Matthew 28:18-20
Romans 10:1-15

As a young couple’s wedding day neared, both grew increasingly nervous over secret problems they had never shared with anyone. Privately, the groom-to-be approached his minister. “I have really smelly feet—and am afraid my fiancée won’t be able to take it.” “Look,” his pastor said, “Wash your feet twice a day and wear socks all the time.”

Meanwhile, the nervous bride had privately approached the minister’s wife. “I’m so worried, I have really bad breath when I wake up each day!”
She replied, “Set your alarm just a few minutes before your husband wakes up. Run to the bathroom, brush your teeth, and gargle before he gets out of bed.”

So for several months after marriage, they managed to keep their issues a secret. Then one morning, the husband awoke before dawn to find that one of his socks had come off in the night. Frantic, he searched the bed, afraid of what might happen if he didn’t find his sock. His bride woke with a start, and, without thinking, blurted out, “What in the world are you doing?”
“Oh, dear!” the young man wailed. “You swallowed my sock!” 1

On a scale from 1 to 10, what would you assign the beauty of your feet? Maybe we need to take our shoes and socks off and check them out?

Would you believe that the Bible has a prescription for having more beautiful feet?

Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news! (Romans 10:1-15).

Our feet are made beautiful as we USE them to follow Christ’s marching orders to go into all the world and reach people for Him.

And because we value being a church characterized by grace, and value Jesus’ directive to the church, and individual Christians, to offer people Christ and we value reaching out and serving people in our community; CrossPointe Community Church’s Purpose Statement is: Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community.

And what is this grace that we want to share with the people of our community?

The word, in the original language, means ‘free gift.’ It is a reference to the free gift of forgiveness purchased for us by Christ when He freely gave His life for you and me. The very word grace implies that we cannot earn forgiveness.

A man dies and goes to heaven and St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works; you tell me all the good things you’ve done . . . I give you points for each item, when you reach 100 points . . . you’re in!”
“Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 65 years.”
“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”
“Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithes.”
“Terrific!” says St. Peter, “that’s certainly worth a point.”
“I know; I started a soup kitchen and worked in a shelter for the homeless.”
“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.
“Two points; at this rate, I’ll only make it into heaven by the grace of God!”
“Now you’re talking . . . come on in!” 2

There is no way that we can earn this gift of forgiveness ourselves by starting a soup kitchen or working in homeless shelter or doing this or that; for if we could earn it, it wouldn’t be grace.

So when we talk about receiving God’s amazing grace, we are talking about receiving the free gift of the forgiveness of our sin, by pledging our faith in Christ and His sacrificial death on our behalf.

When the leaders of Crosspointe Church decided in this Purpose Statement, To Share God’s Grace with Our Community, it reflected their desire to see the believers at Crosspointe, who have already received this grace, offer it to others.

That’s what Paul is talking about in Romans in chapter 10, where he states in the first verse that his hope and heart-felt desire is for people to become Christians!

Based upon these truths I will tell future New Member’s Classes that we believe in our Purpose Statement because it pleases the heart of the Father.

I believe this Purpose pleases the Father’s heart because God’s greatest desire is to see people come into relationship with Him. It is so important to Him that He is willing to delay the time when He will finally bring this world to end as we know it. Peter declares in his second letter (3:8-9), “The Lord isn’t slow about His promise to return and make everything right. No, He is being patient, not wishing any to perish but for as many as possible to come to salvation.”

I believe this Purpose pleases the Father’s heart because it enables us to fulfill the most important commands of His Son . . . our Lord. All four gospel writers agree about what was foremost on Jesus’ mind after He was raised from the dead and had 40 days to spend with His disciples before He ascended into heaven.

On the very first of those 40 days, on Easter Sunday, John recalls that Jesus suddenly Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be unto you. As the Father has sent Me, so send I you” (20:10). On other words, as the Father sent Me Jesus to seek and to save the lost, so send I you to seek and save those who are lost.

That evening, Luke tells us Jesus said, “It was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem for there is forgiveness for all who turn to Me” (24:43-44).

A week or two later, Matthew recalls Jesus saying, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go, and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit and command them to obey everything I taught you” (28:18-20)

And Mark tells us that sometime on the day of Jesus ascension, Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere” (16:15).

Clive Staples Lewis, in considering the church’s response to Jesus Great Commission, once said, “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.” 3 He went on, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.” 4

I believe in our Purpose Statement of Crosspointe Church because it offers the greatest message the world has ever heard.

First, because the message of grace meets the deepest need of humanity. To be sure, human beings have many needs. There is a tremendous need for food, shelter, education, and medicine; and you don’t have to travel to Africa or Appalachia to find that out; these kind of needs exist in our own backyard. Certainly, the church of Jesus Christ must continue its effort to meet these needs. Jesus, out of a heart of compassion and love ministered to the physical and material needs of the multitudes. As His followers, so must we, where we are able.

But all of those needs may be met and still the basic need be untouched. The greatest illustration of that is America where we are more successful than any other nation in meeting physical needs, yet we are still aware of a tremendous spiritual need for grace. Human beings without faith in Christ are lost and need to be found!

Secondly, we have the greatest message because it concerns the greatest person who ever lived: Christ Jesus . . . our Lord. We opened today from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where he says, He emptied Himself of His glory that we might be filled with all His fullness. He was born into this world that we might be born into His Kingdom. He partook of the human that we might partake of the Divine. He became poor, that we through Him, might become rich. He tasted death that we might taste eternal life.

Or as Paul writes the Corinthians, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Co 5:21)

Jesus is the greatest message precisely because Jesus is the grace of God. There’s nothing else to say; for when you say that name of Jesus, you’ve said it all. “For there is no there name under heaven by which people might be saved than the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:12).

“Jesus, name above all names, beautiful savior, glorious Lord.”

“All hail the power of Jesus name.” And what does the third verse say?
“Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball, to Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all.”

I believe in our Purpose Statement because it pleases the heart of the Father, it enables us to fulfill the most important commands of our Lord, it addresses the deepest need of humanity, and because it offers the greatest message the world has ever heard.

And that’s what we are to be about!

To be sure, we go about it in all sorts of different ways.

Chuck Lemmon has been Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community for the past couple of years on Friday nights with our Recovery Ministry.

Similarly Annie, Gale, and Heidi Shared God’s Grace with Our Community last summer and fall with the Grief Ministry they will continue to lead.

We have been sharing God’s Grace with Our Community these Sundays in February as CrossPointe folk have been volunteering at the Fireman’s breakfasts.

We Shared God’s Grace with Our Community this past Friday night as we served a great meal and gave them some soul food to chew on.

Four weeks ago yesterday as 40 of us participated in the Polar Bear Event.

We will Share God’s Grace with Our Community four weeks from today as we Gather to Scatter. And eight weeks from yesterday, as we host our annual Easter Egg Hunt.

We will also be Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community when we launch a Divorce Recovery ministry for adults as well as children that will led by Annie Dean.

Along the way, we have planted and will continue to scatter many seeds of God’s grace.

Do you know how we get them to grow? Two primary ways.

First, by praying. The most important thing that you and I can do to help us accomplish our purpose is to ask God to be involved.

And second, by speaking. We are doing a great job getting our feet moving. But unless someone moves their lips, to either share Jesus, or invite people here, those seeds we have planted will lie dormant.

That’s why I was so grateful and proud of Suzanne when at last Monday’s Lions Meeting she stood to put out an impassioned plea for people to come to CrossPointe.

I have a dream in which we not only agree that we have a God-given purpose, but also that we continue to rally around and support that purpose in every way!

By reminding ourselves often of its import, by filtering everything we do through it, knowing that every little thing we do plays an important part in accomplishing the overall purpose, by being a participant in some ministry in the church, by giving the best we can monetarily to Christ’s Church knowing that what we give enables us to exist as an entity to Share God’s Grace with Our Community.

I have a dream in which the people of Crosspointe pray every day that together we can accomplish this noble task . . . given to us by God Himself.

I have a dream that because of all of the above we will continue to gain a reputation in this community as a place that continues to dispenses grace, where people are discovering faith in Christ, and where it becomes commonplace to see new Christians telling their story of how they found faith in Christ and how their lives have been changed forever.

A north Queensland fisherman had a reputation for bringing back huge catches of fish. One day, the ranger went with him to see how he was doing it. The fisherman lit a stick of dynamite and threw it into the lake, sending dead fish to the surface. “You can’t do that,” said the ranger, starting to write out a ticket.

The fisherman lit another stick, threw it into his lap and said, “Now, are you going to write out that ticket? Or are you going to join me fishing?” 5

A few years ago, the Washington Monument was renovated. Workers discovered some graffiti placed there in the 1800’s. What was written was quite different in tone from today’s graffiti. And so, rather than remove it, the decision was made to preserve it. The inscription, which can now be read by visitors to that great monument, reads: “Whoever is the human instrument under God in the conversion of one soul, erects a monument to his own memory more lofty and enduring than this.” 6

I have a dream to leave behind a church with a monument like that! Why; because it’s our church? No, because it is Christ’s Church! And because we are debtors to the grace He so richly supplies. He has by His grace reached us let us commit ourselves anew to going out and reaching others . . . Amen?