From Our Seats to the Streets

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Three Ways the Gospel Changes How You Live

 

Calvary began a six-week series on Core Values last Sunday in which Pastor Wayne explained that values determine the flavor of a thing--including us!  Red Delicious and Macintosh, for example, are both apples, but a Red Delicious is crisp and sweet. A Macintosh is mushy and tart. Both are apples; each offers a different experience.

Values determine how other people experience us, like the taste of an apple.  Values also determine how we see other people--and that makes a difference in how treat them. 

1. When we value the gospel, we understand that people need the gospel more than they need anything else.

Seeing other peoples’ needs is something that Calvary does well. Pastor Wayne explained that as a church, we feed the poor, provide needed resources for our community, serve as advocates for those who don’t have a voice—and we will continue to do these things.

But these things are not the gospel. They are venues to communicate the love of the gospel (more on this below). The gospel is Jesus seeking and saving the lost by dying in their place for their sins—for our sins--on the cross.

Jesus died for every person, and that is why every person needs the gospel more than they need anything else. 

2. When we value the gospel, we break down barriers that hold it back. 

We don’t always know what we need most. The distractions of life and suffering can make understanding fuzzy. Suffering and distraction usually drive people toward relief and satisfaction--It's hard to ponder the deeper eternal truths of life when you're not sure you can pay your mortgage or worse. Helping people is the kind and right thing to do (Proverbs 3:28). In fact, it's that kindness and relief that often opens doors to "the deeper" things.   

When the gospel is our core value, we understand the importance of breaking down barriers—even if it means getting messy. As a church we fill food boxes for refugees. We volunteer at Hope Rescue Mission. We make room in our row of seats on Sunday for people in work release programs.  Obstacles to truth diminish when we help the hurting as a church for the sake of gospel. But the biggest impact must come to each of us as individuals.

3. When we value the gospel, we choose to be uncomfortable for the sake of love. 

If gospel is your driving core value—it will change the way you live on the six days between Sunday to Sunday. The best way to put it into gear is to ask yourself questions like these:  

  • If gospel is my core value, and every driver on the road needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how will I respond to the one who cuts me off in traffic?
  • If gospel is my core value and every waiter needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how will I interact with the one who messes up my order… again?
  • If gospel is my core value and every person who lives an alternative lifestyle needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how much of my friendship and listening ear will I offer them?

Living the gospel as a value is not easy. In fact, the gospel itself is the one thing all believers need more than they need anything else in order to walk like Jesus.  

How to Keep Step with God's Timing

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I lived in East Africa for a couple of years with people who just loved to dance. My friends would grab an old can, a plastic bucket, or just about anything to make music and have a dance party. The problem for me was that, well, I can’t dance. 

My friends were always gracious. They never said, “You can’t dance.” Instead, they said,  “You’re dancing to a different song.”

Timing is everything in dancing and life! We want to make a difference. We want our lives to count. But we miss so much looking for that perfect opportunity. Our idea of timing doesn’t always match God’s timing. Finding the beat to God's song means doing more than just taking in information. We need to move.

There are dozens of reasons why we don’t move or act on what we know. We might think we don’t know enough. Maybe we think we need one more Bible study before we can do X, Y, or Z. We might be suffering or angry because we’re suffering.   Illness, bad relationships, financial struggles, and unemployment are a few things that can make time feel like it’s standing still.

Errin Mulberry reminded us last Sunday that the Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years as slaves. That’s a long time to wait for God’s timing! What we learn from that story is that the Israelites didn’t see God deliver them until they obeyed and began to move. That’s when they saw how quickly and powerfully God moves.

The Bible tells us He parted the Red Sea for millions of people to escape their captors—and then, at just the right time, He let a devastating wall of seawater crash down on the enemy.  Timing is everything, and God’s timing is perfect.  

This month at Calvary, we’re talking about the  Perfect Gift of Christmas. It came to us in the form of a Man, Savior and Lord. We call him Jesus. The very moment you first heard his name was the perfect moment for you to hear it. If you ever decided to follow Jesus—that was God’s perfect moment for you to follow Him. That’s when God introduced a new song to you.   You need to move

What is your next step in following Jesus?  People at Calvary are moving out of their seats to the streets to follow Jesus in loving God and loving others. 

  1. Take one step outside your comfort zone. Invite that friend, acquaintance, or neighbor to a special service at church. Trust in God’s timing for them. Grab a few invitations this Sunday to the Christmas Eve service, and invite them!
  2. Take cookies to your neighbors for Christmas. This is a really low-key but powerful way to establish a friendly relationship with people you don’t know.
  3. Help the poor. Dozens of groups and many individuals at Calvary are leading the way in a campaign to help Hope Rescue Mission next year.  Join them. Send an email to . He’ll help you find how you were made to fit in and make a difference.
  4. Give to the community through Twas the Lights Before Christmas. More than 2000 people from the Sinking Spring area visited our campus last weekend. The timing was right for them to receive a great family gift in the light show and hear about a community of people who love Jesus and want to follow Him. The timing may be right for you to be a part of welcoming them. Sign up in the Calvary lobby to help one of our hospitality teams or contact !

The great thing about following Jesus is that we never walk alone. Our invitation to follow is also an invitation to invite more people to come with us. And nothing feels better than being among friends and dancing to the same song!

 

Posted by Nan Maurer with 0 Comments

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