I had the opportunity to preach in February at The Seacoast Vineyard in Myrtle Beach . Here is the video of the service. Let me know your thoughts and questions.
I am sure the churches you are part of never face conflicts, divisions, or confusion. Well, the ones I have been a part of sure have some of these challenges.
I believe Jesus is not surprised when the church he is building encounters and creates problems. I also believe the Spirit placed some hope for how to move through these problems.
Here is a sermon where I attempt to look at First Corinthians as a guide given by Paul, the church planter, to a church now four years old and struggling with painful divisions and struggles.
There is HOPE. But like going to a doctor when we are in pain the path of healing requires getting beyond the symptoms to the root cause and then addressing this source.
I WOULD WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
Jerome Daley is my life coach. He trained and certified me in life coaching in 2012. We have become good friends and here is my response to his most recent blog .
Dear Jerome, I often hold anything from you until I have time to read it slowly and savor it. Your post on Gentle was a refreshing moment with Jesus this morning. Thank you.
My new thought was to take 1 Cor 13:4-8 — here they are from the Message
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,
”Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,But keeps going to the end.8-10
Love never dies.
The new thought for me was to reflect on how God loves me — He models and gives this kind of love to me…. Enduring, humble, not keeping score on my sins, doesn’t play win/lose, takes all my rejection and betrayals with my idols, sees me in my best — dressed in Jesus righteousness, doesn’t drag my past up to me, keeps nudging me ahead to the end goal for the reward he has for me — Life. I need to receive His love for me every day.
I am going to share the daily examen you shared by pdf with a coaching client I will meet via video chat at 30 minutes. Better get off and get ready — what a gift you are to me.
I just returned from spending most of August overseas with Pandora. We served the church in the North Africa region working with children, youth and adults from Egypt and Sudan.
We experienced delay on our flights home that resulted with arriving in Myrtle Beach a day late. Just a few days later I left for Tennessee to assist my parents who are living in daily uncertainty in a nursing home. Near the end of the visit news of hurricane Florence came out and I rushed home (8 hour drive) to help Pandora prepare our home for the storm. Now we are evacuated with our two dogs to be sit out the storm with our family in Columbia.
I struggle with uncertainty and not being sure when we will be back on a normal schedule for a few days. And yet I just came from a region of the world where everyone I walked with lived with much greater uncertainty than I ever encounter.
Some live in a war zone and hate to hear a gunshot or a plane fly overhead.
Some live in an area of contamination of the water and a shortage of food.
Many live with only have a paying job one day at a time.
Everyone lived with currency devaluation and extreme price increases. It is not unusual for prices to go up 3 to 4x the starting price in less than a year.
And yet — they sing. They worship. They serve with great energy and passion. They keep moving forward with the Gospel. They are filled with joy and peace most of the time. They struggle but do not focus on it. They expect this life to be a struggle and live for the hope in Christ.
UNCERTAINTY HUMBLES ME — AND I FIND MOST OF THE TIME I STRUGGLE WITH BENDING MY KNEES AND TRUSTING IN MY GOD. THANK GOD FOR HIS MERCY!
In June I celebrated the 46 year anniversary since my spiritual birth which God did at a conference of 85,000 people in Dallas TX — known as Explo 72.
I will use my story to seek to underline the ESSENTIAL and SIMPLE core of making disciples. How did God take a teen who thought he was a Christian because he occasionally attended a church and change his life forever?
#1 — Bud and Peggy Pettigrew acted on what seemed like a good idea at the time to help the youth group in the church they attended in Tennessee, raise funds to go to a conference in Texas. Out of that conference several of us became Christians and gave our lives to Jesus to “Come Help Change the World”.
#2 — About a month later two young adults, Esther Cowan and Billy McCoy, made a 2 hour drive to encourage us with the Bible and prayer to go to a follow up conference for those who had attended Explo. Several of the youth and leaders went and many of us began a consistent daily journey of walking with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I will stop here with these two examples. As I have been giving thanks over what happened 46 years ago there are many, many more stories.
How do these actions focus us on the ESSENTIAL CORE of making disciples?
People who were Jesus followers:
- Were aware God had entrusted them with some life changing truth in Jesus.
- Opened letters and read about an opportunity to give what God had entrusted with them.
- A letter sent in 1971 described a conference in Dallas and it became a dream, a goal burning in Bud and Peggy’s heart.
- A letter sent in June 1972, right after the conference, contained the addresses of some of the Explo attendees. It was delivered to the Campus Crusade workers asking them to make a visit.
- Stepped out by faith, invested some of their time taking what God had given to them, and offered it to us.
- Filled with the love of Jesus, they planted seeds into the soil of others’ hearts.
- God gave the growth!
Let’s not make disciple making too complex. Here are some questions to revisit continually as you go through a day.
What has God entrusted to me? What can I say, “I cannot imagine facing life without this grace, this truth, THIS life I have received through Jesus.” NAME some of the specific blessings.
What is God doing around me right now? What hearts has God given me some access to, some influence over, some opportunity, so I may offer to share what has given me life.
Ask God for the faith to step over any fear, the hope to endure, and the love of generous sacrifice to sow the seed.
Know that your God will give the growth.
You may or may not get to see the fruit that comes from your seed but sow it anyway.
It may not seem to be warmly valued and received in the moment but sow it anyway.
You may feel very uncertain where this step will lead to tomorrow but sow it anyway.
You may feel unqualified, and can think of others who would be better suited for the task, but sow it anyway.
SOW THE SEED GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU AND LET HIM GIVE THE GROWTH!
It is a glorious freeing, joyful and scary way to live but you will see the final result of the work of God, that included your small seed, when you are with Jesus.
I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.
The life as a Jesus follower is a journey from being declared with right standing before God to experiencing the reality of our new identity in Christ. Anxiety about the past failures, or the future unknowns, fear of the present challenges, a sense of weakness and uncertainty are all rooted in a lack of living in our identity in Christ.
Suggestion: CLICK HERE AND DOWNLOAD A PDF. This is a list of statements and Bible passages on Who We Are In Christ by John Stumbo. Take the first statement. Read the passage 3 times very slowly. Then, in your journal record your answer to this question. “If this truth was guiding my life today how would I see differently?”
Let me know your thoughts. Let’s live out of what we believe in 2018!
Life is living out our design to love God and others. BUT — this is not the love of our culture. The Spirit’s work in you is always to make you a Jesus-like lover!
“Love is the key.
Joy is love singing.
Peace is love resting.
Patience is love enduring.
Kindness is love’s touch.
Goodness is love’s character.
Faithfulness is love’s habit.
Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness.
Self–control is love holding the reins.”
~ By Barnhouse