devotion 6-13-14

Good Morning! Beginning the third day of Annual Conference – last night we closed out the second day with rousing music from the Africa University Choir!

June 13, 2014

Good Morning! Beginning the third day of Annual Conference – last night we closed out the second day with rousing music from the Africa University Choir!

Luke 9:23-25

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?

Doctor Bob Tuttle began the day; he spoke from the text above, saying, “Our only hope for success is total reliance on God!”; “Let your vision for greatness be totally dependent upon God”; and “Our strengths become our weaknesses.” He spoke of the great imbalance in the world’s wealth, or the fact that 3 of the world’s richest people have more wealth than several countries with millions of people. He said that 11 million children die each year of poverty. He then used the Matthew 25:44 – 45 passage:

44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

And then, the words from John, when Peter said, “Lord, you know that I love you!” and Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.” And he went on to ask, “How do we feed God’s sheep?” How then, do we become a church that feed’s God’s sheep, nurtures souls all around us? He was saying, of course, that we don’t do that by trying to be big or great – he went on to list 8 things (actually, 10, but who’s counting?) that effective churches do – I will list those for you, as best my notes allow:

  1. An effective church is culturally sensitive – it is a church that welcomes people, appreciates people as they are, and responds to the surrounding culture.
  2. Emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit – we do not do this alone!
  3. Puts an emphasis on prayer and worship, living in an awareness of God!
  4. Does whatever it takes to reach the next generation.
  5. Is sensitive to issues of injustice.
  6. Has small groups, cell groups, or covenant groups.
  7. Has a strong lay base – everyone considers themselves a part of the ministry of all believers!
  8. Assume inadequacy – the first will be last and the last first!
  9. Emphasizes repentance, and by that he means grieving over our separation from God and from grace.
  10. Has compassion for a world desperately in need of Christ!

So – where are we on this list? I think there are things we do well, and places where we could use a little work. Perhaps this will help us to know where we need to be putting some attention!

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