What has Jesus done in your life? How did He help you yesterday, last week? What shared experience of Jesus still stirs your mind and warms your heart? How has Jesus encouraged you, challenged you, transformed you, forgiven you, discipled you, empowered you, given you an idea, etc?
Have you shared that with someone yet?
Ps 9:1 "I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."
Ps 71:17 "Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds."
Ps 75:1 "We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds."
Ps 79:13 "We your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise."
Are you a "Teller" of God's wonderful deeds?
Are you a "Declarer" of God's marvelous deeds?
Are you a "Praiser" of God telling of His wonderful actions?
Are you a "Proclaimer" of how God has taken care of you?
Or are you a "Silencer?"
Are you a "Take God for granted-er?"
Are you a "Complainer" about certain things in your life?
Do you talk about anything and everything except your relationship with Jesus Christ and what He has done for you?
"How beautiful are the feet of those who who bring good news." Rom 10:15
Let's talk about Jesus every day with people.
Excited to tell Jesus stories together,
I love that God is a celebrating God. I love how after each day of creating, God paused, reviewed and declared "This is good!" I love how on the last day, He created the Sabbath. I love how after He did amazing things in the life of His family, He instructed them to celebrate.
Read the following verses from Nehemiah Chapter 12 to be reminded of one example.
"At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem—from the villages of the Netophathites, from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall. I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks."
The Christian God of the Bible is a Celebrating God. As we come into this weekend, we are celebrating 60 years of being one of Jesus' church families. We know God wants us to stop and celebrate with each other; the 60 years of God building His church in us and through us.
Let's get ready for this grand and monumental celebration by remembering what Biblical Celebration is all about in Nehemiah 12.
"At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully." (v 27)
One aspect of celebration is JOYFUL.
Joyful is not happiness and does not depend on your circumstances. Joyful is an inner attitude that comes out of our souls when our souls are deeply connected with our Redeemer and best friend, Jesus. Do others see this inner attitude of joy spilling out of you even when your circumstances are not good? The German philosopher Nietzsche said, "If Christians expect me to believe in their Redeemer they have got to look a lot more redeemed!" The more our souls are closely and regularly connected with Jesus, I think Jesus changes this attitude of joy into a characteristic. Do you have the characteristic of joy?
Another aspect of Biblical Celebration can be seen in verse 30. "When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall."
Purification is a necessary part of celebration.
God is a pure God and we know that impurity cannot genuinely connect with purity. This is why God gave us His Son to live, die and rise from the dead to provide us with His purification solution. In the New Testament, in order to be purified, we need to be honest and confess our impurities to God. When we do not hide them nor blame others for them but simply confess, God joyfully declares, Jesus "who is faithful and just, will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." It is no fun being in a bad relationship with your spouse or a family member. The same is true with our relationship with Jesus. So, let's follow God's desire and example by every day pausing, debrief and let Jesus purify us again.
We also see that Biblical Celebration is about corporate thanksgiving in verse 31. "I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks."
How grateful the Hebrews were to reconnect with God and rebuild the wall. They experienced powerful unity, hard work, caring, serving and protecting each other with God's powerful presence of blessings.
For the past 60 years God has been fully present building His family. Let's gather together sharing stories, enjoying wonderful food and worshiping Jesus who deserves to be honored.
Anticipating a special time of celebrating with all of you Sunday!
I was deeply encouraged the last few days by 2 Sam 12:22. The people close to King David asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child (David and Bathsheba's son due to sin) was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
David answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’"
What hope in God. What confidence in God. What trust in God. David had this amazing optimism about God no matter what. We see this when he was just a kid and heard a giant curse his God and intimidate the entire Nation of Israel. But, this just barely teen had such optimism in God that God would give this little, pimple faced, squeaky-voiced adolescence victory over Goliath. We see this amazing optimism when David was hunted by the revenge-filled king. Then in the middle of his sin of adultery, cover up by murder and then after David confessed these sins, he still had this amazing optimism that God might do something amazing for his son.
Do you have that type of optimism in Jesus? As you face your daily struggle with your temptations, your problems, your difficult people you do life with, do you have this overwhelming optimistic attitude that Jesus is going to do something great?
Or have you given yourself over to some form of negative attitude that this is how it will be?
The leadership team of a church that I served for 12 years gave me a nick-name. This nick-name is one that I want to live out every day of my life. But, daily life can take a toll and cause me to forget my nick-name. That nick-name is a hyphenated word that they made up because I am known to make up words by combining words, phrases or ideas. The nick-name is "Faith-omistic." Faith, they said, because I believe Jesus can do anything. "Omistic," they said, because I am an eternal optimist.
This past Sunday was "Friendship" Sunday, our little "Billy Graham" Crusade. We had a wonderful time of Sunday School, worship service, Free BBQ and block party. Our church family worked hard to host all of this and serve with a friendly attitude and smile. The challenge, there were not many guests attending Sunday School and worship service. There were some, but not many. That was discouraging. But, we had a lot of visitors come to the Free BBQ and Block Party.
No matter the results discouraging or encouraging, I am going to be like David and have eternal optimism in Jesus. Jesus is going to do some great things in us and through us.
How about you?
Praying and seeking to live out "Faith-omistic."
Are you ready for the Mini-"Billy Graham" Crusade this Sunday?!
Two weeks ago, I invited one of my friends whom is far from God, to church on Sept 11. I explained our special Block Party BBQ that we are throwing. He looked at me and said, "I have not been to church since I was a kid. Maybe I just might have to try it."
I am praying for him and for many of our family and friends who are similar to him.
As those first Christians united around Jesus' vision of The Great Commandment and The Great Commission, they intentionally had to change their daily lives around the purposes of Jesus. We see a summary of what they daily committed themselves to in Acts 2:42-47.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
They changed their daily routine of life around building their relationship with Jesus, with brothers and sisters in Christ and with those who are far from Jesus. As they got into this new and totally different routine, Jesus did amazing life transformation. He "added to their number daily those who were being saved."
Whom has Jesus brought to your mind to invite?
How will Jesus use you this weekend at Southtown?
Please share the Southtown Facebook post about Sunday.
Please send out a few email invites.
Praying for dozens to be adopted into Jesus' family this Sunday.
De-populating Hell and populating Heaven in the name of Jesus together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.