Six Ways To Be A Global Christian

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In light of the persecution of Christians that is ongoing in Iraq, as well as crises in Syria, Ukraine and West Africa, here are six ways that you can be part of God’s work outside of the United States:

  1. Remember that the Gospel compels us to care about the world. Our God is the God of every nation, whose work will not cease until His fame covers the earth the way that the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)
  2. Celebrate what God is doing in ways that don’t look or sound like you. In Montreal. In Dubai. In India
  3. Help start new churches around the world. You’ll hear more in the days and weeks to come about how you can be part of our efforts to help plant churches outside of the United States.
  4. Pray for the work of the church around the world. Consider using a resource like Open Doors, a group that serves persecuted Christians around the world. 
  5. Follow the BBC World Service and other international news services. I have been helped greatly over the past year by listening to BBC’s Daily Commute podcast.
  6. Learn from Christians that don’t live here in the States. For starters, check out the sessions from this years Acts 29 Europe conference.

As crises arise around the world, our commitment is to pray and to work together with other organizations to provide aid where possible.

Ten Years Of Gifts

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My first Sunday as pastor of our church was Father’s Day 2004, which means that I’ve been part of our church for ten years. All of us tend to get reflective on days like this and it’s a gift to be able to share moments with people who matter. And speaking of gifts

After ten years, I’m so grateful to God for the gift of clarity. There are moments when I feel pretty dumb for leading us on a roundabout as we figure out who we are and the role we play in God’s kingdom. I really am sorry for all of the moments where I thought the best way that I could help you was to figure things out on my own rather than doing this with you, and more importantly, in reliance upon God and his power. Ten years in, I’m deeply encouraged and excited to be part of a church that is all in when it comes to helping people follow Jesus together as a family,  and whose future will increasingly depend on the wisdom and power of God. We are still learning how to be this kind of people and how to do this together; we will fail but God will be faithful! I’m so glad to be part of this with you.

And speaking of you and me and us, I’m so grateful to God for the gift of community. We all confuse and disappoint and hurt each other – and I’ve done more than my fair share of confusing, disappointing and hurting – but don’t you get a sense that we’re in this together through thick and thin? We find ourselves in a unique situation where people live in Athens for a season rather than a lifetime but whether you are part of our present or our past, you will always be part of our family. The apostle Paul tells the church in Thessalonica that ‘you are our glory and joy’ (1 Thessalonians 2:20) and that is exactly how I feel about you.

For those of you who will wake up in Athens tomorrow, I look forward to seeing you and enjoying God together as we gather for worship. And to the rest of you – out of town for the weekend or living with Athens in your rearview mirror – thank you for the memories. I am more excited and hopeful than ever before.

Love, Grace, Peace.

Matt

 

Sermon Review – Why We Don’t Have To Be Afraid Of Jesus (Luke 20:41-21:4)

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Big Idea: We don’t have to be scared to give up control of our lives and trust Jesus.

Summary: What happens when you come into contact with Jesus? He pokes at our cultural politics, our skepticism, our doubts – all the ways that we try to protect ourselves and hold on to control of our lives. In the actions of a poor widow, we’re able to see Jesus as the King who gave up control and sacrificed his life for you and me.

Next Steps: Consider the following questions as you listen and respond to God:

  • What did God say to me in the text?
  • How do I know whether or not what I heard is true?
  • How do I feel about what I heard?
  • How do I practically put my hope and trust in Jesus in response to his message?
  • What’s my next step as a follower of Jesus?

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • My friend, Eric Mason, talks the primary struggle facing men today (20 minute video)
  • Ladies, if you’re not a reader of Jani Ortlund’s blog, here’s a chance to change that 🙂 (True Woman Blog)
  • Jesus mentions David in this text. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an interesting book on the advantage of being the underdog called, David and Goliath (book)
  • If you’re part of a community group, I’d encourage you to talk about who you’re planning to BLESS between now and Easter. 
  • And if you’re looking for a place to go deep with the Bible and with each other, email me (madair@missionathens.com) and let’s talk about getting you into a DNA Group.

Sermon Review – Jesus The Revolutionary, Part II (Luke 20:27-40)

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Big Idea: Jesus is not out to ruin you; He’s out to rescue you.

Summary: The Sadducees, a group of Jewish artistocrats, question Jesus about the resurrection out of fear that Jesus’ revolution will threaten their power and position. From their perspective, Jesus is out to ruin their life. Jesus’ response is a reminder that whenever we think he’s trying to ruin our life, he is actually engaged in a rescue mission. If and when he wrecks our lives, it’s to save us from the damage we’ll do if we’re left on our own.

Next Steps: Consider the following questions as you listen and respond to God:

  • What did God say to me in the text?
  • How do I know whether or not what I heard is true?
  • How do I feel about what I heard?
  • How do I practically put my hope and trust in Jesus in response to his message?
  • What’s my next step as a follower of Jesus?

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • 25 simple ways to love your neighbor (article)
  • How churches fake God’s work with Darrin Patrick and Ray Ortlund (3 minute video)
  • The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door (book)
  • If you’re part of a community group, I’d encourage you to talk about who you’re planning to BLESS between now and Easter. 
  • And if you’re looking for a place to go deep with the Bible and with each other, email me (madair@missionathens.com) and let’s talk about getting you into a DNA Group.

Sermon Review – The King Without A Coin (Luke 20:19-26)

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Big Idea: Join the revolution of the King who has no coin.

Summary: The religious leaders attempt to trap Jesus by exposing his political allegiance, alienating him either from the Romans or the Jewish people. Jesus’ response redefines our politics and reveals the revolution behind Jesus’ revolution. Instead of redistributing the cultural currency of power, recognition, success and comfort, Jesus calls for a whole different way of life. As we watch King Jesus have to ask to borrow someone’s change, we’re reminded that we don’t have to chase after the things of this world, nor do we have to hoard what we already have.

Next Steps: Consider the following questions as you listen and respond to God:

  • What did God say to me in the text?
  • How do I know whether or not what I heard is true?
  • How do I feel about what I heard?
  • How do I practically put my hope and trust in Jesus in response to his message?
  • What’s my next step as a follower of Jesus?

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • If you want to watch Johnny Tremain, here you go (this won’t make sense unless you were there this morning or listen to the podcast)
  • If you want more background on Judas the Galilean and his rebellion against Rome, here you go (article)
  • Kevin DeYoung‘s book, Crazy Busy, is crazy good (book)
  • Alvin Reid shows us why mentoring is important and how to mentor someone younger than you (43 page e-book)
  • Tim Keller on faith and politics (video)
  • If you’re part of a community group, I’d encourage you to talk about who you’re planning to BLESS between now and Easter. 
  • And if you’re looking for a place to go deep with the Bible and with each other, email me (madair@missionathens.com) and let’s talk about getting you into a DNA Group.

March 13 Scripture Reading

-Psalm 72

-Exodus 18

-Ezra 8

-Romans 8:18-39

March 12 Bible Reading

-Psalm 71

-Exodus 17

-Ezra 7

-Romans 8:1-17

If you are falling behind, just write down what you missed. Start back on the current date, and in your free time, catch up on the missed days!

March 11 Bible Reading

-Psalm 70

-Exodus 15:22-16:36

-Ezra 6

-Romans 7

Take some time to enjoy the beautiful weather outside while it lasts!

Sharing Life in Community Gatherings

Neil Morrelli leads a weekly small group with his wife. The gathering is currently on the smaller side, as only two other couples are attending. People tend to visit the group frequently, however. The time serves as an opportunity for young married couples to share life together and offer support. From this, close friendships have developed.

“The Lord has us in some very uncertain, transitory places right now, so to process this stage of life together has been very helpful and encouraging,” Neil added.

If you are looking for some community, Neil would be happy to hear from you! Shoot him a message at neil.morelli@gmail.com for more information about gathering with these awesome folks!

March 10 Bible Reading

Psalm 69

Exodus 15:1-21

Ezra 5

Romans 6

Happy Daylight Savings Time!!