The Pulse is a quick weekly thought to help prepare us for worship.
So far in our current series, we have talked about the power of the gospel, the purpose of the gospel, and the new identity that we have been given (family, missionaries, servants) as followers of Jesus.
Here’s a quick picture of how we have broken this down:
Turning the Page
This week we will turn the page and ask the question: "Since Jesus has loved us, saved us, given us a new identity, and sent us into all the world for the purpose of saturating the world with the good news, how do we go about doing this?"
Some of you may be thinking: “What strategy or curriculum will we use?” or “What religious service, class, or seminar do I need to attend or invite people to?”
While classes, seminars, and strategies can be helpful, they fail to catch the intent of Jesus’ words in Matthew 28. He says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” The word “go” here is a participle and means “as you go” or “as you are going.”
Jesus is telling his disciples to go and make more disciples (everywhere and of all ethnicities), and to do this in the everyday, ordinary stuff of life.
What Do All Cultures Have in Common?
What do people of every culture, every language, every background, and every local have in common? What things do we all do?
- We all have a story and are formed by a larger story.
- We all learn by listening.
- We all celebrate something.
- We all bless in some form or fashion.
- We all eat.
- We all rest, work, and play.
This is the “everyday, ordinary stuff of life” that Jesus was talking about. As Christ’s people, we don’t add extra things to our already busy lives, we just do what we are already doing with gospel intentionality. That’s what the life of Jesus looked like, and that’s how he sends us out as his followers.
This week, here’s where we will go:
We all have a story and are formed by a larger story (Story-Formed). As disciples of Jesus, we know and submit our lives to the Story of God while also becoming familiar with each other’s stories and the stories of our culture.
God has been unfolding his Story since before time began. We believe we are participants in the Story and our only hope of redemption and restoration is when by faith we submit ourselves to the truth of God found in the Bible.
Therefore, we regularly reacquaint ourselves with, and submit ourselves to, The Story of God. We look for ways and times to tell the Story often. We also take time to listen to others' stories and lead them to submit their lives to God’s Story.
We all learn by listening. As disciples of Jesus we submit to God through consistent backward and forward listening. Jesus listened to his Father’s in order to know his Father's will. As we listen to God, we are aware of our ongoing need for Him. We listen "backward"––to what God has already said––by regularly interacting with God’s Word.
We also listen "forward" to hear what God is saying to us today. We believe that God declares to all people what He is like through His creation. We also believe God speaks specifically to those who belong to Him through the Holy Spirit.
Prepare for this Week's Gathering
Through Prayer - Ask the Spirit to move and manifest Himself mightily through His gathered people. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see someone come into the family by trusting Jesus for the first time? Wouldn’t it be awesome for someone who has been struggling with sin to feel the freedom that only the gospel gives? Wouldn’t it be awesome for each one of us to bring one more area of our lives under the authority of King Jesus?