Living Out Faith @ Lakeview Christian Church

Philemon - Love changes everything

In a recent sermon at Lakeview Christian Church in Portage Lakes, Jim delved into a profound question that resonates with believers worldwide: How has your faith affected you? With a poignant reminder from Philemon about the transformative power of faith in Jesus, Jim challenged the congregation to reflect on the impact of their beliefs on their daily lives.

Drawing from the words of Paul, Jim emphasized the inseparable connection between faith and love. As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate Jesus’ love for others, a love so profound that it transcends boundaries and transforms lives. In John 15, Jesus declares that we are His friends if we abide by His commandments, highlighting the intimate relationship between obedience and friendship with God.

The heart of Jim’s message lies in the assurance that God is ever-present, offering us the strength and support we need to navigate life’s challenges. Through faith, we find the courage to face each moment with confidence, knowing that God is by our side, guiding and sustaining us. Indeed, faith is not merely a passive belief but an active force that shapes our thoughts, actions, and attitudes.

Jim issued a poignant challenge to believers: If our faith fails to produce positive change in our lives, then something is amiss. Perhaps, as he suggested, we have allowed self-interest to overshadow our commitment to faith. In a world consumed by selfish desires, Jim reminded the congregation of the imperative to surrender to the transformative power of faith, allowing it to govern our lives and actions.

Reflecting on Jim’s message prompts us to consider the profound impact of Christ on our lives. How has faith changed our perspective, our priorities, and our interactions with others? Have we allowed the love of Christ to permeate every aspect of our being, or do we still cling to the trappings of self-centeredness?

Jim shared a humorous prayer that encapsulates the tension between human frailty and divine grace:

“Lord, so far today I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or even overindulgent and I’m very thankful for that. But God, in a few minutes, I’m going to get out of bed and then from now on I’m going to need a lot more help.”

This is a prayer of humility, acknowledging our constant need for God’s guidance and intervention. As we echo this prayer in our own lives, may we recognize the profound truth it embodies: that apart from God, we are powerless to live out our faith.

As members of Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes, let us heed the call to action embedded within Jim’s sermon. Let us commit to Just 3: Study, Share, and Serve. Let us delve deeper into God’s word, sharing its transformative message with others, and actively serving our community in love.

Scripture Reference: John 15:14-15 (NIV) – “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

As we embark on this journey of faith together, may we be ever mindful of the words of Jesus, who calls us friends and invites us to walk in obedience and love. Let our faith be a beacon of hope in a world longing for transformation, and may our lives be a testimony to the power of God’s love to change hearts and communities. This is a part of what it really means to #bethechange at Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes.

In a world often filled with uncertainty and turmoil, Jim’s sermon at Lakeview Christian Church serves as a powerful reminder of the steadfast love and unwavering support that faith in Jesus Christ brings into our lives. He underscored that faith is not a mere abstract concept but a dynamic force that molds our character and influences our daily actions.

Jim illustrated this transformative power of faith by recounting the story of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector in Jericho. Known for his wealth and his corrupt practices, Zacchaeus was despised by many. However, upon hearing that Jesus was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus was determined to see Him. Being of short stature and unable to see over the crowd, he climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus.

Luke 19:5-6 (NIV) says, “When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.”

This encounter with Jesus was transformative for Zacchaeus. In response to Jesus’ invitation, Zacchaeus declared, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8, NIV). Jesus responded, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:9-10, NIV).

Jim emphasized how Zacchaeus’ faith led to a dramatic change in his life, prompting him to make amends and demonstrate his repentance through his actions. This story illustrates that true faith compels us to take concrete steps towards righteousness and justice, embodying the love of Christ in tangible ways.

As the congregation at Lakeview Christian Church reflected on Zacchaeus’ story, Jim urged them to consider how their own faith could lead to similar transformations. Are there areas in our lives where we need to seek forgiveness or make amends? Are we willing to let our faith guide us to actions that reflect God’s love and justice?

Jim further highlighted that faith is not just about individual transformation but also about community. He referenced 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (NIV), which states, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”

At Lakeview Christian Church, the congregation is seen as a family, a body of believers united in their faith and purpose. Each member has unique gifts and roles, and together, they can achieve greater things than they could individually. Jim encouraged everyone to discover their spiritual gifts and use them to serve the church and the wider community. This collective effort is a testament to the church’s mission of being a light in the Portage Lakes area.

Scripture Reference: Ephesians 4:15-16 (NIV) – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Through Jim’s sermon, the Lakeview congregation was reminded that faith is an active journey. It is about continuously growing in Christ, supporting one another, and reaching out to those in need. The call to Study, Share, and Serve is not just a slogan but a way of life that encapsulates the essence of Christian discipleship.

Jim concluded his sermon with a heartfelt call to action, encouraging the Lakeview community to embrace their faith with renewed vigor and commitment. He reminded them of the words of James 2:17 (NIV), “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” This verse encapsulates the core of Jim’s message: faith must be lived out through our actions, demonstrating the love and grace of Jesus Christ to the world around us.

As we reflect on Jim’s message and the story of Zacchaeus, let us ask ourselves: How can our faith manifest in acts of love and kindness? How can we, as a community at Lakeview Christian Church, make a positive impact on those around us?

The challenge for each of us is to let our faith shine through in everything we do. This means being a source of encouragement to our fellow believers, showing compassion to those in need, and standing up for justice and righteousness in our daily lives. It means being the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that desperately needs His love and hope.

As members of Lakeview Christian Church, let us take to heart the lessons from Jim’s sermon. Let us be diligent in our study of God’s word, sharing its truth with others, and serving our community with a heart full of love and compassion. In doing so, we will not only grow in our own faith but also help others experience the transformative power of Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reference: Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV) – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Jim’s sermon is a call to action for each of us. It is a reminder that our faith is a precious gift that should be nurtured and shared. It is a challenge to live out our beliefs in a way that honors God and blesses those around us. As we leave the sanctuary of Lakeview Christian Church and step into the world, let us carry with us the light of Christ, shining brightly in all we do.

In conclusion, Jim’s message at Lakeview Christian Church was a powerful reminder of the transformative power of faith. By reflecting on the story of Zacchaeus and the teachings of Paul, he highlighted the inseparable connection between faith and love, the importance of community, and the call to action that faith requires. As we continue our journey of faith, let us strive to live out these principles in our daily lives, making a positive impact on our community and beyond.

May we, as the congregation of Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes, be inspired to live out our faith with boldness and compassion, shining the light of Christ in a world that needs His love more than ever. Amen.

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