Summary: This sermon is part of a series dealing with our church mission statement. LOVE like Christ. the O=Open hearts and minds for outreach.

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having OPEN hearts and minds

January 15, 2006 Jay Robison 1 PETER 3:15-18

As I was in line this week to buy 2 ct stamps reminded of story yrs ago city of Pittsburgh build a large, multi-million $$ post office at grand opening, Gov made speech, bands played and people cheered. It was quite a celebration.

But when 1st man entered to mail a letter, to embarrassment of engineers, discovered that in rush to meet the deadline, they had omitted usual letter drop.

Here was a costly new post office, w\no place to mail a letter! Remember your purpose

We are in midst of series around church mission statement

Why are we here, TBC exists “To Love like Christ”

Last week Learning and growing

having Open hearts and minds

But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; Vs 15 NRSV

Paul Little "How to Give Away Your Faith"

"Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ."


Not just interest, inclination or desire but passion

We can be passionate about a lot of things

Came to Ky college basketball is big thing

Elton Trueblood, Quaker scholar, compared evangelism to fire. Evangelism occurs, when Christians are so ignited by their contact w\Christ in turn set other fires. It’s easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material.

Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out.

A church w\out evangelism is a contradiction in terms,

Evangelism not what we tell people, unless what tell is totally consistent w\who we are. Who we are going to make diff.

If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch fire of enjoyment from us. Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Christian Reader (May/June 1998, p. 50)]

Passion comes because WE HEAR GOD CALLING OUR NAME

Knows everything about us,

Mt 10:30 God has counted # of hairs on your head

Saw you in every moment of your life, knows you

Better than you know you

Are we really passionate ABOUT GOD’S LOVE FOR US

In Ky 80% of people not in church today are not unchurched

But dechurched means in last 5 yrs been to church

Found it irrelevant, not worth getting up for

George Barna study people to used single words to describe Jesus. "wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble." Of Christians, "critical, exclusive, self righteous, narrow

and repressive."

There is a difference between knowing the good news & being the good news, We are the evidence!

Jesus said, you did not choose me but I chose you Jn 15:15

The Word for Today devotional

Chosen because you are unique everybody is somebody

Chosen cause having something to contribute no one else can

Chosen because wanted by God despite past hurts etc.

Listen to some promises God makes to Christians

God’s presence "I will never leave thee" (Heb. 13:5)

God’s protection - "I am thy shield" (Gen. 15:1)

God’s power "I will strengthen thee & help thee" (Is. 41:10)

God’s leading "God goes before his sheep" (John 10:4)

God’s purposes "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, & not of evil" (Jer. 20:11)

God’s rest -- "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)

God’s cleansing "If we confess our sins, He is faithful\just

to forgive our sins & cleanse us from all unr-ness" (1 Jn 1:9)

God’s goodness "No good thing will He withhold from them

that work uprightly" (Ps 84:11)

God’s faithfulness "The Lord will not forsake His people for

His great name’s sake" (1 Sam. 12:22)

God’s wise plan "All things work together for good to them

that love God" (Rom. 8:28) Our Daily Bread, Jan 1, 1985.

These promises are secure we can build lives on these

No matter what else happens can have absolute confidence.

Many of us are often like Eyore witness with no enthusiasm


Because Life is short; Eternity is long;

Sin separates from God; Heaven can be yours

Consider the difference it makes to God

1 of the things I like about God Lk 15 Jesus story about God


Silly how much trouble owners go to to find lost item

That is way God feels about us to

"It is our privilege to have world evangelism as a passion,

not our responsibility to have as a burden." Mary Nordstrom

Lewis Smedes: somewhere people still make & keep promises.

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