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February 2, 2020 1:00 am
As we go out, and live out the “GO” of the gospel, what are we inviting people back to? How are we investing in the lives of those around us and building a strong community of believers? Bernie and Jimmy also share that an effective ministry simply makes people feel loved and valuable within the Kingdom.
Series: The Least of These
The Salvation Army you're listening to wonderful words of life. Welcome back everybody were glad that you joined us and say another welcome to our listeners, Capt. Taylor, so good. Be back. You can call them Jimmy everybody. He's a friend and he's an authentic person, as were recording this very episode he sitting in front of me in his uniform, so proper, and those two stars on her shoulder means that you've got at least five years of experience in Salvation Army terms. That's like dog years. Jimmy went in as a 20 something buddy.
He's presently 75 years, a I have a feeling I look at that's untrue this week we with a focus on the church. Robin Heather asked the question, what are we inviting people back to me. I begin thinking about how we empower volunteers and create opportunities for ministry ownership within our churches, and the consumer minded society how do we offer those attending our churches more than just some nice music. A sermon and send them on their way goes back to this idea of you will know they are Christians by their love right now, no one says you another crucial because I can deliver an excellent message yet knows is there excellent musician, so they must be Christian, no one knowing comes all the light show or whatever was fantastic.
So that's can be people return because they felt valued because they felt low because it got engaged and it doesn't matter if you were the lowliest of people on yourself and in whatever life God or your your your highfalutin person you you want to engage in the fellowship you want to engage in a place where you feel loved and valued, and I think that's really what what brings it back and we try to do different things to attract people when the real attraction our churches, Jesus, and if we are being what Jesus is asked to do that is what should be attractive and which we bring people into our churches. Absent this before somebody in the popular media in the United States referred to the Salvation Army as Christianity with its sleeves rolled up, but at the end of the day.
People that are coming through the doors for a church service might just think that they're coming to to be encouraged, inspired, but without purpose when they leave that place.
They might fall into some similar traps and I think that's one thing, the salvation or meet as well as his give you purpose.
There are so many opportunities to serve.
In fact we talked about it in an earlier episode of the series where Jimmy was a part of starting a ministry where we were providing her opening up our RGM and locker room for some of our homeless neighbors to common get cleaned up and help them with their laundry and give them some good food. And now we've got a government grant coming in to support that program. I thought I'd share that with you some of your your successors have come on board at this young guy Caleb Lowden is a bang up ministry there and also and having more volunteers with purpose to either come alongside those folks and just offer a conversation and an array of real person interacting with them instead of maybe being those invisible people that just live under the bridge. So kudos to you Jimmy for your work and your faithfulness. We are excited that our listeners have an opportunity to join us every week, but probably will be encouraged by the message this week and come back and join us next week's and we can talk even when time talking about the call of the gospel, specifically chapter 10 chapters 20 sending people all the world's and into full-time ministry with their planes invite people to spread the news of Jesus Christ to people I like weight I need to know more what is and how can I get today we are to be spending some time talking about when we go out when we inviting people back to what is authentic Christian community. Why is it that God takes them only in sex and in families and what does that mean for the journey that were on together some 68, five and six says a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. He leads out the prisoners with singing, but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land, the sun scorched land. I do and I read the Scripture, a bunch of time sitting on my favorite just sitting here right now. I've never really thought through what it means to live in a sun scorched land family. There is no water land where there is no food land within its lonely and desolate. I can talk for anybody else but I know in my life. That's what that's what it wise for me. Before I knew Jesus and it wise and miserable existence.
I had lots of staff. I mean I mean my story wasn't one of living in a cardboard box in but you don't have to be at that level humanity experience loneliness, sadness, depression to be living in a sun scorched land because it is not a physical landscape but it's rather like an internal landscape. It's a spiritual condition.
No sun scorched land and that's why I think we make this thing and Angela's and more, sharing the gospel.
We think you're right. We have to somehow magic it out to make it attractive to people because they're not interested really the truth is you are so thirsty, you would do anything for a drop of water and somebody reaches out with that cup of cold water. You take that typical I understand what it means that if given in Jesus name. You just know that I was thirsty and you gave me a cup of water right also as we look back on the last couple weeks. See this theme of invitation.
Whether it's God inviting us in the kingdom are others saying hey like I know where to find. I know the source of this water that quenches your thirst, the source of this bread that when you break it together in the kingdom you'll never be hungry again.
So we see this idea of invitation.
We also see the idea that that sometimes when you reach out with his invitation folks sure how to take it. That's their dying. There's thirsty.
There literally dying of hunger sometimes but you know sometimes it's hard for them to receive that and I remember that it was that way for me. So even a long long period of being in between rice and had a wonderful insurance doing church activities on Sundays but my other flight you live in a whole different loud way the rest of the week and living in the in between.
Not really sure how to fully commit to this spiritual life, or even what would that mean for me like you and I become if I gave my life to Christ and so I think about how the Scripture of God sets the lonely in families. He leads at the prisoners with singing slightly since the story of divine celebration because when you know what it's like to be lonely and simply opens the door and welcomes you in a sense this feeling that this warm feeling that washes over you when somebody looks you in your face and smiles when they see when they choose to ask your name and then they remember it next time he seemed like those things are so many when God sets the lonely family he takes away that sense of isolation, sun scorched land and he even makes those places a place of springs, so we get this picture that were with God in the kingdom right in fullness. Like Jesus is, he is here he is with us to taste and to see that were going to taste and see the goodness of God in the land of the living we get that there's also this dominion of darkness and there's people there that are lost in darkness.
The don't know about the kingdom they don't they haven't met Jesus in fullness yet last week as we talked about the kingdom we said it started with an invitation.
Jesus calls Levi but Jesus invites him for a meal, you know, and we also talked last week about the distractions from the kingdom that we can be in the kingdom at the source of this water that quenches all thirst at this bread that when people partake of it.
They never have to go back to the things that are causing all that darkness again, but we can get so distracted sometimes in the kingdom by her own lives by all the stuff around us. You know were not bringing that invitation to those that are still in darkness. History is still some 68 says that God is a father to the fatherless family is a defender of widows know a widow if she had a son to stand up in her behalf. That was her defender in sight. I see a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy name like God is creating family right is back at his place at his house, that the God's creating family and father to the fatherless will in our culture we we talk of a fatherless generation. We do that exist you know. But if I would ask myself is one of God's children how my being a father to the fatherless this week. Today in my life with my plan for that because the truth is, I mean I mean they're both still around like Christmas time. But there are times when we can have the physical father but still feel fatherless. There are ways that the church, the family of God needs spiritual needs deeper than our own family. And when God sets the lonely in families. He does that because he desires his children to learn to live in community because community already mentioned is who reminds us who God is. Pretty also can remind us of who we are in him handsomely for God and the times were failing to make the times when maybe we had a lot of setbacks and were afraid to step out in faith, the family of God around us, reminds us of who we meet to be in Christ and they are the ones that can be a springboard that launches us into that next level. I love the theme of invitation even as we look back, even from the first week when we began having these conversations we spoke about the story of the good Samaritan gas we see each other but then there's a different response. Depending on where were at with Jesus which posture we have. You know what I love about that story is that it's a parable right on the account and then it's a teaching story. Jesus used but I wonder why did that Samaritan stop stop because he had an experience in his own life where someone met him and that gave me that he was like you know what, this could change this person's life forever or for me to be authentic to who I am in the work that's been done in my life I must do this thing.
I must reach out in this way, and we also just a parable not in account.
We don't know how it seems that guys life forever might be calm after he went home healed and whole. What did he do with his life and so I think that's why family is so important because not only did they come around us when we needed but also the work of God in our midst. This creates this ministry with and I said that when we go out into all the world. When I just taken stuff when I just taken sandwiches and hot cup of coffee were taking the ability to know what it's like to belong and to want everybody in the whole entire world to know when is to belong an invitation can come from me because I'm just a poor banker that's found bread and I know where to point back to the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good. Helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become up to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 when you contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for wonderful words of life follow some social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more.
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