We don’t like to build with broken Lego pieces, and we may be reluctant to connect with broken people. But Jesus values broken pieces. As Christians we are called to connect to a hurting and broken world, and to help the people around us to get connected with God’s love. We are thankful that God can build his church with broken pieces because that means He has a place for us; we are all broken pieces.
Lego Church 5 – Built with Broken Pieces
Sermon notes by Marshal Blessing
Redemption Church Plano Tx
Welcome to the last week of our Lego Church sermon series. We have spent the past four weeks talking about Lego.
Lego has increased in popularity over the years, and some Lego sets and pieces have actually become valuable collectors’ items. A recent study found that over the past 15 years collectable Lego sets have increased in value more than gold.
So I thought I would start this week with a quick game of Lego Neiman Marcus. I’ll show you some Lego minifigs and you try to guess how much they are worth.
Yoda “New York I Love” – $340 – 2013 Toys R Us exclusive only 1000 made and given out at an event in Times Square
Mr. Gold – $2500 – 2013 part of a Minifigures Series only 5000 made, became mascot for series
Solid Gold Boba Fett – $11,500 – Two in existence given away at two comic conventions in 2010
Aluminum Jupiter, Juno, and Galileo – estimated $2,090,000,000 currently traveling toward Jupiter on NASA’s Juno space craft, scheduled to arrive July 2016, orbit Jupiter for a year, then crash.
Lego can be valuable. You are valuable to God.
In the previous weeks of this series we talked about how we are built to build.
We are made to connect with each other and with God.
In order to build something that will last we need to build on a solid foundation – God.
Once we start building on this foundation we need to keep building.
Building takes time and effort, but God will provide the resources we need.
You were built for a purpose. You have unique talents and abilities and God wants you to use them.
We need to connect because you could be someone’s missing piece.
This week we’re going to talk about what the Lego Church is Built With.
This seems pretty easy. The Lego Church is built with Lego.
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…”
You are the living stones. We are the Legos. We are the members that make up the Body of Christ.
Really lots of things can be built out of these “living stones.”
Business, club, sports team, family, political party, nation
Only one will endure. Only one is built on a foundation that will last forever. Only one is built on God’s Chief Cornerstone. That one structure that will last forever is the church.
There is another important difference between the church and any other group of people.
That difference is in the choice of building materials.
Earlier we played the Neiman Marcus game, I have one more Lego piece I’m going to show you and I would like you to guess its value.
[tech booth – wait for cue] Broken Lego
How much do you think this Lego is worth? $100? $50? $1
How much is a standard 2×4 stud worth? This one is probably worth less than that. Right?
During the first week of this series Chris discussed some of our common experience with Lego:
Bucket, stepped on one, etc.
At some point in your life you have probably encountered a broken Lego.
Bent, mini-fig missing head, dog chews it, run over, blown up…
Kids playing with Lego don’t like to use broken pieces. They don’t look right. They don’t connect right. Usually they get thrown away. When a Lego piece breaks it loses its value.
We often do the same thing with people. We don’t value people who don’t look right, don’t act right, have problems, people who are broken. Too often we’re willing to throw them away.
God values things differently. God Values Broken Pieces
The value of something is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. __________
You may see a broken person. Jesus was willing to die for that person. God paid for that person with the blood of his only Son. To God that person is more valuable than you could ever measure.
God doesn’t throw away broken pieces. God sees value in broken pieces.
Nowadays we buy the cheapest things we can, and when they break we throw them away and get a new one rather than seeing if they can be repaired. But then we apply that mentality to other areas of life.
Job, hobby, diet, relationships. We’re quick to throw things away if we think they’re broken.
Take a lesson from Jesus. After He fed the 5000, he had the disciples collect the leftovers
Matthew 14:20 NIV They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Then he did it again. In Matthew 15 he feeds 4000+ with seven loaves and a few fish
Matthew 15:37 NIV They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Now, what’s better, five loaves and two fish or twelve baskets full of pieces?
What’s better, seven loaves or seven large baskets full?
Don’t be quick to throw things away. God can do more with broken pieces than you can do with whole parts.
Turn them over to God. ____________
God doesn’t throw people away, neither should we.
In fact, God Builds with Broken Pieces
I told you there was another difference between the church and other structures built out of “Living Stones.”
Most of the time, when we’re building a group, when we’re hiring employees, when we’re building a team, we want to select the best people available. We don’t want broken pieces. We’ll take them if we have to, but we pick the best “living stones,” the best Lego pieces we can get.
That’s not how God does it. God already knows the spiritual house that He is building will last forever because it is built on a foundation that will last forever. So God doesn’t have to find the best “living stones.”
God chooses to build with broken pieces because He can.
1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:28 NIV God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:29 NIV so that no one may boast before him.
God is glorified when he does things that only God can do. God chooses the weak and the despised and the broken, because He can build them into something magnificent. Only He can take these broken pieces that the world rejects, and build them into something better than the world could ever produce.
God Builds with Broken Pieces
The original temple was built with perfect stones -> humanity was created without sin
But then sin entered the world and broke everything [break a lego] Solomon’s temple was torn down.
The second temple wasn’t built out of perfect materials. It was built by a bunch of people who had just returned from exile, who were surrounded by their enemies, and who had to keep one hand on their sword while they were working. This wasn’t a perfect temple, but the fact that it got built was a testament to God.
It shouldn’t have existed and yet it did. It wasn’t perfect but God was glorified in it.
Then God did something new. God came to earth as a man, as a living stone. And He became the cornerstone for a new temple.
1 Peter 2:4 NIV as you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him –
1 Peter 2:5 NIV you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house* to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
* ”spiritual house” can also be translated “temple of the spirit”
God is building his followers, his church into a new temple that is better than the first.
And look at who Jesus called: fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, the blind, the deaf, and the lame…
From the beginning, Jesus started building this new temple out of broken pieces.
God Builds with Broken Pieces because God values all the pieces
When you were a kid did you ever try to build something using all your Lego pieces?
God wants to use every single living stone in the kingdom he is building. God doesn’t want anyone to perish; He wants everyone to come to repentance. He wants everyone to be a part of His temple, His Kingdom, including the broken pieces.
In the first week of this series we told you that you are created to connect and you are built to build.
Today I want to tell you that you are expected to connect. You are called to connect.
You were made to connect, and so you are expected to connect with God and with other people, even broken people.
When you first connect with God and you become a part of this spiritual house that He is building, you become a connection point for others. Those connection points you have become a way for others to connect to the church and connect to God.
For some it can be tempting to bury yourself in church and only connect with other church people. But for those of you in this room, for those of you hearing this message, I don’t believe God is calling us to that.
If we’re not connected to the outside world, then we’re not helping to build His kingdom.
It is possible to be present in the world, but to not really connect with anyone outside the church.
Don’t do that. We are called to connect. The third thing we encourage everyone to do throughout your week is to “Connect other people to the love of Jesus.”
After Jesus heals the man who was possessed by the legion of demons, the man begs to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go to his home town and tell them what God had done for him. Jesus sends him to connect with others.
Just before he ascends to Heaven Jesus tells his followers to “Go and make disciples of all nations…”
He sends them to connect others to God. This is the great commission, and this is our commission too.
You connect others to God by first connecting to them.
Don’t be picky about the people with whom you connect. Connect to the people God puts in your life.
Family, coworkers, friends, grocery store clerks, waiters/waitresses you see all the time
This is important. God wants to connect with them. You may be the perfect piece to make that connection. You have talents and abilities and interests, use those to connect.
In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul says:
1 Corinthians 9:20 NIVTo the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
1 Corinthians 9:21 NIV To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.
1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
He’s not saying that you have to put on a façade and be a fake person: “Oh, I love … whatever you love…”
He’s not saying you have to get into sinful things to try to connect with sinners. “I don’t normally use drugs but I’ll become a drug user to save drug users.” NO!!!
He’s saying he’s willing to use every aspect of who he is in order to try to connect with people.
“You’re Jewish? I was raised Jewish.” “Oh, you’re not Jewish, well I’m not under the Jewish law either.”
“You’re a tent maker. Hey, I make tents!” “You’re weak. Me too!”
Every part of who we are, every characteristic is a potential connection point. If you look at it this way, our past isn’t a list of events or a list of successes and failures. It is a list of connection points.
Again, this is really important. I can’t stress how much God wants to connect with all people. It’s like the parable of the great banquet. There’s more room! We can fit more living stones into this structure! Go out. Find people. Search everywhere. Search the highways and the by ways. Search the dark corners. Bring them in!
Connect with broken people. Connect with the ones that no one else wants to connect with…
It can be tempting to try to connect with important, influential, or talented people. Think of all they could do for the Kingdom… But everyone wants to connect with them. God humbles the mighty and exults the lowly. God can do incredible things with broken pieces; the pieces the world rejects.
Now, it’s crucial to remember that everyone is valued by God. Don’t become prideful.
The church is built out of broken pieces. The thing you have to realize is We Are Broken Pieces
We are all broken pieces. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. [Break a Lego]
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul lays out a list of people who will not inherit the Kingdom of God:
fornicators [break], idolaters[break], adulterers[break], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers
“And such were some of you!” That was us. We’re sinners.
You’re not Mr. Gold, and neither am I. We’re broken bricks. But broken Lego pieces can still connect.
By God’s grace we connected with Jesus and became a part of this thing that He is building. And now we need to help others become part of it too.
If you are in this place or listening to this message and you haven’t really connected to Jesus, He wants to connect with you. Maybe you realize you’re broken and you feel like you’re not worthy to be part of His Kingdom, let me tell you, He loves you, He forgives you, He has a place just for you, He wants to connect with you.
As a broken piece, it’s much easier to blend into the crowd if you never really connect to anyone. [Illustrate with broken Lego] When we connect, our brokenness becomes apparent. But it’s when we admit that we are broken that God can begin to heal us. We are all broken. We are all in need of God’s forgiveness.
At the end of service every week we open these altars and invite everyone to come up to the front and talk to God. Spend some time in prayer. If you have never connected with Jesus before, or maybe you’ve become disconnected, I encourage you, please come talk with Him, connect with Him today. He wants to connect with you.
If you are already connected to Him, we can always reconnect and strengthen that connection. Talk to him about who else you can connect with. Pray for those who don’t know Him yet. Ask Him who else you can connect with? Ask Him to help you connect. These altars are open.
If you would like special prayer please come within two feet of the steps.