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  • Pastor Ryan 9:32 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discipleship,   

    Benefits of Home Discipleship – Part 6 

    We are walking through several benefits to the household approach to discipleship listed by Eric Wallace in his book “Uniting Church and Home.”  My goal in these blog posts is to help us consider the urgent need for families to live out the biblical mandate of home discipleship.

    Benefit 11: A household approach better prepares people for marriage. A household approach to ministry enables young people to evaluate the characteristics of a potential marriage partner in the confines of safe, real-life relationships. You best see the true character of a person in how they act in their home environment. You can see how a person practically lives out their faith in the way they interact with their family. My wife Katie and I experienced this growing up. We met when we were fourteen years old and saw first-hand how each of our families interacted with each other and what their priorities were. We knew the obstacles we were facing as we walked toward marriage and prayed together for the Lord to see us through them. He has blessed us with fifteen wonderful years of marriage and five beautiful children.

    Psalm 78:1-7 gives a beautiful picture of the results of home discipleship:

    “Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments”

    Amen

     
  • Pastor Ryan 11:03 pm on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discipleship,   

    Benefits of Home Discipleship – Part 5 

    Family WorshipWe are walking through several benefits to the household approach to discipleship listed by Eric Wallace in his book “Uniting Church and Home.”  My goal in these blog posts is to help us consider the urgent need for families to live out the biblical mandate of home discipleship.

    Benefit 9: A household approach spreads leadership out over households instead of relying on a small team of overworked people. In most churches, eighty percent of the work is done by twenty percent of the people. When Pastors work with household leaders who in turn work with the members of their own households, this spreads leadership out. Doing this helps us build relationships, which in turn helps us keep our focus on Christ as the source of growth rather than our own works.

    Benefit 10: A household approach allows more people to use their gifts in home settings where they can offer practical life guidance. There are many whose spiritual gifts don’t fit the programs and opportunities to serve that the church offers. A household approach provides the relationship basis for people to use their spiritual gifts for edification of the body outside the church’s schedule and programs.

    So brothers and sisters, let’s be busy discipling our families.  Let’s have hearts to reach out to our community by opening our homes to them and living the gospel before our neighbors and co-workers.  Always being ready to share the good news of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

     
  • Pastor Ryan 10:31 pm on October 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discipleship,   

    Benefits of Home Discipleship – Part 3 

    Family WorshipWe are walking through several benefits to the household approach to discipleship listed by Eric Wallace in his book “Uniting Church and Home.”  My goal in these blog posts is to help us consider the urgent need for families to live out the biblical mandate of home discipleship.

    Benefit 4: A household approach is well suited for listening to others and meeting their needs. When you practice hospitality you have the one-on-one time with others to get to know them and to most effectively minster to them. Relationships are essential to spiritual growth. Making the household the primary place of ministry enables families to build relationships and meet the needs of others in practical ways in day-to-day life, not only in the times when the church meets for its regular schedule and programs.

    Benefit 5: A household approach enables household members to grow together, to hold each other accountable, and to develop and live out a common vision. When households learn and serve together, members achieve a greater level of encouragement and accountability because they can more easily apply what they are learning to life situations. When households learn and serve together, God often develops ongoing household ministries through shared vision.

    Prayerfully consider how you and your family can reach out and show the love of Christ to those in your community and workplace.  Let’s reach out and share the living hope we have in Jesus Christ.

     
  • Pastor Ryan 5:31 pm on October 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discipleship,   

    Benefits of Home Discipleship – Part 2 

    Family Worship

    We are walking through several benefits to the household approach to discipleship listed by Eric Wallace in his book “Uniting Church and Home.”  My goal in these blog posts is to help us consider the urgent need for families to live out the biblical mandate of home discipleship.

    Benefit 2: A household approach offers a natural outreach into the community. As we practice discipleship in the home our discussion of spiritual things becomes more natural in our lives. As we reach out to our neighbors in love they will see the Word of God modeled in our family. As they see the love of Christ in our households extend to the community we have an excellent platform by which to share the gospel and begin to disciple our neighbors.

    Benefit 3: A household approach encourages hospitality as a means of serving one another in love. Hospitality involves seeing the daily activities of the home as expressions of God’s sovereign rule in our lives. Sharing meals, activities, and just visiting each other enables life to rub life and provides opportunities to share the love of Christ with others. Hospitality provides a practical way to live out loving our neighbor and a strong platform for sharing the gospel.

    Prayerfully consider how you and your family can reach out and show the love of Christ to those in your community and workplace.  Let’s reach out and share the living hope we have in Jesus Christ.

     
  • Pastor Ryan 11:00 pm on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discipleship, , ,   

    Benefits of Home Discipleship – Part 1 

    Family WorshipEric Wallace in his book “Uniting Church and Home” lists several benefits to the home discipleship model.  I will list and discuss these benefits over my next several blog posts to help us consider the urgent need for families to live out the biblical mandate of home discipleship.

    Benefit 1: A household approach helps to heal the hurting, to clear up the confused, and to rebuild broken lives for victory. He states that by opening up our hearts, homes, and lives to others we provide a haven for healing. This benefit results when families are active in opening their homes to others in fellowship and discipleship.  We therefore live out what we are learn from God’s Word.

    Prayerfully consider how you and your family can reach out and show the love of Christ to those in your community and workplace.  Then take action and live the great commandments to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.

     
  • Pastor Ryan 10:57 pm on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: discipleship, , race,   

    Philippians 3:4-14 – Press on toward the goal! 

    Press On!

    Think with me for a moment about your greatest accomplishments in life.  Think about the things you’ve done in your life for good that you are most proud of.  Perhaps you participate in all the ministries the church has to offer.  Perhaps you have given up your job so that you can homeschool your children so that they learn a biblical worldview.  Perhaps you serve as a Deacon or an Elder/Pastor in the church.   You may think:  “What is there in this world that can be better than these things?”  The answer:  Jesus!

    Philippians 3:4-14 gives us great encouragement to press on in the race of the faith so that we may gain the prize — the power of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and eternal life with Him.

    If anyone had reason to boast in past religious accomplishments it was the Apostle Paul.  He lists his fantastic spiritual resume in Philippians 3:5-6.  There was likely none better than Paul with regard to human religious perfection, but compared to knowing Jesus and being saved in Him he considered his heritage and accomplishments dung.  He humbly admits his own imperfection and his need for salvation in Christ (Philippians 3:12).

    What about you?  Are you trusting in your heritage, good works, or both to give you a right standing before the Holy God?  I pray you, like the Apostle Paul, will turn from your works and consider them dung.  That you will turn to Jesus Christ and trust in Him alone for your salvation by grace through faith.

    You will never be disappointed in Jesus.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Pastor Ryan

     
  • Pastor Ryan 9:15 pm on April 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible, discipleship, ,   

    Reflections on Philippians 2… 

    Jesus Served Others

    Philippians 2 is likely my favorite chapter of the Bible.  The core teaching is in the first 4 verses and the remainder of the chapter is full of beautiful illustrations of how others lived this teaching.

    The core teaching is this:  love your neighbor as yourself.

    You do this by considering others as better than you.  You do this by looking out for the interests of others over your own.

    Jesus is the supreme example of one who lived this teaching.  Verses 5-11 tell us how he humbled himself and gave his life to save us from our sins.  Because of his finished work on the cross, all who trust in Jesus will have their sins forgiven and have everlasting life.

    The Son of God laid aside His glory, became a baby, lived a sinless life, laid down His life and died the death we deserve for our sins.  No one can top that as a demonstration of living verses 1-4.

    Next we see that the Apostle Paul was poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith (vs. 17).  Paul was the “Super Apostle” who poured out his life in service to our Lord and the churches he planted.  Now I’m not Jesus, and I’m certainly not anywhere near the Apostle Paul in my walk with the Lord.  Paul saw the Lord himself and heard the gospel straight from His mouth (Acts 9). You may ask: “Can I possibly live out the teaching in vss. 1-4?  The bar is set so high.”

    So in case you think you can’t, we’re given another example in Timothy, Paul’s faithful disciple and spiritual son in the Lord.  Timothy proved over-and-again to be faithful in his walk with the Lord and his service to Christ.  But Timothy was discipled by Paul himself.  I haven’t had anyone disciple me like that.

    Then there is good ole’ Epaphroditus.  Now here’s a guy I can identify with.  A Gentile with no “Super Apostle” discipleship.  Just a man who loved Jesus and was devoted to loving God and loving his neighbor.  By faith he considered others better than himself, and nearly died in his service to Paul and our Lord Jesus.  I am so thankful that God’s word meets each of us right where we are.  And that by His grace through faith we can obey it.

    It is my prayer that you and I and the congregation of Living Hope Community Church will live the words of Philippians 2:1-4 and that by doing so the world will see and give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let’s look for ways we can reach out to others ( family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc….) and help them with their needs.  Let’s serve others from a motivation of love and worship to our Lord.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Pastor Ryan

     
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