Posts Tagged ministry

John 1:43-51 Come See Heaven Open Up

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” [NRSV]

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUR OF ROCK SPRING

  • The power of doubt
  • Consumption of assumption
  • Oh little town of Rock Spring,
  • Nathanael, the product of Peter and Andrew

COME AND SEE

  • Come see with your own eyes,
  • The shepherd saw the angels but said to one another, let us go see for ourselves, what has been told to us
  • Thomas who had not yet seen Jesus raised from the dead, told the others, I will not believe until I see with my own eyes
  • The invitation is for tag team invitation for people to come see.
  • The greatest showman is a wonderful new musical that is a great movie even if you don’t ususally go see movies, it is worth experiencing. Is about PT Barnam’ seeing a dream come to life, loose it, and being reminded that joy can be found through people who love and trust.

YOU WILL SEE HEAVEN OPENED UP

  • Peter and Andrew promise Nathaniel that he will see heaven open if he goes to see Jesus,
  • That is what it means to find Jesus
  • It might. It be coming to church, the music and events, the ministries and activities, but it is through these people and the relationships we share that the Kingdom of God can show up
  • Some folks will tell you they don’t like church because all they talk about is money, or the Christian people gossip, lie and stab each other in the back, these are folks who have seen people WITHOUT Jesus
  • The challenge is to strive to share Jesus and not ourselves. Or at least not sharing our selves without Jesus opened up and visible.

You hold the keys to heaven, who will you keep out? Who will you let in?

  • So this passage holds our model:
  • Have an encouragement accountability partner,
  • Reach out to the people we know and meet
  • Invite them to come see Jesus at work in our lives, in our worship, ministry, fellowship, etc..

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Luke 3.15-22 Wash Up for Jesus 20160110 RSUMC

  

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done,
added to them all by shutting up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” [ NRSV ]
I baptize with water

  • Reclaiming the terms: Dunked, dipped or drizzled
  • TELL USE ABOUT YOUR BAPTISM. Giving witness to our journey. 

I am not worthy: we can do great things as good folks but without Jesus our value is he whim of popularity or eternity. 

  • Not the time for Jesus to be shut up. The corrupt government figures tried to quiet and stop the voice of the faithful, but God is not in our government. God is beyond laws. 
  • Baptism: the first step of many.  John’s ministry begins with preparing us for a life with Jesus. Dressed in grace to transform the place. 

Reclaiming our mission to baptize the world as the entry point to a life in Jesus Christ. Think of the people who we work, live, play, fellowship or struggle every week: who amount them does not know the power of Jesus living in there hearts?

  • This is the year to have the conversations of intentionality and purpose: open our relations and interactions to be ways of revealing Jesus. 
  • Dont keep him imprisoned in our hearts, sing out the witness, love and presence of Christ. Leave it to guessing people have Christ or be certain. NOT FOR THIER SALVATION BUT FOR OURS 

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Matthew 25:31-46 “Are You A Goat?” RSUMC 20141116

sheepNgoats    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [NRSV]

  • All Gathered at the Throne: No real doubt about judgement, all those who believe are not all those who are righteous.
  • The Judgement is based not on our belief, but on our response to the belief we profess.
  • Loving God is linked to loving our neighbor:
  • Punishment is leaving eternal life.
  • Sheep Leave a legacy of loving one’s neighbor. The Goats leave a legacy of rules,

Who are the Sheep among us? Who are the Goats? Get to work on our legacy while you can.

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John 21.1-19 “Back to Church” JUMC 20130414

 

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1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.” [NRSV]
Last week we look at the disappointment in the reality of grief. Recall on the Road to Emmaus, Jesus meets two travelers, Cleopas and likely his wife, they share their disappointments and sadness, yet they offer HOSPITALITY to Jesus they perceive is a stranger until they eat together.
It is good for young folks to eat with each other. They start doing thisat lunch. You know them

  • The Bragger: who always seems to show off they have a larger portion or a better tasting treat brought-from-home.
  • The Trader: who always wants to trade something on their plate for something they like better on their plate or a promise of a future trade (For the advanced traders)
  • The Bully: who continually takes or threatens to take what they want.
  • The Picky Poker: They play with their food but don’t eat it, making it untradeable and undesirable for anyone except..
  • The Creative Scientist: Who mixes combinations and eats the crazed concoctions for attention or for the next food TV network show.
  • The Talkers: Who use the time for nourishment of the body to feed the insatiable desire for the latest scoop even if it means being hunger before class is over.
  • Mr or Miss Clean and Neat: They have to have the food on the tray in a certain order, no crumbs or spills allowed. They will clean their plate or make an empty milk carton a tidy home for unwanted food.

I’m sure there are other regulars at the table but kids could begin to learn a great deal about their piers from taking notes on table manors. Look back at the text from John, Cleopas and his wife learn that it is Jesus from watching and listening what happens at the dinner table.

In our text today, it is the breakfast table. I have a Monday morning pastor’s breakfast that is the joy of my week. We study, pray, laugh, cry, share and learn about each other lives, families and ministries. We refer to is endearingly as our church, the place where we become the congregation and do not have the responsibility of leading or directing. It is a treasure. But if you came to visit, and occasional members do drop by, you will find us at our best and at our worst.
Jesus finds Peter and a group of the others who have given up, even after seeing the empty tomb, even after appearing in the locked room,even after reappearing when Thomas was with themeven after the testimony of others who had seen and heard Jesus after the resurrection..
Peter is ready to go back to fishing for fish and not for people.He is ready to lead others to fishing for fish and not fishing for peopleHe is ready to try his own experience and strengths and know-how not leaning JesusHe is ready to exchange the familiar than risk failure and face fears.He is ready for much, just not ready for Jesus.
Are we ready for breakfast? Are we ready to start the day eating and drinking in the spiritual food God supplies, our manna.?Are we ready to begin the day looking for perspective and advice that come from outside our own?Are we ready to stick with the church, even if our vision is not fulfilled.This is where a majority of those who once were in church sit this very morning… Oh that might be asleep, on the lake, at work, sitting on the sofa, our just about anywhere but here.But somewhere they had a Peter experience and lost sight of Jesus standing on the shore.
Here is the good news for us and for them, and its tided to our mission.Jesus feeds his disciples once more and challenges them to feed others, because that is our work
Not just physical food, but more importantly the SPIRITUAL food.We can feed folks in Jackson, New York, Tegucigalpa, and at our kitchen table and not do if for JesusAnd we just have a single meal.If we are feeding folks the love of God, right from the heart, we satisfy the spirit: we quench fears, release grief, we teach people to trust Christ for themselves.
Have we forgotten since just a couple of Sunday’s ago that we are “Resurrection People.”Christ lives for us to live in him.We share communion last week and here we are today.. has that bite been enough, are you back for more? More of what?
Look to the text once more: 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19.. After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

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Ephesians 2:10 “We are Here to serve God” JUMC 20130317

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“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

In answering the question: What on Earth Am I here for? We have learned that we are here because

  • God loves us, we are here for God’s pleasure
  • God desires to hear from use, we are here to worship God
  • God wants us to belong, we are here to fellowship with God’s people
  • God wants disciples, we are here to become like Christ
  • Today, we will talk about how God has shaped us for SERVICE.

Are you a minister? If you said no, that not me, then I tell you, you are not a Christian.

I will ask again: Are you a minister? Did some of you say, “maybe..”

That’s an open door to start our conversation.

Everyone who is a follower of Jesus, everyone who is a disciple, a member of the fellowship of God has been shaped and formed and is here to serve.

That is your ministry.

Most simply and clearly we see Jesus’ life as a model of a servant’s life.

He value of his own life is seen in how he lived with others.

The value and meaning of life is not determined by how LONG we live? How quickly we learn? How well we gather wealth or success. God values how we use the life we are given.

Some folks will take many years to come to a place of seeing the power of life is not in the stuff we want, make, buy or claim. Rather full life is seen in HOW we live.

Look at Jesus.

  • When he saw someone who was poor, he didn’t try to end poverty, he gave his time and shared himself with others.
  • When Jesus was with someone who was sick, he didn’t bring and end to all disease, he gave God’s power and blessing and was present with those who suffered.
  • When he was with those who lived by the rules and laws and system, Jesus healed on Sabboth, ate with sinners, broke customs to include women and children, he invited men to leave their homes, businesses and follow him.
  • When Jesus was with someone he was in their presence, even when they did not recognized they were in the presence of God.

We are not called to BE Jesus, but to live in ways that we become LIKE Jesus.

We are not called to be perfect and right, we are made to live life LIKE his lived his life.

In homes and in the garden, in the temple and at the wedding party, at the seat of government and at the feed of children.

One thing to be certain, the moment we realize that God wants us be ministers and we have a plan, you can PLAN for interruptions and the need for a new plan.

The very time we choose to be present in our life and the lives of others, OUR plans will be challenged.

Not challenged by the devil as much as interrupted by the widow, orphan, family member or legal authorities.

This was key for Jesus, but he models that the ministry must be flexible.

My ministry is to inspire, challenge, inform and equip you for your ministry.

If there are those who answered the question, Are you a minister with a “NO” not me, then my work is not done.

How can be a minister?

Jesus called disicples with different talents. Some were good with business, some money, some had connections, some had sales experience, some were parents, spouses, and business partners. Some young, old and others were busy working others intently listening.

Jesus calls us to use the gifts, talents and experience we already have and bring those to the table.

Our life is filled with differing perspectives. We don’t all think alike when it

comes to conservative or liberal,

Krispy Kreme or Dunkin,

Hunts or Heinz,

Early or Late,

wealthy or poor,

short or tall

What we are here to do, is to LIVE a life, LIKE Christ has shown us, with what we have on hand.

Remember the child that shared the sack lunch that fed thousands by the sea? God uses what we bring to the ministry that is at hand.

  • Your ministry might be to bring the sack lunch
  • Your ministry might be to distribute the pieces
  • You ministry might be to clean up after the crowd
  • You ministry might be to go ask Jesus

There are plenty of folks who will send the problems away

Call for the crowds to take care of themselves

Look to limits of what we can provide

These are not ministries; these are ministry killers.

Ok, ok, so I’m a minister, “How do I do, whatever it is I’m suppose to do?”

Look to our verse from Ephesians:

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

God has already provided for the needs in this world. There are minds ready to discover. Bodies ready to give strength, Feet ready to move the impossible. Hearts to love and forgive. Spirits to empower and dream.

God has already been at work bringing us to this moment; this place and time.. what we can do RIGHT NOW is made possible by what God can do with those of us in this very place.

Know God has you here to be a minister

Know Jesus shows us what it looks like to LIVE out ministry in our lives

Know God expects interruptions, questions, mistakes and failure along the way.

Most of all: Know YOU are the handiwork of God for this world, and the world needs God through you.

You are shape to serve God… live the LIFE God has designed for you today.

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