Sun, Jun 11, 2017
The Ripple Effect week five message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 11, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Pastor Andy Stanley simplifies the gospel message by pointing out that when it comes to figuring out what we need to share with others in regard to our faith it ultimately comes down to two questions:
1. What does a person need to know?
2. What does a person need to do?
What makes this encouraging is that when it comes down to it, becoming a Christian is always the same process for everyone.
Our circumstances and reasons for coming to faith may be different but the process we go through tot step into that faith is the same.
Let's break this down...
For God so LOVED the world:
God's primary motivation in the relationship is not anger or indifference - it is LOVE!
He GAVE his one and only Son:
By God's giving of what was the most precious to him, it proves that He was in love - that he was motivated by His love!
So look back at the first question - what people need to know...
GOD LOVED and GOD GAVE
Whoever BELIEVES in him shall not perish:
It is about believing in what God sent Jesus to do on our behalf. We can have complete confidence in that knowledge.
Now look at the second question - what people need to do...
But John has not completed the entire thought yet...
But HAVE eternal life:
If God is on the giving side of the gift, then that means that we are on the receiving side of the gift!
Now, consider the whole idea - what to know and what to do...
GOD LOVED - GOD GAVE - WE BELIEVE - WE RECIEVE
A connection story with the Old Testament:
2 Kings 7:3-4
This is a rough point of decision making - but something had to be done.
2 Kings 7:5-8
God changed drastically the events before these men - but something else presented itself for a decision...
2 Kings 7:9
In the midst of the joy and happiness, they had forgotten of the others who were in desperate situations as well - but they realized that they needed to share the joy that they had discovered.
Look at this connection:
Life Before Jesus to what drew us to Jesus
The changes to fighting temptation to stay in the fun and glow
We get caught up in what God is doing in and for us and we forget to share that with the others around us
Like the Spider Man quote says:
"With great power comes great responsibility"
Maybe for us it should say:
"With great discovery comes great responsibility"
We have to to and take what we have discovered and what we have been given and share it with the world and community around us. That is what being a part of the Ripple Effect is all about.
Take advantage of every opportunity because God has already put us in a prime position to change the world because he changed us.
Will you join us and LIVE LIKE THAT??!!
Sun, Jun 04, 2017
The Ripple Effect week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 4, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Our church family honored Sue Juday on this Sunday as she begins her retirement after selflessly serving at CCW for 25 years! We wish her all the best and all our love!
There is a difference in how we understand and learn to understand when we are young and when we grow and mature.
Many of us want to share our faith, have that strong relationship with Jesus that makes it possible to share it with others - but we get nervous and we struggle...but we have to stop thinking about it like it is a solo mission. Reaching others was NEVER meant to be a solo expedition.
Jesus could ask this question because everybody back then, just like they do now, had an opinion about Jesus.
What the disciples were pointing out is that people tended to believe that Jesus was FROM God and had a message from God, but were fuzzy on who exactly he was.
Jesus was being more DIRECT...
What Peter says here is based upon his understanding - what he has learned from following Jesus around.
Jesus says he didn't come to this on his own, but it was given to him by revelation and eye opening experience by God.
Then he gives the name change from Simon to Peter...
The names changes in the history of scripture represent the important changes in the direction and purpose of their lives.
Now Jesus is going to take this understanding that Peter and the others have been blessed to know and basically says that he is going to create a movement - a RIPPLE EFFECT - that will be defined by their belief in who Jesus really is!
Now, today, our responsibility is to involve people as much as we can with a community of believers because that's where the resistance begins to break down.
The church is the most powerful, persuasive environment on the planet.
We have the ability and gift to partner with Jesus in this RIPPLE EFFECT - but to get people involved it only takes a simple two words...
COME AND SEE!
First, we answer the call of Jesus - FOLLOW ME
Then we bring others along by simple asking - COME AND SEE
Catch the vision of what God is doing in the world and join in on it with him and with the church that he has built.
Sun, May 28, 2017
The Ripple Effect week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 28, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Why do we hesitate, why do we shrink back, why do we come up short in sharing our faith?
Early on, the followers of Jesus may have seemed like cowards. But after his death and resurrection, we see a major change...
Remember Acts 4:20 -
They could not help but speak about what they had seen and heard
You wonder - did they think each run in with the religious leaders that it could be the last? Did that stop them?
What do you think they were praying for?
They understood the power of Almighty God. They knew exactly what had occurred with Jesus. They knew that the leaders had gone so far as to appeal to the Roman government to get Jesus crucified and then they realized that they had ALMOST missed it.
Imagine the "light bulb" moment! They started to understand that God was up to something and that He had invited them to be a part of it with Him.
They begin to shift thought seeing that God shows up even greater in the trials and uses them. Now they are starting to understand a deep desire to ACTUALLY BE A PART of what God was planning.
This is the new concept, the new realization...
Boldness is about you knowing that you have been perfectly positioned in someone's life and as God creates opportunities for you, you take advantage of those opportunities for the sake of seeing that person eventually place their faith in Jesus Christ.
If we know we serve a Sovereign God - what is there to fear?
Commit yourself to prayer and boldness and look for the opportunities that He will give for you to be a part of the Ripple Effect!
Sun, May 21, 2017
The Ripple Effect week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 21, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Message + Messenger + Unique set or circumstances in life
Why is it so important to be a part of the Ripple Effect in the Christian faith?
Acts Chapter 4 -
Peter and John are headed to the Temple to pray and they come upon a crippled beggar. The beggar is always seeking money as he has done for what must have been years. But Peter tells him he doesn't have money - however, he has something else to give him.
He heals him by the power of Jesus.
He saw the opportunity, while people were watching and observing and he saw the chance to grow the ripple effect...
The uproar caused the leaders of the temple to not desire dealing with Peter and John at that moment so they threw them in prison for the night with plans to take care of them the following day. Or so they thought...
They tell Peter and John it's fine if THEY believe it but to quit talking about it.
But Peter and John propose who they are to follow, God or man
Peter and John could NOT keep silent because they had SEEN and HEARD with their own eyes and ears the truth
It wasn't about explaining everything to everyone - it was simply about sharing what they had seen and heard - thus the importance of this lesson for us today...
Being a part of the ripple effect isn't about having so much knowledge that you can answer all the skeptics you will encounter - the purpose is to simply SHARE what we know - what we believe based on scripture and the history that is keeps!
The reason we must join in on the ripple effect is because our faith is grounded in history and you don't know history unless somebody talks about it and tells you.
We share this information, this story, this belief, this ripple effect because it is in our job description as followers of Christ - people desperately need to know about the forgiveness and joy that comes through relationship with Jesus!
Sun, May 14, 2017
The Ripple Effect week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 14, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Imagine the stories the followers of Jesus would tell you about how they got from where they were to where they ended up in their faith journeys. Certainly things changed along the way!
Jesus told them and tells us that he wants us to follow him and in doing so he will turn us into something that we are NOT already!
If he asked you, "Follow me and I will make you _______________."
What would you fill in the blank with??
The actual answer was probably a little confusing to those he actually spoke it to and is most likely a little hard to understand at first by us even now.
Repent - turning away from your own desires\path
It's what we do in order to prepare for God to do something...
Like looking for Morell Mushrooms...
*people looking for them don't make them happen, but those looking for them are the ones most likely to see them when they show up.
*same with God: because we are earnestly looking for his activity in our life doesn't make it happen, but it helps to ensure that when He shows up we see it, because we are actively looking for it
Sometimes we are so focused on our own thing that we miss it...
Jesus says they will become "fishers of men."
They start sharing Jesus
They do so because they understand that to follow is to FISH
It continued from generation to generation
Thus why 2000 years later we are still here doing it
It started with Four and spread like wild fire
This is the RIPPLE EFFECT
There is no excuse you can make not to be a part of it.
It is a three-part dynamic:
Message + Messenger = Unique set of circumstances in our life =
RIPPLE EFFECT MOMENT
God wants to use each of us to draw others closer to him.
God wants to use each of us in the most important Ripple Effect of all time!