A city is a place in which all of the major elements of a community come together.
This book is for those who are not afraid.
I’m a fan of Ben Sasse’s.
I grew up in a Lutheran church, which was, as is the case with most Lutheran churches, very liturgical.
On Saturday, December 8, RCC had its annual Women's Ministry Christmas Brunch at the beautiful Korljan Residence.
The great evangelist George Whitfield was known as a mighty preacher in his day. Many great expositors look to him as a model for faithful preaching. Steve Lawson, in his book The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield, writes, “Whitefield and Edwards became the twin instruments God used so mightily during the American Great Awakening.” This was a time in history in which people were being saved by the masses under their gospel-centered preaching and by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is also known as a revival in church history.
Is it too far fetched for us to witness a revival in the city of Phoenix today? Do we have faith that this could actually happen? Is it possible we could testify to thousands of people who are then saved by the good news of the gospel?
Oh, how I long to see that day! Do you? I’d submit to you that if we were going to tell our children and grandchildren about this “Great Awakening” in Phoenix, it’s going to be by the uncompromising preaching of the Word of God! To the degree that we are biblically rooted, relying on the Spirit of God to change the hearts of men and women, I believe we could see this happen.
God has gifted many servants of Christ with various spiritual gifts. Some have the gift of preaching and teaching. Some have the gift of prophecy and speaking in tongues. All gifts are for the edification of the church (1 Cor. 12:4-5). Nevertheless, one gift that Christians universally have is the gift of faith! However, preaching is an art and a gift that only some have—and it’s powerfully unique to bring people to faith in Christ because of the authoritative nature of the Bible. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. Since God is authoritative, His words carry that same authority.
The Spirit-powered proclamation comes from being biblically rooted in the Scriptures. This is the second value at Roosevelt Community Church because we desire to be directed by the Word of God!
Recently, I heard a sermon by David Platt, President of the International Mission Board. Platt’s message was titled "The Characteristics of God.” In his introduction, he asked, “How is your heart before the Lord?” The silence in the room was gut-wrenching.
But this is a very important question, isn’t it?
At Roosevelt, as we start our “RCC Values” sermon series to bring home to our congregation what we are about as a local church. In fact, while you’re reading this blog, in the words of David Platt, I want you to stop and ask yourself the same question: “How is your heart before the Lord?” I believe this encompasses what we mean by Jesus Devoted. The reality is if we are not devoted and committed to Jesus in our Christian journey, then how can we expect our spouses, our children, our friends, our neighbors, or anyone we come in contact with to experience Christ in a real, deep, and meaningful way?
Living in Phoenix, especially in the summer, we experience a lot of “dry heat.” I’m originally from the East Coast where humidity adds another layer of hotness that’s unbearable! Trust me, dry heat is much better; nevertheless, heat is heat! I believe our spiritual journey can be described as “dry heat” or even worse, heat with humidity at times!
The Bible has language for this. John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Abiding in Jesus is synonymous with resting in Jesus, which implies that we are devoted to him.
But what does this devotion look like? I submit to you here ways to be devoted to Jesus:
· Praying for and with the people of God
· Going deep into the Word of God
· Living in Authentic Community
· Finding ways to serve in the church and beyond
· Worshipping the Lord in all that we do
Granted, there are more ways to be devoted (such as fasting, evangelism, giving), but here is a start. As we commune and spend quality time with Jesus, our relationship is real and vibrant.
My prayer is that Roosevelt Community Church would be a people who reflects the example we have in scripture by being Jesus devoted!