Mens Fellowship Strives to Treasure Jesus in 2015 (1/10/15)

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in EventReport, Friends & Fellowship, UMM | 0 comments

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

The United Methodist Men’s Fellowship held our monthly gathering on Saturday January 10.  Yep- it was a cold and early morning at 7:30 AM, but the warm coffee and fellowship is always a great thing.

Our guest speaker was Chris Johnson, a missionary who has a heart for the people in Mexico who don’t know Christ. Chris and His wife Michele have been planting churches in Mexico, but are currently “home” in New Jersey.

Chris’ theme was “Treasuring Jesus in 2015.”  How easily do we get trapped up in the day to day demands of life and get distracted from the fact that God constantly- minute by minute- supplies our needs?  How can we become constantly aware that we are God’s hands and feet in the moment where we find ourselves?


Paul Treasured the Gospel with His Life…

We started out by looking at Paul’s example in Philippians 1:19-26

for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.    I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.   If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!   I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;   but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,   so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Paul is so in love with his Savior that he’s living full-out for Him.  He’s in prison.  He’s facing trial, and most likely, he’s going to be executed.  But he’s not worried.  Instead we see a man who’s confident; full of faith and of a desire to be with Jesus.  In a way, he prefers that his trial ends in death so that he can be even closer to Jesus.  And yet, he knows that by living he can continue to glorify God on earth.

Can we treasure Jesus and live in His service with the same passion?

Paul was motivated to treasure Jesus because he had an encounter with Jesus.  Paul was “zapped” on the road to Damascus.  The bright light of God’s Son totally changed his life and priorities.


Treasure the Gospel…

Paul was focused on the Gospel… and the Gospel is Jesus.  Ephesians 2:1-10 reminds us that we are saved by grace; that we are made alive by Jesus the Christ.

That’s Good News!  Jesus is the Gospel, and Paul treasured the Gospel.

Ephesians 2:1-10

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,   in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,   made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—   not by works, so that no one can boast.   For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


Set Your Heart on Things Above…

In Colossians 3:1-4, Paul reminds us to set our thoughts on things above…

 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.   Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.   For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.   When Christ, who is your  life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

But how do we do that?  What are some habits that we can develop in order to keep our focus on “things above?”

Pray constantly.  Depend on God for everything.  When you read the Bible, we depend on God for understanding.  When we get up in the morning, we rely on God for our first breath.  When we encounter people, we rely on God for wisdom on how we should interact with them.
Cultivate a daily habit to be in God’s Word.
Meditate on scripture.  Make it become a part of you.  Don’t try to go through the Bible just to check it off and to say that you read the whole thing in one year.  Slow down.  Even take it one verse a day.  Soak it in.
Memorize scripture.  At any minute, we may be hit with an interruption that requires us to act in God’s wisdom.  We can’t rush to the Bible or get our concordance- we need to respond to the moment.  By storing the Word up in your mind, you can draw from God’s Word in the moment and respond to the situation at hand.
Being with other Christians gives us a forum where we can rehash what we have learned in private.  Small groups and just meeting with a friend gives us the chance to ask questions; to make what we have learned become real in our lives.


Share the Treasure!

When Jesus Christ and the Gospel become the most important thing in your life, you want to share it.   You want to talk about it.  As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….”

We are called to not only treasure Jesus Christ in our own hearts (Matthew 13:44), but also to proclaim the Gospel to those who don’t know Him.  1 Peter 2:9-10

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.    Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


In 2015 and beyond, Treasure the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 After the gathering, we “treasured” our friendship…

UMM Fellowship 2015-01-10 _IMG_1524UMM Fellowship ChrisJ-LeeW Selfie _IMG_1523







We will hold our annual Men’s Fellowship retreat on the weekend of March 13, 14 and 15 at the Black Rock Retreat Center. And, Chris Johnson will be our facilitator for the weekend!

For more information, contact Chris Valianti.



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For more information about the Men’s Fellowship, Click Here.




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