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Showing items filed under “October 2016”

Resurrection and the Life

On Sunday, John Maulella brought the message, preaching out of John 11 about the resurrection of Lazarus.

John got our attention at the start of the message by telling about his mother's sudden death of heart failure when she was 57.  Our lives are a series of losses.

So where do we put our hope?

John 11:1-44 --

First, Jesus waits.  "Lord, if you'd been here, my brother would not have died."  Both Martha and Mary say that, and it's true.

Then Jesus says something outrageous:  "I am the resurrection and the life."

Mary's disappointed in Jesus.  You can only be disappointed in someone you trust.

Mary gave Jesus the power to disappoint her.

Martha gave Jesus theology.  Mary brought Jesus her tears.

When Jesus is "deeply troubled," what the Greek really says is that Jesus was angry.

If Jesus were angry at unbelief, he would have said so.  He's angry at death.

This is the warrior Jesus, who's going to take death into a dark alley and stomp him.

Jesus knows the outcome -- but he still weeps.  He's not aloof.

He's crying because the people he loves are grieving.  He's angry at death and saddened by grief.

We also have the smell of death on us.  We stinketh.

Though we live in a culture that denies this, living life apart from God is death.

We don't want Jesus to go in there.  But his reaction is "Take away the stone."

Takeaways:

1)  We live in a time of the Great Delay.

God has started something and he's not done yet.  We live in the time of groaning. (Romans 8)

2)  We realize we're in training for resurrection.

Saturate yourself with the truth of Jesus' resurrection.

Our faith rests on this.  We are people of the resurrection. 

People who think ahead the most are most effective.  Get ready for resurrection!

3)  We acknowledge that Jesus is always bigger than we think.

There's more to Jesus than we realize, no matter how well we know him.

It is impossible to give Jesus too much of your attention and time and focus.

Jesus wants to do a mini-resurrection on you.

The resurrection and the life is available to you now!

Take off those grave clothes!

Meandering to Missional: Devoting Ourselves

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On Sunday, Pastor Ed Allen continued the sermon series on "Meandering to Missional" by looking at the early church as presented in Acts 2:42-47.

They were not meandering.  They weren't commanded to do all these things.  They needed to excavate space in their lives for God to move.  The result was what's described in Acts 2.

"devoted" -- occupied diligently with

They were devoted to hearing about Jesus, remembering what Jesus did, and to hearing from God, talking to God.

"fellowship" -- association, partnership, close relationship, community

They diligently occupied themselves with community.

The apostles were doing amazing things among them.

"had everything in common" -- and gave to anyone who had need

Sometimes we think the essence of religion is doing good and knowing the Bible.  But that's not the heart of it.

The heart of religion is found in John 13:34-35.  Our religion is about loving one another.

Being connected to others in healthy and beneficial ways that show the world what God is like.

Gateway's mission:

"We exist to be used by God to draw others into authentic Christian community."

Stop meandering and join us in this mission!

If you devote yourself to community, when the crisis comes, you get the payoff.

Ephesians 4:3-6 -- Make every effort!

Two requirements:

1)  We need to be connected to God through Jesus Christ.  He gives the unity of the Spirit.

2)  We participate.  We make every effort and devote ourselves to fellowship.

Homework:

1)  Ask yourself if you're all in.

Are you making every effort to have community?

Are you all in with Gateway?  If yes, we need to feel the weight of you.

2)  Take the next right step.

This will vary for each person.

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After this message, we celebrated the Lord's Supper together.