Good Morning, Refuge Church Online! It is Sunday, January 3rd, and
I am so glad to see this morning. Happy new year. Listen. If this
is your first time worshiping with us online, thank you. There are
so many amazing churches in our community and around the world, we
are grateful that you have chosen to worship Jesus with us this
morning at refuge church online. If you would do me a favor and
fill out our digital connect card in the post above or at our
website, find that refuge We would love to reach out to
you this week. Say thank you for worshiping with us and give you a
special gift. Just as appreciation for you being with us this
morning. Hey, it is going to be an incredible day. Let's turn up
the volume and let's get ready to worship Jesus together. Refuge,
church, family. I love you. And I'm praying for you this week.
I was running my broken heart. in my life in a new life. Every
step, every breath like it's the first time you could have run
away leaving me there.
Good morning refuge church. It is Sunday, January 3rd. And I'm so
glad to see you this morning. Happy new year. I know we're all
excited to get out of 2020, right? But we have to remember just
because the year changes doesn't mean that all of our troubles
change, but here's, what's amazing in this season. In new year, we
can lean into Jesus like never before, because he is trustworthy.
He can be trusted and Jesus is still in control. And so I'm
excited about what Jesus is going to do this next few weeks. We're
going to be sharing in communion, the Lord's supper together this
morning. And I want to teach a little bit about that next week.
We're going to be kicking off 21 days of prayer and fasting as we
just disconnect from this world and connect with God in this new
year. And then we're going to start the next week.
A brand new series called who is Jesus. I cannot think of a better
way to start this year. Then really digging into who our Jesus is.
Hey, love you. We have been praying for you all week long. I know
that so many in our church family are just dealing with tough
times and tough circumstances right now. But I want you to know
that we love you, your church staff. We are here for you. If you
need anything at all, please don't hesitate to reach out. But this
morning, before we jump into God's word, let me pray with you and
for you. And let's ask for the power and presence of God to move
in our myths. Jesus, we love you so much. Thank you for this new
year for 2021. Jesus. We know that just because we're in a new
year that not all of our troubles stopped, but God we know you
were aware of that.
Our troubles, God, you are aware, keenly aware of our situations
and Jesus, you love us. You cherish us. Your word says, and Jesus,
we cherish and adore you. And this morning as we share in
communion, the Lord's supper together. God, we remember, we
remember what you did for us on that cross. And Jesus, we say,
thank you. We lean into you. We focus on you as we go into this
new year, Jesus, would you move this morning? Would you speak to
our hearts, a fresh and a new, we love you. Jesus. It's in your
name. We pray. Amen. Now there was a little girl from Alabama who
went to church for the first time with her grandparents in
Michigan. Pastor announced that it was time for the Lord separ.
She was excited sided and really hungry. The congregation of this
little Michigan church filed up to the altar rail and this little
girl watched and confusion as her grandparents only got a small
couple of Jews and their Cracker.
Now this little girl could not wait to get back to the Pew and
tell her grandmother with confidence that Jesus wasn't from
Alabama. Now, her grandmother was confused. What are you talking
about dear? She said, grandma, if Jesus would have been from
Alabama, he wouldn't given you a and some juice for supper. It
would have been sweet tea and corn bread. Listen in the South. We
know how to eat, right? We know the importance of breaking bread
together. There is just something special about spending time with
friends and eating and laughing and enjoying each other's company.
And I think that's one of the things that has been so hard about
this pandemic season that we've been walking through because
scripture teaches us the value of community, the value of
gathering and spending time together. It's something that we
crave. It's something that we want. It's something that we enjoy
and this time of isolation has been so difficult.
I know in my life, one of the things that we love to do is we love
to go out, to eat with friends. We love spending time with
friends, uh, holidays. We love going out to eat on Sunday nights.
Listen, I love some Rick's barbecue. Can I get an amen, some fruit
tea and some ribs, but it's it's these times together that we've
had to kind of change a little bit, right? Maybe, maybe you're
watching in your Thanksgiving with your family was different. Your
Christmas with your family was different this year. And that's
hard because we value and we enjoy eating and having separate
together. But there is another supper, the Lord separ, Holy
communion, that has such a special meaning. And it doesn't matter
whether we're at church together gathered or whether you are
gathered at your home. We can share this together. And it still
has incredible meaning to our spirit and our soul and incredible
meaning to our lives.
And so today I want to talk about this, separate another dinner
with friends that happened over 2000 years ago, but it is still
significant. It still has an incredible impact in our lives today.
If you have your Bibles with you, we're going to be in Matthew
chapter 26, starting in verse 17. If you don't have your Bibles as
listen, all of the verses are going to be on the screen this
morning, Matthew 26, verse 17 on the first day of the festival of
unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, where do
you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you? As you go into
the city, he told them, you will see a certain man. Tell him, the
teacher says my time has come and I will eat the Passover meal
with my disciples at your house. So the disciples did just, as
Jesus told them and prepare the Passover meal there.
When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the 12
disciples while they were eating. He said, I tell you the truth.
One of you will betray me, greatly distressed. Each of them asked,
am I the one Lord he replied. One of you who has just eaten from
this bowl with me will betray me for the son of man must die as
the scriptures declared long ago, but how terrible it will be for
the one who betrays him, it would be far better for that man. If
he had never been born Judas, the one who would betray him also
asked rabbi, am I the one? And Jesus told him, you have said it as
they were eating. Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he
broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples saying, take this
and eat it for this is my body.
And he took the cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave
it to them and said, each of you who drinks from it for this is my
blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It
is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many Mark. My
words, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new
with you in my father's kingdom. So what is happening here is
Jesus is celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples. This is
the final meal, the last meal. That's why we call it the last
supper, the last meal he will eat before his betrayal and his
arrest. And what we see, this is an important moment where Jesus
commands them to remember what he was about to do for all of
mankind, shed his blood on the cross, therefore paying the debt of
all of our sin.
In addition to predicting his suffering and death for our
salvation. Jesus also used this last supper with his disciples to
give the Passover a brand new meaning. He gave us a new covenant,
a new promise from God. He also established this ordinance for the
church a time where we would come back and remember what Jesus did
and worship him for his forgiveness of our sins. You see the last
supper brought the old Testament observance of the Passover feasts
to its fulfillment. Passover wasn't, especially Holy event for the
Jewish people because it commemorated. It remembered the time when
God spared them from the plague of physical death and brought them
out of the slavery of Egypt. And during this last supper, Jesus
took two symbols that were associated with the Passover and he
grabbed them, gave them brand new, meaning a fresh meaning as a
way to remember his sacrifice that saves us from spiritual death
and spiritual bondage. He said, after taking the cup, he gave
thanks and divided it and said, I will not drink again from the
fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes, he took the
bread and broke it and said, this is my body that will be broken
for you. He gave these symbols new meaning
Because Jesus was about to do something new and something
incredible for us. You see Jesus, his words during the last supper
about the unleavened bread, echo what he said after he fed the
5,000. Remember he told them that I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never grow hungry. Whoever believes in me
will never thirst again. He said, I am the living bread that came
down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live
Forever. Jesus also used this supper this time with friends to
teach the importance of forgiveness and servanthood. As he washed
his disciples feet, as he taught them the importance of humility
and serving others. And today as a church family, we go back to
this supper and we remember what Jesus did. It's a time of
reflection. It's a tumble. We gained spiritual strength. It's a
time where we reflect on what Jesus did for us
On the cross. And it reminds us of who he is and who we are.
R C typically this Passover meal was a family celebration, but
Jesus shared it with his friends, with his disciples, with not his
family from birth, but a chosen family and adopted family. And
that's what we get to do today. While some of you may be sharing
the, the meal with your family at home. There's a broader family,
a church, family, brothers, and sisters in Jesus Christ. And we
all get to share in this moment together, this was a significant
And what Jesus was doing here was proclaiming a turning point in
God's plan for the world and comparing the crucifixion of Jesus to
the feast of Passover. We can see the redemptive nature of Jesus's
And today the Lord's supper is a time for us to reflect upon
Jesus's perfect sacrifice, knowing that because of our faith in
And the grace that he has imparted to us
One day, we will live with Jesus in heaven. Now, as significant as
this last supper is what I want us to do this morning is I want us
to spend time on something else that was significant in this
story, because I want us to see what the disciples did to Jesus.
After that night, they had just spent an incredible family dinner
with Jesus. He had imparted so much wisdom. He had prophesied. He
For total things that were to come. He had poured his life
And to them as they sat around that table. And here's what
happened next. If you're taking notes first, we see that Judas
betrayed Jesus Judas betrayed him. It says in Luke 22 verses 47
and 48. But he,
Even as Jesus said, this, a crowd approach led by Judas.
One of the 12 disciples, Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him
with a kiss. But
Jesus said, Judas, would you betray the son of man
With a kiss? Let me ask you a question. Have you ever betrayed
Jesus? Have you ever sold them out?
Maybe it's just taking the easy road when life gets hard, or maybe
you've complained
To God because you've
Had it a lot worse than people who aren't even
Or maybe you've allowed something like a job or sports or money or
a relationship to take a pro warranty over your relationship with
him. Judas betrayed Jesus. And sometimes we betray Jesus too. I
know that 2020 was hard. I know it was difficult for so many of
us, but we have to reflect and we have to ask ourselves where we
just living a casual Christianity in 2020.
If we were listened to that, you have the opportunity to lean into
Jesus. You have the opportunity to start a fresh and a new and
say, Jesus, I am sorry for betraying you, but I'm not going to be
like Judas any longer. I want to lean in Jesus. And I want to be
everything that you've called me to be. And I want to worship you
with all of my heart, with all of my soul, you know, with all of
my strength,
Judas portrayed Jesus. We see that Peter Peter denied Jesus,
Peter. The one that said, Jesus, I will never deny you. Jesus. I
will always follow you.
Peter denied him. We see in Luke 22, starting in verse 54. So they
arrested him Jesus and led them to the high priest's home. Peter
followed from distance.
The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat
around it. And G Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed
Peter in the firelight and was staring at him. And finally she
said, this man was one of Jesus's followers, but Peter denied it
woman. He said, I don't even know him. After a while someone else
looked at him and said, you must be one of him. No man, I'm not
Peter retorted. And about an hour later, someone else insisted
this must be one of them because he as a Galilean too. But Peter
said, I don't know what you are talking about. And immediately,
while he was speaking the rooster crowed at that moment, the Lord
turned and looked at Peter and suddenly the Lord's words flashed
through Peter's month. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning,
you will deny three times that you even know me and Peter left the
courtyard weeping
Bitterly. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever denied Jesus?
Maybe you don't think Jesus really is who he said that he is, or
maybe you go to church, but you don't acknowledge who Jesus is
around other people at school or at work. Maybe you don't want
people to think you have one of them. Jesus, a freak since all go
to church and I'll worship him. I'll serve others. But in my daily
life, I don't acknowledge who he is.
He is. Or maybe you're one of the people that Paul wrote about in
Profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.
You profess that, you know Jesus and you follow Jesus, but your
life doesn't line up
With God's word. Judas
Betrayed him. Peter denied him and the others deserted him.
The other disciples
Deserted him. Mark 1450 says that all of his disciples deserted
him and ran away. They were afraid. They didn't know what was
going to happen next. They thought they too may be arrested. And
so they ran.
You ever deserted Jesus you've just walked away. It may be. You
just decided that you knew better for your own life than Jesus.
When you think about the individuals
Who were around that table with Jesus that night, we see that they
are far from perfect. Really most of the people that were at that
table were some of the most lowly and unwanted people in society
at the time. And although they wanted to Jesus, they failed
miserably. It's an, I need you to understand this. Our philosophy,
the heartbeat of this church is to go after the people who were
unwelcome and unwanted and forgotten in this world, in our
community. It was those type of people that were sitting around
the table with Jesus. It was those type of imperfect people. They
weren't trying to follow him, but they didn't have it all
together. Listen, if there were room at the table for them, there
is room at the table for you today. If Jesus would spend time with
them, then Jesus wants to spend time with you.
Now here's what is so incredible when Jesus shared the last supper
and he said, this is my body, which is given for you do this in
remembrance of me. This cup is the new covenant between God and
his people and agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in
remembrance of me. As often as you drink it, when he said those
words, he knew Judas was going to betray him. He knew Peter was
going to deny him. He knew all of the other disciples were going
to desert him and run away. But what he was about to do on the
cross, it was for them.
And it was also for you and maybe you're watching it, maybe you're
listening and you need the,
You're what I'm about to say in just a few moments, we're going to
observe communion. We're going to observe the Lord's supper
together. And if you're watching, if you're listening, you know,
if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, this is something we do not
take lightly. It is important. Paul wrote in first Corinthians
that we should examine ourselves and ensure we do not take the
Lord's supper
In an unworthy manner.
And so if you're watching and you're a believer in Jesus Christ, I
want us just to take a moment and pause and reflect and examine
your life, or are there areas of your life that you have not
turned over
To God?
Are there areas of sin or disobedience that you need to turn from
right now? You've allowed them to become a stronghold. You've
allowed them to take control. Do you need to ask for forgiveness
for anything in your life? This is the time right now, believer to
do just that, to reflect and get things right.
Maybe you're watching and you know about it.
Jesus, but you don't know Jesus in a personal way. I want to take
a moment to share some very good news with you. After that night
with his disciples, Jesus did give his life up. He died on a
cross. He spilled his blood so that you and I could have
forgiveness and free. Why? Because every single one of us is born
a sinner. We're all born with a broken relationship from God. And
because our relationship with God is broken. We are destined for a
real place called hell, but God loved you so much that he gave his
one and only son to die on a cross that whoever will believe in
him, whoever will place their trust, placed their faith in him.
They shall not perish, but have an everlasting life. You are in
anyone. You are a whosoever. And if that's you, if you need to
follow Jesus, I'm going to pray a prayer.
And I invite you to pray this prayer. Along with me, it doesn't
matter where you're at, what you're doing. You can pray this right
now. God, I've been going my own direction with my life. I've been
trying to do life my own way. I've been trying to be my own God.
And today I realize that I'm a sinner who is in need of a savior.
And God, I believe that that savior is your son. Jesus Christ. I
believe that Jesus died on a cross for me because he loved me that
much. And I believe he Rose again from the grave. And today I
placed my trust in Jesus. Jesus, you are my Lord. And I want to
follow you for the rest of my life and Jesus, it's in your name. I
pray. Amen. Listen, if that was you, I want to congratulate you
because that is the greatest decision that you can make with your
Your faith doesn't stop today. Your faith starts today and we want
to walk alongside you. We want to help you become everything that
God has called and created you to be. And so I want to ask you,
before you change the channel, before you turn this video off,
please, please reach out and let me know that you made the
decision to follow Jesus because I want to help you grow with in
your faith. I want to walk with you. As you walk with Jesus, you
can fill out the digital connect card on our website or in the
post above or in the comments below if you're online, but please,
please let me know. There is room at the table for you. And if you
don't have a church home, I want to be the first person to say
welcome home. I would love to be your pastor. And we would love to
be your church family. I mentioned earlier that we would have a
special time where we shared this communion. This Lord's supper
together that we talked about this morning. And so now is the
time. If you haven't already to get out the elements, the Cracker,
the unleavened bread
And the juice. And in these moments, we are going to reflect and
we're going to worship Jesus with our lives. We're going to let
Jesus know how appreciative we are. We're going to thank him. As
we go into 2021. As we approach this new year, we are saying,
Jesus, we are dedicating 2021 to you and Jesus, even though the
year may not look like what we want. Even when we don't know
what's going to happen. Next, we collectively and individually
say, Jesus, we love you and Jesus. We trust you. And because
you're in control, we don't have to fret. We don't have to worry.
We don't have to wonder because Jesus who you are in first
Corinthians 11 verses 23 and 24. Paul walks us through taking the
Lord's supper. The communion elements together as a church family,
he writes for are passed on to you. What I received from the Lord
himself on the night, he was betrayed the Lord. Jesus took some
bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces
and said, this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me,
Father God, thank you for the bread. That is representative of the
body of your son, Jesus Christ. We remember the sacrifice he made
for us in Jesus name. Amen.
Verse 25 in the same way. He took the cup of wine. After supper
saying this cup is the new covenant between God and his people and
agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me.
As often as you drink it for every time you eat this bread and
drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes
again. Jesus, we worship you. We adore you. We are grateful for
you. We say, thank you Jesus, for what you did for us on that
cross for giving your body and your blood for us and Jesus. As we
go into this new year, we rededicate ourselves to you, a fresh and
a new everything that we are Jesus. We give you.
And we say, Jesus, we want to be everything that you have called
and created us to be father. I pray for protection over my church
family. This year I pray health and healing over them. Jesus, I
pray for joy and peace in their hearts and in their lives. And
father, I pray. I ask God, would you bless my brothers and sisters
in Jesus name? And everyone said, amen.

To live with responsibility, you’ve got to play well and finish strong. That’s how you show you can be trusted with what is expected of you.