Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Power of Small

Jesus was able to attract large crowds.  Some of the crowds probably reached 10,000 plus.  People would come from miles around just to hear his message.  I've been reading about some of the great influencers in the Christian faith.  Charles Finney, Dwight L Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham are some of the greatest evangelists the world has ever seen.  They attracted thousands and even millions to come and hear their message of the saving power of Jesus Christ.  What they accomplished for the Kingdom of God is staggering.  However, throughout the last 2000 years of Church history, it is the small group that has shown the greatest power.

Jesus spent his most intimate and powerful teaching times with a small group of disciples.  We learn in the Gospels that as he taught his disciples he gave them opportunities to live what he taught them.  He sent out the twelve and later the 72 in order to prepare the way for his teaching.  When the small group applies the teachings of their leader powerful things occur and more people are touched with the gospel than when one person does all the preaching.  Exponential things only happen when those being taught are obedient to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).

We will soon be offering a way for our Sunday School classes to live what they have been learning.  It is time that we send our learners out to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  S4 Outreach is built upon the call of 2 Timothy 2:2 and the power of the exponent.  It stands for Super-Size Sunday School.  You will be learning a lot more concerning this over the next couple of weeks.  We are working on our schedule so that this is a priority and at a time that is convenient for our people and a time when we will find people home.  Be in prayer and remember “how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14, ESV)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Your Welcome!

Barnabus was the greatest example in the New Testament of trying to make a guest feel welcome. He did not judge, he only loved. When Saul showed up and tried to participate in the local body of believers everyone ran in fear except Barnabus. Barnabus believed that God could change anyone through Jesus Christ and Saul was no different. Not only did he take him under his wing and help him gain the trust of other believers, he discipled him into a fully dedicated and equipped follower of Jesus Christ. They soon became partners and they changed the history of the world as they went and planted churches in strategic cities throughout the Roman Empire. I wonder what would have happened with Paul if he did find the open arms of a fellow believer in Christ?

One of the greatest responsibility of ministries we have as a church is to welcome those who come to Eastern Heights searching for the will of God. Whether a guest comes in search of a Savior or just in search of a loving body of Christ in which to participate in the Kingdom, we must be those who welcome them with open arms. It is the responsibility of every member of our church to help guests feel welcome. In many cases one negative exchange with a church member can alter the journey of faith in that guest.

Sunday we had a guest come in and found the open arms of a church member who had a Barnabus spirit. He showed him around and introduced him to me and many church members. He walked with him into the sanctuary and even sat with him through worship. This guest could not wait to see me after church and inform me that he would be back with his family. I believe that his positive experience Sunday morning was because one member went out of his way to make him feel welcome. What can you do this Sunday to help our guests feel welcome?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Growing the Hard Way

Keep on Running

The game of chase got very difficult at my house a few days ago. I got really good at using the Christmas tree while being chased as a way to lose Abel and Ruby. They would think that I was just on the other side of the tree so they would keep running in circles while I had ducked and hid in another room. Now I must learn a new strategy or I may never have an opportunity to stop running. A good hiding place means a chance to catch my breath.

Many Christians do the same thing with Jesus. They run with him for awhile and then try to lose him so they can stop and take a break. The start of the New Year brings many new commitments. It is a great time to not only be more disciplined in areas of health, but to be more disciplined in the things of God. Be careful not to start the race and fail to finish. Paul called us to run with endurance. He also told us not to just finish the race but to run as to win.

Let us make sure that we do not find ourselves hiding from God like Jonah. When God’s calling was too hard and did not fit with his desires he tried to lose God. God, however, loved Jonah enough to chase him down and give him the opportunity to repent. When we run from God there is never an opportunity to catch our breath and you are definitely not going to lose Him. There is not a tree big enough to allow us to slip away unnoticed.

God Provides

God provides in many different ways. I have been reading Ezra as part of my daily devotional time.     Ezra leads the people of Israel out o...