Hey Vinelife Church!
In case you missed yesterday’s service, here’s a recap to keep you in the loop.
WORSHIP THEMES //
We engaged in a powerful time of worship. Feel free to listen to these songs again and worship the Lord today.
Revival is a powerful outpouring of God’s presence. A reanimation of life accompanied by a re-ignition of power and purpose. It is a necessary manifestation of God’s goodness. Vinelife is partnering with Global Awakening to spread the word about this conference promoting revival in our region. This August, we expect a beautiful move of God to occur. There is a $10 discount for members of Vinelife Church. The code to use when you register is church10. Go to vinelife.com for more details.
You don’t want to miss church next week! We have a very special guest from Bethel Church speaking. Chad Dedmon. Chad enjoys being a husband and father, traveling, living life to the fullest, speaking and demonstrating the kingdom, releasing the healing power of God, and activating the church to step into its full potential. In the end of 2011, Chad co-authored a book called “The Risk Factor”. This book provides practical teaching and real life stories to help inspire new risks in your faith journey.
Couple’s chat is open to all couples who want to invest in their relationship, whether dating, engaged, newlywed or married for decades. Group engagement will be facilitated by Bob and Betty Young. Couples Chat is the first Wednesday of every month from 7 – 8:30 at Vinelife. Come chat with Bob, Betty and other couple’s. Learn healthy communication tools, find out what keeps the romance alive, get creative date ideas and so much more.
Our Elder, Mike Dudley, shared a wonderful take on the message of grace. You can listen to the message here. and read his notes below:
As we continue to dig into authentic evangelism, it’s so important to look at the One who brought Heaven to Earth.
John – directed by the Holy Spirit introduces Jesus in his gospel as the one who is full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 and 17.
We’ve been in a conversation with folks from Gravity Leadership about posture – and modeling what it looks like to be like Jesus Full Grace and Full Truth.
This is not “zero sum” this is really important. It isn’t grace OR truth. It is grace AND truth.
Jesus didn’t come to simply be an example of grace and truth. He came and SAVED us in grace and truth! SO THAT – Here’s the do – So that, we can be like Jesus walking in full grace and full truth – looking like the one who saved us and behaving like the One who saved us.
I think we have a pretty good handle on what Truth is – though unfortunately throughout christianity “truth” has been used as in implement to beat people over the head – instead of the truth setting people free.
The Truth is not a weapon we use on each other – it is a weapon against lies and darkness! Let’s just set that out there.
Today though, let’s dig a little deeper into grace.
What is grace?
Grace is so much more than just kind words.
Grace is not permissiveness
It is not licentiousness
It’s not just acceptance.
Grace is not forgiveness of sins
It’s not “nice-ness” though it is very nice
The original Greek word for grace is Charis.
Root word Char – meaning:
Favor – Favorable to – the Lord’s favor freely extended to give Himself away – TO PEOPLE
Grace is Empowerment with the fullness of the kingdom and power of Heaven to walk Holy and Upright JUST LIKE JESUS!!
Grace, through and from Jesus Christ is what keeps us from being slaves to sin. Grace empowers righteousness.
In context it is a picture of the Father LEANING IN to his people – freely giving what has not been earned or deserved.
Understand, Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is freely getting that which we DO NOT deserve!
We need both. Grace and truth we can not diminish one for the sake of the other.
Understand that without TRUTH – There can be no GRACE! And without GRACE – we can not walk in the fullness and wholeness and inside of TRUTH.
Grace can not exist outside of truth!
As we’re in the discussion of evangelism, it’s so important to understand how these two truths fit.
Truth – I’ve sinned – sinned against God. The great accuser will remind you of this as often as he can.
Grace comes in and – as paul says in Romans 5 - where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more! – However deep our sin, God is leaning in to us even deeper.
Understand — There is no well as deep as the well of grace, love and forgiveness.
The depth of our sin does not compare to the depth of the well of grace from the Father towards us.
If you throw a rock in the well of grace – you’ll never hear it hit the bottom. And There’s a truth! … A truth of grace that will extinguish lies.
Therefore – where sin is great, grace is always greater. There is ALWAYS more grace than there is sin – and since grace is the power to live like Jesus, The opportunity and potential to be like Jesus is greater than our opportunity and potential to walk in sin – but only when we step into the fullness of His grace!
God help us to understand this truth.
As we continue with evangelism – the word itself carries baggage.
Simply the word evangelism can elicit some pretty deep and strong reactions. The introverts may recoil a bit – become apprehensive and fearful, the extroverts may see undesirable social risk in evangelism.
The Good news is you are set free FROM some stereotype of evangelism. Instead we get to be evangelists from our authentic self.
Evangelism is NOT preformatted talking points or questions It is walking with people in your authentic self
You don’t have to have an amazing earth shattering testimony
In fact, some of the most deeply impacting testimonies are around the longsuffering, the
seemingly hopelessness of a situation, yet still clinging to the goodness of the Lord. Still clinging to his truth that He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. Lo He is always with you even to the end of the age – Leaning into His Grace – which is Him and His goodness leaning into you.
Evangelism does not require an extroverted personality type or some other charismatic trait.
- We all get to be evangelists
- We all get to walk in authentic truth and grace with those that the Lord has placed before us.
- We get to know that you are in circles with people that perhaps only you can reach – people that might be or have been turned off by the stereotypical “evangelist” – We get to love them in full grace and truth.
- We also get to know that it is NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY to get then saved. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Our job is to walk fully in grace and truth.
There is a group of Buddhist and “spiritual” men that Ed spends regular time with. One of the most beautiful statements I’ve heard in a long time was one of the men said to Ed, he said “Every other Christian has been trying to convince me to accept God – but when I’m with you I feel that God accepts me” THAT’S EVANGELISM!
Evangelism is not:
Instead it’s being authentic with the Lord and those around us.
We get to listen to those who have been hurt by the church – we get to hear them and be with them
We’re not the “great defenders of the faith”
We get to partner with the Holy spirit to listen for the good news that pertains directly to them.
We get to partner with the Father to convey that His love for them is so great – and that they’re accepted.
We get to partner with Jesus that they can come just as they are. There is no bait and switch that will happen.
We just came out of the prayer walking series where we discovered the good news we carry into our neighborhoods and businesses.
Evangelism is the same thing
- It’s partnering with Heaven as we walk the landscape of our relationships.
- It’s knowing that the Father loves these people more than we do.
- It’s learning to listen and hear Jesus and the Holy Spirit while we’re in simultaneous conversation with our friends.
- It’s being authentic and not being a weird Christian. – You are set free from being a weird Christian!
- Evangelism is also going into the world – proclaiming the good news of Jesus. Not vague “in general” good news, but good personal news.
As we move fully in grace and fully in truth – Let’s change our mindset on what evangelism really is and what it isn’t
If you’re struggling with the notion of evangelism – a great prayer is “Father, help me to see people like you see them. Father, give me your heart for the lost. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Give me Heaven’s perspective for this person. Show me where you’re at work – so I can join. Help me lay down my own efforts and simply partner with what You’re up to. Lord help me to never compromise your truth, let me use it as a weapon to set people free, not as a weapon ON people, and help be to walk in the fullness of grace. Amen.”
WORDS FOR HEALING PRAYER //
Every Sunday, our ministry team prays for physical conditions and we believe the God loves to heal our bodies. Here are some words for healing prayer from Sunday. If you would like prayer, feel free to post a prayer request as a comment on this topic.
- Heart problems
- Kidney issues
- Breathing difficulty
- Trouble with one or both hands
- Blood disease
SERVING OPPORTUNITIES //
Vinelife Kids | We have re-launched our children’s ministry previously called KidsQuest. It is now Vinelife Kids. We are looking for 8 volunteers to commit to serving one Sunday a month as they invest in the future of the children of Vinelife. Several positions are available. Teachers, teacher’s aids, a management team, etc. Please email Valerie@vinelife.com if you are interested and she can work with you to provide you with the support you need to get started!