Come and See

John 1:45-46   Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Not too long ago I had the opportunity to introduce my kids to a famous person that I had met while serving in the military. It was great to see their excitement as we shook hands and took pictures together. It was an experience that they would take with them for the rest of their lives and was only possible because I took the time to make the introductions. 
When Phillip met Jesus he went to go find his friend Nathanael. You can almost see the excitement as Phillip tells his friend that hey have found the Messiah, but Nathanael is skeptical. Rather than get into a lengthy debate, Phillip simply says “Come and see”. When the introductions were made, Nathanael was convinced and became a disciple of Christ.
This is the ministry that each Christian is called to. We have a relationship with the very Son of God and now have the privilege of introducing others to Christ. Nathanael may have stayed under that tree, and missed out on the introduction of a lifetime if Phillip hadn’t come to get him and bring his friend to Jesus. We live in a world that is desperately searching for hope. WE HAVE THAT HOPE IN CHRIST! Are we willing to make the introduction?
This morning as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ let’s spend some time considering those around us who need to be introduced to the Savior. Take a page out of Phillip’s playbook and go find a friend and say “Come and See”.

True Worship – in Spirit

John 4:23-24
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Pop Quiz: What is worship? In today’s modern church landscape there are many different ideas of what it is and how it is supposed to look. 
When Jesus spoke with the woman in Samaria, she asked about worship. Who was getting it right? Did the Jews have a corner on it in Jerusalem, or should she follow the traditions of her people? We tend to ask similar questions. Do we worship when we sing? When we hear God’s Word? When we pray? When we serve in different ministries? Should worship move us emotionally? Physically? 
Jesus’ answer helps us understand what true worship looks like. He said it is not relegated to a specific time or place. We do not have to travel to the temple, nor up to the mountains! Jesus tells us that if we are to worship God, there are two characteristics we must focus on – Spirit and Truth. Today we are going to look at what it means to worship God in Spirit.
A true worshipper is first and foremost a Scripturally saved worshipper. Dead things do not worship! Before salvation we are spiritually dead, but when we place our faith in Christ our spirit is made alive! (Ephesians 2:1) Once we are alive in Christ, our sins forgiven, our souls redeemed, and our relationship with God secure, we can worship!
A true worshipper is secondly Spirit filled worshipper. In Ephesians 5:18 Paul gives us a very sobering example of what it means to be spirit filled. (Pun intended!). Just as a drunk person is controlled by alcohol, we must yield our mind, wills, emotions, actions to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to have the leadership of our lives. we worship when we yield!
A true worshipper is thirdly Spiritually moved worshipper. I think of David as he led the procession into Jerusalem with the Ark of God in 2 Samuel 6. He danced, they were glad and rejoiced, they played their instruments. This was an outpouring of worship to God! Worship can and should move us!
Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ let us worship Him in Spirit. Saved, Yielded, Moved. You don’t have to wait for Sunday! We can pour out our worship on Him right now as we focus on His mercy, goodness and grace at work in our lives!

Rise Up and Build

Nehemiah 2:17-20
 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
I have heard the phrase “rise up” a lot over the last few years. Many times it is attached to a determination to not allow circumstances to keep a person down. The Atlanta Falcons football team adopted this as a motivational slogan. It is attached to the battle against social injustice, racism and oppression. The modern use of this term exudes self-determination, self-reliance and (in the end) a feeling of being self-made.
Nehemiah looked at the expectant faces of the man who had followed him on his midnight ride through Jerusalem. He saw the faces of men who had been oppressed. But that was not his focus. He saw the doubt and defeat in their eyes, but that was not what moved him. He saw the disdain and cynicism in a couple of faces, but those did not distract him. His eyes were on his God and the task he had been called to do. He had let them follow him so that they would see what he saw and feel what he felt. Then he turned their focus on God! The condition of the city moved him, but it was his God that lit the fire in his heart. The passion for His holiness and glory among the people. When the men saw this they were moved as well with the same desire shown by their leader and said, “Let us Rise Up and Build!”
What is your focus? There are needs all around us, true. The truth is that until the return of our Lord there always will be. Is it wrong to reach out to the homeless and the hurting? Is it wrong to want to feed the hungry and clothe those with nothing? Is it wrong to stand against racism and oppression? No, of course not – as long as our focus is right! If we are doing it simply for the goal of relieving the suffering in others lives – then the results will be short lived. But if our eyes are on Christ – on sharing His love and grace – showing them the power of Christ to transform and build from the ruins of a broken life – then the results will last for all eternity.
Today as we Refocus our hearts and minds on Christ let us turn our eyes to Christ. He is the only source of true peace and only through His grace can a broken life be redeemed. Don’t overlook the needs, but as we rise up to build up others let us always be pointing up to Christ!