What a great Sunday with Dr. Jeff and Cheryl Mansell! Dr. Jeff shared a strong message about the adversity we face as we pursue God’s will. And yet, God makes a way for us to fulfill His call upon our lives! After Pastor Jeff spoke, Cheryl gave us a passionate update about Seven Baskets and their great ministry in Columbus. God is working and moving in amazing ways. An offering for Seven Baskets was received but we do not have a total at this time. However, Community Church gave a $1500 check to Seven Baskets from our funds for Domestic Missions.
God’s heroes never stop to think about being heroic. It’s not about them. They never tell anyone how great or wonderful they are. They’re not concerned about awards, applause, or accolades. It’s not their story. It’s God’s story. God’s the real hero - and we’re His partners. God makes heroes out of average, ordinary people as they humbly go about living in His story.
Paul wrote that an urgency to give away the Gospel is based upon something he called “fearful responsibility.” I want to call that urgent faith.
Urgent faith dictates that we have to do something with what we believe. Sharing our faith is not optional; it can’t be neglected. At every opportunity, a person of urgent faith will do or say something to lead others to God. In the Early Church the Christians believed people were lost, hell was real, Jesus was the answer, and one day he was coming back. They had work to do and a world to reach! In the modern church we honestly act like we don’t care.
1. I have been called to be a disciple-maker and a spokesperson for Christ. I will not say no.
2. I will let Jesus’ love control my life so that I can share it with others. When he calls me to love others, I will not say no.
3. When I look at the people around me, I will see all of them as potential disciples, loved and desired by God. When he calls me to believe in his life-changing power, I will not say no.
4. I will be open to every way in which God wants to use me to reach everyone around me. Whatever he asks me to do, I will not say no.
5. Jesus is the answer for a lost and hurting world. I will make it a habit to share my faith. I will not say no.
This week, I will ask myself these questions:
1. What do I really believe?
2. When God calls, am I willing to follow – or do I walk away content to settle for less?
3. What does God desire to do in my life that I can’t do on my own? How is God calling me to do something bigger than myself?
4. Will I surrender every aspect of my life to God, believing that no matter what happens, he is faithful and I am his child?
5. What do I need to do to so that Jesus will become greater and greater and I will become less and less?
While faith is a simple concept, there’s nothing on the box that indicates that it’s easy. In fact, most scriptures that speak of faith include both elements: There’s both simplicity and difficulty. When it comes to faith, simple does not mean easy.
1) Self-assessment is absolutely essential: Do I believe & trust God?
2) I will keep my eyes on Jesus and not on others. I will look for what he is doing in my life.
3) I will live the way God desires, even in the midst of conflict and chaos.
4) I will be still before God and wait patiently upon him. I will not allow my emotions to dictate my faith.
5) I will read Romans 8:35-39 and Psalm 37:1-9 daily and ask God to help me to trust & obey.
Our church was proud to host the team members from Encounter Church this morning to share their vision and what God is doing through them. Encounter Church is a church plant in Commercial Point, Ohio which is scheduled to launch March 10. Community is proud to be a part of their sending network. If you would like to support the work of Encounter Church south of Columbus, you can find their contact information on their website, or you can give online to support them financially.
Communion is the celebration of God’s physical presence in the body of Jesus.
When we take the bread that represents the body of Christ, we celebrate God’s crazy love for his creation.
While the world looks at blood through the lens of war, hatred, and horror, the Bible celebrates blood as the essence of life.
While everyone is telling us that we need to find a purpose IN life, Christianity proclaims that we were all created for the grand purpose OF life!
Throughout the week, I will reflect upon the weirdness of Christianity and embrace its wonderful strangeness.
I will allow God to call me out of the aimlessness of our wayward culture and into his radical truth.
I will make a conscious decision to feed upon Jesus daily; to consume all he is and can be in my life.
This morning, as I enter into a time of Communion with God, I will clear my mind of all distractions and concentrate fully upon his majesty, love, holiness, and presence. I will be in awe of my God. I will consume him and allow him to consume me.
If I have never placed my faith in Jesus, or need to recommit my life to him, today I will do it at the table of the Lord. He has invited me to the feast!
Romans 6:4 tells us that "We died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." A Christian can sin, he does sin, but he doesn't want to sin. Why? Because he loves God and doesn't want to be separated from him.
1) Don't confuse freedom with permission. Don't forfeit the grace God has given you.
2) Deny sin the attention it demands.
3) Focus on worship.
We are created for one another. So that, together, we can worship God and tend to creation, to multiply God's goodness throughout the world, care for one another and announce the reign of God to all creation. This is God's design for, not only the Church, but for all creation.
1) Focus on Jesus
2) Set your ego aside
3) Be patient with others
4) Listen to the Spirit
The world handles conflict in a variety of ways: violence, ignoring it, letting it build up, bitterness, broken relationships, walking away, blaming and name-calling. However, God calls his church to a higher standard - He sets us apart. Jesus is our standard. We are called to settle our differences in his love and holiness; in ways that glorify him.
1) When conflict arises, always remember that Jesus' desire for the church is unity, not division
2) Always check your own heart
3) Take interest in others!
4) Make Jesus your standard!
Nearly 1/2 of the world's population - more than 3 billion people - live on less than $2.50 per day and more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty - less than $1 per day. And yet...many of these people live in the contentment of one treasure alone: Jesus! If we are looking for joy in the things of this world, it will be elusive, but when our live becomes about Jesus and pouring into others, our perspective is changed.
Joy is not found in what we bring to the table, rather it is found in what we lay down at the feet of Jesus, in hopes of joining him in his suffering. So that, we may experience the joy of knowing him intimately. There is a theme of joy in the book of Philippians, but it is secondary to the theme of pursuing or knowing Jesus. Joy is the byproduct of knowing Jesus.
Joy is a deep seeded emotion that springs from our unwavering trust in God. As we become closer to God, our joy will increase. As we become further from God, our joy will diminish. Joy is not found when we see God through the light of our circumstances, but when we see our circumstances through the light of God.
One of the themes of Philippians is joy. Christians were meant to be filled with love, joy, and peace. Philippians 1 shows that joy comes through humility, self-sacrifice, unity in Christ, and maturity. Through this joy, followers of Jesus can have profound contentment, serenity, and peace no matter what happens.
Worship is how we express our love, adoration, admiration, and wonder at God's presence. The Christian breathes in God's goodness and exhales worship." - Jayson D. Bradley
Real worship is never about us, it is about God. If we don't learn the necessity of real worship both in the church and in our personal lives, we're trapped within ourselves and within the peace-less, powerless, preoccupied world in which we live, and we miss the freedom of being in the peaceful, powerful, otherworldly presence of God.
Jesus came to free us from our sins and indeed he has, but we may still be captive to the thinking of this world. God has come to free us, not only from sinful actions, but also from our sinful thoughts and motives. We need God to transform our minds and change the way we think.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
The Bible teaches that we are in this world, but not of it! We’ve been sent into the world as God’s ambassadors to share the life-giving message of his eternal Kingdom. We live here, but we live by a different set of rules. As God’s ambassadors, we must submit to his ways and resist sin where we are drawn to it.