Pastor Greg continues his eight-part series this week called “RESET.” As we journey into this New Year it is a chance for all of us to hit the RESET button and symbolically lay down everything in our lives and only pick up the things God tells us to pick back up. It is a chance for a blank slate and a fresh start in our personal, physical, relational, business and spiritual lives as well as in the life of our church. This week, Pastor G talks to about resetting our life with repentance for all our sins.
This is Week Four: OUTREACH PART ONE: FELLOWSHIP
Conviction, followed by Confession, followed by Repentance, eventually leads to Holiness.
True repentance occurs not when we cry, but when we change.
God’s definitions need no revisions.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. ~ John 17:20-23
Plans, programs and personalities don’t last. But God’s purposes will last. ~ Rick Warren
A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will build a Great Church.
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT: The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” ~ Luke 10:27-28
THE GREAT COMMISSION: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20
Love the Lord … = Worship
Love your neighbor … = Service
Go and make disciples = Evangelism
Baptize them … = Fellowship
Teaching them to obey … = Discipleship
Healthy, growing, churches, like the first church in Acts 2, EVANGELIZE unbelievers, baptize them into the faith and into the FELLOWSHIP, DISCIPLE them to maturity and engage them in magnifying God in WORSHIP together, and demonstrate God’s love to others through acts of SERVICE.
Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and His love is perfected in us. ~ 1 John 4:11-12
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ so that—whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent—I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, and by not being intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of their destruction, but of your salvation— a sign which is from God. ~ Philippians 1:27-28
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. ~ Philippians 2:1-2
GREEK – πληρόω (pléroó)
To fill to maximum capacity.
And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. ~ Hebrews 10:24-27
Sink or swim. Rise or fall. All for one and one for all.
I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are My disciples—if you have love for one another. ~ John 13:34-35
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: John 17:20-23, 1 John 4:11-12 & Psalm 133:1
1) What evidence do you see of our church being “one” in the way Jesus refers to it? Are we “perfected in unity?” Why or why not?
2) Why would our unity and love for each other cause the non-believing people of the world to believe in Jesus?
3) Which do you think is more desirable? To see God from a distance or to have God reside inside of you? Why?
4) How does loving each other bring about God residing in us? How does not loving each other prevent God from residing in us?
5) Do you agree with the Psalmist that the church dwelling together in unity is good and pleasant? Why or why not?
6) What actions can you (and your Aloha Group) take to improve the love and unity quality within our church body?
READ: Philippians 1:27-28, Philippians 2:1-2
1) When Paul exhorts us to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ what type of behavior do you think he is advocating? Try to list several.
2) Is it difficult for a large group of people to be of the same mind, the same love, united in spirit and with one shared purpose? What are some steps we could take or values we could adopt to make it easier to accomplish these things together? How willing are we to take those steps?
READ: Hebrews 10:24-27
1) Are you “spurring” others on to love and good works and encouraging them to stop deliberately sinning as the author of Hebrews exhorts us to? Why or why not? In what ways are you doing this if you are?
2) What does the author of Hebrews mean when he/she says if we keep on deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth no further sacrifice for sins is left for us?
3) What does he/she mean when he/she says our only expectation should instead be certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire?
4) What choices should we make based on this? How should we advise, instruct, encourage, exhort our brothers and sister based on this?
READ: John 13:34-35 and reread John 17:20-23
1) This was a running theme throughout Pastor G’s message. If we truly obey and live out the truth of these two passages it will serve as a glowing testimony to the non-believing world that Christians are different. The Christian life, the Christian hope, the Christian experience is different and not just different but highly desirable. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
2) If we fail at obeying and living out these commands to love each other, be unified, be of one mind, meet together regularly, do life together, what effect do you think that will have on the non-believers who are watching our church from afar? Why?
3) REPEAT QUESTION: (ANY NEW INSIGHTS?) What actions can you (and your Aloha Group) take to improve the love and unity quality within our church body? What actions can you take when you see someone disrupting the love and unity of the church?
4) Do you have any ideas you can share with Fran Harman for helping to increase the quality and quantity of our Fellowship?