No Turning Back

BW 2023 Pulpit Theme

SYNOPSIS: “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.” The words of that song are powerful. They exemplify the attitude and commitment Jesus called us to in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (ESV). Of course, Jesus is not calling us to a level of commitment that he has not already fulfilled. Calvary showed us the lengths to which God was willing to go to demonstrate his love and commitment to us. Paul said everything else to him meant nothing in the face of gaining Christ: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8)(ESV). A person who exercises on occasion will never develop the healthy figure they want. A person who practices their skills at music on occasion will never play the way they dream they could. The same is true of our Christian walk. While the idea of wholehearted commitment means sacrifice, it’s also the only way we will ever develop deeper faith and change the world for Christ. Martyr Jim Elliott wrote in his journal: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” In 2023 and beyond, let’s commit. Let’s pick up our crosses in every area of life and say together at Bartlett Woods, “We have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.”

COMMITTED TO THE BLUEPRINT

God has always called his people to a blueprint for life, worship, and faith. It has changed under different dispensations. What does it look like for salvation, worship, and the Church in the New Testament era? We’re committed to the blueprint God has laid out, not only because we desire to be obedient to our Creator, but because we believe that what God designs will always be most beneficial. Where there is God’s hand, there is beauty, even when we as humans or our culture may not readily or immediately perceive it.

TENTATIVE SERMON SCHEDULE:

JAN 8- Committed to Salvation

JAN 15- Committed to Communion and Collection

JAN 22- Committed to Scripture

JAN 29- 5th Sunday- Milestones

FEB 5- Committed to Unity

FEB 12- Committed to Gender Roles

FEB 19- Committed to Leadership

FEB 26- Committed to Singing