Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Getting the most out of our Galatains Sermon Series

  • Read through the book of Galatians daily; it takes about twenty five minutes. 

  • If you don’t have time to get through it in one sitting, start where you left off the next day.

  • Another option is to read the chapter that corresponds with the passage I am going to preach through that week. I will be in chapter one for the next four weeks.

  • As you read, look for and highlight repeated words and ideas.

  • Read a commentary on the book alongside my preaching.  We have three copies a very good commentary by John Stott in the book store. 

  • Have your Life Group discuss my sermons.  If you want to do this, let me know and IU will come up with discussion questions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Decisions That Define Us . . .

These are not goals, as in a destination … but goals as in the direction of our journey … they are declaration of intentions … borrowed from Graham Cooke. 

Decisions that define us
We’ve decided that teaching the Gospel without demonstrating the gospel in not enough.  Good preaching, good doctrine, being good people is not enough.
We’ve decided that having a good church club is not enough. Good fellowship is not enough. And just being a member of that club is not enough.
We’ve decided that having good Bible studies is good, but not good enough. That just making it to heaven is not our goal, and that knowing about God without truly knowing and experiencing God is meaningless.
We’ve decided that having good programs is not enough; that change without transformation is intolerable. And that staying the same is not an option.
We’ve decided that gifting without character is futile.
We’ve decided that singing songs without worshiping is hollow and having meetings without God showing up is pointless.
We’ve decided that having faith without works is not enough and having works without love is not acceptable – that our function comes out of our relationship first with the Father and second with each other.
We’ve decided that reading about the book of Acts without living the book of Acts is unthinkable.
We’ve decided that confident faith is good…..bold faith is better.
We’ve decided that hearing about the Holy Spirit without experiencing Him….. is silly. That believing in His presence without seeing it manifested in signs and wonders……is hypocrisy. That believing in healing without seeing people healed……is absurd. And that believing in deliverance without people being delivered………is absolutely ridiculous.
We’ve decided to be Holy Spirit filled, Holy Spirit led, and Holy Spirit empowered – anything less doesn’t work for us.
We’ve decided to be the ones telling the stories of God’s power – not the ones hearing about them.
We’ve decided that living saved, but not supernatural is living below our privilege and short of what Christ died for.
We’ve decided we’re a battleship not a cruise-ship! An Army not an audience! Special Forces not spectators! Missionaries not club members!
We’ve decided to value both pioneers and settlers – pioneers to expand our territory and settlers to build on those territories – but we are not people who take up space others have fought for without improving it … we are not squatters.
We’ve decided to be infectious instead of innocuous. Contagious instead of quarantined! Deadly instead of benign!
We’ve decided to be radical lovers and outrageous givers.
We’ve decided that we are a mission station not a museum.

We honor the past but we don’t live in it.
We live in the present with our eyes on the future.
We see past events – the successes and failures – as stepping stones not stop signs.
We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know.
We are people of engagement not observation.
We focus on what could be – not on what is or has been.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Importance of Prayer

This crucial place of prayer reaffirms that great goal of God to uphold and display his glory for the enjoyment of the redeemed from all the nations…. The missionary purpose of God is as invincible as the fact that he is God. He will achieve his purpose by creating white-hot worshippers from every people, tongue, tribe and nation (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). And he will be engaged to do it through prayer. Therefore, it is almost impossible to overemphasize the awesome place of prayer in the purposes of God for the world.  John Piper, The Mission of God's People, p. 254