November 19, 2023
When the storms of life hit hardest, the Church shines brightest!
Luke 9:18-19 NIV
Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
Luke 9:20 NIV
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "God's Messiah."
Matthew 16:17-19 NIV
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 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. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Church (ekklesia) - the gathering of the called-out ones.
"Gathering" implies movement and activity.
Gates of Hades - the abode (house) of the dead.
Every believer has been called out to plunder life from the grips of death!
Luke 9:21-22 NIV
Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
Luke 9:23-24 NIV
Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it."
Luke 9:25 NIV
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"
Luke 9:26 NIV
"Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
How can I deny myself and find true life?
Our Mission is to become like Jesus by living out our Growth Path:
- Go - who do you know that needs the transforming love of Christ?
- Connect - imagine a group of people helping each other through life's ups and downs.
- Give - radical generosity is what shows the world we believe we are blessed to be a blessing.
- Serve - is the way we show the world we believe we are not here on accident.
Mark 10:45 NIV
"For even the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."