Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." -- Jesus Christ
By going into our world we are….
* Gaining an important perspective that we are not the same but have the same need - Jesus Christ!
* Proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.
* Declaring to our community that “WE CARE!”
* Honoring the commission of our Lord.
* Serving something and someone greater.
We must pray, encourage, support, and unite our efforts.
We should be extremely proud of our Westpark Family because we have members, deacons, and elders, who are united, committed, and convicted in serving Jesus Christ (and His world) as loyal subjects and willing to carry out His will.
Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” -- Jesus Christ
God longs for eternal relationships. He wanted an intimate, lasting relationship with the first couple Adam and Eve. God experienced this intimacy in The Garden when He would enjoy the benefits of a relationship free of distraction and sin. However this intimacy, closeness, and fellowship would be short lived because of their personal sin. This couple was ashamed, afraid, deceived, and now separated from the relationship that was meant to be eternal.
God continues His pursuit for relationships built for eternity. He implements His eternal plan for relationships for all of humanity ultimately fulfilled in Christ (Genesis 3:15 - The First Gospel Message). The Hebrews writer shares insight into this idea in Hebrews 2:14-18 by sharing the message of Jesus who brings us back into an eternal relationship with the Father and connects the prophecy made in (Genesis 3:15,12:1-3, Galatians 3:15-18).Jesus came, lived and died so that we could experience a relationship with God built for eternity. Again, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” - Hebrews 5:9
You and I get to play a BIG part in this awesome experience of intimacy with our Heavenly Father, His Glorious Son, and amazing Spirit. We first and foremost get to enjoy forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus. Then we get to partner with God by sharing the message of Jesus and help reconcile people to Him and build RELATIONSHIPS BUILT FOR ETERNITY. How awesome is that!?
Our purpose, responsibility, and goal is coined beautifully in the word of the apostle Paul, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:20
Have you ever wondered why the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:20) or "the breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42) is so important? It is such a simple act that has great meaning! Having an understanding of its meaning and importance is beneficial for its observance. We certainly wouldn't want to be guilty of "sharing" this meal in a meaningless way. Consider..
1. The Supper is a MEMORIAL for the family of Christ (1 Cor 11:23-25). We remember His death.
2. The Supper is a PROCLAMATION by the family of Christ (1 Cor 11:26). We preach He is coming again to claim His own.
3. The Supper is SHARING with the family of Christ (1 Cor 10:16). We are ONE body sharing life, love and communion together.
4. The Supper is shared in REVERENCE with the family of Christ (1 Cor 11:27,29). Respecting His will, way, and word as the Author of eternal life.
5. The Supper is shared with INTROSPECTION (1 Cor 11:28). Taking personal assessment of our heart as we reflect on His sacrifice for sin.
6. The Supper is shared on the LORD'S DAY (Acts 20:7). It is His supper to be observed on His day by His people to honor His sacrifice of love for our sins.
This is such an important part of what we do when we meet together! The Lord wanted us to remember Him (Matt 26:28) in His Kingdom (Mark 14:25) on His day. Our meeting together should be all about Him, what He did on the cross, and what He established with His blood, until He returns to take us Home!!
The Apostle Paul says, “... I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me” and “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12 & 14. Paul had Jesus Christ in view for his life, and heaven as his ultimate destination. Living for Jesus was a priority for the present and future for Paul. He lived each day with an attitude of “pressing on” regardless of how difficult or challenging life might become for him. Engaging in faith-building activities with his brothers and sisters in Christ helped him “press on” and ultimately gain the prize by God’s grace.
Here are a few things to help us as we journey toward heaven with our wonderful Lord this month!
1. Read the daily devotionals in HIS WORD DEVOTIONAL BOOK and read the corresponding chapters in the NEW TESTAMENT. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11
2. Today many have been be looking for a place to visit. This is an opportunity for us to invite our friends and family who are not Christians to come and hear the truth about our Lord, His
wonderful Church, and salvation through His resurrection. This is a beautiful truth we embrace as we worship every Lord’s day!
3. Let’s engage in various acts of kindness to make a difference in the lives of our friends and family. Let’s love our enemies and do good to as many as possible and follow the example of our Lord and Savior, JESUS THE CHRIST!
We must “press on” in order to experience life with Christ now and forever. Let’s be a going church for a coming Lord.
When you think about love, what does it look like? Like a precious lady teaching stories of the Bible to a class full of kids? Like a sweet older couple who are madly in love with one another, hand in hand in faith and love, although their faces are lined with wrinkles and their steps are shortened? Like the heart of one serving with respect and diligence to put food on the table for hungry mouths and empty bellies at a shelter? Like the innocent face of a newborn baby who is pure and sinless? There are a lot of people who display selfless, active, and unconditional love each day by their actions. Love is a decision that acts unselfishly, unconditionally, and nonjudgmentally!
THINK ABOUT THIS, LOVE is Jesus Christ … Jesus suffers long, He is kind, He does not envy, He does not parade Himself, He is not puffed up, He doesn't behave rudely, nor does He seek His own, and He is not easily provoked. He thinks NO EVIL and doesn't rejoice in iniquity! He bears, believes, hopes, and endures ALL THINGS. Jesus is love with flesh and bones. He is a compassionate heart with a loving nonjudgmental look for the worst of us and serves, cares, and sacrifices anyway! He is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.
Let's do all we can to follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and love with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” -- 1 John 2:6