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Archive for the ‘fellowship’ Category

Jesus: Up Close & Personal (101 Beginner Bible Study)He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Read the Gospels carefully.  Go beyond the surface.  Don’t just skim it for its finer points and holy highlights.  Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John thoroughly.  Read them intentionally.  Read with probing eyes.  Search the Scriptures to discover how Jesus truly reached out and touched people as God in the flesh.
Wwjd What Would Jesus Do Designer Rubber Saying Bracelet #50Not long ago, every Christian knew about WWJD.  The letters represented What Would Jesus Do? The question seems a bit rhetorical.  Yet, it caused many of us to rethink our approach to certain situations in daily life’s many interactions and encounters.  We asked WWJD and wore it on t-shirts, Bible covers and bumper sticks.  Did we really want to do things the way Jesus would have done them?
Jesus did not leave Bartimaeus blind by the wayside.
Jesus did not let the woman with the issue of blood go one more step in that condition.
Jesus forbid to leave the invalid laying on a mat beside the pool.
Jesus added a personal touch throughout His ministry that left no one the same.
The House Church Book: Rediscover the Dynamic, Organic, Relational, Viral Community Jesus StartedDo we really want to do things the way Jesus would have done them?
Start by getting personal.  Don’t leave it as drive-thru worship services on Sunday.  You know what I mean.  You moved out of the neighborhood to get away from the drugs, the gangs and all of that other stuff, but you still drive through on Sunday mornings for some old time religion and maybe a taste of some after-church soul food.  That’s “drive-thru” Sunday worship.  You only drive through the ‘hood, never doing any of your good works where you hear from the Good Book
God bless your heart.  You mean well.  Your intentions are good.  You just need to know where to get started.  Start by getting to know some folks on a personal level.  Take that church bulletin out of your Bible.  Yes, the one from Sunday where you did not use it to take notes on the sermon.  Use that and see what fellowship opportunities exist at the church.  Are there small groups that meet during the week on site or in the community? Can you join the men’s monthly fellowship? Do you believe that there is room for you in the women’s ministry circle? See what there is available and make some personal connections with other congregants.
Creating Community: Five Keys to Building a Small Group Culture
Start small.  Volunteer to serve on an outreach team or a service team.  Get trained in sharing the Good News with others, so that you are equipped to say more than what’s on your mind and our heart.  Get equipped, but be sure to get your heart in it more than your hands or your head.  Share with your heart and touch someone’s life.  Add a personal touch to your ministry repertoire.  Be sure to get personal in such a way that people truly get a sense that you truly care.  Care for others the same way that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, looked after His own sheep.  Just start by getting a little more personal when you do it.

 
The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen 

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S.O.S.: Share On Saturday

Have you ever shared your story with someone?

I am talking about a time where you just sat down and talked openly with someone about how God blessed you by saving you.  I mean a person who doesn’t know Christ and who doesn’t know your story.  It means being vulnerable.  It means being open and honest about yourself.  It comes down to being willing to share with someone.  Have you done that before?

Have you done it over breakfast or a cup of coffee? Maybe it was while you ate pizza or hit range balls at the local golf course.  Perhaps it was on that commute from work together or over the phone while catching up.  Have you done so with an old friend or a coworker? Have you done so with anyone?

If not, I dare ask you to try.

If you have, and it has been some time since you have done it, I dare ask you to try it again.

A cup of coffee or a slice of pizza may cost a few bucks, but the treasures and riches that may come out of you sharing with someone who doesn’t know Him could change and even save a life.

Take the time to take the S.O.S. challenge and share your personal testimony with someone this Saturday. 

Introduce them to Christ.

Invite them to church.

Involve yourself in the person’s life.

Invest in the person’s salvation.

Are you willing to share?

Will you share?

Share On Saturday (S.O.S.)

Make your church’s first Saturday monthly outreach “Church Shirt ” day.  Everyone wears a church or Christian t-shirt that day out and about while shopping and running errands, cutting the grass and hanging out.

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46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:46-47

Christian churches are known for their fellowship.  In fact, it seems like there must have been a daily potluck of sorts after Pentecost in Acts 2.  We see the early church had a common faith that led to a communal fellowship.

In days like today, we need to come together in a similar fashion.  Think about ways that your congregation can share with one another in the joyous fellowship of Christian love and unity.  Let it be casual and comfortable.  Make it just a gathering that allows you to break bread and share praise and praise together. 

Have every family bring a dish with a message of praise placed near it.  Display the messages prominently so that all can see them.  People will not only praise Sister King for her potato salad but also for overcoming the challenge of losing her husband in faith.  They won’t only see Brother Gilbert as an excellent Sunday school teacher but a mighty good barbecue cook as well.  Fellowship together, sharing your praise for the Lord as one.

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Since meeting Jesus:

  • Who have you brought to Him?
  • To whom have you brought Him?

It makes sense. If you have a relationship with someone and you think someone else should meet that peron, you arrange a way for the two to meet and get together. Levi held a party for his fellow tax collectors and others after leaving his tax collection table to follow Jesus. Zacchaeus hosted Jesus as well. Andrew took Peter to meet Jesus after John the Baptist showed Andrew and the disciple whom the Lord loved the Lamb of God- Jesus Christ of Nazareth. People introduce other people to Jesus. That’s how it happens.

As believers, we are to bring people to Christ and bring Christ to people. We take the Word out into the world. We bring the world face to face with its issues as we bring people into a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and the message of God’s Good News.

The believer is seeking out open opportunities to lead people to Christ daily. The believer’s chief concern is not to get people to the church for mid-morning service on Sunday. The chief concern for the believer is to take God’s Word to people who need a personal introduction to Jesus Christ.

Read Matthew 5:16; 16:24; John 1:29-46; Luke 19:1-10

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In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
– Luke 15:7 (NLT)
In the Kingdom of God, the lost that our found have a great worth. Jesus tries to dispense the idea of the sinner’s unworthiness with the “lost” parables in Luke 15. Usually, when a person loses something of value, the person is willing to exhaust all resources and means to find that which was lost. Whether it is a lost sheep or coin, even a wayward son, what was lost is of value. It has worth.
The obnoxious and obstinate onlookers- the Pharisees and teachers of the law- saw no value in the people Jesus was keeping company with in Luke 15 (Lk. 15:2). In fact, they found it offensive that Jesus could claim to be holy while eating and having fellowship with the unclean. They saw the sinners and tax collectors as unclean and unworthy of fellowship with the holy and righteous people of God.
What Jesus shares is that such a pious and prideful worldview does not reflect God’s willingness to make the worthless worthy. He shared in another version that He was not called to save the righteous but sinners (Mk. 2:17). Isaiah painted an even clearer picture when he said: But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, ESV).
In the Kingdom, we have worth. We are valued by the King. As believers, let us make it known to all others that He is able to justify the unjust and clean up the unclean. He is able.

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Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… – Matthew 28:19 (NASB)
Most Christians know something about it. At the least, you have heard something from someone else who has been a Christian longer than you who shared something about it. It is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). However, we tend to hear evangelists speak out about going, while the missionaries are in agreement with them, adding “all the nations.” The Sunday school reformers and expository theologians are pretty much in agreement on teaching them to observe all things. Baptism is a horse of another color? [It starts and sparks more denominations than it actually unifies.]

What about the command to “make disciples?” Have we forgotten that as part of what Jesus said in the Great Commission?

We make disciples by sharing our Christian experience with others who have been introduced to Christ and must become indoctrinated in Christian faith and belief. We make disciples by edifying and engaging others in a livelihood that rests completely on the full faith of the people in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is communal. The early believers were not the first disciples to live and share together. Andrew and John are identified as the two followers of John the Baptist who head off behind Jesus when John pronounces Him the Lamb of God. In fact, Jesus questions the two disciples and allows them to join Him (vv. 38-39). These men lived together, sharing what they had and camping out with Jesus. In fact, the Bible says that they were wanted men like outlaws after many attempts had been made to take Jesus down and to take Jesus out. They were known for being with Jesus the Nazarene and for being identified as Galileans themselves with the exception of Judas Iscariot.

As you seek to make disciples, as commanded, be sure to ensure that you share your livelihood with these would-be disciples. Fellowship and break bread with one another. Spend so much time with one another that others will mistake one for the other or vice versa. Let it be that you share so much that they become engrossed in all that Christ has to offer and all that Christianity can be.

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I want to say this with as much sincerity nd gentleness that I can muster up in times like these. There seems to be a great falling away from what we know and believe. Some of us may have started out wrong by putting our faith in the man of God rather than what he was supposed to be preaching about. Some may have taken the low road and just slid out of church through some back door or open window, but you voted with your feet and didn’t sy a word when you went out. Others just stayed and stuck around waiting for something better, so when the next big thing came along and the church wasn’t moving fast enough, you got yourself up and went to the next big thing until better things come along. It’s just sad. Faithless followers filling up pews, waiting on the “show.” They don’t want church. They want to be entertained by praise and worship duets and quartets that are professional without professing Christ. They want a preached word that may not even be the Word but that sounds good to what Paul called itching ears. It’s just sad to see.

Where are you headed? Where are you going as you go away from the church? Will you find Jesus in your escape? Will He visit you as you depart? Consider carefully how you answer. If you have one foot in the sanctuary and another foot hovering over uncertainty, please reconsider. Take a moment and pray before drifting and straying away from the flock. We’ve all been there in one way or another. Talk to an experienced Christian who has walked with the Lord for some time. We all lose people. We will suffer losses great and small, but we have assurance in Christ for our souls.

Trust God. Keep the faith. Stay strong in spite of adversity. Live like Christ, loving those around you. Stay the course.

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