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What's Your Story?

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This morning, Pastor Ed transitioned into a new sermon series by giving us three mini-sermons.  "What's Your Story?" is the theme for our small groups this year, which start up next week.  But it also tied in with what we talked about today.

He began with some vision-casting. 

We looked at Acts 2:42-47, which is the launching pad for our vision.  Then we looked at our official Vision statement:

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

You can't healthily connect with God unless you're spending energy healthily connecting with one another.

Look at the use of "one another" in the New Testament.  You can't be a follower of Christ alone.

What are you saying "Yes" to?  If you're feeling disconnected, you're saying Yes to other things.

Then we did some groupletyzing to get talking with each other.

The second section, we looked at our new Logo.  We read John 1, where Jesus is described as the Logos, the Word.  God changed his Logo when he sent Jesus.

And we talked about the new logo.  People see good things in it!  We want to point to Jesus and highlight Community, among other things.

The third mini-message was about Giving.  We looked at II Corinthians 9:6-8.

Pastor Ed historically hasn't preached a lot about giving.  But we're building a building.  And it's important work.

Our Motivation for giving:  As you sow, you'll reap.

We're not designed to be a reservoir; we're designed to be a river.

That's why it feels good to give.

How should we give?  Happily!

The means:  Get in touch with the generosity God's given you.  Want to be generous, and God will supply the means.

Can we covenant to give out of God's generosity?

We want to give of our time, energy, and money.

NO PARKING for this season!  It's about cooperation!  Jump in!

Who Do You Think You Are? Acts 28

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Yesterday, Deen Salami finished up our series of sermons in the book of Acts.

In Acts 28, Paul saw trouble coming, and had no other choice than to deal with it head on.

God's Providence

On the ship, they didn't know where they were, but God brought them to Malta, right where they needed to be.

God's Protection

Not one of the 276 people died in the shipwreck.  God had promised Paul he would make it to Rome.

God's Provision

The ancient name for Malta was "Refuge."  The islanders showed them "unusual kindness."  On the way to Rome, Paul was encouraged by believers.

Acts ends rather abruptly, but it wasn't written for our entertainment.  Look back at Luke 1, and you see that Luke wrote the books that we might know the certainty of the things we have been taught.  He wrote them to teach us and to get us going.

We're part of a Building Program that's been going on for two millennia.

Gateway is good at caring for each other.  Where we need work:  Being witnesses.

One thing you can't miss in the book of Acts:  The more they shared the gospel, the more people came to Christ.

If we want to grow, we need to share the gospel.

It's to simple a command for us to miss.  Share the gospel with others.

We are witnesses.  What will we do for Jesus?

Here Deen told about going barhopping with Erik Saunders -- to talk to people about Jesus.

At the end of his life, Paul wrote II Timothy 2:6-8.  He fought the good fight.

We've got the stuff, but we've got to let other people know.

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What's your response to this sermon?  Be sure to comment!

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