If I or you had the cure for cancer and didn’t tell anyone about it, what would that make us... a criminal.
If I or you had the cure for HIV/AIDS and didn’t share it with anyone, what do we deserve... jail.
But those of us who follow Jesus have something even more important.
We know how people can have their past forgiven, get a purpose for living, and have a home in heaven.
God says if we want His blessing, we need to share that message.
“I pray you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 1:6
In other words, don’t keep your faith in Jesus a secret. Tell other people about it. Invite them to coffee and ask them their spiritual story. Invite them to the Christmas Musical. Give them a Bible. Give them a hand made gift - a coupon for 5 free coffees to talk about spiritual things with you.
God will bless you when you do.
We all have different roles. You may not be singing in the Christmas Musical. You may not be preaching a sermon. You may not be a missionary. But you can play a part in sharing the great news about Jesus—and you’ll be rewarded no matter what part that is.
“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor." 1 Corinthians 3:8
Think of it like this. If you faithfully share the message of Jesus with other people, you’re preparing for an amazing day when you get to heaven. Can you imagine what it will be like when you see people who are in heaven because you shared your faith?
That’s a blessing you can’t compare to anything else!
What is the most difficult part of sharing your faith for you?
What’s the biggest barrier to sharing your faith more consistently?
Who will be in heaven because of you?
How much will it cost you to treat someone to coffee a few times a month?
How much will it cost you to become a student of the spiritual stories of those who are far from Jesus?
How much will it cost them, if they do not say "Yes" to Jesus?
Who are you going to invite to the Christmas Musical?
Seeking to be a DMer together,
DMer = Disciple Maker
"All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age." Jesus
What is spiritual maturity?
Have you thought through who is it that God wants you to be and become?
"We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Cor 3:18
This verse defines for us spiritual maturity; "being transformed into His image with ever increasing glory." Spiritual maturity is to become like Jesus. In other words to be changed to be more and more like Jesus in every area of our lives.
The first part of this verse talks about "unveiled faces." What is this all about? Do you remember when the people of God complained about the radiant face of Moses after he came down the mountain where he met with God?
Spiritual maturity all starts with God having to do His miracle work of removing the veiled face, the old nature, our sinful nature and give us an entirely new nature.
So, what does a spiritually mature person look like? Let's put an image together over the next few weeks.
It starts with our core identity of who we are. Our core identity is either a beloved child of God through the miracle work of Jesus or we are outside of God's family. The Bible describes the latter with words like foreigner, alien, outsider, even enemy of God. When anyone turns to Jesus, confesses their imperfection, selfishness and sin, and asks Jesus to become their Savior and Lord, then and only then, does Jesus do His miraculous work. He changes our core identity. He adopts us into His family. We become children of God. We can enter God's present with "unveiled faces."
Do you remember the conversation that Nicodemus had with Jesus one late night? Jesus explained to him that everyone needs to be born again. That confused Nick. He responded, "How can anyone climb back into their mother's womb." That was Jesus' point. With humans, this is impossible. But, with God, all things are possible. Salvation is a miracle gift only God can give. Jesus is the only Spiritual Surgeon who can remove our selfish, sinful nature. He is the only One who can give us His new nature.
Remember Jesus' qualifications...
-Miracle birth (human mother and God as His Father)
-Perfect life (Jesus never made a mistake, never missed God's mark, never sinned.)
-Jesus willingly went to the cross and died a sacrificial death that we deserve.
-Jesus rose a victorious resurrection.
He truly is the only qualified person to be able to perform this spiritual surgery.
When did you ask Jesus to be your personal spiritual surgeon?
When was the last time you shared your surgery experience with someone else?
Ask Jesus to give you an opportunity to share your story with someone this week. Invite them to join you at church this week as we talk about Why Is there Suffering and Evil.
Next week we will continue to talk about spiritual maturity.
Thanking the Spiritual Surgeon and seeking to share my story with others,
After spending two months on seeking to hurdle deadly barriers, I think it is easy for us to see more clearly how these 7 deadly temptations are in our lives. Hopefully, we feel more equipped to identify them, see Jesus' exit signs and jump on Jesus' bask as He hurdles them with us. But, sometimes we get tackled by these temptations and give in. Maybe guilt has crept in and settled in to your life. If so, what do you do with this guilt?
God doesn’t want you living with heavy guilt. Guilt destroys your confidence. Guilt damages your relationships. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past. Guilt even hurts your health. A Cardiologist explained that guilt increases blood pressure which raises the risk to get heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety disorders. Some experts explain that 50-70 percent of people in the hospital could leave if they knew how to resolve their guilt.
God wants us to know that guilt is a gift. God wants us to know that He does not want us to be overcome by guilt. He wants to relieve our guilt. He wants to give us a sense of hope.
Admit to God you’ve made a mistake. It doesn’t surprise Him. It won’t change His perception of you. God is always ready to give you another chance. That’s a bedrock truth of Christianity. We’ve all been selfish. We’ve all screwed up. The Bible tells us, “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins." Eccl 7:20
If you admit your mistakes, your screw ups, your unintentional sins and your intentional rebellion, God will do some amazing things in you.
He will forgive you.
He will declare you not guilty.
He will forgive you instantly.
He will forgive you freely.
He will forgive you completely.
If you’re mired in guilt and shame, you’ll likely perpetuate whatever problem you have. You’ll tell yourself that you blew it, so you’re bad. Since you’re bad, you believe you’ll blow it again. It’s a nasty cycle from which we often can’t seem to escape, at least not on our own.
We need a power beyond ourselves. We need a Savior. We need Jesus.
God says, "If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
How is guilt affecting you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
When was the last time you confessed to God specifically the temptations you have given into?
When was the last time you sat quietly in God's presence to sense the gift of guilt God wants you to feel?
When was the last time you honestly confessed what you did to cause that guilt?
When was the last time you thanked God deeply for His gift of instant, complete and free forgiveness?
"People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy." Pr 28:13
Letting God's gift of guilt to be felt and relieved daily 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.