Abraham knew that God will provide a lamb, Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide, but he wouldn't provide it until after Abraham was faithful to God's directions. Abraham was just being obedient, he...
The good news is that God is a fair and impartial judge and the truth of the gospel is proof that he is also merciful. Christ paid a high price to redeem us from our hopeless, empty existence that we...
Luke 22:13-20 They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.
15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
Jesus gave his disciples very detailed instructions on where the Passover meal would be served, the instructions remind us of the instructions that he gave the disciples when he sent them to get the donkey that he would ride into Jerusalem. (Compare Luke 22:9-12 with Luke 19:30-34)
The details of these two passages help to remind us that God is in control of everything. The disciples found that all of the details were just as Jesus had said, even the man carrying the water pot, which would be a strange sight to see a man doing "woman's work."
It is now Thursday of Passion Week, the day that the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is the day that the Passover Lambs are prepared and this evening the Passover meal would begin at sundown.
Jesus institutes a new memorial meal. Passover shouldn't be observed anymore, the memorial of the deliverance of God's chosen people from Egypt would be overshadowed by this new memorial meal that we call The Lord's Supper. (Exodus 12:1-20)
Hebrews 10:10-12 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
The broken bread and the juice serve as a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made that made it possible to have a new relationship with God. Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins.
Our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, when he said "It is finished" he meant it, it was finished on the day of his death, it is still finished today and it will be finished for all of eternity.
A restless generation We're turning over every stone Hoping to find salvation In a world that's left us cold
Can we get back to the altar? Back to the arms of our first love There's only one way to the Father And He's calling out to us
To the captive, it looks like freedom To the orphan, it feels like home To the skeptic, it might sound crazy To believe in a God who loves
In a world, where our hearts are breaking And we're lost in the mess we've made Like a blinding light, in the dead of night It's the Gospel The Gospel that makes a way It's the Gospel that makes a way
It's the cure for our condition It's the good news for us all It's greater than religion It's the power of the Cross
The amazing news of the Gospel Is not that we can receive Jesus into our lives But that He's already received us Int His
In my own life, it means forgiveness When I know I deserved the fall It called me out of my darkness And carried me to the Cross
In a moment, my eyes were opened In that moment, my heart was changed Like a blinding light, in the dead of night It's the Gospel
1 Corinthians 15:21-23 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
Did you know that YOU are the church? Whether you are helping a church plant in North Philly, serving alongside a valuable local ministry like Hope All Day, or being good news with family and friends, this is what BEING the church is all about! It is being a family of missionary servants sent by God wherever He opens doors to go! This has to be our mindset every day because that is the GOSPEL.
One thing is vital for us to always remember as a church plant. Our calling is to help lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. This calling is paramount for us but we must remember a few things as we go and fulfill this calling.
We, the church, can’t assume everyone knows everything about faith and church. We see that everyday here in New Jersey as we talk with our friends, colleagues and neighbors. We, the church, also need to realize that many who don’t have a relationship with God, or had difficulties maintaining one, assume they need to know everything about faith and church in order to participate.
Did you catch that tension…our assumption and others assumption? This is why so many hesitate to walk in the doors of a church building. They let fear…fear of the unknown, fear of not having an answer, fear of being hurt again paralyze them from coming.
We, as Grace Falls, have to work hard to create a safe place for anyone to come and begin to ask questions that they have about God, life, and matters of faith. This safe place is huge to who we are and what God has called us to do.
This happens when we are willing to meet people right where they are and work on listening, and building trust by building a relationship and not a defense case. Not trying to have all the answers or fix every problem life presents us. You can’t do that, I can’t do that, and we can’t do that. This is why we say we are a GOSPEL CENTERED CHURCH. The GOSPEL is the solution to every situation or issue in life. This is why the GOSPEL = GOOD NEWS. So, our goal is simple. We want our Sunday Gathering to be a conversational environment where people can explore faith and experience community.
For this to happen, we must prioritize building relationships over simply handing off answers. Rather than the traditional teacher (preacher) to student (member) format of learning, group members journey alongside one another through a facilitated discussion. Exploring faith and inviting past experiences, current beliefs, and future ideals to be shared and heard.
As we begin to know and be known, we will begin to see we aren’t alone and get a taste of what a real authentic community is. This is when many will come to realize what we mean when we say Grace Falls is a FAMILY. A family that loves, forgives, accepts, encourages, believes, helps, and is there for one another no matter what. A GOSPEL FAMILY changed because of who God is and what He has done. This is my vision, my prayer, and my hope. This is LIFE CHANGING.
I shared all this as a reminder of who we are, why we do what we do, and what we hope to see. I hope this helps you see what you are apart of. I pray it gets you excited to be apart of something bigger than yourself. I pray you see how vital you are and why God did what He did through every story we have read, discussed, and learned from. He did all of it so that He could use you, me, us to help others know Him. Not just know of Him but truly KNOW HIM.
Well you did it…you read through all my words, but I hope you hear my heart. I believe God has great things in store for us. Will you believe with me?
Love you and thank God for you!
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
The majority to Christ followers talk about the gospel among other believers instead of sharing it to apathetic, even skeptical, unbelievers. We need to share the good news with those that haven't heard the good news and don't know anything about it.
For many people, evangelism does not come naturally, we sense the social awkwardness of talking about spiritual things. It is okay to be an introvert, Pastor Buff can share the gospel in ways that your personality may not allow but at the same time we cannot allow Satan to use our fear to silence us.
A believer is accountable only to say yes to God’s call. It is the Lord’s responsibility to equip the chosen for the work He’s assigned. A personal plan has been mapped for each believer’s life, and God provides the personality and temperament that suits. Then He adds skills that can be developed and the spiritual gifts necessary to fulfill His mission.
God makes His call with wisdom and discernment. He knows why He created you and what you’re capable of accomplishing in His strength.
You can easily begin by building a relationship with the people that you share with. Show them love, show them that you care, then they will be interested in hearing your story. God will give you opportunity and he will give you the words.
We must evaluate whether we spend most of our time talking about the Gospel with believers or telling the Gospel to unbelievers.
For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.
The reason for doing evangelism is the very same reason for our existence. It is all for bringing glory to God.
What is glory? Perhaps the best way to think of glory is our word “fame.” We live to declare the wonders of God, or to make Him famous. When we love others with God’s love, or give Him thanks in all things, we are singing His praises– making Him famous. When we choose not to sin, we declare to the world that God is more satisfying than sin.
People Are Lost
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4
This is the tragic, but accurate, depiction of the state of people apart from Christ. Satan is holding them hostage, keeping them in prison, and blinding them to the Gospel.
We Are Ambassadors
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
God has entrusted us with the responsibility of being His ambassadors. We are his representatives in this foreign land.
When we proclaim the good news, we grow as Christ’s disciples. Evangelism opens us up to the adventure of obeying God and collaborating with him in ways that strengthen our faith and transform our thinking.