Ordinary, Honest, God-blessed Work

Pastor Jay continues his sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers with “Ordinary, Honest, God-blessed Work” from 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (ESV)

and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

God sanctifies our life’s work.

  • It’s okay to work quietly at your life’s work.
  • It’s okay to mind your own business.
  • It’s okay to work with your own hands.
  • So that your gospel witness will be proper.
  • So we do not mooch off of others.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What is the one chore you hate doing the most? Why?
  • What would your house look like if no one did any work there?
  • According to 1 Thessalonians 4:12, what is one reason God wants us to be hard workers?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to glorify God by working hard at it?


The Unnecessary Reminder

Pastor Jay continues his sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers with “The Unnecessary Reminder” from 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (ESV)

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,

You probably don’t need to hear about brotherly love.
2 Reasons you probably don’t:

  • Because brotherly love is natural to the genuine believer in Christ.
  • Because brotherly love grows with sanctification.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What is the one thing you really love? Why?
  • Besides your family, who else is really important to you?
  • God tells us to love one another. What does that mean?
  • What is one way you can show love to someone this week?


The Grain of Wheat & the Call of Christ

Special guest Mark Phillips joins us this week for a look into missions work.

John 12:20-26 (ESV)

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

We’ll miss out on what God has invited us into when…

  • We misunderstand the mission of God. (vv. 20-23)
    • False assumptions:
      • Missions is for missionaries.
      • Missions is what happens over there.
  • We misunderstand the method of God. (vv. 24-26a)
    • False assumptions:
      • Suffering is not God’s plan for us.
      • Suffering is not normal.
  • We misunderstand the reward of God. (v. 26b)
    • False assumption:
      • Obedience makes my life better now.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What do you think it means to be a missionary?
  • Who are some people in our family and among our friends that need to hear the Gospel? What are some ways we can begin to talk about Jesus with them this week?
  • If I told you we had to leave our house never to come back, what one thing would you want to take? Why is that thing so valuable/precious to you?


Book of the Month

What We’re Reading—Book of the Month

Grace Community Church exists to lead people to an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ… One of the ways we can do that is by connecting our people with good, solid, biblically-based books. For a while we had a recommended reading book rack. Some people took advantage of that when it was new, but then, after a while, it just sat there. We removed it a couple of months ago, and no one has even noticed. It probably wasn’t serving the purpose any longer.

We still believe strongly that we can encourage people to grow in Christ through promoting deep, thoughtful Christian books. So, in a renewed effort, we’re launching a recommended book of the month.  Each month (or so) we will add a new book that will be available at our cost. We’ll place it strategically in the foyer, and we will publish a blog article about the particular book.

The Explicit Gospel

To kick things off, we are starting with the book, The Explicit Gospel, by Mark Chandler. This is also a book that our JOY class small group is using for our current study.  The reception has been very positive. Here is what the  publisher says about the book:

Even if you go to church, it doesn’t mean that you are being exposed (or exposing others) to the gospel explicitly. Sure, most people talk about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn’t there—at least not in its specificity and its fullness.

Inspired by the needs of both the over-churched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, popular pastor Matt Chandler writes this best-selling treatise to remind us what is of first and utmost importance—the gospel.

The book is divided into two main parts, the “gospel on the ground” and “the gospel in the air”. In the one half Chandler approaches the significance of the gospel in terms of how it affects us. In the second part, he’s looking at the cosmic ramifications of the gospel. Then, after that he discusses the implications for the church.

“One gospel, two vantage points. Both are necessary in order to begin to glimpse the size and weight of the good news, the eternity-spanning wonderment of the finished work of Christ. Both are necessary…” (from the introduction.)

Look for the book of the month—coming soon!

The Pursuit of Holiness, Part 2

Pastor Jay continues his sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers with “The Pursuit of Holiness, Part 2” from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (ESV)

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

The genuine believer in Christ must pursue sanctification.

  • Know how to control your bodies.
  • Don’t imitate the pagans.
  • Don’t hurt people.
  • God called you to holiness.
  • Do not disregard God in this matter.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What are some things you’ve tried really hard to do?
  • When did you want to do good, but you kept doing the wrong thing?
  • How can God help you to obey Him?
  • If God calls us to be holy what should our goal be?
  • None of us perfectly obeys God. That is why we need Jesus. Have you turned from your sin and trusted in Jesus as the savior and ruler of your life?