January 20

In the farming metaphor of Gospel work, fields represent people.  It is into the hearts of people that the Gospel seed is sown.  There, by the grace of God, it germinates, takes root, and begins to sprout.  People who have been instructed in the Gospel and are ready to repent and believe are like a field of grain ready to be gathered in to eternal life!

 

The people in our lives can be grouped together in relational categories.  These categories can also be considered "fields".  Consider the common fields listed below.

 

Family Field:  people in your immediate and extended family.               

Neighborhood Field:  people who live beside or near you.                       

Workplace Field:  people with whom you work.

Community Field:  people you see on a regular basis as you shop and eat out.

Recreation Field:  people with whom you play sports, go fishing, hunt, golf, etc.

 

Stop and think about your fields.  You may not have a connection to every field in the list above.  Some of your fields may be larger or smaller (represent more or less people) than the fields of others.  However, your fields are by divine appointment and they represent potential fruit for the Kingdom of God.  Are you working them for the Gospel?  

January 13

What does a fruitful (spiritually mature and productive) disciple of Jesus Christ look like? This is an important question to consider for two reasons. First, it is important because it relates to your own Christian life. The question might be asked this way - What am I supposed to look like as a spiritually mature and productive disciple of Jesus? Answering this can remind us what we should be working toward in the grace of God.


Second, it is an important question because it relates to our mission. Our task, like that of the Apostles, is to make disciples. This involves more than just preaching the Gospel. It also involves baptizing those who believe and teaching them to observe all the things that Jesus commanded. Having a basic understanding of what a mature disciple looks like can be useful in helping new believers become mature disciples.


So here are four words to consider: connect, grow, serve, and go. These are not necessarily all encompassing but they are useful characteristics of a fruitful Christian. Fruitful disciples connect with God and His people in loving relationship. They grow in spiritual maturity (increasing in knowledge and righteousness). They serve the Lord and His church with their time, energy, spiritual gifts, and resources. They go in mission, sowing the Gospel and cultivating followers of Christ.


January 6

In 2019 we are focusing on our mission: Sow the Gospel. Cultivate Christians. This part of our bulletin will be devoted to helping us think more deeply about giving the Gospel to others and helping those who believe become obedient and fruitful Christians. The articles here will vary between those two important facets of our mission.


To prepare ourselves to give the Gospel to others, we will be working together to memorize Gospel verses. The passage below (which we will work together to memorize in January and February) is an important summary of the Gospel. In order to give the Gospel, we must know it! We must also be able to articulate it to others. I Corinthians 15:3-4 can help us get and communicate the core points of the Good News.


The Gospel is essentially a message about the death (for sins), burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, our general witness about God must become specific. Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross. This means that He was counted as guilty of the sins of the world and suffered the just wrath of God so that sinners could be forgiven and reconciled to God. His burial was proof that He truly died. His resurrection from the dead signaled that He is who He claimed to be, His sacrifice was accepted, and that He can give eternal life to all who believe.