Preparing for Worship // August 21, 2016

Preparing for Worship // August 21, 2016

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We all love to share with others the things we care about and that get us excited. My wife and I recently got a puppy. He’s a precious little black lab mix, and we have fallen head over heels for him. Because we think he’s so fantastic, we want everyone to meet him and think he’s fantastic, too. When we first got him, we had friends over just to introduce them to the puppy, and I have pictures of him on my phone that I will gladly pull out if you just say the word. The point of this (besides an excuse to tell people about my new dog) is to show that because my dog is important to me, I want everyone in my life to meet my new puppy. The same is true of most things in our lives; if we care about them, we want other people to know and care about them, as well.

Sadly, this desire to share with others the things that we care about often stops short of our faith. Although we are quick to talk about our pets (or our favorite team or favorite restaurant, etc.), it is often much more difficult to share our faith. The number one reason we are slow to share our faith is because we don’t see the beauty of Christ as we should. Fear certainly plays a role, but if we saw Christ to be as beautiful as He is, our fears would fall away in a desire to share our most wonderful Savior with others. Therefore, evangelism must begin with our own time with the Lord. As we spend time in Scripture and in prayer, we will begin to see His beauty and glory and will want to share this with others.

However, we cannot use this as an excuse to not pursue unbelievers in evangelism. It would be easy, based on this, to say, “I’ll engage in evangelism after I’ve grown closer to Jesus. Right now I need to focus on my own faith.” This is a lie from Satan. All believers have experienced God’s grace and beauty in their lives to some degree. Therefore, we all have a reason to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. One of the pastors on staff recently gave me the advice that I need to “find my voice.” Although it was said in a different context, this is great advice for all of us when it comes to evangelism. You don’t have to be a master evangelist in order to share the gospel with others. If you are a believer, then you have a story of how God has shown His grace to you and changed your life. Evangelism means taking this story of how God has worked and sharing it with others. So, “find your voice.” Look at what God has done in your life and share that story with those in your life who need to hear the good news of Christ’s death on the cross.

THE WORD

Scripture: John 1:35-46
Sermon: Uptown’s Vision: Being a Loving Witness

SONGS

Let Your Kingdom Come (Bob Kauflin)
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Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling (tune: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus)
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Mighty to Save (Hillsong United)
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Song of Preparation and Response: Rescue the Perishing  (Amanda Noel)
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Song for the Supper: The Feast (Karl Digerness)
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