Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Gospel For Every Day Life

We have been preaching our way through a series here at LHNC called "The Gospel For Everyday Life." Aaron kicked the series off with "The Gospel Past" taking a look at what the Gospel did. Specifically he focused the sermonic spotlight on justification (we have been made right with God/declared righteous) and adoption (we have been adopted as sons and daughters of God through Christ). The following Sunday Curtis preached "The Gospel Present" message. He reminded us that we now have the power of the Holy Spirit, power over sin, and hope. Finally this past Sunday, I preached "The Gospel Future," emphasizing the "glorious inheritance" that the Gospel has secured for us (eternal life, glorified bodies, new home & new city) and how it compels us to live with eternal perspective. This series has been really good for me! I have been continually marinating on it over the last few weeks. Let me give you one example...

I recently had a conversation with a man who faithfully comes to our Saturday morning service. I am just getting to know him. I was asking a few questions about his life, and I asked him how we could be praying for him. He shared that we could pray that he would find permanent housing. He went on to explain that he has been homeless for 9 years, and that he goes from shelter to shelter in Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco. He added that it is especially difficult for him to secure any type of housing, because he has a record as a sex offender.

I am going to be honest, when I heard "sex offender" it made my insides churn (I hope it did not show on my face). However, I was quickly reminded of the Gospel in my mind. If the man I was speaking to is a believer in Christ now, then God doesn't view him as a sex offender now, but instead he has been "declared righteous (justified)" by the work of the Cross. He is now a child of God, loved by the Heavenly Father. Not only that, but he would now have the power of the Holy Spirit which gives him power over the sin that once mastered him. Finally, he has a glorious inheritance to look forward to if he knows Christ.

In addition, it is the Gospel that compels us as a church to actively show mercy to this man. You see we have been shown incredible mercy at the Cross, therefore we extend that same mercy to others. Not only that, we need to welcome him into our church. The Gospel compels us to "welcome him (see Romans 15:7)" as a neighbor and potentially as a brother in the Lord. Finally, it is the Gospel that stirs us to contend for justice on his behalf in his search for housing.

Finally, my internal reaction to "sex offender" reminded me of my own depravity. Although he and I have different stories, I too have done things I'm ashamed of, things I wish I hadn't done. If some of my thoughts were projected onto a screen, I would be embarrassed. I too am capable of wicked acts...BUT GOD.

Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Romans 5:8 But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died or us.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

March Praise & Prayer

Here is our March praises and prayer requests via video! We had fun putting this together (we apologize in advance for any corniness that comes through:))!

Please let us know how we can be praying for you! You can email us at pastordave@lhnchurch.org or ja92777@gmail.com.

As we shared in the video, our updated goal for the Rwanda trip is $3,800! To hear more about our Rwanda trip, click here.

Finally, if you would like to listen to our weekly sermons click here or subscribe to our podcast "Living Hope Neighborhood Church" on I-Tunes.