Friday, May 16, 2014

The message heard and the preacher ready

On average a person hears or uses 7,000 to 20,000 words a day. Women speak more then men in general, and we listen to lots of words throughout the week. Lots of messages. Some are brief, called micro bites, while others can be classified as lectures. All in all, there is a sending and a receiving of words back and forth. The question is, "for what?" What is about to be said important enough for you to hear? What is about to be heard important enough to be said?
One of the holy duties of a Christian Church, that claims to be a collection of believers, saved by God's grace, sent into culture is to make more disciples (followers) of Jesus.  To preach God's word. That means to preach Jesus. To make available the gospel message to a hearing audience that will be ready to listen and believe. It requires a preacher, and a gathering of people who anticipate God's word to be spoken. Many churches today, make light of preaching God's word, and gather more for conversations and showmanship, then to make themselves available to be spoken too by God's authoritative word, the Bible. Perhaps this is what is at stake in the church in America; the absence of sound doctrine and preaching from the Bible. When God opens the mouth of His preachers, the audience should be in turn ready to hear it. Both preacher and gathering in the ready for God to speak. The attached blog article from Dr. Albert Mohler is a wonderful and biblical example of God advancing His mission in the proclamation of His word being preached and the church gathering for it. Enjoy the article and seek to be in a church that makes much of Jesus in the preaching of God's word regularly. http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/05/16/so-peter-opened-his-mouth-the-preachers-calling-reduced-to-five-powerful-words/?utm_source=Albert+Mohler&utm_campaign=88a7ded68f-Albert_Mohler_Email_June_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b041ba0d12-88a7ded68f-308025425

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sermon Series in 1 and 2 Thessalonians

So this week at Elevation Church (www.el-church.com), I opened up the letters to the church at Thessalonica. I am approaching the letter both in its context and mine. I want to ask the question that many ask from time to time; How Can I Be Sure? The topics that flow from this question are things like, beliefs, purpose, approval, love, service, Christ's return, the church, and the power of God. The assurance we can have from being a disciple of Jesus is compelling for our lives, and contagious for our culture. There certainly is much to learn in life, and living to be a disciple of Jesus calls me to be learner of God. This will take a lifetime, and yet questions about assurances don't have to be confusing, complicated, and convoluted with uncertainty.
Thankfully we have an example. Jesus claims to be the way, the truth, and the life of every disciple.
Striking to me is the 1st century scene with Paul rolling up into Thessalonica, with Silas and Timothy to testify about the truth of Jesus being the Christ (Messiah). This radical message not only called forth more disciples in the city of Thessalonica, but even resistance from others who were content on their perceived worldview to be right side up. Acts 17:6b, "these men who have turned the world upside down have come here also." That is to say, the message rooted in belief of the gospel, was so needed in the culture, that it was perceived to be wrong side up. The truth, however, was Paul's message in the gospel of Jesus would be the very thing that would turn the hearts of people right side up. Just the way God had ordained it since the creation of the world.
How Can I Be Sure? is a valid question and one worth dialog and discovery. I hope to shed the light of the gospel that the Apostle Paul used in the early church, to make disciples, and then share the gospel with the culture and how God is still making disciples in the 21st century church. Having an assurance of my faith in Jesus Christ brings clarity to my faith, comfort in a world that falls short of security, and hope for the future of God's promises and his will. Please download the sermons from our website. I hope that it will help you answer the question, How Can I Be Sure?