What We’re Reading Today

From Josh and Sean McDowell’s More Than A Carpenter:

You can laugh at Christianity, you can mock it and ridicule it. But it works. It changes lives. I should say Jesus Christ changes lives. Christianity is not a religion; it’s not a system; it’s not an ethical idea; it’s not a psychological phenomenon. It’s a person. If you trust Christ, start watching your attitudes and actions because Jesus Christ is in the business of changing lives.

Influencing the World for Christ

Though not all of us are pastors, all disciples are called to influence people towards Godliness and righteousness. Lee Eclov shares what it means to influence people for Christ.

Christians have no one else in their lives like their pastor. They do not see us as we see ourselves. Part of our calling is that people sense that we bring them the very presence of the Lord.

Read the whole thing.

Empathy and Evangelism

Empathy and evangelism go hand in hand. Jesus not only proclaimed the gospel, but he did so by relating to our weakness.

Cultivating the ability to empathize with others leads to greater effectiveness in all forms of communication, including evangelism. In fact, Jesus himself models this as he empathizes with our brokenness.

Read the whole thing.

God’s Silence May Be An Invitation

Has God not answered your prayer yet? Don’t take silence as a non-answer, rather take it as an invitation.

If “whatever you ask in prayer” has not happened yet, do not assume it can’t or won’t. Don’t give up. This promise is an invitation to come further up and further in to knowing God. And those who have taken God up on this invitation testify that the audacious promises of God are for those audacious enough to believe them.

Read the whole thing.

Featured Article: Scott Green Goes Home to the Lord

Our brother Scott Green gave his life for the gospel. In 1987 he led a small team to plant a church in Hong Kong. The church today is over 2000 strong and has planted many other churches in mainland China, including Taiwan. On March 31, he passed on to be with the Lord.

It seems fitting that Scott went to be with the Lord on Easter weekend. His very first sermon to the Seattle Church was on Easter Sunday, 1997. We all remember vividly Scott preaching about the risen Savior with passion and urgency. His convictions stirred our hearts to a greater sense of action and vision back then, and his incredible legacy will surely provide inspiration for our future. Scott truly poured out everything for the sake of the gospel, setting an example for all of us who want to impact this world for Christ.

Read the whole thing.

 

Jesus’ Resurrection and the Mission

Jesus’ rise from the dead has many great and wonderful implications for us Christians. Not only does His resurrection mean victory over sin, death and the promise of a new body, it is also a source of encouragement for people on the mission.

The author of Hebrews captured it in his final benediction:

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

From this passage we can receive two encouragements.

  1. God’s eternal covenant reaches us beyond death.

Death does not hinder God from fulfilling His promises. He has made an eternal covenant with us that death cannot break. This covenant is that there is eternal life available to all who hold onto Him. If indeed this indestructible promise is available to us, then how much more should we strive to give it to our friends, our neighbors and all those who have not heard of the Gospel? Let’s strive to show this eternal covenant to the world, by our lives and our message.

2. God’s raising of Jesus is a display of His power. 

Notice how the Hebrew author is trying to remind us that this God of peace actually brought Jesus Christ from the dead? It’s intentional. Before he gets to his benediction that this God of peace “equip you with everything good for doing his will“, he reminds us that this God raised Jesus from the dead. In other words, He is all powerful. God will not only adequately equip us, he will equip us with surpassing power over all the forces of this world. He is supreme. God has shown us that He is capable of His by doing the impossible: raising someone from the dead.

Jesus’ resurrection is the surest sign that we will be victorious. If death and sin were destroyed, how much more will the obstacles that we face on the mission field crumble before us!

Step out and faith and expect victories to come. Consider going on a One Year Challenge today.

What We’re Reading Today

From Josh and Sean McDowell’s More Than A Carpenter:

When Jesus was executed on the cross more than two thousand years ago, God accepted his death as a substitute for ours. The just and righteous nature of God was satisfied. Justice was done; a penalty was paid. So at that point God’s love nature was set free from the constrictions of justice, and he could accept us again and offer us what he had lost in Eden—that original relationship in which we could experience his love glory.