Our U.S. Director Drew Steadman did an overview of the book of John, drawing parallels between John and Genesis, diving into how our New Year can look different in light of what God did on Christmas. Christmas is not one annual day of celebration; it points to the centrality of Jesus, and when He is central we have hope for the New Year.
Be sure to tune in next week as we kick off a new series to begin 2020.
This week U.S. Director Drew Steadman shared on the significance of baptism. Baptism itself does not seal our salvation, but serves as a symbol of our decision to follow Jesus. Similar to a wedding symbolizing the covenant of a marriage, baptism is a symbol of our covenant with God. It is an act of obedience and a declaration of the new life we have in Jesus! We centered our morning around Romans 6:1-10 and took a look at what it means to be buried and raised with Christ through baptism.
This week Drew Steadman continued our All in All series with a message centered around 2 Corinthians 10:1-12. In this passage Paul’s authority is challenged by the church of Corinth because of his physical appearance, preaching style and personality. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul didn’t respond by defending himself or directly addressing their remarks. Instead he states that he isn’t living by worldly standards, but by Kingdom standards. Living with a worldly perspective will never give us life. The good news is, we aren’t bound to worldly standards.
This week Drew Steadman shared part three of our series, All in All. This week’s message was centered around 2 Corinthians 4:1 – 5:10, and we talked about how Jesus is sufficient enough to shift our perspective. In our broken world, it is easy to lose sight of what God is doing, and ultimately lose heart. When our perspective is centered on what we can do, we become discouraged. But when our perspective is centered on what God is already doing, we have renewed confidence. Despite the challenges of this world, God is wanting to take us from being people who lose heart to people who are confident in His character and His plans.
This morning Drew Steadman continued our All in All series with a message on living in freedom. We read through 2 Corinthians 2:1 – 3:18, and we took a look at how the church in Corinth responded to sin. They were flippant toward the grace of God because they didn’t fully understand that they were trapped in their sin. Many times we have the same mindset as the Corinthians; they didn’t realize they were stuck, and we don’t always realize it either. But because of Jesus, we are given the grace to be free of our sin.
This week Drew Steadman wrapped up our Reset series with a message about living on mission. The world tells us that who we are is defined by what we do, but in the Kingdom of God, it’s actually the opposite. When we are confident in who we are, we are free to live out the mission God has called us to without hesitation.
This week Drew Steadman continued our series, Seeing Jesus, by unpacking the question, “How do we find Jesus in the midst of uncertainty?” There are uncertainties all around us, and it seems easier to give into anxiety and fear. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we get fresh perspective and our uncertainties no longer seem daunting.
This week Drew Steadman kicked off our new series, Seeing Jesus. Throughout our series, we will be taking a look at John the Baptist, who didn’t fit in with the rest of the world, but saw Jesus from the very beginning. John embraced the period of silence as he awaited Jesus’ arrival. When we embrace the silence and become desperate, we create space to allow to speak.
“What is my calling?” I heard it often throughout my eight years of college ministry. It’s a good question, and not just for students. So, let me go ahead and answer it for you.
Before I do, here is a quick disclaimer: Aspects of our calling are unique to us – where you live, what job you take, who you marry – and the only way to find these answers are a lifelong process of seeking God.
BUT WHAT WE OFTEN FAIL TO REMEMBER IS THE MAJORITY OF OUR CALLING IS UNIVERSAL.
We are all called to love God and each other. We are all called to live holy lives and serve the poor. I find too many of us try to find the answer to the unique aspects of our calling but don’t invest enough time learning to live out the universal parts of our calling. My experience is that when I begin to live out what I already know, God begins to reveal what is next.
With this in mind, let’s read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20:
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
This passage sobers me as I consider its implications, realizing that Jesus gave me His ministry; the ministry He died for; the ministry that is the only hope for this broken world. If you have been reconciled to God then you are deputized to reconcile others. This is your calling.
We live it out by becoming an ambassador. Ambassadors serve as the official representative of one kingdom to another and is revealed in everything they do, their words and their lifestyle.
To be a messenger is the calling, but each ambassador is given a unique assignment. Your assignment may be as a lawyer, student, businesswoman, teacher, mechanic, politician or stay-at-home mom, but first and foremost, you are an ambassador. And that alone is in an incredible calling.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING THREE STEPS TO RESPOND
1. PRAY CONSISTENTLY // It’s overwhelming to step into the pain and brokenness permeating the world around us, but we are not left on our own. When Jesus commissioned us to step into a hurting world He promised to go with us. Start praying for co-workers and others around you by name and watch the power of God begin to work.
2. LIVE LIKE JESUS // Our most powerful testimony is our lifestyle. Serve someone today. Encourage a co-worker. Take time to listen to a neighbor share about their life. Jesus lived entirely different than the world around Him; when we live the same way, people notice!
3. SHARE THE MESSAGE OF JESUS // The natural result of looking like Jesus is the opportunity to talk about Him. If you commit to pray and you resolve to live the Kingdom, then you will consistently have the chance to share your testimony, and ultimately to see lives transformed.
Let’s resolve to live on mission with God. Even while we strive to discover the unique aspects of our calling, let’s first commit to live out what God has already given us.
By Drew Steadman – Adult Pastor
This week Drew Steadman continued our To The Philippians series with a message on living by grace, and finding our identity in Jesus.