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Posts Tagged ‘love and serve’

LOVE REACHES OUT  #4AMLove Reaches Out 3 Screen

JOIN THE TEAM TO LOVE AND SERVE

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Today we have seen an incredible promotion from the Gideons about reaching Melbourne. I know this church will be right in there supporting this call as we have exactly the same vision. To see as many Melbournites as possible experience the love of Jesus Christ. Here’s the vision statement of our church denomination or movement:  To Give every Aussie the chance to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The other take home message of this Gideon presentation is the power of reading the bible. In this church we encourage each believer to read the word of God regularly. To understand the power in this see our website at this address. It’s important to understand that we have a great confidence that the bible is God’s word and is divinely inspired and infallible cover to cover. This can be demonstrated clearly with real evidence both scientific and literary. For more information on this please check out these specific messages on our church podcast at this link.

This year we are sharing the message of LOVE across the whole year. This month our theme is Love Reaches Out. We have heard the message in week one about the reality of heaven and hell and the incredible importance of sharing our faith with others. In week two, Rhys spoke of how in this world many people have an obsession with a celebrity and they know everything about them, want to look like them and be near them. He pointed out that as real authentic Christians we are to be obsessed with Jesus and experience the same level of life changing impact. In week three we spoke about how to actually share your faith effectively, and what is the gospel message essentially.

The main message today is that reaching people with God’s love is best done in a team work approach. Let’s look at how Jesus made an impact in peoples’ lives.

Luke 9:11-17 11 But when the crowds learned of it, [they] followed Him; and He welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed restoration to health.

12 Now the day began to decline, and the Twelve came and said to Him, Dismiss the crowds and send them away, so that they may go to the neighbouring hamlets and villages and the surrounding country and find lodging and get a [b]supply of provisions, for we are here in an uninhabited (barren, solitary) place.

13 But He said to them, You [yourselves] give them [food] to eat. They said, We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all this crowd,

14 For there were about 5,000 men. And [Jesus] said to His disciples, Have them [sit down] reclining in table groups (companies) of about fifty each.

15 And they did so, and made them all recline.

16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and [praising God] gave thanks and asked Him to bless them [to their use]. Then He broke them and gave them to the disciples to place before the multitude.

17 And all the people ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up what remained over—twelve [[c]small hand] baskets of broken pieces.(AMP)

This was teamwork in action. We see that pretty much everywhere Jesus went He healed people and he also performed miracles of provision – feeding the 5000, as well as raising people from the dead. His approach to help people understand the message of the gospel, that God loved them and that they needed to be forgiven and know God, was to awaken them through the meeting of their needs. The reaction of people was huge! Mark 7:37 37 And they were overwhelmingly astonished, saying, He has done everything excellently (commendably and nobly)! He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!(AMP)  By meeting their needs supernaturally, people who were open to God, would seek further understanding and begin to listen to Jesus as He preached the good news of the kingdom. If people were not open to God they were often offended by the miracles and became aggressive towards Him.

The same is true today. As we seek to reach people with the message of God’s love we can pray for people’s needs, be it healing or financial breakthrough or restoration of marriages or anything that concerns them. To a great extent the level of miracles we see is less than what Jesus experienced and this is due to a high level of unbelief in this nation; where people can scarcely believe that God exists let alone that He would heal them. This is not the case in many nations where ordinary believers like you and me can travel and see amazing miracles and healings right in front of our eyes.

MY UKRAINE STORY

In 1991-1993 I led three large teams into the Ukraine to do missions work. This took place immediately after the failed coup and the fall of the iron curtain. We preached on the streets with interpreters and saw hundreds of people receive Jesus Christ as their saviour and as we prayed for healing amazing miracles took place right out there in the street. This was team work in action. Some preached, some prayed, some played guitars, some shared their faith one on one with interpreters, and some translated our songs into Russian. Together we loved and served the Ukrainian people.

THE STORY OF RED FROGS

This video shares some of the story of what Red Frogs is all about. Red Frogs is a ministry of Christian young people who go to the schoolies week at 14 locations around Australia and look after tens of thousands of young school leavers who are living it up and making crazy life endangering decisions in an alcohol fuelled party at the end of their school life. The Red Frogs Crew help serve and love them to keep them safe and guide them to better decisions. This teamwork of loving and serving these young people gives them the perfect platform to share the real meaning of life as those who are open ask the red frogs team why they do what they do. Later these same Christian leaders go into the universities and serve at O week where again the alcohol culture is over the top. The Red Frogs teams keep working through the year loving and serving these future leaders of Australia (and indeed the world) and many of them end up in church because they see the love and the quality lives of the Red Froggers.

Why is the ministry of Red Frogs so successful? Here’s why…

  1. It’s focussed on a need
  2. There’s an expression of love through serving.
  3. There’s a team work approach.

In Plenty Valley Church, we use this same team work approach to love and serve people in order to gain trust and show them the love in action that stems from Jesus Christ. We do this through…

  1. Urban Connect Groups – loving and serving people in need
  2. Youth Foundation – loving and serving High schoolers
  3. Community Kitchen – loving and serving disabled, lonely, struggling and financially challenged people.
  4. The Autism Support Group – loving and serving families struggling with special needs kids.

I hope that soon we can begin a new team of passionate believers to start what’s called a Messy Church. Messy Church is a once a month church service on a Saturday afternoon that caters for young families with kids where the kids and their parents get involved in games, craft, art and singing as well as hear a message and share a meal while being all together. We will need about 7-8 new leaders to assist us to run this new outreach. If you’re interested please see one of the ministry team later.

So to summarise this month.

Every person who does not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and saviour is lost and we care deeply that they are not going to heaven. We will do all in our power to love them and serve them and so gain their trust and share with them the good news that Jesus died for them.

  1. We can share with others through personal sharing of our faith,
  2. We can invite people to church or Urban Connect groups or youth etc.
  3. We can be part of a team that loves and serves those in need just as Jesus did to find those open to the message of the gospel so that they might be saved.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss the benefits of completing a task in a team environment.

2. What are the gifts you bring to the team – what are you good at?

3. Who is the best one in your team at sharing the gospel message? Who is the best host? the best practical helps person etc?

4. Who is your team (Urban Connect group) going to reach out to? Can you identify someone in need?

5. When will you plan ways to love and serve them in Jesus name?

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