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Third, Imitate Me

I don’t think I’ve ever preached on this.

Sure hadn’t planned to hit you with this today.

But while we’re trying to be a bit more intentional this week, I keep hearing this biker-looking guy clearing his throat to get our attention.

I glance over his way.

Follow my example, he says.

He’s St. Paul, and he wrote that in 1st Corinthians 11:1.

Then I hear someone ask me if I’m willing to tell people that same thing.

Are you?

Follow my example…is that something you say to people?

See you back here tomorrow.

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Second, This Verb

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. —Genesis 1:1, the Message version

What have you created so far this week?

It’s only Tuesday, so let’s try being aware of what we’re leaving in our wake this week.

Some of it is among all you can see.

Other things we’re creating you don’t see.

And suddenly it’s complicated.

First

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see.

That’s how the Message version of the Bible starts.

Let’s start our week the same way —

First this:

God

— Sure gives me perspective, how about you?

 

Shine Brighter

It’s Sunday.

Let your light shine, Christ Jesus says in Matthew 5:16.

What’s one thing you can do this coming week to let your light shine brighter than this past week?

Right Again

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

Jesus said that.

Right after he said what you and I know as John 3:16.

It’s John 3:17, the Message version.

If we’re followers of Christ, we’re not merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it [is].

What are you and I doing to help, to put the world right again?

God Loved, God Gave, & Now Anybody Who Believes Can Have

Why? Because of now and then.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. — Jesus, John 3:16, the message version

{Quick Review: this is the fourth of four blogs on what’s probably the best-known Bible verse. If you’re blank on the first three in this series, scroll down for them and then I’ll see you back here.]

What’s the point? Why did God go to all this trouble?.

So that by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life

God’s “why” is rooted in God’s love and is about now and then.

Now, as in anyone can have a whole life now, and then a lasting life when this one is over.

Christ Jesus went so far as to promise us this —

I came so [you] can have real and eternal life,

more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of.

— That’s John 10:10b.

God loved and God gave.

When we believe, we can have.

Is it really that simple?

Yes, and it’s simply wonderful —

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. — Jesus, John 3:16, the message version

 

 

God Loved, God Gave, & Now Anyone Who Believes

“Everyone is invited!”

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. — Jesus, John 3:16, the message version

One of my favorite things to say as a pastor in worship is,”Everyone is invited!”

[Quick Review: this is the third of what I think will be four blogs. If you missed the first two, scroll down to catch up and this’ll still be here in a moment when you return.]

One thing that hasn’t changed even in the midst of other controversies in our United Methodist denomination is Open Communion. This simply means that you do not need to be a member of whatever local church to join us at The Lord’s Table. You don’t even need to be a member of any church anywhere.

Some churches practice Closed Communion. They have their reasons, and I’m not here to argue with them.

We believe precisely what it was my joy as a working pastor to share four days ago in worship to introduce The Sacrament of Holy Communion —

Christ our Lord invites to his table

all who love him,

who earnestly repent of their sin

and seek to live in peace

with one another.

— Where did we ever get such an inclusive concept? From places like John 3:16, where Christ Jesus says that anyone can be someone who believes in him.

Think back to the last time you were in worship. Did you look around? Did you notice that someone was missing? You know them. Contact them. Invite them back home.

You know someone who’d benefit from joining you in worship. Contact them. Invite them, and offer to pick them up and take them for coffee or a meal after.

One of my favorite things I’ve been trying to memorize for years is this —

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

— God loved.

God gave.

And now Anybody is that person or persons you’re going to invite, and you, and me by the grace of God if we believe in God’s Greatest Gift.