#387 - HEAR THE GOOD NEWS (6/7/21)
I think it’s vital to keep reminding ourselves of the most important things. Too often we forget the gospel message and are more interested in other topics. We need to hear Jesus’ good news of salvation every day. Our main text for this week reads,
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law" (Matthew 7:24-29)
You and I are saved from the coming storm of judgement by building our lives on the message of the gospel. There will always be a temptation to become self-righteous. Subtly, over time, we can become proud of our performance and judge others harshly. How we judge others is a good indication of how well we are being saturated in the gospel message.
Another form of self-righteousness is the temptation to condemn ourselves when we perform badly. Jesus wants you to hear Him say to you every day “It is finished!” Our Rock is Jesus and not our performance whether good or bad. When asked, in essence, about how one can earn salvation by good works, Jesus responded,
“Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” (John 6:28-29)
Faith in Jesus saves us from the storm of our sin. Paul writes,
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23).
There is a day when our 'wages' will be paid. Our account is empty of righteousness. Our account is in negative. However, in Christ, we have righteousness and life.
How would you explain the gospel message to someone who was interested? Perhaps you might want to think about and be ready for that.
Secondly, If you found that first question hard, it’s because you might not be thinking about it in your devotions each day. I encourage you to always begin your times of prayer by remembering and thanking God for the gospel.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - SIV-WEEK - GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please share with the group
This is our second SIV-Week study. SIV stands for Serve, Invest and Invite. This is a simple way of thinking about reaching our community for Jesus. On Sunday, we finished our Sent series. During this series we’ve been considering The Great Commission where we are told,
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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.”’ (Matthew 28:18-20)
During this series, we’ve been using The Sermon on the Mount to reflect on the important things that we need to know as disciples and be able to teach so as to be able to make disciples.
In this SIV study, I thought that it would be important to reflect on our Commission again. Here are a few brief thoughts from our Commission.
i) ALL AUTHORITY
Knowing that Jesus has authority over all creation and over our lives is meant to motivate us to let Him lead us in His mission. We all have a unique part to play. He has the power to make us fruitful.
ii) GO AND MAKE
Too often, we can practice this verse by helping mature Christians to get more mature. Too many mature Christians (if you been a Christian for around 3 years you should be pretty mature) are not engaged in growing new Christians and helping unbelievers to come to faith. I believe that Jesus wants all reasonably mature Christians involved in making disciples. It’s hard work, but I believe it’s a key feature that’s missing from many of our lives.
iii) ALL NATIONS
Beyond Putney, London, Britain…God wants disciples from all nations. This is something that we all need to pray about. We must all be open to playing our part in world evangelisation.
Wouldn’t you love to see baptisms happening every week in our church community? Wouldn’t you love to be in a Community Group which is truly making disciples? This is a vision that we all need to work toward together.
v) I AM WITH YOU
Jesus began with the command and reassurance that comes with His authority. He ends with the challenge and reassurance that He is with those who will seek to obey His commission.
THE THREE ELEMENTS OF SIV
Let’s now briefly discuss how we are doing on the three elements of SIV.
i) Serving real needs
Discuss: How are you or do you plan to serve others in your community? Is there anything that we could do together as a Community Group?
ii) Investing in friendships
Discuss: Who are the friends that you see regularly and how do you or could you invest in those friendships? How are you or could you be faithful to invest through prayer?
Discuss: What are the church events that we can invite people to? How can we be creative as a Community Group to create invitational settings? Do you have anyone that you could invite to an Alpha Course?
What do you plan to do personally as a result of this study? What are you planning to do as a group?
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