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Committing Yourself To The Local Church

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Below is a quote from Australian pastor, Mark Sayers on the beauty of committing yourself to the local church:

"The Christian understands the church as a vital resource in fighting the flesh...its common meal of communion reorients us around our primary identity as citizens of heaven.

Communion reminds us of the freedom, the reality of grace given to broken sinners, the ultimate social equalizing force. Yet at the same time, the commitment that church requires bites deep into our flesh, pulling us back from running into a dangerous freedom.

In our contemporary culture, set around the needs of the individual, in which we pick and choose where to spend our time at our leisure, where formed as consumers we give but we expect in return, the social architecture of the church reorients us away from a fleshly obsession on self.

To be a truly redemptive force, a church needs the commitment of its individual members--those who shape their lives around its rhythms and calendar, who restrict their options and choose instead to serve the bride of Christ.

The small commitment of regular attendance grows into the commitment of loving brothers and sisters in Christ, which blossoms into the service of those outside the church, love of neighbor in sharing of good news and seeking of mercy and justice.

The opposite of the works of the flesh, Paul reminds us in Galatians, is the fruit of the Spirit: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23).

This fruit cannot be bought, or downloaded; instead it emerges from an inner life, shaped by the reality of fighting the flesh, of living by the Spirit in the church. It grows as it is sown--lovingly, carefully, tenderly, painstakingly, slowly.

It is a shared crop, the result of imperfect people walking together toward Christlikeness."

Have a think on that.

Posted by Jeremy Young with
in Prayer

Pray With Us

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By: Joel Polk

This past Sunday was very special for our church family. In both services, we gathered in groups to pray for how we believe God is leading us. We focused on five things that we are asking God for as a church:

1) To Be Sacrificially Diverse: Revelation 7:9-10
2) To Intentionally Multiply: Matthew 28:18-20
3) To Be Involved In Doing Justice: Micah 6:8
4) To Be Theologically Healthy: 1 Timothy 4:16
5) Spirit-Filled Revival: Ephesians 5:15-21

We want you to continue to pray with us over the coming weeks and months for these things. Please use these prayer points and the accompanying Scripture to focus your time with God.

1) Sacrificially Diverse

After this, I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!

Revelation 7:9-10

Prayer Points

1) Help us see racial prejudice in ourselves and repent.

2) Help us see racial injustice in our city and act.

3) Prepare us to sacrifice to make our church diverse and unified in Christ.

2) Intentionally Multiply

18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Prayer Points

1) Help me make disciples in my neighborhood and friend-group.

2) Help me make disciples in my workplace, campus, and classroom.

3) Help me make disciples in my church.

3) Doing Justice

Mankind, he has told each of you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Prayer Points

1) Open our eyes to see injustice in our city and our hearts to care about it.

2) Show us what more we can do to help current justice efforts in our city: Bradley Academy, Journey Home, Portico, Greenhouse Ministries, etc.

3) Give us a clear direction and faith to serve the marginalized.

4) Theologically Healthy

Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 4:16

Prayer Points

1) Help us repent of our indifference toward your Scripture.

2) Make us unafraid to read the Scripture, ask questions, and engage our doubts.

3) Use this church, our community groups, our elders, and each other to help us believe right things about you, God.

5) Spirit-Filled Revival

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-21

Prayer Points

1) Will you show us how we are quenching your Spirit with our sin and move us to repent?

2) Will you make us sensitive to your Spirit?

3) Will you bring Spirit-filled revival in our church and our city?

Posted by Joel Polk with

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