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Deeper Wider

Today Pastor Ed Allen preached a sermon kicking off a new theme for our next year together at Gateway:  Deeper Wider.

Beginning October 1st, we've begun reading through the New Testament together, with one passage from the gospels each day and one from the epistles.  Pastor Ed chose a passage from one of those readings to go over today.

Spiritually, we're designed to go deeper and wider each year.

We want to approach this year with a renewed sense of expectation.

May God make some new stories in our lives this year.

The daily devotional time and reading the New Testament over the year is not a quick fix -- but consistent habits do make a difference.  This is one of our linchpins for going deeper and wider.

In order to go deeper and wider:

We need to entrust all that we know of ourselves to all that we know of God.

We need to commit.

When you're more invested, you do more.  We'll reap what we sow.  Let's sow generously this year to our spirit.

Looking at Romans 1:16-17 --

This might be the most important passage in the New Testament.

God's power is in the story of Jesus and in the aftermath of this story and in the effects of this story.

Paul is also saying that it's for everyone, not just for observant Jews.

The historical significance of this passage is how important they were to Martin Luther, who began the whole Protestant movement.

We looked at what Luther said about this passage.

The "righteousness of God" is about faith -- righteousness given by a merciful God.

You don't inherit faith.

The righteousness of God through faith is about what God has done, not what we do.

This is a gift.

Are you in?

Expect God to do something new this year.

Expect some brand-new stories this year.

Why Church? Why Give? - Part 2

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This week, pastors Ed Allen and Alex York preached a sermon together about Giving, from II Corinthians 9:6-11.

The passage is encouraging, but at its heart is a command:  GIVE.

Those who follow Jesus are called to give.  It's our privilege and our responsibility.  It's one way we can be involved in many more ministries throughout the kingdom of God.

We give Deliberately.

"what you have decided in your heart to give"

It's not spontaneous and not from pressure or manipulation.

The decision is made in the heart.  There's more to this than numbers.  Talk about it; pray about it.  Don't forget the faith factor.

We give Cheerfully.

"For God loves a cheerful giver."

God delights in blessing His people, and He wants to teach us how to bless others with delight.

The joy of giving grows with time and trust.  We start noticing new ways to be generous.

Why Give?  We're told to, but we're designed for it and built for it.  Part of being made in God's image.

This passage begins with a Kingdom Principle:  

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."

It's not always financial blessing, but God does bless.

How do we get this done?

verse 10 -- God supplies the seed in the first place and helps us on the front end.

Then He enlarges our harvest and blesses us on the back end.

God blesses us coming and going.

From Genesis 12 and Abraham -- God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.

You'll never find someone who's walked with God a long time who's given up on giving because God didn't come through.

We invest over time, in personal ways.

As we said before we give because Jesus talked about giving, our commitment to one another, and to feed the machine.

Right now, our congregation has a Ferrari, this beautiful new building.  Now we need fuel.  This Ferrari was built for the road!

We need to invest in:

1)  TEENAGERS!  We need to hire Moises Altamirano, our Youth Minister, full time.

2)  Our building -- We still need to make it our home.  Put in the soccer field and other things still to be done.

3)  Missions -- We need to give to people beyond ourselves.

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Beginning Monday morning, our church is going to begin a year of reading through the Old Testament together, with a "Deeper Wider" theme.  Ed's going to kick us off this next week by going over the devotional at 6:30 am each morning this week on Facebook Live.  Join us!

 

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