fast that we don't have time to discern which is which, and it’s easy to get offended.
Philippians 2:12–13, ESV, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Have you ever had your entire life changed by one word of encouragement? It’s necessary to pay attention when we're feeling a little low, when our margins are low, we're tired, our kids are frustrating us, or our ministry team couldn't be more annoying today than it’s ever been in the whole world.
Ask yourself, why am I feeling this way? What is that feeling? Is it comparison? Am I jealous or thinking why them and not me? Think about this. Some of us are frustrated and even confused about the direction of our life because of the way we're stewarding our relationships.
One of the things that Pastor Wayne Cordeiro always told us is to connect everything we do to a soul. We don't do activity just to do it. We want to connect it to the living, breathing life of Jesus and the soul that Jesus cares about. That's how we stay on mission. But if we're not stewarding our marriages right, if we don't allow the power of the gospel to change us, you better believe that we'll be confused about the direction we're going in.
The reason for confusion in your life may be the stewarding of relationships in your life. I would encourage you to ask the Lord to bring wisdom and discernment to give you direction of the Kingdom through the relationships in your life.
You want people around that will push you forward in faith, that will look you in the eyes and say, “Man, I love you so much but you're acting so dumb right now.” You want someone that is honest and tells you, “Yeah, you were off track.” That will be the moment that will change the trajectory of your life. Those kinds of friends are a blessing!
In this whole chapter, Paul gives Christ as the perfect example. He says get the attitude of Christ in your head, in your mind, in your heart. He says don't just do it when I'm around you. Do it when I'm apart from you. Then he says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” That's not like terror—he's not trying to intimidate people. He's saying we need to take a sober?minded approach to the fact that the God of the universe loves us enough to care about our life.
There is not one area in our lives that Jesus is not interested in. God wants to work in our life. He wants to get in that area that we've been a little resistant to open up…
2. We Work Out What God Works In.
Apply: Know Your Role.
Jesus is the Son of God but He was also a servant and God elevated and exalted Him! I'll spend my life as a servant helping others get there, but I know that I can't fulfill my purpose without you!
The Bible says that my righteousness (my best service moment) is like filthy rags apart from the presence of God in my life. He alone justifies me to a place where Jesus and me are okay. There's such joy that I don't ever want us to graduate from the understanding that it is Jesus and Jesus alone that has saved us. He has a design for your life, a purpose that will transform you in this life, a treasure and inheritance that we can experience for all eternity. God is solely responsible for the work of salvation in our lives, but this Divine initiative requires human responsibility—a component when we partner with him.
Paul uses the word "partnership” in the gospel. He actually asks us to participate in the process, and that is insane. I don't know if you've thought about that, but the God who breathed the universe into existence wants to use you to help other people!
Paul says in the earlier part of that chapter that Christ emptied himself. Jimmy poured out his life into me: as he poured out, God poured more into him. Likewise, as Jimmy poured out more of his life into me, I felt my heart and life changing and I began to understand that if I pour out and empty myself and serve the way that Christ serves—all of a sudden I'm empty—but then God fills me! He fills me with more, way more than I thought. It's always to overflowing!
The challenge is that if I'm so full of myself there's no room for God to pour into me then, I have no room to pour out what God wants me to pour out. Instead, I will pour out anger, frustration, confusion, and control. But if I empty myself the way that Christ did, I will pour out my life the way that Christ did and in return, I get the joy of the Lord that surpasses all understanding, the peace of God that stands at the gate of my heart, and we get the fruit of unity that will be a driving force in the mission of God that He's called us to in Hawaii. Let's be a church that pours out so that God can continue to pour in!