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What's Your Game Plan? - Telling Others About Jesus

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Today one of Gateway's elders, John Maulella, brought the sermon, speaking from Acts 17:16-32 about another of our Habits - Telling others about Jesus.

In this passage, we saw a model for sharing our faith when Paul preached to the Athenians.  We see Connecting, Confronting, a Cause, and Caring.

Athens had lots of temples -- they were not places of worship, but homes for the gods, with nice things to appease them.  It was sort of a patronage system -- but that's still how many people think of God today.  If I do good things for God, He owes me.

First, Paul connected with his audience. 

"I see that in every way you are very religious."  He doesn't come across as thinking he's superior.

He confronts their wrong ideas about God (vs. 29).

He's not afraid to persuade.  This is countercultural to us.  But don't we do this in other contexts?  He does it respectfully.

The Cause (or Cognitive Reset): vs. 26-27

What's the point, God?  The point is that my life is planned.

"God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."

God planned for us to be around these particular people.  We may be a part of them finding Him.

vs. 32 -- "some of them sneered."  We all get that reaction.  But some did get it.

What motivated Paul to do this?

In verse 17, we see Paul's heart.  He was "greatly distressed."

Paul was moved to action because he Cared.

Do we care?

Do we have the emotional bandwidth to care?

Will we allow God to build this into us?

Why did Paul care?  Because without Jesus, people are lost.

(Here, John told a story of when his daughter was 4 years old and she hid from them in a store.  Once they started calling for her, she was afraid they'd be angry, and hid all the more.  We're lost and hiding from God.  Come out!  He is not mad at us!)

Action items:

1)  Pray for:  Boldness, Energy, and Opportunity

2)  Invite.  Also, invest in lives.

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

What's Your Game Plan? - Uplifting God's Character

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Today Pastor Ed Allen looked at another habit in the "What's Your Game Plan?" series:  Uplifting God's Character.  In particular, we looked at Holiness, using the passage Hebrews 12:1-14.

The Greek word for "Holy" is used many times for God and means "other than," "set apart," "utterly and completely unique."  But it often is used to refer to us:

Six Characteristics of Holiness

1)  Holy people are inspired by holy people who have gone before them.  Hebrews 12:1

2)  Holy people are focused -- specifically they are focused on what God has put before them. 

This is why holy people lay aside every weight that hinders (vs. 1), and they resist sin at great cost (vs. 4).

3)  Holy people recognize God's sovereignty in and over our lives.

We run the race marked out for us (vs. 7).

Difficulty will often be seen as coming from the hand of God -- for our goodness.

They will follow God no matter what comes.

They'll run with endurance, because it will take endurance.

4)  Holy people know that our faith has its foundation, maintenance and sustenance in Christ.

Our holiness is His work in us.

It's not about forcing ourselves to follow rules.

That's why, as holy people, we fix our eyes on Jesus -- especially in difficulty.

5)  Holy people understand difficulty as sometimes purposeful correction from God (vs. 7-9).

If we understand this, we will endure difficulty with vision (vs. 10).

6)  Holy people do whatever it takes to maintain a connection to God (vs. 12-13).

Holiness can't be imposed, but it can be agreed with.

Don't give in to your weak knees!  We will not be resigned to personal weakness.

Why pursue a life of holiness?

We know the alternative is death.  We're a slave to one thing or another.

We know there's healing power in our holiness to change other people's lives.

What the Bible doesn't say:

Holy people have easy lives.

Holy people don't have significant problems.

Holy people always feel close to God and always know what He wants them to do.

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Let's run with perseverance the race marked out for us.