Do you ever feel disconnected from people even though you are around a bunch of people?
It is a common feeling. We live in a smart phone, Facebook, Twitter, blog, 'connected but not really connected' age. While convenient, and good for keeping up with people you don’t see all the time, it makes you think we are connecting well with people when in fact you may not be. At best it is a partial connection, written content but no face to face personal interaction. Something gets lost in translation. We end up secluding ourselves from real human interaction. People aren't making people time for people any more, even the loved ones they share a home with. Even 'Face time' isn't what it used to be. Now it's an app instead of a close geographical connection. You can see and hesr me but you can't hug me.
So when it comes to Christ-centered Community…people love to talk about what Christians are supposed to do…they just have trouble with the people part.
Christ - preeminent, sovereign, savior, leader, substitute, righteousness.
Centered - focused, intent, first importance, engaged, dependent, worldview.
Community - interconnected, interdependent, interested, integrated, invested, initiating good.
We exist, as every Christ-centered church should...to...Glorify God through lives transformed by the Gospel. Therefore...OUR ULTIMATE GOAL is to be...A Christ-centered community intent on proclaiming the Gospel, making disciples, & sacrificially serving Jesus. AND We WILL DO this through...Deepening relationships with God, Growing relationships with other believers, and Engaging relationships with those yet to believe.
We see in Acts 2:41-47 what it means to be a Christ-Centered Community. We see what that kind of church does. And we see what it should look like and how it develops and grows. And it should be very clear...it is all dependent on Jesus. It all hinges on Him. Last weekend, seven people from Grace were either running a marathon, half-marathon or a 10k up in Northern California. The Orange County marathon was also going on. It was all about finishing a race. Finishers cheers fellow runners on. No one stands at the finish line as says "I hope you trip and fall". They say "way to go!", "keep going!", "you can do it!". As part of Christ's Church believers are involved in an eternal race, involving eternal realities; an eternal kingdom with an eternal goal. It's all about investing your life and initiating good towards otehrs for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel.
The Question is this: What investment will you make in people and the Word of God? How will you trust God and initiate good towards others so that they are blessed? So, I encourage you to take a Baby Step today: something once common that is now uncommon...Write an encouraging note to another believer, sharing your life & God’s Word. Write a real note with pen and paper. Use a crayon or a marker if you want, but write it yourself. And then don't email or text or message it...deliver it in person, look them in the eye, and say "This is for you".
We exist to glorify God through lives transformed by the Gospel...in Christ-Centered Community.
"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15:2-7 ESV)
What a beautiful picture of Christ-Centered Community. What a beautiful reflection of Grace.
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April 29, 2019Sermon in a Nutshell: Romans 10:8-10