The prophet Amos was used of God during a time of prosperity to call people to repent of their injustice and apostasy. Worldly wealth and success can undermine faith when people put their trust in it rather than in the God who gives it. This in turn can lead to a forsaking of God honoring ethical behavior, without fear of consequence. God uses Amos to denounce sin, call people to repentance, and even to encourage the faithful with hope beyond the destruction transgression requires. Join us Sundays at 10 AM as we gather to worship God and to learn from his word how we can live lives that please him.
We have just finished up our mid-week study of the Letter of James and are getting ready to announce more small group opportunities, which we are calling Growth Groups. I want to encourage your participation by reminding you of why we believe this is an essential part of our discipleship plan. When we were studying the book of Acts we saw in chapter 2 that the early church was not only devoted to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer, but that their devotion to these things found expression in the large group gathering in the temple and in smaller groups meeting in homes as well (Acts 2:37-47). Later in Acts chapter 17 the Bereans are commended for daily searching the scripture together (vv.10-12). We recognize that we need more than just our Sunday morning gathering if we are to be growing as disciples like we ought to be. Growth Groups are the primary opportunity our church is providing to meet that need.
I also want to share with you an encouragement from Scott Hubbard at Desiring God. In addition to the argument above from Scripture for small group ministry, there is also an argument from church history that commends the practice. But more importantly there are practical benefits to small groups that are not as easily achieved in the large group, which he calls “Four Marks of Daring Community.” Click the link and find out what you have been missing, and be sure to join a Growth Group.
Jesus taught that the foremost commandment is to love God, and that the second is to love your neighbor (Matthew 22:38-39). He summed up all the demands God has made of his people under these two, revealing that all the rest really flesh out these two and show us how we are to love both God and man (Matthew 22:40). If we are not living according to the demands of God’s word we are not really loving, either God or our fellow man.
In accordance with the foremost commandment, the resurrected Jesus issued a parting command before ascending to the Father (Luke 24:44-53). His command has become known as the Great Commission, for it is rightly understood as the mission of his church. The command is to make disciples, and obeying it demonstrates love for both God and man (Matthew 28:18-20). Everything we do as a church must be motivated by and demonstrate love for God and for our neighbor. We must proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and call all people to repent of their sin, to believe in Jesus, and to walk in a manner worthy of this calling (Mark 1:14-15, Act 16:30-31, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 1:9-11).
Our efforts to make disciples are based on a holy, humble, hospitality (James 1:21-27). We desire to live holy lives, in all humility, practicing hospitality that pleases God and builds up others (Hebrews 10:23-27). So we prioritize Sunday morning corporate worship, while also championing weekly small group participation, and encouraging sharing meals together (Acts 2:42-47). We observe the Lord’s Supper monthly with a potluck meal for the whole church, and encourage sharing meals in our homes as well. Other monthly opportunities include a Men’s Breakfast and a Women’s Bible Study.
If you love Jesus, then you will obey him (John 14:15). If you have been saved by Jesus, then you will want to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9, Ephesians 5:7-10). Therefore, like a father would his own children, I implore you, “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). These are your opportunities to do so with the Port Clyde Christian Church.