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Series_in_the_know_1johnA couple days ago, we finished week #9 of 10 thru The First Letter of John.  We looked at the subject of "Knowing For Sure" in 1 John 5:4-13.  You can listen here or "Ipod" it here.

Here’s some more thoughts from the weekend topic:

  • I mentioned that, if you are God’s child, He doesn’t kick you out of His family for making mistakes (sinning against Him).  Instead he kicks your butt…in a good way  🙂  That’s what Hebrews 12:5-11 says.
  • When I talk to people who are struggling with "knowing for sure" that they are in God’s family, I take them to a few passages:
    • It’s healthy to do some self-examination on this topic (2 Corinthians 13:5)
    • If you don’t experience any discipline from your heavenly Father when you aren’t living for Him, then that’s an indicator that you weren’t in His family to begin with (Hebrews 12:8)
    • You can’t trust your feelings, though, to know if you are in God’s family.  That is, God remembers the truth about us being in His family, even if we’ve forgotten and our heart is condemning us  (1 John 3:20)
    • The way that we can stop stressing about it is by investing in other people.  If we focus on serving others & allowing God to transform them through us, then we will never doubt our salvation again (1 John 3:16-21)
    • Therefore, the way to have complete assurance in our soul is to get involved in serving & transforming others through the power of God.  People who continue to sit on the sidelines will either (a) become critical of the other players who are actually in the game or (b) start to doubt they are even on the team.  I see it happen all the time and it’s the opposite of what God intended for their lives!  (Ephesians 2:10)

If you want to read ahead for our final week in this series (sniffle, sniffle…), we are talking about "Knowing Jesus" from 1 John 5:14-21.

  • You are NOT going to want to miss our discussion of 1 John 5:16-17.  It’s one of the most shocking and serious verses in all of the New Testament.  And a topic that each of us will come in contact with from time-to-time as we walk with God
  • Be there…and come to the first worship, if you could, to free up space for all the guests we’re seeing.  We worshiped with 825 people on Sunday.  WOW!  We have more than doubled in the last year.  (Yes, that is a growth rate of OVER 100% from 2006 to 2007!)
  • If you ever wonder what our attendance was the previous week, you can check out Ben’s Weekend Service Team (WST) blog.  It’s the blog for those who do SO MUCH to lead people to faith, and worship, and spiritual formation each weekend at Grace.
  • We had 44 people take our Prospective Members Class on Sunday.  It was awesome to see the room downstairs packed with singles and couples engaged in learning about the vision of Grace, asking the tough questions about church life that people want to know, and discerning if Grace is the place God wants to make their church home.  It’s always a highlight of my month.
  • Kudos to Brian & Peggy Vincik who are hosts and coordinators for the Prospective Members Class.  You guys make this much more than a class.  It’s an event!
  • Kudos to all our members who were willing to take a Sunday afternoon and chat with people at the end of the class to find out where they are on the journey of exploring Grace Church.  The class wouldn’t happen without you!

Whew!  🙂