When Come and See Becomes Go and Tell

This past Sunday we kicked off a brand-new teaching series. For the next four weeks we are talking about who exactly we are as a church. Who did God design First Baptist Oakboro to be for the present season? He made us to be a people with whom anyone can connect to grow in Christ and reach out for His kingdom. What does that mean? Let’s dig into the first part, connecting, today. Don’t miss the rest!

When Come and See Becomes Go and Tell

Have you ever been to Allen Fieldhouse? Maybe you don’t even know what Allen Fieldhouse is. That’s okay. Not everyone is enlightened at the same time. Those of us who have walked that path already must teach those who have yet to discover it. I’m kidding…sort of. Allen Fieldhouse, named after famous coach Forest “Phog” Allen, is where the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball, and have been since 1955. No less an authority than Wikipedia calls it “one of college basketball’s most historically significant and prestigious buildings.” The actual playing surface in the fieldhouse is the James Naismith Court, who was, of course, the inventor of the sport and the first Kansas men’s basketball coach. His original rules of basketball are actually on display in the fieldhouse. When it comes to college basketball – and with apologies to fans of…anybody else – there simply isn’t a better place to play. If we lived close enough, and I was trying to convince you to be a Kansas fan (granting that if we lived close enough you’d probably already be a fan), I’d tell you to come and see a game there and then you’d know. If you are interested in connecting with the Kansas basketball nation (there’s not a Kansas football nation as most people like to cheer for a team that finishes above .500 more than about once a generation), that “come and see” invitation will make all the difference. I make that invitation because I’ve gone and I’ve seen and I know that if you go there too, you’ll experience what I did. 

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Something Special

This week, as we continue our series, Standing Firm, we are talking about the third part of the foundation Peter builds before getting into the meat of his message. We’ve talked about the hope we have in Christ and the fact that we actually need to live out that hope if we want it to do anything positive for us. This week we’re talking about what that foundation can do in and for our lives if we’ll embrace it. We all want to be someone. Peter here tells us how.

Something Special

We live in a celebrity-obsessed world. Hopefully you don’t waste too much time doing this, but have you ever looked at the magazines in the racks at the checkout counters in stores? Almost without fail, their front covers are filled each month by one celebrity or another promising to tell readers about something they couldn’t possibly have known yet and on which their whole lives are hanging. Why are they covered with celebrities like this? Because the marketing folks know that you and I are more likely to buy something because Dwayne Johnson has something to tell us about physical fitness. We’re more likely to shell out some dough because Scarlet Johansson promises to give us the skinny on the squabbles her co-stars had on the latest movie set. The same thing goes with TV shows. We are much more likely to tune into the latest game show if it features a rotating celebrity cast than if it is just filled with…normal…people. News programs regularly include celebrities on their round table panels, not because they are particularly knowledgeable about the subjects being covered, but because they want more viewers and celebrities are the way to do that.

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Morning Musing: Mark 8:27-29

“Jesus went out with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ They answered him, ‘John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Can I pull back the curtain on my nerdiness with you just a bit? I love tests. I do. It’s disgusting, I know, but I love them. It helps that I’m generally a pretty good test taker. I don’t get anxious; I just get to work. But I really do enjoy them. Well, mostly. When it’s a test I’m pretty sure I’m not going to do well on, I don’t look forward to those. Generally speaking, though, I look forward to them. They give you a chance to prove what you know. They give you a chance to demonstrate that you really do know something. The other side of that, though, is equally true. They reveal whether or not you actually know it. As Jesus and the disciples were on this retreat through Gentile lands, Jesus gave them what amounted to their mid-term exam. There was just one question and the answer was pretty straightforward. What hung on that answer, though, was eternity. Well, we may hundreds of years removed from this mid-term exam, but the question is still one we all will have to answer at some point in our lives.

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What is it that has made you what you are today? Who we are is a complex web of many different factors. Some of it has come by the intentional effort of someone else trying to shape us into one thing or another. Some of it has come by a set of circumstances over which we had no control. Some of it has come by things that we have pursued ourselves. Paul identifies a fourth factor here, and this should be the big one. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.  In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.  It is the Lord who judges me.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

“You can’t judge me!” may be one of the premier slogans of modern, western culture.  A hundred years ago, what the people around you thought mattered a great deal.  In many cultures around the world today this is still the case.  An individual’s identity comes primarily from their social structure.  In modern American culture, we are taught to place a high value on choosing a path that explicitly rejects and even makes a mockery of the social order in which we live.  The bravest souls are the ones who take what’s expected of them and throw it in the trash to be “true to themselves” just like everybody else…
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