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A Model for Gospel Ministry

One of the best ways to learn is to watch the life of someone who does it well. You might call this person a coach, or a mentor or a role model. In 1 Thessalonians 1, the Thessalonians came to believe the gospel, turning to Go from idols. When they did, they began to “imitate” Paul and his team members, and in time, to imitate Christ, the ultimate Role Model for every believer!

In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, we begin a very personal section of the letter from Paul. In these verses he reminds the Thessalonians about his ministry among them. And as he does, we see in him a model for gospel ministry in three pictures.

To do gospel ministry, whether that’s as a Pastor/Elder, a Group Leader, Christian parent, co-worker, or friend… you must be…

A steward, entrusted with a valuable to deliver. A mother, sacrificially and affectionally serving others. A father, living an exemplary life, continually encouraging your “children” to follow Jesus.

Scripture: Acts 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

God Blesses So That His Kingdom Can Be Made Known

Despite the unfolding of God’s promises as seen in Noah and now in Abraham, there’s a nagging question… what’s the deal with human nature?!? Sin is still present. Mankind has as Thomas Schreiner said “a depth of corruption that still inhabits the heart.” The world is spiraling and then what happens? God intervenes. The account of Abraham is where we see God begin moving humanity towards blessing.

Scripture: Genesis 11:27-12:20; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16

Fight for the Gospel

Paul tells us that the gospel is the central doctrine of the Christian life. For that reason, we fight to believe and live out a right understanding of the good news of Jesus.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Does Doctrine Really Matter?

Since true spiritual health is only found by living according to biblical teaching, the church needs to understand the importance of right doctrine.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:3-11

Encouragement For The Task at Hand!

In this letter to his good friend Timothy, the Apostle Paul wants to instruct him, as well as the believers in the city of Ephesus how they are to live their lives in an honorable way as the church of the living God.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:1-2; Acts 20:17-38

What Did Jesus Just Say?!?

When you hear the word father what comes to your mind? For some, positive images and experiences pop into their mind. For others, nothing but heartache and discouragement. People have all sorts of perspectives and experiences when they hear the word dad; some good and some not so good. In the same way, when you hear the word “judge” or “judgment” what comes to mind? For most, I would imagine, less than encouraging experiences or feelings come to mind. And yes, Jesus speaks to how we are to judge. What does He mean? Surely, He doesn’t mean what we read about in Matthew 7:1-5?!? Let’s walk through this passage together and figure out what Jesus meant and what He didn’t.

Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5

Love Your Enemies

Jesus’ kingdom ethics or family’s characteristics include even aggressive love for one’s enemies. It’s in this – love for one’s enemies – that our relationship with Jesus is clearly seen. Our response to this command revealed whom we belonged to. It didn’t get us into his family/kingdom, it made it known.

Scripture: Luke 6:27-36

The Call of Every Christian

Often what happens when there is not a clear vision for the church people will attach the vision to a place or building, a personality, a group of people and sometimes even a program. God tells us in the Bible that the vision for the church is to make disciples, which essentially means to make more followers of Jesus. Of course, He’s the one who makes this happen but He uses us to accomplish His purposes in people’s lives.

The sermon that follows is Pastor Nate walking through Foothills’ Mission Statement which is to “engage people to put Jesus first for the sake of others.”

Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

Stand Out Christians

As followers of Jesus we ought to stand out and shine bright in this generation because of who we are and how we speak. Here are a few questions we should ask ourselves.

Who are we meant to be?
A: We’re the children of God on mission as lights in a dark world. We’re meant to make the invisible God clear to our family, friends and neighbors.

What gets in the way?
A: Grumbling and disputing. Jesus said my words start in my heart. When you grumble you’re saying, “I deserve better.” When you’re questioning you’re saying, “I know better.” Grumbling and questioning reveal a self-centered, restless, anxious, agitated, dissatisfied heart that will eventually infect your words and obscure the light and glory of the Gospel in your life.

How do we stand out and shine bright?
A: Only when you entrust yourself to Jesus will you live and speak in a way that stands out from the crowd and clearly lights the way to Christ for them with the Gospel.

3 More Questions:

  1. Are you born again?
  2. Would the people closest to you say you rarely complain, or do your words betray a heart who’s posture is “I deserve better,” “I know better”? Will you repent and entrust yourself to Jesus fully?
  3. Is there a person in your circle of influence who has asked about or commented on how “positive” you are, how you don’t seem to respond negatively as others? If so, have you clearly pointed them to how Jesus in you has made that difference in your life?

The Practical Atheism

A fool is someone who lives their life without the direction or acknowledgment of God. In their heart they say “there is no God” even if they simultaneously confess the contrary with their mouth. Psalm 14 calls us to move from practical atheism and empty forms of religion and lip service to joy in Christ. From a veneer of faith to Christ first for the sake of others.

Scripture: Psalms 14