Making Disciples

Filter By:

A New Creation

main image

Anne Peters Andrus
Special Needs Coordinator

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21

I think one of the most baffling things about our faith is in trying to understand the magnitude of what Christ did in order for God to have a relationship with us. It is in understanding the holiness of God that helps us to understand why Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection were necessary. 

I came out of a works-based past before coming to Christ. I believed I was a good person who tried to help others from a place of love and compassion, or so I thought. The problem was that no matter how hard I tried, it never felt like enough. I spun my wheels to the point of exhaustion, and below the surface there was always this feeling of not being good enough.

When I came to Christ and learned I was a sinner who was trying to rely on my own righteousness, relief washed over me when I finally understood I could never be perfect. The moment I realized Christ was perfect and I was not, the world finally lifted off my shoulders. That was the moment I put all my faith in Him because of what He had already done. 

One thing I did when I put my faith in Jesus was to simply focus on what it means to be more Christ-like. I learned the fruit of the Spirit and began to ask God for help. To be Christ-like is to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I chose one that was the most difficult for me (typically patience or self-control) and asked God to help me. I very quickly learned God doesn’t just give us patience or self-control. He gives us opportunities to learn and practice. Before I knew it though, I was more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. I invite you to do the same and watch what God does in your life.

Prayer: Lord, you are holy, sovereign, and righteous. Your love is so perfect that you sent your son who knew no sin to be sin, so that in Him we could be righteous. It is through Jesus and Jesus alone that we are able to be in relationship with you and for that I thank you. Amen.

Posted by Anne Peters with

Your Groove

main image

Mark Olszewski
Small Group Leader

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go... just as I promised to Moses ...all the land…shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. … I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous...only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it... this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. -Joshua 1:1-9

When I think of the word groove, I think of the slot in one of those old vinyl records.  Once the needle gets into the groove, the melody starts and continues round and round, without a glitch, until the song has ended.  So how can we get into our groove?

While we’re all created in God’s image, energized, motivated, and passionate about different things.  We are blessed with individual talents, and as a believer, have the fruit of the Holy Spirit to spur us on and help us grow spiritually.  Add to this, our daily preparation for battle, as we put on the armor of God (EPH 6:10-20), and it would seem that we have an arsenal of tools at our disposal, that we can easily carve our groove into and get us moving, right?

However, let's consider:

  • Our groove needs to be aligned with God’s groove, or we’re simply swaying to the music and not accomplishing kingdom work. While it may feel good, be helpful for the betterment of mankind, and keep us energized, works not aligned with Christs will (COL 3:23-24) are not building God’s kingdom.

  • Learning to listen for and be obedient to the Holy Spirit, along with Prayer and spending time daily in the Word (book of the law will not depart …) keeps us aligned with God’s groove for our life.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of the evil one, who will try and pull us back to the battle of our flesh and knock us out of God’s groove. Make it a practice to denounce the evil one, but as a tip, not necessarily out loud in a public setting!

  • My litmus test comes when I get another one of my “bright ideas”. That’s a caution flag, that I need to constantly seek wisdom and discernment for. When I go against my natural inclination and do something I really don’t want to do, its normally "his" groove. God grows us when we are stretched and thy, not my will is done.

What can we learn from Joshua:

  • What a step up; Next in line to lead the Israelites into and take possession of the promised land! Whatever your current assignment is, do it according to the Word of God, so that you prepare and are ready for your next Kingdom building opportunity.

  • Waiting is active as we should continue to disciple and share the Gospel in our area of influence. Look for ways to expand our area, and be prepared when the Lord calls us to move to our next groove. This groove may be a totally different song from what we had in mind. That’s why being in tune with the prompting of the Holy Spirit is so important.

  • Be strong and courageous. The Lord will not leave us. In a world of conflicting masters, and constant spinning of the truth, isn’t it nice to know we only have an audience of one to please! Remember that, and don’t get pulled out of the groove God intended you to be in.

Prayer: Father God and Lord Jesus, help me to do a better job of aligning to your will in my life. There are many things I do that I know are helpful, but sharing the Gospel and mentoring and Discipling others, by following the lead of your Spirit, always needs to be my top priority.  Help me to better see and act on these daily opportunities; To be courageous, and step out of my comfort zone, knowing you will always be there to guide and grow me. Because of the intimate love you have for me, you know best, how to direct my path. Amen

Posted by Mark Olszewski with

12345678910 ... 1112