Monday, February 10, 2014

Greater Things Yet to Come!

We've spent the month of January and first couple of weeks in February talking about "Life Together" at Encounter Life. I've spend time talking about our 5 membership covenant commitments that we make to God and to each other. These commitments are grace, growth, gifts, giving and going. To hear any of the talks click here and click on the sermon you'd like to hear. Week one is Grace and following to week 5 covering Going.

Yesterday, Feb. 9, I finished the series by talking about why covenant membership matters and what I believe God is capable of doing when we commit to do life together for the glory of God to accomplish the mission of God. In summary, seriously, I mean it, I know you don't think I know what that actually means, but I can do this. The same covenant commitments we make to each other in our local church are the commitments the 1st Century Christians made to each
other. We have not invented something new and trendy. This is not a magic potion. We've just clearly seen how they did things in the beginning of the church and we've asked ourselves how do we apply that to our lives as individuals and corporately as we gather. I hope if you call ELC home that you've been to most of the series. If you haven't, would you go back and listen to the messages you've missed? If you're a covenant member, we're counting on you to live for the glory of God as we pursue these commitments together. Together, we believe God is doing something in us and through us. Together, we believe God desires to transform our lives and to use us to reach people where we live, work and play. Together, we believe God desires for people around us to cross over from death to life. Together, we believe God is able to do more!

At the end of our worship time together yesterday I aimed to close with a verse that I hoped would encourage us to run hard after what God's calling us to do...together. John 14:12 was the verse. The ESV says it this way, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." You might wonder, how could you ever do anything greater than Jesus? How is this possible? Friends, by God's grace, Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom of God. He came to preach the good news. He came to extend an invitation to a new life and home in the Kingdom to anyone who would respond in repentance and faith, trusting in Him alone. He's gone to the Father and given believers the gift of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, the Spirit of God lives in us. 2 Cor. 5, tells us we are God's ambassadors. We're his representatives for His Kingdom. Again, you might ask, greater? How? Jesus lived in a point in history, in a place, and knew certain people while in flesh. I understand God was fully God, but in his full humanity, he was limited by the distance he walked and relationships he built. But, he's given us the Spirit. We represent him everywhere we go. God's using us to make his appeal. God is using us to invite others. There is a gathering of people who are Encounter Life Church that he's sending out. There's a gathering of people he desires to use to do greater things. He'll use me to Live His Mission and Love People where I live work and play. He'll use you to Live His Mission and Love People where you live work and play. When we all realize this truth and begin running after it so that we can Lead Them to Follow, then we'll see God doing greater things. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people we're connected to. You have family members that aren't in my family. I have friends that you don't know. You have people that you work with that I've never heard of or met. You have hobbies that don't interest me one bit, but you have people that you're acquainted with through them. Your kids play sports that my kids aren't old enough for. The list goes on and on. I just refuse to believe for a second that we're connected to all of these people and God's not at work among them somehow or some way. God's desire is to make his appeal through us and then, day by day he'll add to the church those who are being saved, those who are crossing over from death to life as they trust Christ.
The mission of Encounter Life Church
is to reach people with the life-giving
 message of Jesus Christ and help them
become fully devoted followers of Jesus.
This diagram help demonstrate how we
believe God is calling us to accomplish this.

Would you begin living as though this is true? What keeps you from believing it? What causes you to think God can't use you? What causes you to live in a way that says "God's probably not doing anything around me?" What can you do this week to engage those around you to see where God might be working? Who can you serve and share with this week to see where God's working? Who can you embrace and invite that God's brought into your life? By God's grace and for his glory, my prayer is that we recognize the truth of John 14:12 in our lives, as God does greater things as we share the good news and invite others into the Kingdom of God.

For His glory and the Fame of His Name,