Sermon Review - The Rich Ruler (Luke 18:18-30)

Image Big Idea: We need a good God to convince us to give up control of our life.

Summary: A wealthy man asks Jesus to help him find what's missing in his life. Jesus shows him that what he needs is a God who is so good that He'll dive into what controls this man: his money. Like the rich ruler, we'd rather walk away from Jesus than to give up control of our life. And the only way that we'll give up control of our money or our comfort is for God to overwhelm us with his goodness.

Next Steps:

  • Whenever God speaks, we respond - either in obedience or disobedience. Doing nothing is disobedience.
  • Obedience to God is built on repentance and faith - honesty about our sin and hope in Jesus' work on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit fuses God's message to our life. How are you supposed to respond to what you heard this week?
  • Who is helping you follow Jesus this week? Discipleship in isolation is a recipe for frustration.

A few ways we can help you as a church:

  • If you're in a community group, take time to pray this week for God to overwhelm our church with his goodness.
  • If you're looking for a way to take in the goodness of God, here is a sermon by John Piper that you can read or listen to.
  • If you have the day off tomorrow for Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday, take time to watch his I Have A Dream speech or read his Letter from Birmingham Jail. See the world through his eyes and give yourself a different perspective.
  • Since God is gathering a people called the church and remaking them into a new humanity that transcends culture, staying where we are as a predominantly white church is not an option. While the path forward is unclear, consider your part in the journey:
    • If you want to help us take next steps in becoming a transcultural church, email me (
    • Let's all persevere with both patience and persistence. No turning back. No getting ahead of God.
    • Let's pray that where our demand to be in control keeps us from being who God intends for us to be, God will be gracious to us and overwhelm us with his goodness.

You Need A Budget - If you haven't signed up for next Saturday's personal finance seminar, you can change that right here. It's free, it's simple and it will give you a way to change how you handle your finances.

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Year-End Financial Update

Happy New Year to everyone! Wanted to let you know that for the third year in a row, we brought in more money than we paid out.

Also, wanted to celebrate with you the final numbers for the 2010 Advent Conspiracy fund. In 2008, we invested $3,800 into the AC fund. In 2009, we invested $6,500 into the fund. This year, we have invested a little over $11,000 - money that will go towards an orphanage and school in Ethiopia and a couple of organizations here in Athens.

Here's why money matters to us as a church - God has given it to us as a good gift to meet our needs and to invest it into the needs of others.

So thanks again for responding to the generosity of God. May our generosity continue to grow in 2011!

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