Planting Life

On Sunday we looked at how people like Jesus but don’t really like the church. We looked at how our posture (way of relating, interacting, and responding) to the world needs to be the same as Jesus’.

We first looked at how our posture isn’t called to be one of judgment. Jesus is clear he came to seek and save the lost, not condemn the world (John 3:16-17). So a posture of judgment isn’t to be a primary posture towards those around us. We also looked at the posture of separation, where we remove ourselves from the world. And while we are certainly called to live lives of difference, we are not called to live lives of isolation. We are called to engage the world, and to be sent into the world. And lastly, we looked at a posture of accommodation, where we no longer seem to have any distinctives at all.

We discussed how all of these postures don’t seem to the one that Jesus had. That we are not called to judge, ignore, or simply accept the world around us. We are actually called to bless the world. We went back to Genesis 12 and discovered that the first covenant with God and his people is to be a blessing. Our posture, stance, and response to those around us must be blessing. This is our calling,


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s Christians should be known for how we bless others. This is what I hope our church is known for. Not what we stand against, for our separation, or accommodation but for our continuous acts of blessing.

We ended by explaining what blessing means. How, in Hebrew, it literally means to give life. I think this is an easier thing for us to practically understand and practice. We, as Christians, are to give life to those around us in simple, and real ways. This means shoveling driveways, inviting people over, and caring for others in simple and intentional ways. Christians should be people whom others want to be around because of how life-giving we are.

So that was our call and challenge this week: to go give life to those around us. And I think if we get this posture right, we might just also change people’s perceptions of the church as we adopt the posture of Jesus Christ.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea Our posture is to be life Giving

Take Aways…

  • If people are drawn to Jesus, they should be drawn to the church
  • Posture actually conveys more than our words ever do
  • A posture of judgment rarely communicates the heart of Christianity
  • We are called to be different to live lives of difference
  • God is going to use a people, not a program to change the world
  • We will not change the world through our judgment, through our separation, or through or simple accommodation we will change it through our blessing.
  • Barak (Blessing) : means to give life
  • We make our friends; we makes our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. G.K. Chesterton
  • Our posture is to be life giving.
  • What can I do that would be life-giving for those around me.

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new?

How has someone blessing you changed you? What is your posture to those who are around you? Would you say its one of judgment, separation, accommodation, or blessing? How come? How can you give life to those around you? What about you neighbor, co-worker, or friends?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Take a moment to talk to your kids about how we are to be blessing. Tell them we are to help others feel happy and full of joy, and life. Ask them if they have any ideas how they can do that for their friends. Then go about and do it!

Challenge for this Week: Be a blessing to those around you

What’s Your Posture? What’s Jesus’?

1390296_18138490On Sunday we are talking about something really important but not often ever addressed. We are talking about posture.

And no I’m not talking about sitting up straight, or those type of things.

I’m talking about the posture we have to those around us.

Because here is the thing – most studies show that people like Jesus, but don’t like Christians. The question is why? Why do people like Jesus and not like his followers? And I think it has something to do with our posture, our stance, our way of relating to others around us.

So on Sunday I want to discover what Jesus’ posture to the world was, and what our posture to the world should be as well.

The question I have for us today is this: what is your current posture to the world? By that I mean how are you currently relating to those around you? Is it one of judgment? Is it one of separation? Is it one of accommodation? Is it something else?

I think it’s important to actually think through because so much of what we communicate to our family, friends and neighbors is unconscious. So what is your posture to the world around you? And better yet, what do you think our posture should be?

I’ll leave you with those two key questions that we’ll be exploring more in-depth on Sunday. But I’ll give you a hint I think our posture has something to do with the Hebrew word barak.

Have a great weekend!

To Bless ~ To Give Life

This past Sunday we talked about how we are called to bless people.

The main idea was that blessing in Genesis 12 in the Old Testament was tied to giving life. I think this is a much better way to understand it for our lives today. The word bless seems to be one we only use when someone sneezes. “Blessing” can be hard to picture, and even harder to practice.

But “giving life” isn’t hard to picture or practice. Whatever makes someone else’s life full, deeper, meets a need, relieves a concern, frees a worry, or generates love is giving life.

This can be simply listening, fixing a roof, baking cookies, having neighbors in to your house. The possibilities of how to “give life” are endless. This as a church needs to be our calling. God in Genesis 12 has promised to bless us – or give us life and we are then called to bless others or give them life.

  • Imagine what would happen, and how disciples would be made, if giving life to others becomes a major part of our identity and action?
  • What if your house and home was known as a place of life in and for the community?
  • What if in your workplace you were recognized as the person who gives joy, love, and meaning to others?
  • What if your church was known as a place where those in need could find life in practical and real ways?

Doesn’t that sound like God’s Kingdom? It does to me.

So this week go out and start to bless people. To literally give them life. Be generous, be spontaneous, and give life in the context of relationship and share with me here how its going and what’s happened. Because when you share stories of blessing, you are also spreading blessing…

Discussion Questions from this Week Sermon

  • Adult Questions
  • Who in your life can you bless or “give life” too?
  • What needs do your neighbors have, or co-workers?
  • Who has blessed you in the past few weeks? Why not thank them.
  • Questions for Young Families
  • Talk to your children about how you are called to be a blessing to others and to serve. Ask them if they have any ideas who or how they could bless people. Maybe make cookies with them for your neighbors, or a card. Involve them in a giving life to others.