News years Day 2012

1.1.12. Bethel
Title : The Pursuit of a better (…)
Intro:
Consistent with every new year is the regular resolutions to live out a better life… Less prevalent are the goals for success and the people who are capable of helping us get there. Ours is often a lone ranger approach to doing it ourselves…. Easier to tell ourselves it’s ok if we really don’t reach the next level.

For sure, usually in the background of our successes are individuals or groups that have helped us get there.
Just yesterday, The Today show highlight of Jason Witten and the grandfather who championed his grandson’s poor home life into success through goals, hard work, and the constant irrevocable, support. Hendricks writes of such a young man in a book in which he says… (pg. 21-24)

The men who have chosen to share their life with me.
A Sunday School teacher
A pastor
A campus crusade small group leader
A SS superintendent/ power company lineman

Trans: what brought about the need:
The breakup: the aftermath as Paul and Silas moved into the regions of Galatia. Working back toward the very world that God had called them our of only to return in the power of the Spirit.

1.1.12. Bethel
Title : The Pursuit of a better (…)
Intro:
Consistent with every new year is the regular resolutions to live out a better life… Less prevalent are the goals for success and the people who are capable of helping us get there. Ours is often a lone ranger approach to doing it ourselves…. Easier to tell ourselves it’s ok if we really don’t reach the next level.

For sure, usually in the background of our successes are individuals or groups that have helped us get there.
Just yesterday, The Today show highlight of Jason Witten and the grandfather who championed his grandson’s poor home life into success through goals, hard work, and the constant irrevocable, support.

The men who have chosen to share their life with me.
A Sunday School teacher
A pastor
A campus crusade small group leader
A SS superintendent/ power company lineman

Hendricks writes of such a young man in a book in which he says… ” In this way, Julius met Jerry, a bear of a man who had a rather simple view of life: Jesus said to love your brother. My brother was shot and killed during a robbery attempt when he was 16. So since I’ve got no brother of my own anymore, I’ve got to love somebody else’s brother. Following this approach, Jerry combed the streets of Denver, searching for teenage boys headed for trouble. Jerry had three things going for him in relating to these young men: his enormous size,which was dominating, if not intimidating; his background as a college football player, until injuries forced him from the game; and his loyalty. It was this latter quality that made a particular impression on Julius.
“He stuck with me every step of the way– and I wasn’t the easiest kid to stick with…Jerry was like this older brother who wouldn’t let me mess up my life. He made me go to church– which was a good thing, or I wouldn’t have found the Lord. He also made me stay in school, and that how I got a job… He knew I would get in trouble if I stayed home , and he wouldn’t allow that. He expected more of me than that. He was like a pit bull that bites down on your leg and won’t let go– Once he decided he was going to love you man, he wouldn’t let go. He just wouldn’t let go.”

➠Hendricks writes,
there is no substitute for knowing and being known by another human being. There is no substitute to experience what deep down we really want as people– to be heard, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be valued. God has put into each of us a longing to be significant, to feel that our life counts. Yet countless men feel inadequate and insecure , no matter how much talent they possess.

WHAT PAUL WAS DOING
Carrying on the day to day challenges of an active church by making disciples. Taking the church back into the very world God has extracted them from…Stott: “So, the NT authors declare, the God who has called us out of the world sends us back into the world”1 Peter 2:9.

Note the positive influence of building up….
15:32; 15:41; 16:5; In each case technical term for firming up and bringing stability.
Investing in the life of another
Creating a legacy for the church to lean on
Delegating and adding diversity to the workforce
Perpetuating a strong leadership so needed then as now.

WHAT TIMOTHY BROUGHT TO THE TABLE:
Here was a disciple with real life bruises.
Timothy the son of a jewess, but believing Jewess, who likely came to faith, along with her son on Paul’s first missionary journey but was part of a small Jewish community with little influence in local affairs of this Greek town. Normally, according to Jewish law, a son took mother’s religion… In Greek home, father took the leadership. With Timothy never circumcised we can surmise the greater influence of Greek influence; now likely,Timothy’s father was dead.

A disciple with a tested testimony.
Timothy had shown his life worthy of the grace he had been offered. In both his small town of Lystra and the nearby community of Iconium, he had demonstrated well what it means to be a believer who can survive the challenges of a divided home… No victim here!

A disciple with a teachable spirit.
He was committed to Paul’s mentoring and had been growing into a mature believer since his conversion.
He was a disciple…
Understood the toughness necessary to endure the rigors of ministry yet vulnerable, and self-conscious of his youth.
Understood, processed and with along with Paul delivered the decrees and decision of larger Jerusalem church.

A disciple with a submissive character.
This Disciple, not a child, allowed himself to be circumcised. Interesting that given the strength of Paul’s arguments against Judaizers, (Acts 15:1) and later statements to the Galatians (1:6-9;3:1-5; 5:2-6)…he was now prepared to comply with Jewish law about circumcision. Inconsistent or very much consistent? The latter, as once the principle had been established, that circumcision not necessary for salvation, Paul ready to make concessions in the policy.

Stott: ” what was unnecessary for acceptance with God was advisable for acceptance by some human beings.
Another man wrote, ” As Paul saw it, being a good Christian did not mean being a bad Jew, rather being a fulfilled Jew…
Pg. 455 expos.

WHY DISCIPLESHIP STILL NEEDED IN A PROFESSIONAL CULTURE
We have imagined that the work of ministry should be carried on by professionals.
We have imagined that the work of ministry is best handled by those who have shown expertise in areas of business.
We have imagined that the work of ministry is best championed by media driven, sound bytes, and personality laced content.

Done!

Mark J. Congrove
Pastor, Bethel Baptist church
616.546.0292

facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjcongrove

Looking for some inspiration or challenge to your day? Check out markinthemorning.wordpress.com or follow me on twitter.com/vicarc1

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