I made a commitment long ago to allow God veto power over my preaching, no matter how thoroughly I had prepared. On this particular Sunday, God used that power. As I prayed before the worship service, God began speaking to me about preaching something other than what I had prepared. Initially, I dismissed the Spirit's impression. But, it remained, and I heeded God's call. I had been praying through materials I have collected in a special prayer notebook that's all about me and my ministry. I had never shared much out of that notebook until this day. It contains prayers I've written, quotes I've collected, and Scripture God has used to give me direction along my path. In this message, I share a portion of that journey, recorded in that prayer notebook. I hope you'll be blessed. I don't know what agenda God was pursuing. I just know my part was to be faithful.
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After salvation and baptism, Jesus describes the church engaging a process with new believers that leaves them permanently possessing an understanding of what Jesus wants them to be and do. But, there's more. Jesus also describes enabling young believers to intentionally follow the life Jesus prepared for them. The church imparts and enables young believers by "teaching them to obey all I have commanded you." That means every believer must become a pupil of Jesus commands, an expert about Jesus' commands, a practitioner of Jesus' commands, and a promoter of Jesus' commands. When we practice this process in own life, we don't experience an event. Instead, we become part of a movement. Soon, we'll find ourselves making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.
Some Christians live like refugees in God’s Kingdom. Having escaped His wrath and the devil’s destruction, they enter God’s Kingdom by faith. Yet, they stop just across the border and settle into refugee living on the Kingdom’s fringes. They lose sight of the center of God’s Kingdom and forget that they were rescued to become children of the King. Spiritually; they live in tents, rather than in palaces.
Christians can’t love the world around them like God while they struggle for spiritual survival. They can’t lavish God’s love on others while unaware of what it’s like to live in God’s presence and power.
God loved the world by giving of Himself. He sacrifices for others. How are you and I doing it? We can spread God’s love to others by making sure that they hear of God’s love for them. We should tell and proclaim God’s love. God gives us the message of reconciliation. God transforms us to plead with others to respond to God’s love.
God transforms Christians to love the world the way God would. Transformation takes place deep in God’s Kingdom, not in refugee tents on the fringe. What does it mean to leave the refugee camp and live deep in the Kingdom? God’s transformation introduces us to evangelistic living, evangelistic hospitality, evangelistic conversations, and evangelistic invitations.
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1st Corinthians 1:4-9
Grace immeasurably transforms earthly life and immeasurably ensures eternal life. This amazing gift from God includes our salvation in eternity, but also transforms our earthly life. Some people settle for a cheap imitation of grace that promises only to affect their life after death, not before. Anyone who has received this cheap imitation should return it and acquire the real thing. We need to make sure that we check to see that we’ve gotten all the pieces of grace, not just assurance for eternity. Biblical grace is for every day, starting today.
The apostle Paul describes a grace that extends beyond salvation and totally enriches a person. He describes grace that, once it enters my daily life, influences others, too. When one reads Scripture honestly and clearly, he or she will discover that receiving grace only for eternal salvation is receiving grace in vain.
The immeasurable gift of grace encourages every believer every moment of every day. It totally changes living, not just dying. When it comes to grace, look beyond salvation into everyday life. You should find it there, too.
I love to preach and teach, and it's exciting to share God's Word with you here. I pray that you'll not only listen but do something different with life after encountering God.
I'd love to preach for your church family or speak at a special event, retreat, conference, or workshop. The buttons below explain what I can do and how to take the next steps. It's a privilege to encourage and challenge God's people.
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