Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yeast

As always, I’m blogging about today’s sermon. Though, I don’t know how well I’ll be able to cover anything because I missed some of it when Mitch and I had to go get Casey from his kids’ class (minor incident, but aggravating nonetheless). Anyways, I won’t go into that. LOL I’ll just try to blog about what stuff I did get to hear.

Kent has just returned from a mission trip in Cuba. He was talking about the places he went and the people he met. He talked about Cuba and how it operates. The government is really something!! Kent expressed that he truly realized just how blessed and free we are here in America after being down there where the government controls everything. Even the churches are controlled. It’s so risky to assemble in large masses because I guess the government finds that threatening. So, they put their lives in danger just to be able to meet together.

Kent brought up some great principles about “church.” Jesus talked a lot about Kingdom; about going and making disciples of all nations and about sharing the good news with others. So often, as Kent pointed out, we want people to just “come to church” rather than the church coming to them. Not that we shouldn’t invite people or have church, but church is so much more than just a building or place to gather and hear a sermon.

Kent also talked about how we aren’t just simply a church in a city, but that we are an expression of the church as a whole. He said that in the Bible, churches weren’t really mentioned by city, but by region. We are but one of many that make up the “church” body; both locally and globally. He mentioned a quote (that I didn’t think to write down at the moment). It had something to do with how it’s not the church has a mission, but how the God with the mission has a church. We are God’s people carrying out HIS will. We got to be a church on the move! The church isn’t a building, it’s people. People aren’t supposed to be sedentary, people are supposed to move in action!! We need to impact this world for Christ!!

Kent told us all to read Matthew 13 this week. It has a lot of good parables in that chapter, including the parable of the sower (which Chad did a series on earlier this year). Matthew 13 also mentions how yeast gets worked all through the dough when it is kneaded. Kent described how our “yeast” is a chain reaction. Everyone makes and impact. I don’t know where he got this statistic, but he said that everyone impacts a minimum of 10,000 people. WOW!! And that’s only the MININUM!! With that many lives at stake, our words and actions are crucially important!! Since we influence so many, we ought to work pretty hard at what kind of influence we’ll be and whether we are a positive or negative one. I don’t know about you, but I want to be (and hope to be) a positive one!!

How can we be those positive influences? Kent made reference to Romans 12. The first two verses say: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Kent explained that in order to be a good witness, we have a lot of personal work to do on ourselves. We got to renew our minds and “beat our bodies into submission”, he said, so that we have the self-control we need and are not controlled or mastered by anything. When we grow in self-discipline, we are more apt to have better discernment, wisdom, and knowledge when it comes to God and what His perfect will is. I know that when I was listening to this, it particularly spoke to me about food. That’s one thing that I’m still trying not to be mastered by because I know that if I am, I am setting a bad example and my witness won’t be very effective. So, every day, I got to keep bringing my struggle before God; surrendering it to Him and having Him renew my mind, heart, and strength. Without Him, I am powerless to fight against the “master” that tries to control me. I know that this issue in particular will always be a lifelong struggle and a daily thing to submit to God because food isn’t something that we can just cut out of our lives and stay away from. It’s not like alcohol, or drugs, or something else that you can just totally avoid for the rest of your life and be rid of. EVERY DAY, food is constantly going to be something I’m faced with because everyone has to eat! That’s what makes this “master” so hard to deal with!! I need a LOT of prayer people!! ;)

Well, I think that’s all the thoughts I have for today. As always, you can listen to the sermons online at our church website if you are interested. God bless all of you!!

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