For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body-so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many.

If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?

But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.

So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor again the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
On the contrary, all the more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary.

And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need [of clothing]. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other.

So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.

And God has placed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next, miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, managing, various kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in languages? Do all interpret? But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

And of course, that statement is Paul’s segue into Chapter 13 which is described as the “love” chapter.

Pray with me, please. Father, thank you for the wisdom and the words you gave to Paul. He’s preaching to all of us. The Church. The body of Christ. May we be open to the message you have given me to share. Be close to me as I share in the delivery of this message to your people.


James Brandenburg

Laws of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton, the English scientist, is famous for, among other things, the “laws of motion” he formulated in the 1600s: among them being that a body at rest tends to remain at rest, and a body in motion tends to remain in motion — unless acted upon by an outward force.

Perhaps ironically, those two terms could describe a lot of CHURCHES today too:

There are a whole lot of churches that are “at rest,” and they just “tend to remain at rest,” and as a result, many of them are dying. Several thousand dying churches will close their doors this year in America.
But there are also a lot of churches that could be described as being “in motion”— and they “tend to remain in motion.” They’re always doing something. We might think of that as a “good” thing — and it CAN be good — but we need to make sure that the “motion” of our churches is in the right direction. Not just busy work.
And the place to check that “right direction” is the word of God. 1

Lindsay and I were at a marriage retreat a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing!

And if I could use one word to describe the theme for this retreat, it would be Oneness. Imagine there are two extremes of a scale. Over here you have the absence of unity and that is called Isolation. The other side of the spectrum is the goal that we aspire to reach which is Oneness. When husband and wife are taking care of each other and loving each other biblically as Jesus loves the Church, Oneness is accomplished.

Make no mistake, we as humans, full of faults, can’t accomplish this on our own, nor can we sustain a perfect Oneness with our partners. It’s an effort by both in a relationship. It’s a full-time job.

Let us read more about this in Ephesians 5:22-33:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.

Can we stop right there for a moment? Submitting to your husband is no easy task. Ladies, am I right? Let’s go on and see why this can be difficult for you ladies.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body.

Men.. Is that a tall order? Can you see what Paul is saying there? Paul describes the love of a man for his wife in such a way that it places the man in the same arena as Jesus, the Christ. I don’t know about you guys, but that is quite intimidating to me. I could never fill His shoes. And, honestly, none of you can either. Do not be downhearted. There is hope. Let’s go on. Paul says…

For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.

Did you catch that? Do you see the difference there??

Husbands, love your wives. Wives respect your husbands.

Gentlemen… In Genesis 3:16 God is speaking here. This is just after the fall.

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband but he will rule over you.”

It’s not easy for women to submit. It’s not in their nature. If you want to love them, communicate with them. Ask them to make a small list of what you could do to show them love. Help around the house. Clean up after yourself.
Women… Men need to see that you respect them. That’s how they see love.
Give them your undivided attention. Show interest in deep conversation with him. Speak well of him to others. Ask his advice. Thank him and compliment him.

In a book written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, titled Love & Respect, he talks about this very thing. The man and the woman have different views when it comes to Love. This is material for a whole other sermon series. The main nugget of wisdom here, is that we usually see things from our own perspective and think that the way we see it is the way it is. This is not necessarily so. We should strive to see things from both perspectives.

Women require love. A deep, Jesus kind of love.
Ladies.. Men require respect to feel loved. That may seem confusing but it’s true.
We are two different species when it comes to love.

But we have Jesus in common, do we not? Jesus was the perfect example that we can strive for, or better yet, pattern our lives after. It’s going to take work and a mindful effort, but it is attainable to some degree.

An object at rest stays at rest.

If you aren’t trying, you are “at rest”. Is that true? If you aren’t trying, can this lead to disaster in a relationship?

Have you ever been on a lazy river ride? Picture this: Lindsay and I are floating on innertubes, gently down the stream. (merrily, merrily, merrily) She is on hers and I am on mine. We are holding hands and floating in the same general direction. So, as Lindsay and I are floating, and everything is going great, I let go of her hand. We are still floating but now the current is separating us little by little. After a few minutes, we are 20 or 30 feet apart. So now I have to stand up in the river and grab my innertube and walk all the way across the river to get back to her, withstanding the current. I finally reach her and get back on the tube and grab ahold of her hand.

Did you see what happened? When I let go of her hand, neither of us tried or did anything. Yet, we still ended up separated.

Sir Isaac Newton was on to something in his “laws of motion”. Let’s look at the part where he says “a body at rest tends to stay at rest.” Does that mean if we do nothing we can’t gain or lose? In our example, Lindsay and I did nothing and drifted apart. We drifted into isolation.

Oneness with Jesus and His purpose for the teachers and church body.

This is something that takes effort on a daily basis. We can’t set the cruise control and coast through life. We need to be active and intentional. In all relationships, you get out of it what you put in! If you are expecting a different result, then you’re a fool.

I’ll sit here in my recliner while you sweep the floors, honey.
Can you make me a sandwich while you’re up? How do you think that is going to go?

This isn’t a marriage retreat or marriage counseling sermon. This, my brothers and sisters, is a snapshot of our Christian walk and our relationships with Jesus. Are you going to sit on your hands and let others around you do all the work?

I like the statistics quote that Randy has mentioned before. The 80-20 rule I think he calls it.

It goes something like this: 80 percent of the work being done is being done by 20 percent of the people. The other 80 percent of the people might do a little here and there but, for the most part, they just show up and go home. You can see that at work all around you. I am proud to say that our church is a little different. I am not sure of the percentage, but I think there is a much greater involvement of the members here that take on leadership roles and help out in the life of the CrossPointe church body and its role in the communities surrounding us.

I have to share this with you. If you don’t know me very well, I will tell you a couple of things about myself. For one, I am a confrontational person. I like to be direct and I like to get things done. Also, to be completely honest, I was raised by a mother who had the gift of guilt. She could make you feel so wrong and guilty. She could make you confess to things you never did. That’s how gifted she was.
I can’t say that I’ve inherited any of that, but she and my father were very strong-willed and a little stubborn.

Secondly, I love Jesus. I will do whatever He wants me to do. Not because He’s a nice guy. Because he gave everything for me! And for you!

I want to ask you… Are you in the 80 group or the 20 group? Do you rest on your laurels in the 80 group while folks around you do the work? Or are you in the 20 group, using every bit of energy to keep things going? Wouldn’t it be nice if the numbers flipped and the 80 group were the ones doing the majority of the work?

Let’s read John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Nothing! Nothing!

If you are with the spirit and the spirit is leading, the task which you are being led to do will be rewarding and confirmed. If you are doing busy work and the spirit isn’t leading, your confirmation will either be that the message isn’t received or the task is so difficult it wears you out. Basically, you are working under your own power.

I have been involved in so many outreach activities in my time. What I am trying to say, is that in my experience, things seem to go well and accomplishment seems almost effortless when moving in the spirit. There are exceptions to everything, but know this…

We know that God is consistent. Hebrews 13:8 says

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

for I the Lord do not change.

Malachi 3:6

James 1:17 says it best:

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

God constantly says to us, “abide in me.” Walk closely to the Lord and He will abide in you as well. None of us have the strength and endurance to take on God’s work all by ourselves. Just as I talked earlier about the retreat, there’s isolation and there is Oneness. This can be directly applied to our lives as the church body. If we are drifting and at rest, we can find ourselves in isolation. Isolation from each other and isolation from God.

God gives us the opportunity to congregate right here in this building. He provided a way for CrossPointe to acquire a property to gather and worship Him. Jesus provided a way for us to be able to approach God and worship Him. His death on the cross wiped away all of your sins. Sins from the past, present, and even the future. His resurrection was proof that Jesus was God and above all others. His resurrection brought us back from death eternal to life eternal with the Father. Can you see how much effort God is putting into this relationship?

Are you hearing me?

Evangelism is not for the faint of heart. There are no “wishy washy” evangelists. Bold and confident. Those are two words which describe evangelists. We are ALL going to be evangelists today.

Today is our “gather to scatter” Sunday. We have several ways to help people in the communities around us. We have the Church on the Lake’s food pantry that we can donate to. There is a collection of Christmas cards for the Lions club. Also bringing in your old glasses and donating them to the Lions club. Many hands make light work.

Which brings me back to the opening scripture from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Each and every one of us, sitting here this morning, or you folks out there in TV land watching this live stream. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. He has equipped us with instructions and a solid example of how to love. We are the body. We have a responsibility to God to do our part. The great commission. Go and make disciples in all the world!

I’m almost certain, you are going to hear more about that tonight at 7 pm here at the church building or via live stream here on the sermons page. We are going to be blessed by Dr. Daniel Shayesteh and his story. The one that God gave him. Even through all his trials including his wife’s very recent heart attack, he is coming tonight to bring you a message that will live with you forever.

I am going to close with a short promo for an upcoming opportunity to learn about evangelism. I will be leading a group who will be working together on discerning the gift of evangelism and writing their story. Well, I should say God’s story in our lives.

He gave each of us a story to tell. Jesus was a great teacher and showed us in the bible how parables and stories could draw people nearer to the love of God. It will be a six or eight-week session. God’s gonna work that out for us.

So here’s a little bit of my mother’s gift showing through… We have ALL been called to share the gospel. Evangelism is the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. Evangelism isn’t standing at the pulpit and preaching damnation. Evangelism can be as simple as going to someone’s house and doing some yard work. Maybe strike up a conversation with them and tell them a little about Jesus.

Plant a seed. Water the seed. Be ready for the harvest. The workers are few and the harvest is great. The harvest will never happen if you aren’t there to help in some way.

The biggest mistake we can make is thinking to ourselves, “There are probably enough people to help so I don’t have to go too.” We are ALL called to go.

There are many ways to help. Just show up and see what God has for you to do. We have a responsibility to strive for Oneness in the world and with our great God. The church is the bride of Christ. We have a relationship – a marriage to the King of Kings.

Ask God what you can do for him. Learn His love language. Be a blessing.