Every one of us experiences disruption in our lives, and we often wonder where God is, what He is doing, and how we should respond. This week we will look at how Ruth responded to her disruption and how God worked in her response. We cannot get stuck in disruption. We need to get up and do the right thing and then watch as God works out His big picture.
We are challenging our people to be on a mission to reach one person for Jesus, but the truth is that this whole concept can be very intimidating for most people. So many questions arise. Where do we even start? Do I know the right thing to say? The bible often illustrates farming and cultivation to teach us about spiritual truths, and what if these illustrations helped us change the way we think about evangelism. When seeds are planted and cultivated, they are in a process of growth and transformation, and it is the same with us as we engage our one. We are working with God to plant spiritual seeds in our one’s life, but it is God who makes things grow.
We live in a time where we love to put labels on things. Once we label someone or something, it becomes easy not to see the individual. Removing labels allows us to see individuals with inherent worth and will enable us to become peacemakers. Jesus does not look at us with labels but desires to reconcile us to Himself and each other because of His work on the cross.
In order to have peace in our world, and to become the peacemakers we are called to be, we must have peace within and peace with God.
We are going to experience storms in our lives but how should we respond to them. It is so easy to let fear overwhelm us but in the middle of a storm but God has provided us with a way out. We are to respond to the storms of life with faith that Jesus is with us in the storm, he has authority over the storm, and will bring us through the storms of life.
Life can be a bully sometimes and we don’t always feel we have a protector but God is our protector. We will find God as our Protector when we seek his leadership and wait for his deliverance. We can respond in worship as we realize that God is our Protector.
In John 12:23-26 Jesus states that if we love our life here we will miss true life, but if we hate our life here we will have eternal life. Jesus calls us to “die to ourselves” and we do this by a lifestyle of surrender to living for ourselves. You must die to our desire to live for ourselves and surrender our lives to live for God so we can experience His life. This message will set us up for embracing the disciplines of Lent.
Much of following Jesus is asking, “What is the next right move?” Every day we are faced with decisions. Some are mundane and seemingly ordinary and others are difficult that can change the course of our lives and those around us like Joseph’s. The problem for many of us is not that we don’t know what to do or what God is calling us to do, but an unwillingness to step into that place, into that unknown because of what it will cost us. In Joseph, we see someone who risked his reputation, standing in the community and financial stability to marry Mary and be a father to Jesus because God told him to. What if this Christmas, as we looked towards 2020, what if we stopped asking God to show us a sign and did what we know he has called us to?
After we work through all the questions of the skeptics and doubters, we come to his final matter. Jesus claimed to be God. There is verifiable evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. So either Jesus is a liar and an incredible trickster, or just plain crazy, or he is who he said he is.
His life, his teaching, and the evidence most powerfully lead to the fact that Jesus is who he says he is – God who came in human flesh. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our living hope.
God uses people to help us change to be more like Jesus. Community and Connection with others are essential to grow in our faith and to lead us to change.
We have a mandate on our lives to be changed to become more like Jesus and to reflect Jesus in our lives. When we experience true Christian connection and community it can be a catalyst to make us more like Jesus.