July 25, 2012 — 2 Comments

July 22, 2012. Living Hope Church in St. Michael-Albertville, MN.  Sunday night service.

Our primary text was 2 Corinthians 5:16 – 6:2.  We discussed the CHANGE God brings to our relationships, the CALL we have as those who speak for Him, and the CHOICE we have in light of the cross.  It is a message about the way are called to relate to EVERYONE around us, and a message about who we are called to be in Jesus Christ.

Jesus radically changes the way we view and relate to EVERYONE in our life.  Spouses, friends, family, enemies.  Saved people, hostile people, kind people, spiteful people.  Everyone.

NOTE: My friends at Living Hope will remember that I began this message with a story about my college buddy Jason Upton singing in chapel and how that changed my view of who he was.  I couldn’t legally post the copyrighted music clip I used on this website, but if you are interested in hearing more from Jason, the song I played was called “Freedom,” found on his album “Faith,” which you can find on iTunes right here.

Click on the tab below to stream the audio…


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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

2 responses to ambassadors

  1. Josh, I just wanted to say that I took the time to visit at your church service via the miracle of the internet. The cliff notes version of my reaction is a single word, Amen. As you know we are not of the same religious denomination but I definitely heard the truth proclaimed. I suspect that across denominational lines Satan is at work to hinder those who would present the truth of the gospel. His chief tool seems to be pride. We as Christians need to realize that we were enemies of God when Jesus found us, and the Holy Spirit convicted our hearts of sin, showed us His love through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and proved His authority through the Resurrection. It is not by our merits that we have the certainty of Heaven but by the imputed righteousness of Jesus that we have hope. As the Apostle Paul asked in another passage, “Where is boasting?”. A holier than thou attitude toward the lost or others in the church is Satanic in origins and is definitely not fruit of the Spirit. A highly legalistic church will never be very effective in reaching the lost. When legalism comes in the door love seems to go out the window and the Apostle Paul made a pretty good case for everything else coming unraveled in the absence of genuine love for others. We have to hold to doctrines that are not going to be favorably viewed by the world. Sin is sin and we are all sinners and although it is not currently favorably looked upon Jesus is still the only way to Heaven. He is the door. We do not however have to be jerks in our presentation of the truth. We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. I believe you are spot on in your belief that you do not run people away from the church through harshness. Jesus was only rough talking with the hypocritical religious leaders not the sinners. He had supper with them establishing rapport while having compassion on them. His actions often drove the religious crowd of his day nuts. I think sometimes churches should ask themselves whether they are truly more like those standing at the foot of the cross weeping for Jesus or are they actually more like the legalistic crowd grinding their teeth and crying out “crucify him”. An honest answer to that question might be very sobering. Once again I believe you have a genuine gift from the Lord for drawing people to you and communicating the truth. It sounds like you are at the center of His will. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much Paul! I appreciate this so much. You are a great encouragement to me. This part of your comment really resonated with me:

      “Sin is sin and we are all sinners and although it is not currently favorably looked upon Jesus is still the only way to Heaven. He is the door. We do not however have to be jerks in our presentation of the truth.”

      AMEN. We must hold strongly to the truth of the Word, but we relate to everyone in love. Love does not make excuses for sin. Neither does it seek to punish and shame. Love seeks reconciliation. TRUE reconciliation through Jesus Christ. This is our calling.

      Always a pleasure to interact with you my friend. I appreciate your prayers as I head into my third year of Seminary this fall. God bless you and your family.

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