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PURPOSE STATEMENT

 

ENABLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WE TAKE CHRIST TO ALL PEOPLE BY LOVING GOD, NEIGHBOR, AND SELF.

 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES:

 

  • We are guided by the principle that
    Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
    Pray

    To seek God’s guidance
  • We are guided by the principle that
    Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
    Accept

    the gifts of all and encourage everyone to use them in God’s mission
  • We are guided by the principle that
    Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
    Listen

    to the Holy Spirit and invite all to have a relationship with Jesus
  • We are guided by the principle that
    Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
    Serve

    the needs of all and strive to nurture and care for one another

 

Principle:

A general truth or law; basic to other truths.

            A settled law or rule of personal conduct.

 

 

Core Values

Guiding principles are core values and behaviors that will help us serve a useful role

in God’s mission.

  • Guiding principles (Pray, Accept, Listen, and Serve)
    will be available to us as we make decisions
  • Guiding principles (Pray, Accept, Listen, and Serve)
    will be with us in the midst of conflicts
  • Guiding principles (Pray, Accept, Listen, and Serve)
    will help us sort out which direction to go
  • Guiding principles (Pray, Accept, Listen, and Serve)
    will point us to good decisions and healthy actions

GUIDING PRINCIPLE FOCUS:

 

We are guided by the principle that
Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
Accept

the gifts of all and encourage everyone to use them in God’s mission

 

God’s Acceptance of Us

 

Psalm 8

O Lord, Our Lord,

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise

because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

 

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

 

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

You put everything under his feet:

All flocks and herds, and beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

 

O Lord, our Lord,

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

Comment:

From God’s perspective,

we are all valuable because it was His will that it be that way.


Our Acceptance of God

 

Psalm 33

 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;

it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Praise the Lord with the harp;

make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

Sing to him a new song;

play skillfully and shout for joy.

 

For the word of the Lord is right and true;

he is faithful in all he does.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;

the earth is full of his unfailing love.

 

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,

their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;

he puts the deep into storehouses.

Let all of the earth fear the Lord;

let all the people of the world revere him.

For he spoke and it came to be;

he commanded and it stood firm.

The Lord foils the plans of the nations;

he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever;

the purposes of his heart through all generations.

 

Comment:

The Bible is the inspired word of God to us and through us.

God reveals to us how He is and who He is through the Bible.

Here we learn that God is:

·        Faithful in all He does

·        He loves righteousness and justice

·        His love for us is unfailing

·        By His breath and His word everything came to be

·        His plans stand firm forever


Our Acceptance of God’s Partnership

 

Psalm 40

 

                I wait patiently for the Lord;

                He turned to me and heard my cry.

                He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

                He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

                He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

                Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

 

                Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,

                who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

                Many, O Lord my God are the wonders you have done.

                The things you planned for us no one can recount to you;

                were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

 

                Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced;

                burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

                Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll.

                I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

 

                I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;

                I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord.

                I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;

                I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.

                I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

 

                Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord;

                may your love and your truth always protect me.

                For troubles without number surround me;

                my sins have overtaken me and I can not see.

                They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

 

                Be pleased, O Lord, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me.

                May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion;

                may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.

                May those who say to me, “Aha, Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.

                But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

                may those who love your salvation always say, “The Lord be exalted!”

 

                Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.

                You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.

 

Comment:

The Bible uses the term ‘heart’ to describe the innermost portions of our being:

                Our thoughts, our emotions, and our will

Here we have a person who feels that they have been saved by God from a terrible fate.

This person is grateful and wants to respond to that salvation by getting in touch with

how God is and who God is and what God wants us to be in His world.

This person is so happy to be thought of by God that he wants to tell the whole world about it.


Our Acceptance of God’s Dominion Over Us

 

Psalm139

 

                O Lord you have searched me and you know me.

                You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

                You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

                Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

 

                You hem me in – behind and before;

                you have laid your hand upon me.

                Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

 

                Where can I go from your Spirit?

                Where can I flee from your presence?

                If I go up to the heavens, you are there.

                If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

                If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,

                even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

 

                If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”

                even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,

                for darkness is as light to you.

 

                For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

                I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

                your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

                My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

                When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

 

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake I am still with you.

 

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!

Away from me you bloodthirsty men!

They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.

Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,

and abhor those who rise up against you?
                I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Comment:

In one sense what we hear in this psalm could be intimidating knowing that there is no where to hide from God.

But in another sense we can take comfort from what we hear in this psalm in that God is there for us in every situation. God is near and we can turn toward Him whenever we need to.


Our Acceptance of Others

 

Romans 14

 

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

                One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.

If we live, we live to the Lord; if we die, we die to the Lord.

So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

                For this reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother?

For we will stand before God’s judgment seat.

For it is written:

                “ ’As surely as I live’, says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;

                    every tongue will confess to God’ “

                Isaiah 45:23

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

                Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put a stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

                So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

 

Comment:

What I hear God saying to me in this passage is that I have all I can do to work out my own relationship with God. If I do that with all my heart, mind, and strength, then there will be little left for me to pass judgment on anyone else’s relationship with God.


We are guided by the principle that
Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
Accept

the gifts of all and encourage everyone to use them
in God’s mission

What Are Gifts?

When we accept the gifts of all, we must assume that we have all been given gifts.

God gives us what we need exactly when we need it and that includes gifts that can be used in God’s mission.

These gifts may not take the same form as what the world considers gifts.

We may not have exceptional musical talent or be great thinkers.

We may not be able to tell one end of a screw driver from another or know anything more about machinery than where to put the fuel, but that does not mean that we do not have gifts from God.

Many of the great patriarchs of the Bible like Moses and Joseph started their work for God with the phrase, “I can not do it” followed by, “but God can do it.”

God can do great things though us for His mission when we, “Let go and let God.”

 

How Do We Encourage Each Other?

 

Encouragement usually takes the form of a pat on the back or some other sort of praise.

That kind of encouragement is surely helpful to us as humans, but it also requires that we do ‘something’ that is recognized as valuable to other people.

But if we try to see things from God’s perspective, we may find that encouragement takes on a totally different form.

When we look at each other as God sees us in Psalm 8:

You made him [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

Or as in Psalm 33:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

            I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Then it seems like respect for one another as God’s unique creations can become the beginning of true encouragement.

God sees each of us as being an integral part of His creation and having an integral role in His mission in the world.

Let us encourage each other from that perspective.

 

What is God’s Mission?

 

Acts 2:22-24

            Men of Israel, listen to this:

Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you

by miracles, wonders, and signs,

which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know.

This man was handed over to you

by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge;

and you, with the help of wicked men,

put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross.

But God raised Him from death,

Freeing Him from the agony of death,

because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.

 

The Bible book of Genesis describes a world created by God that was perfect for our physical existence and a world in which we had a perfect relationship with God.

Somewhere along the way we are told that we rejected that perfect world made by God for the imperfect world where we are today.

Does that mean that God failed in His mission?

Not at all!

That perfect world and that perfect relationship still exists in God’s plan and His mission is to bring us all back to Himself.

We may have failed God, but God’s mission has not failed.


 

John 14:1-14

 

[Jesus tells His disciples]

“Do not let yourselves be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me

that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Phillip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Phillip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

 

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.

He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

 

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.”

 

Find ways in your own life and daily activities to be guided by the principle that
Since Jesus is our Lord and Savior we
Accept

the gifts of all and encourage everyone to use them in God’s mission

Periodically re-assess your core values and behaviors.
Develop attitudes and habits, like deliberate prayer and Bible study,

to help keep ‘the word of the Lord’ fresh in our thoughts, emotions, and wills (hearts).

 

ENABLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT let the GUIDING PRINCIPLES of

PRAYING, ACCEPTING, LISTENING, and SERVING

help us choose, decide, and respond to ‘the word of the Lord’ in our lives.

 

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