Archive for February, 2012

What God sees in you

Here is a quick devotional for the day.

John 1:40-42

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).”

A couple of amazing things happen in these three verses. 

1) Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus.  It was the first thing Andrew did after hearing John speak about Jesus.  Andrew had found the Messiah and he wanted his brother to find him too.  In contemplating things, I wondered, what if Andrew had never brought his brother to Jesus?  What if he was only excited for himself that he found the Messiah and it never caused him to bring those he loved to Jesus?

2) Jesus looks at Simon, and immediately gives him a new name.  His identity is now different as a result of their meeting.  Now, we know that the word Cephas means “Rock”.  We see in Matthew 16:18 (as Jesus is preparing to leave the earth), that Jesus says “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  If you were a friend of Simon, you probably would have laughed at the name Cephas.  Simon was anything but solid.  He was erratic and couldn’t control his tongue!  Here we see Jesus seeing Peter not as he currently was, but as he one day would become.

Isn’t it amazing that God looks at you today and sees you not as you are with all your problems, shortfalls, and disobedient behavior, but he sees you as you will be one day.  He sees and knows your future, and he has given you a new name. 

May we be changed as we grow in our understanding of how God views us.  May our excitement of finding the Messiah cause us to bring others to Him.

Blessings,

Josh

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2-26-12 Mark 5:21-43

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A resource for lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of lent.  Growing up, I always thought that lent was something that Catholics did and that Protestants didn’t “have” to do.  As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate the lenten season.  It can be a wonderful time of realigning ourselves with Christ.  It is about sacrifice, but it is also about filling our minds and our time with God’s truth.

A resource that I will be using during this lent season is found at 24-7prayer.com.  Each day, they will be releasing a 5 minute video, which will walk through the book of John in anticipation for the resurrection of Christ.

Here is today’s video:

You can watch each video by visiting their blog daily HERE.

Are you doing anything for lent this year?  If so, what?

Blessings,

Josh

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2-19-12 Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

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Membership Has Its….

Privileges?  What?

That’s not really in the Bible.  The concept of church membership has a lot of backing the Bible and I’d love to point out a few things that will help you think about it, whether you’ve been a member of Goss or another church for a long time or whether you’re just checking into the concept.

1.  Commitment to be led.

Church membership is a commitment to be led, first by Christ, then within the leadership structure of that church.  Church membership also helps leadership determine who is committed to their church rather than just attending.  All other standards (I’ve attended here a long time so you can trust me, etc.) are simply subjective, and that’s why having membership is so helpful.  It makes things clear.

Think about this paradox.  If someone says they can be trusted by just attending church a long time, then the leadership would naturally ask: “Well then if you’d like us to trust you, then our church has a standard of membership open for anyone to show their commitment and establish their trust.

2. Commitment to serve.

Church membership really is a commitment to serve Christ according to the purpose and direction of a local church.  This relates directly to point #1, which would imply that you trust that local church’s vision and direction and want to commit to serve it. So, if your church needs some help with specific projects or ministries, pray about how you can sacrifice to serve using your gifts to build others up and reach out.

3. Commitment to other believers.

Most pastors are probably amazed at the number of people who are members who have few quality relationships with other members.  This works both ways.  Newer members should try attending studies, getting involved where they can, and getting to know others before, after, and outside church.  Established members should make it their ministry to reach out to those who are newer members (and newer attenders as well!) and help them feel connected.  I also truly believe these relationships should cross age barriers whenever possible.  The greater the amount of intergenerational relationships, the less conflict over age related issues there will be!

4. Commitment to give!

Not equal amounts, but with equal passion.  If you are committed in membership to a local church, you should put your funds up to support the working and ministry of that church!  A general principle is to think about an extra amount that you can give on a regular basis.  This helps the church plan and it provides for financial stability. It also establishes discipline in giving.  Also, be prepared to sacrifice extra (parts of extra tips, holiday bonuses, tax refunds) if the Lord calls.  Other special offerings come up for missions trips, special projects, etc.  The bottom line: be prepared to give with passion!

I hope this helps you think through church membership, either at Goss or at whatever church you are a part of!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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5 Tips to Get Your Teenager Talking

Are you a parent or an adult who finds it difficult to communicate to teenagers?  You are not alone.  Here are 5 helpful tips to help you have meaningful conversations with the teenagers around you.

5 Tips to Get Your Teenager Talking

Blessings,

Josh

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2-12-12 Mark 5:1-20

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