Monday, April 11, 2005

Lord's Day Morning, April 10, 2005

Gorgeous day and a wonderful experience with the Lord's people hearing the Lord's Word and partaking of the Lord's Table yesterday. Message title was "What Will Heaven Be Like?" and centered on Revelation 21:1-22:5. We noticed 5 things about heaven in this text. . . .

1. Heaven will be a place of God's Presence.
2. Heaven will be a place of Joy.
3. Heaven will be a place of Matter.
4. Heaven will be a place of Relationships.
5. Heaven will be a place of Activity.

Sermon Audio should be posted by Tuesday morning at http://www.graceslo.org/grow/mp3/

We tried to use the Lord's Table to look forward to our promised heavenly feast with Jesus ala Matthew 26:29. . .

But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.

I hope you enjoyed our time together as much as I did yesterday! What was new or fresh for you in our study? How was your imagination fueled by our study of God's Word? What kinds of thoughts came up in your Growth Group?

The second service was pretty full again yesterday. As I have hinted earlier, we are actively considering the possibility of a third worship service this coming Fall. I would love to know your thoughts about that. Let's get some dialogue going. In the meantime, there is room in the first hour and if you are able to adjust your worship time, we would encourage you to do so.

We also hosted our Spring Welcome Lunch after the second hour yesterday. How encouraging! We had 22 new folks at Grace join us for lunch. It was neat to see them take a step beyond the "porch" (Worship Service) into life at Grace. They felt welcomed, excited about the church and eager to get involved. I met more than 3 families who were invited to Grace by others in our church family. It fired me up that our people are excited about inviting their friends, neighbors and family. Many thanks to David and Dede Leece for their preparation of the tasty lunch and to our Greeting Team for their warm hosting.

There continues to be lots and lots of new faces here at Grace! We can't let up. . . . we've got to keep working hard to warmly welcome folks who darken our doors. . . . in our services and in the courtyard between services. Invite someone new over for dinner or out to lunch after church. Actively look for new faces. Reach out a hand and say hello. Refuse to settle in to your comfortable group of friends. Let's BE the church practicing hosptiality to strangers in obedience to the Lord. . .

Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. --Hebrews 13:1

All in all, a wonderful, encouraging, exhausting Lord's Day!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim: Great day of Celebration yesterday--welcome back!!

Heather and I talked about the 3rd service issue and both wonder if we have two services with sunday school in the middle might be an option. This would perhaps draw more people to Sunday school, they could attend at the same time as their kids. More people might be available to teach. Families could decide if they wanted to be early and attend with their kids or have a slower morning and start with Sunday school.

You would not be as worn out from teaching three times and ministry teams could be more flexible (and available). Just a thought Suz

Phillip Moses said...

it was a great sermon yesterday. We had a good time talking about it in our Growth Group. It answered alot of questions, but it unfortunately was the sort of thing that asked more than it answered.

One thing that I have a problem with is the end of the first verse in Rev. 21. It says "the sea was no more."

This makes me sad. I love the ocean. Does this mean that it will be gone? Where will you surf? Where will I sail?

My only hope is that the River of life is... huge. Big enough to sail on? Enough waves to surf? How cool would it be to sail on the River of Life?

It was also great to realize that imagining things about heaven is perfectly ok. In fact, it's encouraged. I come from the school of thought that says if the Bible does not stipulate, we dare not speculate. HOwever, heaven just opens itself up to speculation.

Oh yeah, might I suggest a quick overview (if there is such a thing) of Eschatology? There were some questions about the "intermediate" heaven and the 1,000 year reign. It might be good to look at the timeline of heaven.

Tim Weaver said...

I enjoyed considering the activities that we will be engaged in for eternity. The phrase 'the glory of the nations' really opens up the possibilities of activities that we could consider happening in heaven. It got me thinkin'. I don't think that the concept that we will ever worship the Lord is in conflict with this at all. Romans 12:1 says that our lives, all that we do, is a worship to the Lord as we do it in obedience to Him. So, why would the art, exploration, and other aspects of filling the earth and subduing it not be a part of our worship? Though I believe that the Bible sites examples of times when we will stand before Him and worship Him is song.

A thought/question that occured to me was, could the original command in Genesis be part of our 'work' in eternity?

Phillip, I've also been taught that we should be silent where the Word is silent, but I always associated that with being careful not to stand fast or make argument based on your speculation. (Maybe I'm just a rebel trying to justfy myself.) I have lots of theories that I can loosely base on scripture, but I know that the Word doesn't specifically say that my theory is true, so I try to be careful to lean very heavily on it. Of course this, too, is just an opinion ;)

Tim Weaver said...

I enjoyed considering the activities that we will be engaged in for eternity. The phrase 'the glory of the nations' really opens up the possibilities of activities that we could consider happening in heaven. It got me thinkin'. I don't think that the concept that we will ever worship the Lord is in conflict with this at all. Romans 12:1 says that our lives, all that we do, is a worship to the Lord as we do it in obedience to Him. So, why would the art, exploration, and other aspects of filling the earth and subduing it not be a part of our worship? Though I believe that the Bible sites examples of times when we will stand before Him and worship Him is song.

A thought/question that occured to me was, could the original command in Genesis to multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it be part of our 'work' in eternity?

Phillip, I've also been taught that we should be silent where the Word is silent, but I always associated that with being careful not to stand fast or make argument based on your speculation. (Maybe I'm just a rebel trying to justfy myself.) I have lots of theories that I can loosely base on scripture, but I know that the Word doesn't specifically say that my theory is true, so I try to be careful to lean very heavily on it. Of course this, too, is just an opinion ;)

Heather Johansen said...

Hey Tim, I love the idea of three services! I have worked with the Jr. High group for years, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. The only thing I miss is the chance to attend a Sunday School class myself on Sunday morning. Three services would allow me to serve in Jr. High, fellowship and learn with my peers in a Sunday School class, and attend big church (as we call it in Jr High) for corporate worship.

As for the third service, has there been talk of adding it on Saturday evening rather than another on Sunday? I know there are pros and cons to that concept, but one of the biggest pros in my book is that we would have our doors open to the community on a Saturday evening. Not only are there a lot more non-churched people walking past Grace on a Saturday evening, but I believe a Saturday evening service could draw in the curious and the seeking, offering a more comfortable, less intimidating setting than a Sunday morning. As one of the few evangelical churches in downtown SLO, we have a really unique opportunity to fill that void with a Saturday night service.

Is a Saturday evening service one of the ideas being tossed around? What are your thoughts?

Also, I loved the sermon on Sunday. This morning a friend and I met for coffee and we both brought our copies of Desiring God and Heaven so we could discuss the books and share favorite passages. Talk about a couple of books that make you think! Between the books and your series, we have been challenged to reevaluate ideas and views we've taken for granted for too long, and make sure our views of God, heaven and even ourselves lines up with Scripture.

Brian Wong said...

I, too, love the idea of going to three services. I concur with Heather that it would be a good idea to add a Saturday Night service. In addition to all the great points Heather brought up about making it a new ministry/evangelistic opportunity, I also believe that it would help to relieve some of the issues of crowded parking.

I've been going to Grace long enough that it doesn't bother me to walk a little bit to church; however, for a new comer, it may be a bit daunting to have to walk a few blocks on their first visit. Perhaps having a Saturday night service would open up more parking on Sunday.

One other nice thing about Saturday Night services is that they allow people who work on Sundays to be able to join us for church.

I, like Heather, am also curious as to what your thoughts are.

Anonymous said...

As for a third service, have you considered or investigated increasing capacity? There may be room to add an upper balcony around the perimeter. Money, zoning and other issues may prevent, but your effort along with all the volunteers involved has a real cost too.

Joe Pollon