A lost sheep, a lost coin & 1 tenacious Savior
Yesterday we explored the tenacity of Jesus' love for sinners in the parable of the lost sheep and lost coin. Jesus demonstrates his tenacious love for us in that He is the one who goes looking for the lost ones in order to bring them home.
Some truths to consider
- We are all lost at some point. Both the irreligious and religious are apart from God due to sin and rebellion against God.
- The ability to return to God is a work of God on the hearts of people. God enables us to see ourselves as we truly are, an eye-opening experience, a coming to our senses moment.
- Repentance is not a transaction between God and man rather it is a turning to receive God's love that has already been freely given.
- God's returning us to the family of God is cause for rejoicing and celebration. It is time to remember our former life before the love of God rescued us and to celebrate His great love for us and his continual seeking of the lost.
What do we want them to have, if they come?
My good friend Kevin asked me this question, this morning, "If God brought the city to your doorstep, what would you want them to have?" (*Kevin always has the best questions!)
What we often offer is good advice, catchy music, opportunities to serve, opportunities to belong. We give them sermons, prayers and the occassional potluck but we miss out giving the one thing that no other institution can, Jesus himself.
In the coming months, I am going to review the values of Harvest and explore where we can value the presence of Jesus, above all else, in the the things we do and say. We are the body of Christ and should be able to regularly provide encounters with Jesus. Onward!
Monday Morning Pastor: As you are going...
Sunday marked our third message in our Abide series that reiterated Jesus' command to his people to make disciples of all nations. Making disciples is what we are mandated to do; it is not optional.
What is a disciple? Anyone who has placed their faith in Christ and commits to live with Him in order to live like Him.
How do we become disciples?
- Make our individual confession of Christ public in the waters of baptism
- Submit ourselves to being taught the commandments of Jesus.
- Live obediently to the commandments of Jesus
- Make disciples
How do we make disciples?
- Be a Christ's apprentice - Love God, Love People, Proclaim the Gospel
- Proclaim the gospel in your present context in your words and in your normal living.
- Lead those who have professed Christ to baptism
- invest in Christlike relationships with people and teach them how live as if Christ was living in their shoes
Do Not Be Afraid
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[a] they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
I hope this story encourages you today as you face whatever "sea" you are rowing across, whatever strain you are enduring. Here are some truths to take in.
- Jesus is on his way
- Jesus wants to be with you
- Jesus relieves your fear
- Jesus gets you where you need to go
Philosopher Dallas Willard once penned, "In the spiritual life, one never rests on one's laurels." In your walk with Christ, would you describe it as always progressing (semper proficiens) or slack? How do you take Jesus' command to follow Him, to commit your life to observing all He commanded?
What we are trying to build
I read a great piece at Christianity Today called "Church is a Family Not an Event" and it articulated perfectly the ethos of what we are trying to create at Harvest. I would encourage you to click on the link and read it for yourself.
It's my hope that we build a family-like community from within that is also permeable in welcoming new people in. If you are looking for a place to belong not just an event to attend on Sundays, come on by and stay a while.
You , Me & We
Yesterday, we continued our series on Abiding in Christ as our foundation for our life in Jesus. The main point of the sermon was to communicate what each of our parts were in the church, as we abide in Christ.
My Part - Preach Christ and Help the Congregation Grow in their Faith, Love and Hope
Your Part - Reflect Christ as He abides in you in Faith, Love and Hope
Our Part - Endure Together as a congregation in our common Faith, Love and Hope