Last week we went to two Conferences
Eastern District Conference
Time of encouragement
Looking at how we can do better as a church
I need to grow, spend time hearing from others who study God's word, and how it is applied to life.
This year's conference focus: Emotions - Good emotions, Negative emotions
"I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages."
These conferences were a good encouragement to me, and a challenge to continue striving in this work of ministry for Him.
This is the ministry to which I wholeheartedly believe I have been called.
I want to do this.
What is it to present everyone perfect in Christ?
It is to help them grow into Christ, to grow in maturity.
To admonish and teach them to apply the bible to life.
This year you may have noticed that all of the sermons have REAL in them...
My fear is that we have been playing church for so long, that it isn't REAL anymore.
It is the old habit of going to church, and then going out and living life.
If someone were to look at me, to examine my life, would they see I am a Christian?
Would they see what it means to be a REAL Christian?
If someone were to visit our church, would they see a difference in us when we come together?
Would they see a REAL church, and in seeing us, understand what a REAL church is?
Our would they see another group of people who come together with smiles, sit in rows, sing some songs, pass a plate, hear a prayer, listen to a lecture and go on their way?
We will be a REAL church.
We will know the REAL good news, that we are imperfect people who live for ourselves thinking, saying and doing things that are wrong in God's eyes.
But, God loves us and sent His Son to take our punishment by dying in our place on the cross.
That He rose again to give us new, REAL life--that we would no longer live for ourselves.
We will live a life of Faith in Jesus Christ, leading to REAL change.
That we will ask God to search us and show us how we need to continue growing to be more like Jesus in our everyday lives.
REAL excitement as I see Him working in me, and through me.
We will come together for REAL help.
More than just coming together to hear Bible stories, we will come to learn to apply God's Word to our lives, and that we will have REAL relationships in which we encourage and exhort each other as we share our lives with one another.
We are not meant to go through life alone, but together, in Christ!
We will know REAL peace in the midst of the storms of life.
Then, people will see a hope in us that they want, and we will be able to share that REAL hope with them, the REAL good news of a God who loves them, and wants to save them and give them REAL life.
My vision is that we will be REAL.
My vision is not something tangible like a bigger, better building.
My vision is not for some tangible number of people.
My vision is for that intangible individual, and corporate growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord--Finding REAL truth, REAL hope, REAL peace for REAL life.
Though it is intangible, It is REAL, and it will be REAL exciting!
Are you with me?
Are you ready for Christ to be REAL to you? Are you ready to be a REAL christian, a part of a REAL church?
I hope so.
Let's get into applying God's Word to Life today.
path to REAL peace
We live in a world full of conflict
Nature of Conflict
God offers us HOPE and PEACE in the midst of Conflict -
God is there
God is at work for His glory
God is at work in me
God has a better way...
How do we get there?
When we get into conflict, we tend to follow certain paths in the hope of finding peace.
Slippery Slope Diagram
There is a high road that can lead us to REAL peace through the midst of Conflict.
However, we tend to fall off that high road, seeking our own paths to Peace.
I "can't" deal with this.
I don't want to have this.
I will win this.
I will beat you.
Big Question: How can I glorify and honor God in this situation?
Overlook - Can I show mercy and forgiveness and Overlook this offense?
Imitate the Heart of God
Take the Log out of my eye before focusing on the speck in the other's eye
"Even if I am only 10% responsible for the conflict, I am 100% responsible for that 10%."
That is not typically the word we use when we go to someone when we are in conflict.
The normal word we use is Apology.
When we are in conflict, we try to bring peace.
We teach our kids to apologize when they have done something wrong.
What's the purpose?