Going Deeper

Two Sundays ago, Kelly spoke on going deeper in our relationship with God.   He listed three practical questions that we can ponder as we reflect on our own personal life and how we can go deeper.

1)      What did Jesus do?

2)      What did David do?

3)      What did the early Christians do? (Acts 2:42-47)

It’s interesting to look at Jesus’ life and consider what he did, keeping in mind his mission:

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”  John 6:38

There are at least 8 times in the gospels that Jesus ate with other people:   feeding the five thousand, feeding the four thousand, eating with Zacchaeus and Levi, the tax collector, eating with the Pharisees, the Last Supper, the meal on the road to Emmaus and when he cooked breakfast on the beach.      In each instance, Jesus cared for people, loved them, taught them and encouraged them.

A meal, intentionally sharing life and conversation, is a great place to do what Jesus did.    It is hard to share a meal with others and not be affected by it.   You need to plan what you will be eating, shop for the food, prepare the food, set the table, welcome guests and enjoy conversation.  There is plenty of time within the preparation stage to be praying to God for Him to use you to love and care for His people, whoever they may be.

We talk a lot about our meals on Wednesdays with our neighbourhood friends.    Some times they are rich with conversation that is encouraging, sometimes they are light-hearted conversations as we simply build relationships, and sometimes they are downright discouraging as people we have grown to love are not there or the conversation is quiet because of the burdens our friends are bearing.    But we talk about this experience and share it with you because it has changed us and IS changing us.    When you sit with people who God has brought to you and you know that you are to love them and show God’s love to them, it does change your priorities and puts into perspective what is most important in the Kingdom of God.     When you do what Jesus did, you can’t help but be drawn into God’s story and to move into a deeper relationship with Him.

We live in a society almost saturated with wealth and, ironically, for many people, dissatisfaction.   There is much more that God wants for us to experience as we bring His Kingdom to people who are desperately needing it.    That brings us to question #3, from above.   What do these verses say the early Christians did?

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.  They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—  all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

I know that it is almost impossible for someone to come to lunch with us every Wednesday, but, if you did it regularly, it would be life changing.    I would encourage you, if at all possible, to come and be with us for 45 minutes on Wednesdays from 11:30-12:15.

What are some other practical ways that you can give of yourself?  Materially, of course, sharing our wealth with others, but if you want to have a life-changing experience, giving of your time to others, on a regular basis, is a definite way of growing your roots deeper into God’s will.   We, as a staff, want to hear from you about your dreams for reaching others and your dreams for using your gifts to benefit others.    What do you long to do in our city that is full of hurting people – people who are struggling to live in a new country, people who are struggling financially, people with deep hurts and wounds that only God can heal?

Please pray for our church and for you, in particular, to reach out to bring God’s love to those who desperately need it.   Talk about it with your Life Group, share your thoughts with others over a meal, be ready for God to inspire you and don’t be silent about it when He does.