- During the week
- About us
3rd June 2017
The number five isn’t just the name of a boy band from the 90s; it’s also the number of ‘Let Us’ phrases found in Hebrews 10 (verses 19-25).
Hebrews was possibly written to a small group of Jewish Christians who were unsettled in their faith and were in danger of drifting as they had not fully broken away from Judaism but also hadn’t fully embraced Christianity. This group had also endured persecution as the Jewish people of the time were hostile to Christians and excluded them from the temple precincts. This is why Hebrews 10:19-25 has five ‘Let us’ phrases, encouragements to do five things together which will help the Christians receiving the letter to live connected and foster relationship and discipleship, resulting in strengthening of their faith.
These five ‘Let us’ phrases (not to be mistaken for lettuces!) are a reason why we are re-investing in mid-week life and, as of September 2017, will be launching Connect Groups. These mid-week small groups aim to serve the people of King’s by creating space to live connected through relationship and discipleship.
The five encouragements in Hebrews 10:19-25 can bring real momentum to us and help us see how Connect Groups can invest into our faith and relationships. To help encourage some momentum, I just wanted to bring a ‘what would it’ question to each ‘let us’…
‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith.’ What would it feel like if we could meet up in a small group who accepted us for who we are and encouraged us to draw near to God sincerely and honestly?
‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess because He is faithful.’ What would it be like to belong to a group who reminds us and challenges us to grow in the hope we have in Christ?
‘Let us consider how we can spur each other on towards love and good deeds.’ What would it look like to be part of a group who encourages us to live for something bigger than ourselves?
‘Let us not give up meeting together.’ What would it feel like knowing you have a mid-week small group, based on relationship and discipleship, to be part of?
‘Let us encourage one another.’ What would be feel like to belong to a group who want the best for you and accept you unconditionally?
Maybe take one or two of these points and begin to think about some of the possibilities of what belonging to a Connect Group could mean for you. If you’ve been part of a small group before and you have the feeling of ‘been there, got the t-shirt’, maybe think about one thing you’ve learned in the past which you can make a personal goal to bring into the life of the Connect Group you join.
We’re really looking forward to launching Connect Groups. The groups are going to be a great move forward for us, taking lessons learned from the past and moving on to create space for growth.
Posted by Paul Edworthy
13th September 2015
We want to grow a healthy church. We know we have a responsibility (and a delight!) to focus on things that make us a healthy as we can be. We want to see God's Kingdom expand from one neighbourhood to the next.
We want to see people come to know Jesus, be healed and set free and transformed. As a church, we are focusing on making disciples, going on mission, and caring for the poor. Today we're looking at the first of these three: making disciples.
In Mark's gospel we read of a rich young ruler who comes to Jesus to ask what he needs to do to inherit eternal life (10:17-22). The young man had kept God's commandments and was a local politician. The Bible tells us that Jesus looked at him and loved him, but saw that he had an idol in his life that he wouldn't give up.
Being a Christian isn't predominantly about attending church or being good or stopping bad habits or doing good works. The heart of it is about following Jesus Christ, and it costs everything. Ultimately the rich young ruler didn't believe that what Jesus offered was of greater worth than the possessions that he owned.
Jesus wasn't being hard on him. Jesus loved him and wanted him to come through, but He realised that there was something else on the throne of his life that meant there was no room for Jesus. The man cared more for his possessions than he did for knowing Jesus. He didn't believe that Jesus was of greater value.
Don't misunderstand the story: it's not about emptying your bank account; it's about what is the most important thing to you. Being a disciple is saying that every idol I've given myself to, I smash, I get rid of them, so I might go on this adventure of following Christ and that He might have first place in my affections, my time and my energy.
An idol is something in your life that isn't God but that you couldn't conceive living without. Idols come in all shapes and sizes. The average college student in America spends nine hours on their smartphone every day. We live in a world where we just have to be connected.
If you went for a week without looking at your smartphone, would you have more withdrawal symptoms than if you went without your looking at Bible?
What is it for you? Maybe it's money and possessions. You're happy following Jesus as long as your money is off limits to Him. Maybe it's what you watch on TV, or your sexuality or sex life, maybe it's your comfort. For me comfort is a big one – "Ok Jesus, I'll follow you to the cross, as long as it's not too uncomfortable!" Another one is success – we are happy to follow Jesus as long as it leads to being successful.
When Jesus approached this young man, He loved him, but He knew there was an idol there. Jesus didn't give people an easy way in: following Him costs everything. You don't have to be good, you don't have to be sinless, you don't have to be all sorted – but you do have to give Him your heart. Jesus made no apologies for the big ask.
What areas are there in your life that are 'no go' for Christ?
Posted by Paul Mann