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‘Pray - Care - Share’  -- The Lifestyle for Loving God and Others


LOVE2020 is a call to followers of Jesus everywhere to be loving others by a simple and powerful lifestyle of praying, caring, and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those around them in deed and word.
 
Our YouTube channel “LoveGodOthers” and our website Love2020.com are full of videos and stories with examples and practical steps to living a pray-care-share lifestyle.
 
This video "Love Elgin Day" shows how Churches in Elgin, Ill., came together to love their community “in tangible and supernatural ways.” Check it out, and, if you have a story like this in your community, e-mail your video to Phil@missionamerica.org or submit a story in writing at www.Love2020.org/NEWS.
 
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  2-06-14

You're Invited ~ INVITATION EVANGELISM

Rick Ezell

 

"He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah'(which means Christ)" (John 1:41 ESV).

 

One of the most common questions brides and grooms have is "How many of our invited wedding guests will accept and actually show up?" According to About.com, 85% of your local invitees will attend. Out-of-town guests depends slightly on their relative wealth and how many of them are family. Got a wealthy crowd that's mostly family? Estimate that 85% of them will attend. But if most of your out-of-town guests are old college buddies that you haven't seen in years, your acceptance rate is probably closer to 40%. For most couples, a safe estimate of acceptance rate for out-of-town guests is 55%.

 

Hall of Fame and San Francisco Forty-niners receiver, Jerry Rice, is considered by many experts the best receiver to ever play in the NFL. He was once asked, "Why did you attend a small, obscure university like Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi?" Rice responded, "Out of all the big-time schools (such as UCLA) to recruit me, MVSU was the only school to come to my house and give me a personal visit." The big-time schools sent cards, letters, and advertisements, but only one extended Rice a personal invitation.

 

Andrew invited his brother, Peter, to come to Jesus. By the way, it was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus so He could feed the multitude.

 

Invitation evangelism is at the heart of the gospel. Elmer Towns reports that 86 percent of new converts say they came to church for the first time because of an invitation from a friend or relative.

 

A time will come when it is right for you to invite someone to Jesus. Don't be discouraged if they decline. Don't take it personally if they say yes to coming to church , but then don't show. Most importantly, don't dump them as friends if they won't respond as you would like. Be patient. It may take months. You may need to ask repeatedly. Pray with passion that God will soften their hearts, eventually accepting your invitation.

 

Be an Andrew. Invite someone to Jesus.

Join us this Sunday morning at 8:45 for Traditional Worship,  9:45 Sunday School and Contemporary Worship at 11:00.
 
About the Author
Rick Ezell is the Senior Pastor of Greer First Baptist Church. Rick has a Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theology from Southern Baptist Seminary. He has published over 600 articles and sermons in various Christian publications. While authoring six books he has served over twenty years in pastoral ministry.     

www.rickezell.net

Becoming A People of Mercy
(En Español)

Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus' disciples with this question: "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" (Matt. 9:11).

When Jesus heard their question, He answered, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matt. 9:12-13).

Jesus told the religious Pharisees to go and learn what our heavenly Father meant when He said, "I desire compassion [mercy], and not sacrifice." So many today are religious without being compassionate. Compassion in the Greek language means a "yearning in the bowels." It is something that cannot be easily ignored.

You see, a religion without love is an abomination to God. The church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice.

It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

Mercy, Not Wrath
The church was created not to fulfill God's wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

Jesus said His Father's house would be a "house of prayer for all the nations" (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: "prayer for." Jesus taught His disciples to "pray for" those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matt. 5:44). When Job "prayed for" his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Ps. 122:6), and "pray for" each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, he urged "that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority" (vv. 1-2).

The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God.

Conformed to the Lamb of God
Consider this: the only being in all the universe worthy to "open the book" and release God's wrath on sin is the very One in all the universe least likely to do so. His commitment to man's redemption was a total sacrifice, an offering that abides eternally at God's throne. Yes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, but He is also the Lamb slain for men's sins. He is the only One to whom authority is given to open the book of divine wrath (see Rev. 5).

Because Christ paid the highest price for redemption, we can be confident that He will not release divine fury until He fully exhausts divine mercy. Even then, when His judgments finally come, they will continue to be guided by His motive of mercy, giving time for sinners to repent.

God's Word tells us plainly: "As He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Our pattern is the Lamb. Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God's mercy to the nations. Until Christ breaks the seals that ultimately will lead to wrath, we must stand in intercession before God as ambassadors of the Lamb.

May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ's life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Rom. 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind's sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind's sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).

We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.

We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ's mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and bloodwashing it. The reality that compels God's heart---that is an underlying principle of life---is "mercy triumphs over judgment"(James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God's heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer's image.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book,
The Power of One Christlike Life. Available atwww.arrowbookstore.com


A service of Frangipane Ministries, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2012
All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations were taken from the
 NASB.

 
Key to church revitalization, effective
discipleship, and spiritual awakening is
engaging followers of Jesus in living
their faith outside the church walls! 
 
We want to serve pastors and churches in addressing this critical need. Engaging in a
Prayer-Care-Share lifestyle of Great Commandment/Great Commission living
is the goal of this partnership initiative of
 
Visit our Preach2Engage website for gifted resources, including sermon outlines, posters, bulletin inserts, and suggestions for engaging
your family, congregation, Bible study group, etc. to support an emphasis on PentecostSunday.

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