IN THE MIDST OF THE BROKEN

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To live as followers of Jesus, we must not ignore the example Jesus set.

Jesus didn’t talk about religion in buildings. He didn’t spend his time in Torah studies discussing the merits of this teacher or that. Those things have their place…but more often than not during his years of ministry, Jesus was right in the middle of crowds of people.

He was in the midst of the broken, but he wasn't telling them what they needed to do to get right with God. Instead, Jesus was lovingly addressing their needs first. Feeding the hungry. Healing the sick. Helping the poor. Holding the children. Loving the unlovable.

Changing lives.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'  
Acts 20:35 ESV

Although our world looks much different than Judea of old, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. Right here. Right now.

We are the ones who need to get close to the hurting. To help the poor. To hold the children. To love the unlovable. We are the ones Jesus is calling to shine his light in this broken and dark world.

When we put aside our comfort and reach out to show the love of Jesus to the uncomfortable, we are truly thinking Kingdom and living Jesus. There is no other way to do it. There is no way around it.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 

 

First John 3:17

Does your heart break for the oppressed?

Do you break down when you see the homeless on the street?

This is the Spirit telling you where God wants you to get to work.

Bear one another's burdens,

 

and so fulfill the law of Christ. 

 

Galatians 6:2 ESV

Can you easily share some of your food or money or time with the poor?

Do you have a soft spot for children, the elderly, or the terminally ill?

This is where God wants you to serve.

Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.  Proverbs 28:27

Some believers have a Spiritual gift to do these things, so it comes easily and naturally—it is a passion. But passion or not, we all have the responsibility to do something to make things better for the broken and thereby point to the love of Jesus.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.  Hebrews 13:16

The good news is, you don’t have to figure out how to get close to the broken on your own. The Church at Severn Run has many ministries and program partners in the Baltimore area where you can fulfill the calling Jesus has put in front of you.

Here are some ways you can get involved—Right Here! Right Now!

With Ministries Like:

The Transformation Center

Bringing about transformed lives and transformed communities leading to a transformed city. It is the hub for many of our ministry Impact Project including Lilies Place (clothing and food distribution), Celebrate Recovery, and Beautiful Feet (homelessness ministry). There will be many upcoming opportunities as well such as the building construction projects, the school they are starting called Hope Academy, and the GED/Jobs Programs.

The Well

Based in Curtis Bay, The Well is a community of women mentoring and learning identity, value and giftedness. Lives are transformed through long-term relationships and practical programs that offer community, give opportunity and promote responsibility to lead women to the purpose God has for them. They need volunteers to help the women of the ministry.

Morningside House of Friendship

The first Thursday of each month you’ll find a room full of youth mingling, talking and singing with the elderly guests of Morningside as they participate in Collide’s monthly missions program. Morningside House of Friendship is an assisting living facility in Hanover MD. that partners with Severn’s youth ministry, Collide.

The International Justice Mission

A global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Their global team includes more than 750 lawyers, investigators, social workers, community activists and other professionals who work at 17 field offices, one of which is close to our area.

Partnering with Local Organizations Such As:

Or with Churches Including:

Grace Redeemer Church

Building lives is a work of art. It is the work of the Master Artist - Jesus Christ.  Come see what God has been doing through Grace Redeemer Community Church and get involved in their great missions projects.

Elevate Church

Elevate Church is a diverse community of people. Located in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis, we desire to be a church that makes a difference in the lives of the community. Elevate Church exists to elevate the name of Jesus, equip believers for service, and to engage the community with service projects and the message of the transforming power of Jesus Christ. They are always looking for volunteers to help with missions projects.

The Broken Wall Project

A community of faith in West Baltimore seeking to integrate the values of authenticity, community, advocacy, and transformation as they follow Jesus believing that diversity ethnically, educationally, financially, and relationally makes everyone better. They hold services on Saturday evenings and need volunteers to help with many different projects.

Captivate Christian Church

Founded in Baltimore, Captivate Church is focused on bringing life by connecting people to God through Jesus. They provide a very real place of healing, grace and forgiveness. They need volunteers to help with projects in the Baltimore area.

Severn Run

Of course there are also many ways to serve at Severn Run as a volunteer in any of our ministries listed at severnrun.com/serve or specifically helping with some ministries reaching the broken and based on our campus like:

The Christian Assistance Program

A coalition of Severn-Odenton churches that provides food and clothing to needy families in the community. Donations are welcome every Sunday (you can find the monthly need focus in the church bulletin). Volunteers are always needed.

Kairos

The Kairos Prison Ministry shares the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women, and youth, as well as their families, to help them become loving and productive citizens of their communities. Volunteer opportunities include prayer partners, food support, and for those speaking to inmates in the prisons.

Companions of Hope

A support ministry for cancer patients and their caregivers. Volunteers are needed for helping with welcome baskets, card making and writing, providing transportation to appointments, making meals or phone calls, and prayer.

Blanket the City

Spend a Saturday morning giving blankets, prayer and encouragement to the homeless in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. This opportunity only happens once per year, but affects lives for much longer.

Winter Relief

Volunteer to help Severn Run host homeless men and women for a week at the church during the colder months of winter. This event takes many hands to make it work right. Volunteer to bring and serve food, or help during the day or nights wherever you are needed to help make our guests feel welcomed and loved.

Operation Christmas Child

In partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, Severn Run is a collection station for OCC Christmas boxes collected each fall. Fill a box, or volunteer to help collect, manage, pray for and deliver the boxes each Christmas season.

And more exciting opportunities to come like Samaritan Women and Hope House.

 

It all makes a difference. It all shows the love of Jesus to a broken world.

Where will you get involved? And when? 

Here’s what to do next:

Here’s what not to do:

Don’t ignore this opportunity to share the love of Jesus as you were commanded.

 

 

It's Never Too Late To Let Love Win!

let love win
 
We're all masters at missing the point. Almost all of the ugliness and damage that has been done in Christian and church history is because we miss the point. One of the crucial turning points of faith is rejecting the legalism that the human heart longs for. Legalism (religious rules) is a cheap alternative to grace-based living from a broken heart!
 
The truth is, there is something foundational that has to happen before you can ever be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. To be an authentic follower of Jesus, something has to happen in your life that is about brokenness. Whether we can get to Jesus or not, really depends on our brokenness. We all want to find ways around our brokenness but you really can't do it because to be 'unbroken,' means that you're still in control!
 
When I talk about unbroken, I'm talking about us demanding control --that's the issue!
 
To come to Jesus requires a brokenness of surrender where you and I experience the pain of giving up control. Us wanting control is kind of an insanity loop that brings it's own kind of brokenness to life. 

It's kind of like steering the car and pressing on the brake after it goes off the cliff! Yes, you have control of the wheel but you're not really doing a whole lot of good in the situation. So it's like we're in a control that's not working but we don't want to give up control to a God who will make life work!
 
When we move toward Jesus without being broken, we get religion. Religion is based on a lot of things, but in addition to control, religion is based on rules. These rules can be written and unwritten. We come up with all of these rules and rituals and we're just making stuff up. We need to call ourselves out on our own hypocrisy and recognize that legalism is like gravity, it's a downward pull!
 
Part of authentic faith is recognizing that I am broken, that I am in danger, and that I need help. Jesus is the rescuer, and the process of rushing to Jesus is where the healing begins! 
 
Jesus takes our lives and brings us into a relationship where we soar! When we believe, Jesus helps us defy the gravity of earth and its brokenness.
 
If you've been broken and you've come to Jesus and experienced real hope in life, if you're not very very careful, at some point, you will stop soaking in the presence of God and experiencing the warmth and joy of God. If you're not careful in your spiritual journey, you're going to take a step back into the deadly ease of legalism and you're going to give in to the downward pull of rules, of ritual and of empty living!
 
In biblical Christianity we are only justified by faith through grace and our faith is based in the person of Jesus Christ! The justification that you and I have is the same, it is the love of God in the life of Jesus! (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It is a gift! So I cannot be proud of something I did not earn. I received this, and there is a real humility that comes when we understand that our justification comes from Jesus and not ourselves! 
 
Jesus' touch means something --it's a reason to celebrate, a reason to live, and to lift our hands and praise our God! It transforms us from living soul sick to becoming eternally alive!
 
What God said in the Old Testament is true for all of us, "These dead bones of ours can live again!" It's the breath of God --an up close and personal encounter that changes everything! (Ezekiel 37)
 
But Jesus only touches the willing, broken hearted people (Matthew Chapter 9).

If you want Jesus, you've got to run to Him! You've got to be broken and you've got to get on your knees and beg for a life change --that's when Jesus gets real! The rest is just religious garbage and legalistic lies! Until we're desperate in need and willingly loved, we'll die in the distance of legalism! 
 
There are so many of us longing to be loved but we're just not willing. Believe you can be loved! Let love win -it's never too late to let love win! -Dr. Drew Shofner

Here am I, Lord send me!

Isaiah 6-8

In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Guys, the issue is not that we can't reach people, so many people in this area say the church can't grow...and people are too busy...and it's too secular...and...

All that's garbage!

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful! There are millions of broken people around us who are blind now but if only the Father's love was revealed to them, they would be ready and receptive!

The problem is not that they're not ready in their brokenness to have answers and joy, the problem is, there aren't enough inspired people willing to get out of their own plans and go! There aren't enough people willing to leave their earthbound agendas and invest their lives for eternity! That's the problem!

The harvest is plentiful -The truth is The Church at Severn Run can grow by 200 or by 5,000 and the churches in this region can grow by 100,000 more people because they're there: according to Jesus! They just don't have anybody who will walk with them and lead them!

What Jesus is trying to tell us is the church of the living God has to have a new attitude! A believing attitude and a faithful attitude that looks at our world around us and says we can make a difference! God is at work out there, He's already done all the work to plant and water, and all we have to do is to get out and connect with people and to bring in the harvest! 

Guys, if we believe The Gospel, Jesus said that there are hurting, broken people around us! 

All around us there are hundreds of thousands of human beings that are ready to hear about the love of God and to have His arms around them.

God may use your arms. 

You may be the arms of God, the hand of God, the Word of God and we gotta have a different attitude! We are called to join Him, empowered by the Holy Spirit and inspired by God, and if we do, there will be an immense harvest and a huge difference! Stories will be changed, if we just believe! -Dr. Drew Shofner

The word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 114

Only in Christianity, is there the claim that the infinite God became human! That He occupied flesh. That He was broken with us. The word incarnation is a word that talks about the wonder of God becoming one of us! 

John 1:14 says, "The 'word' (God) became 'flesh' (Jesus) and dwelt among us." The word became flesh - the infinite God inhabited time and became just like us! He became broken with us and He made His dwelling with us. God chose not to stay distant in Heaven, but to come and live with us on earth and to be with us! 

With is the key word here because the reality is that we have to make a choice about what we are going to do with this Jesus! 

What if God really did become a human being? What if there really is an answer to the reason of the brokenness of the world? What if our greatest call in life is to trust the love that became flesh? -Dr. Drew Shofner 

Jesus is the exact representation of His being!

The son is the radiance of Gods glory

Hebrews 1:3 says, "The son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being." This glory that you long for, that you cannot find in sexuality or material things. The glory that you cannot find in the affirmation and applause of other broken people. This glory that we seek, is to be connected to the glory of God Himself!

Jesus is the exact representation of His being!

So when we see Jesus, we say "That is what God is like!" When we wonder if God is this vengeful God, intending to crush us and rub our faces in our mess, we look at Jesus and we see Him love the woman taken into adultery. We see Jesus lift her up and say "Just go, and sin no more." (John 8:1-11

We see Jesus walking among broken people, touching them and healing them and wrapping His arms around them. We see Jesus going out of His way, inconveniencing Himself to be with people who don't know what God's face looks like, and when they saw Jesus, then they have seen the face of God!

God's ultimate plan of revelation is to send His child into a light-less world. 

You are the child that God is sending into a broken world! 

I am the child that God is sending into a broken world!

We are to go as Jesus went and we are to walk out of our way and we are not to live self concerned and self consumed!

All of our significance has been gifted by grace. All of our identity has been affirmed by God, so we are free! Now, instead of pushing our own agendas, we have died with Christ and we have allowed God to reveal, to His world, what love looks like through His child! -Dr. Drew Shofner

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