Going Deeper

3.1 -3.6.2021

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

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  • SCRIPTURE

    • Genesis 12:1-4, 22:1-19
    • Isaiah 2:1-5, 42:1-9, 49:1-13
    • Matthew 5:13-16
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

  • REFLECTION

    On August 18, 1978, the English rock band, The Who, released their 8th studio album titled Who Are You which was also the title track on the album.  Those three words form an existential question that many of us have pondered regarding others and maybe even self. 

     

    Think about the labels that we use to describe who we are:  father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, son, daughter, grandfather, or grandmother just to name a few.  These attempt to define familial alignment while others attempt to describe roles that we play.  Think of terms like provider, nurturer, partner, or entrepreneur.  This is just a small sampling of the ways in which we try to answer the question, “who are you?” and assign meaning to our lives.

     

    In our faith life we also use a variety of labels to describe who we are in relationship to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Sinner, saint, redeemed, beloved, forgiven, disciple, follower, seeker, among others.  Two words that describe who we are but are rarely used are the words influencer and revealer – these are contemporary correlations to the words salt and light.  Jesus said that his disciples are to be salt and one of the roles of salt is that it influences; it influences taste, preservation, and healing among other things. Jesus said that his disciples should be light and we know that light is not self-serving; it serves the purpose of revealing what is around us. So in contemporary vernacular, Jesus says that we should be influencers and revealers.  We are to influence people in the pursuit of goodness as defined by the words of Jesus’ in the Sermon on the Mount.  And we are to reveal to the world what it looks like to live in God’s kingdom of love and forgiveness.  The challenge is doing what we are meant to do.

     

    The writer of the second letter to the Corinthians says that “if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)  Notice that the writer does not say that you are becoming a new creation.  Rather, the writer uses the empathic “you are.”  Baptized followers of Jesus Christ are a new creation – you are salt and light, you are an influencer and revealer of the kingdom of God.  The journey for many of us is discovering that this is our meaning and learning to live into this new reality.

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Take a moment and reflect on what you assume to be the meaning for your life.  I hope that you might hear the invitation to be the influencer and revealer that God has redeemed you to be.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS

    Head: 

    • Who are you?  What words would you use to describe who you are?
    • Who do others say you are?  What words have others said about you that help to define who you are?
    • What have you been taught about who you are as a redeemed follower of Jesus Christ?

     

    Heart:

    • Who do you long to be?  What labels would you use to define the vision of who you want to be?
    • Is there a conflict between the vision of who you long to be and the invitation of who God desires you to be?  Write down what that conflict looks like for you.
    • How has God’s summons to be a new creation in Christ been revealed to you and what influence does it have on who you are and who you are becoming?

     

    Hand:

    • Describe a time when you were in a position of influence.  What were the results of that moment in your life?
    • Describe a time when you were in a position to reveal something to the world around you.  What were the results of that moment in your life?
    • In what ways are you influencing others for goodness and love? 
    • In what ways are you revealing to the world God’s kingdom of forgiveness and fellowship?

  • PRAYER

    Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being.  You have created us for yourself, so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you.  Grant unto us purity of heart and strength of purpose, so that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, and no weakness prevent our doing it.  As your light, may we reveal the meaning of life to all and in your service may we influence the world through your love and forgiving grace.  Amen.