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Feb 24, 2019

People Are Priority

People Are Priority

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: The Heart of Freedom Fellowship

Category: Sunday Morning

At Freedom Fellowship Church, people are a priority because God’s priority is people. We have a need for each other.

The Seven Non-Negotiables of Freedom Fellowship

Last week, we talked about the first of these seven:

Intimacy with God and Intimacy with Others! Based on Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 22:37-39

This week is #2: People are Priority

At FFC, people are a priority because God’s priority is people. Jesus was always pointing to people. Matthew 4:19 Jesus called the disciples to be fishers of men. John 19:26-27 On the cross, Jesus was still engaged in people asking John to take care of His mother. Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus told us to preach to all men – making disciples.

There is a purpose you are here! We have a need for each other.

Pastor James gives the example of trying to fix the problem of someone with tears with the offer to remodel the bathroom. He was trying to fix an emotional problem with a physical solution - not seeing a person but seeing a problem.

When we say people are priority, we are saying that we should value people enough to offer solutions that matter.

Titus 3:14 Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs so that they will not be unfruitful.

The call of the church is to be fruitful in other people’s lives - to see what’s below the surface in people. At FFC, we want to see the person and come alongside and see purpose in the life of every individual.

Luke 19:1-10 The story of Zaccheus, a wee little man, of small stature, a tax collector, a rich man. Notice that all of these descriptions are about his past, not about what God did in his life.

Have we ever felt that way? You are on the other side of the cross, yet you can’t get away from your past? But Zaccheus was a completely different man. Today it’s the same - people are still attached to the labels of before, which inhibits us from who we are called to be!

Mark 6:4 A prophet is not without honor except in His hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.

Sometimes we are the greatest reminder of what we used to be. There is some real purpose that God has placed on some lives here today and God is wanting to break us free from the past so that we can rush into the future that God has planned for us. We need to unhinge ourselves from what is behind us. Do we refuse to enter in relationship with other people because we are afraid of what they are going to see? Do we refuse to enter a relationship with God? Here is encouragement for you: Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Holy Spirit will touch and change our lives to lead us to what we can become, and His power continues to come and change us to be what He is calling us to be.

Paul says in Romans 7, Oh wretched man that I am! Oh, but for the grace that is available to everyone. This grace cuts off the label from the past. It allows us to be free indeed. It allows the old to die so that everything in our life can be made new.

“People are Priority” means that we care more about your potential than we do about your past. Let God heal your past. Let God help you reach your potential. Let's walk with each other through the process. 

Luke 19:1-4 Zaccheus was not so concerned about seeing Jesus because Jesus’ reputation had preceded Him – people had heard. Like blind Bartimaeus who kept calling out because he wanted Jesus to see him and in doing so, he gained sight.

Like Zaccheus, a lot of us are looking for hope and a path forward. We might be saddled by the weight of knowing the thoughts in our mind, recalling words that have come out of our mouths, or cutting off relationships because of wounds. Those things keep us attached to our past and puts us in a position to need a Savior.

Luke 19:5 Do you see a finger wag from Jesus? Jesus says, “Come down, hurry, I have to come to your house today!” Wherever we are at, when Jesus comes, He is coming with joy! With purpose! With relationship! To fulfill promises in our lives!

At FFC, we want to proclaim the promises and declare the purposes that God has over our lives! Jesus came to Zaccheus not to call out his performance but to call out his purpose which led him to coming into his full potential.

We sometimes substitute purpose with performance which always results in us coming up short of potential. Jesus ministers to that part. Luke 19:6-8 Jesus identified the missing purpose in Zaccheus and it produced and allowed him to reach his potential. Others saw greed. Jesus saw generosity! We become saddled by the labels of the world, of a parent, of a boss, of a teacher, of a friend, of a spouse, of our own self, that hides the purpose of what God wants us to do.

God gives Samuel direction to anoint a new king. Samuel looks at the outer image of many men and gets to David and thinks no way. Yet, God says in I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” David’s life becomes marked as “A man after God’s own heart.”

When God looks upon our life, He can see beyond the labels and failures to see the potential in us! This relates to us in 2 ways:

  • Living with labels that have been put on us. What label is it you are living with? What keeps you from moving forward to be what God has called you to be? What’s underneath the labels?
  • Putting labels on others. What label have we put on our marriage, on our kids, on a relationship?

We are about people, about potential, about purpose and we need to speak into the lives of people!

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Look and see the promise that is attached to that way of thinking - experience peace.

How do you deal with the labels of the past? What label needs to be removed? to be repaired? to be cut loose?

Have you ever felt unfruitful in a relationship? Titus 3:14

Do you live with who we were or who we are called to be?

What labels in your family can you speak purpose into?