Encouragement

Be A Missionary

The mission of the church is the Great Commission, the Lord’s call to mentor and disciple others into faith, baptizing and teaching the believers all about Jesus. In this message, Pastor Leland Acker discusses what missions is, and three key things we all need to understand about missions.

3 Steps to Discipleship

Jesus called us to do more than say a sinners prayer and rest upon our blessed assurance. He called us to follow Him.

In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

The call to follow Jesus is the call to an amazing lifelong journey in which you will literally see amazing things.

The life of a disciple is truly a transformational and fascinating experience. Think about it. When we read the Gospels, we often imagine ourselves as one of the disciples, as one who would follow and learn from Jesus.

In fact, there’s an entire TV series dedicated to that idea. The Chosen spends as much time, if not more, exploring the lives of the disciples and their personalities than it does recreating the events of the Bible.

None of us imagine ourselves as just one of the townspeople, Roman soldiers or Pharisees. We tend to imagine ourselves as disciples. That’s where Jesus was. That’s where the action was.

But life for the disciples was not for the faint hearted, and neither is life for disciples today. When Jesus issued this call to discipleship, He clearly set tough expectations. He made it plainly known what we should expect.

In Luke 9:23, we see three steps to discipleship.

1. Discipleship begins with the commitment to follow Jesus. Jesus had just predicted His death, burial and resurrection for our sins according to the scriptures. He then said, “If any will come after me.” Basically, He was saying, “This is where we’re headed.” To follow Jesus meant that you would have to be committed to the cause.

2. Discipleship involves sacrifice. Jesus’ next words were “let him deny himself.” Denying yourself means foregoing current temporary pleasures in order to achieve the greater goal of following Jesus. Sometimes this involves financial or career sacrifice. Sometimes this means discontinuing activities that are not pleasing to the Lord. Either way, there is sacrifice.

3. Discipleship involves following. This means we learn from the Lord and conform our lives accordingly.

Being a disciple means learning from the Lord and growing in your faith. This is an endeavor we have all undertaken. This is a journey that is best taken together.

Come join with us at Life Point. Services and times are listed on this site.

3 Things to Remember During VBS This Year

Life Point will break tradition this year when we hold VBS for six consecutive Wednesday nights, as opposed to holding it every night for one week. The plan is to foster Spiritual growth as a family by giving parents and children a week to consider the lessons learned and by providing resources to help.

This year’s theme verse is Jeremiah 29:13, which says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

That verse falls right behind the often quoted Jeremiah 29:11, which says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

These two verses coupled together remind us that God is continually working in our lives to bring us into His presence. Everything that happens in our lives happens for that purpose.

With that in mind, let’s remember the following:

1. God is real. It might seem overly basic to make such a declaration on a church’s blog, but the simple truth is that God exists beyond our understanding and imaginations. Our belief does not define Him, rather He defines our belief. True science, research and archaeology proves His existence and truth. Scripture reveals it.

2. God loves. Not only does God exist, but He gave His only Begotten Son to redeem us from sin and death. Not only did God give His Son for our Salvation, but He made sure we knew about it by revealing it in the Bible. Not only did He reveal it in the Bible, but He uses the events of our lives to reveal His presence and draw us into His truth.

3. The Bible builds faith. The search for truth, and the desire for understanding doesn’t end when you come to know the Lord as your Savior. There are still tough questions to be answered.

Questions such as why God permitted the existence of evil, why a certain tragedy happened in our life, what our purpose is. While a pastor or mentor may be able to give you an academic answer to these questions, the truth is that you will not find peace until you understand how it all fits into God’s nature.

That’s where routine Bible study really helps. As Job said, “I have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” Job didn’t say he saw God because God showed up and spoke to him. He said he saw God because of the experience he had with God. Our experience with God comes through reading the Bible.

We are going to have fun this summer, and we are going to grow in our faith. Come see us. VBS, Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. at Life Point Baptist Church.

Dreams vs. Reality

Each miracle that Jesus performs is simply amazing. From healing the blind man, to feeding 5,000 with just a few loaves and fishes, the miracles of Christ not only amaze us, but demonstrate His compassion upon those who are helpless and hopeless. Furthermore, each miracle has both the physical, and Spiritual application.

Such is the case with the miraculous catch in Luke 5:1-11. In it, Jesus demonstrates His power in a way that catches Simon Peter’s full attention. He makes Peter’s wildest dreams come true, but does so in a way that makes Peter leave them behind to follow the Lord.

Peter was a fisherman. He made his living dragging nets along the bottom of the Sea of Galilee, hoping to gather enough fish to be able to feed his family and make a living in the market place. History records that during the time of Christ, the fishing industry along Galilee was struggling.

If that were the case, the Peter, Zebedee, James and John were likely in need of a great catch. Such a catch had proven elusive, however, as when we find Jesus teaching along the shore of Galilee, the four fishermen were washing their nets after an unsuccessful night.

In reading this passage, we are reminded of the struggle of mankind. Man’s curse, brought on by Adam’s sin in the garden, is that work would be hard, and would pay off only after maximum efforts had been expended. As God told Adam in Genesis 3, “In the sweat of your face will you eat bread.”

The Lord sees this struggle. It’s real. And He’s sympathetic. It’s worth pointing out in Matthew 6:31-33 that Jesus promises to meet those needs for His followers.

After concluding His teaching, Jesus told Peter to take the boat out into the deep, and to cast the net one more time. When Peter did so, he pulled up a net so full of fish, that it filled both boats to the point that they began to sink.

If you read too quickly, you’ll miss what this really meant.

Everyone who goes into business does so with the dream that they will be wildly successful. What generally happens, however, is that the businessman struggles to make ends meet, and constantly has to worry about the consequences of a bad month.

Peter was in business as a fisherman. When Christ provided the miraculous catch, He made Peter’s wildest dream come true, and He placed that dream right in front of Peter.

At this point, Peter has a choice. Stay and count the fish and work out the logistics of getting them to market, or follow Christ. Peter chose the latter.

Peter was a skilled fisherman who built a business and supported a family. However, his purpose in life was not to be a great fisherman. It was to follow Jesus and become the lead apostle.

Dreams are good, and we never fault anyone for pursuing them. However, the lesson we learn from Peter is that our purpose is not always tied to our dreams. However, when we find the path of our purpose diverging from our dreams, what God has for us down the road of purpose will bring us greater fulfillment than our dreams ever could.

This passage gives us an opportunity to reflect on our priorities and make sure they are in line with God’s.

The Incomparable Christ II

Continuing our thought process on the Incomparability of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Luke continues to show His divine grace, wisdom and power through His actions. In the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, we see how Christ responds to prayer. In the healing of the masses, we see how Christ responds to all who come to Him. In His preaching in Judea, we see that Christ’s mission is the spread of the Gospel.

In Luke 4:38-44, Jesus visits Simon’s (Peter’s) house. There, he finds Peter’s mother-in-law sick of a fever. In ancient times, fever was a dire situation. They had few medical options, and the best they could do was offer rest, water, nutrition, and trust God for the best.

When Jesus arrived, they appealed to Him. In essence, you could say they prayed for her. While there is a lot to be said for prayer, what we see in this passage is how Christ responded to their pleas. He responded to their appeals by healing Peter’s mother-in-law. The Lord brings healing.

As the sun set, those in the village who had sick relatives brought them to Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. This shows us that Christ will turn no one away who repents and turns to Him for salvation.

Finally, Jesus said that He was sent to preach the Gospel to all the cities of Israel. This shows us that the mission of Christ is to spread the Gospel throughout the whole world.

Check out Pastor Leland Acker’s message posted above, and see how the attributes of Christ make Him incomparable to anyone else, ever.

Introducing the Christ

In Luke 4:16-30, Jesus returns home to Nazareth, where He visits the local synagogue and reads from Isaiah 61. His visit came after having spent time preaching and teaching along the shores of Galilee, near Capernaum. Those who had heard Him preach glorified Him, and He had apparently performed some miracles along the way.

The passage He read at the Nazareth synagogue was a Messianic prophecy concerning the healing and restoration that Messiah would bring, a reference to the power of the Gospel. The people, however, were unimpressed, wishing that He would rather perform some of the same miracles He did in Capernaum. When Jesus confronted their hardness of heart, they tried to kill Him, but He passed through them and escaped.

In reading the opening of Isaiah 61, we are reminded of the power of the Gospel. It is the Gospel that brings healing and eternal salvation. We are also reminded of Who Jesus really is, and why we should place our faith in Him. Ultimately, we are reminded of the hope that our faith brings.