Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What is it that has made you what you are today? Who we are is a complex web of many different factors. Some of it has come by the intentional effort of someone else trying to shape us into one thing or another. Some of it has come by a set of circumstances over which we had no control. Some of it has come by things that we have pursued ourselves. Paul identifies a fourth factor here, and this should be the big one. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.  In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.  It is the Lord who judges me.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

“You can’t judge me!” may be one of the premier slogans of modern, western culture.  A hundred years ago, what the people around you thought mattered a great deal.  In many cultures around the world today this is still the case.  An individual’s identity comes primarily from their social structure.  In modern American culture, we are taught to place a high value on choosing a path that explicitly rejects and even makes a mockery of the social order in which we live.  The bravest souls are the ones who take what’s expected of them and throw it in the trash to be “true to themselves” just like everybody else…
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Telling Our Story

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday!  We celebrated our risen Lord together by telling the incredible story of which we can be a part if we will receive Him as our Lord.  We celebrated our part in this great story as individuals, but also as a whole community as we finally put together the three key pieces of our identity into one clear and compelling idea: First Baptist is a place where people can connect to grow in Christ and reach out for His kingdom.  Keep reading to see how this all unfolded.

 

Telling Our Story

Three weeks ago, we started a journey together.  It was a journey that came out of a conversation about who we are as a church; what our God-given identity is.  The idea here is that while each individual person has a unique, God-designed identity, so do whole churches.  The church is the body of Christ and we are individually members of it.  That means we each have a specific role to play in the body, but one local church does not by itself comprise the whole body of Christ.  That means that each individual local church is itself part of the larger body of Christ and thus has a specific role to play as a community in that larger body. Read the rest…

Reaching Further

In this third part of our conversation about who God made us to be as a church, we talked about the fact that connecting and growing, while necessary, are not sufficient in and of themselves.  Thank you for taking part in this conversation with us and reflecting on God’s design for your own community.  Don’t miss next week as we put everything together and celebrate the thing that gives it all substance: The resurrection.

 

Reaching Further

Have you ever had a secret that was simply too good to keep to yourself?  It was news that you just weren’t going to be able not to share; you were just going to have to deal with the consequences later?  Or perhaps make this more personal: Have you ever gotten a bit of good news that you couldn’t possibly have not shared with the world?  In our social media-crazed world, some days it seems like most folks think everything is worth sharing.  “I got a promotion!”  “I ran a marathon!”  “My kid is on the honor roll!”  “My dog really like its new bed!”  “I woke up this morning!”  “I’m asleep now (my fingers are set on auto-post)!”  What starts to happen is that as everything gets shared, it can begin to seem like really, nothing is worth sharing.  I submit to you, though, that some things really are worth sharing.  What’s more, some places are designed to help us do that.  And I’m not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Read the rest…

Making Connections

This past Sunday we began a brand new sermon series called “Who We Are.”  For the next few weeks we are going to be taking a look at who First Baptist is; at who God made us to be.  Along the way we’ll be talking about identity as a church and how we can stand firmly in line with God’s design for us.  If you want a better idea of who First Baptist is or what it looks like for a church to wrestle together with God’s plans for them, you won’t want to miss a single part of this series.  Thanks for reading and listening.

Making Connections

Do you know who you are?  We talked back before Christmas about the fact that Jesus helps us become fully who God made us to be.  As powerful a truth as that is, though, if we don’t have at least some kind of a clue as to who that might be, it’s hard to move with anything resembling intentionality in that direction.  This applies to us as individuals to be sure, but it applies every bit as much and maybe even a little bit more as a church.  The funny thing about the church is that it is made up of individuals.  It is made up of individuals who might know themselves incredibly well, but who may or may not understand who God made them to be and how God designed them to work as a group. Read the rest…