Monday, May 24, 2010

Foundation for Forward Movement on Mission with Jesus

The following article was written for our church's newsletter this week:

We have just completed a series of messages to help us re-connect to the vision that Jesus has established in His Word for us as a church under His lordship and leadership.

We journeyed through several passages of scriptures discovering the biblical picture of a disciple’s lifestyle that will bring clarity and focus and intention to our disciple-making process as a church.

We came away understanding these three truths:
  • A disciple is someone who loves Jesus expressing that love in personal, corporate, & family worship.
  • A disciple is someone who loves one another in community with other disciples through service and sacrifice.
  • A disciple is someone who loves his/her neighbor actively and intentionally to demonstrate the gospel.
All of these messages lay the foundation for us as we re-connect to Jesus’ vision for us and re-establish our commitment to Jesus’ vision in beginning a process and a journey together moving toward being a healthy church on mission with Jesus to have high-impact ministry in our community as a movement of the kingdom of God unto all nations.

We desire that all our members and regular attenders be…
  • ·         Established & growing in their love for Jesus
  • ·         Engaged in meaningful & significant relationships r
  • ·         Equipped for ministry inside & outside the church family
  • ·         Empowered for a missional lifestyle to
Remember, this is a process; it will take time to listen to the Holy Spirit in order to develop a simple, biblical, Jesus-honoring, Holy Spirit given, strategic discipleship process with opportunities for growth in all these areas for all our members. We want to invest our time, energy, and resources in that which will be most effective for helping all our members grow as we become a disciple-making missional community of believers for the nations unto the glory of God beginning right here in Thomasville. This will take lots of prayer and a desperate cry from God’s people for the Holy Spirit of God to guide us and direct us and stir us and lay out the path for us.

I want to challenge each of us to pray daily for God’s Spirit to blow a fresh wind among us, to produce in all of us a passion for Jesus, for us to have a broken & compassionate heart for the hurting in our community, for us to always keep the gospel of Jesus the main thing, and for God’s Spirit to show up every time we meet together. Pray, pray, pray…

Monday, May 10, 2010

Forerunner Article for May 10, 2010

I have been reading a book by a Chinese pastor named Watchman Nee entitled Love Not the World.
His primary purpose in the book is to expound upon 1 John 2:15-17, which says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

World here does not refer to people who inhabit the earth, but to the organized system of thoughts, impulses, philosophies,  and worldviews that lie under the sway of Satan at the present time in history that are hostile and antagonistic toward God, His people, and the advance of the gospel.

Here are a couple of quotable insights from my reading.

“The church glorifies God, not by getting out of the world, but by radiating his light in it”

“If our life is the life of men, we are swayed by the world. If it is the life of the spirit, it is unmoved by worldly pressures.”

We, as Christians, have been called to live lives of distinction within a world system that hates Jesus. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Because of who we are in Christ, we are salt and light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We must be careful that this call to distinctiveness does not become a judgmental mentality that screams to those who are caught up and ensnared in the world, “we are better than you.” By living lives of distinctiveness, we desire to influence and impact those points of the world system we come in contact with by radiating the light of the gospel at that point wherever we are.

We come in contact with the world system daily; that is not optional. Our response to the pressure placed upon us as Christians is determined by the “life of the Spirit” within us.

What kind of pressures is the world system placing upon you right now? In what ways can we cultivate the life of the Spirit so that we might not give in to the pressure?

Godspeed to us all as we live as sojourners and pilgrims on this earth making an impact for the gospel!

In the Grip of His Grace,
Pastor Michael

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lord's Day #6 - "The Good News We Almost Forgot"

Read this from Kevin DeYoung this morning:

"There is nothing more important in Christian theology than our theology of the cross. We must speak clearly that the heart of the gospel is the good news of divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. Never compromise on the cross. Never dilute the message of the cross."

That is good stuff.

Galatians 6:14 comes to mind.