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Passion for the Harvest

If you have been around Momentum lately you are well aware of what makes us tick.  Mo was born out of an incredible hunger to reach the thousands in our community living apart from Christ.  Yes, that’s what gets out blood pumping!  So recently we have revisited the roots of our church by asking one simple question…  Are we truly burdened for the lost?

So, I ask you the same question this morning.  Do you have a passion to sacrifice anything necessary to reach JUST ONE for Christ?  If not, there is possible a key component missing from your life…  proximity to the Father.  Without doubt proximity to the Father produces passion in your life.  If you find that you are lacking a passion for the harvest then maybe it’s a proximity issue.  It is possible that you need to make your way today into the presence of God and regain or attain for the first time a passion for what God is passionate about… the lost.

Take a minute and read Luke 15…  God the Father will do anything to search for one who is lost.  It is always heartbreaking to see on the news that a child has gone missing.  After such an event we always see the community coming together scouring the countryside for any hint of the missing child.  For days every inch of ground is turned over and every leaf is swept away in hopes of just a sign.  Would you do the same in search for one who is lost, not in a physical sense, but in an eternal one.  That’s what God did for me many years ago and He is in hot pursuit for you today.

If you desire to have this kind of passion for the lost begin to pray today for it.  Begin to call out in prayer those around you who are living apart from Him and He will birth in you a passion for the Harvest.  Then and only then will you sacrifice whatever necessary to reach the ONE…

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Read – Pray – Do

This is just a quick reminder to all of our Momentum Family about the challenge to read the book of John over the next 10 days.  Over the past weeks we have been digging into this new series “Reboot” with the idea that at times our lives need a fresh start.  The way to accomplish this and more importantly to maintain the life God designs is to live a life with Christ at the center.  So our mantra lately has been:

Read the Red, Pray for Power and Do What it Says!

Simply stated, but much harder to make a habit… right!?  The first challenge is to read the red or in other words to dig into the life of Christ in the Gospels.  As we grow in our knowledge of who Jesus is we should also pray for the power to do what it says….  and literally do what it says!

In an effort to get us kick started as a community to live Christocentric lives we are reading through the gospel of John over the next 10 days.  Here is the insert we had in the bulletin last Sunday to help you get started…  (We actually started on Monday, but join in today!)

 

Momentum Church always wants to be a church that reads the Word, prays about the Word, and does what the Word says. This week, we’re hoping to make the first step of that equation easier on you! We want reading the Word to be a part of your everyday life, so we want to encourage you to start a reading plan! Join us as we follow along with YouVersion’s book of John reading plan. It’s quick and simple to follow along, simply download the YouVersion app to your smartphone or tablet (you probably already have it installed if you have the bible on your device). When you launch the app, find the menu button and hit  “Plans.” Search for “John” and  join the 10 day reading plan! It’s that simple! The app can keep track of your progress and remind you to read if you fall behind! For those that don’t need an aid, we’re reading two chapters a day until the last day, and simply reading the last three chapters to finish up!

 
Check on Momentum’s Facebook page daily for encouragement during this short journey.
 
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There is no way to follow Jesus without him intefering with your life…

This is specifically written for our Bible Study group on Weds. nights… but feel free to read on if you happen to stroll by…

We had great discussion last night and I wanted to hit on something that I know will make us all step back for a minute or two.  Two points, that really are an extension of each other were made by Idleman.

  • “There is no way to follow Jesus without him intefering with your life.”
  • “Following Jesus will cost you something.  Following Jesus always costs something.”

I was brought up in a church culture that taught me the very opposite.  The idea of God’s free gift of grace was given to me at no charge.  He made a way for me to have a relationship with him in such a way that it was almost like getting a “get out of jail free” card in Monopoly.  It was often followed up with, “it’s that easy, so what’s stopping you from accepting Jesus now?”

Ok, first of all.  Yes God’s gift of grace is free to us, but it cost Him dearly.  The fact that Jesus had to come and give his very life signals to us that it is more valuable than a free chicken sandwich card from Chic-fil-a… right!  And the whole notion that just beause we ultimately didn’t have to pay the due punishment for our sin (because Jesus did) doesn’t mean that were just using a buddy pass to fly into heaven.  To be a true disciple will cost you dearly.

Luke 9:23  Then he said to them, “If anone would come after me (AKA be a “follower”), he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Luke 9:59-60  He said to another man, “Follow me.”  But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury the dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Not to mention… Matthew 5:43-48, 7:1-2, 19:23-24; Luke 21:1-4; John 6:60-67; Philippians 3:7-11; James 1:22; etc, etc, etc…

Some mentioned last night some pretty big sacrifices you had to make in order to follow Christ.  Literally, some of you are being obedient to Jesus’ words in Luke 9 above and had to sacrifice your family in the process of living out your faith.  When I hear your stories of sacrificing family, friends and popularity it makes me realize that I am in the room with the right people.

Becky brought up a good point at the end of the conversation that I wanted to make a few follow up comments about.  She brings us to the reality that it doesn’t always have to cost us in “outward” ways, even though it may.  What about the “inward” price we must pay to be a disciple.  How should God interfere with our lives and what should it cost us in the inward life?  This is sometimes harder than sacrificing outward things because of the nature of its intimacy and secret nature to us personally.

Paul, after comparing the sinful nature to life in the Spirit challenges all believers with this:  “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:24

The highest price we will ever pay in being a disciple is that of personal holiness.  To “crucify” our desires means to literally and wilfully kill that part of our person.  Death is never painless or comfortable, but necessary in the life of a disciple.  So, as you go about your week think on these things.

What part of my most inward self is Jesus wanting to interfere with this week?  Then you need to make a decision to just be a “hearer” of His truth or to be a “doer” (James 1:22).  Know that Becky and I are here to serve you along this incredible journey.  We were never meant to travel alone, so let us know how we can pray and keep you accountable as Christ invades every part of you lives.

PG

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Who Are These Kids & Why Are They Calling Me Mom?

Have you ever felt this way?  If you are a mom I’m absolutely sure you have.  If you haven’t just set you watch because it will happen sooner than later.  Being a mom is not an easy task in any stretch of the imagination.  There are diapers to change, dishes to wash, band aids to apply and tears to wipe.  There were many times when my children were small that I totally felt like chopped liver as they would always run to mommy when a tender touch needed applied.  There’s something special in a mothers touch and voice that seems to make everything so much better.

I do know that we live in a broken world and not everyone identifies with having a mother that was always there for them.  Even if this is the case there are those who have spoken life into us through other relationships.  On days such as Mother’s Day I like to recognize other ladies out there who invest much of their lives to nurturing others.  These women who give so much when nothing is really required of them to do so.  Maybe you are a caregiver, mentor or just have influence on another.  In a way you have the same loving influence on others as a mother has on her child.

We see this so clearly in the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Old Testament.  I will be speaking on this passage Sunday, but wanted to give you a glimpse into one of the most beautiful stories of love and devotion in the OT.  Naomi and her family had to move away from their homeland because of famine and found themselves planted in the land of Moab.  Their two sons eventually got married and one of these young wives was Ruth.  In time Naomi’s husband dies as does her two sons leaving only Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws to survive on their own.  This was not a desirable situation given the time in history and the ruggedness of the people and culture.  Naomi gets word that the famine had passed and plans to return home.  Even though she strongly urges the young ladies to stay in their homeland, Ruth insists on following Naomi back to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:16-18).  This would be a place where Ruth would have no kin, no security and no promise of provision.  The trip from Moab to Bethlemem would have taken between 7-10 days.  It would have required them to cross the river Jordan and to climb the 2000 plus feet in elevation required to reach Bethlehem… and yet Ruth traveled on with Naomi.  (Read the entire story HERE)

In the end, you discover that you don’t have to be a biological mother to have the loving characteristics of a mom.  In many of our relationships with one another we have the opportunity to invest love, encouragement and hope into the lives of those around us.  Isn’t that the mark of a Godly woman anyway?  Read this beautiful description of what God calls a Godly Woman to be… Proverbs 31:10-31.

So, I write this just to say thank you to all the women (mother or not) in our lives that invest and fight for Godly relationships.  Whether you are a mother, daughter, friend, caregiver or mentor we salute your faithfulness to the Kingdom of God.  You are loved and we honor you as Boaz did Ruth for her faithfulness to Naomi (Ruth 2:11-12).

PG

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Have You Been Pickled?

Yes, I do know this is a very odd question but i do know I have your attention as well.  Momentum is just now three months old and we are getting ready to celebrate our first baptisms.  In preperation for this we have recently brought some teaching on the subject.  So, following are some excerpts from that message.

Being baptized is more than just a ceremony…  It’s a process of identification!  Take a moment to read Mark 8:34-38 and come right back…  When we identify ourselves with Christ in baptism we are declaring to the world that I am not ashamed, that I lose my life for the Gospel and that I am all in!

 

In the 1st century many of the disciples who would be baptized were killed because of their identification with Christ.  So,  baptism was more than just a touchy-feely ceremony where you get a nice certificate and go out to eat with family   afterwards.  It was a stamp or seal that put cross-hairs on their forehead.

Baptism in our time has lost its meaning.  We have “watered it down” (pun intended) and it has become just another ritual.

What could happen if we took the waters of Baptism more seriously?

The Greek word for baptism is “Baptizo” which means dunk, dip or submerge and was used to speak of a battleship that has been sunk.  This is not to be confused with the Greek work “Bapto” which means to dip.

The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptized) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change.  -Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.

You see some Christians enter into the waters of baptism and look at it more like “bapto” as if they have the option to return to their former self.  However, the opposite should be the case.  As we are baptized “baptizo” we are fully and totally changed in every way as is the case of the cucumber being transformed into the pickle.  There is no way possible for it to return to its former state.  It looks, tastes and smells completely different without the hope of ever returning to its previous identity as a cucumber.  As a believer is submersed into the waters of baptism he is risen to new life in Christ never to return to his previous identity.  His identity now is in Christ as his appearance, motivations and passions are now found in a new identity in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So, we return to the question that started this discussion.  Have you been pickled?  If you are a believer you must be baptized and there is no better time than the present!  As we reference the Mark 8 passage (that you were supposed to go read!) it says…

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

Let today be the day you decide that you are not ashamed and are willing to go “all in”, and I do mean literally! 

Momentum is having its first baptism service on May 6 and we would love to include you!  Email us if you are interested or if you have questions.  Email Momentum Now!


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