So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 2 Peter 1:12-15
When the Peter (one of Jesus closest campanions) wrote those words, he wasn’t remotely talking about what I am about to write about! But everytime I get repetitive in my teaching, I think back to these words! I am such a slow learner so often! I need to be reminded of the most basic things over and over again before they sink in and become a part of my life. And even then, I often forget the things I’ve learned again!
So, let me be repetitive. The vision of our church is to be”an outwardly-focused church, constantly adapting its methods to reach this generation and the next. We will partner with others to start new churches.” And just a couple of Sundays ago, we looked at a passage of Scripture that gave us some wisdom about being outwardly-focused with our lives and church. It was Colossians 4:2-6 and it gives us 3 bits of advice we can follow to be outwardly-focused.
Bit of wisdom #1 – Talk to God about your community! Colossians 4:2 says to “Devote yourselves to prayer.” The number 1 best thing we can do to aid in reaching the outside world with the good news that “God Loves You” is to pray for them. Prayer shows our dependence on God. It shows that we know only the power of God can change a life. Will you talk to God about your community? Who can you pray for? A neighbor? A friend? A relative? A coworker? Will you begin to pray for your community this next 30 days?
Bit of Wisdom #2 – Don’t waste your opportunites! That’s exactly what Colossians 4:5 say, “Make the most of every opportunity.” Remember that “Hot” sign at Krispy Kreme??? Isn’t that one of the seven wonders? Who doesn’t like to see the “Hot” sign on? And when, God tells us, “don’t waste your opportunities,” I think he’s telling us to be “on.” Just like that “Hot” signs brings joy to peoples lives, we want our lives to be “on” and ready to shine the joy that only Christ can bring into their lives. God will give us opportunties everyday that we can shine His light into the lives of others.
Bit of Wisdom #3 – Talk to not-yet-Christ-followers! Colossians 4:6 tells us to let our conversations be “full of grace” and “seasoned with salt.” They only way we can do this is to actually have a conversation! God wants us to be building bridges into the lives of others. He wants them to taste the grace that we know and see the change that He has made in us. So begin with a conversation! Get out there and build some relationships! We were made for relationships! Talk to folks and pour yourselves into their lives! Show them what grace is all about!
God loves you and he loves those outside of our “church” walls as well! I hope that we will all continue to grow in our love for our Savior and God and for those He loves – those inside and outside the church!
PS – To join me in reading the New Testament through in the next 30 days, you need to read 8-9 chapters a day! And if you don’t think you can do that many, how about just starting with 1-2 chapters a day??? And don’t forget the nuts and bolts (and washers) of prayer we talked about on Sunday!