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Revival #2

Unity of the Spirit

(Psalms 133)

#I want to be very transparent with you because I think that is why I am here. I want you to understand, as well, that I love, more than I could ever express to you, the place that God has put me in and the people that God has allowed me to be able to minister with. There is just no church like the church than I am in. They have been so gracious and loving. They have just taken care of us. Nothing I say, I want you to understand, is any way derogatory. But I want to share with you the reality of where we are and what this is about. #The fact is that we are just folks. We are just people. You have heard it a thousand times; the ministry would be great if it wasn't for the people. Sometimes you wake up Monday morning and feel that way. We would be out of a job wouldn't we. You see a shepherd wondering out in the field all by himself; something is wrong. He is drunk or something, you know. That is what we do. That is why we are here. Preachers and pastors who begrudge their churches and people -- there is something wrong with them. God put us here to love people and that is the greatest thing in the ministry. But it can also be the most frustrating thing because we are all just people. #So I want to get down to something that is kind of the nitty-gritty. I have tried to do this kind of in stages, and we have started this morning talking about God because it is all about Him. Everything we do and everything you are going to do; the ultimate result is that God get the glory. If that is not our reasoning, you know; if you are trying to build a building to impress the neighborhood, you are going to fail. Now you may impress the neighborhood, but when you stand before God you are going to fail. If we are trying to do it to get a name; if preacher try to go into churches -- and I know Bro. Empey well enough to know that that is not the case. If we are trying to build a little legacy for ourselves so that somewhere we will have a plaque on the wall with our name on it, it is not going to work. That is not the point. We are in it for the glory of God. #The next step, I believe, is what we find here. Let's look at (Psalm 123:1-3). In other words, it just pretty well covered him up. It is like being doused real good, like being soaked, like being dipped in something that is just unbelievably pleasant. He says 'as the dew of Herman and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessings, even life forevermore.' He has painted a picture here of one of the most precious things that we enjoy as we serve the Lord together, and He has done it in a very beautiful way. I've never been to Herman. I've never seen the dew, but I get this image in my mind of these fields of flowers and the green valley next to the mountain there with the sun peeking through the clouds. You know, you get in there and you see this dew sparkling in the sunlight. It is just a beautiful picture. When God looks down on us as His people, that is what he is seeing when He sees unity. #I pastored a church in Kentucky, Unity Baptist Church. If you look in the dictionary and look up the word oxymoron; that's got to be there. The name of "Baptist Church Unity." That is the ultimate display of faith, isn't it? God does so many things in our lives. There are so many blessings. Maybe you can agree with me in my short nearly thirty years of ministry and, of course, growing up in a Baptist Church; I can say unequivocally that church problems are the worst problems. There are no problems on earth like church problems. I don't know why that is; well, I think I do. But it just affects us like nothing else. That's why the devil works so hard at it. That's why he focuses on every opportunity to break that up. #Let me share this before we get started. In this nearly three years of this building process, the 1.6 million dollars -- of course that's not what we ended up spending because we did a lot of the work ourselves -- the 1.6 million dollars was not a problem. I say that because God just took care of it. The color of the carpet, we joked about that this morning, and the color of the walls and all that was never a problem. I couldn't tell you honestly of one problem that we had in this time period since we began this process that had anything to do with the building. That was great. That was exciting. I was happy. But little did I know that there were other problems, and they were coming from sources that just blew my mind. That is why I said this morning, "the devil is going to do everything he can to keep you from doing what God wants you to do." Whether it is a 20 thousand dollar remodel or whether it is a 2 million dollar building, it doesn't matter. #And so what we have to do is start at ground level. No matter what you are doing for God you have to start at ground level. And that level, after we understand as we spoke this morning that God is the reason for doing everything we do, the second thing you are going to have to monitor and maintain is unity. I don't know what is going on here. Brother Charles did send me a dossier on every one of you but I didn't have time to read them. I don't know what is going on. But I am going to assume that you folks are just like real folks. I'm going to assume that you have problems and personalities. Anybody here doesn't have a personality other than Randall? We've all got issues, we've all got baggage, we've all got stuff. That is understood. We know who we are dealing with. We are dealing with each other. #This relationship that we share as brothers and sisters in Christ is very, very similar to the relationship that husbands and wives share. Have you guys -- that have been married very long -- noticed that your relationship is something that has to be maintained? Right? Women get in a car and they say, 'oil'? When it gets over on E they understand that if they are going to get to Wal-Mart they have to do something. But oil breaks grease; somehow in the mind of my wife it just maintains itself. But we know well enough that machinery, you know, it doesn't maintain itself. It corrodes, it rusts, and there is friction, and that is the same way it is in this relationship we share as brothers and sisters in Christ in a church. It has to be maintained. You put it on cruise control and it is going to blow up one of these days. That's just what happens. And unless we work on this thing of unity and understand the importance of it, God said you have to focus here. It will not take care of itself. This world we live in by the shear theory of thermal dynamics is constantly degrading. There are guys out there who want to tell me we are evolving. These guys don't read the papers. They don't watch the news. They don't know what is going on. We are not evolving, you know. We are degrading. We are falling apart. You think you are getting better. Guys, look down at (continued...)

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