Summary: * Hospitality * Active in Faith * Focus on God * Repentance * Growing in Maturity of Faith
ODDS and ENDS
Our church in January, embarked on a five year journey. We are in year one where our church is following a pattern set for us in Acts 2:42 which describes the early church as “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” This year we are focusing on the Apostle’s teaching. We have been through 1 Peter thoroughly. We have looked at 2 Peter. Next week, we will begin to look at 1, 2, and 3 John which will take us all the way through the summer. Starting in September after the summer, we will begin looking at the writings of the Apostle Paul in the books of 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, and Philemon.
It is my hope that as we are journeying together in the Scriptures, that our faith would begin to grow. Our church exists for every member to be in an active authentic relationship with God reaching out to bring others to Him.
That implies growth in faith growing deep in knowledge and understanding.
That implies growth in faith growing wide in practice and reaching out.
In the book of Hebrews, also among the teachings of the Apostles, we find verses that challenge us in much the same way. Hebrews 6:1-3 says, “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.” That same chapter encourages, commands, and challenges us to:
“show diligence” (verse 11)
“imitate faith and patience” (verse 12)
“have hope as the anchor of our soul” (verse 19)
We are about to embark as a church in thinking about 1, 2, and 3 John. I do not think that 1, 2, and 3 John are full of what the book of Hebrews would say is “elementary teachings.” The Apostle John does not play around with his words and calls us to faith in action much in his letters.
I thought today I would cover a few “odds and ends” topics as we head into the summer. These are basic things that as believers we should keep in mind as we move forward. My inspiration for this message came from Hebrews 6, but also from a book called “The Christian Handbook” which has important things in it as well as tongue-in-cheek items, and some that are just humorous.
So without further ado, some odds and ends.
I. WHEN SOMEONE SITS IN YOUR PEW (HOSPITALITY AT CHURCH)
All of us are creatures of habit. We all also have comfort zones where we feel comfortable and situations where we are extremely uncomfortable. Whenever we gather together, we should make hospitality and friendliness a priority. This is a super basic teaching of Christianity that we should all know and we should all already practice. To sum it up: Just be nice.
* Romans 12:13 commands, “Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
* 1 Peter 4:9 commands, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
What should we do when we come upon a situation in church when someone is sitting in our pew or someone new is sitting in seats near us?
THE CHRISTIAN HANDBOOK, Kristofer Skrade, Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005, page 21
#1 Smile and Greet the Intruders: The person sitting in the seats you occupy might be a member who has been ill and this is their first Sunday back in church. The person sitting could be a first time visitor who is checking out this whole “God thing.” It is good and godly to greet them with solid eye contact, a genuine smile, and leave them with no impression they have done anything wrong. They haven’t.
#2 View this as an opportunity: View this as an opportunity to sit near them and strike up a conversation. Get to know them. Make them feel welcome. If they are first time visitors, encourage them to fill out the communication card so we can offer them more information. If they are visitors, flag me down and let me meet them as well. Explain to them two or three things you like about NBCC that they might find interesting.
May I suggest that we be the church we want to attend. May we follow the most basic commands of Scripture to be full of hospitality and friendliness.
II. HOW TO USE THE WORSHIP BULLETIN (BE ACTIVE AT CHURCH)
Every single week you receive a bulletin. A bulletin is your most up-to-date source of information about the events and groups going on at NBCC. This bulletin is expertly provided to you by Sara Sharp to takes great pride and effort to make sure each bulletin has the information you need to be involved. Since you are here on a regular basis, you are part of our church family.