Household WELL "E" Engages With Neighbors

A Household WELL is what we want to be, to bring the living water to a thirsty world. 

        

Welcomes in Jesus

        Engages with Neighbors

        Listens for Insight

        Loves to Try

 

When our households engage with neighbors here are some of the things that we can say we do.  Know our neighbors names and pray for them by name.  How is that going for you? If you are like me, and have recently moved you have a long way to go, especially living in an apartment complex.  Toss in a pandemic and social distancing, it can be difficult to even know our neighbors by name. (we certainly don’t want to use that as an excuse, we can still find creative ways to meet those neighbors)  Perhaps you have lived in your neighborhood for a long time and know all your neighbors by name. Are you praying for them? Do you know their story? What needs do they have? Do you know what they enjoy doing or what they are interested in?  

 

As we engage with our neighbors we begin to develop genuine friendships with them. Engage in fun activities with them and have heartfelt discussions.  I can hear what some of you may be saying, but I disagree with my neighbor, they are nothing like me and voted differently than I did and they irritate me. That may all be true, AND we are still called to love them. And it is ok to have differences and not agree AND we still get the opportunity to be interested in them and show them the love of Jesus. 

 

When Jesus was asked what that most important commandment is, this was His response: “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Matthew 22:37-39

 

That is really what it boils down to as we engage with neighbors, we love them. (you don’t have to live next door to a person for them to be your neighbor)  We care for and serve our neighbors, and we join with them in service of others.  And when the time is right, we share the Good News of Jesus with them. We are eager to introduce them to our Heavenly Father.  And we have the privilege of encouraging them on their walk of faith. 


If you are ever unsure of what to do, just ask yourself, how would I best show love to this person? How would I want to be treated or cared for?  Love like Jesus. No strings attached, no judgment, no agenda.  When we engage with neighbors we are not checking them off our list of things to do, or projects to accomplish or problems to solve. We are simply being our authentic Jesus following selves and loving them well. And the good news is, Jesus is WITH you as you go.  Enjoy the journey. Ask Jesus to help you, ask him for opportunities and ideas and then trust him that he loves them too.
 

Household WELL "W" Welcomes in Jesus

 

Household WELL “W” - Welcomes In Jesus

 

Each week in January we will be looking at one of the letters in the word WELL to be reminded about how we can live out our calling as a household WELL. 

 

                                      WELL=  Welcomes In Jesus

                                                     Engages With Neighbors

                                                               Listens For Insight

                                                                    Loves To Try 

 

A Household Well Welcomes in Jesus

 

There are a number of ways you might read and interpret that statement, but the primary intention is gleaned from switching the last two words around, and by looking at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5-10.  

5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  - Luke 19:5-6 ESV

“Christ at Heart’s Door” by Warner Sallman

This is how scripture describes Zacchaeus, and how a home of disciples acts.  We’re not talking about a conversion event from unbelief to faith, but we’re talking about every moment of every day, a home centered on Jesus.  He is part of everything, he doesn’t need our invitation.  But, our attitudes and actions change when we actively participate WITH Jesus in everything we do.  We can welcome Jesus into every aspect of our home lives.  We can welcome Jesus into our meals together by giving God thanks, sharing a devotion, etc.  We can open our days together talking about where we need God to show up that day, and praying for eyes to see and feet and hands to move and work.  We can close the day with Jesus by asking where we have seen God through the day, by lifting up all our cares to Him in prayer.  We can participate with Jesus in what we watch on TV and the internet, giving Him thanks for rest and entertainment, and by asking Him what is being said about our culture, what the understandings, beliefs, and needs are, and how that compares to God’s Word.  We can participate as we play, as we parent, as we discipline, as we clean, as we cook, and as we prepare to spend time with others.  We, as a family unit, can help each other to know that our identity is secure in Christ, that we are so deeply, dearly loved and cared for.  And we can help each other know that we are eternally safe.  We can even get ready to participate with Jesus at work and school, by asking Him for the help we need, asking Him to show us what He is doing in our work and school, and looking to love others.  The list goes on and on.  

 

In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 the greatest commandment is given (according to Jesus).

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. - Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV

 

This is it.  A household WELL has Jesus at the center of everything they do, and they know He is with them.  They live out loving God with every fiber of their being, and the love they share is an extension of that.  

 

In any moment we can ask, “Jesus, how are you filling my home with your love, and making this place a well where anyone who is thirsty can come and experience your life giving water?

 

I would love to hear what you learn as you continue to practice (or add in new practices) loving God as a household. Share are as a comment, or if you want to talk about it, email me at mwipperman@livelifetogether.com

 

Teammates,

Matthew Wipperman

mwipperman@livelifetogether.com

Pastor and D.M.M.

the Church

 
 

How Should We Respond to Life's Uncertainties?

How Should We Respond to Life’s Uncertainties?

 

Uncertainty is certain. When we are faced with the unknowns of this life, most of us tend to respond with fear, panic, defensiveness, or positioning. The year 2020 was full of prayers and hopes for a better coming year; but as we learned, the turning of the calendar didn’t make a lot of difference to the situation we’re currently in. And no matter how hard we prepare for the future, we can’t simply predict what tomorrow may bring.

 

When uncertainties or threatening unknowns of life do arise, how should we respond? Who should we look for refuge and protection? Who shall we listen to for stillness and peace? “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” as the apostle tells us in 1 Peter 5:7. Truly, there’s no one we can submit our anxious hearts to but Jesus—who’s sovereign to give us comfort and answers amidst any uncertain situations.

 

Seek God

We seek God for help because He is our refuge and He is present in all troubles and uncertainties we face (Psalm 46:1-3). This is a reality that we must recognize in our daily struggle. God assured us of this comforting promise when He gave His only begotten son to us. As we read in Romans 8:32, Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

 

When we are drowning in the waves of unknowns and uncertainties, God asks us to seek His refuge and help. His Word tells us that in Him, we have rock-solid protection and sanctuary through Christ Jesus. What a comforting covenant to behold.

 

We also seek our Creator for grace, because He is the only one who gives grace upon grace and the one who holds the answer to life’s uncertainties. As God tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow, He backs this up with grace and mercy towards us. Only if we seek Him that our burden and the weight of tomorrow’s troubles will be eased. My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me, as we read in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

 

We “don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries” and today’s troubles are enough for today (Matthew 6:34). These words highlight the sufficient grace that God gives us to address the questions of the coming day. Our response to anxieties of the unknown is to cast them to God who gives endless grace.

 

Be still and listen to God

Uncertainties, even when we know that we are in Christ and are saved by Him, can still make us tremble. But God commands us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10-11). This means that we should trust and listen to Him even if it seems that everything is being taken away from us —convenience, comfort, health, wealth, family, friends, even jobs. He alone can sustain us and give us the answer to the questions of every day and tomorrow. He is our greatest and only answer when we doubt or fear life’s uncertainties. We are asked to be still. We are asked to pray and listen to Him by reading His Words fervently.

 

What is Penzu?

In this new year, 2021, you will hear the term HOUSEHOLD WELL a lot. We want to equip, empower, and support every Jesus-following household to be a WELL!  Why a WELL? Because we live in a world where there are a lot of thirsty people.  They are thirsting for hope, for peace, to belong and be loved. They are thirsting for purpose, for identity, and for a solution to their problems. And as a Jesus-following household, you have the LIVING WATER to offer them.  

 

Each week in January we will be looking at one of the letters in the word WELL to be reminded about how we can live out our calling as a household WELL. 

 

WELL=  Welcomes In Jesus

                        Engages With Neighbors

              Listens For Insight

     Loves To Try 

 

As a way to encourage us to put our insights into action and be united on this journey we will be using a website called Penzu (or the app on your phone)  to share stories of our Household WELL’s. Penzu is an online journal where you can add written stories as well as photos to keep a record of what God is teaching you and how he is working.  We will have one account for the church, where all of our journals will be kept.  How exciting it will be to look back over those journals and be reminded of God’s faithfulness and the importance of our mission to connect people to life in Jesus - get the living water to those who are thirsty!  

 

You can write as many journal entries as you would like to. We will be sending out prompts to remind you, but you do not need to wait for the prompt. Be as creative as you want!  Let’s enjoy this journey. What a privilege it is to have the living water and share it with others! Adding these journals will surely inspire each one of us to join in the fun. 


If you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask: Amy @ ameyer@livelifetogether.com
 

How to Eliminate the Three Ds in our Christian Life

Check out this message from my brother in Christ, Dan Luck, from last Sunday morning's worship service.

 

If there’s anything we could have learned from our experiences this year, it must have been how to fight the overwhelming adversaries the world posed in our life — to put it more bluntly — how to eliminate the works of the devil in our Christian life.

 

Deception by the enemy; distraction from serving God; and division in our family, community, and even the nation, have been the theme of 2020. And for us as Christians, whose desire is to center our lives to God and His glorification, have we really eliminated these three Ds that hinder us from focusing on our walk with God and toward Christlikeness?

 

Deception

 

The waves of information we are getting from all forms of media have been immense these past few months that we often get lost and deceived by them. Deception works by making us think that truth is relative. That truth can be had from one source only to be torn apart by another. This process only offers confusion, and thus, makes people believe lies instead of objective truths. Even Luke was aware that even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following in Acts 20:30. The world indeed can be a deceptive place. Our only response to this, as Christians, is to focus on the genuine Truth —our way, truth, and life (John 14:6).

 

No form of deception can sway us and sow in us doubt and confusion if we intentionally devote our time and energy to reading, understanding, and following the Word of God.

 

Distraction

 

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Matthew 6:24

 

Matthew specifically pointed out that we cannot serve two masters. Either we serve God or we be enslaved by whatever it is that we put in our heart other than Christ. We need to approach distractions radically by seeing them as evils in themselves. Our time is only limited on earth and we cannot be consumed by other things that hinder us from fulfilling our calling to serve God. In this age and time where comfort and convenience are people’s number one priority, we need to turn to God to seek those and trust in Him completely that according to His will alone, those will be provided to us.

 

God wants us to live in His grace and mercy separate from any distractions. Good things will come if we prioritize Him and live according to His purpose. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

 

Division

 

Paul, in his letter to the Christian community in Corinth, appealed that by Christ’s authority, they should live in harmony with each other and let no divisions rise among them. He urged them to be of one mind and united in one thought and purpose for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 1:10

 

This has never been more relevant to us right now. This current crisis doesn’t only cause the secular world to fume in anger and hatred over their warring ideologies and political beliefs, it also created a lot of anxiety and despair that ultimately affect everyone, even us Christians.

 

Again, our response to division —be it cultural or spiritual cleaving— is to focus our attention on Jesus. Unity among us is achieved when all our eyes are fixed on Christ. We must pay close attention to what God is telling us. We read His Word; we listen and pray to Him. We read in Mark 4:24 that if we pay close attention to what we hear, more understanding will be given to us. This is the same when we are attentive to Christ and His Word. His ways are set not for us to be scattered but for us to be united in one thought and one purpose.

 

As we flip the page to another age, let us ask ourselves, have we really learned to avoid any divide in our family or community? Have we learned to not let distractions get in the way of serving God? Have we intentionally sought God’s help in determining lies and deceptions? May the Prince of Peace be the sunlight that guides our transition to the following year.