Church service starts sharply at this church. At 3:00 in afternoon sharp, to be specific! I love it! It’s a church that is thinking outside the box and endeavoring to be culturally relevant. Let me say here at the beginning that it was very good to be back at Gracepoint. I fell in love with this church when I was there a few years ago, and I’m so happy to hear that they are still going strong. It was good to see friends again and to catch up on what has happened since my last visit.
I’ll give you a little background on what is happening here at RHM that will help you really capture what this weekend at Gracepoint was all about. In the past, I have felt an urgency to share as much as possible in each weekend venue, but the downside of this has been that each weekend was a “buckshot” of significant but not always related topics that I believe help enable folks to experience a significant paradigm shift in a weekend’s worth of time. It has worked, but it has its drawbacks, too.
As a ministry, we are deciding to take advantage of the global reach of our website and begin using our weekend venues as opportunities to give more focused seminars around some of these topics. In other words, we are beginning to isolate the buckshot and spend more dedicated time on each topic and make an entire weekend out of each. We have done this twice now with good results. In North Dakota, a couple weekends back, I presented Love’s Awakening, which was on the primacy and centrality of love and what it means to follow Jesus, with attention being given to both the religious and secular objections to the idea of God being a God who doesn’t just love but actually is love.
This last weekend, at Gracepoint, we shared a series titled, Forgive Us Our Trespasses. Here is its description:
Some of the most significant, relationally inhibiting misconceptions of God in our modern culture are the misunderstandings that surround the subject of divine forgiveness. We relate to God and to others the way we, in our hearts, perceive that God is relating to us. Does God really withhold forgiveness until we apologize? Which comes first, repentance and confession or forgiveness? Does a loving God require us to ask Him before He’ll forgive? How can God require us to forgive those who have wronged us, even the ones who have never asked to be forgiven, if He Himself doesn’t even give blanket forgiveness to everyone, too? What does forgiveness even mean? When we place the transparency of the life of Jesus over these questions, a new dimension to our understanding begins to emerge. Did Jesus really mean, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father,” and what does this mean when we apply it to what we believe about God’s forgiveness? If you have ever wrestled with truly feeling that you are forgiven, this series is for you. If you have ever wrestled with truly forgiving others who have hurt you, this series is for you, too. Have your heart set free as you encounter God and experience His radical, self-sacrificial, other-centered forgiveness as you never have before. Experience the difference it makes when we embrace the truth that Jesus is the exact “image” of what God is like, especially in relation to divine forgiveness (Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:18; Matthew 5:44,45).
Both of these weekends will be available for free download on our website shortly, so be on the lookout and we’ll keep you posted when they are released.
This weekend, I’m home. My oldest daughter turns fifteen on Sunday, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Thank you, each of you, for your prayers for the weekend at Gracepoint. God showed up, and misconceptions were significantly impacted, lives were dramatically touched, and Christ’s kingdom got a little larger.
Keep living in love,
I love you guys,