Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene 400 Stillmeadow Lane York, PA 717.764.4888
God's Big Idea
Session #6 - Living Proof Of A Loving God
Sunday October 24th
One In The Spirit – they will know we are Christians by our love.
Love? For God? For “one another” in the body of Christ? Is this how they will know? Maybe? How about our love for “them”? In our community, How will the people in our community know that we love them?
Well, one thing I know for sure. We will not convince the world we love them by simply telling them . . . or by lovin up on each other. No. We have to prove it. Talk is cheap. Actions. That’s the ticket. We must prove ourselves.
Robert Lewis writes in The Church of Irrestible Influence: “In this age of post-modernity, many people tend to be skeptical . . . of institutions . . . of organized religion . . . . of government . . . of just about everything. An age hostile to absolute truth claims from any source. An age of hard reality, not oversold proclamations. An age, in the words of the singer Paul Simon, where ‘proof’ is the bottom line for everyone.”
So when the church shouts the bull horn we love you . . . the response we can expect is “Oh yeah? Prove it!” See, post-moderns are tired of words. They want real. Real is everything. Real convinces. They want proof. The church is being called to present living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
So, how do we present this proof to a watching world?
I. Let Everyone See Your Good Deeds.
1. Matthew 5:16 – “in the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
2. Matthew 5:13-16 (The Message)
3. Folks, the day of the fortress church is over. The day of invisibility is past. We cannot longer afford to isolate ourselves. We must build bridges of proof into the community.
4. Here’s a question we need to ask ourselves: If the Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene disappeared of the face of the earth tomorrow, would the community miss us? Would the poor miss us? Would the prisoners miss us? Would the blind miss us? Would the oppressed miss us? Would the good news be preached? (check out Luke 4:18-18). This was Jesus mission. It is ours?
II. Let’s Be Generous to Those In Need
1. Paul, when speaking to the Ephesian elders said: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said: “It is more blessed to give then to receive!” (Acts 20:35)
2. Chuck Colson writes: “The average big city urban religious congregation, during the course of the year, provides over 3,500 hours of volunteer support to needy people and a total of about $144,000.00 a year in community oriented programs to serve those in need”. (Just Generosity.p.10)
3. Stillnaz stats (giving to others) $461,912.00 no total hours served.
4. So what do you think? Would we be missed?
5. I John 3:17-18 (READ)
1. Words? Good start.
2. But here is how we prove God loves the world and how we prove we love the world: good deeds and generosity.
3. They will know we are Christians by our love.
4. Question: If they arrested you for being a Christian, would there be enough hard evidence to convict you?
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