Oak Grove Community Church - (A Non-Denominational, Full Gospel Church)

I can Only Imagine
Mercy me
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History of Oak Grove Community Church
     The Oak Grove Community Church is so-called because of its location,  
surrounded by a beautiful grove of oak trees.  The Church is located in rural Madison County next to the Roseman Covered Bridge on the of the Middle River near Winterset, Iowa. Oak Grove Community Church is the oldest active Church in Madison County. The present Church building was built in 1889, however, the Church originated in the mid-1840's, and met in various schoolhouses and homes until the present building was constructed.

 Pastor Terry & wife Pam
                                                    This Weeks Message  
                                                   Displaying Jesus
  Scriptures: 2Co. 5:18-20, Col. 3:22; Mk. 16:15, 2:16-17;  Mt. 5:14-16; Colo. 3:22-24
  This morning I want to talk about displaying Jesus.  There are many Scriptures that speak of our calling as a Christian is to display Jesus to our world. And I am not talking about displaying a picture of the last supper on our walls or wearing a cross around our necks.
 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ( NIV ) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
 God has given us the ministry of reconciliation….
 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
 To be an ambassador of Christ is a calling to display Jesus to our world.
 An ambassador is one who is sent, not to represent himself, but to represent the one who has sent them.
 If  President Trump were to call me and ask me to be an ambassador of the United States to Canada and I accepted that position, then, on the issues that would arise, I would be responsible to represent the views and the will of the United States, even if I personally had a different view on the issue.
 After all, as an ambassador I am there to represent the one who has sent me, not represent myself.
 To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ to our world will necessitate our representing His views and will to our world, not our own. As a Christian, wherever it is that we are, we are there to represent Christ in that place.
 In that regard Scripture has this admonition for us in:
 Colossians 3:23 ( NIV ) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men….
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.

 There is a deeper issue here than just working with the right attitude.
 It is actually a question of life orientation.
 To whom do you belong? Who is sovereign over your circumstances? Who is really in control of your life?
 I believe that there are millions of people who do not really like their jobs. Many people would simply rather be doing something else.
 As believers we often see our work as an interference in our lives of faith. We think we would enjoy life more without it.
  We would have more time to study Gods Word  if we didn’t have to put in a 40 hour week.
 We would have more time to build important relationships. We would have more time to do a lot of good and even godly things.
 We can easily begin to feel as if we are in the wrong place when we are working at the things that we have to do.  And at the bottom of that feeling is often a questioning of God’s sovereignty, Gods control in our lives.
 We may begin to wonder why He has put us where He has. Or if He has put us in this place.
 Wherever it is that God has placed us, He has not placed us where we are simply for the output we can produce, whether it is at a factory, at a desk, at school, or at home with children.
 He has put us where we are because that is an environment in which He wants to display Himself!
 Our work is to be about Him, even if it’s entirely in a secular environment.
 I have talked to more than one person about the difficulty that they have as a Christian working everyday in what is often a very secular work environment.
 Maybe you work in a place where there is a constant barrage of filthy and foul language, that as a Christian you find very offensive.
 Possibly the company that you work for shows a lack of integrity in their business practices and as a Christian that really bothers you.
 Maybe you feel that your boss’s picture would best be displayed in the dictionary by the word JERK! 

 Before going into the ministry as a full time Pastor I worked 22 years in grocery retail… I have experienced all of the above feelings.
  In the early days of my employment foul and harsh language was a tool that many managers used simply to get their points across. It was never right but it was very effective at getting ones attention. Unfortunately, it was a tool that I learned to use in my early days of management. And I had learned from some of the best!
  Some of the guys I used to work for could swear so well that it almost sounded like poetry come out of their mouth---
 I have worked with managers that, although they were not really dishonest they often did things that showed a lack of personal integrity. 
 I worked for a man that had probably had affairs with most of the willing women in South Des Moines and he even did some of his shenanigans while on the clock. He was a store manager and would often say that he was leaving to go out and try to collect some bad checks….But at least on occasion he would be going out to meet one of his lady friends.
 This man would never consciously steal a penny from the store but he stole a lot of time which boils down to the same thing…
  Integrity is not a word that I could use to describe this man although he had a lot of good management techniques.
 I learned you have to watch who you emulate in the work place.
  Last week we talked about mentors and I was mentored by some of the best in the grocery business.  
 I have worked with some of the best businessmen and managers in the country, in my view. I have learned something from almost all of them. The secret is to glean off the good and neglect the bad.
 But I know the frustration that can arise as a Christian who is working in a secular work environment.
 But what we need to come to understand is this:
 We are where we are because God wants to put godliness on display for others to see…
 He wants to infiltrate the culture that we work in.
 What is the great commission for us as  the Church of Jesus Christ?
 Mark 16:15 ( NIV ) He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 
 The word that Jesus uses for world here is:
orderly arrangement, that is, by implication the world , including its inhabitants)
Jesus also used the word all to precede the word world.
absolutely all or (singular) every one:—all (things), every (one), whole.
 This would even include the most secular of workplaces.
 Have you heard the old saying that you may be the only bible that some people will ever see?
 This is the thought and attitude that I believe God would have us take into our workplaces.
 That I am here because I may be the only bible that some of my bosses or co-workers or employees may ever see…That God has placed me where I am to be a reflection of Him in that place.
 God has placed us where we are because He wants to put Himself on display there.
 He wants to infiltrate what is often a stronghold of the enemy.
 He infiltrates those enemy strongholds in this world through you and me..
 By doing so he puts a light in a dark room.
 And isn’t that the example that Jesus left us?
 Just contemplate the life of Christ while He was on the earth..
What was Jesus “work” environment like?
 Did He just hang out at the synagogue and preach to people as they would come to Church?
 Scripture tells us that Jesus went into the homes of publicans and sinners! He hung out with, not the religious leadership, but with the rough and tumble fishermen and tax collectors and prostitutes.
Just look at the entourage that followed Jesus?
 James and John the sons of Zebedee whose nicknames were “sons of thunder”.
  What would you have to do to get a nickname like that? I picture them cursing around in their dads chariot on a Saturday night with a 6-pack of Bud light, looking for girls and raising all kinds of Cain!
 The outspoken and impulsive Peter, who I imagine was as a real bar brawler in his younger days…
 There was Matthew, a probably less than honest tax collector.
 Mary Magdalene was a prostitute when she first met Jesus.
 The respectable Jewish leadership, men such as Nicodemas, would not be caught coming to Jesus during daylight hours but came by night for fear of being seen with this man who surrounded Himself by such questionable company.
 In a since this was Jesus workplace! It was the dark portions of this world that Jesus chose to minister in?
 Mark 2:16-17 ( NIV ) When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
 In a spiritual since, we will not find those who need Christ the most in Church or in Bible Studies..
 We will find them in the same places that Jesus found them- In the secular parts of our society.
 The darker the place the more need for the light of Christ. And that is what we are to be as Christians-- The light of Christ!
 Matthew 5:14-16 ( NIV ) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 
 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
 The darker our workplace may be, the more need there is for the light of Christ to be reflected there.
And it is to the dark areas of our world that we have been called to go and reflect the light of Christ.
 Maybe you feel like your work is pointless, your boss is unfair, your co-workers are petty…
  None of these things are the point.. The point is for the Holy Spirit to dwell in you there or wherever you may happen to be reflecting the light of Christ in that place.
 And in this since we are working for God, not for the one who may sign our paycheck.
 What we need to come to realize is that wherever we are, we are not there just because God wants us in that place… but it’s because He wants to be there also!
 The full context of Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,  is this:
 Colossians 3:22-24 ( NIV ) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

 The word used for slave here is:
 a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency
 I think that this speaks just as well to our employee/employer relationship as it does to a slave/master relationship.
 When we take a job we are voluntarily placing ourselves in a submissive role to our employer.
 We agree to do a specific job under specific rules.
  i.e  Work a 8 hour day with two 15 minute breaks and a 30 min lunch for X amount of compensation..
 After we punch a time clock then the time that we are there we have volunteered to place ourselves in subjection to another. We have volunteered to place ourselves into subjection to our employer to do what he has hired us to do….
 It is in this context that I believe that this scripture applies to us today….
 We are to….obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 
  The NLT says verse 23 this way….
 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
 The word whatever here even expands our servitude to God beyond our workplaces to all of our world.. To anything that we do!
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
 This is telling us we are to be lights of Christ representing Him in our workplaces..
 It is telling us we are to be lights of Christ representing Him within our homes reflecting Him to our families.
 This is telling us we are to be lights of Christ when we go to the mall or Wal-Mart or Target reflecting His image in those places.
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men!
 In a very real since, as Christians, we are all called to be sub-contractors…
 We work for the Lord but He subs us out into other areas of service to Himself.
 And if we call ourselves by His name, if we call ourselves Christian, it is His reputation that is at stake for how we represent Him in the places where He has placed us.
 How is it that we are representing Christ with our life?
  2 Cor. 5:20 tells us that We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
 Notice it doesn’t say that “ we may be” or “could be” but that “we are” Christ ambassadors…
 If we call ourselves Christian then we are His ambassador! We do represent Him to our world!
 The question is Just what kind of ambassador are we being for Him in the part of the World where He has placed us? Just how are we representing Him?
 Are we representing Him as He really is? Do we act and behave as Jesus would act and behave?
 Are we being reflections of His light in the dark recesses of our world?
 If our work places are in a secular worldly environment are we allowing Jesus to infiltrate that environment thru us? 
 Wherever it is that we go, do we go with the understanding that Jesus goes with us into that place, through His indwelling presence in our life?
 Are we allowing Him to reveal Himself through us?
 Christ admonition to each and every one of us as His followers is:
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 
 Is this the perspective that you have this morning?
 Once we get our minds around this ambassadorship thing that we have been called to and embrace this truth it will make a difference in our lives and in the lives of all those God has put in our path.
 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
 This is God’s plan A for reaching out to the lost of our world---He has no plan B…
 He has ordained that if the world be reached for Christ that it is us as Christians that He has given the responsibility as His ambassadors, His representatives, to get that Job done….
 As a Christian the question is not if we are an ambassador of Christ or not --but the question is what kind of ambassador are we being for Him?
 Are we displaying Jesus to our world?

                                    Have a wonderful and Christ filled week,
                                                    Pastor Terry Kerr 


                                  THE WAY OF SALVATION

  Romans 10:8-10(NIV)That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  

  Today, if you don't have the assurance of Salvation, the assurance of going to Heaven when you die, than just know that God wants you to have that assurance.   The above verse tells us how we do that. We do it by coming to Jesus asking for forgiveness for our sins and then giving Jesus Lordship (supremacy) over our life, believing in and on Him and Him alone for our salvation. 
  If the Holy Spirit has touched your heart today then I would encourage you to Yield your heart to Him right now and pray this simple prayer:  Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner as my sins are always before me. Lord, I am sorry for my sin and ask You to forgive me of all my sins. I now surrender my heart, my life to you and invite You into my heart to be the Lord and Savior of my life.  I thank you Lord for now saving me. Amen.  
   If you have just prayed this prayer than I encourage you to share your decision with a friend or relative (confess with your mouth) and find a Church fellowship to become involved in, and most importantly, commit yourself to daily prayerfully reading the Word of God asking Him to reveal Himself more fully to you.

                                    SPREADING THE GOSPEL
  Our most important duty as a Christian is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our world. Oak Grove Community Church is a Missions minded Church that supports  Missionaries in various countries and the USA.
 If you would like to be a part of our missions outreach you can contribute to our Missions Program using the PayPal link below. All Money contributed through this website goes to our missions program.

 Visit our missions page for more details about our Missions Program

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You are my all in all
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