About Kyle Fox

A House of Prayer

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (January 28th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.


A Spiritual House

Week Three: A House of Prayer

Pastor Mike Halstead – 1/28/17

This week, in our series on the spiritual nature of the church, we take a look at the role that prayer plays in the mission of the church, and how is it used when we look at the community we have been placed in as our target audience for the gospel.

Read

James 5:13-18

Go Deeper

  1. The first verse tells the audience to both pray and sing praise. How are the two activities connected?

 

  1. Why is it so important to remain prayerful in times of blessing?

 

  1. What can we learn from Elijah’s faithfulness and habit of prayer?

 

Read

James 5:19-20

Go Deeper

  1. Who is somebody you know that has “wandered away” and needs prayer to help bring them back?

 

  1. What else can we do, apart from prayer, to bring the lost sheep back into the fold?

 

  1. What does James mean by his assertion that the one who brings back a wanderer will “cover a multitude of sins?”

 

Apply

  1. What is a time in your life when you find a habit of prayer comes easiest? How about when it is more difficult?

 

  1. What is a way you can influence our community in our collective effort to spread the gospel?

 

  1. Why is a personal habit of prayer important in the global mission of the church?

 

Pray

This week, start a regular habit of prayer. Take some time each day at the same time to pray for our community. Harvest has the opportunity to affect our city for the gospel, but will only succeed if we are continually dedicating ourselves to God’s will for us. Ask God to show who and how you can personally influence as we seek to bring our home into the kingdom of God.

 

Now It’s Personal

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (January 21st) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.


A Spiritual House

Week Two: Now it’s Personal

Pastor Mike Halstead – 1/21/18

In the second week of our series entitled “A Spiritual House,” we take a look at the story of Nehemiah, a man who saw the need for the wall of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and took personal responsibility in gathering together the people to make it happen.

The task of building and strengthening the kingdom of God has been given to us by our Creator. He has graciously allowed us to take part in the glorious mission of spreading the gospel to the world and bringing together the church in way that shines the light of God to those still outside its walls.

Read

Nehemiah 2: 11-20

Go Deeper

  1. Nehemiah’s first task is to inspect just how much damage has been done to the walls of his city. When we set forth to accomplish our mission, what are some ways we prepare to do so?

 

  1. When Nehemiah goes the Jewish people and explains to them the task that is before them, how does he convince them that this is something that needs to be done?

 

  1. How do we “strengthen [our] hands for the good work” (vs. 18) that we need to do?

 

  1. Nehemiah then encounters people who oppose the work that he intends to do. What kind of opposition might we face in our mission to spread the gospel?

Read

Nehemiah 4:6-14

Go Deeper

  1. 6 says: “And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” Why is this verse significant?

 

  1. How do the Jews respond to the threat of opposition and violence from those who don’t want their work to continue?

 

  1. Sometimes we consider the mission of spreading the gospel to the entire world a massive undertaking, one that might be impossible to fully accomplish. What does verse 14 tell us about how we should approach our mission?

Apply

  1. In chapter 3, we see that the people of Jerusalem took personal responsibility for portions of the wall that were near to their homes. What lesson can we take from this?

 

  1. Nehemiah’s specific task was to lead people in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, something near and dear to his heart. What is your specific task?

 

  1. It is important to recognize, as the Jews did, that our work will not always be easy, nor will it always feel like we can accomplish the task set before us. What are some ways to get through those times?

 

If we are to see the mission of the church to be accomplished, it has to become personal. We need to see that we are not just trying to do “good,” but to bring the peace, love, and grace of God to those closest to us. We should start to see that our mission to the world doesn’t just include third-world countries across oceans, but that it should start in the communities in which we live!

Pray

Pray for clarity and discernment as to who you can reach in the church’s mission to spread the gospel. Pray for unity amongst the church as a whole and see the urgency in the needs that must be addressed. Thank God that he has given us the opportunity to be a part of His plan, and for a way to actively show our gratitude for the grace He has given us.

A Church on Purpose

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (January 14th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.


A Spiritual House

Week One: A Church on Purpose

Pastor Mike Halstead – 1/14/17

This week, we began a new sermon series entitled “A Spiritual House,” in which we are examining what “church” is truly supposed to be.

In our first passage, we will look at what Peter says about what it means to be a spiritual house and who God’s people have been called to be.

Read

1 Peter 2:1-11

Go Deeper

  1. Based on this passage, what is a “spiritual house?”

 

  1. In the first verse, Peter mentions things that cause dissension between people in the church. Have you ever experienced something like this? What was the result of that strife?

 

  1. This entire passage focuses on the spiritual aspect of what it means to be a Christian, and the importance of God’s people, rather than the buildings, titles, and services we use. What is the danger of viewing the church as a physical place?

 

Peter’s words would have pleased Jesus. He, too, was concerned with the goings on of not just His followers, but also with the actual workings of the temple and made efforts to right the wrongs that were being committed in the courts of the House of God.

Read

John 2:13-16

Go Deeper

  1. How does this image of a violent, passionate Jesus clash with the popular image of Jesus we have today?

 

  1. How does the scene in this passage relate to having a pure and spiritual house of God?

 

  1. If Jesus were to attend a church service this Sunday, how do you think he would react?

 

Apply

  1. How can the church become a more spiritual house in 2018?

 

  1. How about your own house?

 

  1. Pastor Mike talked about the misconception that we have sometimes that church is supposed to be a boring event. Do you agree? How do we make church less boring? How does this relate to the idea of a “spiritual house?”

 

Pray

Pray for guidance in how to build yourself, your family, and the church into a spiritual house. One that seeks to build each other up and spread the message of God’s kingdom to those who’ve yet to hear it.

Study Guide: Momentum

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (January 7th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.


Momentum

The story of God’s people -the one that began with Adam & Eve and will continue even after Jesus returns- is not a straight line. It has its ups and downs, times of doubt and declination and times of prosperity and blessing.

In the sermon, “Momentum,” we will take a look at some biblical examples of how clinging to the past can be a detriment, and how we can use that same past as a stepping stone to a brighter future.

Let’s begin with the nation of Israel, newly-freed from the Egyptian bondage.

Read

Exodus 14: 10-12

Exodus 16: 1-3

Go Deeper

  1. Knowing what you know about the future of the Israelites, how do you react to their complaints?

 

  1. In the first passage, Egyptian soldiers are hot on the trail of Israel. For us, the time that comes immediately after breaking a sinful habit or making the decision to leave a bad personal situation can be both liberating and dangerous. How do we combat the temptation to fall back into our old ways?

 

  1. Compare and contrast the two options the Israelites give themselves in Exodus 14: serving Egypt vs. dying in the desert. What are the pros and cons of each?

 

  1. In Exodus 16, the Israelites have on what we call “rose-colored glasses” when they are looking at the past: all they are remembering are the good things they had, not the horrible situation they were in. Why is this so easy to do?

 

Read

Philemon (Yep, the whole thing)

Go Deeper

  1. Paul wrote to Philemon attempting to convince him to forgive the crimes of his slave Onesimus. Indeed, he asks Philemon to take Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as a friend and brother in Christ! Why would this be a difficult thing to do?

 

  1. Why is it so hard to forget the sins of those who’ve wronged us?

 

  1. In what way can refusal to forgive others hurt ourselves?

 

Our past can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is all-too-easy to get trapped in our nostalgia and have a skewed version of what really happened. However, the past can also be useful to see where we’ve come from and the progress we’ve made in our faith. We can point to times when dealing with doubt and indecision would be a time of crisis and see that we can handle those issues much easier today. Let’s take some time to look to our past and do just that.

Apply

  1. What would you say is your “starting point” in your faith, the time when you started building the momentum that brought you to this point?

 

  1. Is there a time in your life that you tend to look at with rose-colored glasses? How can that be detrimental to you?

 

  1. As we look back on our past, what is something you can change to make the future a better place? Someone to forgive, a habit that can be broken, etc.

 

Pray

Pray for a clear picture of the past, and thank God for giving us a history of the church and His people. Ask Him to guide you toward the future with an honest understanding of where you’ve come from. Ask also for opportunities to spread His kingdom as we use the momentum we’ve built thus far.

Study Guide: The Genealogy of Christ

Star over Bethlehem

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 17th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

The Genealogy of Christ

In the grand story of Jesus’ arrival on earth, it can be a bit strange to modern day readers that 3 out of the 4 gospels of the Bible take time to give at least a part of Jesus’ lineage in their writings. Family legacy and heritage is simply not as important in 21st century American culture as it was to the Israelites during the time of Jesus.

However, this does not negate the fact that where and who we come from has a large impact on how we view people. If you were to learn that your spouse descended from a former US President, or has some connection to a royal European family, you might not see it as a declaration of their character, but you certainly could start to view their family in a different light.

The ancestry of Jesus is where we enter the story of the birth of Christ in this week’s topic.

Read

Luke 3:23-38

Go Deeper

  1. Why is authenticity so important to us?

 

  1. If authenticity is so important to us, why is it that we tend to doubt when something is presented to us as genuine, even if we might not have a reason?

 

  1. Why do you think the gospel writers found it important to inform their audience of the ancestry of Jesus?

 

  1. What is a name that stands out to you in the genealogy? Why?

 

After Matthew’s recounting of Jesus’ lineage, he takes to time to talk about Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother. Once more, we see that it is important to the gospel-writer and his audience to know about the people from whom Jesus came.

Read

Matthew 1:18-25

Discuss

  1. Special attention is given to Jesus’ “step-father,” Joseph, pointing out his reaction to being told his soon-to-be-wife is pregnant with the savior of mankind. Why do you think this is?

 

  1. Joseph had a tough decision to make. He was caught between being faithful to what God had said, and dealing with being socially ostracized for marrying a woman who was already pregnant. What do you think was going through his mind at the time?

Apply

  1. Talk about someone from your “spiritual lineage,” that is, someone who has influenced you in becoming a Christian. Is it important to recognize the people who’ve had this role in your life?
  2. Have you ever had to make a decision that you know was correct, but led to ridicule or humiliation, like Joseph? What makes it easier to get through that situation?

Pray

Pray for the people in your spiritual lineage, thanking God that He placed them in your life. Also pray for your future opportunities to influence others for the gospel.

 

Step Up: Week Six Study Guide

Step Up: So That Others May Know!

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 3rd) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

Week Six: Laboring in the Field

For six weeks now, we have been discussing what it means to step up to the task of carrying out the mission given to us by Jesus before he ascended to heaven. Today, we’ll take a look at the encouragement Paul gives the Corinthian church and the reminder he gives to the Romans that suffering isn’t a sign of God’s abandonment, but actually an opportunity to experience God’s faithfulness and grace!

Read

1 Corinthians 15: 50-58

Go Deeper

  1. What do you think was Paul’s purpose in writing this section?

 

  1. Verse 56 makes a very interesting statement, in that “the power of sin is the law.” The law Paul refers to was the system of rules and regulations followed by the Jewish people, given to them by God. How could the power of the law be sin?

 

  1. What can cause us to feel like the work we do for the Lord’s harvest is in vain?

 

Read

Romans 5:1-11

Go Deeper

  1. What kind of suffering is Paul referring to here?

 

  1. What role does reconciliation play in the work we do for the Lord?

 

  1. What example should we take from the fact that Jesus died for us when we didn’t actually deserve it? How does that apply to how we pursue the mission of spreading the gospel?

 

Apply

  1. What is a specific suffering you have dealt with as a result of your faith? This could be the loss of a friendship due to bad influence, ridicule or negative treatment, or anything that makes challenge of maintain your faith a little harder to bear.

 

  1. Oftentimes, the toughest part of our work for the Lord is not necessarily the big difficult challenges that loom over us, but the ability to maintain passion and resolve in the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly process of that labor. What can help us not fall asleep on the job?

 

  1. If you have one tell us a victory story from the harvest field. This can be leading someone to Christ, breaking a habit of sin, fixing a broken relationship, or anything that displays the power of God’s faithfulness.

 

We have never been promised that our faith will make the battles we face come to an end or even become less challenging. What we are promised is that God will never leave our side throughout the struggle, and that we have been given hope that supersedes the difficulties we endure on Earth.

There is work to do, church. Work that won’t be easy, that will demand everything from us, and that will often leave us wondering if we can continue on. But take heart! Our Savior has not left us alone in our mission. We have a Father who listens to our prayers, a Holy Spirit that will guide us in times of confusion, and a church united in the same task: to bring the whole Earth back into the fold of God!

Pray

Pray for a spirit of thankfulness in times of hardship and adversity, and the ability to remember that we have a hope that transcends our temporary difficulties. Pray for the strength to endure persecution and remember that God will never leave our side.

Step Up: Week Five Study Guide

Week Five: A Plentiful Harvest and your Treasure

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 3rd) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

The concept of “sacrifice” in the Bible is a pretty loaded topic. It could mean the burnt offerings the Jews offered to God under the Mosaic Law, the sacrificial atonement that Jesus made on the cross,the self-sacrificial attitude Christians are to display as they follow the Christ, or even just giving up some portion of our earthly treasure to provide for others. This week, we are going to talk about that last definition, and what it means to step up to spreading the message of the gospel through how we spend our money and value our possessions.

Read

Malachi 1: 6-10

Go Deeper

  1. If he is truly all-powerful and outside of any sort of earthly need, why does God demand such expensive sacrifices from His people?
  2. What are some ways that we can “pollute the offering table” than turn around and pretend like we have done nothing wrong?
  3. What is the modern day equivalent of offering a lame or diseased animal as a sacrifice?

Read

John 12: 1 – 8

Go Deeper

  1. Ignoring his true intentions revealed to us by the author, do you feel as though you might agree with Judas in this story?
  2. What do you imagine the mood was like in this home, knowing that Lazarus was dead not too long before this?
  3. What does Jesus mean in verse 8? Is he declaring that the poor are less important than Him?

Apply

  1. There are many different views on how a Christian should use their money in relation to the church. Some people give to specific charities, some give when they feel like they have enough to give, some give a constant %10. How do you feel people should view money and financial responsibility toward the mission of the church?
  2. What resources, aside from money, can we use to serve the church?
  3. What is your “expensive perfume” from the story in John? Would you have a hard time using the things you find valuable as a way to worship, like Mary?

In Matthew 6, Jesus declares that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When Mary uses her treasure to serve Jesus, her heart is in the right place. Judas outwardly claims to have a heart for the needy, but his heart was truly for himself. It seems that not only do our actions matter, but the attitude with which we do them, as well.

When you use your wealth and possessions to serve others, it is with a sacrificial heart? Are you seeking not only to provide for the church, but also to bring glory to God? This week, examine your sense of generosity and take steps to uncover where your heart truly lies.

 

Pray

Pray for opportunities to live sacrificially. Pray that your heart is in the right place, so that God will see fit to open up the storehouses of heaven and use you as a way to bring the gospel of contentment to those who don’t yet know who He is. Pray for assistance in realigning any selfish motives you have when considering how to use the money and valuables you have received from God.

Step Up: Week Four Study Guide

Week Four: A Flock for Everyone

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Nov. 26th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

Read

1 Corinthians 12: 12-20

Go Deeper

  1. What are the different parts of the body of Christ? For example, someone who preaches could be considered the “mouth.” What other roles do members of the body play?

 

  1. Paul seems to be encouraging people by reminding them that everyone has a role to play in God’s plan. Why is this something of which we need to be reminded?

Paul wants his readers to know that they all have a specific role to play in the church’s mission. We have all been given personalities and abilities that make us uniquely suited to serve the purpose of evangelizing the world. Sometimes, however, we feel as though we will never live up to the precedent that others have set. We decide that our prayers aren’t eloquent enough, or that we aren’t truly faithful if we don’t give up our possessions and move to Africa to minister to an unreached people group. However, the story of Jesus healing a paralytic explains to us that we all have a role to play, regardless of the “level” of talent we have.

 

Read

Mark 2:1-12

Go Deeper

  1. In verse four, the men encounter a roadblock, but simply find a way around it. What are some roadblocks we come upon when spreading the gospel?

 

  1. How do you think the various characters felt at different points during the story:
    • The four friends when they saw the daunting crowd.
    • The paralytic when being brought up on to the roof.
    • Jesus, as the paralytic is being lowered down to Him.

 

  1. It would have been far easier for these men to simply say “let’s just wait in line” or “maybe we’ll catch Jesus the next time he is in town, rather than go through the hassle of climbing onto the roof and doing what they did. Why do you think they chose the hard way?

Apply

  1. What do you consider your role in the body of Christ to be?

 

  1. Have you ever encountered a roadblock when you attempted to share the gospel with someone? How did you get around it?

 

  1. Who is someone that you have hesitated to talk to about Jesus, and why?

 

A major new idea that Jesus brought to the followers of God was the concept of “gentile inclusion,” that is, that salvation wasn’t to be kept to the Jews anymore! Instead the whole world was not included in the church’s mission to expand the Kingdom of God.

Things haven’t changed. While it is easy to say “I agree, the world needs to know Jesus” it is much harder to get around our own personal concept of who is worthy of evangelism. Sometimes, we just can’t stand a coworker and don’t want to talk them more than needed. Sometimes, we’re holding a grudge against someone who used to be a friend.

However, the culture of the church needs to work against the culture of the world. Rather than putting our own desires and opinions first, and expecting to be served, we need to see others as more important than ourselves, and realize the urgency with which we should be spreading the gospel to all people!

 

Pray

Pray for your role in the body of Christ to be revealed to you, and for opportunities to play that role. Pray for opportunities to stretch your comfort zone, to live out the fact that everyone in the world is deserving of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Step Up: Week Two Study Guide

Step Up: So That Others May Know!

Week Two: A Farmer’s Delight

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Nov. 12th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

The story about the sending of the 72 missionaries in Luke 10 holds a special place in the heart of Harvest Christian Church. This is where we get our name from, when Jesus explains to the men he is sending that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We have the mission of the church right in our name!

The Pacific Northwest is a region notoriously averse to Christianity. While our harvest is certainly plentiful, its roots are deeply planted, and it will take a lot of work from the workers to get them free. This week, we take a look at Jesus’ mission briefing to the laborers he sent out in to the fields to take a harvest.

Read

Go Deeper

  1. When sending His people out to spread His gospel, Jesus sent them in pairs. Why do you think He chose to do it this way?

 

  1. At the end of verse 1, the author makes a note that all of the places that Jesus sent the missionaries were places He Himself was about to go. What is the significance of this?

Jesus then begins to give the missionaries some concrete advice for when dealing with people on their mission- what to bring, who to talk to, how to handle rejection, etc. It is clear that Jesus knew how his people would be received among those they sought to bring into God’s Kingdom. However, rather than save them the pain of rejection or even the possible legal backlash of preaching the gospel of a man considered to be a heretic, he chooses to instead equip them with knowledge on how to handle it.

Go Deeper

  1. Who are the two groups discussed in verse 2- the harvest and the laborers?

 

  1. Notice that Jesus tells them to pray to the “Lord of the Harvest.” If the harvest is made up of those who have not accepted Jesus, why is he described as their Lord?

 

  1. Jesus tells the seventy-two to rebuke those that reject their message, with what could be considered pretty harsh words. Does this conflict with the gospel of peace and grace that Jesus came to preach?

Apply

  1. Sometimes Christians run the risk of surrounding themselves with only other Christians, and have few opportunities for evangelism. How can we avoid this problem?

 

  1. What are some “wolves” that we face today?

 

  1. Jesus advises the missionaries to seek out “son[s] of peace” when arriving at a house; someone who may not know the gospel, and may not even respond in the way the seventy-two desire, but would be willing to listen to what they have to say. Who is someone you know that could be described as a “son (or daughter) of peace?”

 

  1. What does it look like, in practicality, to “shake the dust off your feet” in real life?

 

It is the mission of the Church to bring the gospel of Jesus to the world. Sometimes we feel like we can’t be a missionary unless we dedicate our lives to some sort of disenfranchised people group on some other continent. Or that maybe we don’t know scripture well enough, or have too many personal sins to deal with before trying to convince others to become Christians.

The truth is, there is absolutely nothing that excuses us from reaching out to the world that desperately needs the hope that we have. We are the doctor handing the cure to the sick. We are not the cure, nor are we are not the one who created it. We are simply the conduit through which those in need can be healed. We are the laborers standing before a field ripe for harvest. It’s time to get to work.

Pray

Take some time to ask God for wisdom in how to approach the harvest that has been set before you. Ask for opportunities to show courage in your evangelism and to be able to handle rejection when it comes your way. Pray that we will not let any excuse stop us from getting into the field and reaping the harvest that is waiting for the light of God.

Step Up: Week One Study Guide

Step Up: So That Others May Know!

Week One: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing!

We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Nov. 5th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.

We, as the human race, have a tendency to get stuck in our ways. When we discover a way to do things or a way of thinking that we agree with, it is often difficult for us to break away from those methods. It isn’t hard to understand- predictability is comforting.

Take, for example, a school bus route. Every morning, the students wait out at the bus stop at the same time, because that is when their ride to school will show up to collect them. If the driver changed what time he got their every day, the students would not be able to know when to meet them and would probably be late to class- or not even get to school at all!

It’s easy to see why we like our routines. However, there is a danger in becoming too comfortable in those patterns. When that pattern ceases to be efficient or effective, then we probably should learn to change, lest we start to find the ritual more important than why we take part. This was a major issue for the Jewish people. In fact, their inability to break from their long-practices traditions and rituals is what led to the execution of Jesus!

Let’s take some time to examine what is truly important to God, and how we have gone astray from it.

Read

Go Deeper

  • What parallels can you find between the different stories?
  • Why would Jesus rapid fire several stories that lean toward the same underlying meaning?
  • Which story speaks to you more? Do you have any personal experience that seems like it could have been used as one of Jesus’ examples of seeking that which is lost?
  • The Jews had long assumed that they were God’s chosen people. But when Jesus came onto the scene, he began revealing that His grace is for all, not just the select few. How do you imagine the people in Jesus’ audience would have reacted to these parables when they heard them?

Read

Go Deeper

  • Compare this passage to modern-day church activity. Do you feel as though we do things differently?
  • Notice that this passage does not mention whether or not the believers were going out of their way to evangelize to others. That being said, what would make the church so attractive that they were growing on a daily basis?
  •  If you were to condense this passage to a simple phrase, like a slogan for the church, what would it be?

Apply

  • What is something that gets in the way of you trying to keeping evangelism at the heart of your ministry?
  • How can we, as a church, try to recreate the feeling of the believers in Acts 2? Is that something we should attempt to do at all, considering the differences in our cultures?
  • Who is someone that you can introduce to Christianity, despite their “unworthiness?” Remember, ALL of us have fallen short of God’s glory.

Often, a danger that we may stray into in our evangelism is trying to convince others that they are doing things wrong, and that Christianity is the right way to live. While absolutely true, we must recognize that the early church attracted vast numbers to their group by simply living in a way that created a better world for those involved. They provided when someone was in need, spent time in each other’s company, and, most importantly, worshipped and studied the scriptures one body, yearning to know God better.

We have an opportunity to seek and save the lost, bringing the world to the foot of the throne of God. However, that will not happen until we put our own personal preferences and desires last, and choose to pursue that which is most important to God.

Pray

Take some time to pray that we as a church can always strive to keep only that which is important to God at that heart of our ministry to others. To be able to understand that seeking and saving the lost is the heart of the Father, and, therefore, should be the heart of the church, too.