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April 2016 Worship

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Church Family,

Let me begin by just saying, “Thank You”.  As the past few months have been rather chaotic in the lives of my wife and I, our transition into this great community of people at Oakhill has been so easy, and so great, and we have you all, our great church family to thank for that.  Everyone has been so welcoming, so encouraging, and so
hospitable, and we could not feel more at home. Thank you for the way you have loved me, loved my wife, and I could not be more honored and excited to be your worship pastor, as we look forward to all of the great things God has in store for all of us at Oakhill.

Hebrews 12:1-3 reads, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

My prayer for all of us, is that we would all consider Christ.  Today, tomorrow, and every day, I pray we will consider Christ, and fix our eyes on Him.  I truly believe that we will change when we truly see Christ for who He is.  When we fix our eyes on Christ, our eyes, and our hearts will see things differently.  When we consider Christ, we will live empowered, we will love intentionally, and we will worship passionately.  I hope that today you will consider Christ in your own life, and then I invite you to join us for worship, as we fix our eyes on Christ together, and corporately praise Him for who He is and what He has done for us.

“Worship is like breathing, it’s something that we were constantly created to do.”

With Love,

Jared

 

Posted by Jared Mitchell with

April 2016 Speaking The Truth In Love By Nick Scott

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“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves… the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship… Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock… It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”

This is a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.  If you are unfamiliar with the life story of Bonhoeffer, I would commend to you Eric Metaxas’ biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  From this above quote, Bonhoeffer emphasizes something about discipleship that is often lost in the current church culture at large.  Following Jesus is not simply an act of identifying with a movement.  As he says in his book, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” 

He makes this distinction by comparing “cheap” grace and “costly” grace.  Many in the American church have adopted a cheap understanding of grace by thinking that nominal Christianity is sufficient.  Cheap grace really isn’t even grace at all.  It’s a deception that people fall into by believing that salvation is more like an insurance policy than an active, vibrant relationship with the Savior.  Costly grace differs because there is a price that must be paid.  Christ paid this impossible price upon our heads by taking upon himself the burden that only we deserved to bear.  In response to this great cost that Christ bore, we as believers must die to our own desires, take up our cross, and follow after him (Matt. 16:24).  This concept is what is known as discipleship.  The terms Christian and disciple should be synonymous in our vocabulary.  Jesus never offered an alternative understanding to his followers.  He said, “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:38)  The call to be a follower of Jesus is a costly one…

But praise be to God that he has already paid the cost and freely offers to carry our burdens throughout this life!!  His Holy Spirit indwells us as we go throughout life comforting, empowering, and guiding us along the way.  God does not leave us to our own devices as his disciples, but he guarantees our destiny and lavishly provides the means by which we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him.  The goal of discipleship is to look more like the one being followed after.  God progressively sanctifies us through our obedience to His will.  As believers, we should strive to look more like Christ each and every day. 

At Oakhill, we desire to see every follower of Christ active in their pursuit towards him.  As we move forward, we will be examining new ways to equip leaders and teachers who are being used by God in this church to help encourage and spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).  It will be a priority for us to continually better understand the content and context of Scripture and how it informs our understanding of God’s redemptive story, our theology, and the practical ways that we minister to others inside and outside the church.  These are exciting times at Oakhill!  I pray that in the coming future you will be encouraged by our church body to begin or continue actively pursue Christ as his disciple. 

Speaking His Truth in Love,

Nick Scott

Posted by Nick Scott with

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