Sunday, October 28, 2018

Me to We

"We are called to build bridges and tear down walls; we are not called to put up fences." --JB

Continuing the study in the Gospel of Mark we see that the disciples are selfish, always about self and missing what Christ wants from them as a group.

"They had argued about who was the greatest."  Mark 9:34

The disciples desired that Jesus would put a stop to one outside their circle who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  --We are greater mentality.  A fence.

Jesus said, "Whoever is not against us is for us." (v. 40)

Those who are not part of our group surely cannot be right.  No,
All born-again followers of Christ are members of the Body of Christ.

 "Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." --Jesus, Mark 10:44

The overzealous spirit wants to distinguish itself, puts its own agenda ahead of what Christ wants done.
"People just do what comes naturally."  --Dennis Kinlaw

There is something we MUST grasp:  We are called to DO together.
When we are for the self we are missing what Christ has for us:  To build the Church.

For the disciples the Shift from Me to We occurred at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them. 
Too many people like the idea of following Jesus, but are not loyal to each other.
We are to be bonded to each other in Christ. 
"To belong is as important as to be."  --JB


  "This is my command: Love each other." --Jesus (John 15:17)

Action plan
     1.  Get involved in small group; connect with the Body of Christ more than once a week
     2.  Become a member so you can be more actively involved.
     3.  Find a way to serve along side the brothers and sisters.
     4.  Pray that God will send us people who are not like us and that He will send us out to people who are not like us.
     5.  Commit to a weekly time of worship with the group.
     6.  Submit to the authority of the Church.
     7.  Spend a significant amount of time praying for the needs of others.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
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"It is places of crisis and community where God will work a change in you."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sheep to Shepherd

 "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.”   --Jesus the Christ

God calls us out of our comfort zone, calls us to lead.

We first become followers of Christ, we learn to feed on His Word, then He calls us to come alongside others.

The scripture is Matthew 28:18-20 in which Christ commissions his followers to become leaders, to preach the gospel throughout the world.  Jesus has been given all authority and He transfers the authority to teach His saving gospel when he says "Go!"  This is accompanied by His promise to "Be with you unto the end of the age."

We share with others what Jesus has done for us; the Holy Spirit takes your testimony and works in the hearers' hearts.

"Being a shepherd is messy; it's hard work."

How to move from being a sheep to being a shepherd.
     1.  Seek:  pray that God would reveal those faces and names who need to hear.
     2.  Be willing to speak truth into lives when given the opportunity.
     3.  Shepherd:  be willing to walk alongside a new believer.

Jesus wants us to step out and pour into others.
Pastor Amanda Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ask to Listen

John 10:27  "My sheep hear my voice."
Isaiah 55:3  "Hear and your soul shall live."
Revelation 3:20  "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

Jesus wants us to hear Him.

When Stephen testified to the Sanhedrin they refused to hear him; Zechariah prophesied and the people refused to listen.  The Isralites wandered forty years in the desert because they refused to listen to the voice of God.

Today there are so many voices that we hear the Word preached over and over, and yet we do not hear the Word.  In the scripture lesson, Mark 4,  we read "listen" (v.3), "hear" (v.9) and "hear" (v,20)
Our capacity to listen is a measure of how good we are as disciples.

In the ninth chapter of Mark we read of Peter, James, and John, with Jesus on the mount when Christ is transfigured, revealed in his glory as God everlasting and there appears with them Moses and Elijah, the greatest prophets  of the faith who ever lived!  Yet stunned and terrified as the disciples were Peter interrupted and proposed the building of shrines.  Then spoke the Voice from Heaven and said, "Listen!" to My Son.
James 1:19  "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak. . ."

The call to listen is foundational and imperative for every disciple.   First and foremost as disciples we are called to hear every word!

Ours is a culture of asking questions.  We need to listen more.  When we are asking we want to "fix."  We need to have God's directions.   Take it in, soak it up.

When we ask we want to know; when we listen we understand God's control.  Force yourself to be still before God and listen.    "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14)

Shift from asking questions to listening to His voice.

How the Lord speaks.
     1.  Through His Word, the Holy Bible.
     2.  Through people.
     3.  Through situations.
(Anytime God speaks to you through people or situations, it will be verified in the Word.)
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Consumer to Steward

The scripture lesson is Mark 10:17-25 in which the rich man encountering Jesus tells the master how good he is then asks, "What more must I do?"  Jesus looks on him with love and compassion and tells him he must turn loose of everything and "follow me."  The man went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.  The saddest story in scriptue.

What kind of disciple are you?  Look at the way you handle your possessions.
What do you value most?  What if God asked you to surrender it?

No matter how many times we fail Jesus looks on us with love and compassion.  As with the rich man, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter, "Sell all, take up the cross, and follow me."  This is a Divine invitation to be a disciple:  "Walk this road with me!"  The man in the story went away sad because he had great wealth. 

"I wonder about us."
Jesus, do you really require that much?  "We have forgotten how radical is the call to follow Jesus."
Wealth can blind our moral sight and lead to spiritual bankruptcy.  If you are comfortable with the call to discipleship, you are not there.  The call will make you very uncomfortable.

God is demanding something incredible of you.

To be a steward is to manage someone else's property.  What we are given belongs to God.  We must handle them appropriately.
     1.  We are to steward our time.  We may be so concerned with "me time" that we miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
    2.  We are to steward our abilities.  Whatsoever talents we possess, spiritual or physical, we give to God.
    3.  We are to steward our physical and tangible resource.   Eternity will be empty and void if all you do is accumulate things.  You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer
    4.  We are to steward our Salvation. Must feed ourselves, get into the Word, read the Word in prayer.  Take responsibility for your spiritual health.

How do I develop a spirit of stewardship?
     1.  Develop a spirit of gratitude.  
     2.  Develop a spirit of generosity.  Shift from being a consumer to being a steward!


Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday mornnig