• Matt Beaney

#463 (20/10/21) MEETING JESUS RENEWS OUR PURPOSE


INTRODUCTION

Over the last three weeks, our devotionals have been based on our vision at CCP. If you are not a part of our church, I trust that you are still finding these reflections helpful.


Our vision is to be a church community that is,

“Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and my community”




This week we are focussing on what it means to bring ‘Our Community’ to Jesus.




In the context of war, it’s common to hear the phrase ‘mission creep’ which is defined as ‘a gradual shift in objectives during the course of a military campaign, often resulting in an unplanned long-term commitment.’ Christians and churches can forget that their primary mission is to ‘make disciples of all nations’ by bringing them to salvation in Christ. Any true meeting with Jesus will involve a fresh reminder of our purpose and commission. Let’s read what Luke says about Jesus’ calling of His first disciples,

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.’ (Matthew 4:18-22)

Do you see that Jesus links following Him with being sent out to 'fish for people'? It’s easy to have ‘mission creep’ and get distracted from our priority. We can go back to ordinary fishing - living to work, to buy, to achieve, comfort…- rather than fishing for people. When we truly meet Jesus, He reminds us of our purpose. This first calling and commission of the disciples was recapitulated as Jesus finished His earthly ministry

‘Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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 28:16-20)

Fishing for men and women is a part of what we are called to personally and together. Being with Jesus will remind us of this. A true meeting with the Holy Spirit will always result in a fresh resolve to seek to save the lost.



PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

In keeping with this aim of developing a personal relationship with God through prayer and worship out of the Bible, we’ll be developing our skill in meditation and prayer using the structure that we are taught in The Lord’s Prayer.


If you look at The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), you’ll see that it can be broken into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9), Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13).


Using the Lord’s prayer structure (below) to help you to pray through Matthew 28:16-20.

'Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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 28:16-20)

1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?


COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?



3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

Running up to our carol service on the 5th December we would like you to spend more time on the SIV (Serving, Invest and Invite) aspect of our time together. Therefore, there will only be fewer questions each week on the Sunday message so as to give plenty of time for praying and sharing about our mission.


On Sunday, we completed the third part of our vision series. Our vision of ‘Bringing people to Jesus - Myself, One-Anther and My Community. This comes out of what we read in John 7:37-38.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”’ (John 7:37-38)

During this brief series, we’ve been weaving in the words that are spoken of Peter and John,

‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.’ (Acts 4:13)

Our message on Sunday was principally focused on how we can help to bring our community to Jesus - reach the people and places that God has given to us.


Firstly, it's as we spend time with Jesus personally and together that the mercy of God and the message of the gospel will flow out of us to our community. People will 'take note' and be 'astonished' if we will seek Jesus in prayer personally and together.


Secondly, we must take faith action. We also talked about our strategy of 'SIV' - Serve, Invest and Invite. We are to prayerfully seek to take practical action to help to bring people to Jesus. Prayer needs to be followed up with loving action in the places and relationships that God has put us into.


Discussion questions

1. Of the three aspects of our vision - Myself, One Another and My Community - which do you find hardest and why?

2. Why does effective evangelism begin with personal and corporate prayer?

3. Did God speak to you, or what do you plan to do in response to Sunday's message or this vision series as a whole?

4. SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard?

5. SIV - Who are you planning to invite to the carol service on 5th December?

6. Prayer - Let's spend some time in prayer regarding this week's message and anything else that you would like to pray about.






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