Sermon Reflections from A New Way to Live | Damon Hopkins | January 29, 2023
We had the pleasure of hearing from Damon Hopkins again this Sunday. He graciously spoke for Pastor Alex as he was beyond jetlagged after his week spent time at Mid-Winter Covenant Conference in Florida. This was the last of the current series A New You. The scripture from Matthew 25 points us to the importance of caring for those around us with a new gracious attitude. The memory verse for this week is Matthew 25:40. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
In his message, Damon challenged us to use our gifts to glorify God and to serve others selflessly. He pointed us to several areas in which we can look to serve God by showing His love to those around us. Opening our lives and our hearts to Him will bring guidance and direction from God. God has opportunities awaiting us each day if we will listen and look around us. God does his best work when we are outside our comfort zones.
First, Damon pointed us to look for those who are weak or sick. God calls us to love others, help the helpless, love the less fortunate, and care for those who are sick. When was the last time you picked up a card, made a call, or brought a meal to a sick friend? Sometimes we have to disrupt our routine or get a bit uncomfortable in order to care for someone else’s needs. Perhaps there are other ways that you can tangibly express God’s love for those around us.
How about praying for someone who is sick or feeling emotionally challenged? The world around us is hard and being uplifted in prayer is a specific way God has for us to support one another.
James 5:16 puts it this way, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Prayer helps us too as we seek God, talk with Him about our concerns, get right with Him ourselves and tap into God’s power to heal and save. We are promised in Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God’s Word will never come back empty and will accomplish His will in our lives. Pray and keep on praying and seek to diligently lift others to Him. Prayer is a gift He gave to all of us. Do not be afraid to use it daily!
Damon also spoke of visiting the sick and those in prison. The blessing of one’s presence might be how one experiences the presence of God. And though we might not all be capable of such a feat; All can pray, call, write, or express compassion through other mediums. Prisons, for example, have a specific set of rules and restrictions for entry. As a congregation, we support Bay Area Chaplains, which minister to those in prisons within Contra Costa County. Their mission goal is to make Christ known. Join us in prayer as they reach a population that is inaccessible to the majority of us.
The last area Damon mentioned is speaking to strangers about the Lord. It’s about planting seeds for the kingdom and taking advantage of those opportunities where we can speak of our Savior. Those moments where we can express how God is affecting our lives. Damon reminded us that we are called to do great things for God. God calls us to reflect his love for those who are broken, weak, lost, sick, lonely, and in prison.
Perhaps this is challenging and out of our comfort zone. But following God is not about our preference, it’s about our posture. We are submitting our desires, our plans, and our comfort before God so that he may be edified and glorified. He asked us to go and do this for those in need, showing our love for them in His name.
John 13:34-35 puts it plainly, 4 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
Jesus asks us to do this for Him. And what we will discover is in doing these things for others reveals our love for Him and those around us. God calls us to love regardless of whether or not the person will love us back. God does his best work when we are outside our comfort zones.
Who will you seek out this week? Will it be someone sick, weakened emotionally or physically, or someone you do not yet know? Be there for the world around you as Jesus asked. We are to do these things as if we were doing it for Jesus. Do it and you will be blessed!
By Alex Hardt
A New You | A New Way To Live
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Sermon series, "A New Community " Today Damon Hopkins share how to live a New Way To Live.
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