Worthwhile February 22, 2019

February is coming to an end. It is always faster than we think. For many, the hope of Spring over the horizon is enough to warm your heart and even for those of us in SoCal, we wouldn’t mind some warmer temperature.

So this week let’s get real warm, in the love of Christ!

Two articles. On having a “Precious” and not being awkward when we think we are.


First from Sam Storms. A question: Is Jesus precious to your soul? I am preaching from the text he quotes and have been asking myself the same question all week. More than anything else, I long for Jesus to be precious to me, my obsession even. Are you on board? It’s worthwhile.

Read him here.


Next up before you clock out for the weekend, Andrew Wilson quotes Matt Smethurst’s new book on how sometimes (okay most of the time) evangelism can feel awkward and embarrassing to us. But it may be used by the Lord to draw people to himself.

Are you down for being embarrassed in order to share Jesus? It sure beats not sharing him.

Check it here.

A Hermeneutic for All of Life

An article from Sam Storms on seeing Jesus in all of Scripture has me thinking about how we view all of life. How we interpret the events around us and on the global stage. What is our hermeneutic?


her·me·neu·tic
/hərmən(y)oodik/ adjective

1.concerning interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.

http://www.dictionary.com

A hermeneutic is our method and theory of interpretation. And while Storms was reviewing Scripture to encourage interpreting the Bible as pointing to Christ, there is actually more we can see as pointing to Jesus – all of life.

Here is the text in question (one of them anyway): Colossians 1:15–17

Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (ESV)

Storms them writes that by saying “for him” Paul is indicating that “Jesus Christ is the purpose of everything exists.”

Now I am familiar with this text and I have always thought of all things being for Jesus concerning his glory, that he would reign over them. But it goes further.

Think about that. Sure there are some sticky implications to that statement, but none prevents it from being true. Just like every Scripture in the Bible, everything of creation is meant to point to Jesus.

It may be to reveal the need for a savior. To show the beauty of his creative power. To proclaim his arrival, life, death, and resurrection. To highlight the miracle of belief and what a life transformed by grace looks like. To call us back to him when we run off to lesser gods.

Jesus as a banner over all things to make himself known. That people would believe.

Every encounter, every run-in, every mellow moment, every anxious interview, and everything in between. It is all for Jesus – about him, pointing to him, for his glory.

What a radical way to view all of life. And I think it is right. I want to spend more time interpreting life in light of Jesus. Will you join me?

Wayback: 1 Corinthians 14

From the archives and March of 2017 comes a sermon on 1 Corinthians 14:1-25. The pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit in the gathered worship of the church.

This was an important season for our church. On the verge of executing the last phase of replanting, changing our name, we benefited from this series through 1 Corinthians. As a church that desires to highly value and pursue both Word and Spirit, the guidance Paul gives is helpful for us today.

Give it a listen here.

Some highlights:

The ramp of confirming spiritual gifts and using them in the context of love arrives here at pursuit of them and expression of them in gathered worship of the church. And Paul puts one gift ahead of the others…“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”

...Since gifts are given for the common good of the church the public expression of gifts should be beneficial for the gathered church, communicated in a way that can be understood by everyone present…

The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement and consolation. Those that believe in Jesus and are part of the church will gain from prophecy. They will be “constructed, developed, brought to maturity” by what is heard and understood. They will be encouraged in the faith, to continue in trusting Jesus and laboring in community. And they will be consoled, comforted in the wake of hardship or suffering…

When gifts are used intelligibly for the purpose of edification, encouragement, and consolation, the result is that the message of the gospel rings clear and true. People are transformed by it. It is the gospel proclaimed with regularity and spontaneity that does this good, by the Spirit…

Images of Advent

Most years when December hits and the Christmas season gets underway our family scrambles to prepare well. We don’t want to lose the hope and longing for Christ in the midst of a commercialized cultural moment. So to that end, we have tried a number of different books, guides, and calendars to get our hearts fully engaged in Advent (the month-long reminder and celebration of the arrival of Jesus and expectation of his return). But each year we feel like we have to start over with materials more appropriate for our season of life and worthwhile for our kids.

This year, instead of hunting for and ordering what might work, Stacy set out to write a devotional for our family that would make much of Jesus and instill an increasing sense of hope in our hearts. The result is our Images of Advent Family Devotional.

Image 11-29-18 at 3.43 PMImages of Advent shares Scripture and a simple devotional with questions for the days leading to Christmas. There is also a paper ornament families get to decorate for each day as a reminder of the good news of Jesus at Christmas.

We are excited to freely give print copies to our friends at Reservoir Church this Sunday but for those of you far off we are glad to make the pdf of the devotional available to you to download.

Please feel free to print, share, and enjoy Jesus in the Images of Advent Family Devotional. Click the links to download:

Images of Advent.

Advent Ornaments.