(Cross-posted on YouVersion)
Stretch for Life
Message #3 of "s t r e t c h"
Pastor Jeff MacLurg, Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash.; www.oursaviorsbaptist.org
Sunday, Oct. 23. (My notes from the 10:45 service. I pray they will be useful to you. Please consider prayin for me, the church and our pastor.)
--- Christ's Purposes ---
Worship, Growth, Fellowship, Service, Outreach
They are not WHAT WE DO, but WHO WE ARE.
Not another task, another activity on our to-do list, but overflow of what's inside us. Far Side cartoon - a disaster waiting to happen. We think of outreach as something we have to get the courage up to go and do. But we should be thinking of it as what Christ has created to be. God gave us a message to share (people can get right with God).
--- Who We Are (2 Corinthians 5:19-6:1) ---
* Christ's ambassadors
* God's partners/co-workers - working alongside what God is doing in the world
--- "stretchbent" people ---
What is "stretchbent"?
A "bent" designed that a thing snaps back to. Think a bow, or a spring, or a flexible piece of metal that snaps back to a designed state after being flexed.
--- The shema "stretchbent" (Deuteronomy 6:1-9) ---
(shema - Jewish prayer)
1. v6 - Be sure CHRIST IS PERSONALLY IN YOU
2. v7 - Know what TO SHARE
* SOVERIGN (we must be holy to be with a holy God)
* SIN (the barrier between us and the infinitely holy God. We were born with it, we choose it, we cannot overcome it)
* SUBSTITUTE (God loves us so much that He makes it possible through Christ, who takes our sin, for us to be reunited with God)
* SURRENDER (We stop fighting, we stop trying to do it on our own, we stop thinking there's any way we can possibly get back to God on our own, we accept the gift given to us by a God who loves us so deeply.)
3. v7-9 - It is openly recognizing the Lord through COMMENTS throughout YOUR EVERYDAY CONVERSATIONS.
Does this seem foreign? Corny? Forced?
Perhaps it's because we're out of practice.
4. It is bringing a "CATCH-PHRASE" from your morning reading into your CONVERSATION DURING THE DAY.
Don't just read a chapter and move on. Look for things to read that you can use today to make a difference in someone else's life. Look for opportunities - God will give them to you. (That's why we should apparently read in the morning instead of at night - something I hadn't heard before.). If you're deer hunting, you don't wait until you see the deer to pull out your gun and ammo and load the gun.
5. It is telling STORIES FROM THE BIBLE the incidents through the day REMIND YOU OF.
--- How to become more "stretchbent" (Mark 1:17) ---
FOLLOW JESUS CLOSELY.
LOVE JESUS DEEPLY.
LET HIM SHAPE YOUR HEART AND MIND.
There's a difference between someone who sits in a boat with a pole and someone who is a fishermen.