On the Gospel

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by Brian Sharpe

New Years always brings about great time for reflection. Stan preached on a passage last Sunday where we could reflect on the message that Paul brought to the Corinthians. This message was described as a message “of first importance.” Paul brought the people of Corinth back to the Gospel, helping them remember the message of the Gospel. What I would ask you to reflect on is: who brought the Gospel to you?

We can read biographies or autobiographies of great missionaries like Hudson Taylor or Jim Elliot, but what we fail to remember is that we had missionaries bringing Jesus to us. Missionaries are people who are sent with a message to share. God has made us all missionaries. We need to be on mission sharing the message we were given. This message may have been brought to by your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. It may have been friends or a pastor. It doesn’t matter who it was, it just matters that the message of the Gospel was brought to you. It was given as a gift from God to you.

Is the message that was brought by Paul to Corinth … the message that was brought to you by the missionary who taught it to you … as important to you as it should be? Is it a message that you live by and share or just a message that has helped and changed you? It is important to recognize that God built his church by word of mouth. He did not build it through large programs. He built it by his people loving him so much that all they could do is share him with everyone they knew. This is what we want to be about at Elim. We want to be a body that is so in love with Jesus that all we can do is by word and deed share Jesus with everyone in our sphere of influence.

This leads me to a couple of closing questions:

  1. Who shared Jesus with you … and what would your life look like if they had kept their mouth shut?
  2. How did they share Jesus with you?
  3. When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone with your words?
  4. Who is in your sphere of influence that you can share Jesus with?
  5. What is stopping you?

Answer these questions and share your answers with someone. Elim is here to help people know God, grow together in Christ and go and serve South Hill and beyond. Join us on this Gospel journey and share Jesus with everyone you know!

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by Stan Peterson

Along with the New Year comes a long line of resolutions that sound sooooo good and look so good on paper but often times these resolutions fall flat as we enter into the second month of the year. Why? because we are lazy, and we want results NOW! When we fail to see the desired outcome immediately we can often grow weary and impatient in doing that which is good for us and others (Gal. 6:9).

We run around and spend countless hours and money, both precious resources, upon that which is for a physical profit (1 Tim. 4:8) forsaking that which is eternal and of first importance (the Gospel:1 Cor. 15.3). The end result is having our landfills (the Earth) filled with Suzanne Sommer’s contraptions and Richard Simmon’s sweating to the oldies. The extra pound we gain never gets burned off and we carry it around until next year and the next pound. The crazy cycle repeats itself.

As the Church we want to share the Gospel, we even talk a good talk, but bottom line when the budget is looked at, and the church calendar is looked at, what comes to be our first importance? Let’s GET OFF this crazy cycle! But how do we become a people that are resolved to see God glorified in the gospel? This is a work of God, we must first receive the Gospel, live the Gospel and preach the Gospel. The Gospel is not something to be grasped but it grasps us, shapes us, and inspires us on to good works (sharing the gospel). I ask this year that we would be a body that is resolved to see God glorified in the Gospel. Please pray that we would be a people continually receiving, living and preaching the Gospel.

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