Sep 272010
 

Sometimes you just can’t explain what God is doing but you just absolutely sense He is at work!  This describes what I am experiencing right now in my life and the life of Church at the Grove.

I am so thankful for God’s redemptive work in my life.  He has restored His Image within me.  I was lost but now I am found!  I was broken but now I am whole!

Yesterday at Church at the Grove was week #3 of our “SEVEN” series.  We are taking a look at 7 of the foundational beliefs for those of us that follow Jesus.  Yesterday’s foundational belief was “Man and Sin”

Here are some foundational principles that help us understand how we got here and why we are here. These principles come from Doctrine, a book written by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears.

  • We were created by the Trinity.

Theologically live in relationship with God.

Psychologically live in relationship with self.

Socially live with others in community.

Environmentally live in relationship with all God gave us dominion over.

  • We were created as persons by a personal God. God created us by his hands and breathed life into us.
  • God originally made mankind without sin. Gen 1:31 “very good”
  • God Blesses us. A good God gives grace to us.
  • Unlike animals made according to own kind—we are made in image of God We are distinct and superior to all other created things.
  • God gives command to us because he made us as moral image bearers.  We can know right and wrong. WE can respond with moral obedience out of love.
  • God made us curious adventurers and we explore because of it.  Telescope to microscope
  • God created us to be creative and invited us to make culture.
  • God created us to be reproductive and have children.  Longing to be parents.
  • God made us with meaningful work to do.
  • God created us as His image bearers not for his benefit but for ours.
  • God created us to live “Coram Deo” to live before the face of God.  Presence of God, under authority of God, by Word of God, to the glory of God.

When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, our ability to reflect God’s glory was BROKEN!

God restored to us His image to be reflected in Christ through salvation.  We are newly created, made alive to reflect God’s glory again!

See Ephesians 2:1-10

Man’s greatest need is not be be better at doing good but rather to be made alive!

John Stott:  “The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.”

Encouragement to me:

Mickey drove all the way to Starkville, MS on Saturday to watch the Georgia Bulldawgs play against Mississippi State on Saturday night.  He drove all the way back Saturday night to return home after 3:00am in the morning.  Now the truth:  He was planning to stay overnight and drive back on Sunday morning.  He was so frustrated with UGA that he left the game early to drive back during the night.

He still could have slept in with the excuse that he drove all night to return home.  NO!  He got up and came to worship at CATGrove!

THAT ENCOURAGED ME!  Thanks Mickey!  “by the way:  UGA has the best band in the SEC!”

Keep praying!  Keep Investing!  Keep Inviting!

See you Sunday!

 Posted by at 10:24 am
Sep 202010
 

Let me just say that I love my church!  It is the greatest!  I love our people, I love our volunteers that bust their fannies to make Church at the Grove a reality!  I love our staff and leadership.  I simply love what is happening at The Grove!

But…..(BIG BUT)

Nothing compares to God!

I studied and prepared all week.  I studied hard and I studied long and I had a message prepared for this morning.  I know it sounds braggadocios, but I thought it was a good message.  I had a hilarious story that was going to be fun and really drive home a great principle.  It was all ready, but as we started singing about God and then TO God, everything that I had prepared, everything I had to say…..seemed so shallow and I just felt like……well, I just didn’t think I could do justice to God in my little sermon.  I stood down on the front row, and then on the side of the platform knowing that if I went out to speak the message I had prepared it would just be wrong.  I wasn’t sure what we needed to do, but I just knew that we needed to do something different than what I had planned.  We will be getting to the Holy Spirit in a couple more weeks but I simply asked God to guide us by His Spirit.

I knew we needed to continue worshiping to God and personally experiencing God rather than just talk about God.

What a morning?  I sensed God working in a powerful way in the lives of people!

The Big Idea this morning is that God wants to be with us! This would be a great verse to memorize this week!

Psalm 145:8–9 (ESV)
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

I have loved reading the New Testament this week and following our 49 day reading challenge! It gives us the ability to grow in our understanding and personal experience of God!

God is Love.  God is Just.  God is Holy!

God wants a relationship with you and me! That is amazing considering the mess we (humanity) has made of His world!  His holiness and justice will not allow God to exist with sin!  God’s love provides the means for the gap to be bridged. He makes this happen through Jesus!

Yesterday was the special Jewish Holiday called Yom Kippur.  You can read about it here.

He makes it possible for God to dwell among us, for God to be with us!

Jesus bridges the gap between God’s love and God’s Justice!

We are free!

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

Keep praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 9:46 am
Sep 132010
 

This morning I got up early and spent time reading in Matthew for my 49 day challenge! I love God and I love His Word!

The Big Idea yesterday was that, “God’s Word is Living and Active and powerful for change in your life.”

I love what A.W. Tozer states about the Bible being true, “The big problem is not whether the Bible is true.  The big problem is whether it is true in you.”

I so hope you will accept the 49 day challenge to read the New Testament in the next 49 days. I am not asking you to be legalistic about it but I would love for you to give it a try.  If you miss a day, don’t worry about it and simply pick up where you left off or move to the next day.  PICK A TIME, PICK A PLACE AND STICK TO IT!

I am thrilled to think about the last 4 years and what God has done in and through the life of Church at the Grove! When I look out over the crowd at the people on a Sunday I am so encouraged by the faces and lives of the people God has touched and changed as a result of Church at the Grove’s existence.  Thank you God for 4 incredible years and I look forward to the next year and what YOU have in store!

This would be a great verse to memorize this week!

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV)
16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Here are a few facts that I mentioned yesterday that you may enjoy looking over!

The Bible is actually a collection of books, 39 that we refer to as the Old Testament or as I prefer, the Hebrew scriptures, and 27 books called the New Testament.  It was written over a 1500 year span (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100) by over 40 different authors.  The miracle is that it is written with a singular idea that God desires a relationship with his creation and He has provided for that reconciliation/relationship through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Gospel is the central theme throughout the Bible.

The Old Testament has 17 Historical, 5 Poetical, and 17 Prophetic books in it.

The New Testament has 4 Gospels, Acts, 21 Epistles, and Revelation in it.

  • over 40 generations
  • over 40 authors from many walks of life (i.e. – kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars)
  • in different places (i.e. – wilderness, dungeon, palaces)
  • at different times (i.e. – war, peace)
  • in different moods (i.e. – heights of joy, depths of despair)
  • on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe)
  • in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek)

I mentioned I would post a few books for your reading pleasure that would go a little deeper into some of the things we covered yesterday.  Check these out:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell

How to Read the Bible for all its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

Keep Praying, Keep Investing, Keep Inviting!

 Posted by at 10:10 am
Sep 062010
 

Doorholders

1 Chronicles 15:23-24

Nathan did an awesome job teaching/speaking on being a servant this past Sunday at Church at the Grove.  He emphasized that we are all called to be “Doorholders”!  We are to be doorholders for those people that need to walk through the door of the Kingdom of God through a relationship with Jesus.  We do this through serving others!  We do this through creating an environment on Sunday morning that is accepting to everyone!  We make sure and create an incredible “First Impression” for people driving onto our campus for the first time.

This is why we place a huge emphasis on our “First Impressions” ministries!  We want people in the parking lot, at the front door and throughout our facility that have as their purpose to make a great First Impression!

Here is a great and thorough article by Greg Atkinson on why it is important to create a memorable First Impression for those coming into your church for the first time.

My favorite quote from Nathan’s message this past Sunday!:

“Our mission is not to get them to come through that door, our mission is to take the door to them!”

Are you willing to be a doorholder?

 Posted by at 11:08 pm