How Far Will God Go to Reach YOU?

 

EXTRAS

Read one person's story of how far God came for them HERE

 

INSIGHTS

Read Another story HERE

  • God was already at work in the Ethiopian's life
  • Coincidence is God undercover
  • Philip was ready to hear God say 'GO!'
    • ...and he obeyed

...AND ANOTHER HERE

  • God had a plan for Saul's life
  • Ananias was ready to hear God say 'GO!'
    • ...and he obeyed

...ONE MORE HERE

  • God was already at work in Cornelius' life
  • Peter was ready to hear God say 'GO!'
    • ...and he obeyed

WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT God?

God is going ahead and pursuing People to prepare them to hear about him

God is looking for people who are connected to Him to GO reach others

 

HOW FAR will God go to reach someone?

LIKE with Philip, God will break down OUR WALLS OF segregation and racism and use them to reach people

Like with Saul, God will transform a radical fundamentalist terrorist and use them to reach people

Like with Peter, God will speak to a "good person" and use them to reach people

 

WHAT DO WE KNOW about Jesus?

We don't find Jesus, he finds us

We can even say "NO" to Jesus because He found us so we could know about Him

Jesus leaves 99 sheep who are safe in the fold to go after 1 who is lost and lonely and in danger

When we couldn't come to Jesus because of our sin, Jesus came to us

 

what do we learn about ourselves?

God comes after us

God wants to use us to reach others

we need to be in a position to hear him say 'GO!' - connected and ready to obey

 

 

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)
 

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit.

John 15:16a (NLT)

 

are you ready to be transformed?

Are you in a position to hear God say 'GO!'?

Do you see God preparing people for you to GO and show them who He is?

will you obey?

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE OR ON ITUNES OR...

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Be An Overcomer: Fear

 

Key Scripture

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.
Matthew 14:30 (NLT)

Key Points

 

Fears keep us from being who we were meant to be

 

Freedom comes from...

surrendering to God what’s scaring us, letting go of control to fix it

Fully trusting God to take care of it despite any wind or waves that come

 

HOW to overcome fearS:

recognize, acknowldege and tell someone about the fear

  • sometimes it’s hard to know we are afraid because it comes out in some ways that don't remind us of fear, like anger or pain, so talking about it helps us to know what our fears are
  • often the fears that keep us from being who God made us to be are things like not being/doing good enough, being rejected, not being valuable or worth loving

focus on God’s love instead of the fear

[God's] love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.

1 John 4:18 (NLT)

  • God's perfect love drives out fear - this allows us to surrender control
  • control is often a response to the fear of the unknown
  • fear is bound up in control - release control and fear subsides

remind yourself that God is present

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

  • You're not alone!

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE OR ON ITUNES OR...

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Be An Overcomer: Labels

 

Key Scripture

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5 NLT

Key Points

The faith of those around you matters.

Your friends will either point you toward Jesus or pull you away from Him.

A label may describe you, but your identity in Christ defines you.

 

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 NLT

 

So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” Mark 2:10-11 NLT

What the devil meant for evil, God will use for good.  

God can use your past to change someone’s future.

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE OR ON ITUNES OR...

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Be An Overcomer: Apathy

 

Key Scripture

 

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:31-32 NIV

3 Key questions...

 

Why don’t we care like Jesus calls us to care? 

  1. The volume of information is overwhelming.

  2. We feel helpless to make a change.

  3. We are blessed and cursed with comfort.

How do we overcome apathy?

Consistently expose yourself to something that creates a righteous discomfort.

With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. Romans 9:1-2 NLT

How do we channel our passion?

1. Focus on something.

Rather than making a little difference in many places, make a big difference in a few.

2. Embrace what hurts.

It’s easier to hurt with a purpose than to exist without one.

 

Listen to the podcast HERE or on itunes or...

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Be An Overcomer: Comparison

3 insights from this episode:

Where comparison begins, contentment ends.

… But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT

Comparing makes you feel either superior or inferior—neither honors God.

… the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4 NIV

Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved … Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied,“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”
John 21:20-22 NLT

Who or what is going to define your worth?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

… So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NLT

 

For further consideration:

  • “You can’t faithfully follow Jesus if you’re always comparing yourself to someone else.” 

    • Which comparisons do you struggle with most?

  • How do you currently define your worth?  

  • If Jesus defines your worth, then who are you and what are you worth?

    • If you completely adopted this mindset, what would change?

  • Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-26.

    • What prize are you running to win?

    • What purposeful steps will it take to get there?

Listen to the podcast HERE or on itunes or...

WATCH THE VIDEO:

What Keeps You Up At Night?

sleepless.jpg

 

Conflict and Critisim

Conflict and criticism are all around us. Just turn on the news and you hear one person criticizing another. On social media, there are now such terms as Twitter beef. And we see in our relationships conflict arise all around us. Have you ever lost sleep over a disagreement? Most of us have. Conflict is not comfortable and many of us don’t know what to do with it.

How do you handle conflict?

Are you an avoider? If you don’t deal with it, you're passive, or you hope by not dealing with it, it will just go away.

Are you a spewer? You tend to think the loudest person wins, so you rant and rave.

Maybe you’re a worrier? You worry that you caused conflict, often even before it has happened or without it happening at all.

Conflict related stress hurts us spiritually as well as physically. Ohio State University Of Medicine did a study that showed how our immune systems weaken as confilct arises in us. It’s no wonder God’s word tell us to get along! God cares deeply for both our physical as well as our spiritual health.

How can we respond in a Godly way to both confilict and criticism, so we can truly live at peace with others? Romans 12 shows us three ways to start responding better to conflict:.

  1. If possible live at peace with everybody. [Romans 12:18] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Notice Paul (the author of Romans) doesn’t say “as much as it depends on your spouse” or “as much as it depends on your boss”. No! Peace making depends on us. Do your part to bring peace. Avoiding, spewing, or worring are not great ways to handle conflict, and are not doing your part to keep peace. A great starting point is apologizing. When is the last time you said you're sorry? If possible, live at peace with everybody.
  2. Never repay evil with evil. [Romans 12:20–21] On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry,feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap buringing coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is a tough one to swallow. Some of us have been deeply hurt by somebody we trust and it is hard for us to think of doing anything kind to them or towards them. Remember God cares for your health very deeply and personally, so He only asks us to do things that will bring us closer to that health in our lives. God understands that harboring unforgivness, bitterness, or hate in your heart is like drinking posion and expecting the other person to be harmed by it. Those things only hurt you more. Try starting by simply praying for that person. If you struggle in this area seek out a pastor, counselor, or friend to talk to about it. Its time to live in freedom!
  3. Do your part and leave the rest to God. [Romans 12:19] Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord. As we do our part to keep peace with everybody, we can trust and leave God to do His part. God is a just God. He is full of grace, but there are clear consequences to sin, as found in [Romans 6:23] ...the wages of sin is death. God has the ultimate say and He will be the judge over all, and that is something you can rest in.

For further teaching on this watch this video of Pastor Josh on Facebook. Please comment below!

Engage Church Duluth Gives Glory to God and Honors People

Church_In_Duluth_MN.jpg

 

Pastor Josh from Engage Church Duluth here! A leader is only as good as the people he surrounds him/herself with. We believe that people matter and that each of us can give glory to God by being a blessing to the world around us.

 

The People of Engage Church

Tim has been a blessing to me as I have stepped into leading Engage. His oversite of our budget has helped Engage Church continue to accomplish what God wants done in this great city! Beyond that,  he has been an encouragement to me and others on our journey to be a blessing to Duluth.

Honoring those who serve well

We always give God the glory while we honor people serving Him! Here at Engage, we believe in encouraging those who are serving faithfully with the gifts that God has given them. Will you join me in honoring Tim for his faithful service? Comment below.

We love you Tim and thank you for your service.

Engage Church Outreach: Reaching DULUTH MN and the World

Duluth_Church_outreach.jpg
Cressac Haiti Jan. 2017: The yellow building with roof being built is the church the mission team built, rusty roof in front of church with no walls is where they held school, other buildings are peoples homes. 

Cressac Haiti Jan. 2017: The yellow building with roof being built is the church the mission team built, rusty roof in front of church with no walls is where they held school, other buildings are peoples homes. 

 

Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Here at Engage Church in Duluth, we call a mission trip a "Work and Witness" trip- some of you may have heard of that, others may not have. Recently, we sent a team from our own church family to Haiti to work and witness.

 

Our Outreach in Haiti

While we were in Haiti, our guides, talked about having the mindset of "Witness" and then "Work". Our witness was what the Haitians needed to see, how we treated them and each other.  Did they see we believed in prayer, and lived in love? The building we built was great and will serve a purpose, but it will fade one day.  It is our "WITNESS" that will remain and have the lasting potential to point people to Jesus! This is not just unique to Haiti.  Our "WITNESS" is how we, as one of the churches in Duluth MN  will point people to Jesus as well! 

 

Ideas for Making A Difference RIght Where You Are 

The link below is a very quick read. As we think about reaching out to our community, our motivation is to strengthen Duluth MN and serve Duluth MN in any way we can. Ultimately, we hope our WITNESS can point Duluth MN to Jesus! One thing I have learned from leading Engage Church over the last 3 years, is that truly there is nothing impossible with God! 

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2012/0730/25-ways-to-strengthen-your-community

As we move forward at Engage Church, we are excited to reach out to our local community and the world. Keep Sunday April 9th on your calendar.  It's a Sunday morning you will not want to miss as we talk about Engage Church's  plan to move forward with our "Witness and Work" in Duluth MN and around the world! 

Keep praying, keep dreaming, and keep believing this is God's city.  He is at work and he is using you to help accomplish this! 

 

Pray:

God, how is my witness?  Do my family, friends and co-workers see you in me?

 

God, how do you want me to help reach Duluth MN for you?

 

God, is traveling with Engage to reach the world something you want for me?