Seeking, Saving, Serving: our mission and a three year plan of growth in it.
1. God’s rule and righteousness, our Seeking Mission, 2017 theme and Gen. – Rev. Bible reading plan.
2. Sin and Redemption, our Saving Mission, 2018 theme and Chronological Bible reading plan.
3. God’s love and ours, our Serving Mission, 2019 theme and One Year Bible (Old Testament, Psalm/Proverbs, and New Testament) reading plan.
1. God’s rule and righteousness, a Seeking Mission: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…
This is our theme for 2017. These are the words of our Lord calling us into God’s provision of everything that we need. (See Matt. 6:19-34). Keeping the main thing the main thing has always been a challenge in this world of competing voices. Making sure that God’s kingdom and righteousness are the highest priority of our lives in every aspect of out lives is not an easy task. It IS the greatest work we can do and the highest target we can live for in this life. Seeking God’s rule and righteousness first and above all else clarifies and guides us on our journey and eliminates and disqualifies lessor, lower pursuits. Those who take this seriously may be accused of being extremists. One look at Jesus on the cross and we are reminded of what a high price has been paid by our King who fully gave Himself to the rule and righteousness of God. This is not to be taken lightly. God has a kingdom and Christ is our King. He deserves all we can give. He has earned our salvation for us, paid the way for us to enter eternal glory, and the Father has given us His only begotten Son as a sacrifice. To take this lightly is to mock its worth. We know better than that. We must see that He calls us to a higher longing, better living, fuller meaning, greater mission, wiser direction, sweeter blessing, freer, stronger, richer, surer, longer lasting benefits than anything this world offers.
While the path we will walk as we seek God’s rule and righteousness is filled with risks and ridicule, the reward for walking it is infinitely greater by comparison.
This will be our first year in a three year series plan where we read through the entire Bible each year. In 2017 we read from Genesis to Revelation looking for God’s word concerning God’s kingdom and righteousness. Our group ministry and Summer Series will all be built around this theme and our journey through the Bible together. Reading schedules will be provided and posted so that every member can participate. The Sunday morning sermons will follow the readings and give insights and applications from the week’s reading schedule. We will listen to the voice of God from cover to cover attuning our ears toward what God says about His rule and righteousness. What could be more worthy of our time and attention than that?
2. Sin and Redemption, a Saving Mission: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…
This year’s theme will be “Sin and Redemption.” In 2018, Lord willing, we will read through the Bible again, but this time chronologically looking for what God says about sin and redemption. Reading chronologically will put the kings and prophets and Psalms into perspective in the Old Testament, and the gospels, Acts and the letters in chronological perspective in the New Testament. Our focus as we read through God’s word again in 2018 will be on the saving work of God for us and our part in sharing it with others.
As people who seek first God’s rule and righteousness as we live in this world, we are called to share His saving grace with those who are lost in sin and make disciples where ever we go. This saving mission gives us a job to do as we live under God’s rule and pursue God’s righteousness. Our King commissions us to declare the saving gospel message and the praise of His glorious grace before a lost and dying world.
This year’s reading of God’s word will show us how from the fall of man into sin in the very first chapters of the Bible, God has had a plan to redeem us from sin, a saving plan that demonstrates His love and grace through sacrifice and suffering. We are given God’s overview of human history and a saving view of Himself as our Savior and Redeemer. From cover to cover we will hear and see the gracious and mighty works of God as well as the sinful, fallen nature of man.
Again, Lord willing, a reading plan will be provided for all our members and our groups and Summer Series will present on this Saving theme. The Sunday morning sermons will also cover the week’s readings with lessons and applications from the scriptures. We will be looking for and listening to the voice of God concerning our sin and His redeeming work to save us, and our call to come follow in the way of life.
3. God’s love and ours, a Serving Mission: If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Year three, 2019, Lord willing, completes our final year in this three year series focusing on the Serving Mission of the church. This year’s through the Bible reading will be with the One Year Bible plan where we have an Old Testament, Psalm/Proverb, and New Testament reading for each day. This unique reading plan keeps us connected with God’s word on three levels every day. More like the modern multi tasking style, we will listen to God’s voice in scripture and see His servant heart from start to finish.
The serving mission in Christ brings it all together. Seeking, saving, and serving are all of one cloth woven into one way of life in God’s word. We seek God’s rule and righteousness and share God’s saving grace as we serve Him and others in Christ.
The Bible reveals the meaning, power and goal of a serving faith in God. Nothing demonstrates God’s attractive character like loving service in the name of Jesus Christ. This forms the magnetic nature of the people of God. Everyone desires to be loved. God, who is love, designed us to develop best under His nurture and discipline. God’s loving service to us is not always soft and gentle, but it always works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes.
When we see that throughout the Bible how God, our King, has reached out to save and serve us and then how He sent Jesus, the suffering servant to die for us, it is overwhelming. There is nothing else on this earth that comes close to this. There is a place for those who reject God as King, Savior and Servant. There is also a place for those who follow in His footsteps.
This three year plan engages us in God’s word and our mission in ways that can strengthen our faith, hope and love like nothing else! Hearing the entire word of God in our homes over and over again is sure to have an impact for good. Imagine growing up in a home where the Bible is part of every day life. What if TV, worldly music and entertainment and unspiritual conversation in the home of every Christian family were replaced by seeking the kingdom of God, learning about sin and redemption, discovering the servant heart of God and how we are called to be like Him. What if hearing the Bible became more important than hearing the news or watching sports? What might God do with a church that did these things? There’s one way to find out!
Let’s dedicate ourselves to this three year plan and see what God will do. It will be hard. There will be times when things just won’t work out to do the reading. There will be a thousand reasons to give up. Let us not grow weary in doing good, for we will reap a good harvest if we do not give up. There’s no doubt that this would be difficult. But there is also no doubt that it will do you great good.