Find Your Purpose By Belonging to God's Family

Allen Jessee - 9/3/2023

Downloads & Resources

well hey everybody man it was an exciting week for the Jesse family this week and because we're family I always
like to share those personal insights with you so we're grandparents now here's a little picture of Macy Ann and
we're all excited and and uh man we're just uh thrilled at what God's doing in our family and our life thank you for
all your prayers pretty exciting I'm so glad you're here from all of our different locations from Bristol and
Marion and Abington out in Chapel up in Bluefield over in country all of our
cafes and those of you that are traveling this weekend I know it's sort of last weekend of summer so if you're
watching on TV or you're watching online or on your phone just welcome so glad you're here so last week if you were
here it was baptism week but also sort of began to kick off this series that we're calling the path of purpose sort
of helping you find your way as you follow Jesus and what happens in your life when you follow Jesus and obey his
commands it's pretty incredible so last week we looked at the first and premium purpose of our life and that is to be
loved by God now today what I want to do is I want to look I want to build on this it's going to be sort of
foundational over the next few weeks I want to look at the second purpose of our life and it's then it's this not
only have you been called to be loved by God but you've also been called to
belong to belong you say well to belong to what well to belong to God's church
and I want to talk to you about this because in the culture today it seems like there's a lot of people who are a
little negative toward the church and maybe you've had a bad experience in a church but I want to tell you this is God's plan for your life and it's the
second purpose in which you've been created notice here in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10. God is the one who made all
things and all things are for his glory he wanted to have many children share in
his glory god created the entire universe because God wanted a family and
God doesn't want his children to be orphans he wants us to be connected so he puts them in a family so not only did
God make you to love you and God only did God make you to be a part of his family but this has been his plan from
the beginning of time I love how Paul describes it in Ephesians chapter one this is what he says his unchanging plan
has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through
Jesus Christ so again the first purpose of my life is that I Be Loved by God but
the second purpose of my life is that I belong to his family and here's what I
want you to know God's family is called the church it's called The Church The
Church of Jesus Christ it's very clear First Timothy Paul says this to Timothy in chapter 3 he says I'm writing to you
so you will know how to live in the family of God that family is the Church
of the Living God the Supreme support and foundation of the truth so God has
formed me and he's formed you for his family his family's called the church and I am called and you are called to
belong to that family I'm called to belong to his church again this is all
throughout the New Testament Ephesians chapter 2 verse 19 is what Paul says he says so now you're no longer visitors or
strangers now you are citizens together with God's holy people you belong to
God's family in other words the church is not some building that we go to but
the church is something that we belong to it's not an event it's not a location the church really and the family here is
relationship we worship here we have a place here together but you're the church the church is the people who have
given their lives to Jesus Christ we're the people of God now what I want to do with you this weekend is I want to share
with you the benefits of belonging to the church to God's family because there
are some tremendous benefits to belonging to the church I want to convince you even in a culture that says
it's not important that it is still important it's part of God's plan for
your life because God designs his family the church to meet your five deepest
needs matter of fact I believe in many theologians would agree with me on this that the only way you can get your five
deepest needs met is when you belong to God's family the church now it's real
interesting in scripture the church is referred to by these different metaphors
these different words and there's five of them I want to look at all five of them today and here's what these
metaphors are the church is called the family the church is called the temple the church is called a body church is
called A Flock and the the church is called a garden and in all five of these metaphors it
represents that these are the benefits when we understand this about the Church
of Jesus Christ these are the benefits that actually parallel with the metaphor to help us understand why we need to
belong to God's family these are implications for our life so let's look at the first benefit in God's family
it's the first metaphor I learned my true identity now I understand last week
that we uh we looked at this when Pastor Steve talked I talked a little bit about it last week and Pastor Steve did a
great job when we looked at a man called Otto and and uh just talking about identity and such but today I want to go
back over that and I want to look a little bit on how I learned my true identity and it's actually in the church
and being a part of the Church of Jesus Christ so you're not going to learn your identity from the world you know you're
not going to learn your identity from your parents you're not going to learn your identity from your peers or anybody else us your true identity can only be
found when you're in relationship in God's family now we're all concerned about our identity I mean especially
those of you that are a little younger as you get older it seems like I don't care as much as what I used to but the
clothes we wear you know we want to wear a certain brand my kids want to wear a certain brand of clothes I can't even
pronounce what they often want me to buy them but I refuse to because anything called lemon Lulu something I just like
I'm not doing it you know it sounds crazy but I have my Starbucks cup and uh
you know we all have our Apple stuff our Apple iPhone because those are the cool
things and those are the things that really bring us to who we need to be and many of us find our identity in the
clothes we wear or the brands we use or the logos that we attach ourselves to but the truth is most of our identity
comes from our relationships for good or bad and if you had good relationships you probably have a good identity you
had bad relationships your identity is much more difficult I'm a son I'm a
father I'm a husband I'm now a grandfather I'm team member here at the
church I'm a small group member I'm a pastor all these are relationships that
Define who I am and you know who you are as you look at the relationships you are
involved with in other people's lives so what that means is if my connections or my relationships get broken and my
connections or relationships are poor then I have a hard time in understanding
who I am it's been interesting over the past few weeks how many of you have struggled with this that you're
struggling in your identity because you've put your identity in these things that have let you down
those of you that are going or going through a divorce and all of a sudden in the pain of that
relationship that's been broken the question that you now are asking is Sue
Emma because your identity was tied to your spouse or those of you that have been married for a long time and your
spouse your loved one dies and it's very common then to ask this question well who am I now as a single person
or maybe your identities try tied to your work and you get laid off or you lose your job and all of a sudden you
begin to think well who am I and what is my identity so our identity is actually
tied to our relationship so how do I know who I really am well here's some
good news this is great news and we find that here in Ephesians chapter 2 verse
19 and this is what Paul says he says you are members of God's very own family
if you've received Jesus Christ into your life he's talking to these Believers here at the church at Ephesus
and he says if you're a child of God and you've asked Christ into your life you are members of God's own family
and he says you belong in God's household with every other Christian and
it doesn't matter then what other families you had your most important family is God's family and every time I
teach on this I get some pushback and I know some of you are going to disagree with me and feel free to disagree with
me but this is true if you study the scripture I think there's a there's a
true case for this I hate to say this to you and it may shock some of you but your spiritual family is actually more
important than your physical family and that's hard for us to understand it's hard for us to really digest as a child
of God but the reason that God did it this way is because no physical family lasts I mean they just don't people grow
up they move away people get divorced people die no physical family lasts and
we all know this but your spiritual family is going to last forever and ever and ever and when you get your identity
from your spiritual family that you're a child of God been born again and saved by Jesus Christ you're going to
long-term identity that can never be taken away no matter what happens to you in your life and the problem is we go
out trying to look for identity and things that aren't going to last so if you want your identity to last put it in
something that's never going to change and the Bible says that God's family the church is going to go on for all
eternity do you know the symbol of being in God's family well we saw it last weekend it's baptism
and if you're here today and you've never been baptized even though we celebrated it last week I'm going to
talk about the end of the message today but it's not too late you can be baptized today and I would encourage you
to follow the lord in baptism establish your identity that you're a child of his
it's part of being in the family of God it's the symbol of being in God's family
if you haven't been baptized you need to do that here notice in Acts chapter 2 those who believed what Peter had said
were baptized and added to the church that very day about 3 000 the same day
that trusted Christ so if you believe then get baptized and get added to the church family that's the first metaphor
I'm in a family and my family helps me to understand my identity now what's the
second matter for well uh it's called the temple the church the family of God
is called the Temple now it's interesting in other words it's like a
building that we have here or the location you're in and basically this
building is built for God's glory it's a building where God's family comes
together and his presence dwells and it's where God is loved where God is
honored and where God is worshiped Paul States this in First Corinthians 3 16 he
says don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and his
Spirit lives in you he's talking about the church when we're gathered together now why did God choose a temple as one
of the metaphors of what it's like to be in the family in the church well because
in a building all of the connected Parts support each other now you've probably
built a house before you built some building before you may have been here when they were building this building
and there's a bunch of parts scattered all around the ground but as those parts go together and form a building they all
are connected and they all support each other so here's the second benefit of belonging to the family of God in God's
Temple I'm supported by others this is extremely important in the culture in which we live I'm not out there on my
own I'm not a Lone Ranger and so many of you that emailed and talked to me you're struggling with loneliness because
you're out there on your own you haven't gotten back involved in person in worshiping God and you know I I'm so
grateful for online and I'm grateful for TV but I'm telling you something there's
something about joining with other believers together where we understand we're supported by those Believers we're
just not by ourselves you know the strongest structure of a building is like the church and it's when we support
and hold each other up in a building all the connected Parts need each other and
they're held together by one another they're going to be some times in your life where you need some other people to
hold you together because you're falling apart it's going to happen and if you're not in the building of God the temple of
God the family of God the Church of God and you're not connected connected and you're disconnected from the temple of
God nothing's going to hold you together and you're going to fall apart that's the reason Paul teaches over and over on
this in Ephesians 2 he goes back to the Ephesian church and he says this in Christ the whole body or building is
joined together and Rises to become a holy Temple in the Lord and in him he's
talking in Jesus you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which
God Lives by his spirit so we gather together as a family of God in this
temple in this building and it gives us stability when we go through difficult times we have other people to lean on
for support just like every piece of this building is leaning on each other to make a stable safe place for us the
family of God to come to worship and praise him we're sort of like God's Legos my son Chris he loves Legos you
know Legos are designed to be connected connected to other Legos I mean if the Lego is not connected to another Lego
what it's worthless and if you connect Legos together man you can build all
kinds of really cool stuff so if you're a believer in Christ you're one of God's
Legos and you were designed for connection now here at Highlands the way
we do this we it's really a unique way I don't know other churches that do it this way but we just decided we're going
to give you an opportunity to connect with us and this is how you do it you can go online to our website and you
look at those tabs and there's one that says next steps and you click on next steps and then it talks to you about
membership and you go to that membership Tab and you see everything that we believe all of our Doctrine all of our
policy you get to see who we are as a church and you can actually join and become a part of our church family all
online and then when you do that when you sign that when you become part of that then our campus pastors know you've
done that they'll get up with you you have some face to face with them and we'll get you connected in God's family now why is this important well because
again the biggest epidemic in our society today is loneliness and somebody
who talks to hundreds and hundreds of people there are so many lonely people in our world and they feel disconnected
it's interesting in it that we have more technology to connect us than we've ever
had in the history of time and yet we have more people who feel disconnected than ever before particularly young
people teenagers college students so the answer get connected to the church get
connected to the family of God well here's the third description of the church in scripture it's called a body
so we're a temple we're a family and now the church is likened to a body the
Bible says in First Corinthians chapter 12 verse 27 now you is talking about Christians are the body of Christ and
each one of you is a part of it now what does this matter for being a body mean well it means that when you look at our
body we all have different parts and every part of our body is connected to the other and in order to have a healthy
body all the parts of our body need to function according to the gift set that God's given us and even though we're all
different parts we in the church should all be connected together and when we're all connected together and in unity then
together the church can accomplish what we can never do on our own we talk about
above and beyond a lot at Highlands well we're not going to go above and beyond
unless we're a unified body all pulling for the same vision to go out and
transform people and transform places through Jesus so the third benefit of
belonging to a church family is this in Christ's body I discover my unique value
so I learned my identity as being part of God's family I get stability in God's
Temple and God's Building but I learned my unique value as part of the body of
Jesus Christ now Paul teaches this in Romans 12 verse four and five this is what he says
he says just as there are many parts to our bodies so it is with Christ's body
we are all parts of it and it takes every one of us to make it complete for
we each have different work to do and catch this last statement we belong to each other and each of us needs all the
other so the body of Christ the church is made up of all these different parts
I mean look around you know does anybody look like you no God made us all unique
he designed his family that way because God loves diversity and God loves variety now we're all needed to make his
family the body complete nobody out here can say well I'm not important I'm not
needed in a family of God no you're needed I don't think this happens very much
anymore but you know when we were growing up we were porn and you could buy a jigsaw puzzle for a few bucks and
that could entertain the kids for a week you know and my dad would buy these thousand piece jigsaw puzzles and you
know work on it for a week you're going to lose a few pieces always lost a couple and you could put hundreds of
pieces together but what was the glaring thing that you saw in the completed
jigsaw puzzle if you had pieces missing it was not all those that were joined together it was the pieces that we're
missing it says that we all have a work to do every one of us is needed we all
have different roles so we all have different roles to play different things to do but the thing is we belong to each
other you just don't belong to God oh that's awesome but we belong to each
other and it says that every one of us needs all the others in other words you
can't be who God made you to be without a church family without being connected to his body because we need each other
let's look at the fourth one the fourth metaphor and this one's unique is the
church is referred to in the Bible as a flock a flock it's a flock a flock of
sheep basically is what the scripture refers to so in God's family we learn
identity in God's Temple we're supported by each other in his body we discover
our own unique value that we all belong to one another and in God's flock it's
interesting that we're actually banded together I love how Psalm 100 verse 3
says this he says God made us and we're his we're his people the Sheep of his
pasture now you're probably thinking Hmm so those other three I was okay with but
now you're saying I'm a sheep in a flock well that doesn't sound too appealing but actually sheep they're pretty
innocent animals they're they're pretty neat animals they have no natural defense against predators so they have
to be protected by Shepherds and Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd of his family and then there's guys like me and Pastor
Steve Pastor Dave Pastor Brad you know we have all these other pastors at our
locations Pastor Tyler here and you know we have other Shepherds that are also
our job and we're going to give an account to God one day of how we protected the flock that he placed in
front of us to leave and I don't know about these other guys but that's humbling to me and I take that seriously
you know um I was raised on a farm and we had cows and you don't have to care for cows like
you care for sheep sheep are pretty dependent on a Shepherd to protect them but I want to read one of the most
famous chapters in all the Bible and it talks about our role as sheep and God
being Our Shepherd Psalm 23 you've heard it many many times I love it out of the living Bible and this translation says
this he says because the Lord think about this this is you if you're a sheep if you're a child of God because the
Lord is my shepherd I have everything that I need he lets me rest in metagrass as he leads
me beside quiet streams he gives me new Strength he helps me to do what honors
him the most even when I'm walking through dark Valley of Death I will not
be afraid for you are close Poseidon the guard and guiding all the way you
provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies you welcome me as your guest blessings overflow your
goodness and unfailing kindness shall we shall be with me all my life and
afterwards I will live with you forever in your home amen I read that and I'm
thinking I want to be a sheep that sounds pretty daggone good to me now we're talking well let me read what
Jesus said about Shepherds and flocks and sheep over in John chapter 10 this
is what he says he says I am the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd lays down
his life for a sheep no one will ever be able to snatch my sheep out of my hand
we have a saying in the church that once you belong to God's family you're always in God's family nothing you can do will
ever take you out of God's family but you're adopted as a son or a daughter forever in God's family when you trust
in Jesus Christ pretty incredible that he refers the family of God as a flock
of sheep now I want to be a sheep right so the fourth benefit of being connected to the church is in God's flock I'm
protected and I'm cared for now I got some other people looking out for me some other pastors and the Lord himself
I enjoy Safety and Security I got a shepherd and that makes me more
confident it makes me less anxious and less fearful I know God's protecting me
because I'm in his flock so the final description final metaphor of the church
is the church is likened as a garden as a garden a garden specifically probably more of a
Vineyard is probably what the scripture is really teaching here but the Bible says in John 15 you know this famous
scripture Jesus said that I'm the True Vine I'm the vine and my father The
Gardener you know you are the branches we as God's children we're the branches he's the vine we're the branches so what
kind of lesson do we get out of this well really what Jesus is liking in the church family too is he wants us to be
fruitful he wants us to bear fruit he wants our lives to be productive he
wants us to make a difference with the life he has created and purposed within
us and I think we get this I mean I don't know anybody no matter where I go all over the world everybody wants to
end their life feeling like they didn't waste their life that they were productive with their life they did
something that counted with their life I hope you feel that way I know I feel that way so here's the fifth benefit
that we get from being a part of God's family in God's Garden my life becomes
productive it becomes fruitful I do something with my life notice here in
the Bible in John 15 verse 4 and 5 Jesus says this a branch cannot bear fruit if
it's severed from the Vine and you cannot be fruitful apart from me
Jesus says I am the vine you're the branches those who remain in me and I in
them will produce much fruit but apart from me you can do nothing the point is
a disconnected branch it can't bear fruit and God has all
kinds of fruit that he wants to bear in your life it's pretty amazing what he wants to do through you but you can't
bear fruit you know none of that fruit is going to come from your life unless you're connected to Jesus and to
his church family you got to be connected to the Vine so we'll review were built into the building we're
dependent on each other we need each other we're part of the body we're a member of his family we're sheep
in the flock and our our life becomes productive and
fruit bearing when we're part of the garden the family of God you know all these metaphors that the
scripture talks about his family basically sums up that nothing happens
that God intends for your life until you get connected he wants you to be
connected to his family to his church let me say another way in your life if
you really live the life that God made you to live that you need the power to live on you need people to live with you
need principles to live by you need a plan to live out you need a purpose to live for
and where are you going to get that outside the church I love our church all right man I I love
this place and I would say you're not going to get that anywhere so let me just ask you this question
here's my one question as we sort of wrap this up why should you remain
disconnected when a church like Highlands has so much to offer you and your family your kids
oh you're not going to get this anywhere else I I just I don't want you to be
disconnected man I want you to be a part of all that God's doing here in this
incredible family what are you waiting on so as I wrap it up I would just say a
couple of things first to those of you who have been coming to Highlands and you attend but you really don't belong
I think now's your time I just what are you waiting on man well you've you've
checked us out enough you know who we are you need to belong this is God's
plan for you matter of fact in some ways we're disobedient when we're not part of the local church
the church family he created us it's one of the purposes of our life you need to be involved you and your family
and maybe all your life you've tried to fit in somewhere and you've tried to belong and you've looked for places to
belong and Truth is you'd say you know what Pastor I I just don't feel like I've ever belonged anywhere
well you do here this is a family you belong here it's a family that's open to you and you
are welcome to belong to the family of God here so what do you do well again go
to the website you check us out and you join right online then that'll connect you with one of our campus pastors and
man you can get connected to the family of God you know one of the things really crazy to me and I hear this a lot in the
culture is people will say well you know preacher I love Jesus huh I don't love the church now I want
to be frank with you that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard anybody say I mean you're talking about the
church that was designed to meet your deepest needs I mean guys you can't be
what God intended for you to be on this Earth without being connected
to his family the church when you're talking down about the church I want you
to understand something you're talking about the Bride of Jesus Christ you like
somebody talking about your bride that way I don't think so it's God's family it's God's flock it's God's purpose for
your life you are called to belong to God's family
so I'll challenge you to do that let's pray God thank you so much for
all that you're doing in this family I am humbled every day that I get to be a
part of this incredible group of people and Lord I know since I've been here 13
years I'm better our family's better our kids are better we're stronger in our
marriage God our kids know you more because they've been involved in Youth
and children's ministry here we've had volunteers that have cared for them and wrapped their arms around them and help
them and Lord when our families gone through difficult times and we've had losses and
we've had situations where we feel like we're falling apart
tons of people from this family have called come by cared for us and loved on
us it's part of being in a family and to all of you who are disconnected
and you say oh I love Jesus but I don't want anything to do with the church I
don't I just want to say I don't know where he got that theology it's not biblical the church is not perfect
but it is a part of where God wants you to be and I would encourage you to belong if
you can't do it here with joy find some place and find a family that you can belong to
I just want to encourage you to belong to our family because I think it's incredible and I think your whole family
will prosper as we get involved and connected to the local church
Lord we love you today if there's one here that's never trusted you may today be the day of salvation just ask Jesus
Christ to come into your heart and life and forgive you of your sin and that's the first step of receiving the love
that God has for you he talked about this last week and many of you made a decision to follow Christ your next step
would be baptized and then the next step is to join the family of God so I pray
that many Lord by your holy spirit will feel led to do this in the days ahead thank you for expanding and growing the
family here we love you we ask all these things in Christ's name amen hey before
we wrap up today I just want to share with you last weekend was incredible we had 42 people take their next step of
faith and be baptized all across all of our locations isn't that amazing let's just give God a hand for that so amazing
we had football players from Emory take their step hey here's the neat thing we
had a lady who was actually watching on TV and if you were here last week remember I said if you're watching on TV
get up get out to your car drive to the location and there was a lady who was watching on TV we'd already packed up
the hamburgers we'd already taken down all the tables and all of a sudden Jade's still here and she says hey
there's a lady here that came from watching on TV and she wants to be baptized so Tyler came back out here and
changed clothes and baptized her and God is doing some neat things in our family
I'm so glad you're a part of it we have the best days ahead so let's just thank God for all that he's doing today man I
love you guys the best is yet to come

Create an Account

Hi! Consider logging in or creating an account for a more personal experience.