Grace Lutheran Church By-The-Sea
Graceline is a monthly Newsletter which is published for Families and Friends of Grace Lutheran Church by the Sea. This page highlights select articles from the latest issue.
ASK THE PASTOR
What is the mission of Grace Lutheran Church?
As I answer this question let me begin by asking, “Who sets the mission of Grace Lutheran Church?” Is it set by the Pastor, District or Synod? Does church leadership dictate the mission to the congregation? Since the mission must be carried out by the members of the Congregation should they not set the mission? Is the mission created by taking a poll of what the members want and believe it to be?
NO! The mission is not set by the pastor, District or Synod. Church leadership does not dictate the mission to the congregation. Neither is the mission found by a consensus of the members. The Mission is given directly by Christ, the head of Grace.
Jesus has given us the mission of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “18 All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
The ministry of reconciliation begins with us. First, we need to be reconciled to God. We need to humble ourselves and confess our sin. We have sinned by wanting our ways. We have sinned by not caring if others are reconciled as long as we are. We have sought our own interests not Christ’s will. Confess, repent, return to Jesus.
All reconciliation begins with prayer! Prayer of confession then prayer of intercession. We need to pray for Christ to deliver us from our apathy and blindness about the lost. Ask God to give you the Holy Spirit that you may know His will and be empowered to do it. Luke 11:13 tells us to ask God to give us the Holy Spirit. Read Luke 11:10-13.
Begin right now and pray. Lord I confess I have sought my wants and needs over Your will. I am sorry, Lord. I am scared, I want to believe You will watch over me but its hard. Lord in Your loving mercy come to me. Send me the Holy Spirit. Fill and anoint me with the Holy Spirit. Let me be close to You. Give me Your heart, O Lord. Draw me to You more and more. Let me have Your Joy. I know my sin. I am unworthy of You and deserve nothing but anger but for the sake of Jesus come to me afresh. Lord I stand in the truth of Titus 3:4-6 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us
through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Renew me, Lord. O Lord, renew me! Thank You, dear Lord, thank You. Amen
Let me ask you this as a member of Grace, “What are you willing to give up, to see that another person is delivered from the deceptions of satan and reconciled to God under the grace of Jesus Christ? How important is it to you, that a lost sinner repents and is brought back to Jesus Christ? How important is it to Jesus Christ to save the lost?”
Saving the lost is the very reason Jesus humbled Himself and became a man and died on the cross. It is the very heart of Jesus to seek and save the lost. Luke 19:10 “Indeed, the Son of Man has come to seek and to save people who are lost.” Jesus has accomplished salvation for all mankind through the cross. His heart has not changed just because He has ascended to heaven. Jesus is Lord of the church but it is erroneous to think that Jesus is now concerned only with the welfare of the saved. Jesus taught center of His heart and the very hearts of the Father and Holy Spirit is the joy of saving the lost. Luke 15:7; “I can guarantee that
there will be more happiness in heaven over one person who turns to God and changes the way he thinks and acts than over 99 people who already have turned to God and have his approval.”
The church was established to reach people of all the nations. All the function within the church are present so that the heart of God may be full. God’s heart is filled when sinners are saved.
Teaching is done in the church so that each individual may be able to give account of the hope and joy in them. Teaching equips each person to bear witness of their personal faith.
Fellowship bring us into oneness. Oneness strengthen the Body of Christ to fulfill the great commission. Matthew 28:19-20 “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”
Worship is experience and expression of the reality of Christ in us so that the lost, who are visiting, may be drawn to seek God.
Stewardship is the administration of God’s gifts in order that the other functions may be fulfilled. Stewardship is more than money, it is basic discipleship. Being a disciple is dying to self that you may live completely in the heart of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:10 “We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus is also shown in our bodies.”
Outreach is the intentional focus on making contact with the lost so that God may call them to faith through us.
All aspects of church life and our personal life must conform to the heart of Jesus. Therefore the mission of Grace must be to reach the lost.
From the President
In October 2013, I began serving as Council President of Grace Lutheran Church By-The-Sea. This is a blessing, because it involves me in the management of a healthy, active and caring Church. Our Church Council has dedicated men and women who contribute their time, energy and love to make Grace a welcome home for all people. Together we manage our Ministry programs and projects with strong support from Pastor Jones, the Board of Elders and our congregation. The Council and I encourage members and visitors to serve with us on our projects. Please join our community of believers and grow in faith with us.
I talk frequently with members of our congregation, our visitors and many people outside of our church. It is increasingly apparent that these are times in our lives that we need to be guided by the principals of the Bible, perhaps now more than ever. Many of us are facing difficulties and challenges and I believe that Grace Lutheran Church can provide the atmosphere and support to help each of us make whatever life changes we desire, and overcome obstacles because we accept the truth and love of God's word. And, as Pastor Jones reminds all of us, the Holy Bible is the most absolute truth available to us.
One of our Lutheran publications reminded me recently that it's easy to fall into the age-old trap of thinking that somehow we can make our spiritual way on our own, through our good deeds. That's not possible! Only God's love and grace, and our strong faith in Him can lead us to salvation. Grace Lutheran Church is a wonderful place to learn, understand and appreciate God's grace and salvation. So I encourage you to visit us for our Sunday service and allow God's word to bless you and guide you in your daily activities. Following our service, we share fellowship with members and guests. This is followed by Sunday school classes for adults and children. And, we try to accommodate everyone's schedule by conducting year-round Bible study groups that meet in the morning, shortly after noon and in the early evening, one day each week.
At Grace Lutheran Church our New Year is well underway, but it's never too late to make the Bible or devotional reading a part of our everyday routine in 2014. Quiet time and fellowship with God is an important part of the day. And we know that the Bible is God's way of communicating with us.
Thanks to the many members and friends of Grace Lutheran Church By-The-Sea who contribute to our ministries and who generously give of themselves to help people in need, and encourage those whose lives we touch to worship and commune together regularly.
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Grace Lutheran Church By-The-Sea is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
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