Outreach Pays Attention

    Aug 17, 2021 | by Tom Harrison

    Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would empower them to be his “witnesses” in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Those disciples did it so well that in Acts 17:6 they were accused of turning “the world upside down.” The New Testament was written in Greek, not in the English language. The Greek word for “witness” is actually “martyr.” Stephen was the first of many who gave their lives for Jesus (Acts 6-7).  Martyrdom is continuing today.

    I shared briefly Sunday about what is happening in Afghanistan since our pullout of troops. Regardless of political opinion, the result is martyrdom is happening for Christians in Afghanistan now. Christians are being identified and killed by the Taliban. Jim Davis and our Global Outreach (“GO”) Team are working on our approach. We likely will make gifts to two organizations we’ve connected with before. Please pray for the persecuted church. This is on my heart today.

    As we think about “Growing Out” with witness and hospitality, I think of how Jesus did it. Simply put, Jesus paid attention to people. Our text, Matthew 9:35-38, is instructive. Jesus taught and proclaimed the kingdom of God. It was Jesus’ #1 topic. It was His essential thing. He also did it with “compassion.” And His instruction for His disciples was to pray. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”

    According to Jesus, we need more laborers. That is what He told His disciples to pray for.

    Inviting others to be in a small group study of “The Magnificent Story” is a simple response to what Jesus was after. It kicks off on September 5 when author James Bryan Smith preaches at Asbury. You need to get his book. Then ask the Lord “Who can I invite to join me in a small group?” Please let us know if you will start a group or if you want to join a group. The purpose is clear: being full of compassion and showing hospitality as we seek to help others know Jesus, who is THE Magnificent Story.

    This is an exciting season at Asbury. Just a few highlights:

    • We presented Bibles to 54 kindergartners on Sunday.
    • This last session of “The Truth About Sex” was excellent. We have two more Sunday night conversations in August.
    • Homecoming celebration is a time to reconnect. Join us in person, Sunday morning, August 29.

    Here are our readings this week:

    Monday: Matthew 9:35-38
    Tuesday: Matthew 22:1-14
    Wednesday: Mark 4:21-25
    Thursday: Acts 8:4-13
    Friday: Hebrews 2:1-4
    Saturday: James 2:1-7 

    See you Sunday. Invite a friend!


    Tom Harrison
    Senior Pastor

    P.S. I shared briefly Sunday about what is happening in Afghanistan since our pullout of troops. Regardless of political opinion, the result is martyrdom is happening for Christians in Afghanistan now. Christians are being identified and killed by the Taliban. Please pray for the persecuted church. This is on my heart today. Asbury has responded with a $10,000 gift to a trusted ministry who is working to get Jesus followers in Afghanistan to safety. In an additional response, Asbury has made a $3,000 donation to Blessings International to get medicine into Haiti following the earthquake.

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