Please take a read as I lay out the Purpose of our church. Plus come visit with us one Sunday. We would love to get more acquainted…
‘We exist to be a place where lost people are saved and saved people grow into fully devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ’
Knowing Why We Are Here is important. Why is that? It gives us a focus. We are not just aimless and floating along. We are going somewhere. We are about something. We are God’s people and we want to do God’s work in God’s way.
- We exist to be a place (A safe, loving, accepting, relaxed, open, friendly, forgiving place. The place is not so important as the attitude of the people (you and me) who are at that place – it could be an upper room, at the river’s edge, out in public, or in a facility together like we are today.)
- Where (what place) did Jesus do ministry? On the hillsides near the Sea of Galilee. At the meals and in the homes of tax collectors & Pharisees. In the temple area.
- Where did Paul, Peter, John and the others do ministry? In upper rooms, in marketplaces, in homes, jails, government buildings (with Festus, Herod Agrippa). Remember the scripture that says ‘the place where they had gathered together was shaken’ (Acts 4:31) The early church met in the temple courts and house to house (Acts 2:46.47) The place we gather does not have to be elaborate. It just needs to work for us.
- We need to think of ourselves as a rest area, a hospital, a place to encourage, recharge and be refreshed. The building we meet in does not provide those things. It is the Holy Spirit who does those things in the hearts of people. He brings rest and peace and liberty and breakthroughs to and through us.
- Where lost people(You and I once were in the shoes of being a ‘lost person’. There are people all around us in that ‘lost’ boat who need acceptance, love and someone to talk to).
- Remember the words of the hymn, “Amazing Grace”, ‘I once was lost but now I’m found’(like the words of the father in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:24),
- Or of the man that Jesus healed who had been blind from birth, ‘Though I was blind now I see’ (See John 9:25). Remember the scripture (in Luke 4: 17 – 22 – which quoted Isaiah 61: 1,2) that Jesus read when he began his public ministry. He was laying out what His priorities would be.
- We want to have open hearts, open arms, to be friendly and inviting. There are people that you bump into in your daily life who have no idea they are blind. They have no idea they are lost. It may be a life of misery, or of regular drunkenness, or crime, but it is the life they are living. They don’t realize it but they are slaves of sin, are in a cycle of repetitive sin. Sin comes naturally to them. It is all they are used to. They may feel a tinge of guilt for what they do, but it’s what they are used to so why change?
- You and I are exhorted in scripture to pray that God will convict them of sin, soften their hearts, open their minds, make them dissatisfied with their behavior, and show them their need for something more than satisfying their fleshly desires.
- Are saved (Saved from something and saved to something). Who does the saving? God does. What does He save us from? From death, misery, and the punishment we deserved for the sin in our lives. When He saved us He transferred us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son. He delivered us from chains. He opened prison doors. He sets the captives free. He drew us out of the precipice; He pulled us out of the dungeon. He threw us a life line when we were sinking in turbulent waters. Here are some Scripture verses that tell us some specific things about being saved: John 3:17, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9.
- And saved people grow (Remember Colossians 2:7,8) Also see Ephesians 4:15 and 2 Peter 3:18) The Lord wants to transform us, change us, renew us, grow us, give us a fresh perspective, and open our eyes to have a meaningful relationship with Him. He plants the seed in our lives, cultivates the soil, waters us, and is patient with us as we grow.
- Spiritual growth is a process. We do not instantly arrive at spiritual maturity. It takes time. It takes us cooperating with the Holy Spirit, or as I have said before ‘cooperating with the gardener’. As we surrender our words, our attitudes, our reactions, our thoughts to Him, He then begins to change us.
- Remember too that we are His disciples. He is our master, our Lord. We need to surrender from insisting on doing our own will and always being in charge. Instead we let Him have His way in our lives. He begins to bend our wills to do as He wishes in a situation and not as we would do.
- We grow as we are fed by the Holy Spirit and His Word. We also grow by giving and reaching out to others. We grow as we ‘fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. We don’t grow by focusing on ourselves or our problems.
- Into fully devoted followers of. What is a fully devoted follower? Here is another way of saying it…We are fully surrendered disciples whose goal is to do the will of our master. There is that ‘surrender thing’ again. To be fully devoted to something means to give your time, energy and commitment to this thing. In our case we are committed devoted to follow, walk with, obey, and serve Jesus.
- That means that I am willing to let someone else (God) lead us step by step through the ins and outs of my daily life. As I do this, I realize that my life is not just about me and my personal happiness. I begin to realize that my life’s purpose is to live for Him, to share His life and the living water with others so they may also have a drink and be changed.
- You and I are learners, not experts, and we have not arrived. We are like clay in the hands of the potter, able to be molded and shaped.
- As I walk day by day with Him I realize that I can trust Him, and can pour out my heart to Him. I realize that He will take care of me. As I am liberated from having to focus on myself, then I am free to share the love, to be the light, to be the salt in the situations when I touch the lives of other people. Here are some Scripture passages that talk about the Lordship of Christ (1 Cor 8:6, Gal 2:20, Phil 3:8)
- The Lord Jesus Christ (Either He is Lord of my life or He isn’t)” I am not following me, not a religion that men concocted, a rabbit trail. I am following the way, the truth and the life, the good shepherd, the great I Am, the author and finisher of my faith, God’s one and only Begotten Son, the Alpha and the Omega, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, the Almighty God. I am very comfortable doing that. In Him alone is life, liberty, freedom, a future, and a safe hope. In Him is everything I could possibly need. Praise God! Scripture reference (Col 2:6)