Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
CHALLENGE: What does your spending say about your values?
Using our financial gifts to support the church is one way we build our church family--and the kingdom of God. Mark Mikel used Galatians 6:8-10 to challenge us to invest in the eternal rather than in temporary things. Choosing the right thing can become tiring! But God's presence and strength becomes our strength. Mark reminded us that looking for opportunities to do the right thing with our finances will increase our chances of actually doing the right thing. Eventually, doing the right thing will become the a habit and simply become the way we live.
Jeff Stueve talked about how our presence helps the church--and how our presence in the church helps us. We need to be present at large events (like worship services) and smaller groups (like Bible studies and Sunday morning classes/groups) because they work together to spur our spiritual growth watch this video to see how they work together). He also said that someone in the church needs our friendship--our one on one attention. The best gift we can give to the church is our transforming self!
85% of life is showing up."
Pastor Ed used the story of Ananias being called bring God's healing touch to Saul (Acts 9:10-22) to kick off our fall message series "Meet the Family." God called Ananias to introduce Saul to the true identity of those who follow Jesus--and Ananias obeys despite the fact that he knew Saul had been sent to Damascus to arrest Christians like him. What struck many of us was that Ananias called Saul "Brother Saul" when he met him. And the fact that Ananias was willing to bring Saul to the other Christians in the city probably paved the way for Saul's acceptance and eventual ministry to the Gentiles. Today, in the media and in society in general, Christians often seem to have a bad reputation. Pastor Ed challenged us to show the people we meet, randomly and regularly, the true character of Christ.
Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
In the last message of our summer series on the parables of Jesus, Pastor Ed talked about how this parable addresses our fears. Do we hide our talents or do we use them in God's work? Do we believe our Master is to be trusted or feared if we do our best and fail? He challenged us to watch out for overly cautious policies that look primarily to the goal of survival--and to dream of ways we can use the gifts God gives us to their fullest potential.