Sunday, April 28, 2013
“Follow me...” - Jesus
It’s simple. Jesus is looking for disciples. People who are willing to follow, listen, and obey. Making disciples is the heartbeat of the church. Christ was crystal clear about His Great Commission for us in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
As a church, we have a big job that we need to take seriously. According to the Great Commission we must be about the business of making disciples and teaching people to keep all the commands of Christ. A couple of years ago as a church we set out to see what it meant to be a modern day disciple of Jesus. I dug in the Word and met with the pastors, staff, and leadership team as well as a wide variety of individuals from our church family to get to the heart of what it meant to follow Jesus.
There were eight principles that kept coming up again and again in our talks and study, and it wasn’t good enough just to know about these eight principles of discipleship, we needed to be active in each of these as we followed Christ. So the name of our discipleship study became Activ8 and I look forward to sharing each of the eight principles with you in the weeks to follow.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8, 9
In his book Transforming Grace, Jerry Bridges talks about the two different kinds of bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 11.
Chapter 11 is a temporary financial reorganization that keeps a company’s creditors at bay until it can get back on its feet financially. Chapter 7 is a total and complete erasure of all debts, with no further requirement to repay, nearly always leading to the dissolution of the company.
Whats the comparison to the Christian life? Grace is a Chapter 7 experience, but many believers treat it like Chapter 11. We make the mistake of thinking that the mercy received at salvation is a temporary reorganization of the mess we have made with our lives, providing relief only until were able to live in the strength of our own goodness.
That’s not how it works. We’re saved by grace and we live by grace. The same grace. It comes through faith, and this not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. We live the Christian life the same way we begin it: by grace.
For this reason, rather than promising again and again to do that which we are incapable of doing, it’s better to start each morning with a simple prayer, requesting that the same grace which saved us will sustain us throughout the day, so that by this grace we may grow closer to Jesus in all we do.