The week of October 4 was certainly a great week for our family at North Side Baptist Church! For the third consecutive year, we held “The Gathering”. As most of you are aware, “The Gathering” consist of three daily times (Monday – Wednesday) of Prayer, Bible Study, and Worship, as well as Sunday morning and Sunday evening worship. The focus this year was the Family. For me, our times together were most beneficial. “Redeeming Love” became the informal theme throughout the week. Jeff established this theme in preaching about how to correctly love our spouse: with the redeeming love of God. For those of you who attended some or all of the services, this proved to be a great truth we can all apply to our marriages. In addition, I want to make another application.
Concerning discipleship, this redeeming love is the difference maker. The first step in discipleship is evangelism or proclaiming the Gospel. In order to proclaim the Gospel, one must have a desire to see lost people saved. This means we need to be in relationship with those who do not know Christ…those who are an enemy of God (Rom. 5:10). Those relationships must be made with the aim to share the gospel message. In other words, we must seek out relationship with those who are opposition to the very God we worship! That type of intentionality can only be done through the power of redeeming love. Just as we get to play the role of Jesus in our marriages by displaying redeeming love to our spouse, we have the opportunity to portray Christ to a lost world using that same redeeming love.
I am thankful to be a part of a church where people are enacting that redeeming love and intentionally engaging people, who are in rebellion to God with the specific purpose of sharing the great redeemptive story of Christ with them! Those testimonies and the message of redeeming love from “The Gathering” has given me a renewed intention about sharing the Gospel. At NS, we defined a disciple as one who LOVES Jesus, LEARNS the teachings and values of Jesus, LIVES out the teachings and values of Jesus, and LEADS others to do the same (L4). Remember, one cannot love Jesus unless he believes in Jesus, one cannot believe unless they hear, and one cannot hear unless someone preaches (tells) the Gospel (Rom. 10:14). That kind of act can only be done by one who has a redeeming love, and nobody has that love unless Christ has given it to them…the Church has that love! Let us spur each other on to enacting that GREAT REDEEMING LOVE we possess as we continue to make disciples so our God can be glorified!