Day 5

Love is for Everyone.

Christ’s followers had been overwhelmed in their day by religious rules —the best, most religious people, designing extra rules so that they could follow the Commandments that God had given their ancestors centuries earlier.

Jesus boiled down God’s intention behind the Ten Commandments - he realigned what a True God Follower looked like by giving his listeners two commandments to live by from that time on:

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

First, God invites us to live lives centered around LOVE. How? First He invites us to LOVE GOD with OUR HEARTS, OUR SOULS, and OUR MINDS.

Unfortunately, Love is most often defined by how we have received it.

Our love has too often been defined by In our broken world by divorce, conditional love, daddy issues, family hurt, sexual love, church hurt, wounded relationships… and even Lifetime Movies. —We aren’t so good at LOVE as human beings.

What if we allowed God instead of our life experiences to teach us what it means to truly LOVE? Then we could really LOVE with all of our heart, soul, and mind.

Secondly, God invites us to LOVE our neighbors as ourselves. While it might be easy assume we all know this, remember how hard it is to live this out. Jesus knew he had to address it with all of us as followers.

Generally, we lean towards loving people that are like us. On the other hand it’s so easy to look past the people that don’t look like, act like, or live like us.

But Jesus came For Everyone.

“Christ died for everyone. He died so that those who live should not live for themselves anymore. They should live for Christ. He died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 NIRV

What would it look like for you to LOVE GOD and LOVE your NEIGHBOR today? Together, let’s ask God to show us, to teach us, and to help us to live a culture of LOVE.

Because of LOVE, Christ Died, He Died For Everyone.

Day 4

Creativity is for Everyone.

We are penned into a narrative of CREATIVITY by our God. All around us, His pen is moving and writing us in with every detail so meticulously placed. I love the way David puts it in Psalm 139… in verse 5, David says the LORD has hemmed us in, behind and before. With a needle and thread, he’s weaving us into a love story. With every fiber meticulously placed, and every color so thoroughly thought through. And like a tapestry, our lives showcase the masterpiece of his love…

Tapestries in David’s day were used like canvases… they would be displayed in great halls and in royal foyers with such detail woven into their fabric… and every thread intentionally placed with purpose. These tapestries would tell great stories, like the pages of a history book, they would remind all who casted their eyes upon them of the greatest moments of YAHWEH and his faithfulness. I love that David compared us to something with such vivid significance… a masterwork so purposefully created with the artist's hands. Our God is an artist, and he loves creating… And he’s creating something in you. 

Our God is a CREATIVE GOD… he is the CREATING GOD… everything in our story begins with the CREATING NATURE OF OUR GOD. 

If you flip these pages all the way back to the beginning, in Genesis 1, you find out just how creative God is. “In the In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

There was void, and into void God CREATED…. And he kept creating. He divided matter from sky, and the planets were breathed into formation. With his hands, he sculpted the landscape and with his fingers he scraped the divide of earth and sea. And he kept creating. He painted the soil with vegetation, and wrote a scene of essential details like a stage play, every part with a powerful and specific role in the cycles that would frame the foundation of a planet full of living creatures. And still he kept creating…. He filled the seas and skies with a wondrous expanse of colorful creatures, with blues and pinks and yellows and greens… every color you could ever imagine each adapted to withstand and flourish in their own unique environments. Then he filled the landscape with living creatures, crawling and creeping and walking, each according to their kind. 

Finally, we come to the centerpiece of his design… the grand finale of this display he was piecing together.

In verse 26, God says, “let us make mankind….” And then he says the single most important thing in this cosmic narrative. The words that would separate us from all the other living beasts of the earth. The words that would place us as the centerpiece of this love story that would soon follow. The words that would unfold into the greatest invitation ever given…

He says… “in our image, and after our likeness…” He was inviting us to create with him. 

So what are you creating? Are you creating something in his design, and alongside this story of love unfolding around us? Or are you writing something according to your own opinions, feelings, and direction. What does, “in his likeness” mean to you?

The truth is, the tapestries of our lives will tell the story of something grander than us. What if the threads of who we are, like the fingerprints of our God woven into the grand design of creation unfolding all round us tell us of his wonder, told the story of his love? What if our lives could reflect a masterwork of Him who died for us while we were still sinners? 

This is what it means to live in HIS likeness. The disciple John puts it this way in Revelation 12:1,

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

You see, there is a power in the story God is writing with your life… what if the words of your testimony could empower the triumph in the life of someone else? We literally have the power to mobilize the blood of the lamb in the lives of those around us by sharing our stories. 

This was never just for us. God has made a creator in you. So create something… with your life and breath, create a display of his love.

God is hemming you into his love story behind and before….. every thread. Every color. Every detail woven with purpose. What kind of story does your tapestry share? Let’s dedicate our lives to allowing the scarlet thread of Jesus to be seen.

Day 3

Generosity is for Everyone.

We have to be marked by a spirit of GENEROSITY as followers of Christ. Why? We serve such a generous God

God just didn’t give us one GALAXY - when He created the UNIVERSE. It’s estimated to contain 200 billion to 2 trillion galaxies.

God just didn’t create one CREATURE to inhabit the planet - scientists have recently estimated that there are approximately 8.7 million species on Earth. They believe that 1-2 million of those species are animals.

God just didn’t create one HUMAN BEING to build a relationship with - but the earth is just shy of 8 Billion people each of them unique, created with fingerprints to call their own.

We serve a GENEROUS GOD.

We serve an EXTRAVAGANT GOD.

We serve a LOVING FATHER.

There are two things we need to learn about GENEROSITY that Jesus taught us. One, is that generosity is a matter of the heart. 

Your willingness to be generous as a human being is not a matter of how much money you have or how little, the kind of car you drive or the lack of it, or even the size of house you live in.

Generosity always starts within the heart.

Matthew 6:21  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ESV

Matthew 6:21 “For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure.” TPT

Matthew 6:21 “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” MSG

The second thing is that generosity is not just about your money or cold hard cash. Generosity flows out of how you balance your life. How willing are you to give out of your TIME, TALENT and your TREASURE? When we give in those areas we are forced to sacrifice something within ourselves. You can’t focus on generosity when you are focusing consistently on yourself. So creating a culture of generosity within your own heart will bleed out into every other facet of your life. Your relationships. Your marriage. Your family and your children will mimic what they see in you? What kind of GIVER are you? What sort of GIVING MINDSET have you adopted in your daily life?

God is challenging us to be a generous church. That means we all come together like the early church body did in Act 2 and we find ways to take care of one another. Out of this incredible abundance it will flow out into the world we live in and we can take on meeting the needs of our great community as we sacrifice out time, talent and treasure to see God’s Kingdom grow. How can we grow this culture in at 29:11? By making a commitment to be a part of sharing in our time, talent and treasure extravagantly. No doubt God is already doing that in you! Start to dream about your involvement! God is already using your life to make a difference as it flows from your heart.

Day 2

Outreach is for Everyone.

What does “outreach” look like to you? When we think of outreach, we often think of getting out into the community and doing some type of ministry with music, or even a skit or drama. But outreach is so much more than that. Outreach takes more than effort, it must be driven by compassion. Why compassion? Because compassion is what drives you to reach out to individuals. 

What if compassion motivated our actions and efforts?

Compassion helps us empathize with the hurting and broken. Your heart breaks with theirs. Compassion also allows you to see the person through the eyes of Jesus.

If compassion is not a gift you have at the moment, that’s okay. Begin to ask God to fill your heart with compassion. Sometimes when we step out and serve others through outreaches God begins to expose our hearts to a better understanding of compassion.  

Deuteronomy 15:11 says, ‘For there will never cease to be poor in the land. “Therefore, I command you, ‘you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”’

There will always be people who need Jesus. There will always be someone hurting. There will always be a need to fill. God invites us to step out, with hands open, ready to help.

When we help someone with a physical need, God often uses that as an opportunity to minister to their heart. We just have to be unafraid to take the opportunity to share about the life changing hope Jesus has given us.

Jesus lived out a lifestyle of outreach. He just didn’t provide for the needs of people but cared enough spend time caring for their emotional and spiritual needs as well. He listened to the woman at the well, was unafraid of the leper, rubbed shoulders with those who felt shameful and loved the unloveable. 

So do one thing to step out this week, listen to someones story, sit by someone new at church, or begin simply by praying that God would give you compassion for those lost and hurting.

God invites us ALL to be involved in outreach.

Day 1

Community is for Everyone.

Community

  1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

  2. A feeling of fellowship with other, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. 

29:11 is a place For Everyone. 

Church growth is a good thing. It means that people  who know Jesus, have fallen away from Jesus, or don’t know Jesus at all are coming. It means that people are getting a chance to have a salvation experience, getting healing in their bodies, and getting set free from past hurts. With church growth can come a sense of getting lost in the shuffle. It’s easy as a member of a church body to feel disconnected, because we don’t always see the same people each week. This is why community is so important. God didn’t put us on the planet to live this life alone, but like the church in Acts 2, we’re meant to grow together.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” NIV. The Passion Translation puts it this way, “It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another.”

This is what true community can do. We sharpen one another as we come together for weekend Experiences, serving in the church body, as well as outreach and connecting through relationships that flourish through small groups. 

That’s why community groups are so very important and crucial to your growth and walk with Jesus. Through a community group we get to be plugged into a group of believers that share common interests, goals, and love for Jesus. These groups have the potential to build your faith through deeper bible study, helping you discover the power of God’s words. We can link arms with each other when life hits hard and have them do battle with us in prayer. When tough times hit, the relationships formed in these groups move us to make a meal for a friend in need, visit someone from our group in the hospital, reach out to someone who is discouraged and down. 

Finding community in the local church is so important to our growth.  Make a personal choice to get connected because we need each other. In fact, reach out to someone today. Can you imagine what a church body would look like if everyone was connecting through healthy community? This is the future for 29:11!

We have many community groups available and a plethora of interests. Stop by the Start Here table after a service experience and pick up a brochure on what’s available or visit our community groups page on the website: https://www.2911church.com/community-group-booklet/

Have you found community yet? What’s stopping you?

There’s something for everyone.