Main Scripture passage: Mark 8:22-26
Main Scripture passage: Mark 8:22-26
Main Scripture passages: Philippians 1:1-6; 4:10-19
As servants of Christ we are called to participate in the spreading of the gospel. Paul calls it “fellowship in the gospel” in Philippians 1:5. The root word for “fellowship” here literally means participation or contribution. So we are called to contribute to the work of the gospel. The Philippians fulfilled this command by giving financially to Paul’s missionary work. We must do the same. We need to further God’s Kingdom not just in our words but in our actions–by giving.
“‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD, ‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?'” (Jeremiah 23:29).
Fulfilling the Great Commission requires that we preach the Word of the Lord. And part of that involves providing God’s Word to those who do not have it. The Gideons play a large part in fulfilling this aspect of the Great Commission. They distribute numerous copies of God’s Word to those who do not have access to it. As the body of Christ we need to support the Gideons in this vital ministry to reach the lost, as well as other similar ministries. We too can play a part in fulfilling the Great Commission by taking advantage of the opportunity to support them, in addition to our own work of preaching the gospel. To support the Gideons in their work of spreading God’s Word, visit their website at http://www.gideons.org/.
Main Scripture passage: Acts 15:32-16:10
Christ gave his apostles the vision for the church two thousand years ago: to make disciples and build them up in the faith. This is the same vision the church has today. And while each local church holds this same vision, not each church has the same means of accomplishing it. The means of accomplishing this goal are different for each church. So the question, “What is the vision for Liberty,” really boils down to “What are the means of better accomplishing this vision?” To answer that question, we must examine the ministries we do, and we must realize that there will be certain aspects of accomplishing the vision that will change: certain ministries will need to be changed; others removed; others added. Getting started, the first thing we need is a plan–a long term plan. And we must ensure that this plan is God’s plan, not simply ours, and we must be willing to adjust it according to God’s sovereign plan. As we plan long term there are a few key areas we must look at with the vision of advancing the kingdom. These areas are foundational as we ensure that Liberty is doing the work the Lord has called us to do. First and foremost, we need to meet the needs of the people–the people inside the body and the people outside the body. There are two ways of doing this: (1), you see a need and then you meet it, and (2) you plan to meet a need you soon anticipate. But to meet these needs, we must have workers! For Liberty, this means more elders, more deacons, and just more workers in general for the various ministries we have. To meet these needs we have various ministries at Liberty–inward ministries and outward ministries. In the context of meeting the needs of the people, we must ask ourselves a few questions. The first is, “How can we make our current ministries even better?” The second is, “Are there other ministries we aren’t currently doing that we should be doing?” To conclude, the keys to 2011 are: meeting the needs of the people, making a continued effort on preaching the gospel, a re-examination of our ministries to ensure they are meeting the needs of this church and meeting the needs of the community, and finally, a continued focus on training the people that are already here so they can start serving or better serve.
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest'” (Matthew 9:35-38).
Christ has called us to have compassion on the lost and our brothers and sisters in the Lord. For the former, this means preaching the whole truth of God, even if it is offensive. However, we need to make sure that it is Christ that is the stumbling block and not us. By preaching the whole truth of God we know we have true compassion, because if we fail to do so then the lost can never truly know the Lord and His mercy. For the latter, this means bearing each other’s burdens. We ought to lay down our lives for the saints, being filled with the love of Christ.
Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”
Topic: The doctrine of sin
Exodus 20:1-3: “And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.'”
Our love for God propels us to have a true love for people evidenced in both our action and affection.