Sermon Topic: Calling
This Sunday, we also begin a study of Jonah. In a world that prefers black-and-white thinking, with clear lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys," the Book of Jonah challenges us to consider what it means to be God’s people in a polarized cutlure. Do I struggle to hear the call to love people I don’t like? Do I think I know what is best for others while failing to experience God’s heart for them? Do I allow the spirit of offense toward the enemies of God to make me an enemy of God, too? These are the kinds of questions Jonah both raises and this is a great time to be asking them ... as we live into our call to love like Jesus in this world as it is.
I sensed a stirring in the air last Sunday ... did you? Its as if we were all being drawn into God's heart in a fresh way, both in worship and in mission. What a gift it was to encounter God in that way! This Sunday, we'll be drawn even closer to the mission of God as we talk about that intersection where your passion meets the world's need. We'll watch how it worked for Paul and learn from his example how it can happen for us, too. How has God uniquely gifted you? What's your spark?
Let's spend our summer exploring the earliest account of Jesus' life and ministry. Mark's gospel is full of energy, power, and a little humor. It begins like fireworks, with several explosions of supernatural ministry in chapter one. That's where we begin on Sunday. Here are two great ways to get ready for this summer study: First, watch the Bible Project's ten-minute overview of Mark here. Then, read the gospel of Mark out loud in one sitting.
In the formation of the early church, there came a moment when the leaders realized that by trying to do it all themselves, they might actually end up neglecting the most important stuff. The solution is too simple: call forward those with the right gifts and give them authority to do the things they are good at doing. This is how the Kingdom is advanced. This week, we'll talk more about what the early Church can teach us about advancing the Kingdom without wearing folks out.
This week, we finish a series of messages to take us three steps forward. We've learned together how to open the Word, listen to it, and let it take us into the heart of the Father. And this week we will learn how to let it send us out into the world. The story of Philip, a missionary and evangelist, teaches us something about Kingdom economics. We'll learn what matters in the art of sharing Jesus.
In Exodus, we learn hope. We learn leadership. We learn patience, endurance, and character. We learn how to get along together as a community and how to stay focused on a God-inspired goal in a world full of distractions. And most importantly, we learn how to trust God as we become people after His own heart. This week's message takes us into the call of Moses and teaches us that for all our insecurities and inefficiencies, God is enough.