Word of Encouragement

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27 Now there is a mouthful. As we all journey toward becoming like Jesus, it should help to be reminded that every day counts, even the days when no one is looking. Paul challenges the Philippians to behave in a way Jesus would approve. Maybe this is where the old WWJD came from, “what would Jesus do?” So whether I am at work or at home, concentrating on solving a problem or laughing hysterically with my family, in all ways and at all times, I should seek to honor Jesus. In my office, I have surrounded myself with photos that all mean something to me. Each one of them has a story. As the rest of the story of my life unfolds, I pray that as the pages turn, more and more of Jesus would be revealed. I hope the same desire powers through your heart.
 
~Grace & Peace~
Pastor Ernie

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Word of Encouragement

I have been captivated by Paul since we began studying Philippians together.  One of the decisions he makes is to become a prisoner so that he can go to Rome and witness to Caesar’s household.  He deliberately makes himself a prisoner so that he can witness in Rome.  That is some kind of commitment.  It would take a powerful force to get a man to do that.  And a powerful force it was.  In Acts 23, Paul has a second vision, a sequel to his Damascus experience.  23:11 says, “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage!  As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.'”  I guess having the Lord standing next to you is a powerful force.  Have there been times in your life when the direction you were to go was that clear?  It is hard to compete with the Lord standing next to you, but I have had some really clear instructions in my life, decisions that set a course for me that is still playing out.  It is so good to know that God can be clear as crystal sometimes.  I hope and pray God’s intentions for you are crystal clear today.

~Grace & Peace~

Pastor Ernie


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Word of Encouragement

This past Sunday we talked about how God will complete the work He started in us. (Philippians 1:6) How comforting it is to recognize God is at work. And how important for me to recognize that I need work. Knowing I am a work in progress frees me to be honest with myself and really with everyone else about where I am in my journey. In fact, knowing that I still need some transformation is one of the key marks of a disciple. Of course I do not want random transformation, or transformation just for change sake. Rather, I want purposeful change. I want God to reveal to me what changes need to happen so that I can become more and more like Christ. So my prayer is that God reveal to each of us what it means to become like Jesus. And the word of encouragement for today, “I am not yet perfect.” And God has not given up on me.


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Word of Encouragement

  1. This past Sunday I shared a key verse for Wesley’s future, Matthew 4:19. “Come follow me an I will make you fishers of men.” In this short verse, we can find the three essential characteristics that mark us as disciples.
    1. Come follow me: disciples follow Jesus and long to learn, know and follow his teachings and seek to replicate His behaviors and attitudes.
    2. And I will make you: disciples understand that we all need transformation and we offer ourselves to Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit so that we can be changed. Our goal is to become like Jesus.
    3. Fishers of men: disciples live out our lives on mission. Jesus’ mission to make disciples becomes our mission and we work diligently to live on purpose. We live to make and send disciples into the world who will make more disciples.
This past weekend, 17 people from Wesley attended a training conference, Discipleshift, to empower us and help us learn how to be a church that focuses on making disciples who make disciples. It was certainly the most practical and reproducible training I have ever attended and we are all so thankful and look forward to helping Wesley lead into the future. Already two who went to training have stared implementing what we learned. We now have a ministry for middle schoolers on Sunday mornings at 11. It went very well this past Sunday. Thank you to Kristine Johnson and Paula Walker for teaming up to make that happen. Jesus makes it clear that we are all called to make disciples and get connected to other people. Our mission is to make disciples and I want to encourage you in your journey. Soon we will be establishing the process we will be using for discipleship, called Real Life Discipleship. We will be getting a second team together to go to training in the fall, pray about this and see if God is calling you to be a disciple maker.
 

~Grace & Peace~
Pastor Ernie


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