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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Making Disciples of All Nations

When Christ gave the disciples the great commission to go out into all the world and make more disciples through baptism and teaching they started in Jerusalem and then left into the rest of the Roman Empire into many cities, towns, and villages. Many were the differences in culture, tradition, and beliefs wherever the disciples went. In every place they arrived they were faced with new challenges and struggles. Yet, through it all they maintained the same Gospel message for each and every person. Regardless of the cultural situation the disciples recognized that everyone they met was someone for whom Jesus had died and won eternal life. The people may have been different, but the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ remained the same.

We are a result of this work of the apostles! They went out into the world and spread the message and the pattern has been continued even to this very day. We are the continuation of Christ's work through His church. But, of course this mission to go into the world is not to end with us. Quite the contrary! We who have received this life-giving message are to go out into all the world (which includes our homes, neighborhoods, places of work, circle of friends, etc.) and continue this work of bringing people to baptism to receive God's grace and teaching them to follow Christ.

Starting August 9th we will see this great commission being carried out in a new and exciting way for our congregation. We are going to start examining how we might be able to start and outreach to the Hispanic community here in Moorpark. Along with our brothers and sisters from Centro de Cristiano we are going to start discussions about developing a shared facility with a Lutheran Hispanic congregation. The initial meetings will begin at 9:30am that Saturday.

This is a thrilling opportunity for us to reach out to our neighbors here in Moorpark. If this is a ministry that interests you, please join us! I am asking that you would daily include this ministry in your prayers as we set out to make disciples of our corner of the nations.

Pastor Bob

Speaking of Jesus - August 2008

When Jesus came He was constantly serving. I mean constantly. It is rather a remarkable and mind blowing thing to think that when God incarnated, that is became a man, He did not do so in a way to lord Himself over us. Quite the contrary. He came to serve us. He came to save us.

When you talk about Jesus with your friends, how often do you emphasize the service of Christ? I wonder if we don't try and use Jesus to fix people as opposed to proclaim what He has done to save them. Sometime I wonder if we don't think about evangelism as a means of telling people how to fix themselves so that they make themselves good enough for God. We think we are to say, "He sinner, repent (by which we mean 'fix yourself') or else you'll be in hell." But that is not how we are to speak of Jesus at all!

Rather, when we speak of Jesus, we should speak of the One who came to serve us and save us, not to condemn us unless we "fix ourselves." When we talk about Jesus, we need to be sure we are speaking of a loving God who knows our struggles and our failures. He know our hardships and our sorrows. And, yes, he knows our sins. But this is what is so wonderful about Jesus, he didn't come to fix that stuff. No, far better! He came to redeem us, to declare us righteous even when we are not. He came to conquer our struggles, He came to forgive our sins, He came to pour out all of Himself so that we can have life with Him eternally. This is how we should talk about Jesus!

Make a goal for yourself this month to sit down and read the entire Gospel of Luke. As you read, be caugh up in the wonder of this God who serves the broken, the outcast, and the marginalized. Sit in awe as you see Jesus forgiving sinners. Try to control the joy when you realize that you are among those whom Christ has redeemed and forgiven. And then go out and tell your friends that He has done the same for them. He's not waiting to do it for them, they don't have to be fixed, He has done it for them. Let this Jesus shape the way you speak of God's salvation!

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email