Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moving on in Transformation: A Life of Living Faith

This past Sunday morning we opened up James 2:14-26 and dealt with the issue of faith and works. We clearly are not saved by our works, but we are transformed unto good works when we surrender to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). We covered the research from the book Maximum Faith by George Barna, where he maps the ten stops along the path toward wholeness.

Here they are:
  1. Ignorance of the concept or existence of sin. 1%
  2. Aware of and indifferent to sin. 16%
  3. Concerned about the implications of personal sin. 39%
  4. Confess sins and ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. 9%
  5. Commitment to faith activities. 24%
  6. Experience a prolonged period of spiritual discontent. 6%
  7. Experiencing personal brokenness. 3%
  8. Choosing to surrender and submit fully to God: radical dependence. 1%
  9. Enjoying a profound intimacy with and love for God. 0.5%
  10. Experiencing a profound compassion and love for humanity. 0.5%

Where would you place yourself?

Barna thinks most are in a “mindless mutiny” and in a “hopeless meandering.” And he thinks many stop on the path.

He presents five paths:
  1. Moving sequentially: some go from #1 to #10. Others try other methods.
  2. Settling for religiosity: some get to stop #6 and choose to settle for #5.
  3. Exploiting cheap grace: they get to #6 and revert back to #2.
  4. Becoming angry with God: they go through #6, but when they get to #7, they become angry with a God who would subject them to such a process of testing, and they often return, as well, to #2.
  5. Traveling the biblical path: they leap from #3 to #7 and move onward.

What path looks most familiar to you?

You can find Barna’s blog entry on this here

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Being His Hands and Feet

(An Article by Dee Dee Ball)

I have had the blessing of serving in Honduras on 3 separate occasions. The goal was to go on each of these 10-day missions trips and let God use me to be His hands and His feet. Cleaning an Olympic Village after Hurricane Mitch was not what I had in mind, but it was in God’s plan, so I did it. Teaching English and playing with kids who faced the storm’s devastation everyday was also on God’s mind. Sitting in my comfortable home, surrounded by family, I can easily just go about my day. Thank God, He doesn't forget the many needs of His people and sent me to be His hands and His feet.

His Hands and His Feet can take on a myriad of possibilities. For someone who is lonely, it’s a visit. For someone who can’t get around as easily as they once did, it can be clean windows on their house. For an organization that uses their time and resources pouring into others, it can mean an updated space for ministry. For a church that desires a deeper relationship with each other and those we serve, it can mean a shared breakfast before serving all day. This is the vision behind the "His Hands, His Feet" Local Missions Event planned for this summer at Orange Friends Church.

We can travel around the world serving others for Christ and may plan a trip like that in the future, but this summer, we are using our time, treasure and talents to help those right here at home. Would you be willing to share what God has gifted you with to help neighbors in need? A crew of dedicated leaders are anticipating a fun week of service from July 30th through August 3rd. We can’t do it alone. God wants us to serve side by side while getting to know each other better. Just like when I went to Honduras and allowed God to use me for whatever was on His agenda, we are seeking OFC family members who will do the same...allow God to use them for His agenda.

Time, Treasure and Talent...God’s given them to you...are you willing to give back to Him?

Sign up for this adventure and see where God leads!

(Sign up sheets are located in the church cafe area. Contact Ron Clark at (614) 545-8751 for more information.)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

This past week in worship service, several people responded to the call to be filled with the Spirit. They raised their hands or came forward for prayer indicating this desire. This week, let’s hear from pastor and theologian D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the infilling of the Spirit from his book The Great Doctrines of the Bible: Volume 2:

“… [It] is equally clear that the infilling of the Spirit is essential to true Christian quality in our life. That is why we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. It is a command to every single Christian: ‘Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit’ (Eph. 5:18). We are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit. And this is commanded in order that our graces may grow, in order that the fruit of the Spirit may develop in us and may be evident to all. It is as we are filled with this life that the fruit and the graces of this life will be manifest. Indeed, the filling of the Spirit is essential to a true act of worship. Did you notice how Paul uses that commandment of his in that very connection? He says, ‘Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit’—and then he goes on at once—‘speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

So the way to test whether we are filled with the Spirit is to ask: Are we full of thankfulness? Are we full of praise? Do we sing to ourselves and to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs? Do we make melody in our hearts? Do we praise God when we are alone? Do we delight in praising Him with others? Do we delight in praising Him in public as well as in private? Are we full of the spirit of praise, of thanksgiving, of worship and adoration? It is an inevitable consequence of being filled with the Spirit. This is something that can happen many times. The baptism, I suggest, is the initial experience, the filling is an experience that can often be repeated. [1]

What about you? Are you continuously seeking the Holy Spirit?

How have you seen the Holy Spirit “active” in your life?

[1] Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1997). God the Holy Spirit (pp. 242–243). Wheaton, IL: Crossways Books.