You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day, after the music fades and our cars leave the parking lot, pieces of the message tend to fade, too; somewhere along the way, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. 

So follow along each Monday as we seek to integrate that Truth into our daily lives; leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Monday After Sunday, January 13, 2013: Rescuing the Lost; Gerard Long

By Anita Everly

Do you feel renewed in your desire to see those around you who do not know Christ to know Him, as well as your purpose in being a part to make that happen?

Gerard Long, executive director of Alpha USA, brought us back to basics yesterday.  At the core are the Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission:

 We must love God and love others.  (Matthew 22:37)

 We must go and make disciples.  (Matthew 28:19)

 The imperatives in these words from Christ are love and go.

As Long said, “We should want to know and love Him more, and everything flows out of that.” In terms of loving and knowing the Lord, I can’t help but think of the words of Matthew 6:33, to “seek first his kingdom and righteousness”.  Personally, I have to remember to seek God and the Holy Spirit continually before I can know Him and love Him more.

D.L. Moody’s quote really resonated with me: “I have to keep asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit because I leak.”  So true.

When we seek the Father first by talking with Him, listening to Him, reading the Word and asking His Holy Spirit to fill us, we begin to see life through His lens and to love with a heart like His.  It’s those very fruits of the Spirit that empower us to show the radical love of Christ to those around us.  And that love is a beacon of Light, reflecting Christ and drawing those who are lost to Him.  When we love them well, we show them God.

Then we have to go!   It’s really as simple as sharing our story of how Christ has changed our own lives.  As we are in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered with the courage to meet people where they are, then, at the Spirit-led time, the boldness to share the gospel, no matter what the cost.  Lives are at stake!  Heaven is for real and so is hell. 

 God has placed the people in our lives for a reason and will work through our obedience to His call.  Even if it seems we have messed it up somehow, He will grace over it all. 

As I reflected on this message, it reminded me of a kaleidoscope.  Remember those colorful changing prisms in a tube that when turned they melt one into another over and over again?  If you turn long enough, you get back to the same beginning prism and start the cycle all over again. 

That’s how I picture these purposes for which we are all here to do work on earth, an ethereal kaleidoscope.

When we seek Him first, we know Him and are better equipped by the power of the Holy Spirit to love others.  When we love others well, we are better able to go share the transformational power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

It’s a daily process and a lifelong commitment to this cycle that can yield beautiful, deep-dimensional results for the Kingdom.

Who do you want to be standing alongside you for eternity?

Who in a million years could you never even imagine being in heaven with you?

He wants them all!

Seek Him.  Love them.  Go share!

Seek!  Love!  Go!     

Seek!  Love!  Go!  

Seek!  Love!  Go!

Over and over–until the whole world hears.

Editor’s note: Immanuel is kicking off a new round of The Alpha Course, where we explore the basic questions of Christianity in an open, non-judgemental environment. The informational brunch kicks off this Saturday, January, 19, 2013 at Key Lime Cove in Gurnee with a 9 a.m. start time. To register for the FREE information brunch, go HERE and scroll all the way down, or call 847-336-4800.

Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to partner with God in His work of transforming lives. Thank you!

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

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