To God's Beloved At Cloverdale Baptist Church:
Summer is starting soon. In fact the official first day of summer is June 20 and the last day of summer is September 22. I tend to think of summer being when the kids are out of school, but in BC that would mean our summer started in March, and that seems to be a little bit of a stretch! So, how do we measure summer? Well, I don't know, even though I love the reality I was born in the summer of 69 (last day of that summer), but what I do know is that we should use our summer, and the rest we find in it to grow our faith. How should we do that?
Well I am so glad you asked, as in the Fall we will kick off a series on Key Stone Habits, we may as well review them now, put them into practice over the next few weeks, and GROW together this SUMMER. Let us mark this summer by our spiritual growth, not our calendar's.
The first Key Stone Habit we talk about is...PREACH the Gospel to yourself every day. This may sound a little strange, but it is in essence speaking to ourselves in such a way that we live our lives in the context of the Gospel always. This is not only a reminder of our relationship with Jesus that is condemnation free (Romans 8:1), but also the love that is to motivate all that we say and do (2 Corinthians 5:14).
This is a lesson that Jerry Bridges taught me very early on in my walk with God, and one that has impacted me perhaps more than any other. Of all of the keystone habits, this is the most important, and perhaps the most impactful. The gospel of Jesus is not only the entry point to a reconciled relationship with God, it is the key to joyful victory in everyday living. It is practicing the discipline of reminding oneself of the richness of what Jesus has done on the cross, so that the reality of our own sin, and the battle we still have with the world, the flesh, and the devil can be done with full confidence, and engaged in with overflowing passion. Jesus gave the church two habits, one at the entry point into relationship with Him, and the other as an ongoing reminder—communion and baptism—both important for all followers of Jesus.
The gospel serves as the very centre of a heart that is fully devoted to Jesus. It motivates the follower of Jesus to obey (Hebrews 2:3) and be those who do not ignore so great a salvation! The gospel compels Jesus followers to a life of full devotion to their Master (2 Corinthians 5:14; Romans 12:1–2) and if we are having trouble in our spiritual life, it is always related foundationally to our experience of the gospel. It serves to inflame the heart, deepen the devotion, and keep the servant on track when life isn’t yielding desired results. It is the starting point and staying place for every faithful follower of Jesus. Colossians 1:4–6 states “ 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” The gospel here is described as bearing fruit and increasing, it is not only content to be known and believed, but is also to be experienced and deepened. The gospel not only introduces disciples to God, it produces the motives and freedoms that come from its work in their lives. There is so much that comes from a proper experience of the gospel:
• Freedom: Romans 8:1
• Passion: 2 Corinthians 5:14
• Love: Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:19; Ephesians 5:1–2
• Forgiveness: Matthew 18:21–35; Ephesians 4:32
• Identity: 2 Corinthians 5:21
• Humility: Matthew 5:3
• Pursuit of Mission: 2 Corinthians 5:18–21
• Joy: 1 Peter 1:8
So seek with me this summer to be someone who always keeps the Gospel in sight, and live in light of it with passion and freedom! Learn to preach! Walk worthy of the Gospel you have received!
Thank you for continuing to join us online, and connect with others and encourage and bless them. The stories I am hearing of the effort we are making is a blessing to me, and the longer this goes the more we will have to do this. Thank you also for continuing to make an effort in giving. We know this is different than usual, and the last two weeks our giving has taken a little dip, so encourage you to prayerfully continue to help us minister during these times through your blessing, prayer and giving.
Sunday Is Coming:
This is our last sermon in our books, and this part of Romans. I have grown in my love for this amazing book, and see it as transformational for our church family. It is Gospel saturated, and filled with how we can live victorious christian lives in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Title: Living The Gospel Centred Life:
Text: Romans 10:12-21
Why is the Gospel so important to followers of Jesus?
Why is the sharing of the good news so important?
How can we learn to keep eternity in mind in the midst of all of life?
When is the last time you shared your testimony with someone who did not know Jesus?
Have you thought through your testimony (are you ready to present it in 5 minutes or less?)
Work through the content of the Gospel on paper in a way that you can be simple and clear without missing any parts. Share that with yourself and three other people this week.
Excited to serve Jesus with you!
Mark your calendar, for on July 21 we will be having a members meeting by ZOOM at 7:00 pm. More to come, but please take the time now to learn about zoom, and mark the time then to help us know and follow God's will in difficult times. You can get help in learning how we are doing this on July 14 for a Q and A about the business meeting agenda, and we are sending out our vote tool (survey monkey) to members on July 15. If you want more information on this you can ask the office.
Our Bulletin is to have in it the names of people who are in the process of being approved for membership. We will run these names on my email for two weeks, and then they will be welcomed into membership by our elders.
- Janet Hung
- John Bigueta
- Dale Laarz
- Jerod Graham
- Lisa Graham
Amazing we can continue to grow, even as we have to do it in new and different ways.