Make Known His Love

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

I will make known the Lord’s faithful love and the Lord’s praiseworthy acts, because of all the Lord has done for us–even the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, which he did for them based on his compassion and the abundance of his faithful love. ~ Isaiah 63:7

In a tweet once, a pastor named Philip Nation wrote, “Evangelism is easy: You talk to Jesus about people and you talk to people about Jesus.”

Talking to Jesus about people is prayer. We pray for people to hear the gospel, respond to the gospel, and be saved from their sins by Jesus through the gospel. When we make evangelism harder than it needs to be, our problem usually isn’t on the prayer side of things (unless we simply don’t pray for people).

Isaiah 63:7 is a model for the other side of this: Talking to people about Jesus.

We often wonder Where should I begin? What should I mention first? How should I broach the subject?

The answer is that you begin with God’s love. If we tried to list the good things that God has done for us because of his love, our hands would grow tire writing before we even scratched the surface. James says that every good thing comes from the Father. Every good person, possession, and event in our lives is a gift of God’s grace.

We begin with the fact that God is good and gives infinite goodness to those who will receive it. We begin with the realities that in his love he will make “all sad things come untrue” for those who trust him. We point to God’s goodness on display most greatly in Jesus who came and gave himself so that we, who had nothing before God, could gain everything.

We don’t have to be experts in any particular presentation to evangelize well. We simply must be willing to make God’s love known.

Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

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Sunday 3.10.19 (who’s your one?)

This Sunday, we’ll take a look at John 1:29-51 and see how, after encountering Jesus, Andrew and Philip went and found Peter and Nathanael and led them to Jesus. We’re taking a break from the Gospel of Luke to kick-off our 2019 Evangelism Challenge–Who’s Your One?, as issued by JD Greear (current president of the Southern Baptist Convention).

You can find out more information by visiting whosyourone.com.

We hope to see you there! And don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour before you go to bed, as we spring forward.

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Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Judges video study in youth room

Sermon Notes
Who’s Your One? ~ John 1:29-51

The sermon in one sentence: Every follower of Jesus has at least one person in their life with whom they can share the love and grace of God in Jesus.

  • Hearing the gospel and trusting in Jesus will forever change your life (1:29-44)
  • Following Jesus, you should seek to lead others to follow Jesus (1:40-51)
  • The Who’s Your One? Challenge:
    • Think of at least one person in your life who is not a follower of Jesus
    • Commit to pray for your “one” for at least 30 days
    • Pray and look for opportunities to share the gospel with your one

Songs for Worship
10,000 Reasons
How Great Is Our God
Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Let Others See Jesus in You
Shout to the Lord

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Upcoming Events (Men’s Breakfast and Evangelism Training)

Coming soon…

2/9/19 – Men’s Breakfast at the pastor’s; 8:30am — men, join us for biscuits, gravy, bacon, and fellowship; fathers and grandfathers, feel free to bring sons and grandsons!

2/10/19 – Evangelism Training week 1 of 3; Noon, with lunch — after our morning worship gatherings during the last three Sundays of February, we’ll meet in the gym for lunch and then Life On Mission – 3 Circles evangelism training.

You can check out the event pages on our facebook page.

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Who’s Your One? (2019 Evangelism Challenge)

Jesus found Philip and said to him, “Follow me…” Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth.” – John 1:43, 45 (ESV)

JD Greear, current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has issued an evangelism challenge in which he asks, “Who’s your one?” Greear explains:

Greear

(Image source: http://www.sbclife.net/article/2587/whos-your-one)

The “next year” he mentions is 2019, as he issued this challenge at the end of 2018. We’re a month into this new year, but we still have plenty of time to pray, share the gospel, and see the impact the gospel can have on the life of even one person.

While some will go and proclaim the gospel to hundreds if not thousands at the same time, all of us can be like Philip in John’s gospel—we have met Jesus, and we know someone else who needs Jesus, so we go and share with that one.

I want to challenge you to pray these things over the next month and then see where God leads:

Lord, place one person in my life who needs to know Jesus. Give me open eyes to see the opportunities to share as they arise, and give me boldness to tell them about Jesus and invite them to church.

God’s will is that people come to faith in Jesus. Prayers like this are prayers that he delights in answering. So, who will be your one?

When God Saves a Terrorist

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

In the Bible, we read about a man who did great violence to others. This man threatened murder, violently persecuted and tried to destroy others, and helped arrest people because of their religious beliefs and sent them to their death. From these descriptions, found in Acts 8, 9, & 26, and Galatians 1, we wouldn’t be far off if we called this man a religious terrorist.

This man was named Saul, later known as Paul–the same Paul who became a life-and-safety sacrificing witness and missionary for the very religion he sought to destroy; the same Paul who wrote a large part of Christian scripture.

How did Saul the persecutor of Christians become Paul the Christian? Acts 9:1-9 describes it for us: While Saul traveled toward Damascus, Jesus showed up with a flash of light and radically changed the radical’s life.

Saul wasn’t looking for salvation. He thought he had it all figured out. He thought followers of Jesus were a threat that needed to be wiped out. He thought Jesus was simply a man who died on a cross. Then he met Jesus, the resurrected man who is also God the Son, and received his grace.

Paul’s story reminds us that this side of death and eternity, no one in the world is out of the reach of the God’s saving grace offered in Christ. Not you, not me, not your mean neighbor, not your crass coworker, not the bully, not the maligned politician, not the terrorist.

This is why the call of Jesus is to go and make disciples of all nations. The church, as a whole, is to strive to take the gospel into every corner of the earth and share Jesus with anyone who will listen. Sometimes that means the nice couple next door who smiles and waves every time they see you, and sometimes that means the person who would love to kill you for your faith if they had the chance.

God offers grace to all, but they will only know it if God’s people will share. Don’t be afraid of the Sauls, as they very well may become the Pauls.

April is for PIE

We’re declaring April to be PIE Month! In 2017, we talked about “gospel conversations” and how we can share Jesus in our day to day lives. PIE Month helps us keep those ideas forefront in our hearts and minds.

PIE stands for: Pray, Invite, and Explain. And I want to issue you three challenges for the month of April. First, pray each day for at least one person you know who does not know Jesus. If you want to pray for more than one person, that is great, too. But let’s each think of at least one name—one person we personally know who needs to experience the grace and love of God, and let’s commit to pray for them each day.

Second, invite at least one person or family to church each Sunday of the month. The vast majority of people get involved with a church because someone they know invited them. We all have friends, family members, neighbors, classmates, or coworkers who are not actively engaged in any church. Invite them to our church. The worst they can do is say no, the best thing that could happen is that they meet Jesus and develop a deep love for him. Easter is the perfect time to invite someone, too.

Third, explain the gospel and/or your testimony of following Jesus to at least one person during the month of April. Jesus is the only way anyone can be right with God (John 14:6), and the way that someone is going to hear about Jesus is if someone else tells them (Romans 10:13-15). We have different tools available at the church to help you share the gospel with others, including The Life Book, The Story, and Three Circles. Just ask if you’re not sure where to find these tools.

And then at 6pm on April 29th, we will celebrate PIE Month with a pie fellowship—we will eat pie and you will have an opportunity to share about your experiences praying, inviting, and explaining. As you think about these things, might I also suggest that you pray the following prayer from Alvin Reid’s book Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out: “God, give me today an opportunity to speak to someone about Jesus, the wisdom to see it, and the courage to do it.”

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Sunday 10.22.17 (a loving and faithful witness)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and how we as followers of Jesus are to have a faithful and loving witness to those around us. Then, on Sunday evening, we’ll watch the second half of the documentary on Martin Luther in honor of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Luther documentary in church auditorium

Sermon Notes
A Faithful and Loving Witness ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

  • Our witness of words: Speak fearlessly of Jesus, no matter the consequences (2:1-4)
    • Be faithful, even if it brings suffering (2:1-2)
    • Remember that your first aim is to please God (2:3-4)
  • Our witness of love: Share with and invest in others like caring parents (2:5-8, 11-12)
    • We’re to be motivated by love, not pride or self-gain (2:5-6)
    • Provide in a gentle and caring way, be affectionate, and share your life (2:7-8)
    • Exhort and encourage, teaching others about righteousness and hope (2:11-12)
  • Our witness of character: Seek to be blameless in the way you live (2:9-10)
    • Put away that which offends and/or creates roadblocks to faith (2:9)
    • Put away sin and treat others in righteousness (2:10)

1 thessalonians

Songs for Worship
The Bond of Love
Here I Am to Worship
Meet with Me
Wonderful Words of life
Let Others See Jesus in You
I Surrender All

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