What If? (Find Your Place, part 2)

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This weekend at Eastbrook Church, we continued looking at the theme of finding our place within the church. Last weekend I talked about how Jesus sets the tone for our service, but this week I focused on the question, “what if someone does not step forward to serve in response to God’s invitation?” I looked at six aspects of humble service from the lives of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Ananias, a disciple from Damascus.

You can listen to the message at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow the RSS feed for Eastbrook sermons or follower Eastbrook Church on Twitter or Facebook.

The outline for the message is included below:Read More »

Our Focus (Find Your Place, part 1)

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This and next weekend at Eastbrook Church, we are focusing on the theme of finding our place within the church. This weekend, I talked about how finding our place within the church begins not with understanding our spiritual gifts or natural abilities, but with having our focus in the right place. The message was based out of Philippians 2:1-11.

You can listen to the message at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow the RSS feed for Eastbrook sermons or follower Eastbrook Church on Twitter or Facebook.

The outline for the message is included below:Read More »

Saturday Prayer 49

When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. (Revelation 1:1 NIV)

Jesus,

You are complete in Your glory –
there is no other who perfectly displays the Father
there is no other whose very life sings forth the perfect mixture of goodness and greatness

You are overwhelming in Your power –
when the world was made, You were there
as the Word of the Father through whom all things were made
when lives are touched with the redemptive work of God,
You are the Word who brings new life and salvation

You are startling in Your humility –
not considering Your glory the sort of thing to cling to
You stripped down into earthy servanthood,
You considered the Father’s will worth living for
and humanity worth dying for.

I praise You.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

Saturday Prayer 43

Have mercy on me, O God; according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)

Search through my soul, O God.
Reveal my hidden sin.
Cut through my self-deception,
And cleanse me from within.

Apart from You our souls are lost.
We’re blind to our wrong ways.
We trick ourselves to walk a path that leads
to our disgrace.

So lead me on the path of life,
And purify my soul.
I kneel before You;
I give myself to You.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

Living Like the Community We Are

Here are five suggestions toward living like the community we are as the church that I mentioned in my sermon this past week.  If God has created us as a new sort of revolutionary community, then we need to inch toward that reality in our local churches.

What would you add to this list?

  1. Stop trying to find the ideal church – the church is not an ideal to be grasped but a divine reality that exists – as Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: “By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world”[1]
  2. Recognize what the church is – it is God’s creation not ours; He created it at great cost; appreciate the church don’t deprecate the church
  3. Find reconciliation at the Cross – we all come into the church with baggage but we need to bring it to the Cross of Christ who is our peace (Ephesians 3:14); there is not place for smugness, pride, arrogance and ethnocentrism in the church
  4. Love the diversity that God loves – Be grateful for the ethnic, social, class, economic, and academic diversity in the church; it is a reflection of the Revelation 7 picture of the church; let’s appreciate it now
  5. Love one another (Ephesians 4:1-3) – learn to love through the strenuous way of humility, gentleness, and patience that Paul describes

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 27.