Monthly Archives: June 2015

Investing In Others

READ 1 CORINTHIANS 1:17

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

 

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to emphasize that it is God’s divine power through the gospel, not his personal “wisdom and eloquence,” that made an impact in people’s lives. Sharing the good news of Jesus can be intimidating, but we need to remember that God’s transforming power is what makes the difference, not our words. In fact, God has placed each of us uniquely to reach people for His glory, and we can have a world-changing impact by being faithful in doing our part to reach others (pray, invest, and invite).

 

REFLECTION
As we close out the “As You Go” series, what is your most important take away? How are you praying differently about the non-Christians in your life? How are you investing differently? What are you inviting people to?

 

PRAY
Continue to pray for your two for ten each day. Ask God to bring about transformation in their lives and provide opportunities for you to invest in and invite them.

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Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

READ 1 CORINTHIANS 9:19-23

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

 

In these verses, we read a powerful testimony from the Apostle Paul. We see his urgency to share the good news of Jesus with everyone, regardless of his or her place in society or religious background. Paul had a powerful transformational experience with Jesus (Acts 9) and was willing to go to great lengths to make sure everyone had the same opportunity.

 

REFLECTION
What do you experience as you read these words from Paul? Are you willing to overcome discomfort to pray for, invest in, and invite people who are different than you? If you could translate Paul’s words to reflect the world around you, what would you say?

 

PRAY
As you continue to pray for your two for ten this week, ask God to help you step outside your comfort zone so that “some might be saved.”

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Courage To Take the Next Step

RE-READ MATTHEW 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

We’ve read these same verses the last three Mondays. If we are striving to follow Jesus, these words should remind us daily of his mission for us. As Pastor BJ shared this weekend, the point is that God loves all people and desires that they would come to him. The way that God intends for that to happen is for us to “go.”

 

REFLECTION
Take a minute to sit quietly and reflect on what the Holy Spirit has been saying to you throughout this series. Have you made steps toward “go”-ing? If not, what fears, questions, or doubts are holding you back? If you have made movement, what is the next step?

 

PRAYER
As you continue to pray for your two for ten this week, ask God to give you the strength and courage to take the next step.

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Listening To Their Story

READ EPHESIANS 2:4-9

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

As we think about inviting our two for ten, it is important for us to remember what we are inviting them to. We need to remember that we were separated from God. We also need to remember that because of his grace given to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have life in him. In other words, all of our stories begin the same way, but we know what the transforming power of Jesus can do to those stories. We need to be careful not to forget that we are inviting people to the same forgiveness, restoration, and life we have experienced personally.

 

REFLECTION
As we remember our story, it is important that we learn to listen to the stories of those we are investing in. We need to understand who they are and what led them to that place. We need to earn the right, not through manipulation, but through loving them to speak into their story. How have you experienced this personally? How have you genuinely listened to someone else’s story?

 

PRAY
As you begin to pray for your two for ten this week, ask God to give you opportunities to listen to and love those you are investing in.

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Investing In Others

READ LUKE 9:1-2

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

At face value, it seems very natural for Jesus to send his disciples out. However, the reality is that the disciples did not exactly seem prepared for this task. They often misunderstood Jesus and at times did not appear to trust him. They were far from being Jesus clones, and yet Jesus sent them. Truthfully, there are times we feel underequipped or unprepared to share God’s story and the way it has intersected our story. However, just as Jesus sent his disciples, he sends us to invest in others so that we can invite them into a journey of faith. Often this invitation comes in the form of sharing who God is and what he has done in our lives.

 

REFLECTION
How has God impacted your story? What keeps you from sharing that? We are asking everyone at First Christian Church to invest in, pray for, and invite two individuals or families. How are you beginning to invest in your two for ten? Have you seen God working through that investment already?

 

PRAY
As you begin to pray for your two for ten this week, ask God to give you opportunities to invest in them and share God’s story and your story.

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Transforming Lives

RE-READ MATTHEW 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

These were Jesus’ final instructions to the eleven men who followed him during the three years of his ministry. Shortly after Jesus spoke these words, he was taken up into Heaven, leaving his followers to carry out the mission of telling the world what he was all about. As we talked about last week, the word “go” is a command and a participle. It’s something we are instructed to do. It’s not a one time thing; it’s ongoing. In other words, these words weren’t only for Jesus’ disciples, they are for all of us who follow him.

 

REFLECTION
Many of us “know” what Jesus has asked of us, but it is very easy to “know” and not “go.” What we often forget is that it is his job to transform the lives of people, not ours. Our job is to invite, or as we talked about this weekend, to pray for, invest in, and invite. Who invited you into a relationship with Jesus? How did they do that? Looking back on your journey so far, who have you invited? How did this weekend’s sermon change the way you think about “going?”

 

PRAYER
As you begin to pray for your two for ten this week, ask God to bring about transformation in their lives and to give you courage to invest and invite them.

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Pray, Invest, & Invite

READ 1 PETER 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Your story matters. We are so excited about what God is doing in and through the ministries of the church, but our greatest resource for seeing people become followers of Jesus Christ is YOU. As you invest in the lives of others, be prepared to share the good news of Jesus and how He has restored you.


REFLECTION
This coming weekend, we will be asking you to commit to pray for, invest in, and invite two people (or families) in the coming year. If we all do this, God could use that to impact 3,000 lives in the Decatur area.


PRAY
Begin praying for your two for ten, that God would bring about transformation in their lives and use His story and your story to impact their story.

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Change Our Lives

READ 1 PETER 3:8-9

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Jesus’ disciple Peter wrote these words to remind Christians in Asia Minor that the way they lived their lives mattered. We need to take these words to heart. While our words are important when it comes to making disciples, our actions are often more important. Peter encouraged his audience to conform their minds to Jesus, to care for one another, and love one another no matter what.

 

REFLECTION
As you think about what it means for you to “go” into every aspect of your life, what is your life saying to those around you? What needs to change?


PRAY

As you pray about your two for ten this week, ask God to bring about change in your life so that your life would speak His good news clearly.

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A Heart for Making Disciples

READ MATTHEW 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The word “go” is a command. It requires movement. Not just one time in one situation, but over and over again in every aspect of our lives. Our work, study, play, time with family and friends, and even running errands are all opportunities to make disciples.


REFLECTION

What areas of your life are you “go”-ing into? What areas do you need to think differently about when it comes to making disciples?


PRAYER

As you pray about your two for ten this week, ask God to give you a heart for making disciples in every aspect of your life.

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