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Sticky Culture

By March 23, 2024March 25th, 2024No Comments

Welcome to church. It’s so good to see you right now. Our saints crew are leaving right now. Um to go to Saints Youth. So if you’re a part of that head out that way now.

Um but like I said big welcome to you. My name is Sean. I’m the campus pastor here at King’s Church Reedy Creek. If you haven’t been here before so good to welcome you here. And obviously we’re gathering around multicultural Sunday and I was thinking about some of the countries I’ve been to.

And I’ve been to quite a lot. Um and I’ve been to a few for missions. And my probably two favourites for missions were India and Japan. They are in stark contrast to each other. You know when you get off the plane for India you you kind of taste the air.

Um the the traffic is chaotic. The food is spicy. Um I’m not a spicy type of guy and as we got into the trip, I think they felt a little sorry for us and said, oh, well, we’ll get you some normal like just plain food. So, they got us Domino’s Pizza. The Domino’s Pizza was spicy.

Um so, I could just not escape it but I got on board by the end of it. I was a fan. I was a convert by the end of it which was cool but the other missions trip we went to was Japan and I’ve been there three times helping out at the church there and it’s so cool because it’s a completely different culture. Whereas India was its kind of chaotic. It’s it’s in your face.

Um Japan, they’re so respectful and they’re so well mannered and behaved. Like even in their parks you will not find a rubbish bin anywhere. Because they actually know as a culture that you take your rubbish and you bring it home and you dispose of it. So anytime you had like wrappers or a bottle or something you keep it with you. You bring a rubbish bag with you and you take it home and dispose of it there.

In fact Japan were really worried round the lead up to the Olympics because they were actually going to host it there and they had to put bins in for all the tourists that were coming in and they were worried that it was going to shift the culture and so suddenly the Japanese people would maybe get lazy and demand that they have bins there and wouldn’t look after anymore. But I do remember a pastor I knew one time brought a team from Japan over to Australia. And they landed in the Gold Coast Airport and I think along the way to going towards their church they needed to go to the bathroom. So we pulled over at a public bathroom to show like just help them. And when he went in it was like not immaculate.

And you know it didn’t have all the robotics that the Japanese toilets and bathrooms do. Um there was graffiti all over the wall. There was toilet paper everywhere. Um there was a mess everywhere and he was just like I am so so sorry. Cuz they were shell shocked.

They were like what is Australia? What is this? There’s something about different cultures coming together right? Um and so it’s interesting being someone to come Australian culture into a different culture. But it’s a completely different thing when you want to shift into a new culture. Are you with me? And so I want us to read second Samuel chapter nine verse one. Which is all about David actually trying to shift a different culture here. And so second Samuel nine verse one it says David asked is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake? Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Zeba.

They summoned him to appear before and said to him, Ayuziba, at your service, he replied, then the king asked, is there noone still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness? He answered the king, there is still a son of Jonathan, he is laying on both feet. Where is he? The king asked. He answered, he is at the house of Makia, son of Amil in Lodobar. So King David brought him from Lodobar. And when Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honour.

David said, Mephibosheth, at your service, he replied, don’t be afraid David said to him for surely I will show you kindness for the sake of my father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belong to your grandfather Saul and you will always eat at my table. So David was bringing in a new regime and the way things went back then. If you were someone who was bringing in a new regime, a new king, what you would do is you would completely wipe out anyone attached to the old one. So any generals, any family, any advisers, anyone who potentially could be behold into the previous reign they would attach themselves to that.

They would wipe those people out. So it’s interesting that David comes here and he’s saying basically bringing Mephibosheth before him. Who? In all intents and purposes should be wiped out. He’s going no I’m going to do something different here. I’m going to actually do something completely different.

So this guy is not going to carry the weight of what has happened before. I’m going to establish a new culture through him. But who knows that when you Trying to establish a new culture. It’s actually very hard to do. It’s very hard to do.

It’s very hard to make it stick. And so he’s come in and he’s brought Mephibosheth before him and he’s showing a kindness to him on behalf of Jonathan. But he actually does three things here which I think actually makes him beholden to what he’s doing. He’s making sure that this thing that I’m trying to institute here is going to stick. And I don’t know about you and what you’re doing in your life and what you’re going through.

But I know for all of us there comes times where god actually says, I need you to step into a new season. I need you to step into a new culture. I need you to do it. And sometimes we step into it so easily and sometimes, it doesn’t stick. Like, that’s why, you know, at the beginning of the year, when there’s New Year’s resolutions, one of the most popular ones is to go to the gym and on January 1st and January 2nd, the gym is full.

January 31st, not so much, right? Cuz it doesn’t stick. So, I think there’s something that we can take from David did here to do things differently. The three things that he does differently to make sure that it sticks. Are you with me? Yup. So, this morning, I want to talk about sticky culture.

Turn to the person next to you and say sticky culture. You know, I once worked for a church where one of the cultural things we do at the church is and you see this with a lot of churches at the beginning of the year, they’ll have a theme, like some kind of theme for the year, like our theme is more in twenty-four, right? And so, what would happen is, I would go to this church and I was a part of it and the thing we would do is at the beginning of the year, they go, you know what? This is a year where we’re really putting a focus on connect groups or this is the year that we’re really putting a focus on this and they get a T shirt done for everyone to wear T-shirt said the theme for the year and we’d all be like yeah this is going to be the most exciting year ever. It gets to March and we’re like, what was the theme again? And gets to December and we’re like, did we actually follow through on the connect group thing? But then we’re like, doesn’t matter because the next year’s going to be even better. We’ve got a new theme. Get the shots.

Put em on. And so, it just sometimes just didn’t stick. Sometimes, it did but there was a lot of times where it just didn’t and it made me go, you know, it’s hard sometimes for things to stick because no follow through. And I feel like when David was saying who can I show kindness to? Um it’s interesting because he is showing kindness to someone and creating a new culture at the exact same time. So the first thing is if we want to have that sticky culture there must be forgiveness.

That’s the very first thing. Interestingly Mephibsheth’s name actually means dispeller of shame. Dispeller of shame. When you named someone it held incredible significance. It usually was a name where you’re inferring something about their personality or something they would do.

That was the expectation. So when he was named Dispeller of Shame it did not at all correlate with what happened later. When his nurse was scooping him up and fleeing with him because she was so worried that he was going to get killed as the new regime took over. And so he ended up lame in both feet. And then he was cowering and hiding.

And even says to David when he’s brought before him who are you to engage with a dead dog like me? This is a guy that carries a ton of shame. A ton of shame. So, his name twisted. But David brings him to his door and says, do not be afraid. I’m going to show you kindness.

Mephibosheth had no claim to this kindness. It all left when his family lineage died but David in his kindness gave it anyway. One of the difficulties of creating a new culture in our life is we actually have to forgive the old one. Sometimes, when we want to step into something new, we still hold onto some unforgiveness in our hearts towards a person or towards a season or a situation that happened and we find ourselves in this tug of war where we’re still drawn back to the old thing. Are you with me? For some of us in this room, the Lord is bringing some things to mind to you.

This narrative of if I said a person’s name to you right now, something within you would go, oh. Oh. You know, that person where if you walk past them out in in the community, you’re like, I’m going to step onto the other side of the road because I do not want to engage with them. I don’t want to see them and I’m just going to continue walking. And it’s interesting because the Bible basically says we actually have no right to that unforgiveness.

We have no right to that unforgiveness. That even in the word says basically gives us very very little wiggle room to get out of. Not forgiving someone. In Ephesians 432 it says be kind to one another. Tenderhearted.

Forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Colossians 313 says bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another forgiving each other as the Lord has forgive you. So you also must forgive. It isn’t like, oh, see all my, you know, you can kind of forgive. You know, to come back to me with it and I’ll get back to you whether it’s appropriate or not.

It’s you must forgive and I even had an interesting conversation just a couple of weeks ago. About a decade ago, I was in this church and I had this boss who was just the worst boss I’ve ever had in my life. Just terrible. Um I would come to work and there was no respect there. There was no value there.

Um and I would come home to my wife at end of the day and I would just have tears of frustration because I’m like I hate being here. I hate working for this guy. I hate coming in every day. And I felt like God was making me stay there Which I was like oh. Can you not? Um I felt this call to stay.

And so I just persevered through until eventually I said to Jess. I was like I can’t change their behaviour. But I’m responsible for mine. And I could see that the longer I stay here I’m going to get bitter and I don’t want bitterness in my heart. So we need to make a call and we need to go.

And so we were getting all prepared to for me to go into that office and say I’m resigning and I’m leaving. Right? He beat me to it. He resigned before I could resign. And so I was like okay well I’m just going to keep that to myself. And I remember the next guy who came in who was my boss.

He sat down with me and he said hey you know that that was a tough season for you. But I’m sure there’s a lot that you learned across that time and I was like no. Didn’t learn anything. No I’m not. No.

You know, I just really refuse to see what the Lord actually taught me through that season and actually over time, I found myself in a place where I was like, I actually did learn a lot from that season. I learnt the kind of pastor I didn’t want to be but I also learnt a lot and grew a lot in that period. So, it led to me this to this conversation I had a couple of weeks ago where I ran into someone who was in the mix of what was happening in that situation and he said to me, hey, you never believe it but I got a call from them a couple of weeks ago They said and they are a couple of years ago and he said and they were basically asking for forgiveness for everything that they did across that time. And if it was me from 10 years ago I would have been like good. Good.

They should be sorry. I hope they listed. I hope you listed everything they did and made sure they’re sorry for all those things. That would have been me. But in that moment when he said this story to me I thought wow.

That’s good. And I had such respect in my heart, my respect for that person grew. That’s something unheard of a decade ago but now I stand before you and I have no bitterness in my heart towards that person. I would not cross the side of the road. I would not not engage in conversation with them.

I’m proud of them for owning their mistakes and I’m proud of them for the fact that they’re moving forward. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s what forgiveness does. It is a kindness to that person sometimes even when they don’t deserve it but it is a kindness to yourself as well. To release yourself from the bitterness and the hurt and the pain that sometimes happened.

What happened to you potentially was bad and is still bad But we should forgive it. We should release it. You know if a culture is not sticking, my question is, is there something to forgive? Is there someone to forgive? Maybe even you ended up in a situation which wasn’t great and you’re bitter about it and you’re angry about it and it’s time to just let it go. It’s time to forgive it. It’s time to release it.

I think the beautiful thing David did was take Meshibosheth who represented shame. He resented shame and he restored his name. His story. When we talk about it now it’s this beautiful story of being carried to the table. Um being welcomed at the king’s table.

It’s a story of breakthrough. It’s a story of restoration. He’s a dispeller of shame now. You know what? Some of you in this room and even myself I include this in it. We need to let go of the names we’ve titled some people and allow them to be who God called them to be.

Maybe they won’t get there but that’s okay. That’s not my responsibility. My responsibility to forgiveness. Are you with me? The second thing is, to counter to have sticky culture, there must be surrender. There must be surrender.

When David offered to restore the land to Mephibsheth that belonged to his grandfather Saul, that would have been shocking. Because that’s not what kings do. Kings are conquerors, right? They claim land, they take land, they don’t surrender land, right? Um, even you know, in a Bible when it says the train of his robe fills the temple. When it’s talking about the robe being so long that it fills the temple. It’s because it’s stitched in with all the victories.

All the kingdoms that were conquered. That’s why we know our God is a conqueror right? So kings are meant to be conquerors. And potentially he walked into that situation this rain thinking I’m going to be it. I’m going to take this land. I’m going to do great things.

But in this moment he stands before Mephibosheth and he could have just been like, hey, don’t be afraid and go back to where you came from but he says I’m going to restore land to you. I’m basically going to surrender land to you. For us, we need to be in a position of surrender. If we’re going to have a sticky culture. Are you with me? It was well within David’s rights simply to let Mephibosheth know that he meant him no harm and that’s it.

But David surrenders his right to claim what could have been rightfully his. There are easy things to surrender. And there are difficult things to surrender. I felt like when I was the sermon together I felt like I would stand in a room of people and there’ll be people in here who there are things, dreams that were on your heart, situations you were in, where it just didn’t go the way you thought it would. It wasn’t how you expected it would go.

And you’ve held onto it. And you’re holding onto it deeply. There’s a hurt there. There’s a hurt there. From dashed expectations from how you thought you would be, who you would thought you would be, how you thought your life would be right now.

And it’s like I felt Lord’s saying you need to surrender that now. You’re looking back and you need to stop looking back and look forward. Cuz if the new thing is going to stick you can’t be looking backwards. It’s not for you to carry. I mean I expect David would have thought this wasn’t going to be ideal, right? He was going for this promise of being this great king who kept conquering and conquering and conquering but there was this moment where he’s like, I’m going to stick myself with this what I’m doing here.

I’m going to make sure Mephibsheth is restored with everything that belongs to him and I’m going to let go of my idea of what a king should be. You know, in Matthew nine seventeen, it says, neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst. The wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved.

You know, when a wineskin is first tanned and cleaned and made ready for use, it’s quite flexible and stretchy and so when you pour wine into it and the gases happen, it can expand and it can take it. But as it goes on, it starts to get inflexible. It starts to get tough. And as you pour wine into it, the seams begin to break and it pours out. You know, there are sometimes where the Lord wants to do a new work in us and he’s pouring the wine in and because we’re so inflexible now and tight, we become brittle and the seams burst and maybe we catch some of the new thing but we don’t catch it in its fullness and I don’t believe that’s the lord’s heart for us.

Let’s not make friends with old wineskin. Let’s not have pride and place for old wineskin. Let’s not love our wineskin and put it in the pool room, okay? We need to actually release the wineskin and have a new wines so we’re stretchy so we’re flexible because when you are inflexible you become brittle. You become brittle. You know I love when you talk to people and they’re excited about the new thing the Lord is doing right? But then you talk to some people and they’re still carrying some stuff from the previous season.

And it’s like you’re not going to catch it. You’re not going to catch it. And they’re so disappointing. You with me? You know Kelly Lee Phipps has this great quote which is if you argue through your limitations you get to keep them. But if you argue for your possibilities you get to create them.

I’m going to repeat that again If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. But if you argue through your possibilities you get to create them. I want to be in creation territory. I don’t want to be in limitation territory. And you know when God does a new thing sometimes you need a new wineskin.

You need something that can hold what he’s going to do. And so we need to stop surrounding and circling the wagons around what’s been. And actually just surrender it. For some of us maybe you’re not where you thought you would be right now. Surrender it.

See what the Lord wants to do. Maybe things in your family haven’t worked out how you expected. You had high hopes that your family would be in the house of God together. And you’d seen your kids just out there in the community and not in the house of God. And it’s been a struggle for you.

Surrender it to the Lord. Surrender it to him and see what he does. Surrender these pressures and these fears and these doubts and the the the stress towards him that we guard and we keep and we hold onto and we name. Actually release it to him and see what the Lord will do. Amen? The final thing is for sticky culture.

Sit at the king’s table. Now, this week, I got to go out to lunch with two legends of our church which is Glen and Noreen O’Brien. Um we went out for lunch with them. Um they’ve actually agreed to take on as the connect group oversights for connect group in our church which I’m very excited about. Um so, hit them up after the service.

But the interesting thing was, we were going to it’s taboo. It’s like a Middle Eastern food place. And so we’re sitting at the table and we’re waiting for them to arrive. And as they arrive Noreen rocks up with like a big pumpkin. Plus rocky road.

So, it’s got two rocky road for us. She makes an amazing rocky road and she’s like, here, go, have this. And I thought, oh, I’m eating good when I’m hanging out with the O’Briens. I put that out there so you’d maybe give me more Rocky Road in the future, Noreen. Yeah.

She she said to us, she gave us two because it was me and Jess and she’s like, now, one of them is for Shaun and one of them is for Jess. I ate them both. So, I had Jess’s permission last night. I was like, can I just have the other one? Great. I’ll pay her back some Rocky Road later.

But interesting thing is the very last thing he does, right? Is he offers him a seat at the king’s table? And when I think about the king’s table, I think about the diet, right? Because Mephibosheth was cowering. He was hiding in fear. He should have been someone who was in the kingdom and he would have been fed well. But he’s in a different place now so the diet would be different. When you sit at the king’s table, you eat better.

You know, there’s some of us who we’re trying to enact a new culture but we’re doing it in our own strength. We’re trying to make it happen selves and so we are speaking words of life to ourself. We are trying to build ourselves up to get this thing going. But you know what? When you sit at the king’s table you eat from the words of life. You eat from the Lord.

And he feeds you better. But not only that when you sit at the king’s table you are under the protection of the king. You’re under the protection and the blessing and the covering of the king. When we want to be someone who is making something stick we should actually be calling the Lord and being like I want your favour on this. I need you on this.

I don’t want to go in my own stead. I don’t want to go off the beaten path. I want to stay close to you. I want to be at the king’s table. So I want to encourage us as a church.

We need to forgive. We need to be people who forgive and just release. We need to be people who surrender. But we need to be people as well. Who sit at the Lord’s table time and time and time again.

And the beautiful thing is we have an open invitation. That our invitation is not rescinded. Maybe you have been standing on your own. Trying to figure things out on your own but the Lord is calling you back and saying it’s time for you to come take a seat. It’s time for you to sit down.

Amen? How do you get a new culture going? Stay close to the king. You with me church? How about we stand to our feet? And I’m just going to invite our creative team back. And how about we close our eyes in this place Just to give everyone some privacy. There’s just a few things I want to pray for as we’re kind of bringing this service to a close. One is in this place if I’ve been talking about even having a seat at the table of the king.

That is something a concept that is so foreign to you. You’ve never known what it is to walk closely with the Lord. You’ve never known what it is to stay close to the king. And so the this idea of being a Christian you’ve come in this place whether someone has brought you here. Maybe you’ve come of your own accord.

And as you’ve been to the word If you’ve been listening to the message. There’s something within you that says I want, I want to know the father’s heart. I want to be close to him today. I want my life to be a reflection of the gospel. You maybe never made the decision to be a Christian before or maybe there’s some people in this place and when I’m talking about proximity to the king, you feel very far away.

Maybe you’ve been doing things out on your own. Maybe you come to church week after week and noone knows what’s going on behind the scenes but there’s not that passionate relationship for the lord and this morning you want to make things right with him and you want it to stick. You want it to stick. If that’s you in this place and you need to make a decision for Jesus, whether it’s your first time or whether you’re kind of coming back home. All I ask is you raise your hand and put it down again in this room.

Is there anyone that needs to make a decision for Jesus today? Yep, I see that hand. Let’s pray together church. And repeat after me. Jesus. I thank you for this life.

I turn from living life my own way. And I turn to you This morning, I’m a Christian. Christ is alive in me and the old is dead and gone and I thank you for it in Jesus name And everyone said, amen, amen. One more thing I want to pray for. Um if you are in the midst of a season change, you feel like you need to forgive.

You feel like you need to surrender or you feel like you need god’s blessing over the new thing that god wants to do in you. I want you to just raise your hands right where you’re at right now and we’re going to pray. Yup. Yup Hands all across the room. Let’s pray together church.

Lord God I thank you for your people today. And I pray where there is a need of forgiveness that this is not a struggle. That actually it’s not clenched fists holding back Lord God but open palms towards you. God I pray for people in this room who have held people in their heart. Who have held situations in their heart.

That they’re just releasing them to you right now Lord. I pray that the heaviness of hurt. The heaviness of pain, of bitterness, of whatever is being inflicted upon them. Lord God I pray just lifts right now. As well I pray for some who have kept looking back and looking back and looking back and looking back.

I pray that there will be such a state of surrender within their hearts right now towards you. That they are going to turn their heads and fix their eyes on what is ahead. And God I pray that they would have a great discernment of what you have in store for them. And Lord I pray for those who have tried to do some things in their own strength and they recognize that they need your anointing. They need your blessing and they need your covering.

I pray you release it right now in Jesus name. And everyone said together. Everyone said together, amen. Thanks everyone. I’m going to hand it to Scott.

Thank pastor Shaun for his word this morning and for those of us that were here last week, can you sense with what Doctor DiMaggio was saying now in this word? God is doing a new thing in our lives. So, let’s step into that and have faith for what god’s doing. I hope you’ve enjoyed multicultural Sunday this morning. Let me just tell you a few dates coming up over Easter. We have our Good Friday service at 9 AM.

So, we’re combining at 9 AM on Good Friday. Then, on Easter Sunday, we’ll have an 830 and a 1030 service. Um just so you know that 1030 service. We’re actually doing water baptisms. What a special day to be baptized on Easter Sunday.

If you haven’t been baptized or you know someone who would like to be baptized, could you just place your information at the hub at the back. We’ll get in touch with you and let you know what you need but that’s going to be such an exciting day. So, again, for Easter, the Good Friday service at 9 AM and the two services on Sunday at 830 and 1030 with baptisms at the 1030. Um tonight at our 5 PM upper room, we have that on tonight. If you haven’t been before It’s such a refreshing time in the spirit of God.

I’d love for you to come and join us tonight at 5 PM. That’s in the summit room. Um but today the festivities will continue for multicultural Sunday. Outside there’s plenty of food there. Some of it free.

I will say there’s a there’s a business that’s come on board. Um a crepe van, a crepe food. Yum. Crepes. I just said crepe and I forgot all my words.

Um but that business has come. I would ask that you actually pay for the crepes because they are a business. So please sure you value yourself of that. Enjoy that. There are other food, drinks, everything out there.

Enjoy your morning. I hope you are blessed today at church. We look forward to seeing you tonight and again next week. Be blessed church.

Ps Sean Casey

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