Treasuring the Gospel During COVID-19

North Church friends,
 
Although this was the most disrupted Easter weekend we ever experienced, it was still magnificent to worship our risen Lord, Savior, and King Jesus with you all.
 
Because Jesus lives, we can have confidence that nothing in all creation can separate us from his love even though we still await the ultimate destruction of our final enemy, death.
 
The last enemy to be abolished is death. – 1 Corinthians 15:26
 
The good news is that our hope is secure in the resurrected Christ because God put everything under Jesus’ feet (1 Cor 15:27). We can treasure this good news because we are, through faith, “in Christ” and because our old selves were crucified with Jesus.
 
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -- Galatians 2:20
 
Because of this, we will also experience the resurrection of all things.
 
In light of this good news, what does treasuring the Gospel of Jesus Christ together look like in this season? If you call North Church home, you’ll know the idea of treasuring the Gospel is the heartbeat of our church. Believing the Gospel, living out the Gospel, loving because of the Gospel. During COVID-19 there is great opportunity to do that in a myriad of ways. I’m going to focus on three:
 
Discipleship – I have mentioned before that my simplest definition of discipleship is, Helping others follow Jesus as we follow Jesus.
 
If you have a good rhythm of devotional reading, engaging in supportive gospel-centered community over technology, a Bible reading plan, or prayer, share that with someone who doesn’t.
 
The church provides multiple digital resources through the week spanning from daily prayer (Mon-Sat), to published devotionals (Mon, Wed, Fri), to our Sunday services that are available on our website for you to go back and review.
 
During this time, many people had their whole lives turned upside down and are not really sure how to re-establish healthy rhythms. I encourage you to treasure the Gospel by following along with the rhythms of the church and read your Bible daily as you settle into a process. But as you do, please invite someone else to follow along,
 
Gathering – Similarly, but in line with the upside down way the Lord works in his world, this may very well be one of the best times in the last century or two to gather those who are far from Jesus.
 
I’m obviously not talking about physically gathering, but reaching out to your family, friends, and neighbors who are far from Jesus. I know that many people who would never usually engage in a conversation about spiritual matters or receive an invitation to church with interest are now engaging with me about the Gospel.
 
Who do you need to “gather” into the flock of Christ through an invitation to prayer, Bible study, or online church service?
 
To treasure the Gospel is to freely give it away.
 
Giving – Generosity has always helped God’s people stand apart from the world around us. Our freedom to give, trusting that the Lord is our provider, sets us as light amongst a dark culture of hoarding and holding essentials from others. To treasure the Gospel frees your grip from your earthly treasure and allows you to give it away. The outward focus of God’s people during COVID-19 shines a light of God’s goodness and grace into our world.
 
I encourage you to be generous with your neighbors, those around you who have been affected by job loss, and to your church. There is a monumental opportunity for us to love the city of Albuquerque and to reach our fellow man with the Good News. Please allow North Church to do that by your faithful giving. Each and every one of you reading this message, I’m asking you to give. It might be a dollar or ten thousand dollars -- each must decide in their own hearts -- but just as I encouraged you a few months ago when I preached on giving out of 1 TImothy 6:17-21 "there is no surer investment than in the Kingdom of God, and no surer return on investment than in the gospel of Jesus Christ". Out of this truth, I want to encourage you towards generosity at this time.
 
Until we gather again, know I am praying for you.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ryan

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