Posts made in September, 2017

M.O. -Pastor Matt

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

M.O. -Pastor Matt

There is a great Latin phrase that I like: modus operandi or M.O. for short. It means a method of doing something. For example, when certain people want to learn something their M.O. is to go find an expert and ask them questions. When other people want to learn something their M.O. is to go to the library and read everything they can get their hands on for that specific topic.

In the book of John, Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection. They are thrilled to see him. Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Jesus is calling his disciples to live like he lived and to do what he did on earth. They are, for lack of a better term, called to be Jesus to the world. In effect, that is what we are called to do as well.

So the question is, how do we do what Jesus did? For starters, we observe Jesus’ method of living, his M.O. What are the foundational things Jesus did every day that accomplished his ministry? We see that Jesus lived his entire life in the presence of his Father. He was in constant prayer. Jesus often left his disciples to be with his Father. As a child he was drawn to the temple because that was his Father’s home.

Another foundational M.O. was the constant building up and training of others. Jesus was always with people. Why? Because Jesus’ purpose was to save people from their sin and teach them how to follow him. He couldn’t very well do that if he wasn’t around people.

Jesus M.O. is a constant pursuit of his Father with others. That would be a good M.O. for us as well. What other foundational things did Jesus do?

Read More

Love God, Love Others

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Love God, Love Others

There is one episode in the life of Jesus where I like the Pharisees and the Sadducees.   These two religious groups get together to test Jesus and to ultimately trap him. And yet in the midst of their scheming, a great question is asked. They ask Jesus, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” That’s a great question. And I imagine every ear was finely tuned to Jesus’ response. I don’t know if the air was electric but I would guess you could have heard a pin hit the ancient cobbled floor.

Without hesitation Jesus responds, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Mt 22:34-35).”

Jesus doesn’t give them one answer; he gives them two. I love this question and response because it whittles down everything God desires from us into two commands. It changes the question from “what does God want from us?” to “how do we love God and others?”

These two questions are pivotal for the follower of Jesus. These two questions are also pivotal for our church.   How do we love God? And how do we love others?   At Immanuel Church, we are exploring the implications of these commands. If a church does anything, it focuses on these two commandments. We desire to pursue God and open ourselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the work of loving God and loving our neighbors never ends, and that there is always room for improvement.   How do we move forward loving God and loving others?

Read More