SERMON NOTES | #FOREDMONTON – ALWAYS BE PREPARED

SERMON NOTES | #FOREDMONTON – ALWAYS BE PREPARED

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

 

 

Peter assumes three things:

  1. There will be people in your life who will question you. Peter assumes that there are people in your life that you are in such close proximity with that they can see the details of your life and feel comfortable enough, be intrigued enough, or have enough courage to question you about the way you live your life.
  2. That your hope is in Jesus. We misplace our hope and put it in the wrong place (money, success, other people, politics…etc.).
  3. That you’ll be respectful. We use the Bible as a mirror first, not a hammer. We don’t use scripture to beat down judge people around us. We use it as a mirror and ask: What is God saying to me? Where do I need the Holy Spirit to work in my life? Where am I disobeying God?

 

Assuming that’s in place, Peter tells us we must always be prepared to answer those who question why we hope and follow Jesus. Here’s why this matters so much: our world is a mess.

 

We’re all in agreement on that. We may disagree in which way the world is in a mess or why the world is such a mess, but we would all come to that same basic conclusion that the world is a mess and needs help and needs saving. As Christians, we know Jesus – and nothing else – can save.

 

As Christians, we don’t have the option to disengage from the mess of our world.

 

 

Times have changed:

  • Acts 2 and Acts 17 show two very different ways of communicating the same message to different people.
  • The Christian message doesn’t change, but the method has to.

 

We are living in an alternate ending:

  • Read Luke 15:11-22
  • Imagine a different ending to the story:
    • The son never returns home. Instead, he stays and works in the pigpen and raises his own family.
    • His kids might hear stories from their dad about what Grandpa and his palace were like but never know that for themselves.
    • And imagine those children they too weren’t curious enough to go seek out their grandpa’s palace but instead stayed where they were and had kids of their own.
    • Those kids, they wouldn’t even have that echo anymore. They wouldn’t have a concept of the palace at all. No framework to understand how their great-grandpa was.
    • They wouldn’t even know how to get back to the palace even if they wanted to.

 

We are living in the first fully post-Christian generation. This means that this is the first generation to live without Christianity as its primary worldview.

 

 

How can you be prepared to answer:

  • You don’t need to be a sociologist to be able to give a reason for your hope.
  • You don’t need to be a theologian to give a reason for your hope.
  • You don’t need to be a bible scholar to give a reason for your hope.
  • You don’t need to pulse on the latest trends of culture to give a reason for your hope.

 

God will bring passions and talent to people in these areas. And that’s a good thing. They are a gift to the church.

 

But here is what I want you to understand today: God wants to use your reason for your hope as an answer. What’s the reason you put your hope in Jesus? Be ready to tell that story. Be prepared to tell people what life with Christ is like. Don’t overcomplicate this or put unrealistic pressure on yourself that you’ll never live up to.

 

Here are the two things you need to do to prepare yourself to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.

 

  • Get close. Embed yourself in your neighbourhood. Know others and be known. It starts with a simple ‘hi.’ Find five seconds of courage and introduce yourself (even if you’ve lived there for ten years!). We don’t get close because people are projects, and we’re trying to win them over to our way of thinking. We get close because they matter, because people are made for connection, because God loves them, and because they might not have anyone else to tell them that.

 

  • Pray often. Continually make your neighbours and neighbourhood a priority in prayer. God moves when we pray. He can create a new passion and burden for your neighbours. He can create new opportunities for new friendships to form. He can give you that courage you need to make new friends. He can fill you with hope for the people on your street.

 

Ethan Sarafinchan

Ethan Sarafinchan

Hi, my name is Ethan, and in the lost year, God has lifted my understandings of what other people are thinking about and how they live every day. In the last year, I was pretty stressed out about COVID and what my life would be like, but when youth opened up again, I felt a calling towards youth and a sense of belonging. It brought me relief from the stress in my life, it brought me to be stronger in God, and now I feel like I finally found a space of belonging here at hope city youth

Peter and Paul Ogedengbe

Peter and Paul Ogedengbe

From the start of this pandemic I’d say one of the lessons God has taught us is the dangers of apathy. You would think that with a pandemic taking over, that people would try to confide their concerns to God. But I feel like that wasn’t the initial reaction for most Christians and people in general. There was a small feeling of defeat within us all due to the lack of freedom we’ve had to endure for the past 11 months now. For us personally, there was a lack of passion in pursuing and improving our relationship with God for a while. However, we realized we could use our new found time to build our relationship with God in a unique method. So don’t be apathetic and wait for God to come to you, go to him and he’ll provide anything you need.

Maggie Creasy

Maggie Creasy

Hey my name is Maggie, and I’m a grade nine student here at Hope City! Youth has been a great place for me to grow in my faith and has brought me closer to God through small group discussions and great worship. Through COVID, it has been important to remind myself that God is always with me and there is nothing to fear. Recently, I have found it easy to be anxious, with everything going on, but He has been reminding me to trust Him and to know that even the pandemic is a part of his plan! Youth has been so great because I have made so many close friends and have great leaders to encourage and support me with whatever I’m going through!

SERMON NOTES | Uncomfortable Faith: “Begin with the End in Mind”

SERMON NOTES | Uncomfortable Faith: “Begin with the End in Mind”

What does it mean to ‘begin with the end in mind’?

  • It’s the ability to envision in your mind a future that you cannot at present see with your eyes and then diligently work towards that future.
  • We can apply this principle to virtually any area of our life (building a house, excelling in athletics, financial success). To begin with the end in mind is to set a target, aim and shoot! It gives directions to our steps now.
  • But this is more than just a principle for worldly success. This is a foundation spiritual principle.
  • In light of eternity with Jesus, how we live now, matters.

 

James 4:13-17; 5:19 – Big Ideas

  • We make our plans, but we have no clue what tomorrow may hold. Our life comes and goes so quickly.
  • With our short time on earth, we should orient our lives around the instruction, commands, and values of Jesus first and foremost. That’s having an eternal mindset.
  • This comes into play in all areas of our lives – relationships, planning, finances…etc.
  • While we wait for eternity, we are to be patient and stand firm in our faith.

 

Live Like a Farmer (James 5:7-9)

  • A farmer waits patiently for his crops to grow; the process can’t be hurried. He can’t take the summer off and hope that all goes well in the fields. But all the work the farmer does during the waiting is what makes the difference!
  • Likewise, we must wait patiently for the Lord. We can’t rush Him back any sooner. But while we wait, there is much work to do. And we do the work because of what we hope for – Christ’s return.
  • Both the farmer and Christian have to live by faith, looking forward to the future reward.
  • And when the Lord comes, all of the challenges, suffering, self-denial, humility and eternal financial investment will all be worth it.

 

How can I live my life now in light of my eternity with Christ?