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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Everyone His Witness: Love

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word" 2Thes 2:16-17

Thanks be to God for the grace in Christ Jesus who came into the world to die for sinners! It is through His sacrificial death and resurrection that we were once dead but now made alive by His very work. Through the com- fort of His love, our Lord calls us to every good work and word. The motivation for every good work is love. Not just any love, but the love of Christ. And likewise, the motivation for witnessing is love.

"Many Christians struggle with guilt over evangelism. They know that they're supposed to tell people about Jesus, but they don't for any number of reasons. Some are convinced that they don't know how to be effective witnesses of Jesus. Others are afraid of how people might react. Many feel beaten up by well-meaning pastors and church leaders who have tried to motivate them to do their duty. They've used the law of God to push people to be witness. But the law doesn't motivate us to do good works, even the good work of evangelism" [Everyone His Witness pg50].

When hearing the keywords, "evangelism", "outreach", "witnessing", or "reaching the lost", how quickly we are burdened. Why? When we hear these words, our motivation begins with the law and inevitably continues with guilt. Thus, as we head down the path of the law, how quickly we find ourselves pressured in our proclamation rather than being a joyful witness of Christ. And soon enough, we tell ourselves that we are "ineffective", "not good enough", or "its simply not for me". But remember the love that God has given you first in Jesus Christ. Though we were once dead, Jesus has brought us from the "domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" [1Col1:13-14]. Through
His love we know how to love [1Jn4:19].

As the world continues to search for fulfillment in so many fleeting ways, it is through the motivation of love that we open our mouths and share the life-saving, life-rescuing message of the Gospel. This message of Christ and in Him Crucified [1Cor2:2] is the only name by which we are saved [Ac4:12]. Therefore, through His love, we are motivated [by the love of Christ] to be a joyful witness to those that God has placed in our lives.

On a separate piece of paper, I encourage you to write down every person that you have frequent contact with [ie. Family-parents, spouse, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, niece, nephew, friends co-workers, church members -visitors, house neighbors, community-i.e.. local mechanic, dentist, physician, clerk, teachers. The list is end- less]. This list will remind you of the good work that God has prepared for you as His witnesses. Continue to pray as you "prepare to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason that is in you"[1Pt3:15].

In this good work and word, may the Lord grant you His wisdom and faith to proclaim Christ to all the nations [Ac1:8].

If you have ever have any questions about evangelism, feel free to ask! I'm here to help as we continue to work together to be the beacon of light to our community.

Have a blessed October!

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
https://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2019/2019-10-Newsletter.pdf

Friday, August 23, 2019

Everyone His Witness: Luke 8:26-39


Hopeless, helpless, broken, and demon possessed, the man at the Gerasenes was in dire need. After sailing to the Gerasenes, Jesus saw his tragic situation. Living amongst the tombs, without clothes and house, he was bound with chains and shackles yet even those could not contain the demons that possessed him. For it is Christ who comes to people that need Him. Whether it be, the woman at the well [Jn4], blind Bartimaeus [Mk10], dead Lazarus [Jn11], Jairus daughter [Mk5], ten lepers [Lk17], the list goes on and on as Jesus came for the broken [Mt11].

Therefore as we see this helpless demon possessed man, it is Jesus who comes to the rescue. Jesus overturns what appears to be an easy victory for the demons. Yet now, they were beggars as Jesus had dominion over them. The power of Jesus and His promise would defeat and destroy these demons that would lead them to their abyss-filled demise.

We see the tragedies that have sadly become the state of normalcy within our world. Violence, strife, murder and mass shootings seem to be a common news headline that has become a broken record on our evening news. To no surprise this is, for we live in a broken and evil world that is separated from God. And though many will seek answers for a better world, we know that it begins and ends in Christ Jesus. Thus, you and I play an important role as God's ambassadors and witnesses to the truth!

A witness is someone who simply reports an event they have seen. As witnesses of Christ, we do the same.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" 1 Peter 2:9.

As God's redeemed people, you have the answer to eternal life [Jn6:68]. The world is constantly searching, and we are here as witnesses to "proclaim the excellencies" of God. I know that witnessing/outreach/evangelism, may seem like a daunting task for all of us, but remember the man at the Gerasenes. Without Christ, this man would forever be held captive to the bondage of sin death and the devil. Likewise, the plague of sin and death continues to be the disease in which our humanity suffers. Yet, Jesus knows our need and wants everything to do with us. His death and resurrection delivers us from darkness and into His marvelous light so that we are His "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession".

Someone once told me, "if you had the cure the cancer, wouldn't you want to share it with the whole world?". And you do. It's Jesus! Eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, and salvation has released you from sin and death and has given you the greatest victory in Christ Jesus! A witness you are! To what God has done for you!

I highly encourage you to attend our "Everyone His Witness" bible study. Come join us every Wednesday [10am or 7:45pm] to study and discuss witnessing, outreach and evangelism. Thus far, It has been a great blessing to reflect upon the joys and challenges of the field. So come join us as we study a topic that is so important in these grey and latter days. See you there!

✝️ Pastor Jeong
The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2019/2019-09-Newsletter.pdf

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